The thrust of this third X-Men movie is that a cure has been found for mutants and all they have to do is line-up for the inoculation. Some do, but most don’t. Those who don’t, consider the cure a form of genocide. This sets the stage for battles between good mutants, bad (or angry) mutants, and humans. There is a mutant campsite, a mega-laboratory on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, and the famous school for mutant children. A new addition is a child played by Cameron Bright (this is the young actor’s real name, not a mutant name) whose genetic make-up holds the key to curing mutantism. The kid lives in a very white room at the lab. When mutants approach him, just being near him causes their mutant features to fade. This factor does result in a big hole in the plot when, near the movie’s end, he’s being rescued by mutants during the ultimate battle for mutant existence, none of whom seem to be affected by the child’s powers.

The cure that angers some of the mutants has been developed by a man whose son is a mutant. The lad goes by the name of Angel and he sprouts wings that would make a guardian angel proud.

A raft of characters from the previous X-Men movies show up in the new edition, albeit some only briefly. For example, Rebecca Romijn’s blue Mystique (the shape-shifter) has a few scenes and then she’s out of the film. Yes, there are X-Women, but quibbling won’t get the titles changed. Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is a sort of Mutant King. Rogue (Anna Paquin), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) have varied roles. Jean Grey is a level 5 mutant, which makes her a sort of Mutant Queen. She’s all-powerful, especially in the kinetic department. She’s Carrie White on steroids.

But most of the heavy lifting goes to Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and Halle Berry as Storm. McKellen chews the scenery, Jackman slashes it, but Berry isn’t as stormy as we might want her to be. Let’s face it, being able to control the weather gives Storm absolute power, but that’s yet another plot hole. Magneto doesn’t want the mutants to acquiesce to the humans; therefore, he leads them into war. Wolverine gets the role of mutant hero. He’s also the mutant lovemaking machine.

Visually, “X-Men: The Last Stand” offers basic stuff. There’s nothing too groundbreaking going on here. The crisp and vibrant battle scenes are filled with nifty special effects and are, for the most part, exciting, especially the Golden Gate Bridge extravaganza. The mutant landscape is definitely being altered.

Where the movie really falters is in the dialogue, which is simplistic to the point of being unnecessary. Director Brett Ratner has none of Bryan Singer’s style or understanding of the comic books upon which the film is based. Singer directed the first two movies in the series. And they are better films. Any sense of emotion or psychological turmoil is missing from this new entry. The characters are pawns in Ratner’s vision, which is get to the chases and fight scenes. Singer felt the isolation and darkness of the mutants and portrayed them as creatures about whom we should care. The airborne Angel, for example, has a few key moments but we never get to know him. He pops in and out of the picture like a family pet.

As for this being the final X-Men feature, don’t you believe it! Stay through the credits and you will see a last scene. It runs about 30 seconds and reveals that someone who has gone to the great mutant villa in the sky is alive and almost well.

“The Notorious Bettie Page” is a very quirky movie that revels in nostalgia. I reviewed the film extensively in my Toronto Film Festival wrap-up in September 2005. I saw the Page bio-pic at the festival.

For moviegoers who have no idea that the 1950s existed (although it did break new ground in fashion: jeans and white T-shirts, music: good old rock and roll, and literature: The Beat Generation, anyone?), here’s a movie that may well stun the uninitiated. Nudity was shocking. Paranoia wasn’t; cold war and all that. Anyway, women who posed scantily-clad or nude (breasts only) were called Pin-up Girls. And the most famous was Miss Bettie Page.

Directed by Mary Harron and co-written by Harron and Guinevere Turner, “The Notorious Bettie Page” may not be perfect, but it has its moments and a wonderful performance by Gretchen Mol as Page.

The movie is best when it dwells on the world of photography and pin-up art. Page’s black-lace and riding crops shocked some and delighted others. Harron (who directed the doubly underrated “American Psycho” and “I Shot Andy Warhol”) and Turner seem to want to exalt Page for her groundbreaking behavior. This isn’t a bad thing, but somewhere along the line, Page’s world fell apart. The last third of her life wasn’t a pleasant experience. The movie tiptoes through the reasons or motivation, and prefers celebrating Page the beauty. I do grant the director and screenwriter creative license and applaud the film they chose to make. But if you’re looking for a complete re-telling of Page’s life, look elsewhere.

Briefly, but enthusiastically, I highly recommend “Awesome, I Fucking Shot That.” The movie is a documentary about a concert in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan that featured The Beastie Boys. Inching into their 40s, the boys’ careers needed a boost, and band member Adam Yauch decided to give 50 concert-goers Hi8 cameras to shoot anything they wanted to shoot at the Garden. They could document the band’s music, the beer, the bathrooms, anything. The material from the 50 has been mixed by Yauch (using the name Nathanial Hornblower) with footage from professionals. Video trickery has been added, but there’s a real sense of fun going on. As you watch the movie, you do gloam in on the work of one of two of the amateurs who have a keen visual sense. You recognize their camera work. The end result is an exuberant, enjoyable, and gratifying 90-minute film. If the future of cinema is giving everyone a camera, I just might be for it. By Michael Calleri ALT PRESS Online Movie Editor

Okay, I’m ready. After seeing “X-Men: The Last Stand,” I can handle a mutant as President Of The United States. Chances are we’ve already had one, but let’s not quarrel over spilt genes.

The cinematic fellow in question is known as Dr. Henry McCoy, but his mutant moniker is Beast. He’s big and blue and hairy. And actually sort of cuddly. In “X-Men: The Last Stand,” he’s played by Kelsey Grammer and yes, he does sound like Grammer’s “Frasier” television character, which isn’t really a good thing. Dr. McCoy heads the Mutant Affairs department in the president’s cabinet. He’s a good soldier for peace between mutants and humans