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The X-Men are back!

Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:14am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +3

It has been three years since the first X-Men movie was released. Back in the year 2000, X-Men was a risky prospect. Batman and Robin had practically killed the comic book movie genre, and a new movie franchise helmed by a director more associated with dramas than action blockbusters was hardly a promising concept.

As it turned out, Bryan Singer was the perfect director to handle the large cast and character dynamics. Surprised by the serious themes and grounded characters on display, critics and audiences welcomed the film as a return to form for the comic book movie and it turned into a surprise hit.

Then the big change came last year, with the astonishing box office success of Spider-Man, which blew just about everything else out of the cinemas. Comic book movies were big again, probably bigger even than they were at the height of Batman's success. Of course, X-Men was far from a perfect movie. Although Singer and his cast handled most of the mutants' inner selves deftly, the same could not be said for the action sequences, which tended to fall a little flat.

Well, it has now been three years. And it would seem that Mr Singer has spent that time learning from his mistakes and recognising his successes. In fact, in X2 he has crafted a film that is in a totally different league than the original.

X2 raises the quality so high it becomes difficult to comprehend how it is largely the same team working the magic. Perfectly structured and paced, the film starts with a bamf! and builds and builds, one remarkable scene following another to a gripping finale that obliterates any memories of the lacklustre Liberty Island incident from the first movie. With an excellent cast clearly relishing the opportunity to revisit their characters, X2 also boasts a surprising emotional whack that lingers in your mind just as long as the Matrix-challenging action sequences.

Hopefully X2 will give all the AlamDV2 plugin creators out there lots of inspiration for new effects. Something we'd particularly like to see would be an AlamDV interpretation of Nightcrawler's teleporting dust effect, as well as some plugins to complement Cyclops' optical blast.

X2 has set the standard for the rest of the year's big movies. The very last shot will have you crying for more!
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:21am

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er-no

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Seeing this later today.

You've given me hope. As there are a lot of doubters!
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:30am

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Sollthar

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I totally agree... Just saw it today and the movie would get 9 out of 10 stars from me... Fantastic, fast, emotional and yet very clever film with an all great cast!
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:53am

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Ice_Man

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excellent! can't wait to see it tomorrow!
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:54am

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Simon K Jones

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You're really good in it, Iceman.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:54am

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Joshua Davies

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Loved it - hope the Matrix is half as good. Me, Tarn and Tim saw it twice today, we've been coding really hard as well biggrin
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 12:56am

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Ice_Man

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hehehe, thanks wink

but then again, did you expect anything less biggrin
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 1:03am

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no_hole

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man now i really can't wait to see it. Nightcrawler looks awsome, hell they all look awsome. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 1:50am

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Robersdee

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I get to see it tomorrow, sounds like its going to be good!!

-Fett
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 7:53am

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Cogz

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Seeing it twice in one day wasn't enough. The opening scene with Nightcrawler was something special, but my favourite character has to be Magneto, all those awesome one-liners, and his way of looking on the rest of the world as if they were ants, To quote "You are a God among insects"... powerful stuff. Also looks like they've set themselves up for X3. Lets hope so!!
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 6:50pm

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Andreas

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Yeah, I were at the cinema today. but I was there to get some premiere tickets to Matrix Reloaded.

I couldn't miss the WC in hockey, so i decided not to see it today!

But hey, I'll prolly see it someday (im ill) but i got 10 premiere tickets to M.R. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 8:41pm

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Ice_Man

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well, just saw it, and I'd like to say that it's an awesome movie! biggrin

one complaint : I would've liked to see IceMan freeze all the water in the end, instead of what happened. wink

But aside from that, it was extremely enjoyable. smile
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 9:19pm

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Kid

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That would have been too easy wouldn't it and that would make it boring. Plus that bit was important as we'll see in the next movie. razz Not to mention Iceman isn't powerful enough to stop that much water.

Bah, it's hard trying not to spoil. razz

I thought nightcrawler was great, a lot better than I expected although I don't think we saw enough of Lady Deathstrike. I don't think she was built up enough to be fighting Wolverine although he does seem to be a bit of a wimp really. smile Mystique kicked his ass in the last one.

The movie was entertaining thoughout and I got excited about the thing they were hinting at although just like Spiderman it didn't leave me walking out of the cinema thinking wow. Hopefully the Matrix sequel will, like the first one did when I first saw it.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 10:07pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +1

Here is my review of X2 (from the "filmreviews" part of the german NCC site):



XMen 2 came to cinema in a very difficult time. Therefore I just saw the trailers for the upcoming bluckbusters "Matrix Reloaded", "Terminator 3" and "the Hulk" right before X2 in the cinema, wich made it kind of difficult for X2 to beat just those trailers. Another part that made it difficult is the fact that comicfilms - except Burtons Masterpiece "Batman" and Raimis smart and entertaining hit "Spiderman" - are mostly pretty average films that provide only small parts of intelligent entertainment.

But I can say with good conscience, that X2 not only masters this task, but also raises the bar for exactly those blockbusters immensly!

Director Bryan Singer has really made a character driven actionfilm, and these don't often succeed, but X2 is definately one of those that did.
So X2 offers lots of great action (even only the opening sequence with nightcrawler is more than awesome) and never loses it's characters, wich is an even more remarkable because there are plenty of characters in X2 that all want to share their bits and not just want to be a stereotype in the background.

So the adventure of Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Dr Jean Grey, Iceman, Nightcrawler and Rogue fighting side a side with Magneto, Mystique and Pyro against the evil general Stryker and his men, is pure entertainment and pure fun.
The World of the XMen comes alive, and this for more than 2 hours.

Next to the tremendous achievement of director Bryan Singer and the fantastic work of several SFX houses (just read the end credits for how many there were) this is mostly due to a great cast!

So Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Ian McKellen as Magneto give a great performance. Two actors with a simply breathtaking screen-presence. And in a time of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings the conflict will - at least in the heads of many viewers - be extended to Captain Jean-Luc Picard versus Gandalf the Grey. What more can you want?

A very good choice again was Hugh Jackman for the part of Wolverine, a very rough, animal and yet very human character who comes to believable life thanks to Jackmans performance.

Another pearl is Bryan Cox playing William Stryker, a man who hates every mutant, allthough or most probably just because his own son is one of them.

As a result I personally can say that X2 definately belongs in my all time best list. X-Men 2 is cinema as it should be: fast, cool, beautiful and intelligent.


9 of 10 stars
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 10:52pm

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Simon K Jones

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Nice review Sollthar. The impressive thing (well, one of them!) about Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart is how completely they command their roles here, without even a hint of Gandalf or Picard. For such recognisable actors that we associate with such iconic roles, it's remarkable that they can make us completely forget those roles and see them become Magneto and Prof X.

And Iceman, I'm afraid you're simply not powerful enough to stop that amount of water that quickly. No offence. wink
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 10:58pm

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Sollthar

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Yes, you're right there tarn. I guess thats what makes those two great actors. They do master theyr roles.

What I like about both of them is the way they use their voices. But have very calm but yet hugely powerful and very authoric voices. If Stewart or McKellen would send me into battle for the mutants, i would not hesitate. smile



I saw McKellen for the first time in a film where he played an old man who gaves lessions to a kid wich than disccovers him beeing an old Nazi Officer. That was brilliant role.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 11:03pm

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Simon K Jones

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The film is called Apt Pupil, I believe. Also directed by Bryan Singer. Haven't seen it myself unfortunately.

Another film Ian is excellent in is Gods & Monsters. Very different role. Great film for people interested in the somewhat mythic history of film itself.

Another actor who has an astonishingly powerful voice is Christopher Lee. His performance of Saruman is brilliant...
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 11:10pm

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Sollthar

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Abpt Pupil... thats possible... Don't remember the title actually and haven't seen the other one (yet)... sad



Yes, Christopher Lee is a fantastic actor as well. What I like most about him is that he does his german voice (for german dubbed features) himself as he speaks fluently german and pretty much without accent. I was quite surprised seeing an interview of him where he suddenly smiled in the camera and said: "Ich grüsse sie, mein Name ist Christopher Lee und sie sehen nun einen Bericht über den Herrn der Ringe, wo ich Saruman spiele"... biggrin
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 11:31pm

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Cypher

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The BEST voice (besides the preview guy who can be seen in trailer of Comedian) is Keifer Sutherland. If you have watched Phone Booth, you will know what I mean.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2003, 11:38pm

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Kid

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Actually I had enough of his voice from 24. It kind of grates now.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 12:16am

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Ice_Man

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well, since this is a thread on X2, I won't comment on Apt Pupil, Gods and Monsters, or Keifer Sutherland's voice.

Tarn and Kid - I sort of agree, and sort of disagree. I sort of agree, because at this stage in Singer's storyline, Bobby Drake has not totally developed his power. I sort of disagree, because at (not even) his full potential, freezing all that water would have been child's play.

no offense taken from either one of you, but as IceMan has always been my favorite X-men character, I naturally wanted him to have some more screen time. smile wink
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 11:59am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, what we have got to remember is the Singer's X-Men continuity isn't at the same place as the comic. Hence Rogue, Iceman & co being very young still.

I hope to see Icean ice up in the next one and kick ass. Also hope to see the actor go far, 'cos he's fantastic.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 12:09pm

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Kid

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Yeah, Iceman is my favourite too. He certainly was very powerful, but only after various people meddled with him. The continuity of the films does vaguely fit. In the comics he was always the youngest of the various groups. Iceman wasn't even supposed to be in the first one and they stuck him in just because everyone likes him. Hopefully after the 3 Xmen films there will be spin-offs and both Iceman and Nightcrawler would be cool for that.

I'm not sure how his ice armour would work irl because ice is solid so how would he move and be encased in ice? I'm sure they'll work that out using cg. Just as we overlook that wolverine's hands are too small for his blades to retract into. razz

As for the 3rd film. They seem to be lining up Iceman to battle Pyro but something tells me that someone else is gonna steal the show. razz
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 12:15pm

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Simon K Jones

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Wolverine's blades retract into his forearms, not his hands.

Personally I can't see solo films getting off the ground. Just seems highly unlikely. If they did do one, it'd be with Wolverine.

As for the ice armour...maybe they could have it so it is cracked all over, kinda slides over itself and cracks and re-freezes as he moves. Sort of Balrog-esque, except with ice instead of flame.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 1:12pm

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Cypher

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Saw X2 last night, and finally a movie where the worth paid off (only phone booth was the other one worth the wait). I enjoyed it immensely. It's not really a favorite movie, except maybe for the comic-book to film genre (i still really, really like batman returns cuz of jim carrey and tommy lee jones).

I would say though, that this is definetely one of those movies that are just fun to watch and would go into a category with movies like the mummy (returns).

i'd say a solid 4/5. (alan cumming was suprisingly good as nightcrawler, but what else would you expect from him)
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 1:39pm

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Simon K Jones

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Batman Returns was Burton's second and (unfortunately) last Batman film, featuring the Penguin and Catwoman.

Batman Forever is the one you're thinking of, where Schumacher started to kill comic book films until X-Men came along (well, excluding the smaller Blade films).
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 2:13pm

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Cypher

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That's the one. oops.

schumacher did not kill comic book movies...sure batman and robin was rather shitty, but batman forever was great.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 2:17pm

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Simon K Jones

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Batman Forever is mildly OK, but the problem is that, in retrospect, you can see him laying the foundations for what would become Batman & Robin.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 4:37pm

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Kid

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I doubt they could do a spin off for Wolverine because he has already been explored enough in these two films. Without the mystery of his past he isn't really that interesting and if they wen't much further into it they would lose that mystery.

Tarn wrote:

Wolverine's blades retract into his forearms, not his hands.
Well yes, thats how they explain it away in the films but it doesn't actually make it any more physically possible! Plus, even in the xray in the film they make the mistake of showing the blade tips just inside the hand which invalidates their explanation as he wouldn't be able to bend his wrist. Even overlooking that as a mistake, his wrist wouldn't be bendable while they were out with their setup.

Its one of those things you just have to ignore and enjoy the film.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 5:10pm

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jarar1

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Coincedentaly, I got home from X2, to watch Batman Forever on TV.

Loved X2. Thought it was way better than the first. I was really impressed at how well they nailed each character, when there was so little time to develop each one.

I'd defiently buy a ticket or three to a solo Wolverine movie. How about a double shot? X3 and Wolverine coming out in the same year, tieing in together, or possibly showing different aspects of a larger storyline? Just a thought.

As for Batman Forever...... eh,...... I would have liked it a lot more if they'd left Two-Face and the Riddler as Two-Face and the Riddler, and not tried to turn them both into the Joker. Though I must confess I kinda fall into the "keep Schumacher the hell away from Batman" camp. Batman Returns is the best live-action Bat-flick for my money.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 8:48pm

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Professor X

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I LOVED it!!!! I really cant talk about my favorite parts with out spoiling the movie (so I wont wink ) I will say this nightcrawlers teleport is really cool, I'm sure it wont be long before someone has a plugin for it here... (So get working razz )



But the one thing I would REALLY like to see (and I dont think I'm alone) is Sentinels, presonally i think that they would be awesome visually (assuming they were done well)
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2003, 9:39pm

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jarar1

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Yeah! Sentinels would rock. It's pretty clear from the ending where they're going with X3, but I'd love to see a film version of "Days of Future Past" down the line.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 10:09am

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Kram1563

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The opening to the film with Nightcrawler was just.............AWESOME, no doubt about it the music just fit the scene so well and the effects are brilliant, such an enjoyable movie, i like it better then the first
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 4:29pm

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MechaForce

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HOT DAMN! That was one cool movie.

WAY BETTER THAN THAT WUSSIE FAIRY MOVIE WITH THE MIDGETS!!! lol

DONT READ PAST HERE IF YOU HAVENT SEEN IT

I guess in the next one (?) they are gunna do someting with Phoenix since Jean turned into it ..... That will be kinda cool..... Lots of people's butts will be kicked.....

I'm really glad that Pyro blew the hell outta those punks! Him, Collosus, and Nightcrawler are sweet!

Last edited Mon, 5th May 2003, 12:22am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 5:16pm

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Ice_Man

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way to be, mecha, why don't you spoil it for everyone. . . . razz

you should probably take cut the bit about jean grey and phoenix, for the sake of those who haven't seen it. . .
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 6:24pm

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Aculag

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I'm sure most people won't even know about the whole phoenix thing. It's there, but it's not. If you didn't know about it before, you won't get it in the movie... Probably. I finally got to see it last night. That was a damn fun time.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 7:25pm

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sidewinder

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Plus, even in the xray in the film they make the mistake of showing the blade tips just inside the hand which invalidates their explanation as he wouldn't be able to bend his wrist.
Kid, are you sure you're right? Those X-rays we say in the film were of Lady Deathstrike, not Wolverine.

Didn't Ice_man get killed in the comics? I remember reading an issue where he got wasted...

If they made a Wolverine movie, they should include the bit with magneto sucking out his adamantium skeleton.

The best thing about the movie is that they actually had people getting killed, unlike the first one where it was mostly people getting knocked out. Slaughtering the SWAT guys, or pulling the pins on all the grenades at once where classic moments.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 7:30pm

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Ice_Man

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to my knowledge, Iceman hasn't been killed. . .there was an issue of X-MEN where part of his chest was ripped out. . . but he wasn't killed then.
that was the issue where cyclops, storm, wolverine, and iceman were 'taken' to another place by Onslaught, and they had to fight Post
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2003, 8:08pm

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Kid

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sidewinder wrote:

Kid, are you sure you're right? Those X-rays we say in the film were of Lady Deathstrike, not Wolverine.
I was talking about the xrays in the first film which of course lady deathstrike wasn't in razz
Posted: Mon, 12th May 2003, 3:46am

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MidnightJester

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I finally saw it yesterday. that was one kewl film. I always loved nightcrawler, and I was glad to finally see him in this, and that what I saw was great. His transportation was amazing and i loved the markings on his skin.
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 3:34pm

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wpl

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Tarn wrote:

as well as some plugins to complement Cyclops' optical blast.
What do you mean by this?
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 4:07pm

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danmec

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He means that the plugin makers should start creating effects such as Nightcrawlers teleportation dust to go along with the currently available Cyclops blast plugin

Dan
Posted: Sun, 25th May 2003, 9:43pm

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anonymous

Are they gonna make x3???????? x2 kiked ass tard crazy twisted evil eek oink unsure wink rolleyes razz confused haha their cool
Posted: Mon, 26th May 2003, 10:47am

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moebius

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Another late entry into an interesting thread. Just watched X2 yesterday, and it was fantastic: much much much better than X1, and while the effects weren't as compelling as those found in Matrix2, the movie as a whole appealed to me a whole lot more.

Nightcrawler's my fav character in the movie: I was skeptical at first, but now I think they got the casting of Alan Cumming absolutely right. biggrin

I wouldn't mind watching it again...

P/s: I hope X3 is in the works...
Posted: Fri, 22nd Aug 2003, 9:31pm

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Coldfuse

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hmm yes here a late entry.

Well agreed alot better then the first. And to tell the truth, i think it would have been a pretty hard job to do, to make it suck more then the first.
But still as an x-men fan as my self. it just didnt do justice for me. the special effects were all purdy, but it didnt have the feel of the x-men. the script wasnt that true to the comics i felt. and im still missing gambit!!!!!

i mean there already going into th jean grey bit, which i could see comming. and really was dissapointed with. just felt they coulda made it more dramatic. I think only so far, really what has done the x-men justice, when converting it to a visual product. would be the cartoon they had! (damn i loved that)

oh and by the way. did u guys forget blade (of course the first one) i mean that was a comic converstion. that ruled ass and still does. yes batman killed it a bit but blade saved the day lol kinda!
Posted: Fri, 22nd Aug 2003, 10:07pm

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TMM

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i love X2, saw it ages ago, just haven't posted smile

I have sene it twice, and i must say both times were as good as each other, it's not one of those films that get's worse the more u see it...

I love night crawler a lot, altho summit about the last room in that intro sequence doesn't look right, other people say it's the best cgi (well, all the people were on wires and composited) work ever, but to me, something looks wrong crazy

TMM