If you're keeping score at home, of the three Marvel comic-book movies so far this summer (a term I use advisedly for a season that technically doesn't start for another month), X-Men: Days of Future Past outranks Amazing Spider-Man 2 and is about on a par with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In a sense the movie is trying to solve a problem -- the destabilization of American masculine identity, a destabilization that was signaled by 9/11 and the Middle East mire but is also deeply tied to the rise of the Asian economies.
I like to see big summer movies in the theater, I really do. It's my hope that the disappointing box-office receipts wake up the studios, and spur riskier ventures that attempt to keep up with what's going on in the online world.
Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to pass an ill-conceived budget bill for the Interior Department that would paralyze our nation's programs for protecting imperiled plants and animals.