‘Godzilla’ more fun, less violent than ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

Michael came home Thursday for our monthly visit over the long weekend (hence no posts), and the new “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was high on our agenda. We are all X-Men fans. Michael grew up reading the comic books. I used to watch the cartoons and we have gone to see all the previous movies. But this was the first time we were going to let our 11-year-old see one. (Rose doesn’t like Marvel characters and is against time travel in general so she didn’t want to go.) The movie is rated PG-13.

We all liked it and there were fewer times when I felt like I wanted to cover Walsh’s eyes. There were less gun battles in “X-Men” than in the second Captain America movie but there was lots of impaling and some implied sex. (Lady in lingerie getting out of bed with Wolverine. Not thrilled with that scene.) There were plenty of intense battle scenes but all using their special powers, which are clearly fantasy. There was a scene where Professor X is shooting up a drug that kills his powers and enables him to walk. I didn’t like that at all because it was meant to resemble heroin use, and I didn’t want my son seeing that. I do think X-Men took great pains NOT to show blood and gory wounds.

Even knowing a pretty good bit about the X-Men backstory and characters, I still had questions. I think you have to go with a fan who can explain things.

There were plenty of really young kids – like 5 and 7 year-olds – in our afternoon showing. Common Sense Media recommends 13 as age to see it. I felt like Walsh was OK but I wouldn’t have taken him last summer to see it. My 7-year-old would have been crying. (She says she wants to see “Maleficent” next weekend but I am worried she is going to be super scared. It is PG.)

Here is what Common Sense Media has to say about it:

“Parents need to know that X-Men: Days of Future Past (the sequel to X-Men: First Class) is an exciting superhero film that’s filled with fantastic special effects — and bone-crunching battles. There’s some blood — as well as guns, stabbing, and hand-to-hand fighting — though most of the action violence is of the large-scale carnage variety, including explosions and super-powered combat. Skeletons and corpses are seen. One scene shows a man’s naked backside after he gets out of bed (a woman is lying next to him), and there’s some swearing (one “f–k,” plus “s–t,” etc. ), drinking (the young professor drinks a lot, with bottles all around), and the “shooting up” of a serum that mimics drug use. As with all of the X-Men movies, this one explores issues of identity, fearing what’s different, and embracing who you are, as well as the notion that killing isn’t the answer to problems.”

Walsh and I differ in our conclusion about the movies. He says he would see “X-Men” again because he found “Godzilla’s” opening scene very depressing. He also didn’t like that “Godzilla” would literally closed the door on the fighting to save money on special effects and he liked that “X-Men” didn’t do that.

So did you see the new “X-Men” movie? Did you see “Godzilla?” How would you compare them? What did you think? What age would you recommend for either movie? Did you need an expert to help explain “X-Men?” (There is a mysterious scene after all the credits so hang around.)

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