X-men ‘Dark Phoenix’ Gearing Up

A few months back it was revealed that the next X-men movie, suspected to have another crack at the Dark Phoenix saga from the comics, was getting ready to start filming soon. It looks like that is really true as a few key details have been announced. It seems Simon Kinberg who has served as a long time producer and co-writer of several of the X-men movies is set to make his directorial debut with this film. Another announcement was that James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult have all signed on to reprise their roles of Prof. X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast respectively. It was also announced that Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to play the villain of the film. There’s a lot of info to sift through here so I’ll go in order.

Firstly with Simon Kinberg cutting his directors teeth with such a huge project. It’s slightly concerning it’s unknown what sort of director he’ll be. It is reassuring that he’s been around these movies for so long and had a very hands on role. He knows this universe, and obviously has ideas of where he wants it to go. I guess it’s good for a director to be passionate about the project they’re undertaking and I could imagine that at this stage of his career these movies are where Kinberg passion lies. I think I’m just talking myself around on someone whose never directed anything before.

Next is the McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence and Hoult news. This is interesting since all of their contracts were finished after last year’s X-men Apocalypse. All four of them are much bigger stars now too since they first signed on to X-men First Class so getting them to re-up can’t have been cheap. I think it’s great news mostly because of McAvoy and Fassbender, since First Class they have played their roles phenomenally and I can’t wait to see them come back and see where their characters go next. Despite this casting news however, returning cast members from Apocalypse are Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp and Kodi Smit-Mcphee who play Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler respectively. All eyes are going to be on Sophie Turner since she will encompass the Dark Phoenix so let’s hope she’s ready to take that on, I’m sure she’ll be great though. Interestingly there was no mention of Evan Peters reprising his role of Quicksilver who was a personal favourite of mine in the last two movies. Hopefully he does end up reprising his role and there isn’t any sort of timing conflicts or anything stopping that from happening because his presence would be missed.

Finally is the news that Jessica Chastain is in talks to play the villain, an alien empress named Lilandra who seeks to imprison and execute the Dark Phoenix. Everybody knows Jessica Chastain is a world class actress so locking her in to the cast can only elevate the already impressively talented cast. The interesting thing here though is for years, fans of comic book movies have fancast Chastain as Poison Ivy for a DC movie, and with a Gotham City Sirens movie in the works that will feature the character in a major role, people were expecting her to be in the running for that. It’s not out of the question though since next year alone, Josh Brolin will be playing both Thanos in Avengers Infinity War and Cable in Deadpool 2 so there will be precedent she does end up in the running for Poison Ivy.

What are your thoughts on this new X-men movie? Are you psyched or don’t you care? Let ,even know in the comments. Thanks for reading and until next time, take it easy. 

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Review: Iron Fist (probable spoilers) 

Iron Fist is is the latest series in Marvel’s Netflix shared universe and the final piece of the puzzle before the all in Defenders series coming later this year. I loved both seasons of Daredevil and both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage so I was really pumped about this series coming out. I wasn’t incredibly familiar with the character but I knew he got his powers by defeating a dragon in battle so I was really jazzed to see this get really weird and out there.

Firstly I just want to start with the ‘whitewashing’ controversy which I find to be completely ridiculous because there’s a big difference between the racism that is whitewashing and just a potentially missed opportunity. The character of Iron Fist has always been portrayed in the comics as white so it’s not a racist move to cast a white guy. There’s nothing wrong with having an issue with the casting if you don’t think someone’s right for a role and in this case that should be the only argument I feel.

Now onto my thoughts on the series. Iron Fist is about a man, Danny Rand, who returns to New York after 15 years of being presumed dead. When he was 10 years old he was on a plane flying through the Himalayas with his parents when a crash claims the lives of all but himself. Raised in a monetary of monks in the mystical K’un-Lun where he earned the highest honey of becoming the legendary ‘Iron Fist’. Upon returning he realises the corporation his father created and the city are all in turmoil and he may just be the only one who can save everything. I’ll come right out now and say I dug it. I thought it was a pretty good show. I didn’t love it like I did with the other shows but I didn’t think it was terrible like most critics are saying. It definitely doesn’t come equipped out swinging like,  Lloyd the other shows. It doesn’t hook you instantly. It takes until nearly half way through the series to really get things going and that’s a bad thing. The first four or five episodes could have been compressed down to about two episodes and it would have made things a lot neater and would have made room for things that were completely left out. The kind of reversed what Luke Cage did. Where Luke Cage started off really strong then started to get a bit weak towards the end, Iron Fist starts off weak then finds its strength at the end.

Along with the slow start for the series I feel like Finn Jones took a few episodes to really find his stride as the character. He wasn’t bad in the beginning  (although that’s an unpopular opinion) but it just felt to me like he didn’t know what he was doing with the character. Other than that though every other character came to play in this series. The highlights for me were Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing who is the sidekick/ love interest of Danny Rand who was incredible and captivating every time she was on screen. I also really enjoyed Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum who was really interesting as a highly tortured character. The action scenes also got progressively better episode to episode. The fights weren’t quite as raw and jaw dropping as Daredevil but there was some damn impressive choreography going into some of these fights. 

Something that was really a shame was that there was never really an origin for the character. There’s a lot of talk about K’un-Lun and what the Iron Fist is supposed to do but they spend maybe 10 or 15 minutes of screen time through the whole series there out of 13 hours. I was waiting and waiting to see the show down between Danny Rand and the dragon and it never came. There was so much that could have been delved into there but so much time was wasted stretchier g out moments that didn’t matter. One of the great things about the other Marvel Netflix shows is that they have long scenes of really intense dialog and it really locks you into the characters but in this show those scenes just weren’t as engaging.

Overall, despite its flaws I really did care about the characters and mission they were on. The writing was at times something that really let the show down and kept it from being something great. I would say if you’re really keen on watching it, stick it out through those first few episodes otherwise I think a lot of people are just going to fall off. I give Iron Fist a 6.5/10

What did you think, have you watched Iron Fist? What did you think? Do you agree with the critics? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and till next time, take it easy.