I actually had a list of shows that I intended to post some thoughts on, but the fall season is over and it now seems rather pointless. But I did want to dust off my posting skills before White Collar's third season premiere and my weekends movie and TV viewing did get me to thinking.
I've seen several people declare First Class the best X-Men film yet. I'm not quite willing to go there. My Hugh Jackman/Wolverine love is very likely skewing my opinion. Although, even Hugh couldn't salvage the abysmal Wolverine film. That was TERRIBLE. And Last Stand had more than it's share of issues. But I can definitely add First Class to the first two X-Men films as immensely rewatchable.
I also feel, as good as First Class is, it could have been better. There are continuity issues. Many of which can be overlooked if you ignore Last Stand and Wolverine (and I know many of us wish to). The most problematic continuity issue I had involved Raven/Mystique and Charles growing up together. There was no indication in any of the previous films the two had ANY connection in the past, let alone spent years living together. It also would have been nice to have an explanation as to how Mother and Stepfather Xavier welcomed Raven into their home, even if she disguised her appearance. zegeekgirl had a workable theory that Charles used his mind control powers on them, but I still feel there's a big leap from offering his home to her and it actually happening.
Hank creating Cerebro initially pinged as wrong to me, I was eventually able to handwave it as a prototype, with Charles and Erik later designing the one on Charles' estate. I can also totally accept Erik and Charles reconciling at least once over the years in order for the thing to get built.
While I think a wonderful job was done developing the relationship between Charles and Erik, fleshing out what was hinted at in the previous films, many of the other mutants didn't fair so well. Even with it's faults, X-Men did a pretty good job of establishing the powers and personalities of Logan, Rogue, Scott, Jean, Storm and, to a lesser extent, Magneto's crew. In First Class, of the 'lesser' mutants, only Mystique and Beast get decent development, building on what we already know and in some unexpected ways. The Hank McCoy in Last Stand, so comfortable in his body and an outspoken advocate for mutants, is a far cry from the young man desperate to hide what he is. In the same film, when Mystique loses her mutant abilities and is forced to live as a human, her anger and subsequent betrayal of Magneto is understandable given he was the one person to accept her as herself - then cast her aside as soon as she was no longer useful to him.
But the rest of the mutants didn't fair so well. Poor Darwin, we hardly knew you. I missed Alex's last name so I had to look up online to see if he was, in fact, Scott's brother...and that was the most interesting thing about him. Banshee didn't really, er, resonate. Angel's quick turn to the darkside was made even more WTF by happening right after witnessing dozens of men slaughtered and new friend murdered. And all I can say of Shaw's gang is - EVIL! Oh, and January Jones is an incredibly wooden actress, isn't she? I think I would have preferred her and Rose Byrne swapping roles.
While Fassbender and McAvoy share a fabulous onscreen moment after Charles is shot, I do wish it hadn't happened. Not just because it's another continuity issue, but because it would seem to indicate, if there is a sequel, McAvoy/Charles will be in the wheelchair. If the filmmakers were hoping for another franchise (and I can't imagine they weren't), one would think they'd hold off introducing Charles' paralysis until at least the third firm.
No offense to James McAvoy, who did a fine job, but Michael Fassbender, like Hugh Jackman before him, was THE breakout star of the film. You couldn't help but to focus on him whenever he was on screen. Putting aside his looks, the man has acting ability. Already knowing who and what Erik becomes, it's a hard sell to make the character sympathetic. But Ian McKellen did it before and Michael does it again. Hell, I would have even considered going with Erik given the mutants just put their asses on the line to save humanity and humanity's response was to kill them all. (By the way, anyone have any idea how they got off the island? Charles using mind control again?) At the same time, going to war and making humanity pay for their fear and ignorance wasn't going to solve any problems either.
Given my aforementioned Jackman bias, LOVED the Logan cameo. PG-13 films are allowed one use of the F word and they put it to good use. :) It was also nice to see Rebecca Romijn get in on the cameo action.
And my favorite unintentionally hilarious moment was finding out Charles planned to hide himself and his school in Westchester. On his family estate. Seriously? Look, the U.S. government and it's various security agencies have their fair share of problems and screw-ups, but a simple deed search is going to out him.
I'm not terribly invested in Doctor Who. I tend to watch episodes once, maybe twice. I don't feel compelled to discuss it at length. Once in a while I have a strong reaction to Who storylines. Donna remains my favorite companion and I hate how RTD destroyed the character. I prefer Eleven to Ten. And while I don't love River as many on my Flist seem to, I do like her and find her an interesting character.
And this weekend we learned, conclusively or as conclusively as can be in a show that is capable of changing time, space and history, River Song is Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy and Rory. Who also happens to be madly in love with the Doctor. The guy her mother snogged and who she, literally, shared a crib with. Head, please meet desk.
I've seen reactions to this twist range from thrilled to 'I don't know how I feel about this'. I would definitely be in the latter category. On the most basic level, I find it incredibly depressing if Melody/River is presumably the little girl in the space suit, and history can't be changed and, at best, Rory and Amy missed their child's first seven or eight years of life. It was also a little dispiriting, after reading chaila's post, to think that, instead of immediately revealing her identity to her devastated parents so they'd know their daughter lived and, putting aside a rather lengthy criminal record, is healthy and happy, she plays a guessing game with The Doctor. I know the show is called Doctor Who and he's the center of the universe (close to literally), but this felt like it should have been a River/Amy/Rory moment rather than a moment focusing on him.
I've also had a growing feeling all season the series has become too complicated. That's not to say too complex. I like complex. I wouldn't be as big a BSG fan as I am if the story boiled down to robots = bad and humans = good. I like grey and I like to think. But if I think about the River Song/Melody Pond storyline for too long, my head starts to hurt. I don't know if at the end of this current series, Steven Moffat is going share when he came up with this current storyline. I'm not going to buy it was when we were first introduced to River since RTD was still in charge and we had a different Doctor and companion. Maybe it came to him last series or when he sat down to write this series. Either way, it has the feeling, to me, of thinking you have a great idea, but not really thinking through the implications of it. More than BSG (And, yes, I will admit Ron was guilty of throwing ideas out there and poorly executing them. ::cough:: Daniel ::cough::), this weeks DW made me flashback to The X-Files, which ultimately collapsed under the weight of it's own mythology. I still don't know who was behind what or what exactly happened to Samantha or why the aliens seemingly gave up...but I digress...
While definitely not a bad episode (unlike the PotC ripoff a few weeks ago), I have my concerns about where this is all heading. I can only hope for a really awesome and unexpected solution in which I'm not left incredibly sad.