In less pleasant news, remember that back pain I was having? Yeah, well it decided to start getting worse again last week. So yesterday I went to an orthopedic sports medicine clinic to find out what the hell was up. The x-rays showed nothing serious, just an inflammation of the muscles around the vertebrae (pretty much exactly what was going on with my neck two years ago), which, according to the doc, can sometimes take months to resolve itself. Gee, thanks. The good news is I'm starting physical therapy next week so I'll finally have some real guidance on how to stretch and strengthen the problematic area without re-injuring myself. Yay!
In addition to dragging myself to the doctor yesterday, we got the munchkin a guinea pig (named Lucy) and Mr. Sus and I finally got to see X3! My expectations were super low for this one, so I ended up being rather pleasantly surprised. It was by no means a masterpiece, but it wasn't the calamity I was expecting, either.
For one thing, I think it provides something that fans of the comics had been missing in the first two movies--a nice healthy dose of mutant-on-mutant ass kicking. The potential for cool mutants to fight with other other cool mutants has always been big part of X-Men's popularity, and Ratner at least delivered solidly on that score. There were a number of nice nods to the comics (including not one, but two Fastball Specials), although the movie franchise continues to veer wildly from comic canon (Colossus and Kitty Pryde didn't even make eye contact--WTF?) in other areas. Kelsey Grammer's Beast wasn't nearly as awful as I was expecting, and even managed to fight and act pretty much like Hank McCoy ought to. And Kitty Pryde's face-off with Juggernaut was a particular highlight, I thought.
The story itself was quite good in many ways, although crowded. There were a lot of new mutants to introduce and a lot of plot threads to pull together and it wasn't always handled with what you'd call grace or subtlety. The advantage, though, was that no one really got enough screen time (except Storm--Halle Berry still needs to get the hell out of my X-Men movies) to be truly annoying. There was a few moments of totally cringe-inducing dialogue and some pretty awful speechifying, but nothing worse than your average comic book movie (or comic book, for that matter).
I guess the biggest problem with the movie is that despite a truly Whedonesque level of ruthless, heartbreaking angst and character death, I shed not a single tear. Not one. Not even a sniffle. So, yeah, that's a problem. Despite my investment in the characters, they felt flat and distant in this movie, so that while I enjoyed watching them fight, when they struggled and fell I just couldn't seem to care much. Ah well.
I suspect its the kind of movie that's fun and enjoyable the first time, but later viewings on DVD will really begin to highlight the flaws. Still, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.