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X-Men Reviews 3

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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:37 am

http://gapersblock.com/ac/2011/06/03/x-men-first-class-the-tree-of-life/

Column Fri Jun 03 2011
X-Men: First Class & The Tree of Life
X-Men: First Class

I did not see this one coming, and I'm not sure why. To varying degrees, I like all of director Matthew Vaughn's work (Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass), but the X-Men franchise just kept getting more and more scattered after Bryan Singer's second film to the point where it seemed impossible to get this right with an almost-entirely new team in front of and behind the cameras. But as the cast came together, I became more and more hopeful. Mixed in with a few lesser-known young actors are a handful of genuinely fine performers who elevate this material to such a degree that the final product ranks among the best that Marvel Studios has put together in its existence. And by setting the film mostly in the 1960s (during the Kennedy years), it opens up the possibility for future X-Men films that could be set pretty much in any decade that seems appropriate.

But I'm not here to judge potential; I'm hear to critique X-Men: First Class, the film that explains in detail the pieces of the puzzle that came together to bring a team of mutants together for the first time to fight for the greater good under the tutelage of Charles Xavier (played as a younger man with a full head of hair by James McAvoy). Some may be surprised to know that in this version of the X-Men's birth, Erik Lehnsherr (the man who would become Magneto, played to perfection by Michael Fassbender) was Xavier's right-hand man at gathered scared, young mutants from around the globe, training them and instilling within them a sense of pride in who they were and desire to protect all human life. But even at this time, Lehnsherr (a concentration camp survivor as a child) saw the world in a different way and believed the protection of mutants trumped saving humans.

It's a harrowing dilemma for both Xavier and Lehnsherr, the latter of whom has sworn off sparing anyone who claims they were "just following orders." He's seen the worst in humanity, so his hatred of institutionalized violence is understandable, even if it's a bit warped. While Ian McKellen certainly did a fine job portraying Magneto in all his intellectual evil-ness, Fassbender actually provides us with the transition from handsome, laser-focused, devilish charmer who chases Nazis and contemplates mutantkind's future to the man who believes mutants are the new master race. The irony does drip.

The film opens with two parallel timelines. One is a sweet meeting between a pre-teen Charles Xavier and a little blue girl named Raven, who find in each other proof that there are others like them in the world. Charles is a telepath, and Raven a shapeshifter who hates her blue form. They grow up to be McAvoy and Winter's Bone's Jennifer Lawrence, who is clearly in love with Charles, who in term uses his mind-reading abilities to pick up co-eds at the university where he is writing his thesis. When Erik drops into their lives, he's a bit of an instigator. He wants Raven to be proud of her gifts and natural, blue form, while he wants Charles to feel the rage he does at having the government use mutants as expendable weapons against the Russian threat.

The second timeline follows young Erik into a concentration camp where he sees his parents taken from him. A scientist names Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) catches a glimpse of Erik's power over magnetism and calls him to his office where he begins years of experiments on the boy. It isn't a good day in the boy's life when Schmidt discovers that Erik's power is triggered by anger and pain.

As an adult Erik is a Nazi hunter, whose ultimate prize is Schmidt (renamed the more familiar Sebastian Shaw), who has gathered around him the Hellfire Club, a small group of not-so-nice mutants, including January Jones' Emma Frost, a telepath who can also generate a protective shell around her that makes her look like a walking chandelier; the red-skinned teleport Azazel (Jason Flemying); and Riptide (Álex González), a dude that can make tornadoes with his hands.

Charles and Raven are largely alone, until two forces enter their lives: Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), a government worker tasked with bringing down Shaw; and Oliver Platt's Man in Black, who has a covert CIA base tasked with mutant investigation, with one Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) leading the scientific team. Eventually these forces come together to bring down Shaw, with the help of some newly recruited mutants found with McCoy's prototype version of Cerebro. Names like Angel, Havok, and Banshee should be familiar to fans of the X-Men comics.

But that's just story. What's fascinating with First Class is watching how Xavier and Lehnsherr's roles become more clearly defined. Yes, it's fun to see how the team got their code names and how the X-Men name was coined. But I enjoyed watching Charles train his newer teammates, calling upon them to focus and often putting himself in mortal danger to help push these young mutants to control their powers. Whereas Charles becomes almost the phys-ed teacher, Erik takes on the role of philosophy professor, instilling his fear of human behavior and prejudice into the youngsters. It's a calculated practice as Erik drops little time-delayed specks of fear into their minds.

In terms of big picture, I really dig the way Vaughn and his team of writers have injected the mutants into the Cuban Missile Crisis, which the film blames squarely on Shaw's influence over the Russians. Although not entirely gone, First Class is thankfully lacking in clunky plot shifts or characters. And the film moves beautifully. The complex (not complicated) plot is astonishingly well conceived, and each decision and action leads perfectly into the next. And as much as people are going to cap on Jones' monotone performance as Frost (as much as they'll rightfully applaud Bacon's mesmerizing example of evil), I actually think she plays it right. Frost is meant to be an sociopathic ice queen. Things that trouble most people, don't phase her.

More than anything, I like that Xavier is torn between working with the government, a place he thinks mutants will need to be accepted before the rest of the world does, and looking out for his kind. And for the most part, he makes the wrong choice initially. Vaughn wants us to see both sides of the mutant argument clearly and in as balanced as possible. The parallels between how mutants are treated by human and homophobia or racism are still firmly in place, but it rings a little truer than in Singer's films. The entire film does, actually. By couching these events in history, and calling less attention to the unique powers each mutant has, Vaughn has actually made these folks seem commonplace to a degree.

There are enough nods to the other X-Men movies in First Class to keep fans on the earlier films happy. There are also some fun character actors (including James Remar, Matt Craven, Ray Wise, and the amazing Michael Ironside) scattered throughout this film, just to keep us on our toes. But X-Men: First Class succeeds because it's unpredictable more often than not. I expected an origin story, which is there, but what I also got was an emotional history lesson, a moral quandary, several coming-of-age stories, and a story of a friendship that was torn about by circumstance. I really loved this movie, and it's difficult for me to imagine that anyone who purports to love the X-Men as a comic book series won't be moved by someone getting it this right.

— Steve Prokopy
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:37 am

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/film-review-x-men-first-class/story-e6frfmw0-1226068804990

Film review: X-Men: First Class

Leigh Paatsch
From: National Features
June 02, 2011 12:00AM

Scene from film X-Men: First Class. Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Picture: Fox

BACK in time. Back with a vengeance.That's what the report card will show for X-Men: First Class.

It's a barnstorming blockbuster that restores every lost bit of lustre to the once-faded X-Men franchise.

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

This should be recommendation enough for any comic-book aficionado who feared the X-Men had lost their way for good.

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

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

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

That's right. Before the X-Men had even got themselves organised as a brand-name mutant militia, they'd already gone ahead and saved the world from self-destruction.

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

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

Fassbender and McAvoy are terrific, immediately nailing their characters in a conclusive manner that makes follow-up films a formality.

The duo stand out from an equally fine support cast led by recent Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the conflicted young chameleon Raven/Mystique, January Jones as the Avengers-esque bad girl Emma Frost and Australia's Rose Byrne as Charles' staunch CIA ally (and possible future love interest) Moira MacTaggert.

Remarkably, there is also just enough breathing room in a jam-packed screenplay to allow some introductory face time to junior mutants such as Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Angel (Zoe Kravitz), Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and Havok (Lucas Till).

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

* X-Men: First Class (M)

Directors: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence.
Star rating: * * * 1/2
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:40 am

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/18122

X-Men: First Class

Murray Close/20th Century Fox

The best superheroes wrestle with metaphorically thorny questions as well as sometimes literally thorny villains. X-Men: First Class adds another prestory to Marvel Comics' densely populated universe of X-Men heroes. The emerging super-powered characters must figure out right and wrong in a complicated and murky world. Add in some spectacular battle sequences and crisp characters, and it makes one of the best superhero movies in years.

In the early '60s, Charles (James McAvoy) studies human mutations. Erik (Michael Fassbender), a victim of the Holocaust, travels the world as a self-appointed Nazi hunter. They both have a secret: They are mutants who have evolved to have superhuman abilities. "Better men," as they say.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Meanwhile, Erik's former Nazi tormentor Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) has his own team of mutants and pulls the strings of history to make the Cold War serve his own ends.

Working with the CIA, Charles and Erik recruit a team of teen mutants to thwart Shaw. Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) can take on different forms. Others fly or control sound waves. As "better men," will mutants choose to value human life or to strike preemptively in the human versus mutant war they foresee?

Rated PG-13, the film has a few mild instances of sexually suggestive situations, but it is not overtly sexual and is mostly obscenity-free. It is, however, an intense movie with serious themes, starting with a family separation in the horror of the Holocaust and leading to death scenes that are not intense in their visual graphics but are in their emotional resonance.

Blockbusters are all about the effects and this movie doesn't disappoint, whether it's cutting ships with their own anchor cables or tossing guided missiles around like darts.

Effects are fun, but gravitas makes a movie great. The choice between good and evil does not always seem clear-cut at the time. One man will become Dr. X and another his archrival Magneto. Who will be the better man morally as well as physically? — Rebecca Cusey
Copyright © 2011 God's World Publications
All rights reserved
Articles may not be reproduced without permission
June 18, 2011, Vol. 26, No. 12
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:40 am

http://www.moviehole.net/201141744-the-cynical-optimist-on-why-x-men-first-class-is-flawed

The Cynical Optimist on why X-Men : First Class is brilliant
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by Adam Frazier (Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 4:49 am)

Plot Synopsis: ”X-Men: First Class” is set in the ’60s at the height of the Cold War, when escalating tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union threatened the entire planet, before the world discovered the existence of mutants.

Before Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their mutant abilities for the first time. They were closest of friends, working together to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known: the mutually assured destruction of a nuclear war.

In the process, a rift between them opened, a fissure in philosophy that would lead to an endless struggle between two superpowers: Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (”Kick-Ass”), ”X-Men: First Class” utilizes the historical context of the turbulent ’60s (Cuban Missile Crisis, Civil Rights Movement) to tell a story of prejudice and acceptance.

Fassbender’s Erik Lensherr is on a mission to find and murder Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a fellow mutant who unlocked young Erik’s potential through torture and pain. Erik’s ability to manipulate magnetic fields was unleashed out of rage when Shaw killed his mother in cold blood right before his very eyes – and ever since then he has used anger as a tool to unleash his magnetic powers

Charles Xavier is the polar opposite. He is privileged, well-educated and embraces peace, love and harmony. And while he and Erik are from different worlds, they form an instant bond. Xavier is the Yoda to Magneto’s Anakin – teaching the powerful mutant to embrace goodness as a conduit for his powers instead of anger and hate.

One of the film’s most memorable scenes occurs when Xavier uses his telepathy to unlock a memory of Erik’s that he had forgotten — a beautiful moment with his mother. It is from this moment of focus and serenity that Erik discovers peace and is able to fully harness his abilities to do truly amazing things.

McAvoy and Fassbender deliver excellent performances, while Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) brings a whole new level of depth to Mystique, a character who must ultimately decide which path she will go down – the righteous naivety of Xavier’s X-Men or the radical Brotherhood of Mutants.

Speaking of mutants, ”X-Men: First Class” has plenty of new ones – and a few familiar faces. Zoe Kravitz is Angel — not to be confused with the Warren Worthington variation. This Angel has insect wings and can spit venomous fireball blasts. Then there’s Edi Gathegi as Darwin, who has the ability to adapt to any situation in order to survive — including rock-hard scales or gills for breathing underwater.

Lucas Till is Alex Summers, older brother of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and otherwise known as Havok. Nicholas Hoult is Dr. Hank McCoy, X-Men’s very own Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, who becomes the super-smart, super-blue Beast. Stealing the show is Caleb Landry Jones’ sonic-screaming Banshee – who uses sound waves to create vibrations.

The ”X-Men” are brought together to fight Sebasian Shaw and the Hellfire Club, a collection of mutants including Emma Frost (January Jones), Riptide (Álex González) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng). Fans of the comics will recognize the revelation that Aazael and Mystique are the biological parents of Nightcrawler – a plot point that could be introduced in later films.

The final battle finds the X-Men and the Hellfire Club fighting amidst a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States – the fate of the Cuban Missile Crisis will no longer be in the hands of mere men, but will rest upon the actions of mutantkind.

Bottom Line: ”X-Men: First Class” is a delightful summer movie – filled with memorable moments that audiences love to see in these kinds of movies: a team of unique individuals is assembled – we see the mentors (Xavier and Erik) interview potential recruits who show off their amazing abilities. Then of course there’s the pre-requisite training montage before the big epic final battle.

Final Thoughts: Ultimately, the film’s biggest fault is that it is tied to Bryan Singer’s ”X-Men” universe. While ”First Class” attempts to create something new with the ”X-Men” mythology, it is mired by the inherent flaws of the films before it.

Vaughn’s film could have been more impressive had it been a true reboot of the franchise, with the real First Class lineup of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel (Warren Worthington). A new continuity, free of restrictions – a second chance to get it right.

Instead, Vaughn has delivered a superior prequel to an inferior series of films. As you may remember, Vaughn was poised to direct the third installment, 2006′s ”X-Men: The last Stand”, before pulling out during pre-production. The final product, directed by Brett Ratner, sounded the death knell for the ”X-Men” franchise.

Instead of moving forward with a reboot, Fox subjected audiences to the abhorrent spin-off, ”X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. ‘Luckily, ”First Class” is sweet enough to remove the sour taste of those lesser films from the palate. Hopefully Vaughn will get to make more X-men movies, but one has to wonder where they’ll go with the story, being as Singer and the gang have spoiled so much of the fun already.

Maybe in ten years someone will get the balls to do a proper ”X-Men” film with all the vigor and excitement of the ’90s cartoon series. I’m talking giant sentinels shooting lasers, bright flamboyant costumes and an ambition to be theatrical and over-the-top, not the subdued black leather uniforms of Singer’s way-too-realistic world.

Until then, Vaughn’s ”X-Men: First Class” is a great summer action film and one of the best Marvel efforts to date. Fans of the ”X-Men” series will be pleased with the amount of care (and fan service) given to this ambitious prequel.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:41 am

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/things-that-go-pop-blog/2011/06/film-review-x-men-first-class.html

FILM REVIEW: X-Men: First Class

June 3, 2011 1:00 AM
By Eli Glasner

Before I embark on an analysis of the prequel X-Men: First Class (working title The Lil' X-Men), permit me to share one of my favourite, final moments from the third film, X-Men: The Last Stand.

Jean Grey, a mutant with telekinetic powers, has turned into the engine of destruction known as Dark Phoenix. Her eyes turned an oily black, she begins disassembling everything around her: cars, buildings, even people dissolve on-screen before us.

Wolverine, her soul mate, struggles to reach her. Ripples of energy emanating from her body rip away his flesh, exposing the metal bones underneath. He heals and steps closer. He cannot die. He can't let her live. The music swells and -- SNIKT -- she falls into his arms.

For every ridiculous comic-inspired summer spe-crapular (Ahem, Spider-Man 3), the genre has moments like that, when costumes and super powers fuse into a scene of operatic proportions.

James McAvoyJames McAvoy portrays mutant leader Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class. (Murray Close/20th Century Fox/AP)

But with the increasing star power (and salaries) of X-Men actors like Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, 20th Century Fox decided to hit the reset button.

So, welcome to X-Men: The Wonder Years. We begin with an overwrought sequence in a Nazi concentration camp, as the young mutant Erik Lehnsherr (who will become Magneto) untaps the secret of his magnetic abilities. An ocean away, young Charles Xavier (Prof. X to you) meets Mystique, the blue-skinned shape-shifter. Then, it's a quick jump to the early Sixties, as we follow Lehnsherr on a globe-hopping mission of revenge against his original interrogator.

What he doesn't know is that particular German genetic scientist has become an ascot-wearing dandy working with the Reds and interested in heating up the Cold War. Cue Prof. X, who recruits a group of teenagers with mutant abilities to battle for the U.S. side.

'For a movie set in the early Sixties, X-Men: First Class is about as authentic as Austin Powers.'

Gee, typing all that out makes it seem sort of ridiculous. Perhaps that's because IT IS. The entire first half of X-Men: First Class groans under the weight of endless exposition. By wedging the mutants into the Cuban Missile Crisis while simultaneously attempting to stay true to the comic-book continuum, there are few moments for the characters do anything other than propel this hydra-headed plot forward.

For a movie set in the early Sixties, X-Men: First Class is about as authentic as Austin Powers. Sticking Magneto in a mock turtleneck and having Prof. X call some gal "groovy" isn't quite enough. Their new recruits (Banshee, Angel, Beast and Havok) appear to hail from Generictown, U.S.A. But perhaps looking for authenticity in a film that introduces a hidden CIA base as "COVERT CIA RESEARCH BASE" is a lost cause.

Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, in X-Men: First Class. (Murray Close/20th Century Fox/AP)

The true heroes of the film are actors James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. McAvoy wisely avoids imitating the performance of the franchise's original Prof. X (Picard) and is as emphatic as you'd imagine a telepathic would be. There's a swagger and the hint of a smirk to his performance.

Fassbender as Magneto makes the most out of his angry-man role, simmering with rage ever chance he gets. In films such as Fish Tank, Jane Eyre and the remarkable Hunger, he's displayed a talent for finding the vulnerable side of fierce characters, a talent that serves him well here.

It's only when we reach the final, climactic standoff that First Class begins to show its true potential. Director Matthew Vaughn keeps the action tight, cutting quickly between Prof X. straining his abilities with a telepathic teleconference and Magneto becoming a mutant version of Malcolm X.

The film features plenty of details to satisfy fans. Who knew Nightcrawler has an evil, red daddy? Or that Emma Frost shares the same bored expression as Betty Draper? But for the rest of us mere mortals, X-Men: First Class borders on a failing grade.

RATING: Two-and-a-half overheated lava lamps out of five.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:42 am

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/06/03/2345521/latest-x-men-is-a-fresh-start.html

Latest 'X-Men' is a fresh start
It's satisfying on all levels and answers questions from prior installments.
Lawrence Toppman
ltoppman@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Jun. 03, 2011

REVIEW

"X-Men: First Class" is the rare superhero film that lives up to its subtitle. This origin story offers complex psychological battles, satisfying special effects, hints of romance unconsummated (always the most touching kind) and roots in real historical events, from the Nazi deportation of the Jews to the Cuban Missile Crisis quelled by President Kennedy in November 1962.

Best of all, this prequel deals with questions raised by the series that blazed brightly in its first two installments and fizzled out in 2006 with the bloated "Last Stand."

What led to the hate/respect relationship between Professor Xavier and Magneto? Why did Mystique change sides, leaving the assimilationist Xavier and joining the loose cannon who wants to subjugate ordinary humanity? How did the professor, who's spry and quick in this prequel, become paralyzed?

Credible answers are here, attached to old-fashioned melodrama of the best kind. Matthew Vaughn ("Layer Cake," "Kick-Ass") directs this like an early Bond movie, full of experimental submarines or planes and gorgeous women who strike with deadly force. (The first Bond film, "Doctor No," premiered in London nine days before the Cuban Missile Crisis began.)

The movie begins with formative events in the 1940s. A Nazi geneticist (Kevin Bacon) tries to get Erik Lehnsherr to use his powers over metal in a death camp for Jews. When the future Magneto fails, the scientist executes his mother.

Meanwhile, young Xavier convinces his phenomenally wealthy family to take in shape-shifting Mystique. The two remain inseparable until Oxford, where he becomes a professor of genetics and she searches for a life purpose.

The grown-up Xavier and Lehnsherr (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) bond loosely when they realize that the geneticist - a mutant who now calls himself Sebastian Shaw - is infiltrating American and Soviet military circles. Shaw and fellow mutants want to trigger a nuclear war that will wipe out ordinary humans and leave them in control of the planet.

"First Class" (which does not carefully follow the comics' story of that name) makes its greatest impact when it explores shifting loyalties between Xavier and Lehnsherr. One is motivated by a desire for peace, one by a thirst for revenge; as they struggle to master their powers and help each other, we realize this friendship will be doomed. Lehnsherr, brutally used by a regime that preached racial superiority and world domination, will eventually seek to establish those things.

The young cast ranges in quality from introspective Jennifer Lawrence as the troubled Mystique to inert January Jones as diamond-hard telepath Emma Frost. But most of the actors live their roles, and Fassbender (Rochester in the last "Jane Eyre") is superb as the wolflike, undisciplined assassin.

Vaughn, who grew up loving B movies of the 1980s and early '90s, has filled "First Class" with actors from them: Michael Ironside, James Remar, Ray Wise, Rade Serbedzija. He has brought in veteran John Dykstra, Oscar-winner for the 1977 "Star Wars" and "Spider-Man 2," to deliver effects that give a modern thrill but still look like they're part of the historical period.

Some small details seem inauthentic: Nobody wore miniskirts in 1962, and songs heard here hadn't come out in the States. (Does nobody research such things?) McAvoy and Fassbender don't remotely sound as though they could grow up to become Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

But the big ideas and battles come off thoughtfully and handsomely. For once, there's no post-credit sequence to hint at a sequel, a middle-ground continuance between this fine new "X-Men" and the older ones. But for once, there's a chance such a sequel would be worth our time.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:43 am

http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/archives/2011/06/03/movie_review_x-men_first_class/

movie review: X-Men: First Class

It’s risky to reinvent an established series with a new cast and a different setting than fans are accustomed to…but the folks at Marvel have gambled and won. Despite its flaws, X-Men: First Class is an effective reboot of the once-solid series that debuted eleven years ago.

Michael Fassbender as Erick Lehnsherr, aka Magneto in X-Men: First Class.

The company’s best decision was casting two solid actors in the crucial leading roles, young men who can fill the shoes eventually worn by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. James McAvoy is the Oxford professor (and mutant) who will eventually be known as Professor X, and Michael Fassbender plays the childhood victim of Nazi torture who is destined to become Magneto. The conviction of their performances, and the growing nature of their relationship, pulls us back on track more than once as we—

—follow this movie’s long and winding road.

That’s because the bloated screenplay, credited to six writers altogether, tries to cover too much ground and introduce a daunting number of new characters to the X-Men universe. Some of them, like Raven (the future Mystique), played by smart, appealing Jennifer Lawrence, are well-drawn, as is her budding love interest, a super-smart scientist (and mutant) played by the likable Nicholas Hoult.

James McAvoy is the powerful telepath Charles Xavier.

Others among the young people with “special skills” who are recruited by McAvoy and Fassbender don’t get enough screen time for us to connect with them on an emotional level.

As a former Nazi turned world-class evildoer, Kevin Bacon goes through the motions, but seems to be holding himself in check, not wanting to snarl or overact. Bacon is a versatile actor, but I can’t help thinking that a more naturally colorful or flamboyant performer would have made the character more fun to watch. January Jones is appropriately sexy as his mutating accomplice.

X-Men: First Class is nothing if not ambitious, attempting to weave its fantastic, comic-book characters into the realm of real life, opening in Poland during World War Two and winding up in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. I’m not entirely comfortable with the melding of these two worlds. Director Matthew Vaughn gets the most out of the material he has to work with, but there is something genuinely odd about the integration of historical crises and the fanciful nature of our mutant heroes—and a larger-than-life villain.

My taste runs towards a “less is more” philosophy, which obviously isn’t in line with the way Marvel makes movies. X-Men: First Class weighs in at two hours and twelve minutes, and I can’t help but feel it would have been better had the script been pruned and more tightly focused. But I don’t think fans are going to object, because the movie’s strengths—unusual characters, eye-opening visual effects, and commanding lead actors—ultimately outweigh its faults.

Leonard Maltin posted to Film Reviews at 12:42 am on June 3, 2011
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:43 am

http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/X-Men-First-Class-In-reboot-mutants-find-you-1407245.php

'X-Men: First Class': In reboot, mutants find you can only live twice
Latest 'X-Men' installment helps reboot franchise
By Amy Biancolli Hearst Newspapers
Published 12:01 a.m., Friday, June 3, 2011

Belief suspension is compulsory for any superhero flick, and mine is pretty flexible. You want me to believe a guy can rotate a radar array with his brain waves? That another guy can read minds just by massaging his temple? Fine.

I'll even believe that a man (rather, an annoying teenage boy) can fly by screaming. But my fantasy-support system crashes in a heap, I'm afraid, when asked to believe that someday James McAvoy actually matures into Patrick Stewart. Deepens his voice. Acquires stentorian Shakespearean gravity. And, umm, loses all his hair.

Pro forma bald jokes appear in the multiply authored screenplay for "X-Men: First Class," the fifth movie in the Marvel mutant franchise and the first since 2009's overwhelmingly blah "Wolverine." This new entry, directed by the energetic Matthew Vaughn of "Kick-Ass," is never blah. Uneven, occasionally silly -- true, but it's still an improvement over 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand." As much a reboot as a sequel, "First Class" zips back to the origins of Professor X, the goodly telepath played by McAvoy, and Magneto, the telekinetic friend-slash-antagonist played by broody leading man Michael Fassbender ("Jane Eyre").

Fassbender doesn't look much like his predecessor in the role, Ian McKellen, but both men have a slippery charisma that fits Magneto like a glove. As a German-Jewish Holocaust survivor, Magneto offers the darkest and most compelling part of the story: Back in 1944, little Erik Lehnsherr watches his mother die at the hands of a vicious Nazi scientist (Kevin Bacon), who then takes him under his wing, teaches him to exploit his powers and turns him into Frankenstein's monster.

Meanwhile, over in New York's posh Westchester County, the wee Charles Xavier spots a fellow mutant named Raven raiding the fridge in his mansion. She's a shape shifter. In her natural state, she's all scaly and blue (a nice "Avatar" cerulean), but she's too ashamed to go "mutant and proud" in a world that looks down on genetically altered freaks. Raven grows up into "Winter Bone's" Jennifer Lawrence -- a sad, smart creature -- while Charles turns into an aggravatingly foppish McAvoy.

By then it's 1962, the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Bacon's nasty Nazi scientist has acquired a perfect American accent and a yacht full of bad mutant sidekicks in his world-conquering, crackpot quest to squish humans like insects. You know what? This is starting to sound a lot like a James Bond movie. It's starting to look like one, too, especially when Bacon retreats to his war room in double-breasted suits with a fabulously dim gun moll played by January Jones. She's Emma Frost, a mutant telepath who shape-shifts into a gazillion-carat diamond. (And yes, she has the same blank expression whether she's mouthing dialogue or just staring mutely while her brain does the talking.)

The Bond business is good fun, especially when Magneto sneaks on board to confront his creator. Had Fassbender stripped to a tux, I would not have been surprised.

But then "X-Men: First Class" moves on to the less thrilling matters of CIA politicking (Rose Byrne plays a sympathetic agent), U.S.-Soviet tensions and a worldwide mutant-recruiting effort in which Professor X and Magneto enlist the "first class" of pimply young mutants. These two are harder to swallow as friends than enemies -- their bonding seems forced, their chemistry sparkless -- but they're easier to take than the screaming teen. And more believable, by a long shot, than Xavier's hair.

Movie review

'X-Men: First CLass''

Length: 132 minutes

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 Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:57 am

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/06/02/bloomberg1376-LM6JGD1A74E901-0PJK840SA2K86HLTABDPVN283V.DTL

Kevin Bacon's Nazi Doctor Fights X-Men; School Massacre: Movies

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review by Rick Warner

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- I thought I was an expert on the Cuban Missile Crisis until I saw "X-Men: First Class." Little did I know that a band of mutants saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

Fantasy history plays a big part in the fifth film of the blockbuster Marvel comic-book series. The story of how the mutants developed their super powers and formed their alliances is set against the backdrop of escalating Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

The movie focuses on Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), young friends destined to become bitter rivals Professor X and Magneto. Personally I find Kennedy and Khrushchev, who make newsreel appearances, more compelling.

Still, "First Class" is far better than the previous two installments, which were ugly mutations of Bryan Singer's imaginative "X-Men" and "X2."

The new film is fresh and energetic, and features a memorable villain played with gusto by Kevin Bacon. It tries to cover too much ground with too many characters, but at least it's ambitious.

Singer returns as a producer, with Matthew Vaughn ("Kick- Ass") directing from a script he co-wrote with Jane Goldman and the "Thor" team of Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller.

Nazi Doctor

The scope is wide, in subject matter and geography. The globetrotting settings (Russia, Argentina, Switzerland, Poland, England and the U.S.) would make James Bond proud, and the issues raised vary from the morality of war to the rights of outcasts.

Bacon plays a Nazi doctor who terrifies Erik as a boy at Auschwitz. Erik, armed with metal-bending powers, vows revenge against the doctor, who turns up later as a megalomaniac mutant named Sebastian Shaw who's determined to wipe out the human race.

Charles and Erik originally are allies who recruit other mutants to stop Shaw. The group includes a government scientist with giant feet that give him ape-like agility, a former prisoner who can discharge fiery blasts and a sonic screamer who can fly. (Later, they become X-Men known as Beast, Havok and Banshee.)

Jennifer Lawrence plays Raven, a blue-skinned, shape- shifting mutant who's close to Charles, while January Jones is Shaw's sexy confidante Emma, whose main attributes are abundant cleavage and the ability to transform her body into a diamond- like substance.

Rose Byrne's wily CIA agent has no extraordinary powers, though she does help rescue the planet.

"X-Men: First Class," from 20th Century Fox, opens today across the U.S. Rating: ***
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:58 am

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/men_marks_the_spot_KQwFF6TF9ZAphdPKqQRwIJ

'X-Men' marks the spot

By KYLE SMITH

Last Updated: 11:24 PM, June 2, 2011

Posted: 10:35 PM, June 2, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Running time: 122 minutes. (2 hrs 20) PG-13 (action violence, sexual situations, brief nudity, profanity)
* * *

The X-Men do 1962? Shagadelic, baby! A swiftly paced origins story takes us back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the 30-ish mutants Erik (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) first join forces.

They're in pursuit of a former Nazi doctor (Kevin Bacon) who killed Erik's mother at a concentration camp -- and who is himself a mutant with a plan to launch World War III from his Austin Powers-ish supervillain submarine. January Jones shines and sparkles as a villainette who can turn her skin into diamonds as a defensive technique, and as the lead X-Men recruit young mutants to help save the world, director Matthew Vaughn and a talented cast make more than a dozen characters pop.

Still, this is the Michael Fassbender show: His character is the center of the spectacle, driven by rage and revenge. As the man who will be Magneto, Fassbender brings a silky menace reminiscent of Christian Bale in "Batman Begins."
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:59 am

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/06/02/opening-weekend-midnight-in-paris-x-men-good-neighbours/

Opening Weekend: Midnight in Paris, X-Men, Good Neighbours
by Brian D. Johnson on Thursday, June 2, 2011 11:21pm - 1 Comment

Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams in 'Midnight in Paris'

Something for everyone this weekend: a Woody Allen comedy, a comic book blockbuster, and a semi-precious gem of Montreal noir. But exercise caution. Actors may be smaller than they appear. Take the photograph above, which is misleading. It would suggest that Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, the adorable stars of Wedding Crashers, are reunited in another romantic comedy. Well, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy, with Wilson and McAdams starring as an engaged American couple vacationing in the City of Light. But they’re clearly mismatched from the start, and McAdams’ role—as a shallow, shrewish conservative—is much smaller and less sympathetic than Wilson’s. Canada’s sweetheart works hard to bring nuance and detail to what is, in the end, a thankless part. It’s yet another instance of her talent being better than her material. Which points to a broader trend: actors being vastly overqualified for the movies they end up in. Look at this weekend’s blockbuster sequel: X-Men First Class. The best thing about the movie is the first-class cast, which includes Michael Fassbender (Hunger), James McEvoy (The Last King of Scotland) and Jennifer Lawrence (A Winter’s Bone). They do some really fine work here. But going to an X-Men movie for the character acting is like buying Playboy for the articles. In Hollywood movies these days, it’s pearls before swine everywhere you look. I mean, will Johnny Depp ever desert that damn pirate ship?

Midnight in Paris and X-Men: First Class are both broadly entertaining, crowd-pleasing confections, though each is less that the sum of its performances. Good Neighbours, a Canadian indie film, is a a modest chamber piece, but it’s tautly directed by Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky), with trio of compelling performances by Canadian actors Jacob Baruchel, Scott Speedman and Emily Hampshire. It succeeds admirably on its own terms. Details on all three movies . . .

Michael Fassbesnder as the magnetically inclined Eric Lehnsherr in ‘X-Men: First Class’

X-Men: First Class

I’m not a big fan of the X-Men franchise, though I have to admit this one is a cut above the rest. It’s an origins prequel, showing how the X-Men (and women) came to be. So like the Star Trek reboot and the Bond reboot, Casino Royale, it has a fresh energy and a certain edge that takes the franchise to a new level. I enjoyed the first half of the film. Michael Fassbender, who plays the nascent Magneto, is one of those actors who can make any scene crackle with tension. He’s a magnetic actor. One senses that he’s slumming in this role, yet jacking himself up to a level of stardom that will allow him to do more interesting work. As if to say: Hollywood, take notice! This is your next A-list leading man. (On that level playing a superhero becomes a strategy for forging a super-powered career. Anyone who’s anyone in this biz has a franchise. Robert Downey Jr., the Smartest Guy in the Room, has two.)

As the future Professor X, the laser-blue-eyed James McEvoy brings a sly wit to every line and gesture. In the role of Raven, Jennifer Lawrence just seems to be warming up for some Blanchett-like tour de force in a movie we haven’t seen yet. A campy Kevin Bacon makes a meal of the scenery as Sebastian Shaw, a Dr. Evil-like megalomaniac. And there’s a certain retro pleasure in watching the Barbarella-like January Jones as his bimbo slave, ice queen Emma Frost. The story? It has the various mutants converging, as a Harry Potter-like class of CIA trainees with magic powers, just as Shaw is plotting to trick the U.S. and the Soviets into nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Clips of J.F.K. are intercut with the comic-book shenanigans. The movie’s wit is undercut by an earnest sentimentality around the mutant-is-beautiful minority status of its heroes. I lost interest somewhere in the third act, when the dramatic tension lagged, and the ensemble of pithy character acting gave way to tedious action and special effects. But as X-Men movies go, this one has a lot to recommend it by virtue of the acting alone.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:00 am

http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/reviews/review-x-men-first-class.php

Review: ‘X-Men: First Class’ Raises the Bar On Future Comic-Book Blockbusters, Sequels, And Reboots
Movie Review By Rob Hunter on June 2, 2011

The initial announcement that Fox would forgo a third X-Men sequel in favor of a Muppet Babies-like reboot wasn’t met with much enthusiasm. A rushed production schedule, a director coming off the divisive Kick-Ass, and some highly suspect early marketing images didn’t help matters any, but now that the movie is actually here it can be judged on the only thing that matters… the movie itself.

And g*&^%$# is it great. Maybe even the best of the series…

X-Men: First Class opens with an almost shot-for-shot remake of X-Men‘s opening scene… young Eric Lehnsherr is being hustled through a concentration camp in 1944, and after a brief display of his special gifts triggered by the loss of his mother he’s taken under the cruel wing of Nazi scientist Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Elsewhere in Europe a pre-teen Charles Xavier has crossed paths with a blue-skinned mutant named Raven, and the two become like siblings.

Twenty years later Xavier (James McAvoy) is wooing the ladies with talk of “groovy mutations” while Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) cock-blocks out of unrequited love. Eric (Michael Fassbender) meanwhile is on a much more serious mission hunting down Nazis hiding in South America. The two join forces when they discover they have a common enemy in Shaw whose research into mutations has developed into powers of his own and a band of henchmen with deadly abilities. Eric and Xavier fall in with a CIA agent (Rose Byrne) who helps them form a group to recruit new mutants, combat Shaw, and hopefully help avert a recently heightened nuclear situation off the shores of Cuba. But while the two fast friends are fighting the same battle their journey towards becoming Dr. X and Magneto shows they may not be on the same side of the war.

Director Matthew Vaughn has crafted one hell of a movie and a shining example of what a summer blockbuster should be. Epic action shares the screen with characters who engage and entertain, and it does it all while balancing CGI spectacle, humor, and humanity. From an early set-piece above and below Shaw’s styling yacht to a mutant assault on a CIA compound to the hyper kinetic end battle at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis the film never lets go of the audience’s attention. Themes of friendship, loneliness, and acceptance are weaved throughout the exhilarating action scenes while never forgetting the core story of two friends at the bloody crossroads of idealism.

The film is just as filled with smaller moments that excite and entertain in equal measure. From a couple fantastic one-line cameos, to some humorous in-jokes, to a training montage that actually works, to an entire scene of Byrne spying in lingerie, the movie finds memorable ways to engage the viewer in the lulls between the action and drama. There’s even a magic trick of sorts with a coin that rivals the Joker’s pen trick from The Dark Knight.

But as fun as the action and effects are it’s the actors who breath life into these characters, new and old, and with the exception of poor January Jones they all do solid work. McAvoy is normally a competent but far from exciting actor, but he surprises here as a young man bursting with more than just knowledge and psychic ability. His Xavier is overflowing with enthusiasm and curiosity, and that joyful energy spreads to the audience as well as other characters. It also makes the film’s dramatic finale that much more powerful. Bacon is never boring and seems to excel whenever he plays a villain, and his sleazy Nazi scientist is no different.

While most of the actors are solid one performance stands out for its intensity, charisma, and raw dramatic power. Fassbender owns the role of Magneto and everything that goes with it. His rage at the men who made him into this monster is palpable, especially in a tense and exciting Argentinian pub scene, but he soon discovers a dichotomy within that tears across his face like a crack in the Earth’s surface. He finds his first true friend in Xavier, a man who understands his suffering in part due to a general empathy and a psychic look into Eric’s memories, but he also finds a fearful and untrustworthy human species unprepared to give up the evolution throne to their clearly superior mutants. Fassbender is so damn watchable and makes every scene he’s in an undeniable triumph.

There are issues to be found, but they’re mostly cosmetic in nature and easily forgiven in light of everything the movie gets right. While the effects look mostly stellar throughout there are a few shots that appear to have fallen victim to the short post-production window. On the writing side it’s worth pointing out that just about every non-mutant in the film is presented as a douche of one kind or another. The film has a large cast to satisfy, and clearly audiences are here for the mutants, but just about every “human” aside from Byrne’s character is a one-dimensional ass. That same large cast issue is also responsible for some of the mutants getting short-shrifted. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for bland characters like Havok or Riptide, but more scenes with the fast and brutal Azazel (an unrecognizable Jason Flemyng) wouldn’t hurt.

X-Men: First Class‘ journey to the screen has been a bumpy one, and if expectations were reality this film would be a disaster right out of the gate. The fact that it’s not and instead is a spectacularly entertaining adventure is a testament to Vaughn, his cadre of screenwriters, and a group of actors willing to immerse themselves fully into their roles. It’s not only the best summer blockbuster and comic book film of the year so far, it’s also one of the finest superhero adaptations yet. It melds the outlandish with the real world in both subtle and grand ways, it introduces exciting new characters and reinvigorates some familiar ones, and it almost perfectly balances mutant spectacle with human drama. Best of all, it’s a world viewers will immediately want to revisit and explore further. Doesn’t get much groovier than that.

The Upside: Genuinely exciting; every scene starring Michael Fassbender; strong chemistry between Fassbender and James McAvoy; great balance between action, humor, and emotion; Kevin Bacon always makes for a wonderfully sleazy villain; best magic trick since The Dark Knight; brilliantly handled cameos; fantastic score

The Downside: The occasional bit of dodgy CGI work; some characters unavoidably get the short end of the screen-time stick; non-mutants painted broadly and negatively; franchise continuity issues may bother some viewers; January Jones is allowed to speak

On the Side: The film’s IMDB page ruins at least one of the cameos in the movie, so don’t go there until you’ve seen it.

B+
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:02 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-03/kevin-bacon-s-nazi-doctor-fights-x-men-school-massacre-movies.html

Kevin Bacon’s Nazi Doctor Fights X-Men; School Massacre: Movies
By Rick Warner - Jun 3, 2011 9:01 PM PT

Michael Fassbender portrays Erik "Magneto" Lehnsherr in "X-Men: First Class." Lehnsherr has the power to control magnetism and is determined to exact revenge. Photographer: Murray Close/Twentieth Century Fox via Bloomberg
"Beautiful Boy"

Kyle Gallner in "Beautiful Boy," a film about a college freshmen who commits a Virginia Tech-type massacre before killing himself. Photographer: Justine Mintz/Anchor Bay Films via Bloomberg

I thought I was an expert on the Cuban Missile Crisis until I saw “X-Men: First Class.” Little did I know that a band of mutants saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

Fantasy history plays a big part in the fifth film of the blockbuster Marvel comic-book series. The story of how the mutants developed their super powers and formed their alliances is set against the backdrop of escalating Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

The movie focuses on Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), young friends destined to become bitter rivals Professor X and Magneto. Personally I find Kennedy and Khrushchev, who make newsreel appearances, more compelling.

Still, “First Class” is far better than the previous two installments, which were ugly mutations of Bryan Singer’s imaginative “X-Men” and “X2.”

The new film is fresh and energetic, and features a memorable villain played with gusto by Kevin Bacon. It tries to cover too much ground with too many characters, but at least it’s ambitious.

Singer returns as a producer, with Matthew Vaughn (“Kick- Ass”) directing from a script he co-wrote with Jane Goldman and the “Thor” team of Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller.
Nazi Doctor

The scope is wide, in subject matter and geography. The globetrotting settings (Russia, Argentina, Switzerland, Poland, England and the U.S.) would make James Bond proud, and the issues raised vary from the morality of war to the rights of outcasts.

Bacon plays a Nazi doctor who terrifies Erik as a boy at Auschwitz. Erik, armed with metal-bending powers, vows revenge against the doctor, who turns up later as a megalomaniac mutant named Sebastian Shaw who’s determined to wipe out the human race.

Charles and Erik originally are allies who recruit other mutants to stop Shaw. The group includes a government scientist with giant feet that give him ape-like agility, a former prisoner who can discharge fiery blasts and a sonic screamer who can fly. (Later, they become X-Men known as Beast, Havok and Banshee.)

Jennifer Lawrence plays Raven, a blue-skinned, shape- shifting mutant who’s close to Charles, while January Jones is Shaw’s sexy confidante Emma, whose main attributes are abundant cleavage and the ability to transform her body into a diamond- like substance.

Rose Byrne’s wily CIA agent has no extraordinary powers, though she does help rescue the planet.

“X-Men: First Class,” from 20th Century Fox, is playing across the U.S. Rating: ***
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:03 am

http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2011-06-02-x-men-first-class_n.htm

New 'X-Men': A 'First Class' action movie
By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

Updated 6/2/2011 9:29 PM

The potential for world annihilation and the fate of the human race are at the mercy of one of pop culture's most immutable forces: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. We should have known.

Deadly games: Michael Fassbender, left, and James McAvoy play youthful versions of Magneto and Professor X in X-Men: First Class, which is set in the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War.

By Murray Close, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Deadly games: Michael Fassbender, left, and James McAvoy play youthful versions of Magneto and Professor X in X-Men: First Class, which is set in the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War.

Enlarge

By Murray Close, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Deadly games: Michael Fassbender, left, and James McAvoy play youthful versions of Magneto and Professor X in X-Men: First Class, which is set in the early 1960s at the height of the Cold War.

Apparently, the Cuban Missile Crisis was all Bacon's doing — or at least that of his villainous alter ego, Sebastian Shaw, in X-Men: First Class. Actually, if Bacon's Shaw had his way, he'd have started World War III.

Lest this sound ridiculous, this fifth X-Men, a prequel set mostly in the 1960s, is a classy re-boot. For a film that's predominantly a set-up to the ongoing saga, it never stints on dramatic tension.

Director Matthew Vaughn knows how to pack an action movie with a stylish punch, as evidenced in last year's Kick-Ass. Here he revives the flagging franchise with this globe-trotting iteration, infusing it with new life and dazzling visual effects. Audiences get a full sense of the compelling back stories of elder X statesmen, Magneto and Professor X, who have more intrinsically intriguing stories than the hirsute hero in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

VIDEO: Preview 'X-Men: First Class'

The story, by former X-Men director Bryan Singer, links evil mutants — Bacon's Shaw and January Jones as Emma Frost, his telepathic partner who morphs into a body made of diamonds — to actual history. The story imaginatively alleges that Shaw and his ilk were puppet masters pulling the strings behind U.S.-Soviet conflicts.

The cast is top-notch, particularly James McAvoy as the calmly intelligent Charles Xavier/Professor X and Michael Fassbender as the intensely ruthless Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto. We get a sense of what motivated them and see their early friendship unfold.
X-Men: First Class

* * * out of four

Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity, and language
Running time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
Opens Friday nationwide

In style and spirt, this X-Men installment has more in common with James Bond movies than superhero capers. Even the music sounds Bond-esque, and Fassbender would make a great Bond when Daniel Craig tires of the gig.

Besides the nimble performances of McAvoy, Fassbender and über-baddie Bacon, the story is powered by the high-spirited performances of the young cast, particularly Nicholas Hoult as Hank/The Beast and Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique.

Scenes of their training in the early days of the Xavier Institute, under the tutelage of Magneto and Xavier — and augmented by split-screen effects — are immensely fun.

However, in a few sequences the youthful mutants seem transplanted from 2011 in their attitudes and phraseology. That and an overlong, sometimes repetitive climactic naval clash between the U.S., Soviets and evil mutants are the movie's only stumbling points. This X- Men is indeed first class: an exciting, bold and thoroughly enjoyable summer blockbuster.

For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ's. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to letters@usatoday.com. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.

Posted 6/2/2011 9:26:27 PM | Updated 6/2/2011 9:29 PM
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:04 am

http://www.sfstation.com/x-men-first-class-a35071

X-Men: First Class
A Prequel Worth Watching
by Mel Valentin on Jun 02, 2011

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

With a short production schedule for an effects-heavy, superhero-themed film, an underwhelming, if not disastrous, result seemed more than likely for X-Men: First Class. Director Matthew Vaughan, however, delivers the exact opposite — a success on practically every level.

Mirroring Bryan Singer’s franchise starter, X-Men: First Class follows a young Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner), the powerful, metal-bending mutant who becomes Magneto, the founder and leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, an organization dedicated to the overthrow of Homo sapiens and their mutant allies.

The film digs deeper into Erik’s backstory, first as a experimental subject in 1944 for an amoral concentration camp doctor (Kevin Bacon) at Auschwitz and then two decades later as a fearless Nazi hunter (played by Michael Fassbender), and follows a trail that ultimately leads to Florida where his nemesis has reinvented himself as Sebastian Shaw, the owner/operator of the posh Hellfire Club. The Hellfire Club serves as a front for Shaw’s super-secret organization and its plan to conquer the world by instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis and, by extension, World War II. Shaw expects the mutant survivors to inherit whatever remains.

It’s in Miami where Erik meets Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), the wealthy genetics professor and powerful telepath who is also attempting to stop Shaw’s plan from coming to fruition. Collaborating with CIA field agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), and Xavier’s obligatory romantic interest, and his adopted, shape-shifting sister, Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence), Xavier fails to stop Shaw’s henchwoman, Emma Frost (January Jones). Shaw, showing his flair for the theatrical, escapes in a submarine hidden underneath his yacht.

Agreeing to cooperate, Charles and Erik develop an uneasy friendship motivated by common goals but undermined by uncommon means. Before their friendship fractures, a fait accompli given what we know about their relationship from the comic books and the three-film franchise that kick-started the dormant superhero genre began 11 years ago.

X-Men: First Class temporarily segues away from the pursuit of Shaw to focus on the “first class” of the title, giving Charles and Erik the chance to recruit new members to their nascent, covert mutant team. In a move bound to upset continuity purists, Vaughan and his screenwriting team decided to not include X-Men fan favorites and members of co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s actual “first class”: Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Iceman from X-Men: First Class. Presumably, they’ll make an appearance in sequels to the X-Men prequel/reboot.

Given limited screen time and perfunctory backstories, the new recruits include Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), a genius-level research scientist with a Jekyll and Hyde problem; Alex Summers/Havok (Lucas Hill), a mutant with an as-yet-uncontrollable energy powers; Sean Cassidy/Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), a mutant capable of hypersonic screaming and flight; Armando Muñoz/Darwin (Edi Gathegi), a mutant capable of adapting physically to almost any threatening situation; and Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz), a winged mutant Charles and Erik discover in a gentlemen’s club.

While X-Men: First Class repeatedly returns to Charles and Erik’s fraying friendship, the Cuban Missile Crisis backdrop moves to the foreground, ultimately setting up a suitably spectacular climax that pits Charles and Erik’s inexperienced X-Men on one side and Shaw and his own mutant team, Azazel (Jason Flemyng), a red-skinned teleporting mutant; and Janos Quested (Álex González), a water-controlling mutant, on the other. The U.S. and Soviet navies sit in between middle. Vaughan effortlessly switches between the central and supporting players (and locations), making each struggle and each mini-battle in the larger battle, easy to follow.

Not surprisingly, X-Men: First Class revisits the themes of mutants as oppressed minorities feared and hated (and misunderstood) for their differences, a subject that feels a bit tired and clichéd by this point in the franchise’s history, but understandable given the needs of a prequel/reboot. Occasional dodgy visual effects and clunky exposition aside, the film delivers the same combination of story and spectacle producer Bryan Singer brought to audiences more than a decade ago with the first entry in the franchise.

X-Men: First Class also serves as an engrossing reboot for a tired, moribund franchise, and an introduction to general moviegoers unfamiliar with the X-Men universe. Attentive X-Men fans will get one or two treats in the way of cameos (they won’t be spoiled here, however).

by Mel Valentin on Jun 02, 2011
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:15 am

http://screencrave.com/2011-06-02/x-men-first-class-movie-review/

X-Men First Class: Movie Review
By Mali Elfman

X Men First Class Movie Photo 3 X Men First Class: Movie Review

The X-Men are back with their latest edition X-Men: First Class, a prequel to all of the other X-men films showing us the origins of the gang. Rest assured that walking into this film you can spit out the awful taste of Wolverine and be excited take everything First Class has to offer. The quite film obviously has a much stronger script, they managed to gather a stellar cast of real actors, and did a brilliant job of controlling the chaos that comes with so many story-lines and characters that make the X-Men films so great. Though I’m not quite as keen as some of my fellow critics on this film, there’s not doubt that this is a great summer film and quite possible the best action film you’ll see this year (though I’d love to be disproved). Let’s find out why…

trans X Men First Class: Movie Review
The Players:

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Story: Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Zoë Kravitz, Laurence Belcher, Bill Milner, Edi Gathegi, Caleb Landry Jones, Jason Flemyng, Álex González, Oliver Platt, Morgan Lily, Beth Goddard
Music: Henry Jackman
Cinematographer: John Mathieson

The Good:

Fassbender: As my fellow ScreenCraver Damon Houx said, “Michael Fassbender is officially a movie star now.” He literally just chews up this role and fascinates and intrigues you in every shot he’s in. He looks great on screen, he’s immensely talented and he has the ability to completely captivate a room. Watch out Pitt, Fassbender has officially made it.
All the Acting: The same goes for James McAvoy who gives an equally strong performance – though he isn’t getting as much recognition because he doesn’t get to play the fun bad-y and it’s always harder to play the good guy in a film like this. And supporting the fine lead actors were numerous other grand actors Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and numerous other faces you’ll recognize such as Ray Wise, James Remar and Michael Ironside.
Cameos: Don’t worry! I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that they have some well placed, well timed cameos for fan of the series to enjoy.
Tackling the Characters: There are a LOT of characters and emotional twists in this film, and it’s imperative to the film that you be invested in each individual. Luckily, they did a great job of giving every character their moment and balancing all of the different characters stories.

The So-So:

Kevin Bacon: Now I love me some Bacon as much as the next person, but for some reason he never transcended his own body and became the character. It may have been a better role for someone, who much like the rest of the cast you know, but isn’t quite as “known”.
January Jones: No one can pull off a diamond bikini better than her, but man oh man would it be nice to see her as something different than play the overly simplified, sexy blond. Someone get some dirt on her and make her cry goddammit!

The Bad:

The Camp: Now I love me a campy movie, but this film is not campy, it’s strong, powerful, dramatic, with some comedic moments. When they took the comedy over the edge and added those cliched campy moments it somewhat cheapened the rest of the film.

Overall:

This is most likely one of the better if not best action films you’ll see this summer (I will see Super 8 soon and see if I have to take this back). It’s not completely perfect and loses some steam (though I’m getting picky with that) in the last act, but it has a hell of a set up and ending, the acting in it would win awards if they were in an emotional drama and not a summer blockbuster, and there is plenty of razzle dazzle to keep everyone entertained. There’s plenty for both the boys and the girls of all ages in the film — it’s really an amazingly fun, accessible piece of cinema.
Rating: 8/10
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:21 am

http://www.buzzsugar.com/X-Men-First-Class-Movie-Review-17577401

X-Men: First Class — A Prequel to the Rescue

Shannon Vestal / June 3, 2011 9:45 am /

In a Summer full of sequels, X-Men: First Class does more than live up to its franchise — it improves upon it. With a combination of great actors, a compelling story, and a fun, swingin' '60s setting, X-Men First Class is an entertaining blockbuster that doesn't sacrifice any substance for style. Technically a prequel rather than a sequel, First Class visits the universe of the X-Men before they came into their own as superheroes. James McAvoy is the young Charles Xavier, a new professor studying genetic mutation, with his own to boot: telepathy. Michael Fassbender plays Erik Lensherr, a man who witnessed the murder of his family during the Holocaust as a boy, and who has spent much of his adulthood tracking down and killing those responsible. At his disposal is his own mutation: the ability to attract and manipulate metal like a magnet, eventually earning the nickname Magneto.

When upstart CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) is monitoring suspicious businessman Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and his involvement with nuclear weaponry, she witnesses his alliance of mutant minions. Moira consults Charles for his mutant research, recruiting him to help in her investigation. Erik and Charles encounter each other while Erik is hunting Shaw, who happens to be the man who killed Erik's mother. Erik and Charles find that they have much in common and form a fast friendship. Though the plot is propelled forward by the pursuit of the villain Shaw, the real meat of the movie is in the origin story of the mutant characters and how they came to harness their powers as X-Men. It's an angle that breathes fresh new life into the series, and the clean slate is an opportunity that's not wasted by director and writer Matthew Vaughn. Find out why I enjoyed X-Men: First Class so much when you read more.

After four other movies, the X-Men franchise felt like it was losing a bit of its spark, especially after X-Men Origins: Wolverine failed to reignite it. Perhaps that film's focus on one character was too limiting, because First Class's breadth gives you enough to chew on to keep your attention. Introducing us to several key characters and giving us the entire mutant story is much more effective.

The shared backstory is absorbing; using an invention of brilliant young scientist Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Charles and Erik locate several mutants, each in various states of bewilderment over their mutations. Most prominently, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) suffers from the angst of being unable to accept her true, blue shape-shifting form, Hank has been ridiculed for his animal-like feet, and Alex (Lucas Till) lives in fear of hurting people with his fiery gift. Along with a few others, the young outcasts form a community for the first time, and Charles establishes a school for them at his home, training each of them to take control of their particular abnormalities. Eventually, they find their way, and new monikers: Mystique, Beast, Havok, Banshee, and Professor X, to name a few.

Though the characters themselves are recognizable, the fresh faces playing them are newbies to the series, and most are new to the superhero genre itself. Fassbender, McAvoy, and Lawrence are each known for their dramatic performances, and the combined acting chops are a boon in an action movie. The only negative takeaway I had was that I wanted to spend more time with the characters in their development and bonding. The relationships (and potential romances) among the mutants are far more interesting than Shaw's plot to incite a third-world war, even if it is necessary to explain how Charles and Erik came to be on opposing sides.

First Class finds a balance of drama and action that keeps it from being a mindless popcorn flick, while still retaining the high energy of one. The tone varies admirably; the movie can be tragic at times, but it also has plenty of lighthearted moments to prevent it from being a totally dark, dramatic take on X-Men. Charles has an affection for chugging beer and hitting on women, and Raven's adolescence makes her an incorrigible flirt. Likewise, Fassbender breezes into each scene with charm as murderous as his mutant skills. As cheesy as it may be, the fantastic cast and story can be summed up by its title: first class.
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:23 am

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/x_men_first_class/news/1922899/critics_consensus_x-men_first_class_is_certified_fresh/

Critics Consensus: X-Men: First Class is Certified Fresh
Plus, the Brit indie Submarine, in limited release, is also Certified Fresh.
by Tim Ryan | Thursday, Jun. 02 2011

This week at the movies, we've only got one wide release: the hotly-anticipated origin story of everyone's favorite mutants (X-Men: First Class, starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender). What do the critics have to say?
X-Men: First Class

87%

Sometimes, when a franchise starts drifting toward mediocrity, it's best to start again from the top. That certainly seems to be the case with X-Men: First Class; critics call this origin story a visually stunning, action-packed popcorn flick with excellent performances and a smarter-than-average script. A prequel to Bryan Singer's X-Men (2000), First Class takes us back to the Cold War-era beginnings of the organization; the CIA turns to Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) for help in recruiting a band of mutants to help defend the United States against the Soviets. In the process, he befriends Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), who is haunted by unspeakable events in his past. The pundits say the Certified Fresh X-men: First Class liberally borrows from the 1960s aesthetic of the early James Bond pictures, and also shares that franchise's sense of pop-movie fun with its electrifying action set-pieces, handsome production values, and full-bodied characters. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down McAvoy's best movies, as well as Marvel Movie Madness, our continuing look at every movie based on Marvel characters.)
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:24 am

http://www.movieline.com/2011/06/weekend-forecast-x-men-marks-the-weak-spot.php

Weekend Forecast || by S.T. VanAirsdale || 06 02 2011 8:00 PM
Weekend Forecast: X-Men Marks the (Weak?) Spot

Leader image for Weekend Forecast: X-Men Marks the (Weak?) Spot

Well, then, this shouldn’t take long: One new tentpole and one new tentpole only awaits moviegoers at the multiplex this weekend, while a generally strong crowd of indies sneaks into the art house in limited release. We’ve had a look at them all — but will you? To the Forecast!

[Click the links below to read Movieline’s reviews.]

NATIONAL OUTLOOK
· X-Men: First Class: I was arguing with someone today about whether Fox is rebooting (my word for it) or prequeling (his word) its 11-year-old, four-film deep X-Men franchise, but it’s really all just semantics — code for “reinvigorating,” which is to ask and answer, “How did we ever get America’s wallets open for comic-book mutants in the first place?” The great young cast doesn’t hurt — indie-film and TV alums James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne and the rest of the ensemble (plus director Matthew Vaughn) skew the demos older and cooler than the Bryan Singer-era Hollywood squad (apologies to Halle Berry). But let’s not forget that the Hollywood squad was good for a $100+ million opening back back in 2006. Between leftover Memorial Day competition and comics fatigue (with plenty more to come this summer), this crew will be lucky to draw much more than half that much. Let’s be generous, if only for the swell cast’s sake, but your reinvigoration may vary. FORECAST: $56.6 million
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:25 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/x-men-first-class-movie-192965

X-Men: First Class: Movie Review
12:00 AM 5/30/2011 by Todd McCarthy

X-Men: First Class
The Bottom Line

A first-class production that excitingly reenergizes a flagging franchise.
Opens:

Friday, June 3 (20th Century Fox)
Cast:

James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult
Director:

Matthew Vaughn
A first-class production that excitingly reenergizes a flagging franchise.

Much as Casino Royale rebooted the James Bond franchise in a fresh and dynamic way, X-Men: First Class injects new blood into a franchise that, for all its profitability, had become blandly anemic. In fact, roughly the first half of this massive and very well cast origins extravaganza is arguably the best hour of Marvel Comics-derived filmmaking among the torrent of it that's cascaded across screens in recent years. Audacious, confident and fueled by youthful energy, this is a surefire summer winner for a wide global audience.

The spectre of Bond actually hovers over this British-flavored production in a number of ways, all of them beneficial: The 1962 setting shot through with Cold War tensions conjures up the political moment at which 007 was born cinematically, the hardware and style harken back to an earlier high-tech era that looks quaintly beguiling today and Michael Fassbender as Erik, the future Magneto, cuts a dashingly ruthless figure that can only have been patterned on Sean Connery in the early Bonds. First Class is comprised of an enormous stew of elements and influences but head chef Matthew Vaughn has stirred things so as to make them not only digestible but quite tasty.

Departing from the backstory of the comics, the new yarn, devised by Sheldon Turner and original X-Men director Bryan Singer and written by Thor co-scenarists Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz along with Jane Goldman and Vaughn, pivots on an alluringly fanciful proposition, that the real events of the Cuban missile crisis had a shadow history involving manipulations by figures whose super powers put those of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. to shame; it's as if JFK, Khrushchev, Castro, the CIA and the combined armed forces of the East and West were mere puppets doing the bidding of unsuspected Olympian gods, the most spiteful of whom desire nothing less than human extermination.

Not inaptly, then, it all begins (as did Singer's original 2000 X-Men) at Auschwitz, where young Erik, challenged to display his “magnetic” powers, sees his mother gunned down by the heinous camp doctor (Kevin Bacon), an event that dictates all his actions from then on. In the more benign setting of Westchester, New York, two kids, Charles and Raven, exhibit odd characteristics of their own that, nearly two decades later, will put them in the forefront of the mutant movement.

Like the most peripatetic of 1960s globe-hopping thrillers, the early stretch of First Class hardly stays put for more than a moment, jumping all over the world—Geneva, Oxford, Las Vegas, Argentina, Miami, Washington, D.C.--in the service of introducing an enormous number of characters and delineating their unique powers. Under the circumstances, director Vaughn impressively maintains a strong focus dedicated to clarity and dramatic power; while Erik scours the world for stray Nazis (his confrontation with two of them in a tavern on the pampas is an early highlight), Charles (James McAvoy) achieves academic prominence and, with Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), is recruited by the CIA with the eventual aim of assembling a “Division of Mutant Powers.”

Even though a lot of the early material is set-up, it nevertheless develops surprising momentum and tension. The malevolent doctor Erik remembers from the concentration camp now resurfaces as Sebastian Shaw, who has developed an extraordinary capacity to absorb, harness and deploy energy, while his fabulously sexy partner in crime, Emma Frost (January Jones), not only has extreme telepathic ability but possesses an optional indestructible diamond veneer. When Erik tracks them down on board their yacht and seems on the verge of fulfilling his vengeful 18-year quest, his quarry escape in a manner befitting the best of the Bonds.

Once the loner Erik decides to join forces with Charles under the auspices of an offbeat CIA honcho (Oliver Platt) and an adventurous agent (Rose Byrne), the film takes on more the air of a standard-issue Marvel effort as mutant youngsters are trained in hiding to master their unusual powers; they are Hank/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Alex/Havoc (Lucas Till), Sean/Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Armondo/Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and, for a while, Angel (Zoe Kravitz). The problem here is not only familiarity but that, unlike the other characters, these kids seem resolutely 21st century, not early 1960s; one of them even says “whatever.” Another drawback, a likely victim of an overcrowded roster of characters, is that two swarthy henchmen of Shaw's are not even given the benefit of an introduction, much less anything to play.

Still, once Emma Frost penetrates the inner sanctum of the Soviet military and the enormity of Shaw's scheme becomes clear, the film takes off again with a fantastical rendition of an American/Soviet naval confrontation off Cuba trumped by the manipulative antics of battling telepathic mutants on board an ultra-futuristic plane and a stealth submarine.

Vaughn orchestrates the mayhem with a laudable coherence, a task made easier by a charging, churning score by Henry Jackman that, much as that of his mentor Hans Zimmer did in Inception, helps smooth the connections among rapidly changing locations and events. A few of the effects in the climactic section don't quite measure up, but the visual effects by veteran wizard John Dykstra are mostly terrific. Top-drawer contributions are also delivered by production designer Chris Seagers, costume designer Sammy Sheldon and cinematographer John Mathieson.

The cast is almost absurdly easy on the eyes and is most powerful at the top, thanks to the intense Fassbender, who will now need no audition if Daniel Craig decides to give up Bond after another picture or two. McAvoy is forced to spend a bit too much time with his hand to head summoning telepathic signals but nonetheless conveys the intelligence and sobriety required for the future Professor X. Bacon is formidable as the former Nazi who aspires to far greater power than Hitler could ever dream of, while Jones dazzlingly projects the arrogance of maximum beauty and invulnerability. As the naturally blue-skinned, red-haired and yellow-eyed Raven/Mystique, Lawrence is at her most appealing when conveying an ashamed insecurity about her natural looks, which she can conceal with a human facade. A vulgar cameo by a certain hirsute character provides a hearty laugh.

Opens: June 3 (20th Century Fox)

Production: Bad Hat Harry/Donners' Company, Marvel Entertainment, Dune Entertainment

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult, Oliver Platt, Jason Flemyng, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Kevin Bacon, Caleb Landry Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Matt Craven, Alex Gonzalez, Rade Sherbedgia, Glenn Morshower

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Screenwriters: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn; story, Sheldon Turner, Bryan Singer

Proucers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Gregory Goodman

Executive Producers: Stan Lee, Tarquin Pack, Josh McLaglen

Director of Photography: John Mathieson

Production Designer: Chris Seagers

Costume Designer: Sammy Sheldon

Editors: Lee Smith, Eddie Hamilton

Music: Henry Jackman

Visual Effects Designer: John Dykstra

PG-13 rating, 132 minutes
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:27 am

http://www.cityam.com/lifestyle/reviews/prequel-without-the-x-factor

Prequel without the X-factor

Friday 3rd June 2011, 12:33am
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender star, but the big thrills have yet to materialise

Films
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Cert: 12A

THE first instalment of this retro X-Men trilogy explores how the founding fathers, Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) first formed the eclectic group of mutant warriors in an attempt to thwart the nuclear plans of Kevin Bacon’s slightly ridiculous ex-Nazi, Sebastian Shaw.

Taking the reins from the incomparable Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, McAvoy and Fassbender display great onscreen chemistry and execute their roles with a certain disarming debonair charm. The rest of the characterisation and humour is also pretty solid as you would expect coming from director Matthew Vaughan, who brought us the amusingly irreverent Kick Ass.

Unfortunately the film suffers from adhering far too rigidly to the comic book formula, and it’s far too long, with tiresome plot developments. Inevitably, we get the integral training sequence montage as the group prepare for war, laboriously building to the climactic, special effects laden set-piece at the end. However, even this battle is fairly lame because the big fights and notable deaths are being reserved for the second and third parts of the trilogy.

The problem lies in the fact that the film feels like one big establishing shot in which nothing particularly exciting happens. It’s an efficient blockbuster, though, and there is enough here to justify the thought that the next installments will provide far more exhilaration.

Hayley Wright
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:27 am

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/entertainment/headlines/MOVIE_REVIEW_Acting_top_notch_in_latest_installment_of_X-Men_123063978.html

Updated: 5:10 PM Jun 2, 2011
MOVIE REVIEW: Acting top notch in latest installment of ‘X-Men’
We’re a month into the summer movie season, and so far Hollywood is 0-for-4 with its high-profile sequels. If not outright lousy (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Fast Five”), they’re recycled and unimaginative (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “The Hangover Part II”).

Posted: 5:10 PM Jun 2, 2011
Reporter: Michael Clark, Movie Critic

X-Men: First Class (PG-13)
4 stars out of 4

We’re a month into the summer movie season, and so far Hollywood is 0-for-4 with its high-profile sequels. If not outright lousy (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Fast Five”), they’re recycled and unimaginative (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “The Hangover Part II”).

While sometimes as bad as sequels, most prequels are generally far more interesting and offer filmmakers a chance to dig deep into backstory and deliver something new with an established and often tired brand. The recent “Star Trek” reboot and the early 20th-century portion of “The Godfather Part II” are two excellent examples which took full advantage of the plethora of golden opportunities afforded to but rarely employed by prequels. You can now add “X-Men: First Class” to that very short and elite list.

It would be impossible to accurately present the origins of all of the major “X-Men” characters in one movie, a point not lost on director Matthew Vaughn and his three co-writers. They wisely chose to include only four (not counting a few brilliantly executed cameos) characters that were seen in previous “X-Men” features, introduce half a dozen new ones and not all of them are around at the end of the movie.

In no way a slam against what has come before, but Vaughn and co-producer Bryan Singer have populated this installment with some heavy-hitting, highly respected actors and everyone brings their “A” game. Make no mistake, this is a sci-fi adventure movie based on a comic book, but so were “Iron Man” and “Thor.” Story and performance never take a back seat to the special effects (which are also phenomenal). The aptly titled “First Class” is a superbly acted film and will elevate every one of its performers to new career heights.

Even though it is a fictional fantasy, “First Class” takes a high stakes and nervy gamble by weaving itself into not one but two deathly serious true events. Opening with the Holocaust and ending with the Cuban Missile Crisis, it rewrites history yet does so in a highly plausible (for a sci-fi movie) manner. Remember what Quentin Tarantino did with Adolf Hitler at the end of “Inglourious Basterds?” That’s kind of what Vaughn and company do here. Remove the sci-fi trappings and “First Class” could very easily be a Cold War-era James Bond flick.

Vaughn and Singer must have both seen “Inglourious Basterds” and recognized that Michael Fassbender would make an ideal younger version of Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, played previously by Ian McKellen. Lantern-jawed and possessing a kind of nuanced, steely insolence that’s hard to pull off convincingly, Fassbender never overreaches or twirls a metaphoric evil moustache but also makes it clear his Magneto is never going to be a true team player.

Matching Fassbender note for note yet in a distinctly different key is James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X. The character was portrayed originally by Patrick Stewart and while McAvoy still infuses a fair amount of Stewart’s more reserved tones, he too makes this role his own by lending it large amounts of flip humor and glib confidence. McAvoy would be a perfect choice to play the next Bond.

Arguably the most interesting and complex character in the film is handled magnificently by recent Oscar-nominee (“Winter’s Bone”) Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. Showing up previously and more or less as a sexual fantasy prop rendered by Rebecca Romijn, Mystique’s presence in the first “X-Men” trilogy was incidental at best. But in Lawrence’s hands Mystique is a conflicted symbol of female empowerment with major internal emotional issues. She must deal with her physical being while juggling no less than three possible love interests.

Contrary to early reports, Magneto is not the villain here; it’s Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, and folks he is one truly sick and twisted little puppy. Starting out as a Nazi, Shaw grows only more loathsome and hateful as the film progresses. Bacon’s performance ranks alongside that of Heath Ledger’s in “The Dark Knight” as the finest cinematic antagonists of the 21st century.

This movie has everything — drama, comedy, horror, suspense, romance, action, you name it — and all of it is top-shelf. If you really love movies and choose to skip it, you’ll be making a monumental mistake. (Fox)
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Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:28 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-preview-x-men-194414

Box Office Preview: 'X-Men: First Class' Expected to Bump 'Hangover II' From Top Spot
8:11 PM 6/2/2011 by Pamela McClintock

The superhero prequel stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones and Kevin Bacon, among others.

Twentieth Century Fox has begun rolling out Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class around the globe, hoping the origins pic ushers in a new era for the superhero franchise in the same way that Batman Begins did for its brand.

The Fox film is widely expected to top the worldwide box office in its debut, even with competition from Warner Bros.' The Hangover Part II domestically. First Class opened in a number of foreign markets on Wednesday and Thursday and launches in the U.S. in midnight runs at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Read THR's review here.

Interest is high in the 1960s period prequel, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War, and introducing Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) just as they're discovering their mutant powers.

The fifth film in the X-Men universe has a decidedly different feel than its predecessors. Fox decided to reinvent its marquee Marvel franchise with a critically acclaimed director who had never made a big-budget superhero pic before (Vaughn's previous credits include Kick-Ass and Layer Cake).

And instead of relying on A-list Hollywood stars, Fox instead turned to a cadre of up-and-coming actors to play the young mutants. Starring opposite McAvoy and Fassbender are Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz. Kevin Bacon plays the villain.

First Class is drawing strong notices from fanboys and critics alike, portending good word-of-mouth. It's difficult to predict how much the movie will gross in its opening weekend, both because of the competition and the volatile domestic marketplace.

"With the stellar reviews that we have been getting so far, this should be a good launching point for us to stick around for a long time as moviegoers discover just how good this film is," Fox senior vp domestic distribution Chris Aronson said.

Fox, looking to manage expectations, says First Class should open somewhere between Batman Begins and the first X-Men, meaning $48 million to $55 million.

Others believe First Class could gross more, even $60 million, but they concede tracking has been off in recent months.

The move cost close to $140 million to produce.

It opens two years after spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine played in theaters, grossing $85 million in its debut, and buoyed by having Hugh Jackman in the lead.

Following its midnight runs, First Class movies into a total of 3,641 theaters at the domestic box office.

Overseas, First Class got off to a strong start in France, where it opened Wednesday, and in Australia, where it opened Thursday, although numbers weren't available yet. Major territories where First Class doesn't open this weekend include Germany and Japan.

In North America, Hangover Part II should enjoy a strong second weekend after a record-breaking opening over Memorial Day weekend and dazzling midweek business. The sequel grossed $7.6 million on Tuesday and $6.3 million on Wednesday for a domestic cume of $148.9 million. Read THR's review here.

Hangover could easily gross another $40 million this weekend, pushing it well over the $200 million mark in North America.

DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's Kung Fu Panda 2 will dominate with family audiences, and hopes for a strong Friday as more and more kids are let out of school for the summer. The 3D toon's domestic gross through Wednesday was $73.1 million.

Kung Fu Panda and Hangover will continue to make a major play overseas as well.

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will jump the $700 million mark at the worldwide box office Friday, fueled by its foreign run. On Stranger Tides has grossed $520.8 million overseas, and $169.5 million in North America.
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X-Men Reviews 3 - Page 2 Empty Re: X-Men Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:34 am

http://www.hollywoodchicago.com/reviews/14539/matthew-vaughn-s-entertaining-stylish-x-men-first-class-rocks

Matthew Vaughn’s Entertaining, Stylish ‘X-Men: First Class’ Rocks
Submitted by BrianTT on June 2, 2011 - 5:26pm.

Brian Tallerico
Bryan Singer
Fox
HollywoodChicago.com Content
James McAvoy
January Jones
Jennifer Lawrence
Kevin Bacon
Marvel
Matthew Vaughn
Michael Fassbender
Movie Review
Nicholas Hoult
Rose Byrne
X-Men
X-Men: First Class

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Matthew Vaughn rights the ship of mediocre superhero movies with the incredibly accomplished “X-Men: First Class,” the best Marvel Movie since “Spider-Man 2” and a film that proves that big blockbuster summer entertainment can be both commercially crowd-pleasing and intellectually complex at the same time. “X-Men: First Class” features a spectacular mix of well-choreographed action, revisionist history, themes of tolerance, and great performances. This will be one of the best movies of this season.

“X-Men: First Class” has already drawn numerous comparisons to other films in the Marvel canon but the work that it actually echoes is Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Like that film, Vaughn has approached legendary characters from comic-dom after two horrendous sequels (“X-Men: The Last Stand” & “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” as compared to “Batman Forever” & “Batman & Robin”) and tweaked the origin stories of well-known superhero icons. And he’s done so with emotional gravity, style, and remarkable ambition. Like Nolan’s superhero films, “X-Men: First Class” deals with serious issues (acceptance, tolerance, personal responsibility, abuse of power), but does so with the touch of a showman who knows entertainment is his primary objective.

X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class
Photo credit: Fox

The first act of “X-Men: First Class” brilliantly parallels the origins of a hero (Professor X) and a villain (Magneto). It will be decades before these characters become what they are to millions of comic and movie fans but the seeds are planted in youth. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) develops tolerance by studying genetic mutations and becoming well-known in his field. He uses his own mutation, mental telepathy, as a parlor trick to meet girls but strives to keep the fact that he’s a mutant secret while also protecting his friend Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

Meanwhile, Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) is tortured in a concentration camp after revealing his ability to warp metal (“First Class” opens with a variation on the same scene as Singer’s first film). Erik is tortured by the man who will eventually serve as the villain of the piece, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who we meet again years later as he has developed powers of his own and is trying to start World War III by using the U.S. and Russia against each other in a manipulation of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Shaw and his team (including January Jones as Emma Frost and Jason Flemyng as Azazel) can only be stopped after Charles, Raven, Erik, and Dr. Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) find others like them, including a girl named Angel (Zoe Kravitz), and the young men who would later be known as Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), and Havok (Lucas Till).

Great prequels offer new insight into what we already know about the characters we love while also working as standalone films. “X-Men: First Class” does all of the above. Purists will cry that the film completely demolishes the comic mythology (and doesn’t even fit that snugly with Singer’s films, although neither did Nolan’s prequel fit with Tim Burton’s “Batman”) but it’s true to the spirit, tone, and message, and that’s all that’s really important. At its core, this is a story about two men developing different ideologies about their role within the human race. Do you hide your differences? Do you use them to your advantage? Do you try to change them? Do you embrace them?

X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class
Photo credit: Fox

One thing that elevates “X-Men: First Class” is a focus on performance and character, no more so than in Fassbender’s stunning work as the future Magneto. He gives the best performance in the history of Marvel, perfectly capturing a man tortured by his past, seeking revenge, and finding his path to pure evil. Fassbender is simply great here. To be fair, McAvoy is good, as is Lawrence, but they don’t get the arc that Michael does. As for the young cast, they’re quite good without being showy. The cast for “X-Men: First Class” is huge with dozens of speaking roles (we didn’t even mention Rose Byrne, Michael Ironside, or Oliver Platt) but they all feel right. Credit should go to Matthew Vaughn and his producers for assembling such a strong team.

As for the action, Vaughn proved he could do it with at least the final reel of “Kick-Ass” but he’s actually much more reserved here. It’s not just the time period but the action feels more old-fashioned than we’ve become accustomed to in the Michael Bay era. The final conflict is expertly conceived and executed to work both thematically and as entertainment.

Some of these themes are hit a little too squarely in the long second act and I don’t believe the film needed to be quite so long. A few of the “Mutant and proud” moments could have been trimmed and audiences would have still gotten the same points, but it’s a minor complaint about a work that holds together thematically as well as any superhero movie. It’s not quite as tight as Raimi or Nolan’s second films although it certainly bears up under comparison to their first ones. Which means one thing – “X-Men: Second Class” could be our next superhero masterpiece.

“X-Men: First Class” stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones, Jason Flemyng, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, Edi Gathegi, Lucas Till, Zoe Kravitz, Rose Byrne, Oliver Platt, and Kevin Bacon. It was written by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn and directed by Vaughn. It is rated PG-13 and opens on June 3rd, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
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X-Men Reviews 3 - Page 2 Empty Re: X-Men Reviews 3

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:37 am

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/ACira/news/?a=38612

X-Men First Class - Reviewed by ACira
The film that has had the comic book fan community divided. But how does the film really fare? Click here for my review.

Warning: Contains some SPOILERS
When X-Men First Class was first announced, it didn't really garner the positive reaction I assume FOX was hoping for. With terms like 'FIST A$$' floating around, it seemed this would be a most unwelcome addition to what seemed like an already failing film series. When the team roster was revealed, the backlash of the fans was tremendous; the decision not to include the actual First Class consisting of Cyclops, Angel, Ice Man, Beast, and Jean only helped solidify the hatred the fans had gathered.

X-Men First Class is the comeback king of superhero movies. Despite the aforementioned bad reception to the announcement, which wasn't helped by the questionable ad campaign, or simply through the involvement of FOX. This all changed very soon.

After Matthew Vaughn was announced as the director of the film, some fans seemed to sway slightly. The casting of James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr also garnered positive feedback, swaying even more fans.

Then we started getting the trailers, and the impossible happened; the majority of the fans who had the preconceived notion that the film would be terrible relented, and First Class had a chance again. I was one of these fans; I hated the idea, but soon found myself defending the film at every chance I got.

The film is essentially the story of Erik's journey from Jewish child during the invasion of Poland, to a man hell bent on revenge on the Nazi's who ruined his life. And fortunately for Erik, he has the perfect tools for his revenge. The plot of this film is basically a remodelled version of the previously proposed X-Men Origins Magneto, and while it is still very Erik-oriented, it is not solely about him.



The film manages to show the origins of Charles and Erik surprisingly well, with the origins of the future Professor X given equal footing to his friend and nemesis-to-be.

The film begins with a shot for shot remake of the Warsaw Ghetto opening scene from the first X-Men film. The timing is identical, each shot is a duplicate of the original. The detail is immaculate; even the score is the same.
However, we then get to see a certain Mansion in West-Chester, NY; home to a young Charles Xavier. Charles is shown to be exceedingly intelligent at his young age, but more importantly, we instantly see the goodness within him, as he welcomes a would be thief named Raven to live with him and escape her poverty, with the little blue girl being touched by his gesture and the lack of fear he displays to her mutation.
This shows us exactly where each of our leads stands: with Erik living a rough, unyielding life with a childhood stolen from him, and Charles as an accepting and good natured person who strives to find and bring out the best in everyone.

X-Men First Class is by far the best X-Men movie ever made, in fact it surpasses all of FOX's previous attempts and even the likes of Sony's Spider-Man films and the majority of Marvel Studios' films. The film, in my honest, unbiased opinion, is on a par with Thor, if not slightly better. In fact, I'd say even The Dark Knight, the film which really raised the bar for CBMs is the only CBM I can think of that is better than this extraordinary film.

The acting, for the most part, is impeccable. McAvoy breathes new life into the often bland Professor X, playing the character as youthful and fun-loving while remaining faithful to the nature of the character; it is completely believable that this young man could one day become the more familiar Patrick Stewart sitting in that chair.
Jennifer Lawrence is also wonderful as Raven/ Mystique. She catches the character's youthful naivety perfectly, while again remaining faithful to the core of the character. Even the brother/sister-esque relationship between Charles and Raven is done beautifully (I for one loathed that idea up until I saw the film), with the ever cautious Charles protecting Raven and making sure she never uses her power in public.

Nicholas Hoult as Beast is also a surprising success, with the actor playing the character near-perfectly. The mix of intelligent young man and insecure mutant longing to look normal is played wonderfully, and also reflects Raven's plight as she slowly accepts her appearance over the course of the film. The same can't be said for the post-transformation look of Beast. There was something off about his look, it looked a bit odd... like a blue, angry version of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, but only slight, and even then his performance outweighs the poor look of the character.

I've already mentioned that I was once concerned over the roster of the team. Fortunately for me, they were never really prominent characters in the film. Caleb Landry-Jones was amazing as Banshee, the only way he could've improved is if he managed to pull of a convincing Irish accent for the character, and that's just nitpicking really. Lucas Till as Havok is great too, and he's mainly the team's fire-power. Zoe Kravits as Angel Salvadore was probably the worst part of the movie in my opinion, she was awful. I also didn't like the way the character of Darwin was treated. Edi Gathegi plays the role excellently, but the fact that the character's appearance was so brief was disappointing, given the potential he had. Rosa Byrne as Moira is not too bad, but she doesn't play a huge role anyway, and does over act at times.

Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw is a winning casting call. He is perfect in the role, and you immediately despise his character by the time his first scene is done. He plays the character in a way that is reminiscent of an early Bond villain, although much more threatening and much less corny. His entourage, however, are varied. Alex Gonzales as Riptide barely utters half a line in the entire film, and is merely used to whip up tornadoes. Director Vaughn's long time collaborator Jason Flemyng had a lot of potential as the demonic Azazel, who shares a wonderfully elaborate scene which rivals that of his son, Nightcrawler, in the acclaimed opening to X2, but it's a shame that his role is so small and the lack of lines he has. January Jones as Emma Frost... that's a tough one for me. She certainly looks great in the costumes, but her acting seems quite wooden, not terrible, just not as good as her co-stars. She may have been going for an 'icy' vibe, but it doesn't really pay off; she spends half the film just standing there looking good.

Of course, the show's all about one guy at the end of the day, and I've saved the best for last. Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr. I had high expectations for this, and I can safely say all my expectations were completely surpassed. Fassbender played the definitive Erik, with the character's pain and anger portrayed wonderfully through the actor's intense skill. He struck up the perfect mix of tortured soul and revenge hungry hunter, creating a performance which is only really comparable to the superb acting of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Fassbender has now solidified his place as my favourite actor, and I can't wait to see him play Magneto to the fullest extent of the character in the inevitable sequel.

The plot is also very well thought about, and the apparent continuity issues within the film series are actually quite minimal if you think about it. Bryan Singer has already said they're ignoring X-Men Origins Wolverine, and X-Men The Last Stand from continuity, making First Class a prequel to X-Men and X2. A couple of cameos make this undeniably a prequel, and not a reboot. For example (this paragraph may be a spoiler) an Agent Stryker is at the CIA meeting in which Charles reveals the existence of mutants to the government at the beginning of the film. Charles reads his mind, and notes that it's 'lovely' how Stryker is thinking about his young son, William. Now, X-Men Origins is set in 1979, at which point William Styker looks like he's in his late 40s. Skip to the setting of X2, and the same William Styker looks like he's in his late 50s.
If you look at it through First Class, there is over 40 years between those films. Assuming William is, say, 10 for example in 1962, he'd be in his 50s in X2, which makes much more sense than him being in his late 60s to early 70s.

There are a few scenes in particular that are really emotional to watch. The scene in which a young Erik watches his mother die because he can't use his power at will immediately shows why Erik is the way he is. Bill Milner shines in this scene as the young Erik, with his agony unlocking his power as he decimates the room and ruthlessly kills two Nazis by crushing their heads with their helmets. Another would be, probably surprisingly to those who've watched the film, a scene in which Charles attempts to help Hank utilize his mutation by jogging with him, obviously foreshadowing his inevitable paralysis. The scene in which Erik finally gets his revenge is beautifully shot, and perfectly brutal, with Erik even noting he agrees with everything Shaw says, but that Shaw made the mistake of killing his mother. Finally, the big one. The scene in which Charles is paralysed is probably one of the most powerful I've seen, with the now power-mad Erik blaming Moira for the incident before being told by Charles that it was his own fault, and the revelation of his paralysis being extremely emotional to watch.

Matthew Vaughn's directing is, as always, tremendous. He really brings out the best in his actors, and the visuals are for the most part stunning. The 60s setting is perfect, and the styling of the film is amazing to watch. He keeps the film fast paced at all times, and when watching a film that's over 2 hours long, you don't want it to drag on.

Also, the two cameos from past films were met with a lot of laughter in the audience. The well known Hugh Jackman cameo is very well executed, and still not dragging up any continuity issues as Wolverine doesn't so much as look at the faces of Charles or Erik, and they don't have the opportunity to see his. Another one is a cameo of Rebecca Romijn, when Raven transforms into her older self in order to try and seduce Erik. These cameos both solidify the notion that this is indeed a prequel, and also provide some good comic relief.

However, that doesn't mean First Class is without it's weaknesses. While the pace of the film may be it's strength, it could also be a weakness. It seems like a lot of stuff was missed out in this film. A parallel between Prof/Mags and MLK/Malcolm X would've been nice as a nod to the original conception of the characters. And some of the final scenes lose their impact as well. (Spoilers) Charles' final scene seems a bit out of place, in which he kisses Rosa Byrne's Moira McTaggart. There was news of a love-story between Moira and Charles having been cut after filming, and I think if it was included it would've made much more sense, and also made Charles' paralysis much more powerful. I'm just hoping for an extended home media release!
I've mentioned Beast already, so I won't go back into that.
But the biggest disappointment is, for me, the very last shot of the film. Now I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen the film, but those who have know what I'm talking about. What we see is something that should be spine tingling, a moment in history, but is instead quite disappointing due to a poor design.
Finally, the moment in which Mystique finally joins Magneto doesn't make much sense to me. Charles and Mystique have had this sibling-like bond for 18 year, but as Charles lies paralysed on the ground, he actually tells her to go with Magneto because he knows she wants to.


However, that doesn't stop this being one of the best films I've seen. The score is perfect, using period music and traditional film scoring in perfect harmony, and the VFX and SFX being near perfect. This film is a new lease of life for the X-Men, and a damn good film nonetheless. As has been said by many already, it's a poor adaptation, but a fantastic film, and I'm already eagerly anticipating a sequel. Sure, the slogan 'Mutant And Proud' is thrown in our faces more than once, and sure it sounds cheesey, but it does nothing to detract from the film.

I'd give X-Men First Class 4.5 Stars out of 5, and I really recommend you watch it if you haven't already.

Thanks for reading, this was my first ever review so sorry if it's lacking in places, but I'm not used to writing them and it's really late so I may have made some careless mistakes.

ACira
6/2/2011
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