X-Men Dark Phoenix – A Rant

I have just been to see Dark Phoenix and it was trash. There’s just no nice way of saying it. It was without question the worst X-Men film I’ve ever seen and one of the worst overall films I’ve seen in a while. It was just pure cancer. So I need to just rant about it because I’m mad. Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.

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Somehow, this movie managed to be both mind-numbingly slow and completely without any kind of depth or dimension at all. It was just two hours of… pure cancer. The story was so cliche… and like yeah, X-Men stories usually are, but this one was so bad, you can’t even call it a story. It was more a collection of jumbled mess.

So, we start with the story of Jean causing her parent’s death as a little girl, then Charles adopts her, then we fast forward to her being an adult and going on a mission with the X-Men. And they tried to set up this tension between Raven and Charles from the start, but it was so artificial, it didn’t come across at all. Anyway, they go to space to save some astronauts and they manage to do that, but Jean gets blasted with this super duper energy thing. She somehow survives and when they get back, Raven and Charles argue and Raven accuses him of being arrogant and whatever. Hank scans Jean and finds out her powers are on steroids. Later that day, Jean gets wasted and freaks out when she sees fire and blasts people away. While unconscious she finds out that Charles lied to her and her dad’s still alive and runs off to find him. So far it was fine, but from here on, it’s just… awful.

So she goes to her dad’s house and he invites her in, she sees that there are no pictures of her, but only of her mother in the house and freaks the fuck out. Like I get being upset about that. She figures out that her dad didn’t want her when she was a kid and also that she was the cause of her mother’s death. So yeah, I’d be upset too, but she FREAKS out. And when Charles comes to talk to her, she just goes crazy, flips some cop cars (Idk why the cops were there??? Who called them? Why would Charles call them? Her dad wouldn’t have had time? Idk) then Raven tries to talk her down and she kills her and then flies off. Like… you just killed one of your friends… and you fly off?? Also, why did she kill the cops? Why didn’t she just stop to listen. She keeps saying that when ‘it’ comes, she can’t stop, but the way it was filmed… I don’t know, it wasn’t believable. The acting was so bad. Which is shocking, because all of those people CAN act. James McAvoy was terrible. So was Sophie. It’s like they all knew what trash this was and couldn’t be fucked.

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So then she goes to find Magneto to ask how he stopped being evil basically. And he sees Raven’s blood on her shirt and asks her whose blood it is, but Jean doesn’t reply. He keeps prodding until she’s pissed and then some military people show up. Magneto goes to talk to them and tells Jean to stay hidden. And he tries to protect her and send the military guy away but Jean still freaks out, comes out of the house and destroys a helicopter saying “I thought you were gonna help me” and I’m like… he was????? He was literally telling them to fuck off? And you could hear it because you can freaking read minds. So then she tries to destroy the other helicopter, but Magneto fights her for it and eventually the soldiers get in the helicopter and Magneto flings them away saving them. He then instead of trying to help her sends her away. Which I kinda get, but was also an overreaction. At this point I was just like… what even is this?

Meanwhile, we also follow these aliens???? I don’t really know. They’re just aliens that can shapeshift and want to destroy the earth. Why? I don’t know. Apparently the energy in Jean destroyed their planet so now they wanted to harness that power to destroy earth??? Cause that makes sense? Literally there was almost 0 explanation of who these were and why they wanted to kill everyone and/or get Jean’s power.

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After Magneto tells her to fuck off, the boss alien finds Jean and tells her to embrace her power and that no one understand her and Jean has apparently decided that she’s evil now. So the alien lady shows her a picture of the universe and tells her how the energy thing destroyed her planet and how it destroys everything it touches but that she wanted to use it to create a new world??? And Jean was just kinda like… okay, makes sense.

Meanwhile, Hank argues with Charles and goes to find Magneto, tells her Jean killed Raven and then they both decide they want to kill Jean and anyone who gets in their way. At the drop of a hat (in what was possibly the worst acting Michael Fassbender has ever done). So they track her down, Charles and the X-Men also show up trying to prevent them from killing Jean and the most pathetic fight ensues where Charles, who could literally have frozen everyone but Magneto and then let the others fight Magneto, does almost fuck all. So, so far, they’ve killed one of the best characters they had (Raven), neutered another (Charles) and almost completely ignored the best one (Quick Silver, who showed up in the first 15 minutes and that’s it). Great job. Instead, we got a whole lot of Scott and his inability to keep his mouth shut. Literally.

The stupid, forced, completely devoid of any chemistry, romance between him and Jean.

And a lot of Jessica Chastain staring creepily at things.

Anyway, moving on, she then almost kills Magneto, almost kills Nightcrawler and almost kills Charles until Charles says something touching and she’s suddenly not evil anymore. Alien lady steals some of Jean’s power before being stopped. All the mutants are incapacitated by the military and taken to detention facilities presumably. The train they’re on is attacked by aliens, the mutants are obviously released and a fight ensues, but the aliens are apparently completely immune to bullet wounds… or any kind of wounds. Like, not impervious, but they just have super healing I guess. Jean wakes up and kills all of them except boss lady who she then flies to space and kills there to spare her friends from being disintegrated. And then she… turns into a phoenix???? I don’t know if that’s actually a thing or it’s like a metaphor or…. what the hell is going on??? I am confusion.

So yeah… this movie was painful to watch. I can’t believe they actually released this trash. It was so without any substance. I feel like my plot summary gives the story more substance than it actually had. It’s so bad that anything improves on it. The mere act of summarising the plot adds something to it. Just don’t waste your money and time on this garbage.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Book Review

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This was an amazing, emotional and beautiful book. I knew, before I even started it that it was going to be a real tear-jerker. But it was so much more than that. It made me laugh and fall in love with the characters. It made me think, it challenged me to ask questions about myself and my life and the way I view the world. I loved it so much, but it also broke my heart and made me bitter.

This was a story about love and self-discovery; about pain and loss. It was a bold novel, I would say. It was honest, and at times a bit difficult to read because it brought the reality of what it means to be a quadriplegic, to be a prisoner of your own body, unable to do anything on your own.

I really enjoyed the setting – a small English town. There aren’t that many books that I read that are set in England (probably because I read so many high fantasy books), so I really enjoyed this aspect of it. I enjoyed all the English-isms very much.

They’ve made a film now as well. Just based on the cast, I’d want to watch it. But I don’t know if I have it in me just yet. Especially because… Sam Claflin… Finnick, my baby. I’m still not over it, still not over my Finnick. I think Sam Claflin has taken it upon himself to break everyone’s heart over and over and over. And over. Also, Emilia Clarke! I mean, come on! They got Emilia Clarke to play Louisa Clark. Am I the only one who finds this perfect in a funny kind of way?

So, what more to tell you without spoiling anything? I don’t feel like there is much left to say other than that it was beautiful and I am definitely looking forward to reading some more of Moyes’s works.

**SPOILER ALERT – THE REST OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK**

Like I said, this book has made me so bitter. I knew it would. I knew it would make me feel bitter and angry and heartbroken and exhausted, but I kept reading anyway because I couldn’t put it down. Because it was so funny and beautifully written. So genuine and full of life, despite everything. I can’t really come to terms with it. I mean, from the get, all the possible outcomes of this story sucked. Will would either kill himself, or he wouldn’t and he would live another decade or two in pain and suffering and frustration and then die anyway.

This book has made me think of that Doctor Who quote “Everybody knows that everybody dies. And no one knows it better than the Doctor. […] Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call… everybody lives.”

I don’t know why, but I feel this quote is so relevant to this book. Because everybody did live. At least for 6 glorious months, both Will and Lou were more alive than they had ever been. And now, she lives on and Will lives too. Through her, through opening her eyes, through whetting her appetite for a bigger life than she had ever thought she would live. And it’s heartbreaking and it sucks and I wish it could have ended differently, but there were only ever two choices and they both sucked.

On an emotional level, this book was a tornado or a hurricane or a giant tsunami. Something that you see coming quite a way away, but getting out of the way is not that easy and when it hits you, it hits you hard. It’s a book you won’t forget easily, You won’t forget how it made you feel. But it wasn’t lacking on a more intellectual level, either.

There’s a huge and controversial and dare I say, taboo, theme running through the entire book. That of assisted suicide. Of whether it’s right or wrong, whether people in such situations should be given the choice of ending their lives ‘on their own terms’. I’m not going to give my opinion on this subject, because it’s not really a black and white topic, there are so many things to say and consider and no matter how much people want to simplify it, it just won’t be simplified. So I don’t believe a book review is the place to talk about it. But I will say that is was a brave theme to run with and I highly enjoyed this aspect of the novel.

Then there’s also the idea that a really good thing won’t necessarily cancel out all the bad things and a bad thing won’t cancel out the good things. Here we have Will and Lou, negative images of one another. Lou had something awful happen to her (two things, by the end of the book), but she was still full of life, she still found a way to move forward, to move on and see the beauty in life. Will had this one amazing thing happen to him in the person of Lou. She brought life and joy and happiness into his life, but he couldn’t see past the darkness. I thought that was another interesting aspect of the story.

So yeah, this book packs a mean punch, but I’m glad I read it. I don’t know when I’ll be able to bring myself to see the film. And I don’t know when I’ll find it in me to read the sequel.