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X-Men reviews and spoilers

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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue May 24, 2011 11:05 pm

http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/review/a321200/x-men-first-class-review.html

'X Men: First Class' review
Tuesday, May 24 2011, 7:30pm EDT
By Ben Rawson-Jones, Movies Contributor

Screenwriter: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz
Starring: James MacAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt
Certificate: C

X-Men First Class

© 20th Century Fox
Prequels to successful franchises are a precarious proposition. Who can forget the turgid mess of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace? The key, as with almost every triumphant movie, lies in the script. Fortunately, X-Men: First Class possesses quality writing that wrings out every drop of emotion and exhilaration from the superbly structured story, deftly interweaving epic action with an undercurrent of social and political themes spawned from its mid-20th Century setting. The wisely character-driven script is done justice by the outstanding casting choices of the fledgling mutants, while Matthew Vaughn's direction is appropriately kick-ass in nature.

The childhoods of the future Professor X and Magneto provide the starting point for the movie, as the young boys are depicted in wildly contrasting environments in the 1940s. Charles is enveloped in a life of affluence when we first encounter the mind-controller, showing compassion to the future Mystique and Smurfette lookalike Raven. Concurrently, his future nemesis Erik Lensherr is tortured in a Nazi concentration camp by the cruel Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who is intent on unlocking the traumatised lad's metal-bending powers.

The action jumps forward to 1960s America and the backdrop of the Cold War. Charles and Erik first meet each other in the dampest of circumstances during an imaginative nautical set piece - and a close bond forms between them. The superpowered duo set about finding fellow mutations around the globe, but the deftly established emotional differences in their upbringing soon come to the fore. Charles is only too happy to turn the other cheek, while Erik is very much an 'eye for an eye' kinda guy. Revenge is certainly on Erik's mind when his former tormentor Sebastian Shaw shows up in town, embroiled in a nuclear war plot hatched in his Hellfire Club alongside his own pack of mutant cohorts. We can't really say much more without hitting the Spoiler Overload button, but explosive confrontations lie ahead…

The decision to cast Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as the leads was a masterstroke. The gravitas they bring to the production is palpable and enables the movie to intricately balance the psychologically authentic with the aesthetically fantastic. One of the movie's standout scenes occurs when Charles delves into the mind of Erik and experiences the suffering he endured as a child. The pain and tears etched on the faces of both actors lingers in the memory long after the end credits have rolled. Yet the pair's differences form an increasingly prominent part of the plot, with the mesmerising and intense Fassbender juxtaposed with the low-key pensiveness of McAvoy. Their interplay also delivers much of the witty script's humor, especially during a blistering montage of their mutant hunting that includes the immortal line - "More tea vicar?"

Kevin Bacon was a fine choice to play the villain, wisely steering clear of camping it up and instead exuding understandable - if deplorable - motivations for his dastardly deeds. Former 'DS At The Movies Star Of The Future' Jennifer Lawrence also excels as the troubled Raven, who is less than happy in her blue skin. Someone should have told her that she has a great career lying ahead as a performer in Eiffel 65 music videos. Tedious pop culture references aside, the character's development during the narrative is fascinating, bolstered by her 'will they/won't they' romantic subplot with Nicholas Hoult's 'Beast' (which is not a euphemism!).

As with his direction of the pacy Kick Ass, Matthew Vaughn instils a dynamic edge to proceedings with his sublime camerawork. The action sequences grow in stature and scale as the movie progresses, culminating in a breathtaking battle of the skies and the waters between several warring factions. Splitscreens are also well used at certain points, although the gimmick-free moments of understated poignancy are when X-Men: First Class really soars. Crucially, Vaughn's direction is unobtrusive at these points and foregrounds the actors' skills, rather than falling into the trap of trying too hard to push the audience's emotional buttons by being heavy-handed and overwrought with his mise-en-scène. Henry Jackman's magnificent score also plays a vital role in enhancing these moments in a subtle manner, and waiting for the set-pieces to ramp up the volume.

The only notable flaw in this fabulous production is the miscasting of Mad Men's January Jones as Sebastian's telepathic ally Emma Frost. The gorgeous actress will undoubtedly be responsible for puddles of drool (amongst other fluids) spewing forth in the cinemas this summer, but she simply lacks screen presence and exudes total blandness. It's like watching a lobotomised Betty Draper walk around in a bikini. Still - cracking eye candy.

X-Men: First Class has noble intentions beneath its glossy sheen, as its impressive subtext confronts what it means to be different in a society in which conformism prevails. This loosely mirrors its own identity as a movie, being an all too rare beast - an action blockbuster with rollercoaster thrills and laughs that has a fundamentally intelligent core. Fine acting, perfect direction and a couple of audacious cameos work wonders too. Oh, did we also mention that it adds masses of extra routes in the Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon game?
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue May 24, 2011 11:06 pm

http://falltoprey.com/kevin-bacon/review-x-men-first-class/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

May
25
Posted on 25-05-2011
Review: X-Men: First Class
Filed Under (kevin bacon) by Wireless

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Review by Kate Atherton

Stars: Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Alex Gonzalez, Jan Jones, Kevin Bacon, Jason Flemyng, Nicolas Hoult | Written by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz | Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn was ostensible to approach X-Men 3. It roughly happened – he’d even finished a storyboards and script. But Vaughn left a plan since Fox hadn’t given him adequate time for it. Rather ironically, he finished adult directing X-Men: First Class instead, for that he was given even reduction time. How blissful we am. Instead of completing what someone else started, Vaughn was means to start again, with uninformed actors, and uncover us how these characters, with their fantastical names and powers, became who they were. All set conflicting a genuine events that unfolded during a early 1960s and a Cold War.

X-Men: First Class is an surprising attainment for a fourth film in a array and a fifth in a franchise. It can’t forget what came before because, of course, a progressing films are portents of what is to come, yet now Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and a others are put into a genuine and informed world, notwithstanding one in a past. Here they have a advantage of lady and, in Professor X’s case, a ability to mount adult and walk. There is something some-more tellurian about these X-Men notwithstanding their superhuman powers, glamour, and energy. Whereas in a progressing films, a battlelines were resolutely drawn between X and Magneto, in First Class a lines are blurred, decisions have nonetheless to be finished as any goes by that unpleasant trust of usurpation their turn and training to control it.

From a really beginning, X-Men: First Class pulls we in with tender emotion, recreating a opening scenes of a initial film, in a thoroughness stay with a immature child Erik, tortuous bars and gates with a energy brought on by ideal emotion. In this case, a torture of being distant from his parents. First Class takes us by those stay gates and lets us see what happens there as Erik falls underneath a control of a male who is effectively his creator – Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Shaw is a summary of a Nazi experimenter. His attribute with Erik is formidable since it is formed on a strategy of power. From this corruption, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is born.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), by contrast, is innate into money, he has a audacity to go with it and his idea is to turn a teacher. It is many easier to empathise with and like Magneto than it is with a male like Professor X. There is a approach in, though, and that is by Mystique or Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), a immature lady who hides her blue skin behind a white front, and becomes Charles’ sister, stable by him. The ebony kept underneath his wing.

As Charles builds his academy of mutants (including Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, Zoë Kravitz’s Angel, Edi Gathegi’s Darwin and Caleb Landry Jones’s Banshee), with a assistance of Dr Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) and a Man in Black (Oliver Platt), we see a building energy of Shaw and his hostile organisation (including Jan Jones’ Frost and Jason Flemyng’s Azazel). It’s all set conflicting a flourishing hazard of a Cold War, culminating in a Cuban Missile Crisis. We know from a trust of a initial X-Men film what is in store for several of these characters. X-Men: First Class lets us watch as these destinies unfold. Certain things need to occur during a march of this film. The fascinating feat is partly how that is done.

Matthew Vaughn’s mania here is Magneto. Vaughan told us during an talk on Sunday that Magneto was desirous by Bond – both a Bond favourite and villain. Fassbender pulls off this purpose with a sophistication and glamour of a Bond – yet he doesn’t need a automobile or a gadget. His opening also presents a rather pleasing conundrum. In scenes common by McAvoy and Fassbender, it is formidable to know where to focus. Vaughn picked Fassbender to play conflicting McAvoy since of their chemistry together. It is a large success of this film.

Chemistry is also seen in a pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and McAvoy. Lawrence conveys a low middle frailty of Mystique with a ability one would design from her opening in Winter’s Bone. The actress’s lady presumably creates Mystique’s struggle, unhappiness and finally honour many easier to empathise with. It is loyal that if we have one critique with First Class it’s in a obtuse realised X-Men. we hardly beheld Álex González’s Riptide for instance and he wasn’t alone. Nevertheless, with characters such as X, Magento, Mystique and a many beautiful clear beauty of Frost on a screen, they hardly mattered.

With McAvoy and Fassbender both handling to shake off Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, one would have suspicion this would be an feat adequate for First Class, yet there is a further of Kevin Bacon’s opening as Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is famous from a comic universe as ponytailed and cravat-wearing, a universe divided from Bacon’s description yet Shaw here is a monster, truly belonging in Europe’s darkest days, innate from a Holocaust. Interestingly, Vaughn suggested during his talk with us that Bacon had not been his initial choice for a role. That honour had left to Colin Firth – in a days before The King’s Speech. It didn’t occur since Fox was counting a series of Brits in a film. Firth was a Brit too many (a reason since Dexter Fletcher was also not expel in a film). It seems astray now to review these dual actors for a purpose since Bacon chills as Shaw, perfectly.

Vaughn has strike on a winning partnership with screenwriter Jane Goldman, with this film following on from their success in another some-more surprising grant to a superhero genre Kick Ass. While Vaughn prides himself on his friendship and loyalty to structure – once bound it will not be altered – together they have combined a vividly realised world, full of 1960s’ misogyny, influence and payoff for a few.

With a ancillary expel that includes Oliver Platt, this is a film of peculiarity that will occupy we with each scene. The movement sequences are spectacularly presented, ideal foils for a fascinating middle dispute we are shown by this glorious cast. Combine this with a excellent script, direction, cinematography and soundtrack (Henry Jackman), and we have a excellent X-Men film of a four. A prequel that creates us wish more. Vaughn pronounced to us on Sunday that he doesn’t trust in sequels unless they are as slightest as good as what went before. It’s roughly as if Wolverine never happened. Admittedly, Take That tighten a film yet afterwards it wouldn’t do to make First Class too perfect. One needs to leave room for a sequel.

X-Men: First Class hits cinemas on Jun 1st.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Tue May 24, 2011 11:07 pm

http://www.blogomatic3000.com/2011/05/25/review-x-men-first-class/

Review: X-Men: First Class

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Review by Kate Atherton

Stars: Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Alex Gonzalez, January Jones, Kevin Bacon, Jason Flemyng, Nicolas Hoult | Written by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz | Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn was supposed to direct X-Men 3. It almost happened – he’d even completed the storyboards and script. But Vaughn left the project because Fox hadn’t given him enough time for it. Rather ironically, he ended up directing X-Men: First Class instead, for which he was given even less time. How glad I am. Instead of completing what someone else started, Vaughn was able to begin again, with fresh actors, and show us how these characters, with their fantastical names and powers, became who they were. All set against the real events that unfolded during the early 1960s and the Cold War.

X-Men: First Class is an extraordinary feat for a fourth film in a series and a fifth in a franchise. It can’t forget what came before because, of course, the earlier films are portents of what is to come, but now Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and the others are put into a real and familiar world, albeit one in the past. Here they have the benefit of youth and, in Professor X’s case, the ability to stand up and walk. There is something more human about these X-Men despite their superhuman powers, glamour, and energy. Whereas in the earlier films, the battlelines were firmly drawn between X and Magneto, in First Class the lines are blurred, decisions have yet to be made as each goes through that painful experience of accepting their mutation and learning to control it.

From the very beginning, X-Men: First Class pulls you in with raw emotion, recreating the opening scenes of the first film, in the concentration camp with the young boy Erik, bending bars and gates with a power brought on by sheer emotion. In this case, the torment of being separated from his parents. First Class takes us through those camp gates and lets us see what happens there as Erik falls under the control of a man who is effectively his creator – Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Shaw is the epitome of the Nazi experimenter. His relationship with Erik is complicated because it is based on the manipulation of power. From this corruption, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is born.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), by contrast, is born into money, he has the arrogance to go with it and his goal is to become a teacher. It is much easier to empathise with and like Magneto than it is with a man like Professor X. There is a way in, though, and that is through Mystique or Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), a young girl who hides her blue skin behind a white front, and becomes Charles’ sister, protected by him. The raven kept under his wing.

As Charles builds his academy of mutants (including Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, Zoë Kravitz’s Angel, Edi Gathegi’s Darwin and Caleb Landry Jones’s Banshee), with the help of Dr Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) and the Man in Black (Oliver Platt), we see the developing power of Shaw and his opposing group (including January Jones’ Frost and Jason Flemyng’s Azazel). It’s all set against the growing threat of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis. We know from our knowledge of the first X-Men movie what is in store for several of these characters. X-Men: First Class lets us watch as these destinies unfold. Certain things need to happen during the course of this film. The fascinating achievement is partly how that is done.

Matthew Vaughn’s obsession here is Magneto. Vaughan told us during an interview on Sunday that Magneto was inspired by Bond – both the Bond hero and villain. Fassbender pulls off this role with the sophistication and charisma of a Bond – but he doesn’t need the car or the gadget. His performance also presents a rather pleasant conundrum. In scenes shared by McAvoy and Fassbender, it is difficult to know where to focus. Vaughn picked Fassbender to play opposite McAvoy because of their chemistry together. It is a big success of this film.

Chemistry is also seen in the pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and McAvoy. Lawrence conveys the deep inner frailty of Mystique with the skill one would expect from her performance in Winter’s Bone. The actress’s youth possibly makes Mystique’s struggle, unhappiness and finally pride much easier to empathise with. It is true that if I have one criticism with First Class it’s in the lesser realised X-Men. I barely noticed Álex González’s Riptide for example and he wasn’t alone. Nevertheless, with characters such as X, Magento, Mystique and the most gorgeous crystal beauty of Frost on the screen, they barely mattered.

With McAvoy and Fassbender both managing to shake off Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, one would have thought this would be an achievement enough for First Class, but there is the addition of Kevin Bacon’s performance as Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is known from the comic world as ponytailed and cravat-wearing, a world away from Bacon’s portrayal but Shaw here is a monster, truly belonging in Europe’s darkest days, born from the Holocaust. Interestingly, Vaughn revealed at his interview with us that Bacon had not been his first choice for the role. That honour had gone to Colin Firth – in the days before The King’s Speech. It didn’t happen because Fox was counting the number of Brits in the film. Firth was a Brit too many (a reason why Dexter Fletcher was also not cast in the film). It seems unfair now to compare these two actors for the role because Bacon chills as Shaw, perfectly.

Vaughn has hit on a winning partnership with screenwriter Jane Goldman, with this film following on from their success in another more unusual contribution to the superhero genre Kick Ass. While Vaughn prides himself on his devotion and dedication to structure – once fixed it will not be changed – together they have created a vividly realised world, full of 1960s’ misogyny, prejudice and privilege for the few.

With a supporting cast that includes Oliver Platt, this is a film of quality that will occupy you with every scene. The action sequences are spectacularly presented, perfect foils for the fascinating inner conflict we are shown by this superb cast. Combine this with a fine script, direction, cinematography and soundtrack (Henry Jackman), and we have the finest X-Men movie of the four. A prequel that makes us want more. Vaughn said to us on Sunday that he doesn’t believe in sequels unless they are as least as good as what went before. It’s almost as if Wolverine never happened. Admittedly, Take That close the film but then it wouldn’t do to make First Class too perfect. One needs to leave room for the sequel.

X-Men: First Class hits cinemas on June 1st.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 12:59 am

http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/832245/x-men-first-class-is-in-session

Home / Entertainment / Movies & Reviews / X-Men: First Class is in session
X-Men: First Class is in session
X-Men Goes Back
To Beginning

Posted on May 27, 2011 3:11 PM by Krystal Clark

The X-Men franchise is headed in a new direction -- reverse. The latest installment of the film series is called X-Men: First Class and it’s a prequel. It’s set in the 1960s and centers on a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). If you’re a little dusty on your X-Men history and you have no idea what to expect, here are a few things you should know.

Charles and Erik are friends in X-Men: First Class. In the previous movies, they’ve always been on opposing sides but still shared a mutual respect for each other. First Class explains where that camaraderie came from and Erik’s influence on the future X-Men team.

Kevin Bacon and January Jones in X-Men: First Class

The First Class lineup has changed. As you can see from the trailers, the original members of the first X-Men aren’t all featured. The only student who appears in both the comic version of First Class and the movie is Henry "Beast" McCoy (Nicholas Hoult).

Kevin Bacon’s in this film! He’s barely shown in the trailers but Kevin Bacon is one of the main bad guys in the movie named Sebastian Shaw. He’s one to watch along with Mad Men star January Jones who plays Emma Frost.

There are a lot of fresh yet familiar faces in this movie. Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) plays Raven Darkholme (Mystique), Zoe Kravitz stars as Angel Salvadore and Caleb Landry Jones appears as Sean Cassidy (Banshee).

If you’re a bit of a history buff, you might respect how the plot ties in with the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1960s. It plays a huge part in the storyline and the film even features archival footage of President John F. Kennedy.

X-Men: First Class also stars Rose Byrne, who appeared on the TV series Damages with Glenn Close, and Jason Flemyng, who’s starred in his fair share of Guy Ritchie movies. First Class has a lot to offer and this info is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more where this came from.

X-Men: First Class opens in theaters everywhere on June 3.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 1:11 am

http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/X-Men-First-Class-5285.html

X-Men: First Class

Reviewed By: Katey Rich
movie reviewed rating 4/5


There's a specific feeling I get only when watching a blockbuster film that's working, a feeling almost like vertigo, being lifted out of my seat by the power of special effects and pounding score and explosions that are used really, really well. There are a lot of moments like that in X-Men: First Class, a rousing and full-throated adventure that's technically a comic book movie but influemced by everything from battleship war films to 60s-era James Bond. Even with a script that sometimes loses its grip on subplots and sells short more than a few characters, it's exactly what a comic book movie ought to be, full of energy and wit and actors who seem to know exactly how much fun it is to be a superhero.

If there's any magic ingredient that makes X-Men: First Class, a notoriously rushed and sloppy production, it's the dynamite chemistry between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, playing telepath Charles Xavier and magnet-powered Erik Lensherr in the early, ambitious days of their partnership. We meet each of them briefly as children, Charles growing up privileged in Westchester and taking in a fellow mutant girl (Raven, a.k.a. Mystique, played later by Jennifer Lawrence), and Erik suffering in a Poland concentration camp. The two finally meet in the early 60s, after a spectacular and fiery action sequence, and discover that they are fighting a common villain: Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), another mutant who has gathered an underground group called the Hellfire Club and is bent on wreaking global nuclear havoc. Strait-laced Charles has teamed up with the CIA to avert this disaster, while feral and angry Erik hunts Shaw alone for far more personal reasons; despite their reservations Erik and Charles agree to team up, recruiting any other mutants they can find and building the only army capable of stopping Shaw.

McAvoy and Fassbender are the undeniable center of X-Men: First Class, the push-pull relationship between Charles's logic and Erik's paranoia boiled down to a friendship between two men who know they need each other. It helps to have seen this relationship crumble into fierce rivalry, as played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Bryan Singer's X-Men films, but Fassbender and McAvoy so fully inhabit their characters that you don't really need it; you get what they see in each other, just as you get that this relationship can never hold. But the group vibe that's such a highlight in the original X-Men films is present here too, largely among the younger mutants who build a quick rapport at the encouragement of Raven, who soon dubs herself Mystique and helps come up with nicknames for all the other new recruits. Charles doesn't seem that interested in being known as Professor X, but Erik is clearly intrigued by the intimidating potential of Magneto.

Matthew Vaughn, adapting beautifully to the zippy adventure style, directs in a way that reflects the contrast between Charles's optimism and Erik's darker impulses; the action is entirely bloodless and almost always spectacular, but scenes with Erik and especially Shaw and his cronies are shot with the kind of shiny, cynical zing very familiar from Vaughn's last film Kick Ass. Shaw comes very close to becoming a campy villain, holing up under an iceberg in his mod submarine with his fashion plate sidekick Emma Frost (an appropriately frozen January Jones), but both Vaughn and Bacon nail his undercurrent of real menace, and between him and Erik you understand how problematic and maybe impossible Charles's dream of a utopian mutant-human future may be.

There are tons of hints sprinkled throughout about the future for these mutants that we've already seen, from jokes about Xavier's hair to some very well-placed cameos, but X-Men: First Class never suffers the kind of turgid explication that crippled the Wolverine movie; Vaughn and his bevy of fellow screenwriters knit these characters so well into the real world that you don't need to know Beast from Banshee to understand their motivations. That's a rare, rare thing in comic book movies, particularly when elsewhere in the Marvel movie universe every film seems to be geared not toward its own characters, but toward a larger mythology that requires hours of research to understand. Though it is certainly the kickoff of a new franchise, and lugs around a story more sprawling than it needed to be, X-Men: First Class feels spry and self-contained, a blast of colorful and passionate enthusiasm with just enough weight to matter. It feels phenomenal to have these mutants back.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 1:50 am

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/05/27/x-men-first-class-second-review/

X-Men: First Class, Second Review
Submitted by Brendon Connelly on May 27, 2011 – 5:54 am

Michael Moran has been to see X-Men: First Class and is going to tell you all what he thought of it:

The Cold War seems to be pretty hot right now. There are excited mutterings around Hollywood of an Atom Age Fantastic Four reboot. Meanwhile Call Of Duty:Black Ops is introducing that period to the videogame audience better than a historian ever could. Television watchers can get in on the era of the snappy suit and sexy frock too. And not just with Mad Men; rumour has it there’s an early Sixties prequel to Dynasty in the works.

It’s groovy. Check it out.

Most importantly for us though, Fox’s ‘timely’ reboot of the X-Men series revolves around the most dangerous month in Mankind’s history, October 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis.

You don’t go to the movies for a history lesson though. And you don’t necessarily read movie reviews for plot spoilers. With a film as densely plotted as X-Men:First Class it’s difficult to say much without revealing the odd key story element so I’ll just say this before going on. It’s a very good film. There is none of that “we need an action beat before minute 5” nonsense. The movie builds slowly but pleasingly to a long sustained action climax. Plus there are some laughs. See it.

Now then…

There was talk a little while back of a standalone Magneto film as well as an X-Men prequel. First Class is, I think, both of those films. We get a longer more detailed look at the Auschwitz scene from the first X-Men movie. We get a good look at how that trauma shapes Magneto’s life. We also see the formation of Professor X’s first mutant team.

I’ve read that this movie is part of the continuity of the Bryan Singer films. Despite the presence of Bryan Singer’s name among the writing credits I don’t think that’s quite the case. The team that forms over the course of this film is neither the Wein/Claremont-influenced group from the Singer movies nor a faithful rendition of the original X-men from the comics.

Not that that matters much. Comic book continuity is a pretty elastic thing.

In this movie we get Angel, sure, but not Warren Worthington. Instead it’s Angel Salvadore (AKA Tempest) who gets the air cover role. There’s no Cyclops, and instead we get Havok. He is Scott Summers’s brother in the funnybooks, but clearly the relationship has been flipped for the purposes of this movie. Beast is around too, although rather than in action scenes it’s as the X-Men’s resident scientific genius that he really shines. As a mutant he’s the very embodiment of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.

The powerhouse of the team, and the powerhouse of the movie, is Magneto. His physical journey takes him across the world as a sort of superpowered Simon Wiesenthal. His emotional arc is the most interesting aspect of the film, rivalled only by Mystique’s parallel journey.

Michael Fassbender looks great in the role too – variously James Bond, Don Draper and of course the helmeted mutant extremist we know and love. There’s a great backstory for the helmet by the way. That’s one of a dozen great little touches that prefigure events and personalities in the wider X-Men story.

Genre favourite Michael Ironside’s around for all of five minutes. I’d imagine him to be a little too big for the part he’s in: Sequel material?

James McAvoy is good as Professor Xavier, but the script doesn’t give him too much to work with. Unlike his magnetic counterpart, Xavier’s character and outlook are virtually unchanged by the tumultuous events portrayed in the film. He does unexpectedly turn out to be something of a ladies’ man though.

Rose Byrne plays a character called Moira MacTaggert: she doesn’t have much in common with the comics character of the same name, but it’s an interesting, fun part and she pulls it off like a cashmere sweater. Smooth and lovable.

Kevin Bacon is the movie’s primary antagonist. He doesn’t get a huge amount of screen time but whenever he’s around, he’s never more than six degrees away from devilishly brilliant.

The casts’s other big highlight is January Jones. Playing a villainous Emma Frost as part of Kevin Bacon’s Hellfire Club she gets to wear all the best clothes. She’s a hell of a lot sexier than her slightly brittle persona in Mad Men might suggest. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that she may well figure substantially in any X-Men: Sophomore Year movie.

Period superhero movies are pretty rare. Sure, Captain America’s just around the corner but apart from him, The Rocketeer and Doc Savage there really aren’t many. Unless you want to bring up League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and frankly Alan Moore would prefer it if you didn’t.

In fact the only period superhero flick in recent memory is Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. Watchmen looked luscious and was rammed, in fact some might say over-egged, with antique props and wardrobe.

By contrast the look of X-Men First Class is pretty, but pretty subtle stuff. The designer did have a bit of fun with The Hellfire Club. I kept expecting Woody Allen to wander through shot. There’s a brilliant Strangelove-era War Room and the interior of Sebastian Shaw’s submarine is delicious.

Most importantly though we do get to see the original and best Blackbird. And the first incarnation of Cerebro. If you’re the kind of comic book fan who actually remembers that Silver Age stuff the first time around there’s a lot to enjoy. It’s just not as ‘in your face’ as Watchmen.

If you have fond memories of the Richard Donner Superman films there’s a kryptonian memory-wipe smooch to look forward to as well.

All in , First Class is a damn fine superhero movie. More geared, I would suggest, to the more mature fanboy as opposed to some of the aspartame-crazed comic book capers that tend to pop up on the boxes of Happy Meals.

I think he’s trying to make us feel old.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:12 am

http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/columnists/david-edwards/2011/05/27/class-of-their-own-115875-23160011/

CLASS OF THEIR OWN
By David Edwards 27/05/2011

BIG RELEASE 1

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Cert 12A, 132mins *****

As one movie franchise sinks (see below) another soars with this rip-roaringly enjoyable action prequel that comes with the superpower of (clears throat) keeping us glued to the screen for twoplus hours. X-Men: First Class has it all - great characters, a great cast and great - great characters, a great cast and great effects. Such an intelligent and wellrounded film deserves to make converts of nonsuperhero fans. But, enough gush and on with the plot.

Set mostly in 1962, the focus is on the friendship between telepathic student Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and concentration-camp survivor Erik (Michael Fassbender) who uses his gift of manipulating magnetism to find the evil Dr Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who killed his mother.
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And as the psychotic practitioner is planning to use the looming Cuban Missile Crisis to end the world, it's down to the pals to round up a team of mutants to foil his plot.

The cleverest thing about X-Men 5 is it doesn't feel like a superhero movie, being more interested in the characters' struggling with their outsider status than KAPOW! moments. You don't get people this rounded in your standard Oscar flick.

And, if it doesn't feel like a typical superhero movie, it doesn't look like one either, more closely resembling an early James Bond film.

Shaw, prowling the seas in a hi-tech submarine, is Blofeld minus the cat, the X-Men's tech boffin (Nicholas Hoult) is Q junior and their attempt to avert an East-West war is pure Spy Who Loved Me material.

The only drawback is that the five mutant teenagers who Xavier enlists to help him in his quest to save the world don't really have enough to do here, but will doubtless come into their own in the next instalment.

So, nice one, X-Men 5. Go straight to the top of the class.

Released on Weds (June 1).

THE REEL LOWDOWN

Best Quote: Shaw: "We are the children of the atom. What kills humans will only make us stronger." BEST BIT: Believable, rounded characters and a great set-piece finale.

Worst Bit: Idle teens. IF YOU LIKED... Batman Begins, X2, Watchmen... YOU'LL LIKE THIS.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:17 am

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/249021/Film-review-X-Men-First-Class

FILM REVIEW: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

X-Men: First Class

Friday May 27,2011
By Allan Hunter

X-Men: First Class (Cert 12A; 132mins)

Imagine if you had a secret power. We’re talking X-ray vision, a spot of mind reading or the ability to fly unharmed through a cloud of volcanic ash.

You would probably spend all your time showing off to your mates unable to believe your good fortune.

Comic book adaptations always tend to present us with anguished heroes or life and death situations. There is no shortage of either in X-Men: First Class but the film also gains a freshness and exhilaration by acknowledging how utterly cool it might be to discover your destiny as a mutant superhero.

First Class takes the X-Men story back to its roots and is just the kick in the pants the series needed. It is smart, spectacular, never cheesy, often thrilling and always incredibly entertaining.

The bulk of the story takes place at the height of the Cold War and the combination of globe-trotting adventure and a dastardly megalomaniac out to conquer the world gives it the feel of a long-lost James Bond movie from the Sean Connery era: high praise in anyone’s book.

The story begins during the Second World War when the future Magneto, young Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner), becomes a guinea pig for an evil Nazi, later known as Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). At the same time the future Professor Charles Xavier (Laurence Belcher) is about to discover that he is not the only mutant on the planet.

Eighteen years later Xavier (James McAvoy) is a tweedy academic with an eye for the

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ladies and a fondness for smarmy pick-up lines. He could be a young Leslie Phillips. Older Erik (Michael Fassbender) is out for revenge on Sebastian, moving from Geneva to Argentina.

Sleek, charismatic Fassbender shows us what a perfect Bond he could be. His Erik is a cold-eyed assassin with a novel way of extracting fi llings from teeth.

Inevitably the destinies of the two men cross once CIA agent Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne) takes an interest in Xavier’s work as a geneticist.

A friendship develops despite their fundamental differences.

Xavier has a dream of a world in which mutants will be accepted as equals. Erik sees mutants as the next stage in evolution.

Given what we know of the bitter future clashes between Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart it is clear this particular coalition is destined to go pear-shaped. X-Men emphasises the outsider status of the mutants and the Sixties setting inevitably carries echoes of the civil rights movement and gay liberation.

Director Matthew (Kick-Ass) Vaughn stamps his authority on the fi lm, perfectly balancing action and character development, humour and humanity, style and substance.

A top-notch cast includes January Jones, Nicholas Hoult and a brilliantly believable double-act from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Summer blockbusters just don’t come any better than this.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:25 am

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/reviewsnews.php?id=78015

X-Men: First Class
Reviewed by: Edward Douglas
Rating: 8 out of 10

Cast:
James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme / Mystique
Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw
Rose Byrne as Dr. Moira MacTaggert
January Jones as Emma Frost
Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy / Beast
Jason Flemyng as Azazel
Zoë Kravitz as Angel Salvadore
Lucas Till as Alex Summers / Havok
Morgan Lily as Young Raven Darkholme / Young Mystique
Oliver Platt as Man in Black
Edi Gathegi as Armando Muñoz / Darwin
Ray Wise as Secretary of State of the United States
Bill Milner as Young Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy / Banshee
Álex González as Janos Quested / Riptide
Demetri Goritsas as Levene
Laurence Belcher as Young Charles Xavier

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Story:
In 1962, at the height of the Cold War, two men from different backgrounds pool their resources to bring attention to the plight of those with genetic mutations, some that give them extraordinary powers, others that make them look different. Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is an academic in genetic mutations, while Erik Lehnsherr (Mike Fassbender) is a Holocaust survivor bent on getting revenge against those responsible for his parents' death in the concentration camps. In particular, he's after Klaus Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) who years later has turned up as a wealthy power broker known as Sebastian Shaw, who has become involved with playing both sides of the conflict between the United States and the Soviets.

Analysis:
Fans of Bryan Singer's work to bring Marvel's not-so-merry mutants to the big screen should be thrilled by his return to the franchise, this time overseeing the prequel as a producer while allowing "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn to bring his own creative personality to the mix. Together, they've created a movie that fits well into the context of the other films without worrying so much about continuity, making for a satisfying prequel.

This is a true origin story showing how Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr first met and how they worked together until the formation of their divergent ideologies led them to create warring mutant factions. In his movies, Singer used mutants as an analogy for the persecution of homosexuals, but here they're thrown into the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis and impending Space Race between the US and the Soviet Union with the government playing just as an important part as Charles tries to work with them to find and train mutants. There is a certain feel and language Singer created in the original "X-Men" in 2000 that helped set the standard for all the superhero movies that have come since then, and Vaughn thrives in the prequel's 1962 setting to create something that incorporates influences ranging from James Bond to "Mad Men" to "Dr. Strangelove."

The first half hour cuts between Charles and Erik each making their way in this world following their early epiphanies, Erik essentially turning into "Erik Lensherr: Nazi Hunter," as his anger drives him to violence in order to find the man who killed his mother, while Charles focuses on his studies to become a professor of genetics.

Casting for any comic book movie is crucial and Vaughn could not have done much better than having James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender playing the roles made famous by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. There's little question that the conflict between Professor X and Magneto is the core both of the comics and earlier movies, and the rapport between McAvoy and Fassbender is certainly on par. McAvoy brings a great deal of charm to the table showing younger Xavier to be more of the ladies' man we've seen in the comics; Fassbender oozes a far more dangerous "bad boy" energy, as he turns to Charles to help control his anger-driven magnetic powers. The way this relationship is established and evolves over the course of "First Class" is absolutely perfect, and the thought of seeing Magneto when he was still young and vibrant plays a large part in what makes this such a strong reboot (of sorts). (It's fun to watch Fassbender's mastery of languages, but it's unclear why a Polish Jewish immigrant would have a British accent... or an Irish one, as Fassbender's own accent sometimes slips in.)

Another revelation in casting is Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme aka Mystique, Charles' earliest mutant discovery and childhood friend who plays an enormous role in the division of the friends. Lawrence is a stronger actor than Rebecca Romijn, so we can actually see her transform from a fairly innocent teenager to the seductress she'll later become. The fourth cog in the wheel is Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Hank McCoy, not quite in his blue and furry phase just yet, but he is already the group's genius inventing things like early incarnations of Cerebro and the Blackbird. Hank adds an intriguing dynamic to the love triangle because Raven finds a kindred spirit in a mutant who must hide his mutation to be accepted. This subplot introduces the early vestiges of McCoy trying to find a cure for mutation, a brilliant tease for some of the comic storylines as well as the main plot of "The Last Stand." The casting works well because you can truly believe these are the four characters that will go on to be the ones in Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner's movies.

I wasn't as thrilled by Kevin Bacon's portrayal of Sebastian Shaw, maybe because other than his powers, he's nothing like the character from the comics and more like a stock comic book villain. Likewise, January Jones gives a fairly lifeless performance as Emma Frost, though her deliberately cold delivery may be what's necessary for the character. Jason Flemyng's Azazel has cool teleportation powers that will appeal to fans of Nightcrawler - it's not a coincidence but who knows if they can connect the two characters with what's been established in this movie?

On the other hand, creating a connection between Shaw and Magneto by having the former being a Nazi from his past doesn't make a lot of sense, especially once Shaw shows up with no accent and with mutant abilities that were nowhere to be found during his earlier scene. It makes you wonder why bother including the Hellfire Club in there at all, because here, they're just another group of mutants with none of what makes the group so distinctive in the comics.

At times, the movie tends to drag, because it takes so long to get to the part most X-Men fans will be waiting to see, which is Charles and Erik joining forces to assemble and train the first team of young mutants. Due to decisions made in earlier films, the movie X-Men are already a mish-mash of characters and storylines from the comic books, and "First Class" follows suit, pulling together mutants from all fifty odd years of the books, some more esoteric than the others. The two mutants that will bring comic fans the most thrills are Lucas Till as Havok and Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, and they offer some of the best moments in an extended montage showing them learning to hone and control their powers. The decision to include Darwin and Angel (the Grant Morrison one) are both odd choices, especially since they're characters who don't seem that necessary to the story.

Oddly missing is the international diversity of the group that was so prominent in comics. Banshee isn't Irish, for instance, nor is Rose Byrne's Moira McTaggert Scottish. In fact, she isn't even a genetic scientist, instead being the CIA agent who first discovers the existence of mutants and becomes Charles' government liaison. Byrne's character thrives in the first section of the movie when it's all about secret agents and "Mad Men"-like settings, but she is almost forgotten once Charles and Erik join forces.

Despite introducing so many characters, Vaughn somehow manages to keep the story tightly focused using a slightly conventional structure broken up into four distinct sections. In fact, it's fairly impressive what he's created in terms of the scope of this world and the scale of the set pieces considering the comparatively short production window. With FX designed by John Dykstra, who performed similar duties on "Star Wars" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," they find cool ways of depicting the mutant powers with Emma Frost's crystalline form being one of the few that just doesn't look right. Even so, they do clever things to make what may seem like the more innocuous psychic powers of Frost and Charles Xavier interesting to make up for them not being as visual. Some of the practical make-up also looks a bit funky at times.

Placing the movie firmly in the early '60s creates its own set of problems because none of the younger actors really look or act like kids of that era, instead bringing their own MTV-influenced teen angst to the movie. This is a fairly minor quibble, but it does show inconsistencies in Vaughn's attempt at setting the story within a realistic historical context of the times, essentially building up to a reworking of the Bay of Pigs invasion to include a battle between the two groups of mutants.

The Bottom Line:
Fans of the comics may be confused by how disparate elements from the books have been tossed together, but fans of the movies should appreciate how Matthew Vaughn has established characters they love in a unique setting with a strong cast and set pieces just as big and impressive as the other movies. It may not quite reach the level of perfection of "X2," but it does a far better job introducing the characters than Singer did in his first movie, and that alone is something worth commending.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:40 am

http://movies.uk.msn.com/reviews/drama/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=157846375

Ed Holden, editor, MSN Movies, 26/05/2011 15:34
X-Men: First Class - MSN Review

A new cast and a new director have dug up the beginnings of the X-Men and come up with gold.

Release date: 1 June 2011
Certificate: 12A
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Director: Matthew Vaughn

Any X-Men movie is faced with the challenges of a large ensemble. Peripheral characters must be crammed in alongside the main plot as various super-evolved beings' fates are decided. This is particularly difficult for a prequel. It has to credibly precede three existing movies and their many, many threads. Slip ups will be treated as blasphemy by the fans.

We're impressed, then, that X-Men: First Class delivers a deliciously well-crafted origin story. It brings to light the beginnings of the core cast without ever-feeling like a precursor to the meat of the series. In fact, it's as climactic as anything else the X-Men series has to offer and the best written of the lot.

Credit to director Matthew Vaughn and writing talent Jane Goldman for patching it all together. We start with the mistreatment of a young Jew named Eric Lehnsherr at the hands of the Nazis. Sinister scientist Sebastian Shaw (devilish Kevin Bacon effortlessly handles the villain) wishes to use the boy's amazing power to control metal for evil purposes, alongside his own unique abilities.

But the forces of good are also rising in the mutant world, even if they're prone to boozing and rather too much use of the word 'groovy'. Telepath and all-around mind master Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) has discovered a fellow mutant capable of shape-shifting (Mystique played by Jennifer Lawrence) and is discovering that they are not alone. Brought in by the CIA to investigate powerful beings that appear to be trying to trigger World War 3, Xavier discovers a grownup Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) recklessly trying to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of Shaw.

X-men: First Class - Twentieth Century Fox

The guts of the film lie in the complex relationship between Xavier and Lehnsherr/Magneto. Xavier believes that humans and mutants can co-exist, leading to his establishing the embryonic X-Men squad in conjunction with the CIA. He establishes a friendship with Magneto which is only strengthened by deep telepathic voyages into the mind of the powerful spoon-bender. But Magneto cannot share his friend's faith in a future shared by humans and mutants. Dangerously, he's also beginning to understand the terrifying extent of his own power.

The tension between these two leads as they face up to the growing power of Shaw is really enough to carry the movie through its sequence of escalating action spectaculars. McAvoy does an excellent job of channeling Patrick Stewart without impersonating him, bringing his own charm while credibly living inside the minds of everyone. Fassbender is all intensity and physicality. His ability to carry a big-time action flick by himself is all over this performance. We build towards The Cuba Missile Crisis, which Shaw has penciled in for the end of mankind.

But what about the rest? The X-Men are essentially divided into A-list (McAvoy, Fassbender and Bacon) and B-list, with Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) hovering somewhere in between. There are seven more mutants, played by January Jones, Jason Flemyng, Zoe Kravitz, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Alex Gonzalez and Caleb Landry Jones. They're tasked with making an impact quickly with minimal screen time. The result is that their scenes lean on the CGI some of which, make no mistake, is damn cool. But the result is that the performances feel thin. We found ourselves wanting to fast forward them and get back to the Fassbender/McAvoy tome.

The final action sequence is a ripper, happily shot in glorious 2D. But what's perhaps most satisfying is the way we land at the establishment of the X-Men situation with such continuity. With excellent performances and big-movie brains, it's a huge step up for the X-Men franchise.

4 stars

A great start to blockbuster season. The gauntlet has been laid down.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:41 am

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/movies/x-men-revival-a-first-class-act/story-e6frf9h6-1226063665753

Last Updated: May 28, 2011

X-Men revival a first-class act

Leigh Paatsch
From: Herald Sun
May 27, 2011 12:00AM

Top of the class: Jason Flemyng and January Jones in a scene from X-Men: First Class. Supplied

BACK in time. Back with a vengeance. That's what the report card will show for X-Men: First Class, a barnstorming blockbuster that restores every bit of lost lustre to the once-faded X-Men franchise.

Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) injects this $120 million prequel with the same electric energy and back-to-basics brilliance J.J. Abrams brought to 2009's Star Trek reboot.

The film sets a cracking pace in its early stretches, catapulting viewers back to the early 1960s, where future foes Professor X and Magneto are best friends battling a common enemy.

Still trading under their given names of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), the two mutant freedom fighters join forces with the CIA to take down super-powered Nazi villain Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

If that plot synopsis sounds crazy on first impressions, just wait until you see how it ties in with the famous Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

While First Class does not take itself too seriously for too long throughout -- a surprise, five-second cameo by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine is a humorous high point -- the film's focus on the origins of several key X-Men characters is always to the fore.

The polar opposite backgrounds of Charles (a sophisticated and witty Oxford academic) and Erik (an intense loner who lost his family in the Holocaust) provide real dramatic light and shade to the tale.

McAvoy and Fassbender are terrific, immediately nailing their characters in a manner that makes sequels a formality.

The duo stands out from an equally fine supporting cast led by Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Mad Men pin-up January Jones and Australia's Rose Byrne (soon to be seen in another sure-fire hit, the comedy Bridesmaids).

Factor in top-notch special effects and a spectacularly gripping finale, and you've got one of the best action releases of 2011.

X-Men: First Class opens next Thursday
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:03 am

http://www.3news.co.nz/Kiwis-to-be-first-in-world-to-see-X-Men-First-Class/tabid/418/articleID/212796/Default.aspx

Kiwis to be first in world to see X-Men: First Class
Thu, 26 May 2011 5:29p.m.

New Zealand have announced an early opening for X-Men: First Class, which will be the first public screening in the world.

The film will open for the public in cinemas nationwide on Wednesday June 1 at 8pm.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass) and co-written and produced by Bryan Singer (director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United), the film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz.

New Zealand visual effects house Weta Digital played a key role in the film by creating spectacular sequences in the film’s action-packed third act.

“The film is so closely tied to historical events of the ‘60s that we wanted even the most extraordinary effects to have a sense of realism to keep the audience in the story”, said Guy Williams, Visual Effects Supervisor at Weta Digital.

The prequel is set before characters Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, when the two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.

X-Men: First is set in the 1960s – the dawn of the Space Age, and a time filled with the hope of JFK’s Camelot. But it was also the height of the Cold War, when escalating tensions between the US and the Soviet Union threatened the entire planet – and when the world discovered the existence of mutants.
3 News
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:04 am

SPOILERS:








http://www.411mania.com/movies/news/187620/%5BMovies%5D-Major-Cameo-Revealed-For-X-Men:-First-Class-%28SPOILER%29.htm

[Movies] Major Cameo Revealed For X-Men: First Class (SPOILER)
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 05.25.2011

Click only if you want to know…

A major character has been revealed to be cameoing in X-Men: First Class. Dean Piper, a columnist for the Sunday Mirror, tweeted the following in his reaction to having seen the film:

Sooooo just seen X-Men First Class. Blooming marvellous film. Such a great script. Funny and not too much. Just got it soooo right!

Michael Fassbender steals the show. He's ace. And a very funny cameo from Hugh Jackman. Out nationwide next Wednesday tweeps....

Since then, Bleeding Cool has reported the details of the cameo:

Half way through X-Men: First Class, as Professor X and Magneto are travelling the world looking for mutants, they come across Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, in a bar. Before they can get a sentence out, Wolverine, without looking at them tells them to "Go f&#! yourselves." They leave.

The character's appearance gets a laugh, his attitude and language gets a double laugh, repeating on itself, through the audience. It's a superb scene, well played, well staged, well placed. And it's the only moment such language is used in the entire film. We loved it.

The film opens next Wednesday.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:09 am

http://blog.al.com/entertainment_source/2011/05/summer_movie_preview_an_x-men.html

Summer Movie Preview: An 'X-Men' movie without Wolverine can still own, right?
Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 2:30 PM Updated: Friday, May 27, 2011, 1:52 PM
Ben Flanagan, al.com By Ben Flanagan, al.com

The first two "X-Men" films certainly had their moments but ultimately left me cold, given the emphasis was placed more so on their themes than the action so many dynamic characters could readily deliver.

That falls more squarely on director Bryan Singer's first two adaptations of the Marvel comic, which serve as admirable allegories about gay rights, substituting mutants in this case.

Singer made salient points, sure, but maybe spent too much time in board rooms with federal government officials and not enough with the guys with blades sticking out of their fists and freaking laser beams shooting from their eyes.

In "X-Men: First Class," director Matthew Vaughn ("Layer Cake," "Kick-Ass) sends us back in time before friends Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr became archenemies Professor X and Magneto.

Rising stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender star as the former allies who form a school for mutants with superhuman abilities in the 1960s. Before long, one of them gives in to the forces of the dark side. Sorry, wrong franchise.

We shouldn't dwell on the fact that we have a prequel that contends this universe can be interesting without the likes of Wolverine or Cyclops (we saw how Logan did on his own two years ago, eh? Bleh). Vaughn is capable of bringing us a sleek, smart superhero flick with a dynamite cast, led by McAvoy, Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.

The film is already garnering rave reviews, with some proclaiming it a "huge home run" and saying Vaughn has done with this franchise what J.J. Abrams did with "Star Trek."

OK, now let's go see for ourselves.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:16 am

http://thepeoplesmovies.com/2011/05/28/review-x-men-first-class/

Review: X-Men: First Class

May 28

Posted by escapebuttons

X-MEN:FIRST CLASS

reviewer Dexter Kong
Rated: 12A (UK)
Release Date: June 1st, 2011(UK)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender , Jennifer Lawrence , Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jason Flemyng

X-Men: First Class is the latest movie from the Marvel franchise. Matthew Vaughan was actually set to direct the third film, but had to pull out due to conflicting interest over what way to take the franchise; so in stepped Brett Ratner to royally piss on whatever groundwork was laid before. But now Vaughan is back and this his X-Men film is a prequel, with the story by Bryan Singer.
Could this be the breath of life and what kick starts interest and excitement again?

It begins with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a middle class child, who goes to Oxford University to study genetics, he is actually quite the galavantier, humorously using his knowledge of mutations as a chat up line. Though his fascination is driven by his own ability.

On the other hand Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) aka Magneto is on a quest to hunt down the Nazis captors of his concentration camp, in a somewhat James Bond esque style, even wearing the classic polo shirt and khakis combo. Vaughan actually looked to the early era James Bond movies as inspiration. Lehnsherr has an intermediate grasp of his ability to control metallic objects when we first meet him and uses his power in a minimal way to extract information and dispatch of his targets. At this point he is just suave, raw untapped anger and power.

When the two meet we are shown for the first time the bond that existed between these two and how they could have so easily been friends, were it not for Lensherr’s mindset after experiencing the death of his family under the hand of Nazis prejudice.

Set during 60s era cold war. Undercover CIA operative Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne)
recruits them both to form a team to help uncover suspicious rumblings which could set off the Cold War missile crisis.

Fortunately I can gladly tell you that Vaughan knocks it out of the park again with another superbly crafted action film. His grasp on all aspect of what makes a good film seem to be there, in pacing, cast, great action scenes and the relationship of the characters.

The strength of X-Men: First Class is the emotional grounding that McAvoy and Fassbender provide, making their two comic characters actually feel like real people with genuine conflict. Fassbender is absolutely superb as Magento and his performance even enhances the sudo-physics of his abilities, when trying to overexert his super power you can visibly see him straining as if he is really lifting and moving these objects. McAvoy on the other hand is well rounded as the stoic Charles Xavier, he is like a father figure to his team of young mutants and you genuinely feel sorry for when the inevitable occurs, given his emotional investment.

The film rewrites the origins story of the X-Men, but in a manner that is pretty much very well fitted and could easily exist within the continuity of the current films or in it’s own set; though I believe it would probably be wisest for Marvel to treat this as a reboot of the franchise, given just how much of a resounding success this is as a movie and the almost character defining performances of McAvoy and Fassbender.

A minor gripe of mine would be that some of the effects here and there do not look like they were quite finished, lacking a bit of polish; though given the incredibly fast turn around of this film I’m not surprised if they were still going up until release.

X-Men: First Class has plenty of great action sequences and is a great cinematic experience that stands strides ahead of the former counterparts. I would even put it up there near Nolan’s Batman in terms of what comic book films are actually capable of delivering.
MOVIE RATING: 4.5/5
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:26 am

http://thesearethedroidsyourelookingfor.blogspot.com/2011/05/summer-movies-are-upon-us.html

Friday, May 27, 2011
Summer movies are upon us

There is no doubt that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is my most anticipated movie of this upcoming summer. It might be my most anticipated movie ever, really, the one that encapsulates all that was good about my childhood and the stark end to it as a defining part of my childhood ends with this final film. So there's really no other contest between Harry Potter and any other movie this summer. Or ever.

But, if I had to pick a (fairly close) second movie worthy of extreme anticipation, it would easily have to be X-Men: First Class. I love X-Men. I love Matthew Vaughn. I love Michael Fassbender. Basically, this movie looks awesome.

Seriously. Sign me up for the wannabe mutants right now. The three recent X-Men movies have been good, fun entertainment and no one can deny that Hugh Jackman is pretty awesome as Wolverine. But this movie looks fantastic. Following in the footsteps of Iron Man and Batman Begins, Vaughn here looks like he is continuing the trend of making superhero movies of substance. Maybe that won't prove to be true, but, for now, this video, and all the trailers and other promotional materials, have made me believe that this will be the case. Look for me at the theater on Friday, June 3rd.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:37 am

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/05/x-men_first_class_is_gonna_be_a_great_movie.php

X-Men: First Class Is Gonna Be a Great Movie

By Rob Bricken in Comics, Movies
Friday, May 27, 2011, at 11:21 am

​All right, respect. Whatever qualities or problems X-Men: First Class is going to have, it really will feature a scene of January Jones as Emma Frost just hanging out in lingerie as if it was a regular, socially acceptable outfit. While I'm not losing my mind at the Maxim pin-up-iness of it, I do think it's amazing that they've taken this one bizarre character trait of the White Queen and just run it with on-screen. It's probably for the best, because if you've seen Jones try to "act" in any of the million or so film clips that have been released (like this one), you'll understand why it's probably a good idea for Jones to be standing around in a bra for most of the film.

And don't worry, ladies, I haven't forgotten about you. Unfortunately, Michael Fassbender seems to be mostly clothed in First Class, but here's a clip of him looking good and being badass, an act which I will now refer to as "Fassbending." Sorry it's not a pic of him standing around in bikini briefs, but it's the best I could do.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:38 am

http://cbrotherson.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-men-first-class-spoiler-free-review.html

Friday, May 27, 2011
X-Men: First Class – spoiler free review (or essay, in this case)
X-Men: First Class hurts.

Not in that physical, 'bouncer removing you from the cinema for smuggling in a mobile phone' way. But in the 'wow, this is what X-Men 3 could have been' way if director Matthew Vaughn hadn’t walked away from it.

In short, X-Men: First Class is bloody good.

In long? Well, that's what all those words below are about to go into…

My thoughts on the third movie of the X-Men saga are numerous and you can read them here (http://www.comixfan.net/forums/showthread.php?t=39073), but for the sake of clarity and relevance:

X1: Good, if flawed and dated
X2: Brilliant
X3: Enjoyable nonsense, but easily worst of the bunch

So I came to X-Men: First Class hoping for something which could match my expectations of X2, or at least avoid the relative mess of X3. My faith in the creative team of Vaughn and writer Jane Goldman had yet been shattered after the largely excellent fantasy romp of Stardust and the surprisingly fun Kick Ass. And here, again, they do a fantastic job where in all reality they should have fallen flat on their faces given the stupidly difficult task at hand.

"X-Men! Welcome… to die!"

Vaughn had to create a film mired in canon and coming off the back of a critical mauling, with a shifting production team, a swiftly re-written script and less than 18 months to film the entire thing (apparently principle photography started in August 2010). And yet, First Class remains one of the most tightly structured, coherent and well rounded superhero movies ever made.

X-Men: First Class brings together the story of how Erik 'Magneto' Lehnsherr and Charles 'Professor X' Xavier first met, formed the X-Men and eventually became bitter enemies. Using the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis as its frame, the tale whips along at a breathless pace, taking us through the Holocaust, Cold War paranoia, the Civil Rights Movement in America, mutant powers, developing friendships and the consequences of violence both explicit and implicit. But it never feels bloated, nor does it lose you for its 2 hours running time. This is lean storytelling that manages to be coherent, exciting and deep, while battering through its narrative with punk rock efficiency. Nothing is wasted.

Given the large number of characters, it's only natural some get a little left by the wayside in the wake of the story's main focus – the relationship between Erik and Charles, played by a wonderfully good Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, respectively. Measured and convincing, they perfectly capture the mannerisms of their counterparts from the previous films (Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart) while adding some ticks of their own, making them incredibly fun to watch. Jennifer Lawrence also turns in a great performance as Raven 'Mystique' Darkhölme, acting as the foil between the two and ultimately, their conscience.

"Peace? Peace was never an option."

When combined with the film's main villain, Sebastian Shaw (ably played by the talented Kevin Bacon, who thankfully makes a rare appearance without his usual co-star – his naked butt), X-Men: First Class' strengths really come out. It's easily the most thematically solid movie of the four, playing with concepts of what it means to seek and exact justice and the scar inducing issues of prejudice and paranoia – with several key elements recurring through the film, such as man vs monster (when one blurs into the other and how a monster is created by the actions of others), racial pride vs fear and war vs peace (as the mutants themselves become metaphors for weapons of mass destruction more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis itself).

The most prominent symbol in the movie is also the most devastating – a single Nazi gold coin. Used at several junctures in the story, it manages to become a massive collection of metaphors in itself, showing us greed, intolerance, fear, corruption and violence, both symbolically and literally. It's a permanent and powerful motif in First Class, acting as a reminder that Charles and Erik (as well as Erik and Shaw) are two sides of the same coin, while also representing the circular nature of violence. And, as comic book writer/columnist Rich Johnston correctly pointed out, it also acts as visual opposition in a grand game of noughts and crosses, Erik's round nought/coin vs Charles' X/cross – War Games, indeed.

If there are any problems with X-Men: First Class, they're fairly minor. For a start, Shaw's big evil plan is a bit poorly thought out. It reminded me of Deacon Frost's supposed master plan in the first Blade movie – not very clear, a fair bit short sighted and the reality of it not quite matching the moustache twiddling machinations of the maniac plotting them. Which may well be the point, but at the same time it took me out of the film a tad. As did the occasionally trite nature of trying to pack so many "ah, so that's why...!" moments into the movie for fear of never having the chance to create a follow-up (they will). Some of the inclusions come the film's end are unnecessary and come off too neat for the sake of completeness. It's a similar criticism I have of the wonderful theatre production, Wicked, where I thought it went out of its way to answer every single motivation and character genesis for The Wizard of Oz. Same with First Class, which almost bends over backwards to offer explanations to every facet of Charles' and Erik's relationship, something which will only become more complex as more movies are created.

First Class also lacks scenes with the visual flash and flare offered by X2, such as when Nightcrawler storms the Oval Office or the jaw dropping madness of Wolverine and Deathstrike stabbing the merry hell out of each other in a brutal ballet. While the set pieces in First Class are fantastic, it would have been interesting to see what Vaughn would have done with the anti-gravity fight scene he dropped after seeing Inception.

But these are easily forgivable missives because First Class arguably manages to be the more accomplished movie of the quartet through its strong themes and very relatable human tale, dressed in gaudy superhuman clothing. Is it as good as The Dark Knight? No. But it's on par with X2 as the best X-Men movie made, and easily among the better superhero flicks created. And the cameos (both stealth and overt) that fans will notice are inspired, with one in particular firing off the most hilarious use of "go f*ck yourself" since Anchorman.

X-Men: First Class is top draw. A remarkable achievement against heavy odds that could have been a agonizing experience for all concerned. Instead, it's merely the birthing pains of what will hopefully be a new era for the franchise...
Posted by Writing Gaijin at 5:14 PM
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:40 am

http://iheartthetalkies.com/2011/05/27/film-review-x-men-first-class/

Film Review: X-Men: First Class

After X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there did not seem to be much life left in the X-Men franchise. X-Men: First Class has changed that; it is an unexpectedly good prequel that should do great business at the box office.

In 1944, two young boys with very different backgrounds discover that they have special powers. Years later (in the 1960s), the two meet as adults after the CIA discovers the presence of mutants among the human population. Charles Xavier wants to find other mutants in order to train and help them, but Erik Lehnsherr has his mind set on revenge…

Continuing with the superhero theme after last year’s Kick-Ass, director Matthew Vaughn steers X-Men: First Class with some aplomb. It is tricky to keep a prequel engaging, as the audience is all too aware of what is to come. Vaughn does an excellent job of keeping the audience entertained throughout.

The writing team adds sufficient humour to the film, balancing more dramatic scenes with lighter moments in others. The brief cameos are inspired; a nod to those familiar with the X-Men franchise. The inclusion and omission of characters strikes the right balance. Familiar characters anchor the film; it is after all the back story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. However, the screenwriters are wise not to saturate the film with too many well-known characters, choosing instead to introduce a young group that would mostly be familiar to fans of the comics.

Set in the 1960s, X-Men: First Class links the fantasy aspects present with real-life events. This is a masterstroke, as it secures the film firmly in the real world, despite the fantastical forces that appear. The film creates an imagined history from real events, twisting the Cuban missile crisis so that it included the mutants. Throughout the film, references are made to this period and these events; the group are shown watching Kennedy on a black and white television set, for example.

Performances are solid all round, but it is Michael Fassbender who steals the show as Erik. Playing a character so identified with another actor seems like a difficult task, but Fassbender inhabits the role, bringing great presence to the film. James McAvoy is good as Charles, while Rose Byrne is very believable as Moira.

The art direction of X-Men: First Class is great, as is the sound. The only gripes with the film are very minor. The film slackens in momentum once or twice, but recovers quickly. Similarly there are one or two artificial-looking CGI effects, but overall the film is visually pleasing.

X-Men: First Class is the best blockbuster of the year so far. It has set a bar that the upcoming summer blockbusters will have to match.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:40 am

http://carleyodea.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-men-first-class-movie-trailer.html

Friday, 27 May 2011
X-Men: First Class Movie Trailer
Only a little bit excited for this!

I have a secret obsession for comic book adaptations and with the X-Men trilogy being in my own top film list, I will be waiting in anticipation until the opening night.

Reviews have been mixed and I will miss the original characters, especially Patrick Stewart (Xavier) and Sir Ian McKellan (Magneto), however with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender taking over the respective characters I do not think it will disappoint.

So until I get the chance to sit in front of the big screen I will be digging out my X-Men boxset and indulging myself with a mutant fix ... I must prepare after all!
Posted by Carley O'Dea at 15:25
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:43 am

http://supergasnojutsu.livejournal.com/178459.html

Next week is X-Men: First Class. I love the X-men, I always have. It's always had so much more pathos to me than other action hero stories because there's this conflict between mutants and non-mutants that's not unlike the kind of heated race battles we've had throughout human history. And I love the dissonance between Magneto and Professor X because it's very much like MLK Jr. and Malcolm X. Magneto doesn't think mutants can live with other humans and he doesn't think they should have to. They're the next stage in human evolution and they should be dominant in that heirarchy. Prof X on the other hand wants nothing more than for everyone to get along, for there to be acceptance between both groups and for all the hatred and suspicion to stop. And then mixed into that? Awesome super powers and crazy cool characters. Like Wolverine and Beast and Mystique. This new one features Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James MacAvoy as Xavier. So maybe Mr. MacAvoy will shed some light on how he went from having luxurious brown locks to being bald for pretty much all the rest of the X-men cannon. It sure beats the usual "I have daddy issues and my ego is too big for the amount if space my body displaces" routine.

Also, Kevin Bacon. I didn't even know he still made movies he's been away for so long. So that'll be interesting.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:44 am

http://www.blogomatic3000.com/2011/05/27/x-men-first-class-another-review/

X-Men: First Class… Another Review

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

Stars: Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Alex Gonzalez, January Jones, Kevin Bacon, Jason Flemyng, Nicolas Hoult | Written by Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz | Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Here’s an ugly confession: I really like X-Men 3. In fact, it’s quite probably my favourite X-Film. The first was fun but pretty ropey, the second was great but had long periods of nothing happening. And Wolverine was obviously a bag of balls. In X-Men 3, you get lots of exciting stuff happening, loads of major characters getting merked, that whole Golden Gate thing, a thrilling end to the Wolverine/Jean Grey relationship and Vinnie Jones (though admittedly I may be in a minority in the Vinnie-appreciation stakes).

So the big question is, can X-Men: First Class top the dizzy heights of The Last Stand? Well, it at least equals them. The kick-ass director of Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn, returns with frequent script-writing collaborator Jane Goldman to blast the X-Men saga back to the past in this sixties-set caper which reveals the origins of the relationship between Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and the early lives of a host of popular mutants, as they struggle to come to terms with their powers whilst trying to stop Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw starting a nuclear war.

The frenetic pace of the film ensures the viewer is never bored, though rather is occasionally overwhelmed with information, diegetic references, action sequences, plot detail and stylistic touches. There are more scene shift captions in a single twenty minute chunk of First Class than many films manage to muster in their entire duration. An awful lot seems to be happening all the time and sometimes you wish Vaughn would slow down and let the film breathe a little bit.

There are also numerous plot discrepancies (why doesn’t Magneto simply kill the film’s antagonist the first time he encounters him and save everyone a load of grief? Won’t a nuclear war kill all the mutants as well as the humans? Why does Shaw’s helmet prevent telepaths from reading his mind? Because “the Russians made it”? Oh I see!), but frankly, the breakneck pace prevents the reader from getting too concerned with them until well into the journey home form the cinema. Apart from those cavils though, X-Men: First Class really does have an awful lot going for it. Firstly, it’s very funny, particularly Charles Xavier’s character (“That’s a very groovy mutation!” he purrs to beautiful women on more than one occasion). McAvoy’s chemistry with Fassbender is great, though Fassbender does somewhat steal the show and further cements his reputation for being one of the most captivating actors of his generation. They are flanked by a remarkable cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, the aforementioned Bacon, Nicholas Hoult, Jason Flemyng and a really quite lovely Rose Byrne.

The production design is cracking; perhaps leaning slightly more towards pastiche than homage of sixties style, but overall, looks great. One scene in particular evokes the most sinister Stella Artois advert you could ever imagine and the film owes much to the early Bond films in terms of its look. Henry Pryce Jackman’s stirring soundtrack may be something of a one trick pony, but goshdarnit if it isn’t a good trick. First Class also boasts by far the best cameo appearance in any superhero film you’re liable to see. The final sequence in Cuban waters as two superpowers prepare for war, is also really well done.

So in spite of my not inconsiderable reservations regarding pace and plot, X-Men: First Class simply has too many good bits to be anything less than a great film. For a series that has always been somewhat preoccupied with its own history (the frequent flashbacks in X2, the oft referred to history between Xavier and Magneto, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), First Class manages not only to feel fresh and exciting but also betters much of what has gone before it. Still, no Vinnie Jones though.

X-Men: First Class is released June 1st.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:55 am

http://www.badassdigest.com/2011/05/27/movie-review-x-men-first-class-is-uncannily-great

Movie Review: X-MEN – FIRST CLASS Is Uncannily Great
By Devin Faraci | May 27, 2011

To say that X-Men: First Class is the best X-Men movie is slight praise. That’s not a particularly high bar. To say that it’s the best Marvel movie since Spider-Man 2 is a little better, but still lowballing. To say that it’s the best superhero film since The Dark Knight is nice, but it’s untrue. I liked X-Men: First Class more than The Dark Knight (we can save arguments over objective qualities for later). The best praise I can give X-Men: First Class is that it’s a wonderful movie, not just a wonderful X-Men movie or a wonderful Marvel movie or a wonderful superhero movie. It’s a damn good film, full stop, all other genres and ghetto-izations aside.

X-Men: First Class is a great pop adventure movie. It’s bright and fun, and it takes itself just seriously enough where it matters – which is with the characters. The script, credited to Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman, with story by Bryan Singer and Sheldon Turner, takes the characters and relationships seriously and makes them the driving center of the film. There’s a good, if a bit shaggy, story of international intrigue and globe-threatening villainy, but that’s the frame on which is hung a a bunch of great, engaging characters.

The film begins where the first X-Men movie did, with young Erik Lensherr being dragged away by Auschwitz prison guards and exhibiting his budding mastery of magnetism. But First Class keeps going from there, and we see how his powers drew the attention of a sinister camp scientist, played by Kevin Bacon, and how that scientist discovered the key to Erik’s ability is pain and anger.

Meanwhile, in America, we meet a young boy living in an enormous mansion. He discovers someone who seems to be his mother in the kitchen, but his psychic powers tell him she’s not what she seems. Charles Xavier meets a young, homeless and hungry shape changer named Raven and the two become fast friends.

That’s the first major change from canon, and it might be one of the best. The relationship between Charles and Raven is incredible and totally unexpected. They grow up to be James McAvoy, who is studying genetics at Oxford, and Jennifer Lawrence, who has tagged along and is waiting tables. They’re like brother and sister, but Raven feels something more for him – something Charles just can’t see. This is the basis for Raven’s eventual turn to a bad guy (although to be fair, this film doesn’t shade these characters so broadly as good or bad – we’ll talk more about that when we get to the relationship of Charles and Erik), but the movie plays it wonderfully subtly and quietly.

McAvoy completely reinvents Charles Xavier – and vastly improves him. His Charles spends his nights at pubs, hitting on pretty girls using a line of bullshit about mutations. He’s young, fun and full of enthusiasm. He’s an optimist, but not an unbearable Pollyanna. We see not just the young man but the seeds of the mentor and the father figure, and Charles automatically wants to help people, to make them better.

But there’s another side to him that McAvoy nails. He’s got blinders on, assuming that whatever he thinks is the right thing truly is the right thing. He casually outs other mutants, and he doesn’t understand the privilege his mutation grants him; unlike Raven he can walk through a crowd unnoticed. In retrospect it’s interesting that the X-Men were a bunch of good looking mutants while the Brotherhood had plenty of weirdos and deformed types; Vaughn’s movie jumps right into the heart of this, showing how Xavier never truly grasps the pain non-passing mutants feel.

Jennifer Lawrence, meanwhile, is stunning. She gives Raven’s story so much nuance that would otherwise be lost, pitching her pain at just the right level and keeping it usually slightly underneath an exterior of bravado and sarcasm. Just as Raven hides her blue form at almost all times she keeps hidden her true feelings of insecurity; is it any wonder she ends up on Magneto’s team when Erik is the only person who ever tells her that her blue form is perfect and beautiful?

Good and evil are concepts too simple for these characters (although not for the film. The villain’s plan is cartoonishly evil, but it’s part of the fun). Erik isn’t evil. He’s angry. And understandably so, as the film immerses us in the horrors he’s experienced right at the start. And Michael Fassbender, playing the grown up Erik who criss crosses the globe like a mutant James Bond, picking off Nazi war criminals, understands that anger completely. And makes us understand it, allowing us to see how pain and rage are inextricably intertwined in Erik’s psyche.

What’s great is that the dichotomy between Magneto and Professor X isn’t good and evil but love and anger – not even hate, just consuming anger. These are the choices that the mutants see before them, the naive love of Xavier or the wounded anger of Magneto. A lot of lip service has been paid over the years to these two being Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, but every movie has made me think the people making the films believe Malcolm X to be an asshole. In Vaughn’s film the Malcolm X position is understandable, and can even be condoned.

Of course there is evil. Kevin Bacon’s Nazi character reappears in the film’s present day (1962) as Sebastian Shaw, the leader of a mysterious group called The Hellfire Club. It turns out that Shaw and his companions, fellow mutants Emma Frost and Riptide, are blackmailing world leaders into escalating Cold War tensions between the US and the USSR. His eventual goal: WWIII, which he believes will allow the mutants to dominate the Earth. They are, after all, the children of the atom.

Xavier, eager to prove that mutants can live with humans, volunteers to help police his own kind; eventually he meets up with Erik, who has been hunting Shaw, and together they begin working with other young mutants. It takes some time to get there, but who cares? Every step of the journey is a joy. Fassbender is awesome in his early Nazi-hunting scenes, and if that’s what X-Men Origins: Magneto was going to be about then I demand that they make that movie immediately. Matthew Vaughn has long said he wanted to do a James Bond film, and he gets that feel in these great scenes.

This movie is about Erik, Charles and Raven, so it should come as no surprise that the other X-Men are very much supporting characters. They all get nicely sketched out, though, with Hank McCoy, aka the Beast, getting the most time. There’s a delightful Silver Age quality to this movie’s version of The Beast in that he seems to spend all of his spare time inventing whatever the team is going to need in the next scene. Hank, played by Nicholas Hoult, comes squarely between Xavier and Magneto’s philosophies; I actually wish that the film had more room to diverge from canon because knowing that Hank would always be at Xavier’s side undercut some of the tension that comes from his arc.

Of course even in this arc there’s no way that Hank could truly end up with Magneto; he’s so ashamed of his oversized feet that he spends half the film trying to come up with a serum that will allow him to keep his abilities but look normal. He’s able to pass – just – but the film plays his eventual serum-induced transformation into a furry cat man as a punishment for his desire to be normal.

In Bryan Singer’s X-Men films the glumness was laid on thick. Being a mutant was a curse, it seemed, especially since the first film introduced us to the world of the X-Men through Rogue, whose powers are completely debilitating. While X-Men: First Class has Raven and Hank who want to be normal it’s mostly filled with characters who actively love their powers. Even Havok, who is afraid to use his power because he can’t control it, is ecstatic when Hank’s super science helps him harness his ability. One of my favorite scenes in the film has the young recruits hanging out together and showing off their powers for each other; to me this sums up the movie’s rambunctious energy and general sense of fun.

There are scattered action sequences throughout, but most of the bang is saved for the third act, when the Cuban Missile Crisis happens. This is the stuff you’ve seen in every trailer, and it’s good stuff, although it doesn’t rise to the level of greatness. The FX work in the movie tends towards the acceptable, but the action choreography is very nice. Vaughn juggles a number of battles in the climax, battles that range from big dogfights to teleporting fist fights to a personal, psychic struggle. These parallel action scenes don’t rewrite the book but they’re well staged and exciting and fun.

Again, fun. The movie’s not stupid, and it doesn’t short change the characters and it doesn’t rely on huge chunks of exposition (for a long film with a meandering plot First Class is really economical with its storytelling), but it’s still fun. It feels like a summer movie should feel – thrilling and big and entertaining as hell. I’m sure the budget wasn’t high, but the film has a sense of scope that makes the story feel large and important. The movie looks nice, with just enough cool 1960s ambiance to capture the Mad Men glamour. I might nitpick that the characters have anachronistic attitudes – I think teens in the early 60s would like to dress up in space age uniforms, but here they think the costumes look stupid (because of course modern audiences will think they’re silly and if the characters didn’t agree we would think the characters were square) – and that maybe a haircut or two is too long, but otherwise the period details feel like understated bits of seasoning.

If I have any serious complaint about the film it’s that the last fifteen minutes shoe horn in a bunch of developments in order to get the characters to the accepted status quo. I would have been perfectly happy waiting another film or two to see the Erik/Charles schism truly rupture, if only because McAvoy and Fassbender have incredible chemistry. There’s a sense at the end of First Class that nobody knows if they’ll make another story set in the time period, so they want to move all the characters into the positions they were in during the Singer years. Normally I’m against movies hedging their bets, holding stuff back for sequels, but in this case I think there was still a lot of great ground to cover.

But even that serious complaint is minor. I love this movie, flaws and all. It’s a movie that proves you don’t have to be po-faced and grim to make a great superhero film. It’s a movie that proves that you don’t have to be stupid and have paper thin characters to make a fun summer movie. And it’s a movie that proves that the X-Men, in all their big, weird, science fiction glory truly work on screen. Imagine if Grant Morrison rewrote a classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby X-Men story and had Chris Claremont come onboard to work on the characters; that’s what gets you closest to the amazing energy of X-Men: First Class.
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 3:59 am

http://gawker.com/5805623/the-gawker-guide-to-summer-movies

June

The Gawker Guide to Summer Movies
X-Men: First Class

What It Is: Every good superhero story needs an origin myth, so here is one for the X-Men, a merry band of mutants who hang around a giant mansion in tight latex suits and, presumably, have mutant power-fueled orgies. But forget about the orgies for now. In this movie we're back in the 1960s and Professor X and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, rowr) are young idealistic friends opening a school for wayward and confused young gay people mutants. There's Havoc (Cyclops' brother), Beast (played by About a Boy nerd turned Skins hunk Nicholas Hoult), Mystique (Ozark princess Jennifer Lawrence), and Banshee (some dude), among others. Eventually, of course, Magneto goes rogue (not Rogue) and action ensues.
The Gawker Guide to Summer Movies

Should You See It? Probably? Though the special effects look a bit tacky in the trailers, the film is directed by Matthew Vaughn, who's shown panache before (Layer Cake), and it's a superhero movie set in the 1960s! Mad Men meets mutants! And speaking of Mad Men, this is probably worth seeing just to see how silly January Jones is. Very silly probably! (June 3)
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Re: X-Men reviews and spoilers

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 4:05 am

http://castelargarcia.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-men-first-class-review.html

Thursday, May 26, 2011
X-Men: First Class Movie Review

Review by Simon Brew on http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/903732/xmen_first_class_review.html

Matthew Vaughn recruits Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, and breathes fresh life into a franchise that had long since lost its way. Here’s our review of X-Men: First Class.

Let's be clear about this from the start: at its best, X-Men: First Class is a Batman Begins-level putting back together of a cinematic franchise, one that many had fallen firmly out of love with after the double hit of Brett Ratner's vacuous X-Men: The Last Stand and Gavin Hood's relentlessly downbeat X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

By going right back to basics, First Class not only finds interesting things to say at the very beginnings of the X-Men story, but it might just make you believe in origin stories all over again. And while it doesn't quite sustain itself across its entire running time in the manner that Nolan's Batman reboot managed, director Matthew Vaughn come far closer than you might expect. Make no mistake, it's a triumph.

The film gets off to a flying start in a pre-title sequence that introduces the terrific Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, and the young Erik Lehnsherr. It's a dark start for a film that doesn't spend much of its time in the doldrums (it learns the lessons of the Wolverine spin-off, certainly), but it convincingly sets up the drive that underpins the older version of Erik, played by Michael Fassbender, and the unflinching nastiness of Shaw. Furthermore, the film from the off has a strong, rounded antagonist, and it helps it enormously.

X-Men: First Class, in fact, makes the hopes and fears of all of its core characters entirely understandable, without bogging its narrative down. Thus, Charles Xavier is a genius, whose upbeat demeanour covers his understanding of mutations and his desire to help those who have to hide their differences. Raven is troubled by her appearance, and finds herself spending energy just to blend in. And then there's Nicholas Hoult as Hank, fighting his mutation, and applying his intelligence to find any kind of cure for it.

Inevitably, not every character gets the same level of attention, but X-Men: First Class does at least ensure they all have a reason for being there, and as such, everyone in the ensemble gets a welcome step into the spotlight. Heck, it even bothers to show the group of youngsters enjoying their unusual powers, rather than continually living in shame of them, which proves pivotal when the inevitable cracks start to appear. It all feels natural, too, even when this group of teens start dishing out the iconic names for their mutant selves.

But the beating heart of the film, and when it's at its absolute best, is when Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are on screen. Because First Class is, ultimately, their story about how two friends drift to differing sides of the fence.

Both actors are terrific, too. Fassbender is intense, has hints of darkness, and a concentration about his character that few in blockbuster cinema could match. If you had any doubt that he was both a future Oscar winner and a James Bond in waiting, let First Class dispel it now.

Yet, it's arguably McAvoy who has the tougher role here, with Charles Xavier, balancing intelligence, training his new charges and being the focal point for the mutant population. McAvoy nails it, and nails it brilliantly, convincingly shifting mood and tone, while never being anything less than compelling to watch. The moments where Erik and Charles do little other than talk to each other are absolutely magnetic, no pun intended, and Fassbender and McAvoy deserve a lot of credit for making them so.

The rest of the cast are no slouches, mind. I've already touched on how strong a villain Kevin Bacon is, with his character never overshadowing the movie, but always being a sinister threat. I warmed, too, to the performances of Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence, in particular, as Hank and Raven, and theirs is the relationship, outside of Charles and Erik's, that's given the most screen time.

On the downside, female characters as a whole don't come out too well. January Jones, terrific in Mad Men, struggles to hold her own here as Emma Frost. And while Rose Byrne has more luck as Dr Moira MacTaggart, she's down to her underwear within minutes of meeting her, and most of the women in the film follow suit at some point. The film has a lingerie budget far in excess of any blockbuster in recent memory.

But then the filmmakers would, no doubt, argue that they're capturing the spirit and essence of the 1960s setting, and there is at least an argument there. Because, to their credit, the decision to underpin the film with the nuclear threat of the Cuban missile crisis is a brilliant one. The period detail of the era is superb, for starters, but it's the political backdrop that proves to be an inspired foundation for the film's driving plot.

The hero of the piece, though, has to be director Matthew Vaughn. His directorial career is now four out of four from where I'm sitting (following Layer Cake, Stardust and Kick-Ass), and X-Men: First Class can't help but leave you wondering just what he'd have done with X-Men: The Last Stand, had he not walked away from that particular project.

The Last Stand's loss, though, is ultimately First Class' gain. Vaughn juggles ensemble character development, a dose of comedy (the film's one F-bomb will bring the geeky house down) and some generally terrific actions sequences, rarely letting the momentum of the film drop.

X-Men: First Class is, at it turns out, only five minutes shorter than Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, yet it feels half the length, so energetically does it move along.

There are mild grumbles. Just before the film closes in on its third act, you could argue that the tempo just starts to ease off a little too much, and one or two of the effects sequences don't entirely convince. But they're only noticeable because everything else here is really so good.

Ultimately, part of the reason that X-Men: First Class feels so fresh and enjoyable is perhaps because this is a franchise that's long since appeared to run out of steam. Part of it, also, is that it remembers to inject a sense of fun alongside the underpinning messages that it so skilfully gets across.

But all considered, the main reason is that, at the sheer heart of it, X-Men: First Class is a compelling, interesting, entertaining and very, very good piece of big screen entertainment.

Following hot on the heels of Thor, and against initial expectations, 2011 may just go down as a very strong year for the comic book movie. Whether that happens or not (and the gauntlet has been firmly thrown down for Green Lantern and Captain America), Matthew Vaughn has just managed to make X-Men, once more, one of the most compelling movie franchises on the planet.
Posted by Castelar García at 3:53 PM
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