Who are the coolest characters from the X-Men Movies?

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , , on May 19, 2014 by Ross McG

XMenDaysofFuturePast

With the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past this week, it’s time to take a look into the future past ourselves and name our all-time favourite movie X-Men.

And X-Women. Yeah, what’s up with that? An organisation dedicated to spreading equality and they botch their own name? Come on.

10. Mystique

Mystique

Mystique, or Raven Darkhölme, has been a mainstay of the X-Men movies, and with good cause, her shapeshifting abilities making her a wonderful character. Better when she’s in full-blown evil mould – Rebecca Romijn’s version is much more fun than Jennifer Lawrence’s – she’s bad, blue and out to hoodwink you. If you’re a goodie, that is.

9. Victor Creed

VictorCreed

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the worst superhero films out there – and I’ve seen The Amazing Spider-Man – but it has one redeeming feature. I’ll give you a clue: it isn’t Van Wilder: Deadpool Liaison. Thanks to Liev Schreiber’s Creed – or Sabretooth – the movie is actually almost watchable.

8. Wolverine

Wolverine

Just beating his half-brother to eighth spot is old Wolvie. I’ve spoken before of my Wolverine fatigue – how can you be cool if you turn up every five minutes? You see your family and friends all the time, and you don’t think any of them are cool, do you?

7. Lady Deathstrike

LadyDeathstrike

Great name, great character. Her job in X-Men 2, or X2: X-Men United (like they were a football team), is to keep quiet and beat up Wolverine. If only he did a bit more of that himself. Might make him more interesting.

6. Beast

Beast

Beast is one of the few X-Men to have two great movie incarnations – in the pretty terrible X-Men: The Last Stand, Kelsey Grammer retains some dignity, despite being a ball of blue fur. And Nicholas Hoult is the unsung hero of X-Men: First Class, his Beastie Boy a much-needed everyman figure for the audience to dig their own claws into.

5. Cyclops

Cyclops

Yeah, I can hear the groans from here. I will never understand why Cyclops gets such a bad rep. Perhaps it is because his character was treated so dreadfully in X-Men 3. Sometimes it’s hard for the Steady Eddie type to stand out in a superhero film full of smirking good guys and moustache-twirling bad guys, but James Marsden manages it as Cyclops. Marsden has other superhero form, as Lois Lane’s man-on-Earth in Superman Returns. In X-Men, what Cyclops saw in the duller than dull Jean Grey is anyone’s guess.

4. Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

Two words: White. House.

3. Kitty Pryde

KittyPryde

Everyone loves Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, but sometimes everyone is right. She’s great and Ellen Page manages to make her great in the middle of the mushy mess that is X-Men: The Last Stand. Oh, there is one person who doesn’t like her: Vinny flipping Jones.

2. Magneto

Magneto

Now we get to the really bad guys. Come on, you didn’t think platitude-lover Professor X would make it? Or empty-headed weather girl Storm? Or Rogue, such a brilliant character in the comics and cartoons yet treated so shabbily in the movies? She’s meant to kick ass, dammit! One man who does kick ass is Magneto – he da man, able to squash Wolverine with a flick of his finger. It’s a wonder he hasn’t done it yet.

1. William Stryker

WilliamStryker

The best X-Men movie, as anyone who’s ever seen an X-Men movie knows, is X-Men 2. The reason it’s so great? Brian Cox. Scotland’s greatest ever actor – push off, Connery – is just as good in the first X-Men sequel as he was in the six other films he made that week. Yes, he’s in everything, but there isn’t one film that hasn’t been improved by having him in it. Even you, Match Point. William Stryker is tough enough and driven enough to take on all kinds of powerful mutants – Magneto and Prof X among them. Spurred on by the hatred within him for how he treated his own mutant son, Stryker’s methods or goals are far from admirable, but damn is he badass. The coolest X-Men cat around. And he isn’t even an X-Man.

Mmmm… Bambi. Seven things that Godzilla likes to eat

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on May 13, 2014 by Ross McG

Godzillahungry

Godzilla is hungry. Best get out of the kitchen. But what does the big lug like to eat? As the new Godzilla movie, directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Bryan Cranston, is released,  we give ‘Zilla the set menu…

1. Fish and chips

Okay, so hold the fries. This lizard just wants the main part of the meal. And what does Godzilla love? Fish. Probably because he swallows millions of the things when swimming through the ocean with his big mouth open.

2. Cars

‘He’s back… and it looks like he’s craving Italian…’ Well, almost. Godzilla is a bit partial to Fiat 500s, which must look like little Smarties to his giant beady eyes (My favourite Godzilla parody – and there are a lot – is this one from the brilliant and often overlooked Lilo & Stitch; watch out for the car eating at the end).

3. Helicopters

Sometimes a Fiat just isn’t enough. Nice as a canapé, maybe, but it won’t keep you going when you’re out and about all day reducing cities to rubble. Luckily, there are a couple of ‘copter joints for Godzie to pick something up while he’s at work. Luckily, director Roland Emmerich was able to provide them in his terrible but terribly fun 1998 movie.

4. Radio towers

Godzilla hates smartphones. He just doesn’t like to see people using them. They drive him nuts. Fortunately, Zilla has a taste for communication towers, like this one in the 1954 original movie. Mmmm… metal.

5. King Kong

Yeah, that’s right, Godzilla loves chowing down on a bit of giant monkey, as evidenced in 1962 Zillaflick, the brilliantly titled King Kong vs Godzilla. In this scene, Godzilla tries out a little flambéd Kong.

6. Venison

Godzilla is an omnivore – he basically eats everything he sees, from trucks to prickly trees – so on rare occasions he likes a bit of quality meat in his diet. As a result, he enjoys tucking into some deer from time to time. But only the best will do. And the best deer, as we all know, is Bambi.

7. His greens

Yes, even Godzilla knows when it’s time to lay off the meat. Here, in 1993’s Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II, little BabyGodzilla munches on some flowers. Awwww….

One thing that Godzilla doesn’t like to eat? PEOPLE! So we’re gonna be OK… unless we’re in a building or a car or a helicopter or a plate of fish and chips he takes a liking to.

Godzilla 2014 v Godzilla 1998: Who is the best Godzilla?

Posted in BATTLES with tags on May 12, 2014 by Ross McG

Godzilla2014

Gigantic mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fearsomest Godzilla of them all? Hollywood doesn’t do shame, so when they pilfer the idea for Japan’s greatest movie monster, why not do it twice? In 1998, we had Godzilla and now in 2014 we’re about to have… wait for it… Godzilla. Catchy title. But can the new Godzilla, released this week and directed by British director Gareth Edwards, knock its older counterpart out.

1. Tagline

Say what you like about the 1998 Godzilla movie – and pretty much everybody who saw it has – but it had a stonkingly good tagline: ‘Size does matter’. Simple and succinct, it’s a real belter. Does anyone know what the tagline for the new Godzilla movie even is? One of them is this: ‘The world ends. Godzilla begins’. Uh, isn’t that a bit of a spoiler? And it’s inaccurate – Godzilla was beginning (in modern Hollywood terms, at least) back in 1998. Ironically though, new Godzilla is three times bigger than the old one.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

Godzillasize

The Tweety Bird reboot had got way out of hand. Or foot.

2. Music

The new Godzilla has a score by the wonderful Alexandre Desplat from the last two Harry Potter movies, but come on, old Godzilla has Jamiroquai with Deeper Underground and a terrible CGI video. And it has Puff Daddy shouting at Jimmy Page’s guitar. It’s a no-brainer. Come on, say it with me… ‘AH-HUH… YEAH. AH-HUH… YEAH.’ Anyone else think Puff says ‘Tom Hulce’ instead of ‘time halts’ in this song? No, just me? Ah okay.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

3. Dialogue

There’s a few decent lines in the new Godzilla trailers. One is Ken Watanabe’s ‘The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control… and not the other way around.’ That’s a good one. But is it as good as these gems from Roland Emmerich’s earlier Godzilla?

- ‘Negative impact? That’s the goddamned Chrysler Building!’

- ‘I’ve always wanted to join the French Foreign Legion.’

- ‘That’s a lot of fish.’

No.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

godzillafish

Mmmm… fish!

4. Cast

While watchers of old Godzilla have to make do with the charisma-free zone that is Matthew Broderick, they do receive a double treat in return: The Simpsons alumni Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria – the latter even references his yellow alter-ego, bartender Moe, by moaning ‘Aw jeez’ at one point. Alright, so new ‘Zilla has Bryan Cranston post-Breaking Bad (reckon Walter White could probably defeat Godzilla on his own) and I love David Strathairn in anything, but then old ‘Zilla pulls its trump card: Jean Reno. Jean Reno doing Elvis.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

5. Godzilla

Unfortunately, the 1998 Godzilla looked pretty dreadful, like a velociraptor dressed up in a Godzilla costume. It was rubbish. And it had a face you wanted to punch. New Godzilla, on the other hand, just looks like…. well, Godzilla. Some seriously good creature design has gone into this bad boy. Love his mountain range of spikes on his back and his relatively tiny mouth. It just looks real. This isn’t a documentary, is it?

WINNER: GODZILLA ’14

godzillaexplode

Cool Godzillas don’t look at explosions

Top 20 cartoon intros from the ’80s

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by Ross McG

dungeonsanddragons

Kids today, with their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and their My Little Ponies, they just don’t know what’s good for them. But once upon a time, back in a magical land called ‘The 1980s’, children needed just one thing to make their day: a good cartoon intro. Here are the best. Continue reading

It’s Boss time… The best of Bruce Springsteen in the movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 13, 2014 by Ross McG

brucespringsteenhighfidelity

Bruce Springsteen albums are a bit like birthdays – if you wait around long enough, one will come along. Unlike most birthdays, however, Bruce Springsteen albums are usually pretty brilliant. This month he releases High Hopes, a collection of covers – of his own previous work and other artists’ songs – and unreleased material. Continue reading

The 27 movies Ross McG watched over Christmas

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 2, 2014 by Ross McG

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It’s a Christmas tradition, isn’t it, sitting around, stuffing yourself with choccies and watching great, good, bad and terrible films? Listing the movies we watched over Christmas is something of a new year’s tradition at Ross v Ross, and you can check out my lists for Christmas 2012, Christmas 2010 and Christmas 2009 by clicking the links. Continue reading

Poetry in Motion Pictures: Pacific Rim

Posted in Poetry in Motion Pictures with tags , on November 19, 2013 by rossvross

PacificRim

We’ve got a special Poetry in Motion Pictures post for you today – it’s not by one of us useless Rosses, but rather by RVR reader Natalie Gontar from Viewster.com, who felt inspired to pen us her own poem on Pacific Rim. Take it away, Natalie… Continue reading

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