Monday, August 15, 2005

Come on Now

They just cast Olivia Williams as Dr. Moira MacTaggert in X3, who just screams Nobel-Prize winning geneticist engaged to Dr. Charles Xavier in their college years.

I'm all for continuing the lame ass tradition of casting producer's teenaged girlfriends as leading world scientists, especially when it's the ex Mrs. Sheen. So I can sort of buy that the Legacy cure resides in Olivia's pretty thirty-something head. But I don't buy that she's had a forty odd year affair with brilliant senior citizen Charles Xavier, or for that matter that she's the mother of Proteus. Sigh. Not that I wouldn't have an affair with Xavier and Magnus at the same time (in next month's Alias issue, Mutant DP!), but that's what the OTHER X girls are there for...not our lovely lass Moira. Come on Brett Ratner. I'm trying really hard not to hate you. First Red Dragon, now X3...I'm itching with worry.

You know what? I actually really liked X and X2, but while I'm still really throws me off to have a teenage Rogue. I mean, I know she was more powerful than Jubilee or Kitty Pryde and they decided to combine characters for a while to capture the teenage market, but it makes all the scenes of her and Magneto so creepy sub-texted (have I coined a new term?), and then Gambit...urgh. Must abort thought process.

Other misc meanderings from my twisted soul...I think last night's Entourage had a perfect moment for each character. Stellar. Oh god, and just when I was starting to get and like the Comeback, they turned Valerie into a weenie again. I don't understand the exercise of making us hate her so. It feels like I'm being forced to sit through experimental european films all over again...Je Tu Il Elle, anyone? I get that it's real, it's just too real and there's not a soul to like, except off-camera Jane.

Happy for the success of Four Brothers. I knew they'd make money. Very funny, charming, kick-ass, unique, fun, stylish, believable sibling audience of LA screenwriters was in stitches and cheered/clapped at the end. Singleton knows his Sergio Leone. Apparently the reviewers calling it a blaxploitation revenge flick aren't up to date on their spaghetti westerns. But he used that same weird mouth squib thing he used in Higher Learning when Tyra Banks' character died. I hated being there that day, it was so gross to see her sputtering blood. By the way, great free ipodcast download of the Q & A I was at with the screenwriters (go to for directions), one of whom just directed friend Ford's film Catacombs. Think that will be our Blair Witch next year.

Don't mention SFU plot to me yet. TiVo crapped out on me, so I have to wait until tonight to catch up with Nate's afterlife.

Tony Bennett at the Hollywood Bowl was freaking amazing. If you ever get the chance, see the legend.

If you need a free laugh (and who doesn't) check out comedian Eugene Mirman's site. If you get past the crooning child with your sanity intact, you'll lose it listening to his taped discussions with the anti gay phone company.

You guys have let Murderball be torpedoed by Penguins and crap/vomit jokes. You all suck. Seriously, this week is probably your last chance. Please go see the film. Don't break my friends' hearts. They're sweet people trying to change the world. Give 'em six bucks and ninety minutes. You'll laugh harder than you did at the Wedding Crashers.


Anonymous said...

Who's Olivia Williams?


Kid Sis said...

Right? Exactly.

Kid Sis said...

I'm totally kidding. She's a fine character actress.

Here's the thing. She looks about the way many have drawn her over the years. But they've taken such liberties with everyone else's age...I feel like this actress is going to get eaten alive by Patrick Stewart. Really, wouldn't it be much cooler to see him go toe to toe with Judy Dench or Vannessa Redgrave? Hell, even Susan Sarandon. I seriously think I'm going to be gaffawing seeing him with another young chic. It's basically like him being with Famke as an equal/soul mate. She just doesn't have the life experience to make me believe Charles would want more than a one night stand. I mean, he's got to want to get Ms. McTaggert off Muir Island, not leave her there!

Here's the official Marvel scoop.

As a college, student she met Charles Xavier who was working toward a doctorate at Oxford University. The two fell in love with each other immediately and their romance lasted for years. Eventually they became engaged to be married, pending the annulment of her own marriage to Joseph MacTaggart. But then Xavier was drafted into the military. She promised to wait until he was released from military service. However, while he was recovering in a hospital from battlefield injuries, Xavier received a letter from Moira breaking off their engagement with out explanation and stating that she was returning, home to Scotland...Moira MacTaggart led a brilliant career as one of the world's leading geneticists, earning a Nobel Prize for her work. She founded a Mutant Research Center on Muir Island off the coast of Scotland. Eventually she renewed contact with Xavier during a period he spent in England working on a degree in psychiatry.

So sixty-five year old Charles met the now thirty-five year old Moira in college, and their romance lasted for three decades...ah, a story for our ages...

Also, they essentially already used her son Proteus/Mutant X in X2 as the Big Bad draining Professor X, so that's an interesting conundrum. Collapsed storylines become such a nightmare to keep track of.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I thought the name was fmailiar. Problem is, my brain's internal memory database kept confusing her with Michelle Williams of "Dawson's Creek" fame.

Agree re the age discrepancy -- and the obvious Proteus reference in X2.

Sorry, but I just couldn't like X1 or X2. To me, they just seemed like a collection of scenes, and not a fully-fleshed out story.

Plus, once a bitter fanboy on some other site derided X1 as having the "conveniently internationally attended festival" and the "inescapably climactic death ray", I couldn't watch it without becoming too keenly aware of the cliches.


Kid Sis said...

Aw man! Why'd ya have to point THAT out?


Well, Hugh Jackman still rules, as do the Pheonix references and Ian and Patrick together. And it's the first successful team effort I've seen, which gives me hope for The Avengers.

Anonymous said...

Penguins rock.

I'm just saying.


Anonymous said...

Let me clarify -- I actually do LIKE X1 and X2. if nothing's better on cable/ movie channels, I'll certainly kick back and watch it. I just don't ENJOY them or LOVE them to the same extent I enjoy/ love the Superman/ Spider-Man/ Bat flicks.

Maybe it's just me, but I thought Bryan Singer's work was GOOD, but I just didn't see why Wizard magazine writers and others were all of a sudden christening X2 as the greatest comic book movie of all time.


Anonymous said...

Tra la la la! The whole dissertation is drafted and away!

[Butt-wagging dance]

[Fingers in the air, and you know which ones]

[Cat frightened out of her mind]


chad said...

first of all penguins do indeed rock!
Secondly, am I the only person who liked red dragon? yes edward norton can't hold a candle to william peterson's performance in manhunter but I much prefer hopkins' lector to brian cox. Plus the ratner version was much closer to the book than mann's "miami vice" inspired film. . . i'm just sayin.

chad said...

oh yeah. I can't stand the gambit character myself. I mean oooooh he can make playing cards sort of explode. . . what is that?

Kid Sis said...

Chad :) I'm so glad you're back. Busy summer?

Okay, there were totally elements I loved of Red Dragon. But didn't it seem like two different films pasted together? The Anthony Hopkins stuff was great. Yeah, I came to Brian Cox's performance after falling in love with SOTL, so I'm totally biased...and I think Brian Cox is fabulous, but he didn't work for me as Lecter either. So I'm not a devout Manhunter fanatic. And yeah, the Miami Vice style in particular really dates the film, and Red Dragon will probably still look great in twenty years...

I guess, okay I'm really straining here...okay, I heard some guys at the advance screening last night talking about Brett and a Hollywood party they were all at. After I wrote this column by the way. And he's just got this image as Hollywood slickster guy. I'm not going to say anything slanderous, but you know the rumors and god bless him for being able to get away with that kind of 1960s behavior now without reprecussions (makes me think of Austin powers' line when he first woke up from the deep freeze).

I think "slick" is the whole problem. To me, X-Men is all about soul, and angst, and torment...DEEP shit, the kind of philosophical stuff only teenagers can fret about, because by the time you're an adult you're too worn out to try to change the world, and you get that you're a cog in the machinery. But teenagers man, they're just waking up to the hypocrisy and they're like EFF racism, EFF sexism, and EFF you for telling me what to be and do...PASSION, you know? Well-placed passion. And as teenagers, totally disenfranchised and loud about being an Other. THAT's the X-MEN. The people society spits on that are going to stand up and protect the people who hate them, and get no reward for it but hiding back at the institute.

I'm not trying to be unfair to Mr. Ratner and say he doesn't have that in him, because sometimes artists step outside of their ouevre and show you part of their soul you never would have guessed was there. But what I'm fretting about is that he was placed on the film not because of some kinship he felt to the material, but because it's a huge franchise and he's an A list slick director, and well, someone made the wrong match. And it's going to show in the movie that he doesn't gel with being an outsider.

Now I'm itching and worried again.

Kid Sis said...

Oh God, and the Gambit thing...

Look. He's for the ladies. You guys get tons of fantasy in the comics. You don't have to like Gambit. He's Dennis Quaid from The Big Easy, and us fan girls want a hero like that. That's all.

Doncha think? Heather, you're the biggest Gambit fan I know...wanna weigh in? Put down that centerfold of him and join us!

Kid Sis said...

NN, did you spill wine on the keyboard?


Now go get Hollywood, grrrrll!

Kid Sis said...

MIM, this is sooo interesting to me. I'm trying to figure out...okay, I remeber you're a DC boy at heart. And you read JLA, yeah? But not Avengers or X-Men. See, I learned to read on Avengers. I think there may always be a fundamental divide in which movies you like because of the huge differences in DC/Marvel in the 70s/80s. In spirit, Spiderman fits more in the lone superhero category DC excells at. Maybe that's part of what you're feeling?

Anonymous said...

Leia -- Interesting thoughts, there. Had not thought to break it down as individual hero v. team concept.

That being said, the earliest comics I read -- not bought, as those were Bat-titles -- were actually Spider-Man and X-titles that my cousins/ family friends' kids had.

Guess I'm spoiled, but my earleist memories of X-Men were reading the Claremont stories formv arious soruces -- "Dark Phoenix" through one cousin's collection, "God Loves, man kills" from another, the "Brood" storylines, etc.

Avengers? Admittedly, no clue. my early memories of thosee sueprheroes were formed by the old 1960s cartoons with the really trippy theme songs: "When Captain America throws his mighty SHIEEEEEELD..." Read some of the recent Kurt Busiek storylines, but no go on the "classic" lines -- never got around to them.

Pretty much, my earliest 'team' concepts were Challenge of the Superfriends, although -- this is random -- the earleist JLA comic ever read (well before the Morrison days) was the one where Ray Palmer actually married Jean. It had a really cool splash-page of all the heroes and their identities.

In light of Crisis last year, I can't believe I hadn't realized that before now.

OK, back to tons o' work.


Anonymous said...

Ugh. Revisions!

Can you believe it? It wasn't past 7pm when I got a 2-page email of trenchant suggestions for revision. I'd only just sent it at high noon! Like my advisor couldn't leave me alone for a day!

How dare she think I should work on the writing right up to the deadline of Friday!

Thank gawd I was still tipsy when I got the email.


PS. You still haven't addressed the Penguin issue. :)

WriteOnBklyn said...

Hey KS --

I'm back! Thanks for your kind note on my blog. You are such a sweetheart. Anyway, as you will see, have changed the focus of the blog a little, as to be able to post more. Thanks for checking in...

LeMorse said...

MURDERBALL was awesome! I alos enjoyed the March Of the Penguins however...not anywhere near the same level of enjoyment however. I thought March was cute and fun. Murderball was intelligent, wrenching, entertaining, and just down right GOOD! Go see it ASAP!

Andrew Ironwood said...

Gambit as Dennis Quaid from The Big Easy?

Hmmm... I like that notion...

Kid Sis said...

MIM, now I have no idea why we have different opinions...sorry, can't figure it out! Totally forgot you were a Claremont fan.

BTW, I still trip out that the first comics you and I ever bought were Aparo covers. Yeah, the Avengers...if you didn't grow up on them, the back issues would probably be hard to get into. It's another discrepancy in my makeup that I learned to read on my brother's patriotic comic. The Avengers were very American. Kind of a FF vibe, as far as working with the government for all of Supes' values. It changed a little with the times, and in the 70s they used a government stooge named Gyrich (recognize him from the X books?) to eff with them and provide some conflict, but for the most part the Avengers were always on the side of right, protecting NYC and sometimes the world from Big Bads who were always wrong. The most compelling characters to me were The Vision and The Scarlet Witch, and of course poor Hawkeye. But I gnashed my baby comic teeth on war stories about their troop going into impossible battles saying shit like "We'll follow you through the gates of hell, but you've got to lead us!" Earnest stuff that made me want to be a willing soldier or reluctant General.

Kid Sis said...

WTF? Okay, I just wrote to all of you...a really long post that got deleted. I don't have time to recreate it right now. Shit.

Well, welcome back everyone. Missed ya.

Kid Sis said...

God, the comment really is gone. Son of a bitch. Can I blame that worm?

Anonymous said...

To each their own, Leia. If we liked all the same stuff the same way, we'd be bored quick, wouldn't we?

Admittedly, I caught X2 on DVD first, then on cable, so my perception may be different.

I'd have no problem owning X and X2 on DVD, but I wasn't eager to get them during first week of release, like I was with both Spiders and with BB (coming to DVD on 10/18!!!).

Things that jump out at me, in my humble, non-expert opinion:

(1) Stewart was perfectly cast as X... but he seemed to be reduced to speechmaking, and Stewart's dialogue, other than with Jackman, seemed too "self-conscious" to me, like Stewart was phoning it in a la "Star Trek: Nemesis".

(2) Was Magneto really necessary for the climax of X2? I mean, was the whole re-wiring of the fake Cerebro really needed? It just seemed like a throw-in to show Pyro jumping ship.

(3) Cyclops -- forgive me, but as a former straight-laced, teacher's pet schoolboy, one who did the whole student government thing in college, I empathized with Red-eye. And his little beat in X where he told the comatose X, "I'll take care of them" was great for me.

(4) Random question extending from (3) -- you and I both have love for team books. You with Marvel, me with JLA and rediscovering the occasional Perez/ Wolfman Teen Titans stories. Shoot, I actually BOUGHT the New Titans for a couple of years after the Zero Hour re-set around the time of my undergrad graduation.

I know part of the joys of both books is watching team members conflict with each other, and yet still come together in kick-tail execution and intricacy in the clutch.

Admittedly, my memory is sucking right about now, and I am willing to be corrected, but... often did we see X-Men interacting in combat/ crisis in X2?

In X, we got a decent amount to whet the appetite: getting Wolverine to the top of the Torch, breaking out of the bonds Magneto set up, Wolverine calling Cyke a d*ck, the yellow spandex dialogue. That actually worked for me.

But in X2? I didn't get much of a sense of 'team', but maybe I'm nitpicking. meanwhile, In SM 1 and 2, and in BB, even in Supes 1 and 2, we saw the heroes doing what we love for them to do.

Oh well, just some thoughts.

Back to work.


Kid Sis said...

Yeah, I can see that. The only real teamwork I can remember is under the base rescuing Kitty and X. See, they get so busy introducing too many characters that they lose out on the big battle sets we love in the comics. Agreed, that's exactly where the conflict dynamics are played out and become interesting, like an old WW buddy movie. Hmmmn.

Well, I'm trying not to read spoilers about X3 because they really do ruin a movie for me...but I think I remember Harry or Mori saying they were packing in too many characters again. Though I think the casting of Frasier as Beast is friggin inspired.

Andrew Ironwood said...

Kelsey as the Beast sounds like the right voice to me [assuming no CGI'ing the character (God help us otherwise), I'm hoping the makeup is good and that Mr. Grammer studies a couple of good Jane Goodall documentaries...]