Poll Results: Best X-Men Movie

We have a tie!

x2-movie-poster

xmen-first-class-poster

THE RESULTS:
– X2: 10 votes
– X-Men: First Class: 10 votes
– X-Men: 3 votes
– X-Men: The Last Stand: 2 votes
– The Wolverine: 2 votes
– X-Men Origins: Wolverine: 1 vote

I let this run a little longer in hopes of breaking the tie, but it seems this tie was meant to be. Really interesting that every X-Men film managed to snag a vote, even the much-maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

This Week’s Poll: This past weekend, the new Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg film, 2 Guns, finished first at the box office. The reviews have been mixed — it’s sitting at 60% on Rotten Tomatoes right now — but the audiences seem to be enjoying it. This new film provides the opportunity to take a look back at the filmography of one of today’s best actors: what are your TWO favorite Denzel Washington movies? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Poll Results: Favorite “Outstanding Drama” Emmy Nomination

Breaking Bad

THE RESULTS:
– Breaking Bad: 12 votes
– Game of Thrones: 10 votes
– Downton Abbey: 2 votes
– Mad Men: 1 vote
– Homeland: 0 votes
– House of Cards: 0 votes

This was a close one all the way, and the last time I checked Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones were tied. It seems only fitting that Vince Gilligan’s show would finish first, right on the eve of one of the most-anticipated final seasons in TV history. August 11 cannot come soon enough! Too bad that Homeland and House of Cards were shut out, but that is some stiff competition.

This Week’s Poll: The latest Hugh Jackman/X-Men film, The Wolverine, topped the box office over the weekend, and it has been getting mostly positive reviews overall. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m glad to hear that most have enjoyed it. This week’s question is for the X-Men fans out there: what is your favorite X-Men film? Do you still think the original is the best? Do you prefer its first sequel, X2? Or do you feel The Last Stand is a misunderstood classic? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Have a great week, folks!

Video Game Review: Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

Marvel Pinball
System: Playstation 3 (Xbox 360, iOS, Android, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PC)
Genre: Pinball
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Zen Studios
Release Date: December 14, 2010

Last month’s free game for Playstation Plus users was Marvel Pinball, an attempt to capture the Marvel comic book world into video game pinball form. The main package comes with four unique tables, and includes the option to purchase more if desired.

The tables are based on four of the most popular Marvel characters: Wolverine, Spiderman, Iron Man and Blade. Each character’s table has its own quirks and features, as well as its own theme to separate it from the rest. Every hero appears in their table, and enemies pop up to wreak havoc as well. Between the villains talking trash and changing the table’s dynamics to the pinball flying wildly to well-concealed areas of the board, there is a lot going on at any given time.

In fact, this can be too much of a burden on occasion. As the characters wander about and tweak the elements, it can sometimes be difficult to see where the ball is actually going. The tables look cool as hell, and I like the fact that they are so well-designed, but a greater emphasis should have been placed on making sure everything was clear.

Marvel Pinball [PS3, 2010]

That’s not to say that the game plays out poorly. The table physics are outstanding, and it feels like a real pinball game would. Hell, there is even an option where you can tilt the PS3 controller to shake the table in the game! The amount of detail that Zen Studios put into this game is remarkable.

Even though it can be hard to keep track of the ball from time to time, Marvel Pinball can get pretty addicting. I wasn’t expecting much from this title, but there were times where I found myself playing for hours just to see if I could beat the scores of my friends. The leaderboards are great in this regard, and there are options to play head-to-head and online if you would rather go that route.

Naturally, fans of the Marvel universe and/or pinball games will get the most out of this, but it won’t be hard for casual gamers to get hooked as well. Marvel Pinball is a solid little timewaster, and a good appetizer in between major games.

7.5/10

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class [2011]
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action/Adventure/Drama
Language: English
Country: USA

I feel obligated to admit right away that I am not much of an X-Men fan. I know very little about the series and its characters, and I have only seen the original 2000 film. It’s not that I am opposed to the series in any way, it’s just that I could never be bothered to dig into it. Until now.

X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the original movies, and it focuses on the origins of the groups led by Professor X and Magneto. This concept intrigued me quite a bit simply because it would tell me, a non-fan, how exactly everything came to be.

X-Men: First Class [2011]

The movie takes place predominantly in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. A young mind-reading Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a fellow mutant, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), who shows him that he is not alone in the world. Their paths intersect with Erik Lensherr (aka Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender) who is on a revenge mission to kill the Nazi bastard (Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw) who murdered his mother. The two future leaders team up and recruit a bunch of other mutants including Dr. Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz) and Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones) to take out Shaw and his small band of accomplices, the most noteworthy being Emma Frost (a terrible January Jones), who are now attempting to start World War III.

While the majority of the characters get their fair share of screen time, the bulk of the action is placed on Professor X and Magneto. McAvoy and Fassbender are more than up to the task for their roles, as they both deliver strong performances with impeccable chemistry together. The acting is generally pretty good all around, except for the aforementioned January Jones, whose only duty is seemingly to show off the movie’s required amount of cleavage. Jennifer Lawrence in particular is quite good as Raven, and she is certainly building momentum after last year’s brilliant performance in Winter’s Bone. I also enjoyed Rose Byrne’s role as a CIA agent who is working with the mutants.

X-Men: First Class [2011]

X-Men: First Class doesn’t have any major “holy shit” moments and relies more on dialogue than action, but it still moves at a brisk pace even considering its 132 minute run-time. I found the back story to be quite fascinating, and this movie has inspired me to continue delving into the series — something the 2000 film couldn’t even do. While I feel more could have been done with the film’s 1960s setting, it still made good use of the ongoing Cold War and offered an interesting fantasy alternative as to what really happened. As far as summer blockbusters go, this is one of the better ones to come out this year.

8/10