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X-Men 2

USA 2003
produced by
Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Avi Arad (executive), Tom DeSanto (executive), Bryan Singer (executive), Stan Lee (executive) for Marvel Comics, 20th Century Fox, the Donners' Company, Bad Hat Harry Productions
directed by Bryan Singer
starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Aaron Stanford, Shawn Ashmore, Kelly Hu, Katie Stuart, Kea Wong, Cotter Smith, Chiara Zanni, Jackie A.Greenback, Michael Soltis, Michael David Simms, David Fabrizio, Roger R.Cross, Richard Bradshaw, Bryce Hodgson, Glen Curtis, Greg Rikaart, Shauna Kain, Ty Olsson, Alfonso Quijada, Rene Quijada, Brad Loree, Sheri G.Feldman, Connor Widdows, Daniel Cudmore, Peter Wingfield, Charles Siegel, Steve Bacic, Michael Reid MacKay, James Kirk, Jill Teed, Alf Humphreys, Michasha Armstrong, Robert Hayley, Mark Lukyn, Kendall Cross, Keely Purvis, Dylan Kussman, Jason Whitmer
story by Zack Penn, David Hayter, Bryan Singer, screenplay by David Hayter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, based on the Marvel Comics-comicbook X-Men created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist), music by John Ottman, special effects by Gentle Giant Studios, Eyetech Optics, special makeup effects by FX Smith Inc, visual effects by Cinesite, CIS Hollywood, Frantic Films, Hammerhead Productions, Kleiser-Walczak Digital Effects, Pacific Title, Rhythm and Hues, Visual Concept Engineering, Whodoo EFX, miniatures by Grant McCune Design


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A baddie named Stryker (Brian Cox) wants to make war between the humans and the mutants, and since he knows a way to bring mutants under his control, he even has one, Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) make an assassination attempt on the president (Cotter Smith). At the same time, Stryker is also a prominent figure in Washington and as such has access to Magneto (Ian McKellan), an evil mutant who is kept in a high security prison, and since he has his ways to make Magneto talk, he makes him tell everything about the X-Men and their hideout in Professor Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) private school for mutants, and especially about Xavier's Cerebro-thingie, a device that can track down every mutant on earth ...

Soon enough, Stryker has gotten hold of Xavier and the mutant Cyclops (James Marsden), and he makes Xavier tell him everything about Cerebro, and he has Xavier's school raided and most of the mutants (mostly children) incarcerated ... but all is not lost: Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Storm (Halle Berry) were not around during the raid but have in the meantime tracked down Nightcrawler and make him tell them everything (as in everything he knows) about Stryker's operation) while Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has saved a handful of teenage mutants - Rogue (Anna Paquin), her new boyfriend Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Pyro (Aaron Stanford) - from capture, and Magneto has managed to escape and suggests an alliance with the X-Men in face of their common enemy.

It all ends in a giant battle in Stryker's secret headquarters, hidden inside a dam, during which Xavier and the children are saved of course, Stryker and his gang - including Deathstrike (Kelly Hu), the martial arts-fighting female version of Wolverine - get their just desserts, and of course the dam breaks. Only Jean Grey has to die in order to help the others escape - but of course she will be back in time for part 3 ...

And the other negative thing, Magneto managed to escape the grips of the X-Men with his bodyguard, the shapeshifter Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) and the juvenile hothead Pyro, who might or might not turn evil ...

In the end, Xavier manages to catch the president just before he is supposed to make a speech to declare war on the mutants, and hand him documents that prove that it was really Stryker who was behind the mutant attacks ...


What goes for the first X-Men also applies for part 2: The plot is simplistic but over-convoluted, any attempts at interesting storytelling (like a subplot about Wolverine's origins and his former connection to Stryker) are smothered by a plethora of unnecessary special effects and way too many characters who actually add little to nothing to the actual plot of the filmmost of the lead characters are played by undertalented pretty-face actors and actresses, and Anna Paquin, easily the most talented actress in the whole film, is wasted in a cheesy teen romance subplot and is given way too little to do. And then the movie is so awfully long, over two hours actually, which is way too much for a simplistic plot like this.

Rather a waste of time.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD