X-Men: The Last Stand

Release Date: May 26, 2006
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Movie of the Day for Friday, January 27, 2006
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OK, OK! You can keep the house, Stamos will get the dog!

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
36/47 Amanda Jones Better in retrospect than when I was watching, but only barely. Very weak story.
50/68 Michael Bentley Ratner's X-debut isn't bad, but it's not good either. Rather unoriginal, a bland plot, and generally not much fun.
51/52 Les Winan Why waste a great cast (also in the movie: Halle Berry), characters and history with such terrible writing? Let's just pretend it never happened.
55/65 Kim Hollis Not great. Not terrible. Just meh.
114/200 Max Braden Everybody just looks old and tired.
125/159 David Mumpower The entire second half of this movie is an unmitigated disaster. It's easily the worst in the franchise, and I say that as someone who dislikes the original.

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After X-Men opened to $54 million before going on to gross $157 domestically, X2: X-Men United upped the ante quite a bit. The sequel saw $85.5 million in its first three days, and wound up with an awesome $215 million in North American receipts. 20th Century Fox and Marvel Enterprises will continue to mine the franchise as they release X-Men 3 into theaters, with the story looking to follow-up on the Dark Phoenix promise given in the closing minutes of X2.

Reprising their roles are Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Famke Janssen as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix. Also returning are Patrick Stewart (Professor Xavier), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman), Alan Cumming (Nightcrawler), James Marsden (Cyclops), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique). Kelsey Grammer will play the intellectual Beast, and former soccer player and frequent gangster movie star Vinnie Jones is set to play Juggernaut. That character is one of Magneto's henchman and also just happens to be Dr. X's half brother. Ben Foster, who has been terrific in films like Hostage and Big Trouble, will play Archangel.

The key difference this time around is that director Bryan Singer, who has received praise from fans for his vision in creating the franchise, departed the X-Men project to take on the Superman mythology instead. In his place, the studio initially hired Matthew Vaughn, the man primarily known for producing such British crime flicks as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. His first major directing gig, Layer Cake, opened in North America to rave reviews, but a couple of weeks after the film's debut stateside, Fox and Vaughn decided to part ways when it comes to the story of the mutants.

The studio has stayed committed to its May 2006 date, though, hiring Brett Ratner to take the helming spot. He had previously directed both films in the Rush Hour series, and though New Line was looking to get that film started as quickly as possible, the talks stalled when Chris Tucker balked at signing any form of new contract. That left Ratner free and clear to take on a comic book project, which the director says has been a passion for some time. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for X-Men: The Last Stand
Main Cast Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Patrick Stewart
Supporting Cast Ian McKellen, Kelsey Grammer, Vinnie Jones, Ben Foster
Director Brett Ratner
Screenwriter Simon Kinberg
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.x-menthelaststand.com/
Rating PG-13
Running Time 104 minutes
Screen Count 3,689
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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