Film Junk Podcast Episode #710: Dark Phoenix


0:00 – Intro
12:30 – Review: Dark Phoenix
49:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Chernobyl, After Life, Big Little Lies, Captive State, In a Lonely Place, The Tick: Season 2
1:10:25 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
1:16:15 – Outro
1:20:35 – Spoiler Discussion: Dark Phoenix

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  • Indianamcclain

    Jessica Chastain’s character in Dark Phoenix is mainly there as a stand in for an organization in the comics called the Hellfire Club (The villains in First Class). In the comics the Hellfire Club manipulated Jean and turned her against the X-Men. Beyond that though I would agree that her character felt one dimensional.

  • Well, the D’Bari and the destruction of their planet due to the Phoenix Force is part of The Dark Phoenix Saga, so I wouldn’t totally agree that Chastain’s character is a stand-in for Mastermind during that story arc. Kinberg tweaks the whole thing though, sure.

    It is ironic that the guy who screwed up the Dark Phoenix adaptation in The Last Stand gets the job to screw it up again here.

    Ultimately it might have been a better solution if after the Endeavour mission Jean goes missing and zips through space only to run out of energy and cause the supernova that destroys the D’Bari planet until she returns to Earth. Then Chastain arrives as Lilandra to inform Xavier and the X-Men about what happened whilst Jean is spiraling out of control (to simplify things Kinberg could’ve retreated his thread of The Last Stand that meanwhile Magneto tries to exploit Dark Phoenix’ for his own cause and puts her against the X-Men).

    As it is her character in the movie is very one-dimensional – agreed (but that applies to nearly every single character here).

  • Nic

    I thought Dark Phoenix was actually pretty good. Definitely the comic book movie I had the most fun with in the last couple of years and I still think that the X-Men cast and characters are miles above most of the MCU cast in terms of performance, presence, likeability etc. It’s hard to figure it why this got trashed so hard by critics (and audiences) without getting into conspiracy territory. I just watched Gozilla KOTM yesterday and it was way way worse than Dark Phoenix in my opinion.
    Also wanted to say that I really enjoy your ongoing discussions around the Columbia Noir series on the criterion channel which am getting a lot of enjoyment out as well at the moment. (Side note: if you are European like me there is a very easy way to still get the criterion channel if you have an android phone. The second option here worked perfectly for me:
    I watched In A Lonely Place earlier this year and also needeed a little time to get on board. Once I got that this is more of a psychological drama than a murder mystery I really loved the film though and I do think that Bogey’s performance in it is among his very best. I also still think that a premium podcast about Classic Hollywood Genres (Noir/Western/Musical/Screwball Comedy) could be a lot of fun!

  • Lior

    The Fox X-Men film series is one of my favorite superhero series ever, I liked how it brilliantly re-invented itself as a period piece with the excellent First Class and took it to crazier places from there. Even if the films are not perfect it has a sense of vision and imagination which for me work much better than in most “official” Marvel movies, and the music scores for these films blow most of what Disney/Marvel did out of the water.
    Dark Phoenix may have been one movie too many (maybe capping it off with Apocalypse to form a second trilogy would’ve worked better), but I still wanna see it, and it’s impossible to find someone who is interested enough to join you. Most people just tell you “we heard it was bad”. A tough sell.

  • Dinobot2

    I thought Dark Phoenix was shit. There was nothing offensively or insultingly bad, but it was just a boring useless movie. It was a zero. This is almost as bad as Fant4stic.

  • Indianamcclain

    Kinberg was the one that said she was a stand in for Mastermind.

    I didn’t think he messed it up personally. The movie puts Jean at the forefront, and I thought it at least captures the spirit of the Dark Phoenix Saga. But that’s just me.

  • Indianamcclain

    Agreed on Dark Phoenix. I’m going to miss this cast.

  • welyyt

    Jay either forgot he watched In a Lonely Place, or just didn’t want to join the conversation.

    When did Frankie quit Twitter though? Totally missed that.

  • kent88

    Zimmer himself basically admits BLADE RUNNER 2049 is mostly Benjamin Wallfisch’s score with him acting more like a producer because he was busy touring in this interview:

    Then again Zimmer is doing DUNE and not Wallfisch so who knows exactly.

  • schizopolis

    I’m losing more and more respect for Zimmer. It seems like he’s only conceding credit on his projects because nowadays it’s impossible to hide shit like this without destroying your reputation.

  • schizopolis

    I guess you guys convinced me to watch Dark Phoenix in theaters. The bad reviews shied me away.

  • TimC

    Bogart premium!

  • Damn it, Dax. I knew they’d never get back to the “controversial comment” when he interrupted Frank. What’s the controversial line?

  • devolutionary

    Jay’s mini-review of IALP contained a lot of Bogey “spurtin'” all over the place! Definitely remembered that.

    Franky Twexit: That was awhile back. Maybe a month or two? It’s amazing because he constantly announced he was “this close” to pulling the trigger for a long time.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    It’s in the spoiler section so come back and check it out after you’ve seen the film (or if you’re like me and don’t give a shit about spoilers for this film just listen now).

  • welyyt

    I actually think he talked about it twice on the show, but can’t remember the other time. Sean, of you’re reading this, the fact that it’s more focused on the romance is generally considered one of the film’s strengths.

    I love that Frank actually did it; that’ll teach the copo. Also, he forgot that he brings up the reason he saw Wild Wild West twice every time that movie gets mentioned; he spoiled premium content multiple times throughout the years without even realizing.

  • devolutionary

    The Art of the Score crew briefly mentioned this, but I would love to eventually hear the rejected Johann Johannsson score.

  • I did listen to the spoiler section. I guess I was distracted by stupid work when they got back to it.

  • Hunter Allen

    Could be wrong, but I at least suspect it formed a skeleton for his work on Mandy.

  • Nic

    I don’t remember if they actually got back to it but surely it was the X-Women line

  • Hunter Allen

    Without having seen it, it just feels weird to bring in aliens this late in the game, in what has been *mostly* a single-big-ask film series. (Consider how they never linked Juggernaut to the whatever-it-is of Cytorrak.) And if you’re gonna, then GO for it: Lilandra, the Imperial Guard, an intimate suicide amidst the ruins of a vanished civilization on the moon. Prior to reviews, I had assumed that the Phoenix was an organic extension of Jean Grey’s powers, not still a nebulously defined cosmic parasite, and hence Chastain was a psychological projection representing Jean’s id (or, given the styling, possibly an update or psychic ghost of Emma Frost, inasmuch as continuity/plausibility has never been an X-Men strong point, on either page or screen).

    I’d have also liked to see somebody besides Morrison lean into Jean’s constant resurrections, given the whole implication of the name “Phoenix” and the possibility of an adaptation to impose consistency on interesting but incoherent source material–I *assume* there’s no White Hot Room in this film–but at this point I’m approaching the boundary of fan fiction, so I’ll stop.

  • Hunter Allen

    That’s pretty bad. But Fantastic Four is maybe the worst superhero movie ever made, almost certainly the worst major one. It makes me want to apologise to Tim Story for being angry he made merely mediocre ones.

  • Indianamcclain

    It was

  • devolutionary

    Chris Watt’s neighbour, clean-shaven Frank Knez–er, I mean Nathaniel Trinastich. Citizen on patrol!

  • Tommy

    Dark Phoenix had ‘X-Men’ in the title over here in NZ. Also, instead of ‘Godzilla: KotM’ we got ‘Godzilla 2:KotM’. You should take it as a compliment that the studios assume you’re smart enough to know where a sequel is coming from!

  • MartyMcFlyJr

    I’m with Frank on the title. I don’t subscribe to a lot of his trilogy or franchise cred rules but this one was just odd. Every single movie in the series has X-men in the title. Why change it now? And it only appears to be for North America. It’s called X-Men: Dark Phoenix everywhere else. We’re gonna need another manifesto episode just so you guys can debate where it will go on the shelf.

  • colin the dude

    It goes without saying but I’m gonna say it anyway: FilmJunk is virtually the only great podcast that does not bombard and annoy you with ads and I just want to point out how lucky we all are that we don’t have to suffer through them. Thanks to the boys for all the usual hard work and fun times.

    Now can we reboot Prescribing Frank for future shows?

  • I myself have a soft spot for Story’s Fantastic Four, it has all of the ingredients of a proper origin story without going bananas in the climax. I feel that movie – similar to Superman Returns – gets way more shit thrown at it then it deserves.

  • The best part is no one in the movie really acknowledges Chastain and her agenda. Their whole plan to terraform Earth is merely an afterthought that none of the X-Men even know about.

    I do like your pitch with Chastain being a manifestation of her darker persona.

  • I wasn’t suggesting that this was not the case, simply highlighting that Vuk and the D’Bari are also connected with the Dark Phoenix.

    The movie isn’t a total mess, I myself think both The Last Stand and Dark Phoenix suffer from the fact that we didn’t spent enough time with Jean prior to her transformation to fully emphatize with her and the X-Men.

  • Tommy

    Do the SK boyz know that Microsoft is currently giving away Too Human for free, and it’s XB1 compatible?
    I dunno if there’s a better incentive to finish a game than seeing some Junk-Men names in the credits.

  • Indianamcclain

    The problem that I have with The Last Stand is that the Phoenix story isn’t the main story, and Jean is a nothing character in that film.

    I think you can do a big story like this with relatively little setup. I mean Dark Knight was able to the entire rise and fall of Harvey Dent in one film, and that was handled very well imo.

  • Indianamcclain

    But Charles does figure out what Chastain wants then proceeds to tell all the major characters on the train.

  • Jay Lee

    Little Baby Frankie Force Feed.

  • yonato

    Anybody else feel like Frank is slowly becoming Alex Jones?

  • Beat_C

    I also thought “Dark Phoenix” was quite alright. No, it’s not a fantasic picture, and of course we all had hoped for a grandiose ending to this incarnation of the X-Men saga, akin to “Logan”. But it’s a pretty straight foward story – which is already a plus –, the characters are as interesting and ambiguous as they always have been, and it’s certainly a million times better than bloody “Apocalypse”.

  • Indianamcclain

    I actually think Superman Returns is a great film. Easily the second best Superman film for me. Very misunderstood imo.

  • I got your back.

  • Kyle Grimes

    Where does Logan fit in?

  • Kyle Grimes

    For those of you watching the Chris Watts video to see Frank, stick around to the 11:30 mark [of the 15min body cam video] to see circa 1999 Frank, complete with Jedi Pony.

  • MartyMcFlyJr

    it’s in the Wolverine trilogy, which has no title consistency.

  • pcch7

    Frank gotta dig into Chernobyl, are we gonna have to resort to a petition?

  • I think it all depends on what’s on the spine right? So if they wise up and rebrand it X-Men: Dark Phoenix for Bluray then all is good. I personally deviate from the manifesto for that one thing, all my X-Men and related movies are bunched together, regardless of title. Same for Star Wars (Rogue One and Solo) & Alien series.

  • I just wish they had an amazon affiliate link so I could throw them some coin every time amazon gets my money. Of course I pay a little extra for premiums and chipped in for the 700 junkathon, but that extra passive donation would be nice.

  • Mrespony

    If you mean fat white guy, yes.