Tuesday 18 June 2019

Film Reviews: Tolkien and X-Men--Dark Phoenix

17 June 2019
112 mins
Dome Karukoski (Director) 
Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins

The formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.
(IMDB Synopsis)

For me, Tolkien was a mixed bag. It wasn't bad per se--the performances were good, the pacing fine, the soundtrack pleasing--but it simply never thrilled me. I thought the Lord of the Rings connections overly belaboured, as if we wouldn't get them if they weren't spelled out for us, and I wish more credit had been given to Tolkien's other academic achievements, alongside his fantasy writing. Overall, I am glad I saw this, but it's not something I'll rush to rewatch or buy on DVD. 3.5 stars.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
17 June 2019
113 mins
Simon Kinberg (Director) 
Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all of humanity. (IMDB Synopsis)

Considering all the bad press this film has received, I went in without high expectations, but, in all honesty, I didn't think it was that dreadful. Yes, it's definitely the weakest of the four in the new series, and I certainly felt the cast weren't given much in the script with which to work (especially a woefully underused Michael Fassbender), but it was still entertaining. The visual effects looked good, there was plenty of action, and I wasn't twiddling my thumbs, waiting for it to end. It's a shame they couldn't go out with more of a bang, but this was still a watchable film despite its flaws.

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