Mystique

Costume Couture: Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes & Villains

Happy Pride Month! To celebrate, Rae and Ian discuss their Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes and Villains from comic books, videos games, and more! We cover good guys and bad guys from DC Comics, Marvel, X-Men, Overwatch, and so much more to help celebrate the LGBT+ pop culture icons we have today.

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Hosted by
Rae of SirynRae Cosplay
Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay

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Costume Couture: Top 10 LGBT+ Heroes & Villains

Costume Couture: X-Men Trilogy

Costume Couture continues with a look at the entire original X-Men trilogy including Wolverine, Professor X, Mystique, Rogue, Storm, Nightcrawler, and even some more obscure characters. We talk about the black leather look compared to the original yellow and blue spandex, which characters it worked for and which ones it clearly did not. We also discuss some of our thoughts on the movies as a whole, did they do a good job in portraying their comic book characters? You’ll have to watch to find out!

In addition to talk costumes and designs, we also welcome our next Cosplayer of the Week, Jason Kiss (AKA The Snarky Gay Guy)! He’s known for his DC Comics’ Nightwing and genderbent Poison Ivy.

Check out our second episode below and comment with your thoughts!

Costume Couture is hosted by Rae of Super Sirens Cosplay and Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay.

What did you think of our second episode? Subscribe on YouTube and comment on the video with your thoughts on the X-Men trilogy’s costumes and design concepts. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you want a chance at being Cosplayer of the Week? Submit a form here!

Stay tuned for a new episode every week! Costume Couture will be analyzing all kinds of costumes and styles from Princess movies, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, and more! Plus, we’ll have even more cosplayers and prop builders featured!

Costume Couture: X-Men Trilogy

The Grid Ranks: X-Men Films

Well, we’ve already ranked the films of the MCU, so now it’s time to rank the X-Men films (I’m not including all of the Fox films simply because no one wants to count the Fantastic Four debacles.) If you count all the films with an X-Man in it, you have 9 total. Ready? Here we go!

9. X-Men Origins: WolverineMV5BMTI2MTgyNjExM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzU4MjkyMg@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_

It’s not difficult to place this film. It was just absolutely awful.  Between the poor casting choices (why in the world would you cast a member of the Black Eyed Peas? Ever?) and the impeccably dismal CGI on the claws (and everything else), there’s really no reason to watch this. They even sewed the Merc with the Mouth’s mouth shut. They literally removed the one thing about a character that made him famous just to disguise the fact that they couldn’t pay for Ryan Reynolds for more than one scene. It’s a masochistic superhero film that will one day be regarded as a generation’s Batman and Robin, only without the irony.

Official Ranking: 1 sad little broken bone claw

8. X-Men: The Last StandMV5BMjI1NTg2ODA2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDc2MjEzMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,676,1000_AL_

Again, not very difficult to place this one. It had poor lines, cinematic choices, and utilization of characters.  While finally including more screen time for Colossus and making Angel visually stunning, the damn thing killed off Cyclops, Professor X, and Jean Grey, all in horrible ways.  The Dark Phoenix saga was an absolute joke and the “cure” nonsense was done so horribly. Let’s just move on and forget this was thing.

Official Ranking: 2 unnecessarily brutal X-Men deaths and none of them mine…sigh

7. X-Men: ApocalypseMV5BMjU1ODM1MzYxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA4NDE2ODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,676,1000_AL_

From here on out, all the films are relatively good films, so as we move on, one will just barely edge out the other. The latest X-Men installment takes our 7th spot because of it’s dim addition to the new trilogy. You can read my full review here, but mostly it’s a film with much more spectacle than substance. It sets up for the likes of Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan to take over, which may be amazing, but we can’t give this movie a pass for what future films might do with it.

Official Ranking: 3 Horsemen short of a great X-Men movie

6. X-MenMV5BOTU3MzA3ODYyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDgwNzc3NjE@._V1_SY1000_SX672_AL_

The first film in the current franchise was phenomenal at the time. It gave all of us fans hope. Director Bryan Singer took a world that was far fetched and made it come to life. He had brilliant casting choices on his side, making it almost impossible for us to see anyone else play Wolverine (and, at the time, Professor X and Magneto). The movie’s downfall was Rogue. She was nothing like the strong, badass woman we had come to know in the comics. She was a mousy weakling that I still like to pretend wasn’t there.

Official Ranking: 4 main mutants that we’ll see for the next 6 years from a franchise with over 100

5. The WolverineMV5BNzg1MDQxMTQ2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTk3MjAzOQ@@._V1_SX674_CR0,0,674,999_AL_

Not all sequels can improve upon the source material, but this one had nowhere to go but up, in my opinion. Watching Hugh Jackman take on Japan was a much needed fresh look into the franchise.  It was the first X-Men film to take place outside of North America (which is really weird considering how racially diverse the X-Men have always been). Bringing in all new characters and creating an interesting mutant world, it’s an absolute shame it’s been all but forgotten by everyone else.

Official Ranking: 5 good reasons not to watch Origins

4. X-Men: First ClassMV5BMTg5OTMxNzk4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk1MjAwNQ@@._V1_

The first film in the new trilogy sparked some life back into the franchise as a whole after The Last Stand and Origins almost killed it.  Director Matthew Vaughn created an interesting mix of familiar and new characters that brought back the enjoyment of the films. The first go around for McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence alike, each of them received high praise for their work and the inclusion of Kevin Bacon meant they were not playing around.

Official Ranking: 6 teenage kids picking their own sweet code names

3.  X-Men: Days of  Future PastMV5BNjk3MGZhMjEtOTM4NC00NzE2LTk2NzctZDc4YTUwN2E3NDhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDc2NjEyMw@@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

This movie was absolutely fantastic. It merged both original trilogy cast and new trilogy cast, created a detailed and dramatic plot line, and managed to not make time travel as convoluted as it could have been.  The new mutants added to the future timeline were so well done that it’s an absolute shame we won’t see them again. Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask was a brilliant casting job and finally seeing the Sentinels was a long time coming. If the entire plot didn’t yet again revolve around Wolverine, it would have been that much better.

Official Ranking: 7 amazing mutant plot lines that didn’t screw things up

2. DeadpoolMV5BMjQyODg5Njc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExMjE3NzE@._V1_SY1000_SX686_AL_

You have to admit it; this movie was the absolute best. You wanna know why it’s not the number 1 spot? Well it is an overall superior film. It takes the familiar tropes of lost love, revenge, wrongfully disfigured hero and makes them fresh with the humor of the comics. What Wolverine  Origins did to destroy the character Deadpool, Deadpool  recovered everything lost and then some. It’s quite remarkable how undeniably well done the movie is when translating a character that almost got too bloated for its own good over the last few years. To think this movie wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the love that the fans and Ryan Reynolds has for the character. I only placed it at number 2 because, while perfectly defining Deadpool, the film doesn’t perfect define the X-Men.

Official Ranking: 8 toasty and sexy chimichangas

1. X-Men: UnitedMV5BNDk0NjYxMzIzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMTc1MjU3._V1_

The opening sequence to the film maintains what is arguably the best opening sequence of a comic book film to date.  After the first film, we were all eager with what X-Men would be included in the inevitable sequel and we were not disappointed. Alan Cumming made a daring Nightcrawler and Kelly Hu’s Lady Deathstrike still shares one of the best fight scenes with our favorite clawed Canadian since. Magneto’s escape from his plastic prison is one of the most brutal death scenes I’ve ever seen and a technologically impressive use of CGI to this day.  It was the least annoying Jean Grey and Rogue have ever been, which is a feat all by itself considering. There is just so much good wrapped up in this film that I could go on about it for quite some time.

Official Ranking: 9 BAMFs across the X-Men world (BAMF is the onomatopoeia used to describe the sound Nightcrawler makes in the comics when he teleports, but it works as the acronym too, so that’s cool).

How do you feel about The Grid’s rankings? Did we hit the nail on the head? Where would you change it? Comment below!

The Grid Ranks: X-Men Films

SH S1E25: X-Men Apocalypse Review

We start off with some current events including the official title of the upcoming DC Comics Justice League film, casting news for Pacific Rim 2, some bits about the new Warcraft film hitting theaters this weekend, and then we hit our main event, reviewing X-Men: Apocalypse. For those who haven’t seen the film, there are spoilers abound. We talk about the overall style, plot, characters, and casting for the third film in the new X-Men trilogy. We discuss which characters were the most underutilized and maybe one that is being overdone. We don’t pull any punches and end the episode with individual letter grades for the film.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Review Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S1E25: X-Men Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse – A Spoiler Free Review

Friday saw the release of Fox’s newest addition to the X-Men world: X-Men: Apocalypse starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence.  Estimated to pull in $65 million this weekend, it undoubtedly was the number one movie.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it was a good one. Now, I’m a cynical person and the X-Men have always been near and dear to me, so I am biased about their films. I admit that.  I also admit that if it were up to me, I’d redo every single X-Men film that’s been released so far.  Why is that? Well, it’s a story for another day.  For now, I’ll go through the good and the bad of X-Men Apocalypse avoiding spoilers.

X-Men: Apocalypse – The Good

X-Men: Apocalypse continues to stun with its superb casting.  Sophie Turner, who plays young Jean Grey, manages to stand out and hold her own among a star-studded group.  Her portrayal of Jean Grey was, overall, much better than Famke Janssen’s as she was able to be confident and strong while fighting the overwhelming immense powers she has, where as Janssen’s portrayal came off skittish and frightened. While completely under utilized, both Olivia Munn and Alexandra Shipp did incredibly well as Psylocke and Storm, respectively. Mystique shined. Saying goodbye to Jennifer Lawrence will be very difficult after this. She turned a very forgettable character from the original trilogy into the unexpected hero of the new franchise.

X-Men: Apocalypse New Mutants

The special effects throw me off because at times they were brilliant, and others, they were lackluster and disappointing. The follow up to the now infamous Quicksilver scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past was a prime example. When it began it was unbelievable, beautifully directed even if his powers were exaggerated, but by the time it was over, the special effects look sloppy.  Angel had a fantastic scene where his metal wings were implanted and Nightcrawler’s powers were identical to those in X2: X-Men United.

X-Men: Apocalypse – The Bad

I have to admit, ultimately, I was pretty bored throughout the whole movie. It’s been a long time since I was that disinterested.  The movie just never hooked me.  It began in an elaborate scene that held no interest for me considering I was pretty unaware of most of the characters. I think the mystery of Apocalypse in the comics was part of his appeal, but with his whole background laid out in the movie and his grossly over-powered mutant abilities ruined a lot of my investment in the film.  When you name your film after a character, I expect that character to be amazing.

X-Men: Apocalypse with Storm and Psylocke

Also, can we please decide if Magneto is a bad guy or a good guy? I know he flips sometimes, but never multiple times in the same story. I prefer the later comic stories where he attempts to do the right thing by the wrong methods.  I completely understand they want the juxtaposition of Professor X and Magneto, but if they wanted it that much, they wouldn’t be so focused on their impossible friendship.  It’s unnecessary drama.

Lastly, once again, a female character gets almost completely cut from the film. Poor Jubilee; at least she had a fantastic line defending Empire Strikes Back.

X-Men: Apocalypse Michael Fassbender

Overall

This movie definitely didn’t live up to the last two, which they ironically tried to joke about, funny enough. It is, however, a great jumping off point for Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Alexandra Shipp to take over the series. The costuming was impressive but confusing. While the street clothes definitely conveyed the 80’s, the uniforms looked more sophisticated than the “future” films with the original cast. Unfortunately, there’s too many inconsistencies with the X-Men timeline for me to think too much on it.

I give it a 3\5 saucers.

The Grid Rating Saucer 3

 

 

 

As with all movies, I suggest you go watch it on your own. I’m sure you’ll disagree with me.

Check out a detailed rating below and if you’ve seen it, let’s us know your thoughts in the comments below!

X-Men: Apocalypse – A Spoiler Free Review

X-Men: Rogue Cut Review

Welcome to my review of the newly released X-Men Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut. This review will contain spoilers so be warned.

Last time we saw Rogue she had forfeited her powers with a cure in order to be closer to her boyfriend Bobby Drake. Since the events of X-Men: The Last Stand she gained her powers back and hasn’t been heard from since the war in the future broke out and escalated. X-Men DOFP (Days of Future Past) The Rogue Cut is known as the Director’s Cut for the film. It not only adds in all of Rogue’s scenes portrayed again by Anna Paquin, but also adds in new scenes featuring various action sequences, character arcs, and deaths, and a few scenes particularly with a blue shape-shifting mutant and a beast of a man. Now some people may be apprehensive about buying this movie again when it came out on DVD last year, either because they already own it or hate what the films have done to a beloved character like Rogue. Well this isn’t the same movie and even though Rogue doesn’t get her powers like she does in the comics, she still is a kick ass female superhero and we always could use more of those in films. This movie adds in nearly 20 minutes of extra footage to the theatrical film and it is like watching a completely different movie than the one that was released in theaters.

Rogue Cut - Anna Paquin

The Rogue Cut Details

The Rogue Cut opens up the same. The future is all dark and gloomy, mutants being hunted, and the X-Men are on the run trying to find Kitty Pryde and her gang. There have been added scenes and dialogue with Warpath, Bishop, Sunspot, and Blink with all them deciding on whether or not they want Wolverine to go back in time to change the past, fearing that altering that past will have them not be born or die in some other fashion. Storm interjects saying that even though those four may never be born if Wolverine succeeds, hundreds of millions of people will survive and have a future to look foreword to. There is also a really sweet scene between Kitty and Bobby, A.K.A. Iceman, saying goodbye to one another and they will see each other in the next life. Jump ahead to Wolverine waking up in the past with a little more action scenes involving him taking out the body guards and him driving away to find Charles. The rest of the movie flows like the normal theatrical release until you come to Wolverine, Charles, and Hank arriving at Quicksilver’s house to recruit him to help rescue Eric from the Pentagon. There we have the brief appearance of Quicksilver’s little sister dressed as a princess asking Logan who he is and in return he says, “I’m the Wolverine.” Interestingly enough fans have thought from the release of a promo picture with the little girl on Quicksilver’s lap to be his sister Wanda Maximoff, A.K.A Scarlet Witch. Fans will be pleased to know this is not her, for the little girls mother then asks her to go find her big sister, which we now assume to be Wanda who is upstairs during all this. We sadly do not see her at all during the movie so hopefully we will in a future film set in the X-Men universe. All of the scenes that were added in the past are so brilliantly done and transition smoothly with how the theatrical cut was originally released you can’t tell it was an added scene. The movie works both ways. Now there are a few more scenes that are in the past that are very cool involving like Mystique and Beast, but I won’t get into those here. You will have to watch those for yourself. Other than that the scenes and sequences that take place in the past generally stay the same. The main stuff that has been added or changed happens in the future.

Rogue Cut Poster

Now what you all have been waiting for, Rogue’s scenes! Jump into around an hour and a half into the movie and Kitty is gravely wounded by Wolverine when he slips from her grasp on sending him back to the past. Bobby informs Charles and Eric that Rogue is alive and being experimented on in order for humans to add her power absorption capabilities to the Sentinels and is being held captive at the X-Mansion in Cerebro. That is the reason why Charles could not locate her and assumed her to be dead along with all the others. The three then take the new X-Jet and fly to the heavily guarded X-Mansion now turned into a base of operations for the Sentinels and humans. Rogue is rescued by Bobby, Charles, and Eric but sadly Bobby does not make it and dies at the Mansion while fighting off Sentinels. The one major difference in character deaths from the theatrical release. Now do we get the flying kick ass Rogue we loved in the 90’s cartoon and comics…sadly no, but we do get to see her save everyone by taking over for Kitty because Kitty is bleeding out so the only logical person to save them is Rogue because of her powers.

Summary

There are still quite a few more scenes involving Rogue and the others so don’t be afraid that I spoiled it all. Believe me there is a lot more where that came from. Anna Paquin still looks the same as she did when we last saw her in The Last Stand and still stands out in a huge cast for her brief but pivotal scenes. This film sheds a whole new light on characters and events that we either didn’t get to see in the theatrical release or were briefly mentioned. I know a lot of people feel like the character of Rogue has been watered down so much from her original comic portrayal that they were happy she was cut out of the film. If you still feel that way I would give this version of the movie a chance. Can I also just say Anna Paquin looks absolutely beautiful as Rogue? Say what you will but don’t forget that a few months prior to filming she also had a child. So for her to be wearing a skin tight white suit is impressive to say the least. Rogue is still a cool and vital character and it was nice to see her added back into a film where most if not all the original cast returned in some shape or form. I am not sure if the Rogue Cut will be counted as canon leading in to X-Men: Apocalypse which opens in 2016, or if they will stick with the theatrical release for the canon. Either way I am very happy that I own and have seen what Bryan Singer has been teasing us with for the past few months. All if these scenes have added so much to the film and have made it so new that it truly has been like watching a whole new movie. I won’t say too much more about most scenes, you will have to just wait and see those for yourself when you buy the copy of X-Men Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut, in stores now.

X-Men: Rogue Cut Review

First Look at X-Men: Apocalypse

This week, I’m breaking down quite a few of the pictures from another major 2016 film, X-Men: Apocalypse.  And, just like Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I have mixed feelings.  I want to be clear that I have not read the accompanying article to some of these photos because I’m attempting to avoid spoilers, so all my picture breakdowns are based on the photos alone.

X-Men Apocalypse EW CoverThis is an absolutely epic photo, but unfortunately, it doesn’t tell us anything about the story. Who is on whose side? Where are the allegiances? We’ve got two new characters and one we’re very familiar with (how you doing, Mr. Fassbender?). While Apocalypse is mostly covered, it’s easy to see the extreme detail that has gone into Psylocke and Magneto’s costumes. While I’m still not sold on Olivia Munn (I haven’t watched The Newsroom yet, back off), at least she’ll be dressed well.

X-Men Apocalypse new cast

Here’s a very brief introduction of some of the new faces to the game. Sophie Turner, our new Jean Grey, Lana Condor, the incredibly accurate Jubilee, and Tye Sheridan, young Cyclops, are pretty picture perfect. The photos may not give much away about them; they definitely don’t disappoint.

X-Men Apocalypse cerebroThis one assembles an odd assortment of mutants, if you’ve been following the movies up to this point. From left to right is Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert (I guess this means her memory is back?), James McAvoy as Professor X, Lucas Till as Havok, and Nicholas Hoult as Beast all surrounding Cerebro. I have so many questions. Why are they in there?  Why are those particular mutants in there? Are Professor X and Mystique working together again?

X-Men Apocalypse Nightcrawler

Kodi Smit-McPhee is looking perfectly stoic as our favorite teleporter. We can see that he’s already started to tattoo himself in penance even as a young boy (a ritual introduced in X2: X-Men United). The blue hair streaks is a little sophomoric, so I hope the elf’s acting can overcome. Now all I wonder is exactly how Singer plans to keep him away from certain X-Men so that the events in X2 tie in properly.

X-Men Apocalypse Magneto

Look at that gloriously disheveled man. How handsome is he? I’d like to grab his cute little face and –
Oh. Yeah. Article.
Magneto once again seems to be in a difficult situation. He’s presented here looking worn and tired, possibly on the run from someone or something. In the background, a blurred figure stands. He appears to be shirtless and wearing some sort of helmet.  Is he a prisoner? Or an attacker?

X-Men Apocalypse Mystique and Quicksilver

 

Confusing stare down between Mystique and Quicksilver, and when I say that, I mean they look really confused to be around each other. Maybe this is one of those cheesy moments where Professor X tells them they’re working together right after they’ve had a fight and the whole audience is waiting eagerly to see ALL the shenanigans. It’s very nice to see Singer getting some use out of the Mockingjay armor. Why bother creating new costumes when other movies have done it better?

X-Men Apocalypse, Storm, and Psylocke

Here’s the moment I’ve been waiting to show. Look at all that purple. It’s like the X-Men team that Prince built. I have so many thoughts…let’s begin:
Storm – absolutely amazing.  She’s rocking the mohawk, one of the character’s most classic looks, and her costume has a mix of the punk/goddess themes she’s tried. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure that her costume has any actual purple to it. She may just be reflecting off of Ivan Ooze over there.
Psylocke – again, not entirely sure how I feel about Olivia Munn as Psylocke. Knowing her background, she’ll have complete reverence for the character and do her best in the role, but it’s also fairly difficult for me to see the woman who hosted Attack of the Show in a serious superhero role. Her costume is absolutely killer. Also, not purple! The wardrobe team has taken the classic Psylocke look and transformed it into movie worthy.
Apocalypse – what?  What is he wearing? Why is he so ridiculous? Why so much purple?  I cannot believe they looked at all the designs of Apocalypse (there’s really only one) and said, “Nah. I’ve got something better.” Well, you don’t. Cosplayers can do it; why can’t you?

X-Men Apocalypse cosplay comparison

 

 

At least there’s hope for Angel.  Check out that concept art.

X-Men Apocalypse Angel

What are your first thoughts on these early looks at X-Men: Apocalypse? Do you like what we’ve seen so far? Any complaints? Comment below!

First Look at X-Men: Apocalypse