Ray Bradbury Finalists Review 2017

The Ray Bradbury Award is given out every year with the Nebula Awards but is not a Nebula Award in itself.  Like the Nebula Awards, the final ballot and the eventual winner are decided by votes from members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which despite the name has an international membership).

I like to use the award every year as a sampler of well-loved science fiction and fantasy movies from the previous year.  I have been very happy with this tactic, and this year is no exception.

Not included in this review is a nominated episode of The Good Place, because I don’t seek out individual episodes of TV shows for these reviews.

X-Men: First Class

The X-Men movies have been somewhat hit-or-miss. X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer in 2000 was a really excellent first movie. It changed a lot of the character relationships, relative ages, and etc, but it did it in a way that was true to the heart of the original characters, and added enough novelty to make it all very interesting. The sequel, X2, directed by Bryan Singer in 2003 was a great followup. X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006 had a new director, and was a crappy story with a bajillion characters thrown in apparently for merchandising. X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out in 2009, and was almost completely worthless, other than an outstanding opening credits montage featuring Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting side by side as brothers in a couple centuries of wars.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

wolverineOverall it was okay, but some of the character motivations were thin at best, there were several characters that were clearly only included so they could be part of merchandising later on. That aspect wasn’t as bad as X-Men 3 (thank God) which included dozens of characters that were only on camera for seconds, just long enough to say their name and show their powers.