Today, I'm posting a review about X-Men: Apocalypse. It's the newest installment in the X-Men franchise and that's very exciting for a superhero fan like me. X-Men is one of my favorite movie franchises and I'll explain the pros and cons of this particular film.
Let's start with the good parts. Truthfully, I really enjoyed this movie. It's a lot different than most superhero films. The plot is quite dark with a heavy emphasis on apocalyptic elements, as the title suggests. Some people might find this element depressing, but I found it refreshing because a lot of superhero films just show a bunch of explosions every ten minutes. There's a lengthy plot that shows character development among the primary heroes and villains. Apocalypse, the titular antagonist, has an army of hour horsemen who will help him take over the world and wipe away humanity. The X-Men find out his plan and try to stop the impending post-apocalyptic chaos. It sounds simple enough, but the direct nature of the plot works very well and avoids confusion.
Despite having a large ensemble cast, several characters shine effectively in this film. Quicklsilver is amazing, but I don't want to give away the details. It will spoil the surprise. James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto are very strong in this film. X-Men: Apocalypse explores the complex and conflicted nature of their friendship. It paints Magneto as a tormented anti-villain who faces the worst odds. Overall, it gives Magneto a sympathetic image. Rose Byrne resurfaces as Moira McTaggert, which I appreciated because she always had good chemistry with Professor X. This movie also brings back other fan favorites, such a Mystique, Beast, Havok, and younger versions of classic X-Men like Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm, and Nightcrawler. Most viewers should be able to find at least one favorite X-Men character in this movie.
I've heard a lot of criticism about Omar Isaacs as Apocalypse, but he seemed perfectly fine to me. Apocalypse is portrayed as a calm, collected, and arrogant villain who has a very strategic master plan. Keep in mind, that's much more accurate to the comics. I think some people expect Apocalypse to be a blue version of the Incredible Hulk who roars and rampages through the street. Also, the ending actually makes sense. I don't want to give away the punch line, but comic book fans should understand the ending. The film also leaves plenty of room open for future installments.
Like most films, X-Men: Apocalypse needed some improvements. It's very long for a superhero film, which I think was an attempt to drag out the storyline. Also, the mass number of characters left some individuals underdeveloped. Archangel and Psylocke were two of Apocalypse's horsemen, but there were very few details about their characters. That's too bad because they were very cool in the comics.
I'm going to spoil one thing. Hugh Jackman makes a cameo as Wolverine during the movie. He actually plays an important role. I really loved Wolverine in the earlier X-Men installments, but Hugh Jackman is starting to look so old now. Sorry Hugh Jackman; I still like you. They need to recast someone else as the new Wolverine.
The trailers reveal that Mystique plays a heroic role instead of an antagonistic one. Jennifer Lawrence is definitely a great addition to the X-Men franchise, but I prefer Mystique as a villain. She was always a great villain and sometimes very controversial in the comics. The rebooted franchise seems to be gravitating away from her antagonistic roots. I also think it would have been fun to have more elements from the 80s. If you're going to set a movie during a certain decade, add some whimsical elements just for nostalgia.
Does X-Men: Apocalypse stack up to the popular Captain America: Civil War? That's hard to answer because the films are entirely different. Superhero fans will probably gravitate to one or the other. I still feel undecided about which film is better. Honestly, I don't have a lot of serious complaints about either movie.
This film definitely caters to die hard X-Men fans. I would recommend it to viewers who love superhero movies or post-apocalyptic films. This might sound like blasphemy, but I thought X-Men: Apocalypse was a lot better than X-Men: Days of Future Past. The newer movie just made more sense to me. So, that's my verdict. Post comments if you have anything to say about this review or your own thoughts about X-Men: Apocalypse. Keep an eye open for more blogs and have fun at the movies!
Since I live near Buena Park, it pays to be an annual pass holder to Knott's Berry Farm. I visited the main theme park last Saturday and it was a blast! They spent several months remodeling Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner restaurant and now it's open again. The restaurant serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, so my friends and I took advantage of it. I can tell the venue is bigger with a lot more seating. It's been updated and includes a full service bar. The ambiance is very quaint and homely, which I find appropriate. Most importantly, the food tastes really good. The menu isn't very big, but we had very tasty southern cuisine.
Doesn't this look delicious? I believe this dish was called Southern Fried Chicken and Eggs on a Nest. They cut out the center of the toast and stuffed it with my choice of eggs. I used the homemade boysenberry sauce on my toast, which was totally awesome. You probably can't see it, but there's hash browns hiding underneath my smothered chicken. Most of their dishes are also served with biscuits and gravy. I wouldn't consider hardly anything on their menu particularly healthy, but at least it tastes good.
We entered the main theme park shortly after it opened and that was probably a smart idea because the lines weren't long yet. My friends and I went on Ghost Rider, Silver Bullet, and a smaller rollercoaster called the Sierra Sidewinder. Apparently, my body can't handle rollercoasters very well anymore. Ghost Rider is a lengthy ride, but it's pretty rickety. I used to like Ghost Rider, but now I feel like my body shatters every time I ride on it. Granted, it's a wooden rollercoaster and they're usually a rougher ride. Silver Bullet is a really fun inverted rollercoaster, but the corkscrew section made me feel a little bit nauseated. The Sierra Sidewinder is pretty cool because the cars turn around. You get all kinds of views, from the ground, up at the sky, and wherever. It's a shorter ride though.
After that, we rode on some tamer rides. We went on the Calico Mine train and it's a very nostalgic ride for me. It's been around for a long time, but desperately needs some upgrades. I heard it's going to be renovated in the near future. We also rode on the regular train too. It's geared for kids with a fake train robbery, but it's a nice break from the wilder rides. As a steampunk enthusiast, I appreciate that it's still powered by old fashioned steam, like in the Wild West. On that note, steampunk fans should be thrilled. Knott's actually has a steampunk themed ride called Voyage to the Iron Reef. It's a nautical ride made in the vein of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Iron Reef is a fun 3D ride with video game elements. We had 3D glasses and little blasters that were attached to the buggy. During the ride, we shot various mechanical creatures that appeared on the walls. When everyone got out of the buggy, our scores were posted on a billboard. It reminds me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland. Adults and kids alike would really enjoy the Iron Reef.
Here's another treat for anyone who loves steampunk. There's a small steampunk merchandise store called the Nautilus next to the Iron Reef. It has a variety of steampunk gear, ranging from hats, jewelry, goggles, jackets, jewelry boxes, and other accessories. However, you're not going to find complete outfits at this store, like full dresses, suits, boots, etc. I purchased quite a bit of my steampunk merchandise at the Nautilus. Most of the steampunk merchandise has a pretty reasonable price. Usually, I check this store a few times a year because they're always getting new merchandise. So, if you're a steampunk fan from Orange County, take a trip to Knott's and check out the shop. The Nautilus also sells non-steampunk items, such as merchandise from various rock bands, Goth accessories and jewelry, superhero merchandise, items from certain television shows, and those Pop bobble head figurines.
After we finished visiting the steampunk shop, we had lunch at Johnny Rocket's. Truthfully, I find that place over priced. They have good burgers and chili cheese fries, but it costs more than $20 to order a sandwich, a side dish, and a drink. However, this Johnny Rocket's might be more expensive than others in the franchise because it's located inside a theme park. Unfortunately, amusement park food is always expensive. It's a good thing my annual pass gave us a 20% discount on the check. But you know what? Take my complaints with a grain of salt because Knott's actually has pretty decent food. I think it's better than the food at Disneyland or the Orange County Fair.
You might have noticed an arcade underneath the Iron Reef. I often have a knack for grabbing stuffed animals out of the claw machines. There should be a dozen prizes in this picture. I don't keep the majority of these animals when I catch several of them. Usually I give the majority of them to friends, relatives, and coworkers. Free stuffed animals for the kids!
Before we went home, my friends and I checked out the bakery. They have a ton of preserves and jams if you like that type of thing. The Farm Bakery also sells a lot of mixes for biscuits, pancakes, breads, muffins, and much more. It's a good locations for people who engage in a lot of baking. Also, it's not located inside the central theme park, so you don't need to pay admission to shop at the bakery.
Some of the products at the Farm Bakery were quite inventive. This table displayed boysenberry soda, boysenberry tea cookies, a mix for bear bread, and a mix for chicken and waffles. There was a lot more, but it's what I got in the screen shot.
All right! That's basically my entire outing. We could have stayed longer, but the lines got really long and we can come back any time with our passes. Knott's has other rides, shops, and carnival games that we didn't experience, but maybe you guys can try it out some day. There's going to be some type of Wild West festival from May 27 through September 5. I can tell they're still renovating certain parts of the theme park. The saloon and other locations are going to be updated. A season pass is pretty reasonable. I usually spend $180 on the platinum pass and it covers parking, no blackout dates, admission into the Soak City water park, and discounts on most food and merchandise. You have to admit, that's a pretty good deal. This was a much longer blog than usual, so leave a comment if you have anything to say. Stay tuned for more blogs and have a good week.