Have you heard? The latest film in the X-Men franchise is also the worst. Which, considering the third and sixth films were both such stinking piles of crap. All of the hate surrounding Dark Phoenix got me so confused that I had to go back and rewatch X-Men: Apocalypse to make sure I wasn’t remembering it wrong. Maybe I’d just imagined that it was kind of disappointing? Maybe I had just loved Days of Future Past so much that I’d been extra harsh? I mean, it had been 3 years since I saw it. Although, in those years comic books movies have only continued to get better. Marvel have really hit their stride in the last 2 or 3 years. It’s highly likely that it’s the reason people are so harsh on Dark Phoenix. It came out months after Endgame and a year after Infinity War and Black Panther dominated the box office. Maybe we’ve just started to expect more from our superhero movies? Maybe we expect something that Fox were never going to be able to give us?
Marvel may have cornered the market for superhero movies but the first two X-Men films are still two of the most influential and well-made comic book movies of the last 20 years. Bryan Singer’s first two mutant-based films changed the game and, arguably, paved the way for the last 11 years of Marvel greatness. But it hasn’t been plain sailing since those early days. As much as we like to forget about it The Last Stand was horrific and only seemed better once X:Men Origins came out 3 years later. The reboot/prequel series that started with X-Men: First Class in 2011 and, for a little while, everything looked okay. Days of Future Past was as fantastic as we all wanted but then Apocalypse. Boy, was that a whole load of nothing. Basically, it’s been difficult being a film fan and a lover of these comics. So, when Disney took over 20th Century Fox recently, it looked as though we might finally get to see the X-Men film that we all deserve. It just might take a really long time. So, if I continue to not count New Mutants, Dark Phoenix is going to be our last real look at these characters in the cinema. Which makes it a massive shame that people seemed determined to ruin it before it even hit cinemas.
Movie titles are a funny old thing aren’t they. Sometimes you hear them and have no interest in watching the film. I know that, if I hadn’t known all about Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver I would have assumed it would have been a shitty family comedy or animation. Meaning I would have dismissed it and lost out on one of the most fun film experiences of last year. On the other hand, some films have the kind of titles that you can’t ignore. Snakes on a Plane is an obvious example and I still can’t believe some stupid executive attempted to change it. Thank god for Samuel L, eh? Of course, there are more than enough times that these unmissable titles are the best thing about a film. It’s something I’ve come across a lot when researching which 1988 films to watch for this series. There are a lot of random but amazing titles out there but the films don’t sound like they’ll measure up. This was something I definitely suspected from today’s pick. A classic B movie with no budget, bad acting, but a lot of aspiration. But I couldn’t deny that I was instantly hooked by the title.