Posts Tagged ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

…I honestly didn’t see this coming.

Don’t worry, they still let me graduate and all that. I’ve got my credentials now…they can’t take that away from me.

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What I mean to say is…I thought that the end of 2013 would bring about a significant amount of fanfare in my life…fresh opportunities and enthusiasm. You think the race is gonna be over…nope. There’s just another one on the other side.

Sorry, that’s kind of a bummer line to lead off with for the first post of the new year. Also…February…January literally just flew by. So what has happened since my last post…

I’ve said goodbye to Denton…not permanently. I’ve still got plenty of people requesting money from me up there, and plenty of friends I want to try and keep in touch with. But I’ve got all my stuff crammed in a corner of a room at my parents place while I try to find my next place back closer to “home”. While I’m talking about it…is anyone looking to sublease a 1 bedroom apartment in Denton…fully furnished and on the UNT bus route? Contact me for more info.
I’d love to get that monkey off my back.
The job search for the career continues. As I thought, my people don’t really advertise when they’re looking to fill a spot…they just ask people if they know a guy. I’ve still got my current job to keep me afloat, but I don’t see this as a long term venture, and I don’t see the promise of them trying to increase my hours panning out. I’ve tried seeing if there are any other positions within my company that are more worthy of the degree I have now (still waiting on that degree to arrive by the way) but the most suitable match lies down in Austin. I’m still doing a lot of searching in the DFW area here, as I’m trying to move into a new place here pretty soon, but if at some point, I need to definitively expand my search…well, so much for my plans I guess.

I also lost my grandfather recently. My grandfather had been in and out of the hospital quite a bit in the final months of his life. Heck, he’d been in and out quite a bit in the last few years of his life…but he always bounced back. He broke his hip several years back…an injury that at his age would have led a downhill spiral in most people. Amazingly though, he got through rehabilitation and was able to go back home and continue to live his life. This last time though…it seemed that all his resilience had worn out. On Saturday January the 19th, we were informed by the hospital that after going in and out of a responsive and lucid state the day before, that his kidneys were shutting down…which, I don’t know how much y’all know about the medical world, but when a person’s kidneys shut down…it’s kind of the beginning of the end. He held on until that coming Monday night, when all of his kids and grandkids were able to gather to reminisce, tell old stories, laugh, cry, and say our goodbyes. While he couldn’t say anything…we know that he heard us, maybe even tried to gesture to us. He passed at 1:15 early the next morning, knowing that he had held on long enough. January 21st…the day that I lost the smartest man I will ever know. I will miss you immensely Grandaddy.

David Martin

Losing him took a lot out of me, but there was some good to come out of his death. It has been near a decade since that side of my family has gotten together as a whole. The circumstances could not have been much worse, but we were finally able to change that, and despite the tears and the heartache, we were able to come together and enjoy our time with one another, and promise to one another that despite our distance, it would not take another act of death or a decade to bring us back together.
In his passing, my grandfather was able to bring together those that he loved in a way that he had not seen in a very long time. I like to be optimistic where I’m able, so I see the silver lining here. We won’t mourn his death…so much as we’ll celebrate his life. I haven’t considered myself much of a family guy in a very long time, and I remember now how much I miss everybody. I can’t wait to see them again.

So yea…the grind of the job search, the search for a new place to call home, and the loss of a patriarch…my 2014 thus far. I still have unfinished business from last year though.
I seem to remember that last post, I left y’all with a trio of polls…my Backstage Accolades for Best Movie, TV Series, and Video Game of the Year. A few of y’all voted. But not quite enough to declare a real winner in any category…we had ties all around. I won’t declare more than one though, so…it’ll just have to come down to me.

Without further ado…the Winner for Best Movie of 2013 is…

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Iron Man 3 was a great movie no doubt…but if it were entirely up to me…I think I’d have gone with Pacific Rim, or Kick-Ass 2. The people have spoken though. My other option here for the actual winner was Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I love me some Jennifer Lawrence, but RDJ just kills it every time.

Moving on…the Winner for Best TV Show of 2013 is…

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Even though I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, it seemed this was the obvious choice. 2013 saw the final season of the series, and with it some of the most epic moments in TV history…so I’m told. My other options in the tie were The Walking Dead, and NCIS. I watched both shows this year, but I still feel like based on the fanfare around Breaking Bad’s finale season that it is deserving based on reputation alone.

Finally…the Winner for Best Video Game of 2013 is…

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Yes…Pokémon X and Y. Y’all seriously left this category the hell alone…my five votes were the only ones tallied. I honestly have been going back and forth between Pokémon and Tomb Raider, but I haven’t been able to put down Pokémon since I picked it up. I Even though nostalgia was the only driving force for getting this game, I’ve continued to enjoy it for months. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoyed the crap out of Tomb Raider…but once I beat the game, I didn’t chase down the collectibles for very long. Pokémon is continuing to provide me with new entertainment long after I’ve beaten it. Now…since I was alone in the voting for this one, I had three other ties. They were Grand Theft Auto V, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5. I lost interest in GTA 5 after a while, and I picked Dead Rising and Forza as my only real options for the next generation of Xbox. Pokémon and Tomb Raider were the only real games that have come out this past year that have held my interest to completion. And somehow I still didn’t pick Tomb Raider after following Lara Croft’s hot hiney around for about 20 hours.

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Nostalgia wins out over sex. Childhood wins out over adulthood. You don’t have to grow up.

Now that 2013 is good and shelved at this point, let’s look forward a bit. I kind of missed the whole Winter Movie season, and I do mean that I missed it. It feels like forever since I’ve gone out and caught a flick. I’m just in time though to look forward to the Spring Movie Season…so what’s coming up in the shining lights of the movie billboards?

300: Rise Of An Empire – 3/07
The legendary 300 Spartans have fought their great fight, and died trying to defend their nation. The nation is now left to defend itself against the imposing Persian juggernaut. Can they hold?
Alright, we’ve got a director here that I’ve never heard of, Noam Murro, and a…let’s be honest…cast of Hollywood D-listers and hopefuls. This flick could go either way…it’s built on a strong foundation, but this crew just might not have the chops to make it everything they want it to be. We’ll see.

Need For Speed – 3/14
The notorious game franchise finally comes to the big screen. Fast cars, and high crime. The thing is…I feel like Need For Speed has already been turned into a movie. I mean, isn’t that what the Fast & Furious franchise has been? I’ve already seen this movie…and I know that Aaron Paul with all his grit from Breaking Bad has a lot to bring, but I think we’re all going to be silently comparing it to the Fast & Furious films, and how it falls ever so short. That’s my guess though.

Veronica Mars – 3/14
This is kind of a shot in the dark here. I know that there are fans out there of the show that made a 3 season run from 2004 – 2007, but I haven’t met any. There was a Kickstarter put in place to try and raise 2 million dollars to make a movie…and bring about some sort of extended closure. Kind of like a Firefly/Serenity type situation. The fans stepped up though and brought in 5.7 million by the time the Kickstarter deadline was up. So…Kristin Bell returns to see her character gets a good farewell. I know nothing of the series, so I have no idea what to expect. Worth mentioning though.

Divergent – 3/21
The books that this were based on became popular after the Hunger Games trilogy started gaining a lot of followers, and with good reason. Divergent is essentially a clone of the whole Hunger Games premise. Expect the same type of action and personality types. Just…maybe not quite as good. I’ve got kind of low expectations here, so I may be setting myself up to be pleasantly surprised by the film quality. I just don’t know right now.

Muppets Most Wanted – 3/14
[Insert basic movie description with first impression opinion here.]
You know, I’m sure someone is looking forward to this.

Nymphomaniac Part 1 – 3/14
This is a 2-part NC-17 flick…it is the story of a woman’s life from birth to age 50, and the numerous erotic adventures that the self proclaimed nymphomaniac has endured. I’m just intrigued by the concept of a 2-part NC-17 film, the second part arriving…somewhere, on April 18th.

Noah – 3/28
The biblical story of Noah who after suffering dreams of a coming apocalypse receives a message from God, telling him to construct a great ship, to save all the animals of the land from an upcoming flood. This is a film by Darren Aronofsky, the Director responsible for Black Swan. Might be interesting to see what he does with a biblical tale…and Emma Watson.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 4/4
The first Captain America several years back was a bit of a disappointment. But now that we’ve seen what Cap can do in the Avengers, I’ve got a little more excitement built up for him in this chapter. The rest of the Avengers can go home. Stark can go back to Malibu, Thor can go back to Asgard, Banner can go back to keeping a low profile…Steve Rogers can’t go back to WWII era America, where things were simpler…more black and white. So he stays on with S.H.I.E.L.D. to try and figure out how to fit into life in the modern world. Just as he begins to get a grasp on things, threats emerge that bring him back into the fray.
They’ve had time to get it right at this point, and I think I’m going to enjoy this Captain America.

Transcendence – 4/18
Will Caster, played by Johnny Depp, is the leading developer in Artificial Intelligence. After an incident which leaves his days numbered, he and his assistants make the decision to connect his consciousness to the internet before he dies so that he can continue to live in virtual form. AIs have needs though, just like the living…and no one can predict what this new intelligence will do next.
There isn’t a whole lot of publicity for this movie yet, but it’s one I’m really looking forward to. Based on subject matter alone, I’m hooked…but the cast looks phenominal as well. Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, I’m excited.

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – 5/2
The rebooted Spiderman franchise with Andrew Garfield  gets its sequel this May. Paul Giamatti plays The Rhino, and Jaime Foxx jumps in as Electro. I’m actually pretty excited to see Jaime Foxx suiting up as a bad guy in the Marvel Universe. I think he’ll do well as a villain, and great alongside Garfield, definitely a better choice for the webbed crusader than Toby Maguire. I’m just left wondering now when Columbia will release the franchise so Spidey can finally join up with the Avengers.

Neighbors – 5/9
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star alongside Zach Efron in this story of a couple who have a baby and are forced to deal with the debauchery of a frat house moving in next door. With the same creators that brought us This Is The End, I’m expecting raunchy laughs all the way through.

Godzilla – 5/16
It’s being remade…again. It’s got to be better than the last version with Matthew Broderick. I mean, how can it really get much worse. I loved that movie at the time, but I look back on it now and shake my head. It will be better.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – 5/23
Oh God yes. X-Men: First Class was so unbelievably good. And we finally got ourselves a good stand alone Wolverine movie too. Brian Singer said it was such a hard job wrangling all the huge personalities in this movie, but that it was so worth it. I don’t know how they’re going to handle the time travel thing, but I don’t care. Jennifer Lawrence…body paint. Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry…eye candy. If there’s one movie I could see this coming season, it’d be this.

Maleficent – 5/30
Disney’s most iconic villain finally gets her backstory told, and with Angelina Jolie playing the leading lady herself, Maleficent. It’s been a good long time since Jolie has lent her talents to the big screen, but even given her hiatus, I wouldn’t have picked anyone else for the role.

That leads us into the summer, and I suppose the end of this installment. My timetable is a complete mess right now, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to do this again. So, let’s just say…I’ll see ya when I see ya.

One last thing though…with a new year, it’s time to change the theme of my closing image. After giving it some good thought, I think I’m gonna go with classic cars. Anything made before I was born is fair game.

In loving memory of David Michael Martin Sr. One of the smartest and most loving people that ever existed. Rest in Peace.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

1970 Plymouth Hemicuda

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I usually like to lolly gag around for the first couple of minutes here, but we’ve got some legitimate news, so I’ll jump right into it.

Time Warner has dropped CBS and its various programming from its’ lineup. I’ve heard of service providers and content providers getting in disputes before, we probably all have, but this is the first time I’ve of heard of a major network getting the boot. From what I’ve learned, content providers always…ALWAYS win out in these kind of disputes, because they’re the ones ultimately supplying the entertainment, and because the worst industry for brand loyalty, it would seem, is television providers.
I’m not 100% sure on what the hubbub is about, but I think it has something to do with TWC being unwilling to pay CBS affiliates retransmission fees in the larger markets. The affected markets that I know of right are NYC, LA, and DFW. I also heard that parts of Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and Pittsburg coverage areas might be affected, but I can’t confirm that with any hard source.
Time Warner has some serious brass balls, and if they’re not feeling the backlash now (which I’m sure they are), they are really going to be feeling it once football starts back up in September.
I’m gonna make a prediction. I’ll give it a month and a half, though I’m sure it won’t really last that long, but within that time, Time Warner will crack. Whether they give in and give CBS what they are asking for, or they end up not being able to stay afloat without being bought out. I heard a little while back that they might be entertaining an offer from Charter to be bought out, but I didn’t think that really went anywhere. Regardless, I don’t think TWC is above being put in a position where they’ll do a little struggling. They don’t have the cards to stay in this battle for long…they’ll fold.
Neither party is really the bad guy in all this…or rather I should say that neither party is really the good guy here. The ultimate reason why any of this is going down is greed. Both sides want to point fingers here, and PR on both sides of the fence are throwing knives.

On that note, I want to change gears and move on to something else. I’ve got another movie review for you…and with a transition like that, what else could it be.

The Wolverine
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I’ve been a little iffy about going to see this one, with the way the last Wolverine-centric movie went over. I’m happy to say though that this installment of the X-Men franchise definitely hits the mark. So, The Wolverine picks up at the end of where all the X-Men flicks left off, X-Men: The Last Stand, before they started going back and screwing with the timeline and origin stories.
I was hoping that they would begin addressing some of the discrepancies in the timeline cause by those…prequels of sorts, but they were only glossed over at best. I guess they’re leaving all those timeline repairs for X-Men: Days of Future Past…we’ll come back to that.
In this installment, Logan finds himself dragged out to Japan to grant the dying wish of a friend he once made back in World War II. I was worried that this movie would get drowned by ninjas and samurai…and ridiculous classic Japanese imagery. It kind of does, but somehow, it ended up feeling strangely appropriate. Seriously, there were samurai, ninjas, yakuza, and references to ‘gaijin’…and somehow I never ended up feeling that they were going over the top. All of the Japanese imagery felt very balanced with a strong story.
Within the story woven through this movie, we find Logan battling with his trust issues more than ever before, and that coupled with him coming to terms with his mortality (or lack thereof), made for a strangely strong narrative.
The casting didn’t have any weak points either. Hugh Jackman just seems to be beyond reproach these days. He can’t really do any wrong. And once again, the filmmakers are pulling these extremely talented actresses seemingly out of nowhere. At least if you go to their IMDb pages, there’s a black hole beyond a year or so ago. Rila Fukushima plays the role of Yukio, Logan’s unofficial sidekick of sorts, and friend/sister to Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the potential heiress to a great fortune and Japanese business empire. Both of these ladies played characters whose personalities were fairly reserved, but became dynamic when pushed to action. They didn’t steal the show by any means, but they did play their rolls extremely well.
The visuals were also very strong, and well suited for the flick. As an X-Men flick, I was anticipating a myriad of over the top sci-fi effects, but what they actually delivered was a much more visually mute flick. Not that they didn’t have some outstanding effects, it just wasn’t the constant visual onslaught that we’ve come to expect from the X-Men franchise, and summer blockbusters in general. It was pleasant.
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The only thing that I felt was kind of weird in this movie was an odd romance that Logan develops in the film. Jean Grey keeps popping up as visual delusions for Logan throughout the film, to which he professes his love for, while at the same time he becomes strangely involved with another one of the female characters. It may have suited the film, but it just kind of felt out of character for Logan.
</SPOILER>
I really didn’t know how Logan’s trek out to Japan was going to turn out, but I ended up being really happy with the results.
The Wolverine8 out of 10

Everyone might be wondering if there were any little surprises at the end of the credits. Nothing at the very end, but after the first set of visual credits (kind of like how they did The Avengers credits), there is a small scene where they setup Days of Future Past. Mind blowing. If you nerd out over X-Men stuff, your jaw will drop. That’s all I’ll say.

I see an opportunity here where I can make a small gripe at movie theaters and how they do things. So, if I may indulge myself here…

I saw The Wolverine in 2D. Any movie that comes out with the option to see it in 2D or 3D, I will always see it in 2D. I used to complain that 3D would give me headaches 100% of the time, but I saw Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness at the beginning of the summer without getting any bad headaches, so that’s not an excuse anymore. I still will choose 2D pretty much every time, and here’s why. You all pretty much know that I’m a 4-eyed fellow…and I wear my glasses pretty much constantly. I can’t do contacts…I just don’t like that feeling of stuff in my eyes. I feel like it’s stupid at this point that if I want to watch something 3D, I’m still having to to wear these dumb plastic 3D glasses over my regular glasses.

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Shouldn’t there be a better solution at this point? This isn’t hard. They actually make sunglasses that are made to be worn over prescription glasses, and while they aren’t the most stylish shades in the world, they do comfortably get the job done.

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And if we’re just talking 3D glasses for movie theaters, you’re not keeping them, you’re tossing them in a box once the film is over, and no one will ever see you wearing them out in the wild. I think the lenses in these are actually bigger than the lenses in existing 3D glasses, so you’d be getting a bigger viewing area anyways. Please, somebody, DO THIS! It can’t possibly be that hard to cheaply manufacture larger 3D glasses. Ugh. I can’t be alone here.

I’ll end my rant of that, and pick up with X-Men again. I feel like speculating about a few upcoming films, so…Days of Future Past.

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From what I can gather, this film will bring in Days of Future Past plot from “The Uncanny X-Men” Issues #141 and #142 where a version of the future has mutants incarcerated, and the U.S. run by Sentinels. The casting of Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask cements the involvement of the Sentinels, a series of powerful robots tasked with eliminating mutants. Beyond that, I’m having a hard time following how this movie might play out. It sounds so disjointed, evidently Kitty Pride’s future self sends her mind back in time to warn her past self about the future or something to that effect. Toss in past, present, and future versions of Xavier, Magneto, and Wolverine (really no difference there), and I have no idea how this movie isn’t going to be a visual representation of what A.D.D. is like. This movie is going to be weird.
X-Men: Days of Future past is a hard movie to have not heard at this point, but I wanted to talk about a few more that might not be on y’alls radar at this point.

There is currently a treatment circling around for an “Untitled Blade Runner Project”. In other words, ideas are currently being entertained for a “Blade Runner 2“. I really don’t want this to happen. Blade Runner is, in my humble opinion, the best sci-fi film in existence, and the bar is set ridiculously high for any kind of sequel to try to live up to. I honestly don’t think that it could be followed up. I wouldn’t want any half imagined sequel to sour the reputation of such sci-fi gold…neigh, sci-fi platinum. Ridley Scott, please, just say no.

Not that I’m trying to tell Ridley Scott what to do, but I think he should instead spend more time focusing on the rumored Prometheus 2. Supposedly a script has been written, and casting is in progress. I got to the end of Prometheus wishing that they had provided a more clear connection to the original Alien, so I was really happy to hear this announcement a while back. Now, I feel like Alien is another one of those movies that is really high up on my list of amazing sci-fi movies, but it has already had so many sequels and spin-offs that the integrity of the original isn’t really being brought into question anymore.
And by original, I mean Alien, not Prometheus. Did anybody else like Prometheus? I feel like I’m a singularity here, most everybody I know saw Prometheus and thought it was crap for a variety of reasons. I thought it was pretty cool, in fact my only complaint really was the fact that they showed the xenomorph alien at the very end. I felt like that was kind of a cop out, as if they were trying to say, “If the rest of the movie didn’t get the point across, this should show you that this is an ‘Alien’ movie.” Whatever, everyone knew what they were watching.

Alright, that’s probably enough film speculation for the day. It’s probably getting close to time that I start talking about the films coming up for the fall, the same way that I did an in-depth post a while back on what movies I was planning to see over the summer.
I also think that at some point here, once I’ve gotten through my summer list, I should talk about my favorite movies of the summer, and maybe see if my opinion of the movies stack up against what the public thought about them. You know, compare my ratings against Rotten Tomatoes or whatever.

Before I shut this down though, I wanna talk about something that I saw come up on CNN earlier this week. I was in Schlotzsky’s earlier this week eating lunch, when a story popped up on CNN that I honestly had to stop eating and give my full attention to.
Back in January, Italian teenager Carolina Picchio committed suicide after feeling the torment of cyber bullying.

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A video of the 14-year-old appeared on Facebook in which she seemed to be quite drunk and disoriented at a party. This video resulted in a non-stop stream of hate mail and cyber bullying that Picchio eventually felt too much to handle. She wrote a note to her tormentors saying, “Are you happy now? Have you hurt me enough? Have you had your revenge?” before jumping out of her bedroom window and falling to her death.
This is truly a sad story, and cyber is a crime that needs a lot more mainstream attention, but that’s not what I really wanted to talk about here. What I wanted to talk about was what came afterwards, when CNN went on to say that Carolina’s family may be try put the blame on Facebook, for not acting to remove the harassing comments directed at her.
Okay…do you know how many people are on Facebook? Billions…literally billions. Can you imagine how many complaints and content removal requests they must handle on a daily basis? I don’t want to even try, the number must be astronomical. The point is though, Facebook can’t be expected to be able to respond to each of these incidents as they happen everywhere around the world. The fault is on the individuals that hide behind a profile page and an IP address to fling there insults around. People are the problem, not services, not inanimate objects. This is a problem that is pervading everywhere. I’m talking about drunk driving incidents being blamed on car manufacturers, or the beer industry. I’m talking about school shootings being blamed on gun control legislation, or violent video games.
No, people are at fault here, real people. Grand Theft Auto did not shoot that cop with an assault rifle, Budweiser did not run that teen down with a Ford truck. Facebook did not drive Carolina Picchio to her death. People did these things, and these people are who need to be held accountable. I’m not trying to be an unfeeling asshat here, I just want the right people being brought to justice for their crimes.
It just infuriates me when people want to look for some big conspiracy behind an incident to try and bring some kind of meaning and sense of justice to its resolution. People don’t want to blame some messed up kid for the death of their little angel, they want to go after a corporation or an entire industry to make the death meaningful. Stop, just stop.
Again, I’m not trying to belittle the tragic deaths of these individuals, I feel for them. Just, make sure that you’re pointing the finger in the right direction.

Alright, I’ll put Political CVSleen away for a while. I usually tend to avoid these types of subjects, but this one really grinded my gears, and had to get that off my chest. I can’t leave y’all on that note though, so let me ask y’all a quick question.

If you could bring back any discontinued food or drink item, what would it be? The most common answer to the question that I see is Surge.

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I wouldn’t go with Surge, but even though I don’t drink soda anymore, it would be a soda that I would bring back if possible. Pepsi Blue.

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What would y’all bring back?

Also, to answer my question from last week…I think that I would pick the Green Lantern Ring. I went back and forth for a while between this and the Lightsaber, but you could make a Lightsaber with the Ring…and so much more. Disagree with me, tell me why?

Till next week guys.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Pappadeaux' Sautéed Crawfish

Pappadeaux’ Sautéed Crawfish