Comics-X-Aminer Presents: Marvelous Movies – Review Of Generation X

Yes true believers Corey Robinson is at it again. This time he’s back with his review of Generation X , a made for TV movie that was intended to be a pilot for a series to aired on Fox.  As you can tell, the live action premise never caught on like its comic book counterpart.  Read on for all the details. Excelsior!

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The nineties weren’t necessarily the best time for comic book fans, and I’m not just talking about the comic books itself even though Marvel and DC put out some stuff that they would later regret including anything that copied off of early 90s Image books.  The worst though was the realm of comic book films, I remember as a kid reading Wizard Magazine every month just to see what films were going to be made based off of my favorite characters and THANK GOD almost none of them got produced.  Probably my favorite comic team as a kid was the X-Men so out of all the movie possibilities, this was the one I wanted to see the most so I know that my stupid little mind that I never comprehended that New World Pictures (Makers of the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie) made a Generation X movie based off the comic book written by Scott Lobdell.

Generation X was a combination of Teen Titans, New Mutants, and the 90s.  There’s no other way to explain the book other than Scott Lobdell was probably told by Marvel that he was to do a Teen Titans book combined with the X-men while using the really popular teen book at the time: Gen 13.  Lobdell then took these ideas while probably watching an hour’s worth of MTV and decided to take the book from there.  I remember really getting into the book as a kid but reading it a few years later it came to my attention that I thought the book wasn’t very good.  So two years later after the book came out and still during the whole “X-craze” during the 90s, Fox commissioned a Generation X pilot that unfortunately saw the light of day so let’s get this sucker done so I can review more crap.

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The plot of the movie revolves around Emma Frost and Banshee as headmasters for Xavier’s School of Gifted Mutants (where Charles Xavier’s whereabouts are, it’s never explained even though they mention him ALL THE TIME in the movie) where they take on a new group of teenage mutants to train as they deal with every teenage stereotype that was written by adults.  Dr. Tresh, an evil scientist who wants to absorb the mind of a mutant so he can enter cyberspace? Or something like that as Emma Frost discredits Tresh’s career by revealing to the world that he plans of dissecting a teenagers mind because he was a mutant (who has a crab claw for a hand and is never seen in the film again) so Tresh’s career is in shambles so he must resort on using his mind thought theories in the realm of advertising.  If you think that last sentence was stupid, it gets worse as Tresh tries to use his mind control machines for use on television advertising but since he is so insane, all it does is cause the user chronic flatulence.

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Dr. Tresh is played by Matt Frewer who was best known for playing the titular character in the 80s sci-fi sitcom, Max Headroom.  Frewer is a guy who gets a lot of special guest star roles on television while having a lot of “that guy’ roles in movies, but his career was put in a dry spell once people figured out that he sounded an awful lot like Jim Carrey when Carrey hit it big in the mid-90s.  For those that don’t remember, Carrey was the box office comedy king in the 90s so most comedies decided to rip-off his style in the worse way possible.  Frewer is not exempt from this as he literally dresses up in Carrey’s yellow zoot suit from The Mask while doing many Carrey-isms including: bizarre facial expressions, high pitched tone of voice, extravagant mannerisms, and a lot of screaming.

In fact, many characters in this movie end up using Jim Carrey’s tone of comedy including a few high school bullies in one scene who use the same exact style plus stealing some of Carrey’s lines while making fun of mutants.  There is one dream sequence in the movie where one character named Stretch (basically a poor man’s Mr. Fantastic) has a Latin dancing dream with a girl he has a crush on, that ends up being very familiar to the congo scene from The Mask complete with bizarre music.

The script for this movie makes little sense so I’m going to try and explain the rest of the plot as best as I can.  Emma Frost and Banshee want to add to more mutants to their ever growing team of students.  They settle on Stretch who is a walking Mexican stereotype grown straight from Cheech Marin who can stretch his skin, and Jubilee who was best known from the 90s animated series as she has the powers to shoot fireworks from her fingertips while acting like a typical character from the 90s.  The rest of the team involves: Mondo who can absorb any element he touches, M who in the comics was known as a great well-rounded character is now reduced to a know-it-all bookworm who really doesn’t help that much, Buff who is a girl who is supposed to be a strong woman but is instead a wafer-thin girl who wears a giant sweater while the filmmakers try their hardest to convince us that she is muscular, and Refrax who is basically a Cyclops clone with attitude.

Most of the special effects involving the mutants are done fairly well, except with the character who plays Buff.  Throughout the movie the mutants explain that she is very insecure about her looks because she keeps getting stronger due to her powers going out of control while making her muscle grow bigger over time.  The problem with this is they use a very thin girl and just dress a giant sweat suit over her as to really think that it’s supposed to fool the viewers to believe that she really has muscles.  If you want to convince the viewers that she has muscles, then put some padding in her sweat suit to make it look vaguely that she has muscles.  The worst part of this involves one scene where the girls go to the mall and Buff decides to try on clothes in a dressing room.  Jubilee enters to room to give more clothes for Buff to try on and ends up seeing Buff with huge muscles, it’s not a bad scene but the way the filmmakers shot the film is probably the laziest way you could go about it.  When we see Buff take off her shirt, she looks completely normal for the ten seconds we see her until Jubilee comes in and then we see the camera as we are seeing it through Jubilee’s eyes and instead we get the backside of a female bodybuilder complete with huge muscles that are obviously not those of the actress playing Buff.  Then we get a transition of the actress playing Buff putting on her shirt again while looking rail-thin before putting on the shirt.

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A huge problem I have with this movie is that it boasts a lot of graphic dialogue for a TV movie with Dr. Tresh calling Stretch a lot of racist remarks while in another scene a bunch of bullies are calling the kids “retards” many times over which begs the question if the company actually thought that this pilot was going to air into a full blown series?  Another questionable scene is Emma and Banshee get Jubilee to fully undress in order to do a whole scan which makes some sense as long as you want to see an under-age girl go completely nude and while on the subject, they never make the other kids do it as if one of the scriptwriters really wanted to see Jubilee naked and this was the only way to do it.

As far as the pilot goes, it’s not very good though it stays pretty faithful to the source material as at one point it does mention another group of students that Emma once taught even though it’s never really explained to the viewer of who they are, but if you were a comic fan you would understand that she was talking about the Hellions.  They put in some clever references to other X-men, including one of the kids wearing a Wolverine shirt in once scene, but most references they bring up would only confuse the reader unless they were a diehard X-men fan.  The special effects are a little on the cheap side but they look a lot better than they did in the Fantastic Four movie made by Roger Corman, so I’m not going to complain too much about them.  The movie deals with way too many inappropriate subjects while intersecting it with comedy which makes the film very uncomfortable to watch and most of the time the actors are trying their best Jim Carrey impersonations in order to get a laugh out of you.  The whole subplot involving the cyberspace world and how they can unlock a mutant’s true power sounds like it came from a rejected plot out of The Lawnmower Man which the sequel did star Matt Fewer basically playing the same role as he does in this pilot.

Another bizarre problem with this movie is that the people in charge of lights decide to brighten every room using red, green, blue, and purple lights.  That’s fine for some scenes but it happens the WHOLE TIME for almost every scene.  I mean, do we really need these lights for a kissing scene on a couch?  The acting isn’t very good as most of the accents sound beyond fake even when they are given by authentic actors, I don’t know how the director pulled that one off but bravo to him nonetheless.  Scott Lobdell actually served as creative consultant on the pilot so it does ring true to his comic series, the only problem being is that he never really came up with great ideas to begin with so unfortunately it transitions to this pilot.  If you’re an X-Men fan and haven’t seen it, then give it a watch but if you’re not, then stay the hell away from this piece shit as far as humanly possible.

Stay tuned for more reviews as Marvelous Movies continues.

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