The Round Table – X-Men:Days of Future Past

This is a round table discussion…of sorts. In a perfect world, there would be more people participating and it would be recorded as a video or podcast.  However, there’s only three of us (as of now), we each live in different states (Alaska, Colorado & Tennessee) and we have no recording equipment, so printed word it is.  For this first “round table” discussion, we’re going to start with X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Warning: If you plan on seeing X-Men: Days of Future Past, be warned there are spoilers below. Read at your own risk.

We’ve seen X-Men: Days of Future Past and came up with different opinions on it, but was there a scene that didn’t sit well with you?

 

Mike:  I don’t remember Kitty Pryde being able to send people back in time, but hey, it’s the movies. Scott and Alex Summers aren’t brothers and Apocalypse doesn’t look like his comic counterpart..but whatever. I can see that being a creative take on the characters. But that’s all fan-boy crap that can be overlooked.

What bugged me with the new X-Men time line is what happened to Logan between 1973 and 2023? It’s a new time line. Can we can assume the events of X-Men 1 still happens since Rogue still had her white stripe, Jean and Scott are alive so Last Stand never happened (thank god), but what about X2? Does Wolverine get his adamantium claws or will he sport the bone claws in future movies?

Regardless of what those answers are, what happened to the consciousness that was that time’s Logan? That Logan, we’ll call him Logan B, goes to sleep one night in 2023 and never wakes up? Did Professor X tell him? If he did, then that’s a fucked up conversation. If he didn’t, then how in the hell could he have kept that to himself? To wait for the one day that Logan A re-inhabits his body and has to be caught up on the previous 50 years?

To go to sleep one night and be completely erased by morning, either way you cut it, that’s seriously fucked.

Jonathan: Mike, he didn’t go to sleep one night and not wake. 2023 Logan and 1973 Logan are the same person. Logan went back to Logan in the past. It was the same time line to the point where Mystique didn’t kill Trask. Then it became the normal timeline. No split universe, no alternate time line because they stopped everything from happening.

Mike:  Yes, I saw the movie. You aren’t understanding what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the Wolverine that was making decisions between 1973 & 2023.  The movie follows one version who takes over in 1973 to change the events, but then that Wolverine doesn’t come back till 2023.  Well, Wolverine said and did things between those dates, only to be erased one random day in 2023.   And yes, the X-men movies are now in an alternate timeline since the other movies happened in a world where Mystique kills Tyrion Lannister.  DOFP totally pulled a BTTF 2, and instead of giving us an overweight multi-millionaire Biff Tannen, we get the eradication of Last Stand and the resurrection of Jean and Scott.

Jonathan: But the Logan between 73 and 23 is the same Logan. He just went back on himself (which is not the same thing as going down on himself). So, the Logan is the same Logan.
Holy shit, my eyes are crossed thinking about this.

Mike: At the end of the movie, Logan has no idea what happened over the past 50 years. His memories are from the first 3 X-Men movies, which don’t apply to post DoFP stories.

Jonathan: No, he remembers everything. He remembers the future that was suppose to be and the past that was. You can tell from the look on his face. The movie doesn’t say as much, you have to look at Logan’s expressions. It’s the one thing the movie did well.

Andy G: I totally disagree. Why would Professor X tell him we have a lot to talk about and him tell him his history is foggy if he remembered everything? When his consciousness returned, he is old Logan, not new and improved Logan with two memories. I guess the plothole then becomes did one Logan consciousness die when he returned?

Jonathan: Andy, he said he would tell him because the movie failed. Kitty Pryde tells Logan he is the only  one who will remember anything. He’s the same Logan that’s why he is shocked to see people he thought were gone or dead. He remembers everything except for what may have happened Magneto tried to kill Nixon…..shit, my eyes are crossing again.
Now, that I think about it the best movie to handle time travel is Austin Powers in Goldmember.

Andy G: Kitty Pryde says he will be the only one to remember anything from that timeline after the 1973 divergence. The new timeline will be an unknown entity to him.

Jonathan: Andy, I remember Kitty Pryde saying Logan would be the only one to remember what happened. I took that to mean Logan remembers everything that happened …..so, you two are saying he remembers everything from 1973 to 2023 the way they happened in the movies not the way the other characters remember the new time lines?
OK, but  when would Professor X know when the new/old/whatever Logan was going to appear?

Holy cow, the more I think about it the less I like this movie.

Andy G: I don’t think Professor X knew when this Logan would reappear – hence why when he showed up he said don’t you have a history class to teach. Professor X has no scruples about entering someone else’s mind, so he entered in and saw what he had just experienced. Hence, at that point Logan and Professor X know. This is making my head hurt. Can someone just get a Delorean already?

Jonathan: So, he scans Logan’s mind without putting his finger to his temple (why does he have to do this?) and knows what’s going on? Man, this thing is getting more convoluted as we go on.

Andy G: This is starting to make my head hurt as well. Time travel should only be attempted with a Delorean or phone booth.

Andy G: It was a scene from the previous X-Men Last Stand going forward into this movie. Professor X DIED! He didn’t go to sleep. He didn’t take a nap. He didn’t get wounded and end up in a hospital bed. PROFESSOR X DIED. Not once in this movie did they reference it or treat it like it was a real thing. Not that I am arguing, because it never should have been a real thing. It should have simply never happened. And I don’t mean Professor X dying. I mean that whole movie should have just never happened. However, it did happen. You made reference to other things from the initial trilogy, but just ignored this whole aspect.

I think that you could have played into it a little or even decided to add some of the Disney Marvel humor to it that we have come not to expect in X-Men. However, ignoring it as happening entirely means one of two things: 1) You admit defeat that this was the dumbest thing ever done in the history of X-Men or 2) you lack creativity to push this out without Professor X. Either way it was a major hole in this movie for me.

Logan’s consciousness after 2023 did not bother me as he just did not exist at all on this new timeline. Therefore, that Logan just isn’t a thing. I did not care what happened to any of the characters in that timeline because if Logan failed, they were doomed anyway. It was a plot hole, but it was also not a major ordeal to me.

Jonathan: Andy, was there *really* ever a chance the X-Men were going to fail?

Andy G:  There was never a chance they were going to fail, but you have to build a plot around that potential. Walking into a theatre, it is almost guaranteed that by the end of the movie or series, the protagonist will win. I have to at least look at the possibility of failure in my own mind.

Jonathan: Andy, but there’s the problem- there was never a chance they wouldn’t succeed. The movie failed to even hint that they may. There wasn’t one scene or scenes that had me thinking, “Oh, shit! This may not work out for the X-Men.” That’s one of the problems with these franchise films. For example, I have only seen trailers of The Wolverine. The trailer hints he loses his healing power, right? I’m willing to bet, by the end of the movie, he gets it back. No healing power= no Wolverine.
Most action movies we know the hero or heroes will succeed. Did we really think Batman wasn’t going to take down the Joker? Was there ever a doubt The Incredibles (the best superhero movie ever) weren’t going to win? No, there wasn’t. However, it’s the journey to get to the end and watch them win. I didn’t like this X-Men journey.
Jonathan: There wasn’t “one” scene that didn’t sit well with me. It was a combination of many things that
turned me off to the whole movie.
The first thing was, as Mike mentioned, Kitty Pryde being able to teleport people’s conscience through time. I didn’t know she could do this. I chalked it up to the fact that I haven’t picked up an X-Men comic in years and there was the possibility Marvel did some retcon of the character. So, maybe in a comic book somewhere she can has these powers. However, I shouldn’t have to read a comic book to know what’s going on with a character. The previous movies established the fact that she can “phase” through objects. The whole movie was based on a super power she never possessed. Singer and company had to make up these powers for Kitty Pryde so there could be a movie.

I thought the attempts at being funny and cute were pretty bad. For example, the scene where Beast says he is recording all three channels “and PBS.” Funny, stuff. When 2023 Logan first arrives in 1973, I was expecting him to say, “ Your clothes. Give them to me now.” And it would have been awesome hearing Hugh Jackman say those words doing an Arnold impersonation. JFK a mutant? Ok, it’s a comic book movie. Fine, he was mutant. Why would you put the world’s most dangerous person under the Pentagon in Washington, DC? Why not a crater in the middle of nowhere South Dakota? No one lives in South Dakota. I think if the United States had super powered folks in any war they would be on the front lines kicking ass like in Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Zack Snyder’s movie adaptation.

I’m not hung up on what happened to Logan 1973. He was told, “If you succeed (like he wasn’t going to) you will be the only one who remembers.” Okay, that’s not verbatim, but that’s pretty much what Kitty Pryde said. The way I look at it is Logan 1973 and 2023 are the same person. The problem is Logan is  not the only who remembers the rewritten past, Professor X remembers the past too.
The pseudo Dark Knight score in the movie also didn’t do anything for me. Music in a scene is suppose to amplify what is happening. In a sad scene, the music pulls on our heart strings. In an action scene, the music makes our hearts race a little faster. In a scary scene, the music lets us know the killer is about to jump out of the closet and attack the babysitter.
In X-Men, the music didn’t do any of that because the same Dark Knight boomy music was played. Wolverine runs at Magneto- cue Dark Knight boomy music. Magneto rips a stadium from the ground- cue Dark Knight boomy music. Professor X scratches his ass- cue Dark Knight boomy music. Everything. Was. DRAMATIC. X-Men became anti-climactic half way through the movie.
And then there was the ending. A mutant causes million of dollars in damage, some lives were probably lost, and he threatens to kill Nixon. Another mutant saves the day so all mutants are good. It felt forced. It felt fake. It reminded me of Singer’s great device in the first X-Men- if humans don’t like mutants Magneto will make everyone mutants!
I thought the movie could have been a lot more than what it was. I confess, I was expecting something along the lines of X-Men: First Class. First Class combined a great story (I thought Vaughn handled the Holocaust elements of the story rather well) and great effects. In the end, X-Men: Days of Future Past was was a typical comic book movie.
Just so no one thinks I’m all negative about the movie there was some positives. The scene in the Pentagon where Quicksilver saves the day was awesome. I thought using Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” was a nice touch.Speaking of Quicksilver, I still can’t wait for the fanboys to complain and compare the X-Men Quicksilver to the Avengers Quicksilver.
Oh, and I can’t wait for X-Men: Stargate SG1.

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