Marvel May! / by Frixos Masouras

Not one but two Marvel Comics films will be lighting up screens in this last month of Spring 2014. The first to do so is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which is a different take on the wisecracking, spandex-clad superhero than the one presented to us by Sam Raimi. This is a reboot sequel of course therefore carrying the same traction as the OTHER Marvel film to be released this month is a rather daunting task!

Touching a bit on TASM 2, the series still has more to show since more productions in this series are to follow. The cast and crew are currently establishing the characters and vying to hold their own ground amongst the other Marvel behemoths (X-Men, Avengers and recently Captain America which surprised us all with Winter Soldier). More on TASM 2 in the week to follow because we MUST focus on the OTHER Marvel film due to the fact that it marks the return of Bryan Singer at the helm of an X-Men film.

The trailer attached above is the latest one to be released (15th of April to be precise) and lays the story down even though we are pretty much aware of it at this point. To be as Spartan as possible, it is the Sentinels story line. Machines that were manufactured to control mutants eventually bring the world to an early apocalypse. Here is where Bryan Singer has the chance to deliver brilliance by combining the best of both the X-Men generations via the use of time travel in the narrative. If I say any more I will have to mark the article for spoilers!

The, by now, oscar-awarded/nominated/awesome cast that Singer has assembled for X-Men:Days of Future Past is a story on its own since it will involve both the original line-up of the first three films alongside the First Class attendees. On a personal note, the chemistry between McAvoy and Fassbender is on an even higher and more eloquent frequency than that of Stewart and McKellen in their portrayal of the prolific superheroes Professor-X and Magneto. That's not to say that 'Gandalf' and 'Picard' are anything short of amazing and having all of them together in one production should be a treat however something tells me that the younger duo will have the lion's share of the script and screen-time (this is a speculation on my part). 

I initiated the presentation of X-Men: Days of Future Past by mentioning the directorial return of Bryan Singer. That might seem odd at first, yet focused analysis is not required to realise that any film focusing on an X-Man or the superhero group in general without him at the helm did not carry the same message with the gravity they did when he was attached to them. Bryan Singer (an openly gay man) presented the Marvel mutant universe as an allegory to our homosexual fellow humans and the way the world views them. This message was so incredibly subtle that you could not notice it until the marvellous (you see what I did there? Marvel, marvello... never mind) spectacle was over and you had the chance to reflect on it. That is what makes it superb. 

When the era of the superhero film took off in earnest (a decade and a half ago essentially) a large group of our fellow cinema-goers mused "you shouldn't take superhero films seriously". Nolan's Batman trilogy made them sit up and listen.  I believe that X-Men: Days of Future Past (which will "lock up" Singer's X-Men trilogy) will make them stand up and applause while acknowledging, once and for all, that comic-books have always been pure literature.

From where I am standing, I see that the writing is on the wall for a magnum opus by Bryan Singer and his team. 

All that time we spent in front of the TV eagerly awaiting that distorted-guitar, adrenaline-pumping intro of the X-Men animated series will come to a head in two weeks time and I am aching with anticipation!

- Frixos Masouras 2014

(Everything concerning X-Men: Days of Future Past belongs to 20th Century Fox)