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X-Men Reviews 2

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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:04 am

http://www.thedaonline.com/a-e/x-men-first-class-first-film-to-do-comic-team-proper-1.2356720

‘X-Men: First Class’ first film to do comic team proper

By Jamie Carbone

Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 21:06

‘X-Men: First Class’ tells the story of Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) as they work together to stop nuclear war in the 1960s. The film also stars Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne and Nicholas Hoult.

When I first saw promotional material for "X-Men: First Class," I'll admit I thought the concept was ridiculous.

While the original "X-Men" and its sequel were both quite good, "X-Men: The Last Stand" seriously damaged any reputation the series had, and "Wolverine: Origins" was nearly as bad. What good could a prequel do?

Now I'm prepared to eat my words, as "X-Men: First Class" is exactly the kind of film the X-Men franchise deserves.

The film takes place in the 1960s, focusing on the early lives of Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) before they take the names Magneto and Professor X.

Xavier is preparing to graduate with his degree in genetics, getting support from his pseudo-sister Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), but both hide their secrets from just about everyone else; Xavier is a mutant with telepathy, and Raven is the shape-shifter who will one day be known as Mystique.

Both of them are willing to reveal their secrets when CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) discovers mutants rule the Hellfire Club, a secret organization that influences decision making in both America and its communist enemy Russia.

Meanwhile, Lensherr is hunting Nazi scientist Dr. Schmidt (Kevin Bacon), a man who experimented on Lensherr when he was a boy in the concentration camps.

Lensherr and Xavier decide to combine their efforts when it is revealed that Schmidt now goes by the name Sebastian Shaw, and is the leader of the Hellfire Club.

Now, the two must put together their own team of mutants to combat Shaw's efforts and keep the world from being destroyed by nuclear war.

"X-Men: First Class" is everything a movie about a team should be. Instead of focusing on one character more than the others, like earlier entries in the series, each character in "First Class" is given some attention.

This will probably be the first time comic fans hear about long-time X-Men such as Banshee and Havok, and, while some details have been changed, what viewers are presented with is a good first look at the characters.

Of course, this kind of characterization wouldn't be possible if they hadn't done a great casting job. It appears that every character was assigned an actor who can properly portray them instead of simply putting whoever looked the best in the role, a problem that "X-Men: The Last Stand" suffered from.

Bacon's physique may not be the best for Shaw if going by his appearance in the comics, but the "Footloose" star is able to bring the cold, calculating evil Shaw is supposed to ooze, yet also the wit and the charm the character has consistently portrayed.

McAvoy also deserves praise for his performance as a young Xavier, bringing the perfect attitude to the character and performing in such a way that a proper teacher always should.

My personal favorite of the mutants featured was Darwin, as played by Edi Gathegi, whom you may know from "House." Although he doesn't receive nearly enough screen time, the actor clearly put his all into the role, and that kind of dedication makes his performance all the better.

The use of the Cuban missile crisis also works as a wonderful backdrop for this story. It was a terrifying time in America's history, and it goes to show that, just like people were afraid of being outed as communist, others were afraid of being outed as mutants.

A lot of the credit also goes to director Matthew Vaughn, whose earlier work "Kick-Ass" shows that he can do a great comic book movie when given the chance.

My only complaint about the film is it doesn't seem like distributor Fox cares about those who are also fans of the comic books. It was as if they threw characters to the wall and just used what stuck.

Thankfully, in the hands of a competent creative team, the end result was great, but if they keep this up, who knows what kind of damage they could do.

Regardless, I'm proud to say there is finally a recent X-Men film worth watching, and, while it may be a bit long, it does its job right.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:05 am

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment-reviews/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502967&objectid=10730982

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class
By Russell Baillie
5:30 AM Wednesday Jun 8, 2011

Michael Fassbender is great as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto in X-Men: First Class. Photo / AP

For all the 21st century special effects which brings them to life on screen, most of the comic book superheroes still selling Happy Meals and movie tickets today started off many decades ago.

Finally, here's a movie which retro-fits its franchise to the era of its birth. It might sound backward. It turns out quite brilliant

X-Men: First Class takes us back to the early 60s, a time when the first batch of atomic age mutant superheroes were appearing in Marvel Comics. But this isn't the comic book origins story. This is the movie X-Men prequel, one which from its first frame also connects neatly to the first frames of 2000's first and best X-Men film. Over two hours later, it's clear this is the second-best X-flick, decades behind but light years ahead the original sequels and the unfortunate Wolverine prequel.

Like the Casino Royale and Star Trek reboots of recent years, First Class is a highly enjoyable return to first principles. One which takes familiar characters - in this case Professor X and Magneto - and shows their first steps into pop culture legend.

Sure, all prequels are meant to do that. But so much of the grip of First Class is down to the story's central thread of how Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, good) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, great) become mutant brothers-in-arms, only for it to all go pear-shaped when they deal with actual superpowers, as in countries - not just the first generation of those whose genes give them some lethal party tricks.

It is directed by Matthew Vaughn who had much fun deconstructing the superhero movie in his previous outing, Kick-Ass. This one has a great sense of humour too - that's whether it's cameos from future-past X-people, the light relief of the teenage new recruits learning to use their abilities, or quips about Prof Xavier's then fine head of hair.

And it's got a fine sense of original Bond-era style too. Even if it comes close to Austin Powers with the gals - like January Jones' henchwoman Emma Frost. Her boss, Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw (whose initials are bit of a giveaway) makes a fine villain of the Blofeld/Dr No school.

It's so much fun you almost don't notice the mad rush to the big finale involving the Cuban missile crisis, with some slightly iffy special effects. Or that McAvoy spends far too long poking himself in the head every time Xavier is on mind-reading duties.

Otherwise, among this year's superhero screen intake, X-Men First Class graduates with honours.

Stars: 4.5/5
Cast: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Rating: M (violence and offensive language)
Running time: 130 mins
Verdict: Just X-cellent

- TimeOut
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:05 am

http://www.dailygamecock.com/mix/item/1454-x-men-first-class-entertainment

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 22:33
'X-Men' first-class entertainment
By Tyler Simpson , The Daily Gamecock
mix@dailygamecock.com

'X-Men' first-class entertainment courtesy of allmoviephoto.com
Superhero prequel delves into characters’ complex backgrounds
After the release of “The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, it seemed apparent that the X-Men movie franchise was taking a precipitous downhill slope. But the recent release of the “X-Men: First Class,” shows that sometimes it is best to start again at the top.

“X-Men: First Class” is an excellent reboot that is richly layered and intelligently worked. Matthew Vaughn, who directed the violent and controversial “Kick-Ass” (2010), was wisely recruited as the director. Under his supervision, the movie establishes itself as the first superhero film in a while to offer more than extravagant effects and elevated decibels. It also strongly benefits from a well-written script and a well-rounded cast, particularly James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

Set during the civil rights movement time period, the mutant metaphor for racial inequality continues. The film also continues the central element of mutant rivalry as it presents the origins of the contradicting viewpoints. As a prequel, it offers excellent insight into how the relationship between Professor X (McAvoy) and Magneto (Fassbender) grew from friends to foes.

The story begins with the formative events during World War II and the Holocaust. Nazi geneticist Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) experiments with a young Erik Lehnsherr’s newly found power to control metal. After killing his mother, Shaw learns that Lehnsherr’s power is channeled through his anger. Meanwhile, a young Charles Xavier brings a young shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) into his wealthy family.

Fast-forwarding to the ’60s, Xavier becomes a professor of genetics at Oxford while Lehnsherr is out for vengeance against Shaw. They eventually cross paths and bond loosely after they discover that Shaw wishes to trigger a nuclear war. Together, the future Professor X and Magneto form a team of adolescent mutants and attempt to bring Shaw’s plans to a standstill.

The story strongly supports the movie’s impact into the franchise when the audience begins to see the shifting allegiance between Xavier and Magneto. Both leaders strive toward the social acceptance of mutants, but their methods are completely contradicting.

The film also contains some humor that slightly relies on relevant social commentary, including a witty reference toward the recently repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy. Fans of the franchise are sure to get a gut-busting laugh from the cameo performance of a certain Australian actor.

McAvoy’s and Fassbender’s performances serve as the film’s strongest aspects. McAvoy manages to capture the same aristocratic benevolence that Patrick Stewart established in the first three films. The greater performance comes from Fassbender, who portrays an angry yet calm Magneto. While Ian McKellan portrayed Magneto as more of an activist, Fassbender superbly portrays Magneto as an unruly assassin seeking out his own personal vendetta.

Equally as impressive is Kevin Bacon in the role of the delightfully wicked Sebastian Shaw, a powerful mutant who believes the world would be a better place if the less evolved were eradicated. The lovely January Jones (“Mad Men”) plays Emma Frost, Shaw’s accomplice whose telepathic abilities rival those of Xavier. Finally, there’s Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”), who brilliantly portrays an adolescent Mystique struggling with her status as a mutant.

“X-Men: First Class” proves to be an excellent summer blockbuster with an epic four-way climatic battle between the good and evil mutants and the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Indeed, “X-Men: First Class” is first-class entertainment.
Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 00:09
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:06 am

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/arts-entertainment/5109425/A-better-movie-than-you-would-think

A better movie than you would think
MATT LAWREY
Last updated 10:24 08/06/2011

4 1/2 (out of five)

On paper X-Men: First Class shouldn't work.

Bryan Singer's 2000 film X-Men was a solid effort and his follow-up X2 was even better. After that, though, things went steeply downhill with X-men: The Last Stand and the spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine, failing to bring anything new or interesting to the franchise.

The X-Men looked washed up; a predicament not helped by the massive commercial and critical success of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and Zack Snyder's cult-inducing Watchmen. So when word arrived that Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughn was making a X-Men prequel many greeted the news with a barely audible "meh".

Those low expectations will probably help X-Men: First Class make it on to more than a few best films of 2011 lists.

The film opens in 1944 and introduces Charles and Erik – the two young mutants who will grow up to become the peacemaking Professor X and the warmongering Magneto.

From there the action moves to the 1960s, where the men's paths cross for the first time and Charles convinces Erik to join him in a combined mutant and CIA operation to stop an evil mutant genius named Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon, from pushing the United States and USSR into World War III.

The first thing Vaughn and his script writers got right was setting the film in the 1960s, thereby putting plenty of daylight between it and the other X-Men films.

The second thing was getting, via a team of writers, a winning screenplay. And the third was casting two seriously talented actors, in James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, as Charles and Erik.

As the cocky yet thoughtful Charles, McAvoy is charming as charming gets, while as the vengeful, wounded Erik, Fassbender is utterly compelling. If Rove McManus brought back his Friday night television show, and I was a guest, and he asked me: "Who would you turn gay for?", my answer would be: "Michael Fassbender."

Like Daniel Craig, Fassbender brings intensity and charged masculinity to the screen.

Unlike Craig, he also has a slightly unhinged quality, which, coupled with a gift for wry humour, makes him an interesting actor.

Vaughn surrounds his two leading men with top-shelf thespians. One of the most talented actors to never have been nominated for an Oscar, Bacon makes a meal of his villainous role, while Winter's Bone star Jennifer Lawrence shows she is capable in a mainstream movie as Charles' adopted sister, Raven. Nicholas Hoult, who made a name for himself as the boy in About A Boy, continues to impress as a mutant scientist. Oliver Platt is a delight as a CIA boss, Rose Byrne is lovely as a fellow spook and Mad Men's January Jones looks spectacular as Bacon's righthand woman.
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The film's rousing score by Henry Jackman drives the story along with great style and the 1960s sets are totally groovy.

On the downside, the film tries to squeeze too many superhero mutants into its running time and some of the special effects look, surprisingly, as if they were borrowed from The Thunderbirds. Overall, though, X-Men: First Class is hugely entertaining fun.

It is exciting, surprising, funny and even a little moving.

Bottom line: first class.

- The Marlborough Express
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:07 am

http://bgnews.com/entertainment/movie-review-x-men-first-class/

Movie Review: "X-Men: First Class"

By Nate Elekonich, Columnist
Published: June 07, 2011 1 0

Grade: A

The evolution of the X-Men film franchise has finally hit its highest point.

The much anticipated prequel/reboot of the X-Men franchise was released this past weekend smashing any criticism it received prior to its release. For this installment to the franchise, we follow the stories of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), aka Professor X, and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), aka Magneto as they assemble a "first class" of mutants for the U.S. government.

The film takes place in 1962, a time when tensions between the United States and Russia are at their highest. With the influence of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), the Russians place nuclear rockets in Cuba. Shaw, an ex-Nazi scientist who experimented on Lehnsherr during his imprisonment in Nazi controlled Europe, wants nothing more than to see nuclear war. The two sides meet off the coast of Cuba and conflict ensues. Lehnsherr, in his quest for revenge, kills Shaw although Xavier assures him that it will not bring him peace. Taking Shaw's place as the leader of the "bad" mutant team, Magneto now fights against the humans' efforts to eradicate the mutant threat. With Shaw dead and Magneto now fighting for his own cause, Xavier decides to set up an academy for young mutants and set up a team of his own, The X-Men.

X-Men: First Class is hands down the best film in the X-Men franchise.

The X-Men series itself was created to address the societal issues the 1960s. The idea of setting the film during this time period was a fantastic idea. It enabled the audience to connect to real life situations that many people lived through i.e., the Cuban Missile Crisis and the social issues of the '60s.

Unlike previous films in the franchise it is not as star-studded, although I was surprised by the number of B list stars that appeared throughout the film. But with the lack of highly experienced actors, it still provides great performances. Michael Fassbender in my opinion provided the best acting out of the whole cast. His portrayal of Magneto enabled the audience to connect with the character as he sought revenge for the murder of his family.

While watching the film I noticed that I wasn't distracted by the visual effects and that they did not take away from the experience. The film did not rely too heavily on computer generated graphics and I really enjoyed that. 20th Century Fox did a great job of incorporating superior story telling with great acting. After seeing the film twice I give it an A and suggest you give it a look.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:12 am

http://bolivarmonews.com/entertainment/at_the_movies/x-men-first-class-makes-the-grade/article_d61a2d57-226b-523b-bf2a-9528fbd32631.html

'X-Men: First Class' makes the grade

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 2:58 pm

By Brandon Cone and Josh Phillips | hdtatthemovies@harrisondaily.com

In “X-Men: First Class,” we’re offered the origin story of the mutant team we saw in three previous “X-Men” films and a half-baked movie about an angry Canadian with a massive hang-nail problem.

Amidst the rising tide of those with X-genes, and the frigid depths of the Cold War, a group of mutants are thrown together to stop another band of mutants intent on wiping out humanity to make way for a Homo Superior uprising.

The Story

Josh Phillips: I was intrigued by the contemporary history angle this film used, and I was curious to see the mutual history that Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik “Magneto” Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) shared — something that was alluded to in the first film in the “X-Men” franchise.

Brandon Cone: After “X2: X-Men United,” we were teased with origin films for both Wolverine and Magneto. The Wolverine one came about (for better or worse), but nary had been heard about the Magneto project until this film was released, and it was promised that his origin would be fully examined.

JP: Now, in the interest of preventing the fury of fanboys that could endanger the peace their parents enjoy in the upstairs portion of the house, I want to point out that there were some liberties taken with the established history of the mutant team. With the exceptions of Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), the young X-Men here consisted of lesser-known characters from the comics. Missing are the original first class of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Ice-Man and Angel. But, those same characters were heavily involved in the preceding features, so it works that they sat this one out.

BC: In my youth, I was a huge fan of the X-Men comics, but I see no problem with the approach the filmmakers took here, developing some characters who would never see the silver screen under other circumstances.

JP: The strongest facet of this film (insert Emma Frost joke here!) was the relationship between Xavier and Erik. Being polar opposites, their friendship was fraught with conflicting ideas, yet they perhaps knew each other best and could understand the other’s motivations. That relationship translated very well here, due in no small part to the actors’ ability to impart their characters with emotion and nuance.

BC: This film at many points was heart-breaking to watch because we are privy to the fate that was going to befall our heroes. Big props to the screenwriters.

The Players

JP: McAvoy and Fassbender were great here, playing off each other so well. As leaders of warring factions in the comics, their differing ideologies had to be present in this story to set the stage for the later films.

BC: I can’t recall seeing Fassbender before this outing, and I was quite impressed. He’s very talented. For me, though, McAvoy stole the show. The kid from “Wanted” has come a long way.

JP: I was not impressed at all with Kevin Bacon’s role as hate-crime instigator Sebastian Shaw. Every time I see Bacon (shut up, Brandon), I either see him dancing in an 80s tuxedo or that final scene from “Wild Things.” Neither are tolerable. Also, January Jones as Emma Frost was just plain boring. Whereas the comic character was a conceited sociopath who exuded sex appeal, the White Queen here was cold and frigid. Wonder if her people were Nordic.

BC: I didn’t mind Bacon (not the kind you eat, Josh) here. I thought he did a pretty good job. I will agree, though, Jones was underutilized. She was little more than skimpily-dressed eye candy. Anyone who has watched “Mad Men” knows she is capable of much more.

JP: I was even less impressed with the young actors portraying the budding mutant crime-fighters. Lawrence was great in “Winter’s Bone,” but she was just boring and whiny in this instance. The rest were full of lame camaraderie and awe-shucks moments, especially in their training at Xavier’s. And I would have liked to see a montage. You can’t go wrong with a montage. Just ask Rocky.

BC: The training sequence was among my favorite parts of the film. It was a fun break from the otherwise heavy and serious flick.

JP: There was a pretty humorous cameo from the fuzzy Canuck during the recruitment montage. And the f-bomb is dropped. This was definitely a more adult chapter in the “X-Men” saga.

BC: It was pretty funny, though. Rebecca Romijn, the actress who previously portrayed the shape-shifting Mystique, also has a quick but clever cameo.

The Look

JP: The effects weren’t too shabby. Though a lot of the special effects were invisible, since you can’t necessarily see the effect a magnetic mutant has on metal, no matter how big or small. But that was probably the best submarine-pulled-out-of-the-ocean scene I can recall.

BC: Hollywood is getting very good at pulling off these kinds of films. A big budget really can make movie magic.

JP: I was reminded of a muppet when I saw Beast’s more animalistic form. But I guess that’s better than a giant blue ape/lion thing in a speedo. And the makeup used for Mystique’s au naturel looked more fake here, than in the earlier films.

BC: Agreed. In that realm, the effects took a big step backward, but it still wasn’t awful.

JP: I did really enjoy the 1960s vibe of the sets, wardrobe and vehicles. I half expected Don Draper and Roger Sterling to show up, cocktails in hand. But I have to wonder if January Jones yearns to do a modern project. (Is it obvious that I’m a “Mad Men” fan?)

BC: I wondered that during the film, too. She keeps playing roles from the ‘60s. I guess stick with what you’re good at, right?

JP: I do believe this was the best Marvel movie so far this year. “Thor” was good, but it was a tad light on story. “X-Men” was rife with complexities, if a little contrived in places. I give this five adamantium blades out of six.

BC: I’ll agree with that. Marvel Studios executives keeps pushing the envelope, and it keeps paying off for them. It all makes me even more excited for “Captain America.”

“X-Men: First Class” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:14 am

http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/community_times/community/arts_scene/x-men-first-class-has-interesting-spin/article_c7fca03e-913e-11e0-b899-001cc4c002e0.html

‘X-Men: First Class’ has interesting spin

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 3:44 pm | Updated: 5:34 pm, Tue Jun 7, 2011.

By Priscilla Mack

In another installment of the ongoing comic book-based movie franchise, the “X-Men” are back.

This movie takes the audience through the back story of how the powerful Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) were two young men discovering their incredible powers for the first time.

Both of these men work with other superior young mutants to defeat the evil Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

The cool part of the movie is that the mutants are involved in the early 1960s nuclear missile crisis between the Americans and Russians.

The mixing of futuristic science fiction superior mutants against the backdrop of the Cold War is interesting.

“X-Men: First Class” is definitely a movie for the science fiction buff.

Rated PG-13.

© 2011 Carroll County Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:18 am

http://www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/foss/2011/jun/07/watching-x-men-first-class/

Watching “X-Men: First Class”
By Sara Foss
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I’m pretty sick of comic book movies.

So why did I go see “X-Men: First Class?”

Three reasons: I heard a rumor it wasn’t completely terrible, there was nothing else I wanted to see and it stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who aren’t exactly household names, but should be. Still, I went into the theater with low expectations, wondering why anyone thought it was a good idea to reboot the aging franchise and turn it into a period piece set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The fact that the film promised to explain the origins of Professor X and Magneto did little to excite me, because origin stories tend to be cumbersome and overly expository.

But then I saw “X-Men: First Class” and you know what? I was being a grouch. This is one of the best comic book movies in quite some time, and the period setting and focus on origin are assets, not liabilities.

From the very first frame, I was swept up in the story, and reminded of the essential appeal of the “X-Men” franchise, which takes a group of misfits and gives them superpowers. The superpowers are depicted as both a blessing and a curse, and this “X-Men” film does a great job of exploring one of the underlying conflicts at the heart of the comic books: Is it better for the mutants to blend in with normal humans, or be themselves?

For every character like Professor X, who believes in the basic decency of human beings, there’s a character like Magneto, who simply doesn’t. Throughout the film, both characters build compelling cases for their arguments, and I found Fassbender’s young Magneto so charismatic I could easily see myself SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! leaving the “good” mutants at the end of the film to join Magneto’s lawless gang.

We first meet Professor X as a precocious, privileged boy with the power to read minds, and Magneto as a child imprisoned in a concentration camp and discovering his ability to control metal with his brain. The film then jumps forward to young adulthood, when Professor X, known as Charles (McAvoy), is studying genetic mutations at Oxford, and Magneto, known as Erik (Fassbender), is living the life of a vigilante, hunting the Nazis who tormented him and killed his mother. Charles and his childhood friend Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) — a fellow mutant whose natural form is blue scaly skin and yellow eyes — are recruited to work for the CIA, where a friendly agent (Rose Byrne) believes their powers will be useful in preventing nuclear Armageddon.

One night, Charles directs the CIA to the submarine where an evil group of Nazi mutants led by Kevin Bacon (seriously) are hiding out. He senses that there is another mutant nearby, and discovers Erik in the ocean, attempting to use his powers to capture the escaping submarine. Charles rescues Erik, and a friendship/rivalry is a born. The two men have very different outlooks on the world, but they are both enthralled by each other’s talents, and find themselves united in a single cause: hunting Kevin Bacon’s mutant gang. Charles believes the mutant gang poses a terrible threat to the world, where Erik simply wants to avenge the death of his family. The two begin searching for other mutants, and we’re introduced to some of the other characters in the X-Men stories, such as Beast, Havoc and Angel.

It’s surprisingly fun to watch the young mutants learn how to control their powers and get to know each other. Beast, who has the feet of a monkey, is trying to develop a serum that will hide his mutation, while Raven, who has always concealed her blue skin and yellow eyes, is beginning to wonder whether she really wants to hide her true self. Questions of identity, normality and conformity arise repeatedly throughout the film, and are explored in surprising depth.

I don’t want to give anyone the idea that “X-Men: First Class” is a particularly brainy or philosophical film, but it does a better job than most summer blockbusters of giving viewers food for thought. I’ve seen the first two X-Men films and now this one, and all three films do a fairly good job of showing the way people project their fears onto those who are different, particularly minority groups. In the X-Men films, the mutants are feared for their powers, but also exploited and scapegoated.

Of course, the main reason to see “X-Men: First Class” is because it’s a lot of fun. The special effects are very good, and director Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”) does an excellent job of creating atmosphere, introducing the film’s many characters (as is typical of the “X-Men” films, there are too many characters, and some get short shrift), and staging big fights and set-pieces. Only the final battle feels a little too drawn out and over-the-top. The film has a certain campiness to it, and Vaughn doesn’t shy away from the sillier aspects of the story; he’s aided by a cast capable of delivering ridiculous dialogue with great conviction. In the end, what makes this film so good is its stars: McAvoy and Fassbender are a dynamic, charismatic pair, and if they appear in the next X-Men film, well, I’m excited to see it, that’s for sure.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:20 am

http://bayside.patch.com/articles/this-week-at-the-movies-20

This Week at the Movies

'X-Men: First Class' Rejuvenates Comic Book Genre

By Nathan Duke | Email the author | June 6, 2011

The comic book origin film has become one of Hollywood’s most popular and least inspiring subgenres. You know the drill: unassuming hero discovers powers, meets villain and must decide whether to fight for the common good. The entire picture is typically a setup for the inevitable sequels that will follow.

More often than not, these films feature plot devices, back stories and action sequences that are so similar that any random scene from any comic book picture could be cut and spliced into another and it would likely fit.

Consider the prospect of revisiting any of these recent examples – “Thor,” “The Green Hornet,” “Ghost Rider,” “Kick Ass” and “Jonah Hex.” Or, better yet, don’t.

Occasionally, a comic book origin film rises above the genre (see Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboots). Such is the case for “X-Men: First Class,” a familiar, but entertaining, summer blockbuster that goes slightly above and beyond the requirements of this type of picture.

For starters, director Matthew Vaughn has enlisted a who’s who of young talent, including James McAvoy as Professor X, 2010 Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique, Rose Byrne, January Jones and a scene-stealing Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Kevin Bacon pops up in a juicy role as the film’s villain.

The picture’s multiple writers have fun tinkering with history in a script that involves the early days of the X-Men, from World War II through the Cuban Missile Crisis. Vaughn has an eye for period detail, most of which is handled subtly, and the movie makes good use of archival footage.

The series had lost steam in its third entry from 2006, while 2009’s “Wolverine” fell flat. That latter film’s titular character makes a cameo appearance in “First Class” that drew a big laugh.

This latest “X-Men” film may not reach the heights of 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” which has become the gold standard of the genre, but it is a vast improvement over this summer season’s so-far middling selections.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:20 am

http://my.hsj.org/Schools/Newspaper/tabid/100/view/frontpage/articleid/447051/newspaperid/1559/XMen_First_ClassInconsistent_But_Still_a_Good_Flick.aspx

"X-Men: First Class"--Inconsistent, But Still a Good Flick
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 By Ian Scott

The eagerly anticipated prequel X-Men:First Class was released into theaters Friday, so I thought as a fan of the series, I’d go check it out.
Although I greatly enjoyed the first two films in the franchise, I was supremely disappointed by the third and fourth films: The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine. Both suffered from poor acting, choppy editing, and campy direction, rendering what was supposed to be an entertaining conclusion and a reboot indescribably irritating. So despite low expectations, I went into First Class with as positive an attitude as possible. And for the most part, I was not let down.
First Class is a prequel, meaning that if you’ve ever wondered what happened before all of the shenanigans of the first three films, but were too afraid to read the comic book it might affect your reputation, your prayers have been answered.
You have some familiar faces of course: Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence), and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), among others. It follows the events that lead to the rise of Magneto as we know him, as well as the school. It also shows how several other characters wound up in their own spots later on, using the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop. Of course there must be a villain, so Kevin Bacon stepped up as Sebastian Shaw.
It appears that the casting directors were well aware of the errors they had made with the last two films, and set out on a mission to please critics and moviegoers alike. Their efforts were successful. Although I usually find his acting annoying, James McAvoy impressed me greatly with his turn as Professor X. Having to play the younger version of the role originated by the masterful Patrick Stewart, McAvoy turned out an undeniably strong performance. Michael Fassbender also did his part following Ian McKellen, giving new life but still that villainous quality that makes people love Magneto. Of course, they had a wonderful supporting cast, which featured (aside from Hoult, Lawrence,and Bacon), January Jones and Oliver Platt.
Another issue I took with the previous two installments was the apparent preference of effects over substance. I understand fully that when dealing with comic book adaptations it can be difficult to suppress the visually creative aspect of your mind; however, to sacrifice depth is always a bad decision. With First Class, however, I felt that there was a sense of urgency amongst the film makers to ensure that this movie focused more on character development than action.

So they got the essentials down, which made it time for a little fun. I’m not one of those people that thinks of epic CGI battle scenes as chips: you can’t have just one. No, one is more than enough. Although the film does have some mutant showdowns prior to the last big missile flying around in our jet thing, for the most part they were short and not too over-the-top.
Just one problem: there were some serious continuity and historical errors that were rather aggravating to observe. First off, people’s ages. As I mentioned, this film takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis, so I shouldn’t have to tell you that was 1962, but you never know. In this film, set 17 years before Origins: Wolverine Emma Frost is seen as an adult mutant. In Origins she’s a teenager. Then we have Dr. Moira McTaggert who appears to be in her early 40’s in an after-credits scene in The Last Stand. Forty years earlier she appears to be just a few years younger. In the second film, Hank McCoy is seen in his human form briefly, but becomes fully blue and beastly in this film. The last one I could catch was the age at which Magneto and Xavier meet. In the first film, Xavier says he was seventeen, but First Class depicts him in his 20s.

Another one is Xavier’s paralysis. In the Last Stand he is shown walking in a flashback sequence (most likely in the 1980s), but in this film he is paralyzed on the beach in Cuba. He is also shown walking in Origins which again was set in 1979.

Aside from these, at the bottom of the screen it kept saying “Moscow, Russia”. That would be fine, but in 1962 Russia was not Russia. In 1962 it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), more popularly (or not) known as the Soviet Union. Also, at certain points a world map will say U.S.S.R., which for an American war room is correct. But then in Kevin Bacon’s war room it said Russia which is incorrect. That is a major historical inaccuracy. I’m all for flexibility, but all this was a little much.

When it comes down to it, First Class is a well-written, strongly acted addition to the franchise, restoring it in many respects to its former glory. On the flip side, it is filled with inaccuracies and discrepancies (that the film makers should’ve picked up on and addressed) that take away from the film. I give this flick three out of four stars.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:21 am

http://desplaines.patch.com/articles/x-men-first-class

By Brandon Keith | Email the author | June 7, 2011

X-Men: First Class

This prequel makes us love mutants all over again.

X-Men returns, but with a prequel audiences can deem as cake icing to the already successful franchise. First Class sets up another trilogy and focuses on the Professor X/Magneto friendship gone awry.

At the start of the film, we witness a young Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner) – later known as Magneto (Michael Fassbender) – bend a metal gate when taken captive at a concentration camp and separated from his parents. Fans of the original X-Men film may find this opening a little familiar.

After killing Erik’s mother, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) eggs (no pun intended) him on as Erik destroys his office (with his mind) – in a rage.

Meanwhile, a younger and pre-paralyzed telepath Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is starting his thesis on genetic mutation. In this film, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) – later known as Mystique who can shape-shift into anyone – tags along as his adoptive sister. Xavier is approached by CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) who ultimately wants to team up to deflect the threats of Shaw’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Also on the search for Shaw is Erik, seeking to avenge the death of his parents.

Shaw has built a team of his own; including the human diamond Frost (January Jones); the demonic Azazel (Jason Flemyng); and the whirlwind Riptide (Alex Gonzalez).

The CIA houses Xavier, Raven, and Magneto in an off-site facility to protect them from outside attacks. The CIA already employs a mutant, Hank (Nicolas Hoult), whose feet bare resemblance to the hands of a hairy construction worker. Hank later becomes Beast, looking like a blue puppy in the face.

Hank and particularly Raven, struggle with body image issues. Raven believes her blue skin and scales to be unattractive, shape-shifting to a “normal” woman for the majority of the film. And Hank is determined to discover a formula that will allow mutants to appear normal without sacrificing their God-given ability.

Scouring the Earth for mutants to build a team Xavier finds young cohorts who dub themselves; Angel (Zoe Kravitz), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Havoc (Lucas Till), and Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones). All have their respective powers; flying, adapting, fire rings, sonic booms, and shape shifting. The special effects are crisp.

Xavier has them all train extensively to harness their powers; which even includes Magneto, who practices his metal-moving by changing the direction of a satellite.

The mutants find themselves in a battle that pits the practical Xavier against the revenge absorbed Magneto. The moral dilemma of using their powers for good or evil is at the heart of it. The complexities of mutant life.

Not short on action, this film utilizes the mutants’ powers at full force; from forcing submarines into the air to stopping missiles mid-air (makes you wish you had a few favorable mutations by the end of it).

I’ll admit the attempts to thread the story with historical events is a little choppy. But one can never go wrong including a clip of late President John F. Kennedy in the mix. Entertaining and successful in not veering too far off of the story, X-Men: First Class should satisfy comic book obsessives, earning it 3 out of 4 stars. Not to mention all the films' actors have now gained more proximity bragging rights to Kevin Bacon.

Moviegoers can head over to Muvico in Rosemont to see X-Men: First Class in premier and general seeting. Click here for showtimes.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:23 am

http://www.thesetonian.com/pirate-life/school-is-in-session-with-x-men-first-class-1.2356546

School is in session with "X-Men: First Class"

By Melissa Murray

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 09:06

the_setonian_6.7.11_X-Men

Photo from imdb.com

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy star as younger Magneto and Professor X in "X-Men: First Class."

Just when it was beginning to fizzle, director Matthew Vaughn manages to revive the waning X-Men franchise with another movie that may surpass them all.

"X-Men: First Class" details the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr prior to them becoming Professor X and Magneto, proving to be a first class prequel to the four previous X-Men films.

Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film elaborates on the experiences that cause these two close friends to develop contradictory ideologies on the relationship between mutants and humans and become the archenemies so revered from the comics. The movie also establishes the origin of the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, two opposing groups of mutants that are the focus of the other films.

Due to the large cast, many of the secondary characters are underdeveloped. The mutants in the Hellfire Club and the Brotherhood of Mutants lack distinct personalities and only avid fans of the comics will understand the relationship between them. The casting of these characters was spot on except for that of the evil Nazi scientist and mutant Sebastian Shaw, who was played by Kevin Bacon. One can only imagine why the singing and dancing star of "Footloose" was chosen to play the villain. His portrayal of Shaw was neither supremely evil nor over-the-top.

What makes the film such a success is the casting of James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. McAvoy creates a charming and flirtatious Professor X, while Fassbender is much more intense and domineering as Magneto. Both actors give their character a level of depth not seen in the previous films and the relationship between the two is so genuine and supportive that it is hard not to sympathize with both men.

While the film will greatly appeal to new viewers, current fans of X-Men will be pleased to see familiar faces from both the comic books and previous films, though many references are not completely accurate. Mystique and Beast are given adequate background stories and readers of the comics will be able to distinguish minor characters from the books. Hugh Jackman makes a hilarious cameo appearance as Wolverine.

"X-Men: First Class" is full of action and an intriguing plot that successfully provides those who are new to the X-Men franchise an introduction to its most significant characters, while still satisfying current fans with a descriptive origin story of their favorite rivals.

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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 am

http://www.state-journal.com/news/article/5046742

'X-Men' revived with style

By Josh Raymer
June 7, 2011
The cast of “X-Men: First Class.” (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)

Comic book movies are a strange bunch.

For instance, take the wildly successful “Spider-Man” franchise that starred Tobey Maguire and was directed by Sam Raimi. The original in 2002 launched the comic-to-film craze to new heights and the second installment remains one of only two comic sequels to improve upon its predecessor (the other being Batman’s “The Dark Knight”).

The third entry in the series was ripped by critics but still grossed nearly $900 million at the box office, bringing the trilogy’s total haul to a shade under $2.5 billion.

Yep, that’s billion with a “b.”

So what does Marvel decide to do with a franchise that is literally raining money down on studio executives?

Start it over! “The Amazing Spider-Man” hits theaters on July 3, 2012.

Then you have Batman. Believe it or not, there are already talks to reboot DC’s most profitable franchise once “The Dark Knight Rises” concludes its run in theaters next summer.

You read that right – not even the gold standard of comic book adaptations escapes a return trip to the blockbuster assembly line.

We live in an era when comic book movies are rebooted and remade with shocking regularity, which makes what Marvel has chosen to do with its “X-Men” franchise downright quaint.

Instead of starting over with everyone’s favorite mutants, they’ve decided to launch a new prequel trilogy that doesn’t erase the film history that preceded it.

The bold decision has paid off for the comic-to-movie kings, as “X-Men: First Class” is the best “X-Men” movie to grace the silver screen since 2003’s “X-Men 2.”

Set in 1963, “First Class” recalls the founding of Charles Xavier’s (played by James McAvoy) school for mutants and the formation of his first team. It also explores his friendship with Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) prior to his days as the nefarious Magneto.

The movie’s greatest strength is also what crippled the two entries that came before it – it manages to make every mutant interesting and sympathetic. It doesn’t pack characters in to please fans like “X-Men: The Last Stand” did, but that doesn’t mean this entry is light on superpowered protagonists and antagonists.

In addition to Magneto and Professor X, longtime fans also get appearances by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Havok (Lucas Till), who’s the younger brother of Cyclops (played by James Marsden in the original trilogy).

The movie also hits a home run with three cameo appearances by popular characters from earlier films, two of which won’t be spoiled here but one of which is a glimpse of Storm as a young girl.

Outside of those nods though, “First Class” stands apart as its own X-Men movie, and the fresh faces combined with the origin story breath new life into a franchise that was starting to show its age.

Much has been made about this being Fassbender’s breakout role and with good reason – he shines as the antihero on the verge of becoming a full-blown villain.

His version of Erik Lehnsherr is charming, menacing, charismatic and dangerous all at the same time. He handles the transition from Erik to Magneto with the grace and believability that eluded Hayden Christensen in his portrayal of Darth Vader.

Fassbender chews up the screen and his chemistry with McAvoy’s incarnation of Charles Xavier is the best part of the movie.

The two friends are drawn to each other by the allure of their unrivaled abilities and act as a lifeline for the other – Charles keeping Erik from turning his back on humanity and Erik keeping Charles from ignoring a mutant’s place in society.

Charles is the straight shooter to Erik’s wildcard and McAvoy’s performance is nothing short of brilliant when it comes to portraying the other half of that equation.

He plays Charles as a less-constrained version of the Professor X we’re familiar with but it’s easy to tell the mutant leader’s good heart and pure intentions are there beneath the surface.

While it’s usually easy to pick out the weak link in an ensemble cast, every character represented on screen is handled with respect and grace. Of particular note is Lawrence’s turn as Mystique, a role handled ably by Rebecca Romijn in the earlier series.

Despite the big shoes she’s expected to fill, Lawrence pops off the screen as the blue-skinned shape shifter, which comes as a relief for “Hunger Games” fans awaiting next year’s adaptation with her in the starring role.

Those who feared the “X-Men” franchise had run out of gas can rest easy. “First Class” not only launches a new franchise, but shows movie execs that rebooting isn’t the only route to go.

Reel grade: 90 out of 100.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:28 am

http://www.bordercountiesadvertizer.co.uk/lifestyle/103098/film-x-men-first-class-12a-.aspx

FILM: X-Men: First Class (12A)

Published date: 07 June 2011 |
Published by: David Waddington

MARVEL'S comic book adaptation spawning superhero team are given a swinging 60s origins tale in the action-packed prequel X-Men: First Class.

When a Nazi doctor destroys the life of a young mutant to unlock the boys power to control metal, the tormented teen grows up to be Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) - a ruthless hunter of war criminals searching for revenge.

That is until he meets psychic Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) - an idealist who wants mutants to co-exist with the human race and convinces Erik to join him in a bid to protect the world from the mysterious Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

But with the threat of nuclear war with Russia and Shaw's hunger for destruction, can the duo and their young band of fellow mutants survive?

'Groovy'

Having flexed his fantasy muscles with Stardust and handled heroes with Kick Ass, director Matthew Vaughn gets his hands on a franchise he originally looked to inherit in 2006.

And with Bryan Singer back on board on producing duties, he makes a convoluted narrative work. Just.

Although the period is sporadically captured through 'groovy' script work, it never really rings as authentic despite its key historical events.

Chic costumes may hint at 60s, but a heavy handed approach to the set design tends to ramps up clichéd views of the decade's aesthetics, making over the top submarine bases with eye-gouging wallpaper more akin to an Austin Powers pastiche rather than an alternate history à la Watchmen.

Vaughn's visual style is also wobbly when compared to his previous alternative hero adaptation, where a confusion of clipped edits (most notably a jarring training montage sequence) combined with a lack of confidence when handling multi-character plot lines is noticeable.

Acting/action combo

Thankfully First Class brings top notch action backed up by sterling acting to make it a worthy addition to the series.

Kevin Bacon puts in a devilish - though underused - stint as Shaw, while Brit rising star Nicholas Hoult surprises with his conflicted character Beast.

But it is Erik and Charles who consume the screen with the smooth and arrogant Professor a charming opposite to Fassbender's anger-fuelled 'Magneto in the making'.

However, is the latter which really tears up his scenes, bringing an intense gravitas which highlights the odd weaker turns by some of the supporting mutants.

Never hitting the lofty heights of X2, First Class still delivers an X-Men adventure far greater than the questionable Last Stand trilogy closer.

With enough nods and winks to the original three, and a handful of surprising but welcomed cameos, this backstory-filling feature may rile the odd Marvel maniac, but still graduates with honours.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:30 am

http://www.moviesonline.ca/2011/06/xmen-class-movie-review/

X-Men: First Class Movie Review
Written by: Luke on June 7, 2011

In the world of comics I am admittedly naïve and somewhat aloof of many mythologies that exist within them. I know quite a bit about Batman despite reading just a single Batman comic, but I’ve always stuck primarily to the movie incarnations than the print. I do read the occasional comic, but they are few and far between. The X-Men mythology is one I’ve learned or absorbed almost entirely from the films that have been released. I have to say I have liked but not loved a single one of them, but with Matthew Vaughn involved with X-MEN: FIRST CLASS I was more than willing to give it a fair shake, having been a huge fan of KICK ASS. As it stands, X-MEN FIRST CLASS is easily my favorite in the world of X-Men movies due to a fun yet cheesy script, Vaughn’s stylish direction and the acting chops of Michael Fassbender.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is a prequel to the original trilogy that follows the origins of both Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) who later becomes Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) who later becomes Magneto. Erik becomes consumed with revenge when a Nazi leader, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) kills his mother right in front of him in order to get him to prove his ability. His quest for revenge causes his path to cross with Charles who is assisting the CIA in trying to solve a plot involving mutants that Shaw has assembled and are orchestrating tensions between the U.S. And Russia in order to get one of them to ignite World War III. Erik and Charles become good friends while training a group of young mutants to use their powers responsibly in order to defeat Shaw.

One of my favorite aspects of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS was Michael Fassbender’s performance as Erik/Magneto. If I had one complaint it’s that there wasn’t enough of just him going around hunting the Nazi’s and tracking down Shaw, not quite enough of him developing both the relationships between him and Charles and him with the other mutants Charles recruits. There is enough there to make the film work and make it work well, but not enough to make it as unforgettable as I wish it was. Erik’s relationship with Charles is that of two separate ideologies regarding their perception of the human race; that’s also my favorite aspect regarding Fassbender’s portrayal of Magneto. Here he’s a sympathetic character that we know is destined for a tragic crossroads with Erik but you never have that sense that he is a villain. So the audience is free to root for both sides while also being able to pick which side they believe is more right than the other.

A couple of things that kept me from being head over heels with X-MEN: FIRST CLASS was some of the cheesier moments within the script and some of the really cartoonish special effects. The script itself is quite strong even with some of the cheesy dialogue; it just seemed a little too much at times. There are some very striking images that are set up with the visual effects, but then again some of them are undoubtedly fake and silly looking. There is also an abundance of montage moments and music; some that work and some that just don’t seem to fit. Not all the performances are that great, specifically January Jones. She might be great to look at but as a character in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS she has the movements and personality of a fembot from AUSTIN POWERS.

A lot of credit for the quality here goes to Matthew Vaughn. He gives the film a slick and stylish look as well as a tone that is tense in all the right places, great superhero action, some good comedic beats that includes a very cool cameo. Vaughn directs some very memorable visuals and action scenes that include the shot of Magneto lifting a sub straight from the ocean, hundreds of missiles hurling their way at the mutants on an island, shots of which can each be seen in the trailer.

I do look forward to seeing more of a variety as far as the mutants and their powers should sequels be thrown into development. There are some cool characters in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, including Havoc, Azazel and Banshee. I will say that Azazel’s character design at times gave me a Hellboy vibe, mostly due to the bright red look and the devil tail. As I mentioned though, Fassbender as Magneto more than steals the show; although I still wish that the friendship dynamic between him and McAvoy’s character was fleshed out a little more.

I have to admit, at first the prospect of an origin story did not appeal to me in the slightest when X-MEN: FIRST CLASS was announced. After seeing it though, I’m pretty excited about more films from this storyline as long as they are at or above this quality. Matthew Vaughn has proven he is a very talented director especially in regards to the fantasy aspects of a hero’s story and the internal struggle of the characters. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS lacks a certain level of consistency at times but the flaws are easily overlooked due to the quality of the script, action and overall tone of the film. Comic and film fans alike can find something to enjoy here as the film works as a fun action movie and as a comic book adaptation.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:33 am

http://www.greatnewmovies.com/2011/06/07/check-out-the-movie-review-of-x-men-first-class/

Check Out the Movie Review of ‘X-Men: First Class’

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 7:17 am

The new mutants movie ‘X-Men: First Class’ with James MCAvoy and Michael Fassbender in the lead roles, released last weekend and is enthralling the audience.

The new installment of ‘X-Men’ has released with the title ‘X-Men: First Class’ last weekend and has topped the US weekend box office earning $56 million. James MCAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones are the lead characters of the movie assisted with other characters of the movie, who will be supporting the roles of James MCAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

James MCAvoy plays the character of Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender plays the role of Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto). They both try to discover their own powers respectively. They both are friends initially and later turn as foes.

The earlier installments of X-Men explained about Professor X and Magneto and their mutant teams. But, this installment explains about the start of the two groups. The story f the movie is set in the backdrop of 1960, where Sebastian Shaw, a German Nazi played by Kevin Beacon learn about the magnetic characteristics of Erik and plans to exploit him for his benefit.

The performance by James McAvoy was awesome as he looked perfect as Professor X and did justice to the role played by Patrick Stewart in the previous installments. Michael Fassbender is incredible in the role of Magneto. He portrays a new perspective of the character and uses his power secretly and unique. He also draws sympathy towards his role.

Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme (Mystique) is pretty and role also got more depth in the recent installment. Kevin Beacon as German Nazi was great with his performance, as he got two versions of his character. The rest of the cast of the movie did their job pretty fair and terrific, as they were meant to.

Matthew Vaughn has done a great job as a director and screenwriter. His skills made the movie enthralling of its kind since, the movie ‘The Dark Knight’ directed by Christopher Nolan. The action sequences, dialogues and the blowing stuff in the movie are great.

Finally, ‘X Men: First Class’ is great and maintained the reputation of the series and is worth watching.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:40 pm

http://culturemob.com/review-x-men-first-class-doesnt-score-highest-marks

Review – X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Doesn’t Score Highest Marks

by Josh Katz | 06/06/11 |

What makes X-Men: First Class so unforgivable is that it does not play fair. The opening hour is near brilliant, yet around minute sixty, things take a turn. Were the movie all good or all bad, I don’t think I’d have as big an issue. It’s that mutation from wonderful to decidedly-less-than wonderful that makes X-Men: First Class a multi-million-dollar betrayal.

A bit hyperbolic, I realize, but the opening sections of the film work so well! I got the same sensation from it that I got from The Dark Knight, that the filmmakers in charge (20th Century Fox and Layer Cake-director Matthew Vaughn) first went about creating a good story and then figured out how to fit superheroes in it.

It’s the swinging 1960s when we first meet X-Men leader Charles “Professor X” Xavier (James McAvoy) and his arch-rival Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Charles is helping the CIA track down the Hellfire Club terrorist organization, while Erik, a Holocaust survivor, hunts the Nazis that tormented him in the concentration camps. Eventually, both men realize their destinies are linked in the form of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon, relishing his involvement in the kind of role he doesn’t often get—a Hollywood blockbuster’s Big Bad), and they begin a life-altering friendship.

Moving the X-Men franchise to the early ‘60s works well—not only does the period invoke the real-life-or-death stakes of the Cold War tensions and the civil rights movement, but it also lends an air of pop iconography to the film. This is X-Men-as-Bond adventure, and director Vaughn gives his film some of the same insouciance as the early Sean Connery Bond flicks (Fassbender has a bit in an Argentinean bar that I half-expected to end with him firing a gun into the camera to the tune of the 007 theme).

Most importantly, Vaughn gives his leads breathing room in this opening hour, and it’s his masterstroke; if we remember X-Men: First Class for anything, it will be for McAvoy and Fassbender’s performances. As the twenty-something Professor X, McAvoy is not only cheeky and arrogant and instantly likeable—an early scene has Charles celebrating his doctorate with the 1960s equivalent of a beer bong—he also has an authority far beyond his years that’s reminiscent of the gravitas Patrick Stewart brought to the part.

Then there’s Michael Fassbender. Magneto is the film’s toughest part—a good man driven to atrocities for all the right reasons—and simply conveying the mixture of heroism and menace that the role requires would warrant sufficient praise. Fassbender uses the part as his audition for entry into the Daniel Day-Lewis Club of Superior Thespianism. The guy can do badass; he can do introspective; he can do funny; he even shows off perfect Spanish, French, and German dictions just to prove he can do languages. Fassbender is a movie star, and X-Men: First Class is his coming-out party.

When Charles and Erik team up at the hour mark to take down Shaw together, their chemistry is so good together (think George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven) that it’s a shame Vaughn switches focus onto mediocre spectacle, a forced appeal to the youth market, and a story that suddenly tries to do too much with too little time. Somehow, the ideological struggle between Charles and Erik (think Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, both fighting the same battle but doing so in different ways) gets reduced to a CGI-light show where the X-Men single-handedly resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis. It cheapen the work of the two leads, and Vaughn’s staging of the action here is uninspired at best—a rote battle royale between a jet and a submarine using CGI that would have been top-notch in 2003.

Furthermore, he gives the lion’s share of the material in the final seventy minutes to the JV X-Men team. Charles and Erik recruit six mutants to help them and if you asked me to name all of them without IMDb’s help, I might be in trouble. Other than Beast (Nicholas Hoult, who spends the last thirty minutes of the movie in awful blue makeup) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, who looks good wearing nothing but blue body paint but displays little of the talent she brought to Winter’s Bone), there are two bland Caucasian mutants with vaguely-defined powers and two bland African-American mutants with vaguely-defined powers, and I’m wondering what studio executive thought it prudent to emphasize “The Real World: Mutant House” over McAvoy and Fassbender’s cracking interplay. If given the length of a TV season to develop these junior X-Men, I’m sure we’d grow fond of them, but with just over an hour, these actors just aren’t iconic enough to pop instantly.

Their inclusion here is indicative of X-Men: First Class’s biggest issue: overstuffing the plot past the point of capacitance. Structuring this first installment around Professor X’s first mission alongside Magneto wouldn’t just be a good way to capitalize on McAvoy and Fassbender’s rapport—it would allow for a tighter movie and a stronger sequel direction. Let the second movie be about Charles and Erik forming the mutant team, and then spend that film developing the new characters. My guess is that Fox was hedging their bets with X-Men: First Class, cramming in a franchise’s worth of material (Charles meeting Erik, their fight with Sebastian Shaw, the formation of the X-Men, the personal struggles of Beast and Mystique, the X-Men’s first mission, Erik’s betrayal of Charles, the division of the X-Men, and three or four other movie-worthy subplots) in case it flopped at the box office.

Whatever confidence Vaughn and Co. pumped into the first half of the film disappears in the presence of all these demerits—as wonderful as James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are, X-Men: First Class does not live up to their work in the film. Is the picture better than X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Absolutely. But it exists in the shadow of a better movie, one we may never get to see.

by Josh Katz | 06/06/11
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:40 pm

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/EddrickDejuan/news/?a=38902

X-Men First Class… Should you see it?
With a great story, good action, fan-pleasing, overall great acting, and one of the most enjoyable cameos I have seen in a long time… Go see X-Men: First Class!
Hello all.

We’re gonna take a short break from Mortal Kombat, so I can tell you how much X-Men: First Class rocked!

I am so impressed with this movie and what 20th Century Fox has accomplished. This is probably my favorite X-movie if not one of my new all time favorite super hero movies by far. I can say for a fact that much of the praise this movie has received is well deserved.

So what is so good about this movie? Let me see if I can give a brief review without spoiling anything.

The movie is about the relationship between Xavier and Magneto. It goes into their origins and takes us on a brief journey to demonstrate how these two characters became so close and yet strayed so far apart.

The screenplay played out very well. The act’s flowed well into each other and everything worked into supporting the overall narrative. One thing that I really enjoyed is how balanced this movie is with the amount of story and action. This movie has great action scenes but the story was so engrossing that I found myself longing for the quiet character scene after the action sequences on more than one occasion.

That’s not to say that the action was bad at all though. As a matter of fact there are some great action sequences in the film. Without spoiling anything all I’ll say is that it’s still awesome to see how much of a bad ass Magneto is.

Speaking of which, Michael Fassbender was great as Magneto. His performance was so good that I looked at him as Magneto without any thoughts on Ian Mckellan. The same can be said of James McAvoy as Charles Xavier. These actors did so well in their performance that I found myself engrossed even further into these characters. Both of these characters strengths and shortcomings shined brightly while on screen. Fassbender stole the show in many instances though. Fassbender brought heaps of charisma to the anger fueled master of magnetism. I dare say that his performance caught the charismatic nature of the character seen in many X-Men comics. But McAvoy didn’t fade into the background either. McAvoy put so much effort into portraying the open-heart idealism that fuels Xavier. It can often come off as being naive yet McAvoy makes you believe that Xavier is well aware of what may happen. He just want’s to believe in people so much that it can also be his shortcoming. We also get to see how helpful and caring Xavier can be and how he would become the leader we will see him as in the original X-films. Other honorable mentions go to Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult for his different, yet fantastic take on Dr. Hank McCoy.

There is also a bit of fan pleasing for comic fans as well. I can’t go into it but there are some sequences, and one specific scene in particular, that made me extremely giddy. The movie also did a good job of erasing the continuity of X3. Yay! That movie officially doesn’t count anymore in the timeline. Additionally, the costumes for the team were more comic based yet still believable. Blue and gold for the win!

That is not to say that this film is flawless though. It definitely has some problems. Writing-wise, there are scenes in which the writers gave obscenely simple explanations to problems presented earlier in the story. One is so haphazard and lazy that I found myself thinking “What the hell?”. Also the film can suffer visually at times. There were some sequences with characters that fly that looked so goofy it was hard not to laugh. There were also some very silly moments that didn’t work too well in the film. The film also tried to pack so much into the movie that some characters and ideas got underutilized. Azazel is one of these characters that really didn’t get much time within the movie. Not to mention that some performances were mediocre at best. One example is January Jones as Emma Frost. Ms. Jones looked great as right hand woman of the Hellfire Club but her performance was very bland. I really wanted more from her performance and never got it. The same can be said of some of the other cast as well. The film was great overall though.

So what is the final verdict? I think it should be obvious.




With a great story, good action, fan-pleasing, overall great acting, and one of the most enjoyable cameos I have seen in a long time… Go see X-Men: First Class! This movie is doing well in the box office but hasn’t done as well as Thor and in my opinion this movie was way better than Thor.

Go enjoy!

Tony

Mutant and proud

www.e2comics.com

eddrickdejuan
6/6/2011
e2comics.com
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:41 pm

http://utdailybeacon.com/entertainment/2011/jun/4/foreshadowing-mires-first-class/

Foreshadowing mires “First Class”
Robby O'Daniel, Recruitment Editor
Published: Sat Jun 04, 2011 | Modified: Mon Jun 06, 2011 06:33 p.m.

Many disturbing parallels exist between the concepts behind "X-Men: First Class" and that horrid take on the franchise, 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

Both movies essentially rely on fans accepting yet another X-Men movie, "First Class" making the fifth one since 2000, based on the idea that this will be a different viewpoint of the classic characters.

With "Wolverine," it was supposed to serve as the beginning of a new franchise of solo adventures. But after viewing it, it's much easier to classify it as just "X-Men 4," serving as a good chance to include some characters that were not in the original trilogy, like Gambit.

Now "X-Men: First Class" is also a gimmick, and it also introduces characters that have not been in an X-Men movie before. But the strength of "First Class" is based on what it is without, rather than what it has.

Outside of a brief, funny cameo, Hugh Jackman and the Wolverine character are nowhere to be found. And thank God for that because, too often, both X-Men comics and movies become "Wolverine, also featuring the X-Men." "First Class" does not have that problem.

The movie's biggest strength is its superb cast. James McAvoy leads the way as a not-yet-professor Charles Xavier, providing, yes, a fresh take on the character. He is turned from older, bald mentor into younger, carousing ladies' man in this movie.

It's important to note, though, that unlike other characters in the Marvel comic book movies, there is not just one character trait that defines Xavier in this movie. When he first meets Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), he tries to woo her using a routine he had already broken out earlier in the movie. But when she cuts off the partially intoxicated Xavier to talk about mutants, the viewer sees that, even in the 1960s, Xavier was caring and compassionate, both about mutants themselves and about the future of mankind.

The cast also features a surprisingly devious performance from Kevin Bacon as villain Sebastian Shaw, as well as Jennifer Lawrence, fresh from the critically acclaimed "Winter's Bone," playing a young Mystique.

But really, the person who steals the show out of the entire cast is Michael Fassbender as Magneto. The role demanded a complex performance from Fassbender, and he provided it.

The movie first introduces the character of Magneto in a captivating first scene of Magneto as a child, demanded to show the Nazis his power. The scene evokes the conversational banter and palpable energy of the first scenes of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."

It's like seeing an emotional stage play on the screen, raw emotion on display. Even after seeing all the superhero fights and fanboy moments, it is telling that this is the scene that sticks out.

When the audience first sees Fassbender, he is hunting down people for revenge after what the Nazis put him through as a child. He pursues this with moral abandon, and it is hard not to get caught up, cheering him on in the endeavor.

Later in the movie, of course, Magneto is caught up in the moral quandry between exacting cold revenge and rebuilding society with mutants on top, with Xavier's more modest goals of creating a school and home for misunderstood mutants.

"First Class" wins the title of best X-Men movie, despite the excellent efforts of the 2000 "X-Men" film and its 2003 sequel, "X2: X-Men United." But the movie is not without its one prevailing flaw.

Too often, the movie gets wrapped up in glaring foreshadowing and rushing the franchise back to the status quo. It's ironic because a sequel to "First Class" might not be nearly as fun or enjoyable because the movie wrecked the gimmicky premise it began with.

Four stars
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:43 pm

http://www.dailytoreador.com/lavida/article_8ab22fa2-9074-11e0-abd8-001a4bcf6878.html

Ware: “X-Men First Class” Rejuvenates The Once Dead Franchise

Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 2:38 pm | Updated: 2:39 pm, Mon Jun 6, 2011.

Tyler Ware

Summer blockbusters have been dominated by superhero films over the past 10 years and the film that kick started this movement was Bryan Singer's "X-Men." The 1978 "Superman" and 1989 "Batman" were more the exception than the rule, but Singer's adaptation made the public interested in seeing more comic to film adaptations.

The franchise however has been tarnished in the past few years, Singer's departure from "X-Men: The Last Stand" was felt as the film failed commercially and critically.

After that disaster, the studio then tried to cash in on each character's origin starting with the most popular character, Wolverine. Unfortunately, that film managed to destroy the X-Men label even more than the previous film.

Fortunately for X-Men fans, the latest installment in the widely popular comic series rejuvenates the once-dead franchise.

"X-Men: First Class" is set in an era before Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr became enemies.

During the height of the Cold War, both men realize they could use their unique powers to avert a global thermonuclear disaster. The two powerful mutants then launch an intense recruitment campaign with the support of the CIA.

Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) assemble a crack team that includes Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz), Havok (Lucas Til), and Darwin (Edi Gathegi).

Meanwhile, the malevolent Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) plots to plunge the world into war with the help of his own villainous mutants.

In the process of saving the world, however, Charles and Erik clash on their ideas of humanity, setting the stage for Professor X and Magento to become enemies.

Director Matthew Vaughn does a magnificent job creating a period piece while keeping it highly stylized like his film, "Layer Cake."

This plays to its advantage as the film creates a different style and feel than the other film adaptations. Making the audience recognize this as its own independent film rather than just a prequel or an extension of the franchises previous work.

The two leads, McAvoy and Fassbender, do an outstanding job embodying their character. Both play their roles perfectly, while Fassbender plays the far more interesting and entertaining character, McAvoy brings life and emotion out of a perceived emotionless Professor X.

The film is unfortunately halted when new mutants are introduced to the story so the arrival can show off their power. This aspect tends to get extremely annoying as the relationship between Charles and Erik is way more enticing than any special effect.

"X-Men: First Class" does suffer from some abnormalities prequels fall into. The film makes snide hints like Charles saying, "Why, I'll never go bald," and them sighting Wolverine. The film also gets almost childish at points like Erik exclaiming at the top of his lungs, "I am Magneto."

These elements don't destroy the movie but it's strange for a film that touches on mature themes thoughtfully to produce these scenes that are extremely cliche and dumb.

The dialogue is extremely impressive at times for a superhero film. The discussions and themes presented about humanity and its transgressions toward new "arrivals" entertain the audience and challenge them to think about how humans at times are evil.

Overall, "X-Men: First Class" achieves great performances from its well-rounded cast and with a strong script and stylish direction vastly overshadow the usual faults of prequels and brings the franchise back to prominence.

RATING: 4 out of 5
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:43 pm

http://www.hotindienews.com/2011/06/06/1031963

X-Men: First Class (2011) – Movie Review
June 6, 2011

By Kelvin Watkins

In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a fellow mutant named Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Despite their vastly different backgrounds — Charles grew up with a wealthy family, while Erik lost his parents at Auschwitz — the two become close friends. As the world teeters on the brink of a nuclear war, Charles and Erik with other mutants join forces to save humanity. However, a situation soon tears the friends apart.

As an origin movie this film rocks, with the early days of Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique. This film is a wonderful addition to the X-Men franchise. Since the audience has already formed their opinions of these characters when they were first introduced in earlier films, Marvel had to take great care when making an origin film, which they seem to have mastered with this movie. The story line, the casting the acting and visual effects were as good as any of the earlier films There are some great cameos as well. You will see the birth of the X-Men as well as the beginning of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Even if you are not a fan of the X-Men films, this is a good movie to see this summer.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:43 pm

http://unlvrebelyell.com/2011/06/06/buckle-up-for-x-men-first-class/

Buckle up for X-Men: First Class Default Thumbnail

June 6, 2011 by Garrett Estrada

Fourth installment of comic series explores mutants’ origins

X-Men. Courtesy Photo.

Before Cyclops, Rogue or Storm, there were the original founders of the mutant group known as the X-Men, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr. You might know them as Professor X and Magneto.

The latest comic book adaption of the summer, X-Men: First Class explores the origins of these two powerful men and how their friendship created the X-men that we know and love today.

Despite there already being four X-Men branded movies released in the past decade, it is amazing to me that this is the first time we are really diving into the early relationship between these two, because it makes for an incredibly entertaining movie.

This is in large part due to the great performances by the two male leads, James McAvoy, as the genius Xavier, and Michael Fassbender, as the troubled Nazi hunting metal bender Lehnsherr. The two have great chemistry on screen, Xavier providing the calm to future Magneto’s hateful storm.

Both men are recruited by the CIA to form a super-powered task force to combat threats to national security, but it doesn’t take long for a villainous mutant with an appetite for the eradication of all non-mutants to whip the group into full on training montage.

The main villain is Sebastian Shaw, played forgettably by Kevin Bacon, who seems to have an awesome mutation, but his full powers are never really fleshed out very well.

The plot is a silly alternate telling of the Cuban missile crisis that somehow works to build to an awesome climax of action (partly spoiled by the trailers).

But the real reason people are going to enjoy this film and rank it among the top of the recent superhero movies is because of the fun and interesting characters. I couldn’t help but smile watching a young Professor X get drunk in a college party and use his impressive intellect to woo co-eds, or even better, watching the rage boil underneath the skin of a young Magneto as he travels the globe to hunt the Nazis that put him in a concentration camp when he was a child.

The supporting cast of teenage X-Men is unique, though everyone besides young Beast and shape-shifter Mystique get only brief moments to shine.

X-Men: First Class does not disappoint on the special effects and action scenes, (watching Magneto fling metal around in various fatal ways is truly awesome), and it does right by the classic franchise. Making mutants relevant again, First Class is a win-win in the increasingly competitive superhero movie market.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:53 pm

http://www.tetonvalleynews.net/entertainment/movies/x-men-first-class-is-actually-second-class/article_a09a3842-90a5-11e0-a17a-001cc4c002e0.html

‘X-Men: First Class’ is actually second class

Movie Review

Photo: Murray Close
X-Men: First Class

DF-15818 Michael Fassbender portrays Erik Lehnsherr, who has the power to control magnetism. Lehnsherr is determined to exact revenge on the monstrous evil who “created” him.

Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 7:21 pm

TONY POTTER tony@natetonymovies.com | 0 comments

“X-Men: First Class” will certainly please fans of the comic books and those who followed the previous four films. But as a standalone summer blockbuster, these mutant superheroes were a bit lackluster.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender head up the cast of this origins film, as Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), respectively. Although there is a weak storyline involving Kevin Bacon as a super villain mutant trying to start a nuclear war, the real story is how Xavier and Lehnsherr begin to shape their ideas – both together and individually – of how to bring mutants into the public eye and deal with the reaction. It is the partnership and clash between these two most powerful of mutants that most make this film worth watching.

Read the full review at the REFERENCE link below.

© 2011 Teton Valley News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:56 pm

http://thecostaricanews.com/x-men-first-class-in-costa-rica-theaters/7088

X-Men: First Class in Costa Rica theaters
Monday, June 6th, 2011

Jose Solís, TheCostaRicaNews.com

Lately in the movies, it’s all about going back to origins. Films have suddenly become obsessed with the idea of showing us how some of our favorite characters became who we first knew them as. Whether you choose to call it facile psychological diagnosis or fanboy fodder, this trend is here to stay.

The X-Men are the latest to join this trend; the mutant superheroes are back at the beginning in Matthew Vaughn’s retro extravaganza. Unlike most recent reboot films that literally try to erase any history of the previous entries in the saga (Christopher Nolan’s Batman comes to mind), X-Men: First Class begins with a quite respectful nod to Bryan Singer’s fantastic X-Men (which debuted eleven years ago). The film opens in a concentration camp in Poland, where the young Erik Lensherr sees the Nazis take his mother away. In a moment of rage he bends a metal gate using his mind; this calls the attention of the creepy Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a Mengele-like scientist who turns the young boy into his guinea pig.

Simultaneously we meet the young telepath Charles Xavier, who meets a blue-scaled shape shifter named Raven. Without much explanation he invites her to live with him and his family. Fast forward a decade or so and now Charles (played by James McAvoy) has become a prominent professor working on his thesis about mutations. Raven (the terrific Jennifer Lawrence) still as his loyal sidekick.

When Shaw begins to plot what would eventually become the Cuban Missile Crisis, a CIA agent (Rose Byrne), who has recently learned about mutants, recruits Charles and Raven to lead a team to stop him. As Charles begins to scout the world for mutants, he also runs into Erik (played with ferocious energy by Michael Fassbender) who has set on his own mission to kill Shaw.
Other mutants in his team include the beastly Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), supersonic flyer Banshee (Caleb Jones), energy absorber Havok (Lucas Till), evolution adaptor Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and the winged Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz).

As usual, and despite the plot’s whole idea of embracing diversity and encouraging tolerance, the mutants’ powers are the central attraction of the movie and the filmmakers have a blast displaying their abilities. Shaw’s team includes telepath and diamond-bodied Emma Frost (none other than the notoriously icy January Jones), the demon-like Azazel (Jason flemyng) and Riptide (Alex Gonzalez) who can create whirlwinds with his hands.

Faithful to the urgency and storytelling economy of a comic book, the film makes no effort in creating subtle transitions and soon enough we know who are the good guys and who are the villains. Even sooner than that Vaughn has been using them to stage spectacular action sequences and battles. The film’s aesthetic forgoes the darkness of the original X-Men trilogy, in favor of a softer, retro lighting. The cinematography recalls both James Bond movies and the iconic TV show Mad Men.

Like in those two reference points, X-men: First Class revels in the detail richness of its time period and at first might seem like a kitsch approach to the beloved mythology, but through the use of split screens Vaughn lets us know that he’s trying to recreate the experience of reading a 1960s comic book.

This is never more obvious than in the dialogues, which not only lack any sort of realism but feel as if they’re missing speech bubbles. “Mutant and proud” repeats Raven, who then goes by the name of Mystique, and soon the cheesiness of the lines and their “believe in yourself”-insistence become timely seeming as if they were written by Barack Obama and Lady Gaga.

The screenplay walks the extra mile to remind us that the X-Men were always meant to be a representation of oppression and the way in which society discriminates those who are different. Because of this, the film’s WWII opening turns into a larger metaphor about how those who don’t fit are often considered the enemy. Despite this subject matter, the film manages to remain as pure popcorn entertainment.

The cast is so good, that they overcome the film’s corniness without suggesting any better-than-thou ironic winks. McAvoy possesses a worldliness that makes him both fatherly and weirdly intimidating. The actor’s warmth is put to beautiful use in scenes where Charles trains the inexperienced mutants. Fassbender’s Erik is a wonderful contrast to McAvoy’s peaceful Charles. Fassbender infuses the soon to be Magneto, with a raw anger and overcoming screen presence. You simply cannot take your eyes away from him when he appears. Fassbender has great chemistry with McAvoy, and other than the unintentional homoerotic moments, they achieve heartbreaking melancholy as friends meant to become nemesis.

Continuing with her truly jaw-dropping streak of great characters, Jennifer Lawrence might give the film’s most memorable performance (give or take Jones, whose Emma is memorable for her delicious Bond girl attires and careless demeanor) Lawrence however goes deep into Raven’s skin and unlike her predecessor is able to turn Mystique into a fully recognizable human character. How she’s able to display such emotions covered in blue scales and yellow contact lenses is perhaps the film’s biggest mystery.

X-Men: First Class might not be discussed in any sociological conversations in the future, but its refreshing, almost irreverent (its historical revisionism might piss some people off), love for pop culture and pop art makes it a truly wonderful blockbuster.

———————————————————————————————————————
X-MEN First Class in theatres in Costa Rica
Official Website: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:56 pm

http://qctimes.com/entertainment/columnists/linda-cook/article_1b4af73a-9064-11e0-b6fe-001cc4c03286.html

Comic fans will enjoy 'X-Men' origins film

Linda Cook | Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 12:34 pm

buy this photo From left, Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy and Lucas Till star in "X-Men: First Class."
‘X-MEN: FIRST CLASS”

3 stars

Running time: Two hours and 10 minutes

Rated: PG-13 for violence and sexual situations



An origins tale that's a true comic novel of a movie, "X-Men: First Class" boasts CGI action and character development that provides a nifty origins foundation for the series.

The beginning is set in a concentration camp during World War II (a setting that has already been established), and then it fast-forwards to 1962, creating an alternate history in which mutants - people born with special powers - were being born and/or created. They either went into hiding or tried to fit in by appearing to be "normal."

James McAvoy is the young Professor Charles Xavier, who works with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne, who is everywhere these days, also appearing in both the recent "Bridesmaids" and "Insidious") to gather a team of mutants, including his "sister," (Jennifer Lawrence), who becomes Mystique. The "good guys," including Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), who has magnetic control over metal and will go on to become Magneto, are supposed to overcome former Nazi Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).

Erik is driven by his quest for vengeance because Shaw killed his mother. Erik believes that violence is necessary and that a bigger war is on its way. Charles, though, is of a more peaceful mind.

Meanwhile, we meet the folks who will go on to become Darwin, Angel, Emma Frost, Beast and Havoc, all with interesting secondary stories and relationships with each other that range from jealousy to romantic feelings. (Incidentally, those familiar with all of the films in the "X-Men" series will notice discrepancies between characters and situations in this movie and other shows.) Additionally, there are a couple of terrific cameos, one of which is only a couple of seconds in duration.

The tone of the movie is mostly serious. Although there are a couple of chuckles along the way, there isn't much comic relief to be found.

Action aficionados will enjoy lots of movement here, from explosions caused by the mutants to full-on battle scenes that are pretty impressive. That's not surprising because the film is in the hands of director Michael Vaughn, who helmed one of my all time favorite "superhero" movies, "Kick-Ass." In this latest tale of the X-Men, I love the way he occasionally uses a split-screen to create a comic-book-like effect.

And if you're a longtime superhero-movie buff, please take note: This one does not include an extra scene at the end.

Copyright 2011 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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