X-Men ApocalypseToday, the A-Z Blogging Challenge is brought to us by the letter X.

X is a tough one.

When I was a kid, and we would go on road trips, my mother would try to keep us occupied with alphabet games.  It was the kind of educational entertainment that she favored.  We would run through the letters, thinking of things that started with each one, and we would get to X and someone would say “xylophone” and that was okay and then the next person would say “x-ray” and the judges would have to consider, but it would get through because it was X we were dealing with here, and it was tough to come up with words.

But now I’m thinking, what about X-Men?

My mother wouldn’t go for it, since she had no use for superheroes, but the rest of us might find it hard to ignore the X-Men, because a movie about them comes out every couple of years or so, featuring a Millennial cast of thousands.  Jennifer Lawrence keeps showing up, in spite of all her Oscar nominations, and in this next installment she takes on a leadership role which should be pretty straightforward after all that Hunger Games nonsense.  The bad guy she’s fighting is called Apocalypse, and that’s interesting because we haven’t seen it before, a villain bent on ending the world who has a mission-appropriate nickname.  Oscar Isaac jumps into the Apocalypse role, hopefully reaping a big payday in exchange for saying grand things like, “Everything they’ve built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one!” (You know, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the bad guys would try to end the world just because it seemed like a cool idea.  Those were simpler times, I guess.)

X-Men: Apocalypse hasn’t been screened for anyone, but best I can tell, it’s the sort of movie where everybody battles (almost) to the death, and then the good guys win, and then we all head out to the back yard for a Memorial Day barbecue.

Seems like a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Possibly better than an alphabet game.

Are you an X-Men fan? Do you think Jennifer Lawrence is wasting her talents? Can you think of a lot of words that start with X?

Wait, It’s Guardians After All!

See ya, Transformers

I was worried about the world because it seemed like Transformers was going to win the summer box office derby, but Guardians of the Galaxy came along and stole the crown.  Then the James Gunn directed hit did it one better and climbed to the top of the heap for the whole doggone year.

But that’s old news now.  We have officially entered the Fall movie season, which means that a bunch of Oscar quality films are leaning on the starting gate.  First up we got The Drop, a mob style thriller with James Gandolfini, Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.  Skeleton Twins, with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is also up, although in limited release.  THere’s also some sort of gory thriller starring Idris Elba as a really bad guy.  Not sure that one’s going to be worth it, even with Idris.


The End of Summer

It’s August 20 which makes it an excellent time to talk about summer films, because in a few weeks the Telluride Film Festival will open and it’s all fall prestige pics from there. Well, except for the horror stuff in October — there’s a Ouija Board movie, and something called The ABCs of Death.

Here’s what we know: Transformers 4 is the box office winner. This is good news for Michael Bay, who also had a hit with the reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   I didn’t see either of these films, because the last time I went to a Transformers movie I left to get some popcorn and when I came back I went into the wrong theater, which was also playing Transformers, and that show had started earlier but it didn’t matter because there wasn’t any story line to follow anyway.

I didn’t see TMNT because I’m too old.

For pure summer movie fun, you can’t beat Guardians of the Galaxy, which is coming in at #4 on the top box office list.  Even if you’re the type that scoffs at summer popcorn flicks, you cant resist this one.  It’s got a great scruffy charm.  Also Bradley Cooper as a cranky raccoon whose best friend is a tree named Groot.  Just go see it.

On the Indy front, the box office champ is Chef, which is a really fun, lighthearted movie about a chef who loses his job and decides to set up a food truck with his young son as his Social Media director. Sweet, and chock full of food porn.  Make sure you have your dinner plans worked out.

We got Sin City coming up this weekend and then we are heading straight into Oscar talk. So the popcorn time is now…and we are all Groot.