Movies X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Discussion in 'Comics Central' started by Mel O'Drama, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of my favourite stories ever printed by Marvel.

    X-Men: The Last Stand did their own "unique" take on this saga: a noisy, CGI-heavy affair rather with the tone of a computer game reliant on shock kills and big bangs to keep the attention of its desensitised, attention deficit players. Quite a shock after the first two films. That film was supposed to be the final X-film. It was certainly where I checked out with them (apart from a trip to the cinema to see First Class which left me plotzing over the wonky continuity).

    But from what I've read so far the new film seems far truer to Claremont's original story of Dark Phoenix, right down to Jean being hit by solar flares on the return from a space mission. Lilandra's in there, too, which suggests the final battle will play out as it's meant to.

    Even Dazzler is due to make an appearance (the character made her comic debut during The Dark Phoenix Saga, remember). It will be interesting to finally see a live-action version of Dazzler, something that's been mooted since her creation almost four decades ago when she was meant to be in a movie tie-in with Casablanca. She was planned to look like Grace Jones at first, but by the time she was finalised she looked like Bo Derek who was front runner to play her. Through the Eighties, names like Lisa Hartman and Madonna were thrown around by fans. Now it's Taylor Swift and the like.

    Between this and the New Mutants film, things are looking up. Maybe it's time I paid a final visit to Fox's X-Universe before it gets sucked into the complex continuity of the MCU.


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And now it's next June.

     
  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The more I see of the film, the less certain I am of that...

     
  5. JROG

    JROG Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    @Mel O'Drama Curious as to what you thought of the movie if you've seen it. Apparently, the box office is tragic.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    After the last couple of trailers I've balked at the idea of watching it, @JROG. The story is a favourite of mine from the comics, and I'd only go to see it if I thought it might be done well. All signs point to that not being the case.
     
  7. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    It looks like Carrie on steroids. In space.
     
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  8. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    I enjoyed it. I could have enjoyed it more, but I didn’t leave the cinema disappointed. From the outset I was not one of those wishing for the stories from the comics. In my mind, Fox had more than one X-men universes. I’ve enjoyed the James McAvoy-Michael Fassbender series more than the Patrick Steward-Ian McKellan series.

    And, I’ve much preferred Simon Kinberg’s direction than Bryan Singer’s. However, I’ve read that as much as a third of Dark Phoneix had to be reshot, but the extent of the rumoured changes may be an exaggeration.

    Per James McAvoy in a London interview: “The finale had to change, for the better. There was a lot of overlapping parallel with another superhero movie that come out…” (this year). Some folk claim that movie was Avengers: End Game, others say it was Captain Marvel (or perhaps it was more of one and a bit of the other).

    Though the first Dark Phoenix trailer had already spoilt something for me, I went to see this movie determined to enjoy it. There was enough meat left on the bone for that despite all the trailers, thank goodness. I particularly enjoyed the train sequences. I just don’t understand all the nit-picking I read about.

    Also loved the little obscure 6-degrees-of-separation stuff: Like when the plaque was changed on the school’s gate pillar, I noticed lilies in bloom by the wall where I’d never noticed lilies before, and my mind immediately went to this line “There are roses in the flowerbeds, Where they never used to be” from the lyrics to the song A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep – the same song used in a YT fan vid for J-Law’s Raven. In turn, that took me back to what Raven said to Charles in Dark Phoenix.
     
  9. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    Re the 6-min composite trailer posted along with the quote: there's a scene in there that has been omitted from the cinema version. And, in many instances in the trailer, the words spoken aren't heard in their proper place in the movie. And, I like to think there's more to the movie than what's heard in the trailers.

    P.S. Claremont makes a cameo appearance in the movie.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  10. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    I remember reading the Dark Phoenix saga when it first came out in the late 70's. I loved it! Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run on the X-men set a very, very high bar. I was skeptical about a movie version because ot seemed too difficult to take a story spanning a few years and cramming it into one movie. It's a convoluted plot waiting to happen.
     
  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes - the Phoenix story is one that played out over four+ years of storylines. There are a number of arcs to it and it's very complex, with concerns creeping in piecemeal.

    Above all else it's a storyline about character. The backdrop to the story is epic in nature (we're talking gods and genocide here), but it needs time to properly explore the simple humanity which is the basis of how it ends. Phoenix lobotomising Mastermind is one of the darkest moments in comicdom, but it made sense because of the emotional turmoil he'd created (is Mastermind even in the film? Now I'm curious).

    I think it would lend itself really well to a series of Phoenix films exploring Jean's psyche. Perhaps a trilogy, the first showing the creation of Phoenix, the second the Hellfire Club stuff and the emergence of Dark Phoenix and the final one showing the end to the story.

    A bit late now. But maybe once the X-Men are part of the MCU there'll be a fully authentic version in another decade and a half.
     
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  12. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Fan

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    From the reviews I read, there's a new character whobis a combination of Mastermind and some other characters.
    A movie trilogy is an excellent idea. They could do it in the same manner as The Lord of the Rings.
    You are spot on about character being key. Claremont and Byrne paced the story so well they really provided a fascinating complex story in the nature of love, morality, and power. It really deserves the definitive movie trilogy treatment.
     
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  13. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    The Phoenix Saga does deserve its own mini-series, but I don’t hold out hope the MCU will do justice to it either. There’ll be too many characters vying for on-screen time for good story telling and lots of bad jokes.

    I perceive Dark Phoenix (which has no ‘X Men’ prefix to the movie title, btw) to be a Jean Grey origins story – specifically, how she came to be raised by Charles and what he did to treat her – melded with the story of her first contact with the cosmic force and the events which followed.

    The trailers show Jean at the centre of a three-ring circus: Charles’ group, which eventually fractures; Eric’s group; and Platinum Blonde, Jean’s new found other worldly friend. But there’s another group in the movie who are associated with Platinum Blonde but not revealed in the trailers, if I remember correctly. My understanding is that the original finale that was scraped contained a twist within a twist concerning PB and this group. There’s a nod to the Hellfire Club in the form of someone in Eric’s camp. Is Mastermind in the movie? Possibly, closer to home. Just consider the ways in which a person might develop involuntary amnesia…

    There’s stuff in Dark Phoenix which seems to me to be elements from X Men: Days of Future Past reframed. Then, Charles was an emotional wreck, and Erik was plotting quietly to kill a friend without a tear shed and now Charles is more emotionally distant (or contained) while Eric is quickly upset and open about who he wants to kill and why.

    Since Dark Phoenix marks the last time James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult portray Charles, Eric, Raven and Hank respectively, the movie does double duty by bringing to a close a four-decades long chapter (thereabouts) in the characters’ life-story.

    Here’s a couple of interviews with Fassavoy, with brief insights into Dark Phoenix:

    First, a fun one with IGN, Cherik responding to fan questions:




    Second, a talk-through the four movies from X Men: First Class to Dark Phoenix with Rotten Tomatoes:



    Rotten Tomatoes' tomatometer (score from 315 critics): 23% Vs verifed Audience score (11,904 people): 64%
     
  14. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    ^ Lord, what my mind shoves out when I’ve not slept for more than 24 hours:

    _ “Platinum Blonde”. I can’t believe I wrote that. Jessica Chastain’s Margaret Smith isn’t platinum blonde, is she?

    _ “Is Mastermind in the movie? Perhaps in disguise and closer to home….” Ok, that was my mind knowing that the story of Phoenix lobotomising Mastermind wasn’t in the movie but there may have been an attempt to give a nod to it via different scenes.

    _ “the movie does double duty by bringing to a close a four-decades long chapter…” This double duty is what I feel weakened Dark Phoenix.

    The movie ran for 1 hour and 54 minutes. Screen-time that had to be taken away from Jean Grey’s story and given to and divided among Erik, Charles and family resulted in a “boring storyline” depending on who you were there to see in the movie and how you wanted things to play out. I’m among the fans not happy with the almost bare bones treatment given to the X men characters of the prequel series who appeared in this movie; the family relationship angst arising from different situations did not come across emotionally raw like what we’d come to expect after X Men: First Class & Days of Future Past. I couldn’t relate to the grief that was now supposed to be driving Erik to the point that he had to become Magneto again, for instance. Quicksilver’s personal story didn’t advance, nor did the personal stories of the prequel X Men characters introduced in X Men: Apocalypse.

    Also, because I’d tried to stay away from spoilers, I hadn’t read about the very early news that Kinberg was only going to focus on the women in this movie. I had to remind myself constantly that there was no ‘X Men’ prefix in the movie title. Yet many media outlets keep sticking it into the title, and many viewers of either the movie or of clips seen online think and write of this movie as an X-men film. So angry, even vitriolic, are male fans over a couple of things that Raven said to Charles in Dark Phoenix that I don’t expect to see a fan video praising or highlighting that scene anytime soon. The one that currently comes closest to it on YT snips off her parting shot deliberately. “Snip. Snip.”

    Simon Kinberg on what went wrong: http://collider.com/dark-phoenix-what-went-wrong-simon-kinberg/

    Excerpts:

    “It’s clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with the audiences that didn’t see it, it clearly didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it, so that’s on me,” Kinberg said. But that’s not to say there weren’t struggles along the way. First and foremost, the filmmaker highlighted Dark Phoenix‘s path to a summer release date he never planned for — a release date that also left the film in the wake of Avengers: Endgame‘s phenomenal success.

    “I always felt that we had a tough date for this particular movie,” Kinberg explained. “It wasn’t made as a classic superhero movie, it was made as more of a dramatic, intimate, smaller film. Originally it was going to come out in November, then it was going to come out in February, and those were the date (sic) that I felt like it actually would have felt more appropriate to.”

    “And think also coming out five, six weeks after what may well be the biggest movie or the second biggest movie in the history of cinema, that also happens to be also in the genre of superheroes, was tough for us,” he continued, “and I always anticipated that it was going to be tough to be in the tailwinds of that movie. But I wouldn’t blame it on the weekend.”

    ** (Massive layoffs/merger/ marketing efforts)

    “I’m here and I’m saying when a movie doesn’t work, put it on me,” Kinberg emphasized. “I’m the writer/director of the movie, the movie didn’t connect with audiences, that’s on me.”​
     
  15. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  16. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    Some behind-the-scenes stuff I enjoyed. SPOILER ALERTS for all.

    Cutting Dark Phoenix, from the featurette The Making of Dark Phoenix:



    As originally written and shot, Dark Phoenix ended with a spaced apart double monologue. Both were scrapped. The final monologue did not work at all, and had to be reworked and reslotted. The brilliant first monologue could not be salvaged because some main events and the timeline had to be changed. I watched the views of the original ending go from 11,000+ to 80,000+ in some 30 hours. Such is its emotional impact, especially on those who throughly enjoyed X Men: Days of Future Past. The music here is beautifully emotive.



    The Making of Dark Phoenix - Chris Claremont snippet:



    The Making of Dark Phoenix – feature length: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVFNzrzAyLg

    There’s also “Dark Phoenix FILM NOIR commentary” on deleted scenes on YouTube uploaded by childlogiclabs.

    Enjoy!

    ETA: Oh shoot, just realised you can only watch them on YT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  17. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    For the record….

    In the X-men's so-called prequel series, Charles lost his hair when Apocalypse tried to assimilate Charles in X-Men: Apocalypse. That’s the film where we first meet that series' Jean Grey, and this is the scene where we see her morph into her Phoenix self:



    There’s a particular YT fan-made Cherik tribute video where the lyrics proclaim “no happy ending” to the relationship ….and the fan – Pressure-chan – ends the video with a wish for a happy ending to Charles’ and Erik’s relationship. The video sources material from the movies of both the original X-men series and the prequel series up to X-Men: DOFP.



    Dark Phoenix is the movie which reboots the X-men franchise, and sees the end of the Mystique
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    Below is the Dark Phoenix FILM NOIR commentary about the movie’s ending scenes that we saw in cinemas. SPOILER ALERT.

     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  18. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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    Ok, I found out what Charles said.
    Register or to view Spoiler content!
     
  19. Zable

    Zable Soap Chat Addict

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