When Bryan Singer’s X-Men opened twenty years ago, few expected a mid-budget superhero team-up to spawn two direct sequels, spin-offs, a reboot, and three sequels to the reboot (not to mention re-energizing the superhero genre), but it did, but like all good things – or all things in general – it had to come to an end, but nothing then or now said it had to end with a flaccid, turgid, ultimately pointless entry like the much-delayed, less-than-anticipated Dark Phoenix. A second go-round in bringing Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s classic comic-book storyline to the big screen – Dark Phoenix drops the “mutant cure” storyline that undermined and ultimately neutered Brett Ratner’s -Men: The Last Stand thirteen years ago – replacing it with a woefully underwritten, under-motivated central arc, Jean Grey’s transformation from troubled mutant with telekinetic and psychokinetic powers, to a rage-filled superpowered, near godlike super-mutant, but repeatedly fails to make her – and by extension, Dark Phoenix: the Movie – intrinsically or organically compelling, let alone passably watchable. Another missed opportunity, another misfire isn’t how nostalgia-prone X-fans wanted to see the series end before the Disney Industrial Complex folds the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that’s what Dark Phoenix delivers. (more…)
Throughout decades of comics and films, The X-Men have become an important symbol for not only the LGBTQ+ community, but also the disabled. It’s a group of people that have mutated and changed beyond what’s normal, or have had certain events or experiences change them into what they are now. They band together to help make the world a better place and find a community. That’s a powerful message of acceptance and hope for communities that are oppressed. Both LGBTQ+ and disabled people can feel a modicum of acceptance, but ultimately their differences make them “other”. That can be devastating. Seeing heroes with the same struggles can be really empowering. Furthermore, it can help neurotypical/cis fans understand these other communities better.
Recently, the first full trailer for The Dark Phoenix was released. This follows the infamous tale of Jean Grey, a powerful mutant transformed into something far more dangerous. It’s one of the X-Men’s most popular and interesting story arcs.
But what’s more exciting is that if the trailer plays out like the scenes hint, this could possibly be one of the most important mental health allegory films in recent years. A mainstream, high-budget film having a story analogous to a disability struggle would be exactly what the stigmatized world of mental health needs.
We’ve all wondered, and now we know! Once, 20th Century Fox expected to release three X-Men films in the calendar year 2016, but there only ended up being two, and at least one of them was a massive box office success. That was Deadpool of course, and long have we waited on news of when we might actually see it’s sequel. Now, we finally know: 2018! And because this is Fox we’re talking about, not only are we going to get another Deadpool next year, we’re going to be getting two other X-Men movies too, and before you ask, one of them isn’t Gambit. (more…)