Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

On X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Tales of Future Past

9 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Writer-Director Simon Kinberg redeemed himself from his involvement in the lamented X-Men: The Last Stand, the third chapter of the saga about mutants just looking for a place to belong in modern human society. This subtext has been running throughout the films and it’s been explored in the past films to varying degrees of success.

His film, The Dark Phoenix, gets a treatment that is not too out there and it works without having to resort to sending the mutants to the moon.

When I have seen all the movies to date and followed the saga of the Phoenix up till the mid-90s (Excalibur, Series one), I had specific expectations in mind. While Kinberg’s work lightly touches upon a few things coming full circle, I suspect The New Mutants will have to provide some answers about the human and mutant relationship before Marvel Entertainment rewrites the mutant chapter for Phase Five of their narrative plan.

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Trying to Turn The Huntsman: Winter’s War from Fairy Tale to Saga

28 Apr

huntsmannew1

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

When I first heard the Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is in a retelling of the Snow White tale because the story is now in the public domain, the first thought that came to my mind is if (the original movie and) the sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War can be told from a grandiose Viking perspective? I see it trying to go that route, but the narrative is forcing the fairy tale aspects in a bitter direction.

I skipped the first film because I’m not a big fan of Kristen Stewart. This latest version caught my eye because of Jessica Chastain‘s work in Interstellar (2014) and The Martian (2015). I enjoyed what she brought to the table in those science-fiction films. In fantasy, that world is ridden with tropes where not every “once upon a time” is all that fascinating anymore. In the details I’ve noticed, the Anglo-Saxon imagery permeates and I had to wonder why the mirror, when viewed in closeup, is decorated with runes. Could Loki be involved?

When the new villain is Freya (Emily Blunt), I can not help but wonder if her character might be based on the divinity of the same name from Nordic lore. This goddess of war and death rules the afterlife and she leads the spirits of dead soldiers into battle. She leads the fights for the thrill of the hunt instead of the cold-hearted rule of the people (like Ravenna [played by Charlize Theron] did in the first film). She’s sometimes connected with the heavenly Valkyries of lore. They find the slain to take to Valhalla. Although this movie twists the legend around by spiriting children away (from murdered parents) to become the Huntsmen, the ideology suggests a darker world. These kids have their innocence stripped so they can become ideal soldiers. Instead of a goddess, she’s a mutant with the ability to create ice from the moisture in the air.

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