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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ reveals superhero origins

Sean Axmaker

What’s new to watch this week on pay-per-view and streaming services:


Costumes abound in the sprawling superhero movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which bonds the mutant heroes of the future with their ’60s origins in a high-concept time-traveling adventure wrapped up in prejudice, hysteria and genocide. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is the character sent back in time to save the future, and Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender play the younger generation of X-Men.

Keira Knightley is a songwriter left behind when her singer boyfriend is signed to a record deal, and Mark Ruffalo is a music producer who discovers Knightley’s sound in “Begin Again,” a romantic drama from the director of the indie musical “Once.”

Also arriving on cable par-per-view this week: the big screen version of the 1960s time-traveling cartoon “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded drama “Wish I Was Here” with Kate Hudson, and the horror film “Deliver Us From Evil.”


Here’s a fitting documentary for Halloween: “Bound by Flesh,” the story of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who spent decades as a sideshow attraction, developed a vaudeville act, and appeared in the movies “Freaks” and “Chained for Life.” The documentary debuts on Netflix after a brief theatrical release. Good timing for fans of “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”

If you’re looking for Halloween films to share with young ones, try “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” a stop-motion musical that slams Halloween and Christmas into a horrorific holiday with an innocent heart of macabre playfulness.

A whole new batch of movies hit Netflix on Saturday. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” Francis Ford Coppola’s lavish retelling of the classic horror take, comes a little late for Halloween, but there is also Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning historical epic “Braveheart,” the retro comic book adventure “The Rocketeer,” the influential thriller “Fatal Attraction,” and two of the funniest movies of the 1980s: “Airplane!,” which packs more gags per minutes than any other film ever made, and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” with Steven Martin and Michael Caine as competing con men in the Riviera.

Amazon Instant Prime

Robin Williams won his only Academy Award playing a psychologist who connects with a volatile genius in “Good Will Hunting,” which also earned an Oscar for its young screenwriters, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I wonder what happened to those nice young boy. It’s new on Amazon Instant Prime.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His work appears in Parallax View, Turner Classic Movies online and the “Today” show website. Visit him online at