Silke and I are big fans of the first two X-Men movies, which were both directed by Bryan Singer. The later X-Men movies however were hit and miss. I only liked X-Men: First Class. When I heard that Bryan Singer directed the latest movie X-Men: Days of Future Past I was really looking forward to watching it.
X-Men: Days of Future Past links the story of the early X-Men to the characters from the first two movies. In the near future mutants are all but extinct. Most of them have been hunted down by an army of giant robots called Sentinels. These Sentinels even enslave humans that have latent mutant genes which could lead to mutant children. Despite their formidable powers the mutants have not been able to stop their enemies as the Sentinels not only have superior numbers but are also able to adopt the abilities of the mutants over time. In a last desperate attempt to prevent this dark future the mutants send Wolverine’s consciousness back 50 years in time and into his younger body. Wolverine only has a few days to find the younger selfs of the most powerful mutants and convince them to work together to stop the creation of the invincible army of Sentinels. That of course is no easy feat.
I had high expectations for Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise and I wasn’t disappointed. An exiting plot, good actors and (mostly) convincing special effects provide an action packed experience that rivals the first two movies of the franchise. The movie also unites the original and new cast in a way that respects both and even improves the story. The producers probably went through a lot of effort to get all of the original actors on set, even those who only played minor parts in the first three movies. And the ending raised my hopes for future awesome X-Men movies. 🙂
Although Silke and I both enjoyed The Hunger Games we somehow didn’t manage to watch the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on the big screen. So we watched the movie in our home cinema (very comfortable seats, free drinks and dog cuddles during the movie) for the first time last Saturday.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss Everdeen. Although she and Peeta Mellark survived the massacre in the arena they are still in danger as President Snow, the ruthless ruler of Panem, views them as threat to the current order. Katniss’s act of defiance at the end of the games has given people hope. They no longer believe that the capitol is all powerful and the districts are in unrest. To end the rebellion before it really begins the new head gamekeeper Plutarch Heavensbee devises a perfidious plan to kill Katniss: for the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games the tributes are reaped among the previous victors. As Katniss is the only female victor that district 12 ever had she has to return to the arena and fight for her life again.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a very good adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s book . It is exciting and even darker than the first movie. You can sense the latent danger all the time while watching Katniss’s desperate struggle. The excellent cast and the impressive special effects complete the first class viewing experience.
After two successful movie adaptations I’m definitely looking forward to Mockingjay, the great finale of The Hunger Games trilogy. As the last book has been split into two films there should be enough time to do the story justice and deliver a memorable ending.
Last Sunday Silke I finally managed to see the second part of Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy. It was a long wait after the release of the first part but definitely worth it.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the story of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the company of 13 dwarfs. After a long and perilous journey they finally reach the Lonely Mountain. But now the real adventure begins as they have to face the enormous dragon Smaug. Defeating Smaug is their only chance to reclaim the Kingdom under the Mountain that the dragon seized and destroyed over 150 years ago.
If there was anything wrong with the first part of the Hobbit trilogy it was its occasionally slow pace. The second movie however is anything but slow paced. Peter Jackson is at his best again and tells another exciting tale from Middle-earth full of action and wonders. He made some changes to the original story and gave Gandalf and the Elfs a stronger presence. Jackson even invented something that is completely and utterly missing in the book: a female character, in form of the elven warrior Tauriel. These alterations bring a fresh breeze to the film without diminishing the original.
As its predecessor The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a very good movie. It features all of the magic that made the Lord of the Rings trilogy so enjoyable. I’m very much looking forward to the (hopefully) epic conclusion of the Hobbit trilogy.