Monday, May 05, 2003

I have not seen X-Men 2 yet, but I anticipate that I will be, ahem, encouraged to see it during my upcoming trip to Austin. Most of the word-of-mouth reviews have been very positive, but at least one Salon columnist thinks it doesn't quite hold up to the original:

"X-Men" was undoubtedly the most elegiac comic-book adaptation of the past few years. When the characters spoke to each other -- or, better yet, touched each other, as in the scenes between the thinking-girl's redneck Wolverine and Rogue, with her lethal fingertips -- the connections between them often shivered with lyricism. As anyone who loves comic books will tell you, there's poetry in them, but you don't always find it in the words you read panel by panel, which can often seem clumsy and stiff. The lyricism of comic books is something that emerges only after you give yourself over to it, opening yourself to the overarching mood and delicate subtones that emerge page by page (it's not unlike the pleasure we get from moviegoing).

Seeing as how I am far, far, far from "giving myself over" to the "lyricism" of "comic" books, I don't think this disparity will be a problem for me in my X2 viewing pleasure. Usually when I get the impression that critics are thinking too deeply about comic book movies (or fantasy, or sci-fi), it has more to do with their obsessions over minutiae. Like, that one guy's fins aren't supposed to come from his elbows, they're supposed to come three inches above, or some trivial crap like that. I never thought I'd catch a reviewer bemoaning the lack of elegiac, poetic beauty, in say, Star Trek XXVII. weird. But you can definitely tell that this reviewer is a fan, and fellas, did I mention she's a lady?


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