Movies

Now showing in Taos: ‘Dark Phoenix’

Latest from the X-Men First Class Universe follows the evolution of Jean Grey

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 6/8/19

The most disturbing part of “Dark Phoenix,” the new X-Men movie, is not the apocalyptic attack from a mysterious cosmic force or the aliens that want to control it and wipe out all life on earth ...

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Movies

Now showing in Taos: ‘Dark Phoenix’

Latest from the X-Men First Class Universe follows the evolution of Jean Grey

Posted

The most disturbing part of “Dark Phoenix,” the new X-Men movie, is not the apocalyptic attack from a mysterious cosmic force or the aliens that want to control it and wipe out all life on earth — that’s almost a given for the life of superheroes. It’s what Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) has been doing to the students at his “School for Gifted Youngsters” for, what he says, is their own good.

That’s kind of what sets into motion the horrifying chain of events for young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) when, as an 8-year-old girl with budding psychokinetic powers in 1974, loses her parents in a tragic car accident. Afterward, Xavier takes her in.

One day in 1992, an incident aboard a space shuttle gets the X-Men to spring into action, however, when they are in the midst of rescuing the crew, Jean inadvertently absorbs a strange cosmic force that has enveloped the space craft. She returns with the rest of the X-Men seemingly unharmed, that is until any flare-up of anger tends to trash everything around her. This mainly comes about after she discovers, due to her amped-up new powers via the cosmic force, that when she was a little girl, Xavier built psychological blocks in her head to make her forget that she was the one who caused the death of her parents.

In the meantime, an alien named Vuk takes over the body of a human woman (Jessica Chastain) and, along with a squad of D’Bari aliens, begins seeking out Jean Grey. The reason is because the cosmic force that she absorbed was responsible for wiping out the D’Bari home planet long ago. Now, they want it so they can use it to take over earth. Simple, right?

The movie, while going to great pains to show us how much money they put into creating epic special effects, is really just an exercise in exploring the effects of toxic parenting. Professor Xavier, in all his do-gooder efforts to “help” his kids, really puts off letting them deal with childhood traumas on their own. For Jean, it’s the realization that he has been lying to her all along. Even Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) turns against him for making everything they do all about him. For his defense, the professor just says “I’m sorry” a lot and “we can help you, just come back” without giving any real answers.

Bryan Singer’s trilogy of X-Men movies was a straightforward series of adventures culminating in an epic battle that saw Jean’s ultimate transformation into Phoenix. This movie, directed by Simon Kinberg, flounders in its attempt to give us a roadmap or psychological profile showing us why Jean Grey/Phoenix does what she does, while also under the influence of an alien entity. Interesting, maybe, but does it fulfill what X-Men fans want from this movie?

Tempo grade: C

“Dark Phoenix” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

The Secret Life of Pets 2

MPAA rating: PG for some action and rude humor.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres

Max the terrier must cope with some major life changes when his owner gets married and has a baby.

When the family takes a trip to the countryside, nervous Max has numerous run-ins with canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses.

Animated film from directors Chris Renaud and Jonathan de Val co-stars the voice talents of Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Eric Stonestreet, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell and Dana Carvey.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

The White Crow

MPAA rating: R for some sexuality, graphic nudity, and language.

Taos Community Auditorium

A young man of just 22, dressed in a black beret and a dark narrow suit, is on an airplane flying from St Petersburg to Paris. It is 1961 and Rudolf Nureyev (Oleg Ivenko), not yet the imperious figure of legend, is a member of the world-renowned Kirov Ballet Company, traveling for the first time outside the Soviet Union.

Parisian life delights Nureyev and the young dancer is eager to consume all the culture, art and music the dazzling city has to offer. But the KGB officers who watch his every move become increasingly suspicious of his behavior and his friendship with the young Parisienne Clara Saint (Adéle Exarchopolous).

When they finally confront Nureyev with a shocking demand, he is forced to make a heart-breaking decision, one that may change the course of his life forever and put his family and friends in terrible danger.

From Nureyev’s poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet city of Ufa, to his blossoming as a student dancer in Leningrad, to his arrival at the epicentre of western culture in Paris in the early 1960s and a nail-biting stand-off at the Le Bourget airport, “The White Crow” is the true story of an incredible journey by a unique artist who transformed the world of ballet forever.

Director Ralph Fiennes co-stars as Alexander Ivanovich Pushkin.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (June 9) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (June 10-12) at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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