Simon Kinberg to Direct X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Jessica Chastain in Talks to Play Villain

Simon Kinberg will finally get his opportunity to sit in the director’s chair on a new installment of the X-Men Universe. X-Men: Dark Phoenix will reunite Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Tye Sheridan, all from X-Men: Apocalypse.

The film will of course adapt the beloved Dark Phoenix saga focused around Jean Grey. For fans, this is both exciting and also a touchy subject, as many still hold the wounds of X-Men: The Last Stand, co-written by Kinberg himself, the botched first attempt to adapt the material. Thanks to the events of altering the timeline in X-Men: Days of Future Past, we now have an opportunity to right the wrongs.

And not only that! The amazing and truly talented Jessica Chastain is in talks to play a villain! I absolutely adore Chastain (and yes, I have a boy crush, deal with it) and the work she puts out is consistenly incredible, but she isn’t known for her franchise or genre work, so I’m very excited to see Chastain join the iconic ranks of incredible actors playing X-Men villains (Ian McKellan, Brian Cox, Kevin Bacon, Peter Dinklage, and Oscar Isaac).

But is Kinberg the right move here? I’m not really sure. As I said before, the franchise has already ruined this story arc before, from a script partially written by Kinberg. Granted, we all know there was studio interference and also Brett Ratner behind the lens, but has Kinberg shown capabilities to prove he’s worth the risk? At this point, I don’t think so.

That being said, I’m all for the addition of Chastain to the franchise.

So what do you think? Is Simon Kinberg the right choice to direct X-Men: Dark Phoenix? And what do you think about the possible addition of Jessica Chastain? Let me know/Drop a comment below.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix rises in cinemas in 2018.

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

31 Days of Horror: Day 17 – Friday the 13th (1980)

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Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, Ari Lehman

Screenplay: Victor Miller

95 mins. Rated X.

 

I hit another classic on my watch list. The film that said to people everywhere, “Hey everyone! I’m Halloween again!” My review of Friday the 13th comes right now!

Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma!

Friday the 13th is an age-old classic. It also happens to be a movie that continues to surprise to this day. If you haven’t watched it, go buy it and watch it. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m warning you, there may be possible SPOILERs so look sharp.

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The movie takes place…on Friday the 13th. Years ago, Camp Crystal Lake was shut down after several murders and other crimes were committed on the premises. Now, years later, the camp is reopening with the help of several attractive 20-somethings (among them Kevin Bacon, TV’s The Following, Apollo 13). But, trouble starts up again as the camp counselors are picked off one by one by a mysterious stranger who just may be more connected than they know.

I love the original Friday the 13th. It is just so damn fun. The Jason Voorhees series is to this day one of those film series that you can have a bunch of friends over and just watch some mindless violence. It has a great drinking game. It has a bunch of young attractive people partying, playing Strip Monopoly, getting it on, and getting murdered.

This film actually has a bit more of a twist ending due to its franchise work. This was not intended by any of the filmmakers, but it certainly holds up as an interesting ending in light of the direction the franchise went.

The plot is simple. The performances are not good. The film is still fun. I will actually give this film a higher rating for fun factor, because it boils down to good old fashioned entertainment.

Many people still don’t know what the sound of the Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma. Some people (myself included) think it is more of a Chi Chi Chi Ha Ha Ha, but that would be wrong. Others think it is an advertisement for Jiffy Pop Jif Jif Jif Pop Pop Pop, but that would be wrong as well. It is Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma and if you know the ending SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT then you know it references Kill Kill Kill Mom Mom Mom.

People hated Betsy Palmer (TV’s Knots Landing, Mister Roberts) being in this film and portraying Mrs. Voorhees. One critic went as far as to publish her address in anger so that people could…I don’t really know, vandalize or send her Anthrax? Anyway, he published the wrong address, so I guess his plan didn’t work.

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So, Crazy Ralph said it best, these kids were all doomed…doomed! I love a little cheese with my horror films, and I think you will enjoy Friday the 13th.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-MenFirstClass3 MoviePoster

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon

Screenplay: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz , Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn

132 mins. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language.

 

Now this is how you do a prequel! How, after X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a major disappointment. I mean major. I didn’t have high hopes for X-Men: First Class. First of all, we are talking about a film with no returning stars that I was aware of. I enjoyed director Matthew Vaughn’s previous work on Kick-Ass, but I just couldn’t guarantee success. Not after the saddening The Last Stand and the worse Origins.

I’m happy to see that Vaughn was able to right the ship and give this franchise exactly what it needed: a fun action romp, with enough interesting new characters to pull you in and keep you in.

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So, First Class is all about the humble beginnings of Professor X (James McAvoy, Wanted, Muppets Most Wanted), Magneto (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds, The Counselor), and the rest of the group known as the X-Men, who take on a dangerous new mutant named Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon, TV’s The Following, Apollo 13) and his Hellfire Club. McAvoy, Fassbender, Bacon and Jennifer Lawrence, who dons the blue as Raven, the mutant Mystique, are all examples of what has been referred to as the Superhero Renaissance that started up a few years back. These are all incredible, Oscar-worthy performers helping to make these unrealistic characters into flawed, detailed, and tragic heroes who don’t have it all that good. All four of them are incredible performances, and are what make this prequel more grounded in X-Men mythos. They make this a part of the series, helped along by this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past as well.

Let’s talk cinematography. Vaughn’s is a sweeping filmmaker, his camera always has a well-thought out place and takes part in the film. It does not sit idly by to record the goings-on. The film feels much slower even though it covers a ton of time and info. The music plays like 1960’s James Bond score. Plenty of intrigue, plenty of fear.

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It is important to note that the film is a bit campy. That was not an insult. It takes what could be silliness and really uses it. This is a lesson that could’ve been another Origins disaster, but it plays with its seriousness, and you can really tell that these people are having fun making this movie. It definitely is a great popcorn flick. There are genuine laughable moments, and there are genuine gasp-worthy moments, but through it all Matthew Vaughn keeps moving. This is easily one of the best Superhero films ever made, and it is a pretty damn good film in general.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

For my review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, click here.

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