Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

May 27, 2014

CALLERI: Poland and France go head-to-head against monsters and mutants

Niagara Gazette — Movie fans have been roaring into theaters to see the rebirth of two cinema franchises, the latest adventures of the X-Men with director Bryan Singer back behind the camera to entertain the mutants’ loyal followers, and the much-loved reptilian behemoth known as Godzilla.

After “X-Men” and “X-Men 2,” Singer took a break from directing the other features in the series, including those involving the Wolverine character. His return is welcome news because “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” is an engaging extravaganza of familiar faces (young and old) and new ideas about time travel and the specter of doom facing Earth. It’s one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve seen, and although it plays fast and loose with some minor points of logic, the film is a lot of fun.

Besides, where else are you going to see a dream cast like this in one movie this season? So, just sit back and enjoy Ian McKellen, Ellen Page, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, and Hugh Jackman. Singer has a real knack for getting these types of stories right. He blends the characters of the original X-Men trilogy with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class” and does it superbly and with a genuine sense of style. Adventure movies don’t get much better than this.

Meanwhile, rompin’ and stompin’ through San Francisco and other environs is Godzilla in the movie of the same name. The last time the fabled Japanese-bred creature entered movie theaters was in 1998 and that film was a dull and labored mistake. This time-around, things are a little bit better, but only a little. I relished the concept in the new movie that advises that those atomic tests the U.S. military was conducting on Pacific atolls weren’t tests at all, but were instead attempts to kill Godzilla. I wish the rest of the picture had been this clever. It’s an acceptable science-fiction work, not a great one.

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