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X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down

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X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:18 pm

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2011/06/05/x-men_first_class_winners_and_losers_fassbender_up_lawrence_down/

X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down
Thompson on Hollywood

X-Men: First Class‘s $56 million opening (no 3-D premium ticket sales) marks a big win for most of the folks involved. But there are a few losers, too.

WINNERS
Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment:
Both companies recognized that the X-Men franchise needed a reboot. With Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier) and Ian McKellan (Magneto) heading into senior status, the only real star in the franchise was Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, so those spin-offs made sense. They also commissioned a Magneto origins story from Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air), but decided to use that material in their X-Men origins feature, First Class. That was also smart, because now they can go back to a Magneto series if they want to, because the X-Men series now boasts a new star: Michael Fassbender.
Thompson on Hollywood

Michael Fassbender:
That this German-born, multi-lingual, masculine, athletic Irishman would become a major movie star did not take much figuring. Everyone in Hollywood saw the promise in The Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds. Now, after the double-whammy of his Mr. Rochester turn in the class-act romance Jane Eyre and the successful reboot of a major studio comic-book franchise, Fassbender has arrived. The world is his oyster. Judging from my early interview with him, he has a good head on his shoulders and will not go crazy with foolish material (he managed to survive B-movies Jonah Hex and Centurion, which served to showcase his action chops).

Coming up: Steven Soderbergh’s black ops actioner Haywire (Relativity, August 11), the role of Carl Jung in David Cronenberg’s Oscar-bait drama <>A Dangerous Method (which still seeks a U.S. distributor), The Hunger director Steve McQueen’s sex addict drama Shame (also lacking a U.S. distrib), Ridley Scott’s currently filming big-budget 3-D actioner Prometheus (Fox, 2012), possible Brit music movie Good Vibrations, and Jim Jarmusch’s untitled “crypto-vampire flick,” set to start in 2012. It sounds like an intelligent mix of big and small.

Matthew Vaughn. The man walked away from one chance to direct X-Men, and stepped up to do this one when he felt ready. The idea of filtering the movie through a 60s Bond film works brilliantly for the most part—visually the movie soars, and most of the actors manage to rise above the action pyrotechnics. The return to a focus on character is welcome. While the movie boasts awkward moments, Vaughn still enters the big leagues. He may not have to do Kick-Ass 2. (I flipcammed him for Kick-Ass).

LOSERS
James McAvoy:
McAvoy is a terrific actor who ably carried Wanted and Atonement. But oddly, in both cases his co-stars, Keira Knightley and Angelina Jolie, respectively, were considered the films’ real marquee draws. Unfortunately, McAvoy missed the opportunity for a franchise with Jolie’s refusal to do a Wanted sequel. He’s solid and charming in X-Men: First Class, but because he plays the film’s humane conscientious hero, he comes off soft to Fassbender’s hard. It’s a case of the straight leading man looking less sexy and dangerous than the bad guy. Fassbender comes out ahead on this one. McAvoy remains a lovely Ewan McGregor-style leading man—as opposed to a move star. I define movie star very strictly—and have gotten into fights about this. It’s someone who actually puts butts in seats. Will Smith. Angelina Jolie. Past their prime are Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, and Tom Cruise. The list keeps getting smaller, have you noticed?

Jennifer Lawrence:
This untrained young actress deserved her Oscar nomination for Winter’s Bone, for which she was perfectly cast. Jodie Foster also used her well in The Beaver, as a high school over-achiever, a role that most young actresses would have walked through—but Lawrence nailed it. She brings depth and grit to her roles, and has the makings of a movie star. I suspect she’s well-cast in what will be a huge franchise: Hunger Games. But in X-Men: First Class she’s a lox. The weakness of this movie, which played better to men than women, by the way—is the female characters. While Rose Byrne makes a competent if uninspired CIA agent, Vaughn uses gorgeous Mad Men star January Jones as a Modesty Blaise/Pussy Galore sex object, and wasn’t able to save Lawrence from standing around awkwardly. Her Mystique makeup is just awful. She looks uncomfortable throughout. (I flipcammed her for Winter’s Bone.)

Go ahead, argue with me.

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Re: X-Men: First Class: Winners and Losers, Fassbender Up, Lawrence Down

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:18 pm

http://stephenholtshow.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/x-menfirst-class-is-exactly-that-michael-fassbender-is-a-magnetic-magneto/

“X-Men:First Class” is exactly that! Michael Fassbender is a Magnetic Magneto!
June 6, 2011

Written by stephenholtshow

Topping the box-office charts this weekend and packing the fanboys and everyone else in is the “X-Men” pre-quel, now called “X-Men:First Class” and it really is a first class entertainment. An Action Hero flick with pyrotechnics galore. But it’s Irish actor Michael Fassbender as the most magnetic Magneto imaginable that powers this flick into the stratosphere. An actor I’ve admired greatly in many smart Indie films like “Hunger”, which was on my year’s 10 Best List that year,”Fish Tank” and many, many more. He makes smart choices and smart directors seek him out.

And here he is in the role he was born to play. I never thought of him as an action hero. I just thought of him as a very, very talented, but underappreciated actor. Although he works constantly, his really good work in a big film of two years ago “Inglorious Basterds” went pretty much unnoticed. He was also doing sword and sandal duty in “300″ in a Supporting Role.

Supporting roles will no longer be something you see him in because he’s the real break-out star of this very well done popcorn movie. It’s NOT in 3D thank goodness. I hate those glasses. They sometimes make me quite sick.

And the lead in this film is James McAvoy as Xavier, and he and Fassbender really make the chemistry, the human, acting kind of chemistry, not just the CGI- kind these super-heroes are constantly capable of producing really work. There are ACTORS here! And the best of the younger generation I might add, and attention must be paid.

I will go see every sequel to this prequel from now on because their dynamic duo dynamism is dynamite.

Less successful, but I don’t rate her much as an actress anyway, YET is the least deserving Academy Award Nominee of All Time Jennifer Lawrence, who certainly nails the babe-licious part of this character, who when she turns blue and scaly, often sheds all her clothing at the same time. Since I don’t think she has much range ALREADY, the blue make-up, with the yellow CGI cat’s eyes, made her look like she was acting more than she actually was.

There was a certain poignancy that she exhibited as Mystique and she’s certainly easy on the eyes. And VERY TALL. That they kept pairing her with the much shorter James MacAvoy (she’s his adopted sister, or something like that), I kept wondering how many boxes he was standing on or how many holes she was standing in, to make them look equal in height. But they do! That’s one of the neatest special effects of all in this special effects laden movie.

I couldn’t keep who did which effect and who has what super power straight, there are so many mutants in this movie.

Oliver Platt plays the small part of one of the only humans in this mutant-filled movies, but his only super power seemed to be that he was simply fat. But at least he WAS a human.

Kevin Bacon seems to be having the time of his life as the villain of villains here. You really need a score card to keep all the Super Heroes straight in this movie. I’m not an X-Man addict, so I can’t parse them all and who they all turn into later. Although I do remember vividly Ian McKellen’s gleeful, older Magneto. An Action Hero At Last! At age 60 something!

And one of the indelible moments I have with Sir Ian, was when I was interviewing him in his dressing room on Broadway back in 2001 and he had a Gandalf figurine and a Magneto one, too, and he made them fight with each other! Hilarious! He was on Broadway with Dame Helen Mirren having a gay old time screaming at each other in one of Strindberg’s more strident pieces “The Ghost Sonata.”

And my favorite Michael Fassbender moment was when I was interviewing him for “Fish Tank” and I was the one who broke the news to him about the death of a mutual friend, the great Irish movie critic, Michael Dwyer, and how he nearly burst into tears, when he realized he was here in NYC and was missing the funeral that was taking place in Dublin.

Michael has a great, sensitive soul and will make a great, great movie star.

Unfortunately, both these interviews were for print, so I never got either of them on camera, for my TV show, but I look forward to many, many more with these two terrific stars,James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender acting their hearts out in and giving class to “X-Men:First Class.”

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