Saturday, May 31, 2014

X-Men vs. Spider-Man

Welcome to the debut of my monthly "Movie Match-Up" series where I put two movies head to head to see which one would come out on top. For this first time feature I have chosen the two big comic book blockbusters in a battle for Marvel supremacy. Will the time travelling mutants prevail or will the rebooted web slinger come out on top?

To start things off, I have chosen three categories to grade and compare these two particular movies. First is quality of acting, then we move on to action and special effects, and the third and final category will be overall impact, or as I like to call it: how quickly do I want to watch it again.

Quality of Acting:
This category is easily tipped to the side of the mutants by two men who are truly at the top of their game right now. James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender first got their feet wet as Professor X and Magneto in X-Men: First Class and now they are taking the characters to places we only dreamed of while reading the comic books. Throw in the always awesome Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, who has pretty much perfected his Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart alongside Ian McKellan and you have a combination so rock solid that not even the Rhino could break it down.

Speaking of the Rhino, Paul Giamatti in Spider Man does absolutely nothing with his character outside of turning him into a blubbering stereotype. Jaime Foxx also goes down the path of the bumbling idiot turned villainous caricature which seems really out of place for someone who has received so much acclaim over the last few years. Emma Stone, who I like quite a bit, is decent enough in the movie although her character makes so many weird decisions that it's hard to give her any sort of credibility. To me, Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is too mopey and silly and nowhere near as funny as a lot of other people have mentioned. When it came to the love story between him and Gwen, he basically turned Peter into a stalker who could not take a hint.

Round One - X-Men: Days of Future Past

Action and Special Effects:
The action in the new Spider Man movie is very fast paced, but also plays out like a video game with CGI that looks about 5 years old. In this day and age, you've got to be ahead of the curve not playing from behind. The fast the action, the more cartoon-like the images become which really removes any sense of believability, even for a comic book movie. Some of the sequences are just so strange, you wonder how they got past the original script phase and actually on the production schedule. No really, just take a deranged electrician and turn him into a villain by having him fall into a vat filled with electric eels which just happens to be inside the most secure portion of the most technologically advanced building in the city...or something.

You want to see how a prime example of how a movie can raise the bar for action and special effects? Go watch X-Men right now and look for three specific things.

  • Magneto dropping a sports stadium on the white house lawn.
  • Any fight scene that Blink is in. Her power is freaking awesome.
  • Quicksilver - That's all I'm going to say.
Seriously, this movie knocks it out of the park when it comes to cutting edge special effects, filming techniques including the use of crazy high frame rates (film nerd alert!), and action so intense it keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

Round Two - X-Men: Days of Future Past

Overall Impact:
I know I've been praising X-Men: Days of Future Past quite a bit so far, but I do have to say I was a little disappointed in how it left me feeling after the credits began to roll. Normally, this type of movie, as well as it's put together, would have me wanting to see it again as soon as possible, but not this time around. Sure, I enjoyed it and there are so many pieces of it I want to see again on a big movie screen, but the story itself just wasn't all that compelling to me. Time travel is always a slippery slope and maybe that's what kept me from getting fully invested in what was going on. There also seemed to be little to no danger factor since you can figure out pretty easily how it's all going to turn out in the end...sort of.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I did not like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in any way, shape, or form and I never want to see it again.

Round Three - X-Men: Days of Future Past

There you have it. All three rounds of this super powered battle royal were easily won by X-Men: Days of Future Past which leaves us with a very decisive victory in this first ever contest for monthly movie supremacy! Thanks for reading and look for another edition of Movie Match Up at the end of June!

Want to read my review of each movie? Click the links below!

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The Amazing Spider-Man 2


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