“Chris Claremont came to Marvel as a young man, and was assigned a book that no one else wanted, a book on the brink of cancellation: X-Men. Over the next […]
“Chris Claremont came to Marvel as a young man, and was assigned a book that no one else wanted, a book on the brink of cancellation: X-Men. Over the next 17 years, his work on the title turned it into the biggest franchise in comic book history. Forty years later, his work has been adapted into 10 films, three TV series, countless video games and become a part of our cultural mythology.”
Director: Patrick Meaney
Release Date: February 6, 2018
This review is going to be in the same vain as my Watchmen: The Entire Motion Comic reflection. If you know that you enjoy the subject matter, then you are going to enjoy the viewing experience. It is made for a specific audience, and it caters to it.
Chris Claremont’s X-Men (2018) is an indy documentary made by Patrick Meaney on a very small budget. Like, a teeny, tiny budget. But we will get there.
The subject matter of this documentary is the man, the myth, the legend, Chris Claremont. If you have an average knowledge on the X-Men and comic books in general, then you know that Claremont is one of the founding fathers of one of the greatest action soap operas of all-time. His brain is a fountain of imagination and immense patience. Claremont is remarkable in his ability to plan out a story over a long run, never rushing to the payoff. He cultivated a world that fans loved to fall in love with. It is something to be proud of.
Myself, I have not read a tone of the Claremont comics themselves, so seeing much of the artwork come across the screen in this documentary was cool seeing familiar stories illustrated in a way I did not know. I have experienced The Dark Phoenix saga, Days Of Future Past, The Brood, and Mutant Genesis stories in youtube explanations and audio book transcriptions. All are fantastic.
If there is one area to improve upon most urgently in Chris Claremont’s X-Men, it is the some of the b-roll choices. Watching this documentary, you have to understand that it was made with a budget, and it may have been strictly the personal wallet of Patrick Meaney. The actors in costumes with the one line and slow pan (sometimes with smoke) is rather disarming in a movie that itself looks like it was made as a thesis project.
This is where your background going into the movie matters. If you love the X-Men and want to hear more about how some of the most iconic characters in story-telling came to life from the man who made them, then you can tune into Chris Claremont’s X-Men. If you are a complete and utter novice and looking for something to tickle your eyeballs, I fully support you going somewhere else for entertainment.
Before ending this, it should be noted how Chris Claremont’s version of the X-Men fell prey to the only thing undefeated. Greed.
Note I didn’t say father time there, because somehow Tom Brady has sold his soul and conquered that devil.
Greed is what took Claremont away from his baby. His personal project. The X-Men got so big that it was a money maker and the higher-ups started to get their hands on it more and more. No longer was it the creatives who were driving the content. It was the accountants who began having final say.
Sure you can be pissed that this happened, but you had to know it was coming. Even Mr. Claremont himself has come to some sort of acceptance about it, granted there is still a natural bitterness in his tone.
Chris Claremont’s X-Men is a celebration of the creators, more specifically the GOAT creator, of the X-Men. If you enjoy the subject matter that Xavier’s school brings, then this documentary will make you want to either revisit, or venture into all of Claremont’s iconic stories.
STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)
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