Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2006). Director: Brett Ratner.

"Oh my stars and garters!"

After it is announced that a supposed "cure" has been found for mutants, Magneto (Ian McKellan) and his "Brotherhood" declare war on humanity even as Jean Gray, who died in the previous installment, comes back to life, reborn as the "phoenix." X-Men: The Last Stand takes its cue from a very popular story arc in the X-men comic book in which Jean, supposedly killed, transforms into the all-powerful Phoenix and becomes more of a menace than Magneto. In addition to Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry) and the usual suspects, we also have Arclight, Pyro, Juggernaut, the Angel, and Jaime Madrox, the Multiple Man (Eric Dane), with Kelsey Grammer, of all people, turning in an adept performance as the Beast. McKellan easily walks off with the picture as Magneto; a terrific scene has him using his power to move the Golden Gate bridge. Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen as Jean are also cast stand-outs, but everyone is pretty excellent. This was followed by X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class opens in theaters any day now if it hasn't already. The first picture in his series was simply called X-Men.

Verdict: Colorful comic book fun served up with flair. ***.

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