“Why I Went To See “X-Men : Days of Future Past”

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2014

By Hugh McDonald

Hugh is a guest columnist and movie critic. Find him at Hugh’s Reviews on Facebook.

In an area where an adult movie ticket is $9.75 and the closest theater is in Slidell, La., it makes sense to be a choosey movie goer.

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By the time you add up the price of gas, ticket, and food you could be looking at a very expensive movie night. I would like to share with you my method for choosing which movies I watch while using “X-Men : Days of Future Past” as an example.

Try to be aware of what genres you like. I chose to see “X-Men” because I like an action movie with a good plot and good special effects. I have seen all of the “X-Men” movies so far and I have never been disappointed.

Marvel Comics, the company that has been publishing the “X-Men” comic books since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the series in 1963, is known for having lots of diverse, powerful characters that play parts in story lines that can be very long and complicated. Basically, “X-Men : Days of Future Past” is a story about how one person’s actions can affect the future of countless others to avoid a future where robots called “Sentinels” have destroyed most of the mutant population, and human population that sympathizes with mutants.

Wolverine is sent back to 1973 to keep Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels, and thereby ushering in the slaughter of anyone with the “Mutant X Gene” and those that try to help them.

I knew that “X-Men : Days of Future Past” was coming out well in advance because I saw the trailer on the YouTube App on my phone. I recommend checking YouTube for new movie trailers once a week or so to keep up with what is coming out.

After you find the trailer for an upcoming movie you would like to see, download the International Movie Database (IMDB) App and look up the movie’s IMDB page. With the IMDB App you can see information about the production staff, actors, trailers, a plot synopsis, viewer reviews, a parent’s guide, and other information about the film.

I was sure I would enjoy this “X-Men” movie when I saw that it was directed by Bryan Singer, who also directed “X2” and was one of the producers listed for “X-Men : First Class”. Both films were very well received.

I was also glad to see Hugh Jackman reprise his “Wolverine” role. If you have children I would recommend using the parent’s guide on each movie’s IMDB page to make sure the subject matter, content, and rating are appropriate for their age.

The “Rotten Tomatoes” rating is my last defense against a bad movie. When you look up a theater’s movie schedule there should be a “Tomatometer” rating symbol for each movie along with the percentage of critics that rated it as “Fresh”, which means that 60% or more critics rated the movie positively, or “Rotten”, which means that 59% or fewer critics rated the movie positively. The “Fresh” symbol next to the movie’s name looks like a ripe, red tomato and the “Rotten” symbol looks like a glob of green goo.

Never, ever go to a movie on premiere night. Always wait at least a week to make sure the “Tomatometer” gives you a good, representative sample of other people’s opinions, “X-Men : Days of Future Past” is rated as “Fresh” at 92% right now. I never go to a movie on premiere night because I want to see what the “Tomatometer” says first and there is always too much of a crowd.

So, if you would like to maximize your chances of being entertained at the movies for the money you spend here is my advice: watch YouTube for new trailers, get the IMDB App, pay attention to the Rotten Tomatoes “Tomatometer”, never go on a premiere night, and make sure you watch “X-Men : Days of Future Past” while it is still in theaters!