Thursday, May 22, 2014

Riske Business: The X-Men Awards

What’s male, grumpy and made of adamantium? That’s right; it’s me, Adam Riske!

What’s with Mutants driving? They’re all about Mutant rights but no one signals for Mutants lefts. OH!

Hey Logan, University of Michigan called, they want their name back. Zing!

But enough jokes, let’s give out some awards!

Angriest I got at an X-Men movie: Anything relating to the Holocaust, which shouldn’t be used for comic book fodder. In fact, if I had one overarching complaint about the X-Men series it’s their Forrest Gump-ing of history.

Asshole!: Yashida in The Wolverine

Best Action Sequence: Nightcrawler kicking ass at the White House in X2: X-Men United

Best Babe: Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men: First Class
Best Crossover: Deadpool’s supposed to be the same guy Sam Neill was at the end of Event Horizon, right?

Best Crying: Cyclops, because he’s a feckin’ batch

Best Former Drift King: Noburo Mori in The Wolverine, who Lucas Black supplanted to become the new D.K.

Best Jewish Guy: Magneto in X-Men: First Class. Seriously, if I could resemble Michael Fassbender I would.
Best “Look at me. I’m so great! La la la”: Toad in X-Men or Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Talk about unearned swag.

Best Minor Character: Deathstrike in X2: X-Men United. Asian, cracks her knuckles, likes brawling, gainfully employed. Marry me.

Best Moral Indignation: Xavier tries to talk Magneto out of being eviler than Skeletor at the end of X-Men: First Class, but Magneto's all “I gotta put this coin through Bacon’s head, yo!”

Best Newcomer in a Bad X-Men Movie: Hugh Jackman in X-Men. Yeah, I said it. That movie is not good.

Best Newcomer in a Good X-Men Movie: Yukio in The Wolverine

Best Performance in a Bad X-Men Movie: Ian McKellen in X-Men

Best Pilot for a Syndicated WGN Fantasy Show: X-Men

Best Scene from a Mediocre X-Men Movie: The chess match between Xavier and Magneto at the end of X-Men

Best Scene from a Good X-Men Movie: Wolverine goes nuts on Stryker’s SWAT team in X2: X-Men United

Best Villain: Stryker in X2: X-Men United

Biggest Disappointment: X-Men: The Last Stand

Blue Chip Recruit: Charles Xavier and Magneto stop by Jean Grey’s to try to convince her to go to Big State, er, I mean join them.

Burn Notice: The Nagasaki bombing at the beginning of The Wolverine. Ouch!
Care Bear: Wolverine puts a bear dying from being poisoned out of its misery in The Wolverine

Funniest Moment: “You’re a dick” – Wolverine to Cyclops in X-Men

Funniest Movie: X2: X-Men United

Hail Mary: Iceman moving in on Kitty Pryde
I’m Lame, Bitch: Juggernaut, X-Men: The Last Stand

In-Network Doctor: Viper in The Wolverine

Iron Chef Man: Yashida at the end of The Wolverine

Let it Go. Let it Go. Can’t Hold it Back Anymore. Let it Go. Let it Go. The Perfect Girl is Gone: Jean Grey and Wolverine at the end of The Wolverine

Made Me Embarrassed to Be a Person: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Made Fanboys Mad but I’m all “What?” Because I Don’t Know the Comics: The treatment of Phoenix in X-Men: the Last Stand

More Powerful than Any Mutant: Michael Ironside, X-Men: First Class

Most Positive Development: The last two X-Men movies have been some of the best ones.

Movies I Want To Like, but Don’t: X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand

Movies that Hate You: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Not as Good as Free Willy 2: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Not Worth It: Hooking up with Rogue
Possible Crackhead: Banshee from X-Men: First Class. He’s always sweating. It makes me uncomfortable.

Scariest Mutant: Azazel, who will pick you up and drop you out of the sky in X-Men: First Class

Will Be at Your Fiancée’s Bachelorette Party: Boy Angel, X-Men: The Last Stand
Will Be at Your Bachelor Party: Girl Angel, X-Men: First Class. Then she’ll spit on you.

Would be Great if it Weren’t For…: X2: X-Men United drags in the middle. X-Men: First Class has a terrific first hour and a so-so second hour.

Worst Line of Dialogue: What else could it be? "Something, something when a toad gets struck by something."

Worst Special Effect: Wolverine’s claws in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Worth It: Being seduced then drugged by Mystique in X2: X-Men United
WTF Moment: Liev Schrieber’s Sabretooth is cunning and smart while Tyler Mane’s Sabretooth is... um...challenged. He gets almost nothing right. What happened? Runner-Up: Emma Frost is a good gal in X-Men Origins: Wolverine only to turn into a villain in X-Men: First Class with seemingly no motivation.

Yuck: Who puts Dr. Pepper in a cupboard? Shit’s warm, Iceman.

Adam’s X-Men Movie Ranking (from Best to Worst):
1. X2: X-Men United
2. X-Men: First Class
3. The Wolverine
4. X-Men: The Last Stand
5. X-Men
6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I’m so pumped for X-Men: Days of Future Past! Are you?


  1. Ha, you come up with the funniest categories, Adam. "Not Worth It: Hooking up with Rouge." I love it! Also, that picture of JLaw...yes, please! Not that I'm judging, but you think X-Men: The Last Stand is better than the original movie? I haven't watched either in quite a while (I should do that), so I don't know. I'm also crazy excited for X-Men:DoFP. It seems like it will finally be some good summer fun, and potentially the best X-Men yet, judging from the early buzz.

    1. Yeah I'm definitely in the minority on this opinion.

      I think X-Men: The Last Stand has some good action set pieces and special effects but it's major problem is how rushed everything is. It's the rare case of a movie that would have benefitted from being 30 minutes longer. The original X-Men is a movie I've never liked all that much. I think it is very drab, lacks energy and has subpar action.

  2. Haha - these are great - I plan on catching up on all of these leading up to DoFP which I am looking forward to because you're right, the past couple have been decent.

    1. I like The First Class cast so much more than the X-Men Trilogy cast.

  3. I got some awards to give out too.

    Best Action Sequence in a Mediocre X-Men Movie: The final battle at Alcatraz in
    X-Men: The Last Stand. That was the closest we got to a big mutant battle royale in all the movies.

    Biggest Loser: Rogue in X-Men: The Last Stand when she decided to give up her powers for her no-good cheating boyfriend & then miss out on the final battle. She turned out pretty useless in that one.

    Worst Casting in a Lousy X-Men movie: Anna Paquin & Halle Berry in X-Men.

    Worst Special Effect: The X-Jet (or Blackbird) landing in the water near the Statue of Liberty in X-Men was pretty cringe worthy.

    I’ll never understand why they replaced Angela Bassett with Berry. If Patrick Stewart was born to play Professor X than Bassett was the perfect choice for Storm. I know she would’ve nailed the African accent that Berry gave up on after the first movie.

    Don’t even get me started on Paquin. Paquin just comes off so bland & the Southern accent comes and goes. Rogue was my 2nd favorite character on the 90’s animated series & the movies just took everything interesting about her & flushed it down the toilet.

    Amen Adam on the 1st X-Men is not good. It was OK by 2000 comic book movie standards; it’s just awful when compared to what’s been made in the last five years. I don’t even have the nostalgia for it like I do with Raimi’s 1st Spiderman or even Tim Burton’s Batman. Hey John, I second The Last Stand being better than the original.

    “Best Pilot for a Syndicated WGN Fantasy Show: X-Men” (I protest Adam, Mutant X had a much better pilot. Did anybody get that reference?)

    As for X-Men DoFP , yeah, I’ll wait for the RedBox.

  4. I just saw Days Of Future Past and OH MY GOD I can't put into words how I felt about it, and I'll only mess with people's expectations but KJHAGSJFGDJKHGADJK just about covers it.

  5. The X-Men movies are notorious for their continuity, in that there's hardly any. In his review for DOFP, Devin Faraci said it was preferable to bout watch any of the previous movies as a guide to DOFP(he also said that X2 was terrible so...okay??).

    I give the first X-Men a pass because it's super watchable and Singer was probably working with a quarter the budget he had with DOFP and a cast of mostly mediocre actors.

    I'm less forgiving to "The Last Stand" since I feel it's a slap to the message/metaphors Singer set up in X2. Rouge decides to reject what she was born as to become "normal" to be with a guy who may/may not feel as strongly about her. Having a few good to great action set pieces doesn't get the bad taste out of my mouth.

    1. I hear ya. For me, X2 is so much better than the first one that it magnifies that movie's faults. X2 does everything better. I agree about the budget limitations. X-Men doesn't even look like it was filmed on a good camera. X2 has gorgeous photography while the original is very murky looking.

  6. I think there's gonna be a new winner for the Best Action Sequence award though.

  7. I didn't know about all the Singer Xmen hate until this morning. The headline of the dofp review at badassdigest reads "Bryan Singer has finally made an X-movie worth watching". All snarky douchebag blogs aside, I was under the impression X2 is way better than anything that came after? I don't know, badass is the same site that thinks Godzilla is the best thing since breast milk. My point being, glad to see x2 at number one.

    1. I am not a very big Bryan Singer fan (I like X2 and Valkyrie but that's about it...yes, I don't like The Usual Suspects) but you'd have to be in denial to debate that X2 is one of the weaker entries in the series.

  8. I submit to you that a major reason X2 is so great is that X1 did such an excellent job of laying the foundations for an outstanding franchise, and that that in itself argues for its quality as a film. Some great sequels (cough, The Dark Knight, cough) barely acknowledge that the first movies even occurred, and other great sequels (ex: POTC: DMC) simply blow their previous entries out of the water, but a third class of great sequels build and elaborate on the themes and character arcs of their inaugural entries, and in so doing enhance them as film experiences. (For all that Catching Fire was justly praised, none of its high points or strengths were all that different from what was in the already quite good first Hunger Games. Oh, except they changed the color of a cat. Big whoop...)

    1. Fair point. I rewatched all of the X-Men movies before writing the column and just had more trouble than ever with the first X-Men movie. It has its strong points but as a viewing experience, it's tough for me to get onboard with.

  9. X2 is probably my favorite comic book movie of all-time. I actually took the time to listen to director commentaries for the first two movies the last couple nights (and I rarely do that). It's important to remember that both movies were on a limited budget, which is why some of it may not hold up.

    I suppose X2 drags in the middle a bit, or at least from the point Wolverine goes berserk in the mansion to when they get to when they get to Stryker's base in Canada (Kananaskis rules). But I just love the simplicity of the story so much, that even the middle section works for me. Although I do love it when Pyro flaunts his powers when combating the police, and anything with Magneto is always great.

    Singer tends to push his message of diversity a tad too much, but I don't mind it if it's not too much on the nose ("mutant and proud" being that example).

    I am really looking forward to tomorrow; at least then I can avoid all discussion like I have the past few weeks.

    1. Just to put things into perceptive, X-Men 1 had a budget of 75 million and X2 had a budget of 110. Spider-Man had a budget of 140 million, Spider-Man 2 had a 200 million dollar budget, and 3 ended up budgeting around 260 million dollars.

      I know using the budget does not explain away all of the series faults, but it's likely why Singer was forced to give the movies sort of a CW vibe.

  10. ... I'd just like to note that of the ten different movies playing at my local Regal multiplex, three are Marvel movies. Three. That's a full 30%, people, almost a third! And it probably won't happen again for some time, if ever, but I find it glorious enough to point out just for now.