Monday, June 05, 2006

X-Men III: The Last Straw

Last Friday I finally saw X-Men III: The Last Stand. SPOILER ALERT!!! I’m going to tell you the whole plot of the movie.

There’s a new super-villain in town and his name is Banality. His costume says it all: beige leisure suit, brown penny loafers, a comb-over, and the biggest honking black plastic-framed eyeglasses you ever saw. Don’t expect a Banalmobile with this guy because he’s too pedestrian to drive one. He either walks or takes the bus. But look out — he’s cunning in his so-so way. And he has it in for the X-Men.

The movie opens with a shot of the 1970s made-for-TV-movie and miniseries mogul Byron Bland’s mansion. Banality strolls up to the front door dressed as a pizza delivery man. A servant answers and Banality quickly bores him to death. Then his two henchmen, the vaguely intimidating duo of Mee Dee Ochre and Subb Parr, materialize from behind the bushes and join him as he enters the mansion. They capture the so-called Maven of Mainstream and spirit him away to Banality’s secret underground lab, where Banality manages to extract from Bland the chemical essence of the writer/director/producer’s “television genius.” What does he plan to do with it?

Cut to the headquarters of MARVEL. A big meeting about the upcoming production of the third X-Men movie is in progress. Everyone is there: the grand old man, Stan Lee, director Brett Ratner, writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn, and the entire cast and crew, including the gaffer, the best boy, the incessantly insistent assistant’s assistant to the persistent assistant director, and so on. It’s a rather large room. There’s quite a buzz. Everybody’s expecting great things.

Around noontime they take a break. The caterers are set up with lunch in the outer hall. The camera, as it travels about the milling crowd, reveals Mee Dee Ochre and Subb Parr dressed in immaculate white uniforms crowned by poofy chef’s hats. Slowly the camera continues to scan over to the bar. Halle Berry, who is chatting with Hugh Jackman, has just ordered a vanilla protein drink when she drops her napkin. The barman sees this and hustles around the bar. We get a glimpse of brown penny loafers sticking out from beneath his crisp white pants as he picks it up for her.

Cut back to the meeting. Lunch is over. Stan Lee gets up to speak.

“People, Brett and I were just going over the script and we decided, at this late hour, to make some changes.”

A murmur goes through the room, silenced by hushing noises.

“The problem is, the story has too much depth and character development. We fell into that trap with the first two movies. Brett and I both agree that this time we’ll avoid that altogether.”

“How?” Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn ask at once.

“Okay,” says Stan Lee, “first there’s this damn love triangle between Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine. We decided to simplify things by killing off Cyclops right at the start. Just get the bastard out of the way.”

Simon Kinberg smacks his forehead. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Next, all these superpowers . . . there’s just too many of them. Brett and I thought of a plot device to get rid of half. We’ll call it a ‘cure’ for their mutations.”

“Of course!” exclaims Zak Penn.

“Now, to downgrade the acting just a bit — it was a little too good last time — we’ve decided to get Patrick Stewart out of the movie as soon as we can and showcase Halle Berry’s Storm character instead.”

“Wait a minute!” interjects Halle. “I won an academy award!”

“True, true,” returns Stan, “but don’t worry. Brett and I both agree you got your groove back with Catwoman.”

Everyone in the room nods in agreement.

“Another problem with the script,” Stan continues, “is that there is too much subtlety. We're relying too much on the intelligence of the viewer. I took a yellow highlighter and highlighted no less than 50 places where I found nuance, subtle humor and tasteful plot development. Simon, Zak, tomorrow morning I want you two to substitute every one of these with explosions or a spectacular special effect of some kind. Got that?”

“Yes sir!” they both say in unison.

“Blow ’em up real good, boys. We can’t have too many explosions.”

Cut to a caterer’s truck driving away. A sinister cackle can be heard from within.

********

I think that’s all I need to tell you. You can guess how the rest goes.

12 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

No Patrick Stewart? Now that is bad indeed. I loved the line about Catwoman. Ne'er have truer words been spoken.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Mr. Schprock - you are simply hilarious.

5:29 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"No Patrick Stewart? Now that is bad indeed. I loved the line about Catwoman. Ne'er have truer words been spoken."

Well, there's all too little Patrick Stewart and all too much Halle Berry.


"Mr. Schprock - you are simply hilarious."

Thank you, Kathleen. I'm just reporting what I saw.

6:32 AM  
Blogger LL said...

Damn... now I don't need to see another movie thanks to the Gene Siskel of the blogosphere.

I kinda figured it wouldn't be very good though, they were promoting it too much for that.

6:52 AM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

"I kinda figured it wouldn't be very good though, they were promoting it too much for that."

I heard it was bad, but I stil had to see it for myself.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous fringes said...

I started not to read past the spoiler alert since I had plans to see the movie. I'm glad I did. What a creative mind you have. And thanks for saving me 50 bucks on family day at the megaplex.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

OK, I want to see this with my son so as soon as I saw "spoiler alert", I came right here. Did you hate it? I keep hearing it sucked. =/

1:44 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Fringes and Beth, I will say this: I heard from several sources that the movie was bad — but, as much as I repected the opinions I heard, I still felt an overriding need to see the movie for myself. So I say, go ahead.

Then come to me and we'll commiserate together.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Flash said...

I coulden't read your post because I have yet to see the film.

But I did hear from many sorces that it is not up to standards with the other two.

I'll be in Chicago this weekend, so maybe I'll catch it up there in a real theater. Then I can come back and comment on this post again, but by then you'll probably have posted like 3 more and my words will be forgotten...

5:57 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Yep, I'll probably still see it, though.

it's those darn claws. I go crazy for the claws, baby!

Ben O.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hahaha! OK, will do!

5:12 AM  
Blogger Farrago said...

I saw "DaVinci Code" Saturday. Liked it.

9:35 PM  

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