The 2014 Tonys: Expectations Are Everything

Iglehart

The producers of this year’s Tony Awards faced a challenge akin to cooking a perfect souffle and then being asked to do it all over again, without several of the key ingredients, a year later. Host Hugh Jackman, despite his dazzling physical features, sizable vocal chops and endless charisma, was never going to top the achievements of last year’s emcee Neil Patrick Harris, who managed to follow what was perhaps the greatest awards show number of all time with two more numbers of nearly equal entertainment value. No one was going to top the majestic Cicely Tyson’s towering acceptance speech or Audra McDonald’s show-concluding mic drop. Why try?

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“X-Men: Days of Future Past”: Back to the Future

Days of Future Past

Midway through X-Men: Days of Future Past, the seventh in a seemingly inexhaustible series of movies derived from Stan Lee’s X-Men comics, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy) are under threat from a group of men with guns in a high-security prison facility embedded deep below the Pentagon. They’re flanked by Quicksilver (Evan Peters), an upstart blessed with the power of unparalleled expedience. When it becomes clear that Magneto’s metal-bending and Professor X’s mind-melting won’t be enough to stop the suits from gunning them down, Quicksilver rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

The result is the movie’s most wonderful sequence, a dazzling and witty exploration of a superhero’s power rendered with panache and style by director Bryan Singer. Time slows down so that the only thing moving at normal human speed is Quicksilver, who trots around the room rearranging the floating objects. With a flourish, he positions the bullets away from Magneto and Professor X, balls a man’s outstretched hand into a fist and even takes a moment to taste-test some soup. When Quicksilver is done, the scene snaps like a rubber band back into place, and the action resumes.

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