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X-Men Reviews 4

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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:21 am

http://mattsfilmreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class-2011.html

Monday, June 6, 2011
X-Men: First Class - 2011
X-Men: First Class is the simple tale of how Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X (James McAvoy) became arch rivals, and is the old story of once the best of friends, but a series of unfortunate events tear them apart. As young children they came up, along with a few other mutants, and were just learning about their incredible inhuman abilities. Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) is a man trying to use the younger mutants for his own reasons, and murders young Magneto's, formerly known as Erik Lehnsherr, mom. This sends Erik on an outrage unleashing all of his true powers, needless to say he gave Shaw what he was looking for. Now that they are older the mutants have two things to look out for, the cold war and the threat of a nuclear war, and Sebastian Shaw's attempt to drag all the mutants onto his side against the humans. As the story goes, differences in opinion of how the mutants should treat the outside world separates the two best friends, and strongest of the mutants, Professor X and Magneto.


When Iron Man first hit the theaters some years ago in 2008, those of us who waited for the end of the credits knew that a film about The Avengers was in the process. Once Iron Man 2 released and we saw Thor's hammer, it has all been announced of the many Marvel films (and the Green Lantern) coming out. I, personally was very worried. Too may arriving at once and I felt it wouldn't work. They had many different directors and it seemed Marvel was pushing The Avengers too fast. However, Thor was surprisngly decent, and my expectations were up for X-Men: First Class. And after returning home from Disney World the first thing I did was hit the teaters to go see this film. Luckily, while it was flawed and was no masterpiece, X-Men: First Class did not disappoint.


Everything about the film is not incredible, the story is not extremely complex, the visuals aren't too eye popping, and the action sequences aren't fantastic, but what X-Men: First Class does right is character development. So many times (Thor, Iron Man) we see the comic book films jump into special effects and it seems like that is all they are going for in the film. No real story, no real characters. While I would have liked more spiffy special effects, X-Men: First Class is so great working with its characters that it is almost impossible not to like. There were several people working on this screenplay, Matthew Vaughn (director) being one of them, so i'm not going to bore and confuse you by throwing out random names, but I will say that the screenplay was the most impressive part of this film. When critiquing a screenplay, a young aspiring critic like myself must ask a question, is sotry, script, or characters the most important part? Characters is, and X-Men: First Class does a fine, and I repeat a fine job with it.


The visuals, and here is something you will not hear often spoken about a comic book film, really weren't that spectacular, as I mentioned earlier. That is probably my main complaint about the film though, with a tad more action and Thor's beautiful visuals I think we have ourselves a perfect film, or at least as perfect as a comic book film comes.


Matthew Vaughn is, though I have only seen one of his works (Stardust), a director a admire quite a bit, and one I hope and expect will have a long and quite successful career. He has a certain style to his direction that is very hard to describe, and it is certainly stylish, which I know has been said before but it's the best word I can find. And what I mean by that is his film works really well for our time period, reaching out to not only comic book fans, regular movie goers, film buffs, but also to teens and viewers that are just looking for popcorn entertainment. You take certain movies, such as "The King's Speech" that to film lovers is remarkable work in the film industry, but to just an average movie goer looking for entertainment it may just seem boring. Vaughn has clearly grasped this concept, and makes a very marketable, and good film. However, there is a bit of a smudge in his direction. The films pace is a little too even, it just stays the same, and at times begins to lag. On paper it looks much better than it actually did on screen, it may not have been a huge flaw, but it was something I did not love about First Class.


James McAvoy is an incredible actor, that's all there is to it. His performance in First Class was astonishingly impressive to me. In comic book adaptations, the lead roles, or any roles for that matter, while they may be good, they seem to lack a certain amount of needed emotion (Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale). But here McAvoy unloads his talent onto the screen, with what I would call one of the best roles by any actor or actress in a comic book adaptation yet. Michael Fassbender was really quite fantastic as well, and a perfect choice to play Magneto. The writers give us reason to have sympathy for this character, and Fassbender delivers in portraying the role. Jennifer Lawrence, however, was a huge disappointment. After her brilliant role in Oscar nominated film "Winter's Bone", she comes of with sort of a "bleh" performance in First Class. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. She had her moments in the film, but overall i would not expect too much, and would go as far as saying she was a miscast. Kevin Bacon was Kevin Bacon. Don't be excited or worried, he does the role the way it was meant to be played. Even through the miscast, all in all I would say the cast did a fine job with their roles.


Overall, is X-Men: First Class the best comic book film ever made? Maybe not. But it still was a well acted, well crafted addition to the summer, and hopefully a sign that the rest of our many comic book films coming out will have a decency to them. Watch the film, whether you care for the genre or not, a recommendation comes from me.

Story: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Direction: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Final Rating: 8/10, a solid film
Posted by Matt S at 10:30 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:22 am

http://filmwonk.net/2011/06/06/matthew-vaughns-x-men-first-class-sprawling-epic-and-thoughtful/

Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” – Sprawling, epic, and thoughtful

X-Men: First Class had a tall order to fill. We’ve already had two solid films examining the fantastic mutant powers, conflicting ideologies, and disillusioned friendship of Charles Xavier (“Professor X”) and Erik Lehnsherr (“Magneto”). To return to that friendship at its inception could have seemed little more than a cynical cash-grab – a storytelling dead-end whose fan-service ending was a foregone conclusion. Instead, Matthew Vaughn has delivered a film that proves he is as adept at delivering an earnest, character-driven superhero film as he was at superhero parody. This film may or may not be the best in the franchise, but it certainly belongs in the same conversation as X2, and perhaps even The Dark Knight, if not quite ascending to the standalone appeal of those films.

The highest praise I can give to James McAvoy’s take on Charles Xavier is that at no point did I doubt that this man grows up to Patrick Stewart’s version of the character. Tackling a role that has been so completely defined by another actor is a difficult undertaking, and the result is no mere imitation of Stewart’s Xavier, but neither is it a complete reimagining (à la Chris Pine in Star Trek). This Xavier is reserved and wise, but hardly unafraid to use his powers in the reckless milieu of a younger man. In fact, this Xavier is downright arrogant, using his powers to convincingly sweet-talk coeds and other mutants alike, all while playing fast and easy with the most intimate details of their minds and memories. This Xavier might make a fair psychologist, but his approach to friendship is downright invasive. His banter with Erik (Michael Fassbender) ends up striking a note somewhere between therapist and Yoda, trying simultaneously to make the other man come to terms with his most painful experiences and unlock the full potential of his mutant powers. It’s a fascinating interaction, to be sure, and it certainly drives the second half of this film despite being established through a rather hasty montage. I wasn’t sure how much I would buy this friendship, but it cascaded into a brilliant finale. More on this later.

First, I must touch on the villainous Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), which is certainly one of the reasons this film belongs in the same conversation as The Dark Knight. Not only is Shaw a thoroughly memorable and well-written nemesis, but he also represents an achievement that few films have managed to accomplish in recent years – an utterly terrifying villain (or set of villains, in this case). Shaw expresses his affinity for Nazi tactics early in the film, and the reason quickly becomes evident. Scene: A tornado spontaneously erupts outside a building, and a guard vanishes in a puff of crimson smoke. He reappears 100 feet in the air, instantly falling to his death. The attrition continues as buildings rip to shreds and it literally starts raining men (hallelujah!).

This is just a snippet of one of the many brilliant action set-pieces, but it demonstrates two of the great strengths of this film. First, it makes full and clever use of the array of mutant powers at its disposal (from heroes and villains alike). And second, Shaw and his associates carry out their malicious plans with such brutal and relentless efficiency that it’s simultaneously horrifying and captivating to behold.

Also terrifying is the man-who-would-be-villain, Magneto. After narrowly escaping the Holocaust (and the brutal experimentation of Shaw), Erik passes a brief stint as a Nazi hunter, ruthlessly pursuing the worst offenders who have fled to Argentina. This plays almost like a sequence from Fassbender’s other best known film, Inglourious Basterds – and the parallels seem fairly deliberate. Fassbender speaks several languages and visits unflinching brutality upon his malefactors. Given that Xavier’s central conflict with Erik is the extent to which they should wage war upon humanity, this makes for a compelling backdrop for their burgeoning friendship later in the film. Xavier’s other relationship – a childhood friendship with Raven, AKA “Mystique” (Jennifer Lawrence), is quite fascinating at the beginning of the film, but gets short shrift as soon as Magneto enters the picture. Given Raven’s character arc, this seems somewhat deliberate on the filmmakers’ part, but it is unfortunate, given that these early scenes are the best opportunity for Lawrence to show off her acting prowess. Her later interactions with Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) are less interesting, even though Beast’s Jekyll-and-Hyde story turns out to be a compelling subplot (or at least a showcase for a brilliant bit of first-person camerawork).

Still from "X-Men: First Class"

There is a host of other characters in this film, which may leave prospective audience members questioning the extent to which this film is just for the fans – suffering from character and villain overload like so many other late entries to a superhero franchise. To that, I would simply say that this film is an achievement in both casting and storytelling. It brings a great many disparate characters together and manages to tell us a little something about each one without leaving the film feeling bloated. And in the end, the mutants – heroes and villains alike – do their dance as the humans look on in terrified awe. The American and Russian observers are then forced to act in a way that doesn’t feel entirely believable, but nonetheless forces Erik Lehnsherr to become the villain that he needs to be. In the blink of an eye, he is Magneto.

And indeed, this is the problem with origin stories. If you’re explaining the origins of something simple, like radioactive spider powers, your explanation can be equally rudimentary. To explain something as complex and multifaceted as Magneto’s decades-long disillusionment with mankind is a bit more difficult. But while such a protracted explanation may have been slightly more believable, I’ll grant that it’s not particularly cinematic. And all of these elements, along with McAvoy and Fassbender’s performances, brought together an action-packed and thematically pitch-perfect finale that felt almost completely earned.

FilmWonk rating: 7.5 out of 10
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:22 am

http://www.somewhereincostarica.com/?p=1286

X-Men: First Class in Costa Rica theaters
Posted on June 7, 2011 by costaricaboomergmail.com

Jose Solís, TheCostaRicaNews.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————————————————————————————————
X-MEN First Class in theatres in Costa Rica
Official Website: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:23 am

http://conmon007.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-of-week.html

Monday, June 6, 2011
Movie of the Week

This Week,

X-MEN FIRST CLASS (2011)

Starring- James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, January Jones

Thank the mutant gods for this solid reboot of the X-Men franchise. After the grave disappointments of X-Men 3 and Wolverine, the series gets back to its roots with an origin story that focuses on the early careers of Professor Xavier and Erik Lensherr (aka Magneto). The reason why this film is so much better than the last two installments, and much more like the first two, is because of the involvement of the great Bryan Singer, who supplied the story for First Class.

It is 1962, and amid the rising tension of the Cold War, the stories of many a young mutant are unfolding. A young telepathic professor named Charles Xavier (McAvoy) is being charged with helping the U.S. government hunt down a group of mutants led by the sinister Sebastian Shaw (Bacon). At the same time, a Holocaust survivor named Erik (Fassbender), who can manipulate metal, is hunting Shaw to avenge his mother. The two young men meet and join forces to form a mutant team that will help avert World War III. On this team are Xavier's "sister" Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, a kid with a killer scream named Banshee, Cyclops' brother, Havoc, and the scientist turned Beast- Hank McCoy. Shaw is not without support, and boasts a team of dark mutants led by his own telepath, Emma Frost (Jones).

I don't wish to spoil this film, so I won't get too far into the plot, but let's just say that a lot of stuff that is alluded to in the earlier films gets explained and fleshed out here. The film is stylishly retro with a nice Mad Men/James Bondish feel to it. It also boasts strong acting with the Charles/Erik relationship, portrayed by McAvoy and Fassbender, as the centerpiece. It isn't hard to believe that those two turn into Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Also, Kevin Bacon is a first class villain- no pun intended.

If you enjoy the X-Men, this film will shed new light on what is a very compelling comic book saga. It also draws on parallels from the Cold War and Civil Rights movement that enrich the plot. Mutants are the future, and it looks like a bright one for the franchise.

Things to watch for-

An old friend at the bar
The coin
The X plane
Xavier's "groovy" pick up lines

"A new species is being born. Help me guide it, shape it... lead it."
Posted by conmon007 at 8:40 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:23 am

http://nextprojection.com/2011/06/07/review-x-men-first-class-2/

Review: X-Men First Class
by Christopher Misch
07, June 2011Reviews, X-Men First Class

Embedded within the strenuous climate of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class finds itself entrenched with the United States and Russia on the brink of war. Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw, a mutant who possesses the remarkable ability to harness kinetic energy and transform that power into brute strength, intends to use this impending American/Russian conflict to create a nuclear holocaust; an environment which he believes would favour mutant domination over the powerless humans.

In opposition to Shaw’s beliefs, stands Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) before he became known as Professor X. A graduate of Oxford, Charles through his telepathic abilities recruits a team of untamed mutants to give each of them a chance to become a part of something much bigger than themselves. Under his guidance and the impending threat of nuclear war, they learn to shape their abilities and ready themselves for a confrontation against Shaw and his own team of powerful mutants.

One of Charles’ students is Erik Lensherr (played by Michael Fassbender) before he became known as Magneto. Their extraordinary powers brought Charles and him together, but their diverging mentalities regarding Shaw and the humans will eventually drive them apart. Before Charles was Professor X; before Erik was Magneto; before they were enemies; they were allies and it is this section of the X-Men universe that X-Men: First Class focuses in on. The film’s central story of the United States, Russia, and Sebastian Shaw are nothing more than a mere backdrop to allow us to witness how Charles’ and Erik’s opposing philosophical ideologies become the essence of what forced them to become enemies.

In case you didn’t get the memo, comic book movies are in and have been for some time now. It feels like every other weekend another superhero graces our box offices with its presence; and with the release dates of Captain America and Green Lantern fast approaching, this trend is unlikely to shift. Summer blockbuster season has now officially become superhero season, and X-Men: First Class is not only the strongest of the all X-Men films, but also the strongest North American comic book adaptation since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which while it doesn’t seem like it was released three summers ago.

For those familiar with Michael Fassbender and his commanding performance in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, it should come as no surprise that he once again possesses a magnetic screen pretense as the prominent X-Men villain, Magneto; a role previously brought to life from the page by Sir Ian McKellen. While other cast selections are questionable, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier was another excellent choice, as he brings a tranquility to his character that offers a stark contrast to the rage that embodies Fassbender’s Lensherr.

By taking us to where it all started, Director Matthew Vaughn allows us to witness the origins of the mutant struggle for civil acceptance, and asks the question how can you ask society to accept you when you can’t even accept yourself? With first class action sequences mixed in with two persuasive performances from Fassbender and McAvoy, this prequel is able to surmount its glaring flaws. It is actually quite remarkable what a little Michael Fassbender and no Brett Ratner can do to rescue a deteriorating franchise. X-Men: First Class is a bold take on the sagging X-Men film adaptations; proving that sometimes backwards is the only way forwards.

74/100 – It is actually quite remarkable what a little Michael Fassbender and no Brett Ratner can do to rescue a deteriorating franchise. X-Men: First Class is a bold take on the sagging X-Men film adaptations; proving that sometimes backwards is the only way forwards.

Christopher Misch
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:24 am

http://thingthatdontsuck.blogspot.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class.html

Monday, June 6, 2011
X-Men: First Class


One of the things that has established Matthew Vaughn as a director is the singularity of purpose in his films. While the gleefully gruesoaked Kick Ass might not share much in common on the surface with the sweet natured fairy tale like Stardust both are clearly the work of a man who knows what type of movie he is trying to make. Unfortunately this is not something that can be said about X-Men First Class. Which has all the signs of being a film that is being rushed into a theater less than a year after pre production was announced. It’s unsure whether it wants to be a serious piece of alternate history with superheroes ala Watchman, or a Roger Moore era James Bond movie. It’s a shame because it is apparent that Vaughn could have made a cool film out of either of those approaches. But there are times in X-Men First Class where those two films are actively working against each other. It may be possible to make a film in which we have sequences of the villain as a nazi torturer alongside of sequences with the villain in his neato submarine base, but that doesn’t mean it is advisable. While there is more in X-Men First Class that works than doesn’t, it’s not hard to imagine the better film that could have come out of some more planning. Making this Vaughn’s first conditional win.

But lets get back to the good. Vaughn makes full use of his retro stylings, game cast and bigger budget. James MacAvoy, and the Michael Fassbender (currently the only male I am willing to refer to as “dreamy”) both make the most out of their roles. Making them their own while still seeming like the same people that Stewart and McKellan were playing. Kevin Bacon pays off in an ingenious piece of left field casting as the decadent Shaw.

Yet this leads to another of the films schisms, namely that you don’t care at all about The First Class, who all come off as powerfully one dimensional when compared to their elder counterparts. In another film this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but in a film titled X-Men: The First Class it presents a problem. Every time they come on screen I could only wish that I was watching the adventures of nazi killing Magneto again.

The movie is strangely sloppy in all the wrong places, trotting out clichés like the death of the token black guy that I thought had been put out to pasture long ago. Readers, it has been a long time since I have seen a movie character scream “I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS!!!” unironically (when the aforementioned proclamation went off my brother turned to me and said, “for our dumber audience members…”)

This is one of those annoying reviews where you’re just going to have to take my word that I liked the movie more than it seems I do. For most of its runtime X-Men First Class is a well made action movie with personality and style, which tends to throw it into sharp contrast when the movie becomes not one of those things. Like I said, X-Men First Class is a conditional win, but it feels frustratingly less than what this filmmaking team and cast should be capable of.
Posted by Bryce Wilson at 11:02 AM
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:31 am

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/06/tender-young-mutant-hooligans-x-men-first-class

Mon
Jun 6 2011 12:49pm
Tender Young Mutant Hooligans: X-Men: First Class
Ryan Britt

The biggest challenge any prequel faces is that it presupposes the audience actually cares about the backstory of the characters and will relish in discovering how they became the people we know. Initially, X-Men: First Class isn’t too concerned about showing us who these characters become, rather, it depicts them as they are. Eventually, the film does move everybody from a state of neutrality to taking up positions on opposite sides of the mutant schism. It’s easily a better movie than X-Men 3 and certainly better than Wolverine. But despite really, really enjoying the hell out of it, I had to wonder—did it all have to happen so fast?

Full spoilers ahead!

To reiterate: this is a solid movie. It’s a solid movie as a superhero movie, it’s a better X-Men film probably half of them, and it works as a regular movie too. The performances from the actors are exceptional, with particular kudos to Jennifer Lawrence for delivering a totally sympathetic version of the shape-shifting Mystique. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are completely believable as the young Professor X and Magneto respectively and their 60s clothes are arguably cooler than most of the stuff Bond wore in the real 60s. (Mad Men, eat your heart out!) Charles and Erik are here to show you how to dress! None of the supporting mutants are bad either, with the exception of Kevin Bacon, who portrays the films main antagonist, Sebastian Shaw. I could go on a tangent and talk about how Kevin Bacon is miscast, how he’s not remotely scary or how everything about the character was generic. But, like Willem Dafoe’s goofy green mask in the 2002 Spider-Man, Kevin Bacon doesn’t really hurt the movie. He does okay with the material, but there’s something about him that just seems flat.

X-Men: First Class

Unlike X-Men 3, or maybe even X-Men 2, this movie actually has a pretty tight plot. Even more importantly, the thematic social commentary that makes the X-Men mythos so impactful is absolutely central in this movie. The phrase “Mutant and Proud” is repeated numerous times both as a battle cry and as an unfulfilled promise. The audience is made painfully aware that society will never really accept mutantkind and that, despite their heroics, they’ll always be persecuted and feared.

It’s been said before that one of the great things about the X-Men is that they’re not heroes per se, but rather, just trying to survive. X-Men: First Class plays with this theme on a personal level, in particular with Mystique’s storyline. Initially, the character is interested in a serum that Beast (Nicholas Hoult) has developed that would enable her to look “normal” while retaining her powers. Beast presents her with this option and the resulting scene ultimately encapsulates the whole film. The desire to fit into society and hide from humanity stems from humanity’s prejudice towards mutants. Mystique and Magneto don’t want to be “closeted,” whereas Xavier sees it as a necessary evil on the road to a larger eventual acceptance of mutantkind. Thematically, this is tricky because the “bad guys” are sort of right, and Xavier is depicted here as being a little bit privileged and biased. He’d prefer it if Mystique stayed looking cute and blonde, whereas Magneto loves her in her natural blue state. This is great stuff and certainly explores the struggles of the mutants more effectively than the previous two X-Men films.

By the end of X-Men: First Class, Xavier is crippled and Magneto is rocking the cape and the helmet. Mystique has joined the “bad guys” and the “good guys” have gone into hiding in Xavier’s mansion. We’re also told that the Cuban Missile Crisis was not only caused by “bad” mutants, but that the good mutants we all love prevented it from escalating. In fact, Magneto really gets to be the hero of the final climactic scenes of the movie. He is the one who stops the bad guy, and he is the one who saves the mutants from the bombs and missiles that have been turned on them by the humans. In some ways, if we weren’t given scenes of Magneto torturing people or making sweeping generalizations about being better than everyone, we might actually consider him the hero and Xavier sort of a pansy appeaser. But Xavier is likable, too, and when a stray bullet hits him in the spine at the end of these scenes, you really feel for both him and Magneto. The love lost between these two guys is real and much better handled than say, Revenge of the Sith.

Of course, throughout the film these people don’t go by their famous X-Men monikers. Instead, they’re Charles and Erik. In fact, one of the closing scenes is Erik literally telling someone he prefers going by Magneto now. This is where the purpose of the movie confused me. Of course it’s an origin story, and of course a big payoff is for us to see Erik in the cape and Charles in the wheelchair. But so soon? Why? These guys could have had a whole second movie with Charles and Erik palling around, collecting mutants, and disagreeing over ethics. The chemistry between the actors is there, and having them be young, sexy, and NOT caricatures of the people we know would help us be more excited when they did become those people.

In short, it all happens too fast. Why reboot or re-launch a series if you’re just going to bring it right up to the point everyone’s familiar with already? Right now, I sort of know how the rest of the story goes because I’ve seen the other X-Men movies. Though this movie specifically contradicts the canon of the third film, it actually seems to really try to be a true prequel to at least the first two movies. (And surprisingly a kind of mid-quel to Wolverine) So they’re not pulling a J.J. Abrams here. This isn’t an alternate dimension. We’re lead to believe these are young versions of Patrick Steward, Ian McKellen and so forth.

A sequel to this prequel will of course be made, which is really confusing to me. Because the battle lines between Magneto and Xavier have been drawn, the tension of a sequel to this movie will be exactly the same tension as the existing films. Will the next one be in the 70s? Will it show us how they got Storm and Cyclops? (A very young girl looking very much like Storm is briefly seen when Xavier is messing around with Cerebro.) But if the next X-Men movie is just more “here’s some more stuff that happened to the X-Men when they were young” then it will enter into territory the other films have already covered.

X-Men: First Class was a risky entry into a troubled film series that succeeded in being good in spite of itself. Had it held off and not depicted Magneto and Xavier’s roles so starkly at the end, I might be excited for a sequel. But as it stands, I worry sequels to this movie will only be mutated and deformed versions of this one. And not the pretty kind.

Ryan Britt is a staff writer for Tor.com. His mutant power is blogging.
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:32 am

http://megan-loveandpeaceorelse.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-review.html

6/6/11
Movie Review

Time to step back into this decade. Today, I'm looking at one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, X-Men: First Class, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender as young Professor X and Magneto respectively. I had extremely high hopes for this movie for a while now and am pleased to report that I was not disappointed.

Often times in these types of films, acting ability takes a backseat to special effects and intense action sequences. This is where this movie rises above typical super-hero action movies. Each one of the characters was perfectly cast and managed to add a new depth to their role. McAvoy is compassionate and understanding as Xavier, Kevin Bacon is devilish and frightening as the villain Sebastian Shaw and each of the young mutants manage to balance their eagerness with their own insecurities and inhibitions in a way that is believable and relatable.

The standout performance in the film belongs to Michael Fassbender as Erik Leshner or, Magneto. With such an emotionally charged role, it would have been easy to over exaggerate and become a melodramatic mess. Fassbender, however, manages to embody the role perfectly. He provides just the right amount of anger, aggressiveness and pain without becoming a joke. We are shown why Magneto acts the way he does and are able to understand him more, rather than just fearing him. On top of all that, he's also a total badass.

The weak link in the film is definitely January Jones as Emma Frost. She has an incredibly limited range in emotion. It's nearly impossible to see the difference between her happy, annoyed, angry and sad faces. Thankfully she wasn't a very important figure in the film because it would have seriously brought down the rest of the film.

Overall, this was an excellent film. The action had purpose and was never gratuitous, the characters were well written and the plot was engaging. A fun time is sure to be had by all who see this film.
Posted by Megan at 12:43 PM
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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:33 am

http://videogum.com/314111/the-videogum-movie-club-x-men-first-class/franchises/the-videogum-movie-club/

The Videogum Movie Club: X-Men: First Class
Posted on Jun 6th by Gabe 110

There is a very specific type of disappointment that you only get with big budget summer movies. It’s not crushing or anything, it barely even registers as disappointment. It’s just this vague, unsatisfying feeling that the thing you were hoping for is gone, and that in its place something simply exists. Not only do you not get what you wanted, but you are overcome with the realization that the thing you did get is just going to be around, showing on HBO2 at three in the morning for the rest of your life. You’ll probably watch it again, too, parts of it at least, drunkenly, with a bowl of poorly cooked Trader Joe’s pot stickers to sop up the booze. This doesn’t happen with Oscar Bait and it doesn’t happen with surprise indie hits and it doesn’t happen with similarly bad or underwhelming movies that you had no particular hopes for in the first place (I am thinking in particular of the new Real Steel trailer that showed before X-Men: First Class. Holy moly. That movie never looked very good, but now it looks very bad. Here’s a question: why is Hugh Jackman so reluctant to teach a f#%@#&! robot how to box? Just teach the robot, Hugh Jackman. “I can’t!” Yes you can. What is even going on here? Anyway.) It’s not that X-Men: First Class was “bad” exactly. But it wasn’t great. And it certainly didn’t live up to its exciting potential. Superheroes! Origin stories! Mad Men! Nope.

There were good parts! The bar scene in Argentina for example. Also, Kevin Bacon unleashing his powers in the C.I.A headquarters by clicking his heel against the tiles was neat. The final action sequence was pretty good (but also VERY problematic). Also James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are really good at being in movies, you guys! Holy cow. It is very hard to make a character seem thoughtful, intelligent, emotionally complex, and sophisticated when they are saying things like, “YOU NEED TO RELAX YOUR MIND BECAUSE USING YOUR MAGNET POWERS ON THE EVIL SUBMARINE IS GOING TO GET YOU MUTANT KILLED” (Paraphrasing) but those two literally made it look easy. (Until the end. More on that in a moment.) Like I said, the movie wasn’t “bad,” it was a perfectly fine way to spend six hours on a Sunday afternoon. But there were some bad things about it. Let’s discuss them:

The movie was six hours long! That is too long. A superhero movie should probably only be an hour and a half, but if you’re going to make a sweeping, revisionist history, epic origin story based around the Bay of Pigs I will give you a full hour-forty-five. But six? No. The sinking feeling that a movie is dragging its feet and that you are getting bored is always a bad sign, but it is the worst at a comic book movie. For one thing, they are supposed to be fun and exciting, but even more importantly, they are pretty formulaic. I’m not saying that in a pejorative way, I’m just saying, there are tried and true narrative/emotional buttons that need to be pushed, so push them, and then be done with it. A disappointing comic book movie–and lord knows there are plenty–is always a little extra disappointing just because there are so many safety mechanisms built into decades of pre-written material and well-worn tropes that make it seem like a no-brainer. It’s like f#%@#&! up a box of Duncan Hines brownies, possible but unfortunate.

For every cool sequence (see above) in the movie, there were three regrettable ones, most notably the three-hour long (half the movie was dedicated to this if you can believe it) scene in which all the young mutants got to know each other in a 1960s IKEA showroom and gave each other “cool” nicknames Daddy-O. Talk about the suffering caused by men just following orders! It was not necessarily the fault of any of the actors, but those were three of the most embarrassing hours ever captured on film. And as someone who loves a good training montage, I did not love this movie’s training montage! It was hilarious, though, as my friend Max pointed out, that while everyone else was trying to harness and control their powers, Mystique was just lifting weights. Hahah! She just literally needed to get into slightly better shape? And speaking of getting into better shape, what was Beast’s problem? He just so badly wanted to wear flip flops on the subway? Because his feet looked super normal when he had shoes on, so why not just wear shoes and f#%@#&! relax?

There are obviously larger logic problems than Beast’s motivation for creating a serum (that just affects the way they look but not their powers except his powers derived from the size and strength of his feet so if you were to make them normal feet wouldn’t it affect his powers and also Mystique’s powers are the ability to shape-shift so if the serum only affects the way she looks AYE-AYE-AYE my head just fell off). And I know that it is kind of silly to complain about logic problems in a superhero movie, but still, there were some very serious logic problems! Like, how come Professor X was holding Kevin Bacon still while Magneto was driving the coin through his brain, but then was screaming and crying about it? You’re the one who is holding him still, Doctor. You are largely responsible for his death. I’m also not entirely clear on why mutants, even evil mutants, would want to live in an Apocalyptic wasteland? Surely there has to be a way of destroying the human race without also choking the world in nuclear ash. Just because you have dragonfly wings doesn’t mean you don’t ever want to see the sun again. (I’m also not entirely clear how, say, supersonic whistling protects you from a nuclear warhead.)

And I know that you ladies are all still riding that gender-mandated Bridesmaids high, so I won’t even bother talking about how bad Jennifer Lawrence and January Jones were in this movie other than to say that they were both very bad in this movie. Also bad: Zoe Kravitz. (Although I will also add that I still support Jennifer Lawrence. But January Jones can go jump in a lake.)

Even Michael Fassbender, who was so good as Erik Lehnsherr from beginning to very almost the end, finally succumbed to the unbearable weight of this poorly built movie in the final scene when he had to walk into that prison and say “Call me…Doctor Magneto!” or whatever. Come ON. I mean, we know he is Magneto now, so do you really have to erase every single ounce of cool–of which he had, like, Big Gulp ounces worth the whole time–with this cheesy garbage? He even took some time off to make his anti-mind-control helmet way tackier, apparently. Great. Like I said, when this comes on at 3AM, I’ll probably end up watching it again. It’s fine. It is what it is. It exists now and forever. But for a few days, at least until Super 8 comes out, I will mourn the loss of the X-Men: First Class that coulda shoulda woulda been.
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Post by Admin on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:15 pm

http://filmgirlinterrupted.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-roundup-hangover-2-and-x-men.html

Monday, June 6, 2011
Review Roundup: "The Hangover 2" and "X-Men: First Class"

"X-Men: First Class" deserves a good chunk of credit for its efforts. The X-Men franchise has been haunted by crummy scripts, poor acting, and mediocre special effects. Eleven years later, we finally see some improvement. The fuel that drives this movie is the doomed friendship of Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender). Armed with an Oxford education and plenty of family money, Charles goes the way of peaceful mentor to the young mutants he and Erik find. Erik, on the other hand, has made it his mission to destroy Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), compelled by the desire to avenge the death of his mother. In the background, Charles rounds up some teenage mutants, most of whom are forgettable characters. The movie attempts to dig a little deeper into the origin of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who wrestles with her appearance and self-esteem. Let's talk acting, briefly: Michael Fassbender is the stand-out performance. James McAvoy wasn't as annoying as I thought he would be. Jennifer Lawrence was pretty bland, but not as bad as January Jones (Seriously! Are you just going to stand there?) Nothing against Kevin Bacon, but why was he the bad guy? I thought that was a very strange casting choice. With a running time of 2 hours and 12 minutes, I was feeling a bit restless towards the end. Overall, "X-Men: First Class" was a well-executed origin story that was worth the ticket.
Grade: B
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:46 pm

http://www.app.com/article/20110617/NJENT07/306170016/Latest-X-Men-film-puts-franchise-back-on-track

Latest 'X-Men' film puts franchise back on track
11:15 AM, Jun. 16, 2011 |

James McAvoy portrays Charles Xavier, left, and Michael Fassbender portrays Erik Lehnsherr in a scene from "X-Men: First Class."
Written by
Michael Re | For NJ Press Media

In the early part of the 2000s, a lot of ground was gained for superhero movies due to the partnership between 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios that brought “Spider-Man” and the “X-Men” to the big screen. But with their respective third installments, each franchise took a turn for the worse, becoming so overblown, overwrought and divergent from the legacy of the original comics that Marvel chose to strike out on its own, producing its next few features to great success.

It was a smart move on Marvel’s part, and one that's forced Fox to take some serious steps to salvage those Marvel properties it still held sway over - like handing over the reigns of the “X-Men” franchise to director Matthew Vaughn for its fifth installment, “X-Men: First Class.”

Fresh off the success of his adaptation of Mark Millar's “Kick-Ass,” a venture that readily redeemed him for the sins of his less-than-stellar take on Neil Gaiman's “Stardust,” Vaughn came to the project with more than just top-notch comic credentials. He brought with him the right sensibility, the notion that a comic-book movie can take itself seriously and still be entertaining.

The film borrows its title from a Marvel comics mini-series, but the concept is entirely original. Vaughn brings it back to the very beginning of the film series, literally repeating the evocative concentration-camp sequence that opened the first film, with all of its implications of fear, paranoia and blind hatred. Vaughn then carries those themes forward a few years, to the height of the Cold War and the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It's no coincidence that this is also the era in which the first “X-Men” comics were published, and Vaughn easily borrows style and themes from those classics because of it. Of course, he gives his story somewhat more gravity than could typically be found in those silver-age issues, and he shirks some of the campier stylistic elements, opting instead to depict the era with a perspective akin to that of the AMC television series “Mad Men.”

Vaughn draws plenty from other eras of the classic comics as well. The ensemble cast is teeming with memorable characters from the annals of “X-Men” history, including the likes of The Hellfire Club, Banshee, Havok and a familiar face or two from the previous films. Although some of these characters are drawn from wildly divergent eras in the comic's long run, Vaughn finds a way to make them work in harmony with a fairly strong central narrative and some poignant themes at its core.

“X-Men: First Class” isn't without its flaws. A few scenes fall flat or teeter over into campiness, and some of the visual effects are downright distracting, but these are small failures in an otherwise resounding success. With the help of Vaughn, it seems that 20th Century Fox has salvaged the “X-Men” franchise. Now let's see if they can do the same for “Spider-Man.”
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:28 pm

http://peoplesworld.org/new-x-men-is-a-first-class-film/

New “X-Men” is a first class film

by: Blake Deppe
June 16 2011

Movie Review
X-Men: First Class
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence
2011, 132 minutes, PG-13

A prequel to the original X-Men trilogy, First Class takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis and focuses on the relationship between Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). The two mutants unite to form the very first incarnation of the X-Men, in order to combat the Hellfire Club, a group led by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who attempts to manipulate the U.S. and the Soviet Union into engaging in nuclear war.

The film begins with a scene in 1944 Nazi-occupied Poland, where young Erik Lensherr, a.k.a Magneto, accidentally bends a metal gate with his mind. Sebastian Shaw, in an effort to "activate" Lensherr's mutant ability again to serve his own needs, provokes the boy's rage by killing his mother.

The plot then jumps forward to 1962, in which Charles Xavier, a.k.a. "Professor X," an Oxford University graduate, is living with surrogate sister Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). Xavier soon meets and befriends Lensherr, and, along with Mystique, they decide to aid the CIA in order to stop the Hellfire Club. They are able to locate other mutants, who, as X-Men, band together to prevent a war.

As the story progresses, tensions between Xavier and Magneto increase, with Magneto beginning to share Shaw's negative outlook on humanity.

Every class should be "first class"

This film had an abstract, yet powerful, social message. It remained loyal to the original comics, in which, over the years, there have been gay X-Men, communist X-Men, black X-Men and Jewish X-Men. The series has, through its mutant stories, always made allusions to real-world issues of racism and discrimination. It has always been outspoken in its defense of those who are unfairly judged by society.

In terms of keeping up that tradition, this film did not disappoint me.

An accurate, if alternate, history

While First Class intersperses the era of the Cuban Missile Crisis with mutant interference, it also gets the important facts straight. For one, the film is critical of U.S. policy during this time period, and readily depicts the U.S. placing missiles in Turkey in April 1962. Furthermore, the film seems, in its approach, to outline positive aspects of communism during that era.

Nevertheless, the film did omit an important aspect of the time period it covered. 1962 was a year in which so many poignant events took place in regard to the civil rights struggle. But, curiously, First Class addressed the fight for equal rights only indirectly - if at all. It might have been wise for the story to have highlighted significant events of that era, such as the race riot that arose when the University of Mississippi saw its first black student, or an African-American being asked to speak at the Lincoln Memorial. Instead, the film attacked Nazism, which, while a positive move, many would see as all too familiar and comfortable.

However, James McAvoy felt there were references (albeit subtle ones) to that early 60s' struggle; he felt that Xavier and Magneto drew comparisons to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. He told IGN, "I think that is something that is really strong in the X-Men dynamic between these two men who both want the same thing really. In this film it's sort of like meeting them at a point where they are still finding out who they are," through "some of the key events in the sort of equal rights or civil rights struggle that helped shape them."

More than a superhero film

"First Class" did sacrifice a lot of action that oversaturates films today, but in its place, provided superb acting (McAvoy played an Xavier that ought to make Patrick Stewart proud), exceptional dialogue, and solid writing. And, unlike a lot of modern superhero films, the plot was concise, straightforward and free of holes.

After X-Men's disappointing 2009 Wolverine spinoff, expectations were low for this film. But as it turned out, not only did this appear to be the best X-Men film so far, but also one of the best comic book adaptations I've ever seen - a contender even for film giants like The Dark Knight.

This is more than a comic book film - it is a profound cinematic work of historical fiction. Its story is so compelling, in fact, that halfway through it all, I forgot that I was watching a movie about men with blue fur and psychic powers.

Photo: In a promotional photo released by 20th Century Fox, James McAvoy (left), portrays Professor X, opposite Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto. In the film, the friends-turned-enemies have very different ideas on how to view human-mutant relations. Murray Close, AP Photos/20th Century Fox.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:44 pm

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/x-men-first-class/content?oid=2345739

X-Men: First Class

This article was published on 06.16.11.

First Class is part prequel, part entrance into a series of its own. This time, director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) helms a movie heavy on plot, and lighter on actual action. But I’m not complaining. The casting, quite simply, is superb—especially for the two lead characters—Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender). As the film is set largely in 1962 we finally get to see how they meet and become friends before they are enemies. Xavier starts out here as a telepath who is writing his master’s thesis on mutations when a CIA agent (Rose Byrne) calls on his expertise to help the agency on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lehnsherr, on the other hand, has a less-glamorous beginning. As a young Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, his talents for manipulating metal are discovered by an evil German named Dr. Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who teaches him to hone them using anger. McAvoy is charming as Xavier, and Fassbender is compelling as Lehnsherr, with his internal battle between the good world of Xavier and the evil from his past. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13 M.J.G.

• • •

This is a short version of a longer review. You may also be interested in Jonathan Kiefer᾿s full review of X-Men: First Class.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:45 pm

http://www.sfltimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7350&Itemid=&Itemid=187

X-MEN sequel is a good story, but may be too mature for kids
Written by KIMBERLY GRANT

The summer of sequels has struck again, this time with a story that explores the origins of its main characters. But can it still be called a sequel? Sure. It’s got characters from the original, just younger.

In X-Men: First Class, we get to see how the X-Men came to be. Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) is a professor of sorts who is fascinated and captivated by the aspect of mutations. His childhood friend, Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), looks up to Charles and doesn’t see him as a sibling, as he sees her. But when times get tough, a person’s true colors always show.

Enter Erik Lensherr, A.K.A. Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Erik was held in a Nazi concentration camp for years, being experimented on because he could bend metal. When Erik’s archenemy, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) re-surfaces as a villain trying to start World War III during the Cold War, Erik sees his opportunity for avenging his mother’s death; who Sebastian killed in an effort to tap into Erik’s powers.

Because of the conspiracies being enacted, CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) goes to Professor X for help. Professor X recruits the country’s mutants to become special CIA operatives and fight for American justice. Is this a superhero movie or what?

Other mutants of note are Riptide (Alex Gonzalez), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), and Havok (Lucas Till); with cameos of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and an older Mystique (Rebecca Romijn).

Screenwriters Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, and Matthew Vaughn (with story by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer) took the X-Men of a decade ago and gave them new life. In most “origin” stories, the screenwriters don’t put in enough effort because they’re counting on the audience being familiar with the story and the characters. Basically, the screenwriters phone in their work.

Not so with First Class. There’s a real plot to this story. Granted, it’s a bit far-fetched, but the incorporation of actual events – the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War – helped move the plot along without it festering in cheese.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a glowing review for X-Men: First Class. I found a few quirks with this film. Like, why is Darwin, a black mutant, the first of the mutants to die? How did this film get a PG-13 rating when there are clear sexual situations? Even though the situations were cleverly executed without vulgarity, it’s still a little too racy for the little ones.

And, why do director Vaughn’s female mutants have Barbie doll bodies? January Jones (Emma Frost), Lawrence, and Zoe Kravitz (Angel Salvadore) all have big boobs and tiny waist lines. I know this is supposed to be a guy’s film, but X-Men looks like a long-running Victoria’s Secret ad.

Then again, Fassbender makes quite the sexy Magneto. Ian McKellan, who originated the film role, is quite a fine actor. Fassbender, whose been in Inglorious Basterds and 300, is a fine actor and just plain fine. So, there is eye candy for both sexes.

This is the way origins stories should be told. They should be able to stand alone and be a great film. Incorporating true life events isn’t a new concept these days, though. You can look for this new phenomenon in Captain America, as well.

So far, X-Men has lived up to the hype of the summer blockbuster sequels/prequels. It is a definite must-see; although the kids under 13 years old probably shouldn’t.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:48 pm

http://blogs.abc.net.au/nt/2011/06/movies-x-men-first-class.html

MOVIES: X-Men First Class

Jun 16, 2011 , 1:49 PM by Paul Serratore

Poster In the latest instalment in the X-Men movie series, we go back to where it all began.

The year is 1962 and friends Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) team up to prevent mad scientist Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) from bringing about World War III.

In the process, however, their friendship fractures, resulting in the war between mutant factions depicted in the original X-Men movie trilogy.

But does this mean you have to be a fan of the series to enjoy this movie?

ABC journalist Allyson Horn gives us her verdict.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:18 pm

http://www.musicrooms.net/movies/movie-reviews/35544-review-x-men-first-class.html

By Lu-Hai Liang on 15/06/2011
Tag: Jennifer Lawrence, X Men: First Class
Review: X-Men: First Class
X Men: First Class - Released 1 June 2011
If only Hollywood had a mutant whose special power was the ability to think up original movie ideas, brilliantly executed and guaranteed to rake in the cash, they’d keep him locked up.

But wait, they do. His name is James Cameron. Only that X-Man keeps himself captive in projects that take years and country-sized budgets to produce. In lieu of these Midas directors, we have franchises, and X-Men: First Class is a zippy prequel to the entire X-Men oeuvre, which now number five.

Before Magneto donned his camp cape and Valkyrie helmet, he was Erik Lensherr (Bill Milner), a German Jew who bends metal gates when his mother is torn away by Nazis. He’s brought before Dr. Schmidt who shoots his mother to unleash his power. Years later he’s grown up to resemble actor Michael Fassbender, whose seething menace is perfect for his role as an inglorious Nazi-hunter. He teams up with telepath Charles Xavier, a genetics professor, smoothly played by James McAvoy, as they and the CIA attempt to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a mutant and Erik’s evil doctor from all those years ago.

Cleverly situating the battle between good mutants and bad mutants in the larger arena of the Cold War, Shaw’s crew try to start WW3 using the Cuban Missile Crisis of ’62 as the catalyst. The cast includes Mad Men star January Jones as Emma Frost (who can turn her body into diamonds) and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) as the blue-skinned shapeshifter Mystique.

The plot speeds along straight as an arrow, leaving ‘on-screen people’, otherwise known as characters, barely time to register. The clique of young mutants, hired by the CIA, could especially have done with developing. Darwin, whose power is ‘reactive evolution’ (gills in water; turning to stone in fire) was a wasted opportunity. The action set-pieces are noisy and epic, but the audience were curiously muted. The whole thing suffers from ‘prequel-itis’, that burden of having to build the blocks of series consistency; the same numbing effect which befell the Star Wars saga.

This film doesn’t disappoint expectations. It’s an enjoyable action-romp with pretty ladies and men doing cool, superhero things. The problem is it’s too clean and economical, with its sense of narrative arc so efficiently fulfilled. There was no real danger, no moments of genuine tenderness where everything pulls back and you’re reminded that yes, mutants, and the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence, have human emotions too.

The explosions were catastrophic but not cathartic, and tears and screams were shorn of their meaning as we moved from A to B. This is not a bad movie. It does what it sets out to do. I guess I’m bored. After all, there’s nothing more joyless and banal than being endlessly entertained and always having your expectations so readily met.

2.5/5 - Directed by Matthew Vaughn
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:21 pm

http://www.musicrooms.net/movies/movie-reviews/35544-review-x-men-first-class.html

Wednesday, June 15,2011
A first-class X-Men, and a journey into the past
By Mark Burger

Another week, another sequel. Actually, X-Men: First Class is a prequel — and quite a good one. It’s the fifth in the X-Men series (including 2009’s Wolverine), based on the popular Marvel Comics series, and among the best so far.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the film depicts the first time that the titular X-Men were brought together and called into action to save the world — something that comic-book heroes are invariably called upon to do.

James McAvoy plays the young Charles Xavier, determined to create a safe haven for his fellow mutants, whom he believes could possibly be the next step in human evolution, as opposed to anomalies to be feared and persecuted. Given the bizarre abilities of some of the mutants, it’s rather difficult to keep their existence under wraps.

Michael Fassbender brings a terrific intensity to the role of the young Magneto, bent on hunting down and destroying Klaus Schmidt (Kevin Bacon), the Nazi scientist who fostered his powers through the sort of coercion that involved shooting Magneto’s mother in cold blood.

Years later, Schmidt — whose origins also prove unusual — is passing himself off as Sebastian Shaw, international power-broker, bent on destroying the world through nuclear war and thereby giving rise to a “new” world in which the mutants rule.

Xavier and Magneto form an uneasy alliance, as the stage is set for the inevitable and repeated clashes between Shaw’s “bad” mutants and Xavier’s “good” ones. No fair guessing who wins — this being a prequel, it should be pretty obvious — but X-Men: First Class does a fine job of maintaining narrative interest with the requisite glossy, high-tech action. The film runs two hours and 20 minutes, yet only toward the very end does its energy begin to flag.

The film doesn’t get bogged down by exposition, simply because it doesn’t go out of its way to reintroduce the characters to any great degree, presuming (perhaps rightly) that, given the success of the other films, the audience will be familiar enough with the mythos that further explanation is unnecessary. There are also some well-placed in-jokes for fans of the franchise.

Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Jason Flemyng, Alex Gonzalez and Nicholas Hoult embody both the mutant and human contingents, while there are brief, welcome appearances by such veterans as Ray Wise, James Remar, Matt Craven and Michael Ironside in smaller roles.

Using actual historical events such as the Holocaust and the Cuban Missile Crisis can be an iffy business in the comic-book realm, but X-Men: First Class does so in a manner that neither exploits (too much, anyway) or demeans the impact of those events. Actually, having the Cuban Missile Crisis caused — and solved — by mutants is rather an inventive conceit.

Director Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies , which opens Friday and which earned an Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Film, is a convoluted, slow-moving drama with a finecentral performance (by Lubna Azabal) and lofty ambitions that it never quite achieves.

Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin and Maxim Gaudette play twin brother and sister who have recently buried their mother (Azabal). As dictated in her will, she asks that her children fulfill a promise she was unable to: Find the child born to her when she was a teenager in Jordan.

The children, born and raised in Montreal, have never been to Jordan and know very little about their mother’s early life. Their journey into their mother’s past, depicted through flashbacks (and sometimes flashbacks within flashbacks), proves slow going much of the time, with plot developments unfolding slowly and sometimes tediously.

There is, howevere, Azabal’s fine, fierce performance, which holds attention throughout. Hers was a life of hardship, horror, and ceaseless tenacity — one that encompasses far more Middle Eastern political turmoil than her children could ever conceive (and, perhaps, more than the film can comfortably accommodate).

The audience learns, as the children do, the experiences that shaped their mother’s life, and just in case they haven’t picked up on everything, at film’s end, there’s basically a recap of the entire plot that seems as unnecessary as it does repetitious. Still, Icendies is not without its powerful and affecting moments, and it’s never insincere. (In French and Arabic with English subtitles)
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:22 pm

http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/40694/cinema-review-x-men-first-class

Cinema Review - X-Men: First Class
Galway Advertiser, June 16, 2011.

By Martina Nee

As one of the most anticipated movies of the year, especially for Marvel fans who have been practically salivating, it is safe to say that X-Men: First Class has lived up to the hype, providing an experience which is action-packed and engaging while adding something a little different.

There has always been plenty of scope for X-Men stories but perhaps the most interesting characters have always been Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto and their complicated relationship with each other. Before now we have not had the chance to see their personal stories and the birth of the X-Men on the big screen, which are surely worth telling. The casting of Irish actor Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James McAvoy as Xavier was just brilliant, while Kevin Bacon really reminds us of his acting credentials as the bad guy Sabastian Shaw. The rest of the cast are not too bad either, though, there were times when I thought Jennifer Lawrence was miscast as Mystique.

The movie is filled with the requisite special effects, in all the right places, and director Matthew Vaughn has also added a touch of retro here and there to help bring us back in time to when it all began, with Magneto or Erik Lensherr as a young boy torn from his mother’s arms in a Nazi concentration camp. There he meets Shaw who is hell-bent on ‘encouraging’ Lensherr’s abilites, at whatever cost. Meanwhile Xavier, lonely in his lap of luxury, discovers that he is not the only person who is different and goes on to become the foremost expert on genetic mutation.

The sixties roll in and while Lensherr is on a quest for revenge, hunting down Nazis who will lead him to Shaw, an FBI agent, Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) stumbles upon a deadly plot, devised by mutants, to spark all out war between the US and Russia. In a bid to stop this menace, she turns to the young Professor Xaxier for help. While still discovering their powers, and faced with a common enemy, the professor and Lensherr develop a friendship and together they find mutants to train and stop this threat to the world. However, throughout the film we begin to see the cracks in the Xavier/Lensherr friendship, and despite their bond the differences of opinion regarding the future of mutant-kind is too much, and so begins the war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

I abolutely loved this movie. If I wasn’t before I am certainly a fan of Fassbender now, he is a brilliant actor who brings a lot of substance to the young Magneto.

Verdict: 4.5/5
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:22 pm

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/06/16/mutants-the-early-years/

Mutants the early years
Tiberius Kerk
| June 16, 2011

X-Men fans will find the latest movie entertaining and thrilling as ever.
MOVIE REVIEW

(X-Men: First Class) There have been five X-Men movies including this one since 2000. It has been a tale of ups and downs, much like the X-Men saga which relates the most suspenseful and thrilling adventures of a group of mutants who make it their life mission to save the world despite some wicked people’s efforts to thwart them.

I wasn’t sure how “X-Men: First Class” would pan out but I was naturally curious. After all, I have seen the first four of the series. The latest which is the fifth instalment of “X-Men” retraces the early years of a young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and a much troubled man Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) who will later be known as Magneto.

The story of these two mutants who met in an unavoidable fulfilment of destiny fills in the gaps of the long-standing relationship of two individuals who represent the two opposing forces of rationality and unbridled aggression.

The year was 1962 and Xavier was an acknowledged genius on mutant genetics which the world was in awe of. Lehnsherr was an angry young man who survived the horrors of the holocaust and had a PoW number on his forearm to remind him that he was a Jew.

Together, Xavier and Lehnsherr attempted to forge an alliance to prevent an evil mutant and his members from setting the world on the path of global catastrophe.

The early members of the Hellfire Club are Emma Frost (January Jones), Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz), and Azazel (Jason Flemyng).

The X-Men group has yet to be founded and Xavier has some very talented young wards to keep an eye on and to train so that they could take on Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), the leader of the Hellfire Club.

“X-Men: First Class” is like a giant jigsaw puzzle forming a recognisable picture for those who are unfamiliar with the origins of Prof Xavier’s young mutants.

Cameo appearance

Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) made a cameo appearance so did a few others who would later be admitted into Xavier’s school for young mutants.

The plot has been cleverly woven into the Cuban missile crisis which put America and USSR on the brink of a nuclear war. But the Xavier and Lehnsherr form the prime moving force behind the interesting plot.

It is a tale intelligently told and fleshed out on the big screen. Between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, I would pick Fassbender as the more intriguing individual who gave the show the pathos it needed.

For a film like “X-Men: First Class” to achieve its expected level of enthusiasm among global audiences, it has to have spectacular special effects and literally mind-bending acts.

Magneto did not fail to disappoint when it was his turn to impress his enemies and incapacitate them. Xavier has a more subliminal power that manifests itself when he bends his adversaries’ minds to his advantage.

This is a movie that appeals directly to adults who have been fans of X-Men since their school days.

Followers of X-Men movies would be delighted to find out the origins of Mystique, Beast and Banshee. Their background and journey into Xavier’s school of mutants will aid in understanding the various teenagers who have their own unique powers.

Director Matthew Vaugh injects humanity into the lives of the extraordinary human beings who have been created more equal than others.

Fantastic acts

In the end, with a Marvel tale of superheroes it is the fantastic acts of the unimaginable that give the movie the edge. Obviously, the producers of the show have to meet the public’s expectations.

And they have not failed to impress, astound and flabbergast with the CGI effects that match the standards of the 21st century.

“X-Men: First Class” was produced on a budget of US$705 million but its worldwide box office revenue has already touched US$1.6 billion.

The ever lengthening profit margin is a clear indication that global audiences are more than pleased with the show. It is immensely entertaining. There is hardly a dull moment throughout the 132-minute show.

If this movie bores you, it may just put you in the minority of one or two. Personally, I find the show enormously satisfying. It will take you on a journey beyond your wildest imagination and lands smoothly on the firm ground of humanity with just the right touch of compassion and forgiveness.

Enjoy the movie as much as your heart and mind will allow because resistance is futile.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:23 pm

http://thelinc.co.uk/2011/06/x-men-first-class-is-marvel-ous/

‘X-Men: First Class’ is marvel-ous
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 by Emma Kay in Film

Set upon the outbreak of the cold war, “X-Men: First Class” is the much awaited prequel to the first three films – and with a lot of expectations to live up to, it certainly fulfils the hype and fits in well with the franchise’s plot.

Starring the home grown talents of James McAvoy as Professor X and Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, “X-Men: First Class” is an action packed thriller with plenty of explosions and a great storyline. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, producer of such action films as “Layer Cake” and “Kick Ass”, “X-Men” is definitely a chip off the old block.
James McAvoy (left) stars as Charles Xavier alongside Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr. Photo: Murray Close

The film begins with the childhood of Charles Xavier, who later becomes Professor X, and Eric Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), who later becomes Magneto, a character that in the later films always appears to be at odds with Xavier, but never quite a real enemy of him.

A harrowing experience in a World War Two concentration camp gets Eric angry, and from that point on his amazing power to manipulate metal is unleashed.

This film explains why it is that Magneto and Professor X seem to be both friend and foe, as we journey on with these characters in to early adulthood, and an institute for mutants is set up.

Humans are becoming increasingly threatened by the mutants, and there is fear that war could break out between these two factions, as well as the impending cold war situation the world is in. This leads to an amazing finale that has devastating implications for Xavier and also several more of the mutants on his team.

This film is a brilliant all round action movie and is destined to be a summer blockbuster. It’s rare that an action film has as good a plot as this one, with intricate facts that make the film fit in with its predecessors being used to brilliant effect and make it feel like it really was meant to be made from the start.

There is also the possibility of another film after this one as the characters are still young, and a long way off becoming the age that they are in the first three X-Men films – so there could be plenty more action and adventure to come from this marvelous franchise in the near future.

This film is definitely not to be missed if you are a fan of Marvel comics.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:34 pm

http://www.encorepub.com/welcome/?p=6806

Un-Risky Business:
‘X-Men’ never manifests its strong idea
by: Anghus

SUITS OF MAGIC ARMOR: Michael Fassbender plays a young Magneto in the latest Marvel comics adaption, ‘X-Men: First Class.’ Courtesy photo.
There’s a moment in most book adaptations where I stop and question just how much silliness I am willing to endure. I refer to it as “the eye roll” moment. If I can make it through a comic-book film without an eye roll, then the entire cast and crew deserve buckets of praise. “X-Men: First Class” is the latest of the ilk in a cinematic summer season where superhero films are being released with such frequency they’ve started to lose value. Thus, lots of “eye roll” moments.

The “X-Men” films have always been interesting, complicated and generally entertaining. Created in the 1960s by Stan Lee, the concept of the “X-Men” was conceptually one of his strongest: teenagers born with special abilities which make them unique. Because they are different, society ostracizes them and fears their capabilities. They are assembled by Doctor Charles Xavier who wants to help them master their abilities and use them to fight for truth, justice and the American way. The last part struck me as odd since the American way so often seemed to more aptly represent those hating and fearing anyone who is different.

The concept seemed fitting in the 1960s when the civil rights movement was in full swing, and the “X-Men” acted as an allegory for the oppression of minorities. Stan Lee’s greatest gift was creating deeper concepts and stronger characters before dressing them up in garish costumes and having them fight evil. After the rather average “X-Men” films, I was genuinely interested to see director Matthew Vaughn take the “X-Men” back to their foundation with “X-Men: First Class.”

The film shows the origins of the alpha and omega of the films: Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), aka Professor X, and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), who will one day become Magneto. The first hour of the film is an interesting, well-paced look at the two men who will one day become the two most powerful people on the face of the Earth. Charles is an impetuous young genius who uses his telekinetic powers to pick up women. Erik is a more tortured soul, his family killed in Nazi concentration camps. He yearns for revenge against a fellow mutant, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who seeks to create a new world order.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are fantastic actors and do a great job creating these characters. Director Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”) crafts an exciting first hour, like something out of an old James Bond movie. It’s big, overblown and a lot of fun. Mostly because it takes the basic superhero premise and turns it into a spy thriller. Eventually, Charles and Erik cross paths, a friendship is formed, and they unite in their goal to stop Shaw from starting World War III.

A compelling and exciting first hour comes to a screeching halt when the movie begins to revert to form. Charles and Erik begin recruiting mutants to form a team. We meet the first “X-Men” and that’s when the film goes off the rails. Everything that works in “First Class” is due to deviations from the traditional formula. Every other “X-Men” film has been overstocked with characters, showcasing a large team of various mutants with cool powers. “First Class” stocks the pond with a half dozen mutants who never get more than five minutes of screen time to explain who they are or why they matter. When they change sides or get killed, it’s irrelevant because we spend so little time getting to know them that their motivations and choices are left to guesswork.

Rather than just make the story about Erik and Charles, Vaughn ends up creating just another “X-Men” movie. And it’s not bad, but it feels like all the potential is drained from the movie because a movie about the “X-Men” is contractually obligated to feature teenagers with amazing powers, yadda yadda yadda. The core of the film is so strong and could have carried the whole movie. The filmmakers could have easily shaved every scene with the kids out of the film and lost nothing. In fact, they would have gained something by keeping the film about the dueling ideologies of Charles and Erik. Can mutants co-exist with humanity, or will those who are different be hunted down and imprisoned?

The final act of the movie is a mish-mash of awesome, old-school James Bond inspired action and baffling moments of historical hilarity. My favorite moment was watching the U.S. and Soviet Navy joining forces to try and blow up all the mutants five minutes after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis confrontation—as if the entire Cold War could be put on hold with a phone call to try and kill a couple of flying kids and a dude who fires lasers from his chest.

I admire a lot of the ideas in “X-Men: First Class,” but until someone is willing to take a risk with the material and do something truly original, we will continue to sit through average comic-book adaptations.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:35 pm

http://www.macarthuradvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/entertainment/comic-prequel-offers-a-firstclass-blockbuster/2195968.aspx

Comic prequel offers a first-class blockbuster
MOVIE REVIEW BY DANNIELLE SNOWDON
15 Jun, 2011 12:00 AM
WITH its young cast and superbly written script, X-Men First Class brings a fresh new look to the X-Men franchise.

James McAvoy takes the lead, playing the role of Professor Charles Xavier, while Michael Fassbender plays Erik Lensherr, who becomes Magneto.

The story follows Erik as he searches for Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon, to exact revenge for the murder of his mother.

When his path crosses with Charles' they form an unlikely friendship to stop Shaw from trying to trigger World War III.

Directed by Michael Vaughn and also starring Rose Byrne, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till, this latest instalment in the Marvel franchise certainly raises the bar for new comic book movies coming out this year.

Although this film is a prequel and the characters are slightly different than in the original, the characterisation of Raven as a sweet, naive, close of friend of Charles, who only wants to fit in, is unrealistic.

We all know and love Raven as the girl with a take no prisoner's attitude and seeing Jennifer Lawrence do her best in playing the character this way only leaves you feeling she's no Rebecca Romijn.

Even though the story moves at a fast pace, and there is a lot going on, it is still easy to follow.

You feel like you're re-learning all these characters but they feel familiar.

Michael Vaughn, who was originally supposed to direct X-Men: The Last Stand does a brilliant job.

Having the Cuban missile crisis of the 60s as the backdrop for this story works exceptionally well.

He really took what could have been another Marvel movie mistake and turned it into something quite extraordinary.

This incredible film holds all the promise for a trilogy of its own.

The characters have so much more to do before they become the characters in the original.

If they can do it in the same tone then they would not be in any danger of becoming repetitive or stepping on the toes of the original.

I recommend this film to all fans of the comic books as well as fans of the original movies.

I promise you won't be disappointed.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:48 pm

http://www.herald-review.com/app/blogs/blogs/?p=5242

X-Men First Class: There will be blood

By Jim Vorel

And HOW, even.

I caught the new X-Men movie this weekend, a little behind the pulse of things as it was released last week, but I was more than a little impressed by the grittiness that this film displayed, particularly in its depictions of mutant-on-human violence.

It’s apparent pretty much immediately off the bat as the child who will become Magneto begins crushing some Nazi skulls in like the second scene. One can’t help but be taken by surprise by it in a sense, because it’s such a surprising change in tone and in the way violence has been depicted in earlier entries of the series. Almost all of the carnage is perpetrated by Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, who spends basically the whole first third of the film doing his best William Wallace impersonation as he hunts down the men who done him wrong. This isn’t Happy-Friendly Mutant Time; it’s like the Mutant Culling instead.

It makes me picture what the storyboarding sessions for the film would have been like:

Executive 1: We’re losing people with all the mutant coddling that’s been on display in the previous films! It’s time for blood. Human blood.

Executive 2: X-Men: First Class will have more hand-stabbing and skull crushing than all the previous films combined. That’ll show those DC punks who’s boss.

Executive 1: Do you think we could work in a slow-motion shot of a coin being used to scramble a man’s brains?

Executive 2: I will pull my funding immediately if that shot does not make it into the movie.

—-

And so on. It’s actually a pretty entertaining flick, although it doesn’t really deliver on its own premise particularly well. In a film about the so-called “First Class” of mutants to fall under Xavier, Professor X’s tutledge, the young mutant characters are for the most part glazed right over. That’s not even a bad thing, or a criticism, as it gives us more time in the film for Magneto’s bad-assery, or for deep philosophical conversations between him and Xavier, condensed down into easy-to-digest, 45-second snippets for audience convenience.*

*Presumably, they occasionally have longer conversations that don’t end with alternatingly cheeky or ominous one-liners when the cameras aren’t turned on them, but this is like Philosophy Cliffs Notes.

Ultimately, it’s a movie about Xaxier and his adoptive sister, Raven/Mystique, and Magneto even moreso. All fine things, in an entertaining film. I don’t even mind looking past the glaring continuity errors–like, say, the fact that Xavier doesn’t recognize Mystique in the original X-Men or the sequel, despite having apparently grown up with her. It’s one of those times when a handwave will do. Really–it’s Marvel. Continuity isn’t their thing.

So if you don’t mind a little super-powered brutality, go check it out. Between X-Men and Thor so far, this is shaping up as a banner summer for superhero flicks. It will be interesting to see if Green Lantern and Captain America can keep up that momentum.

What do you think, sirs? Did you see X-Men?
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:49 pm

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/OzyReviews/news/?a=39302

Ozy Reviews X-Men: First Class

Soooo....I just saw the latest X-Men film! Is it over-rated? Or could it possibly be better than X2? Better late than never right? Here's my take on the prequel...
So, I'm pretty sure that most of you remember my editoral "Stop bashing X-Men: First Class!". After that I kind of laid-low on this site but now that the movie is out and everybody likes it, I can safely write up my review for this movie.

X2 has always been my favorite X-Men film out of the bunch. This film though, I really liked and it ALMOST beat X2 for me. Let me just say it was much more enjoyable and better to watch than X3 or Wolverine.

Plot wise the movie concerns a young Professor X aka Charles. Also a young Magneto, really Erik Lensherr. They are friends til they gradually drift more and more apart as the movie goes on. The villain of the film is Sebastian Shaw.

As far as performances go, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy really pulled it off. To the characters their peformances make us really care about them and what happens to them. Rest of the cast was outstanding. I would like to point out the actor who played Beast (I'm to lazy to look up who it was lol) as he did a fantastic job. And there's Kevin Bacon. My he stole many of the scenes he was in and was by far one of the best villains in a CBM I have ever seen, ranking up with Heath Ledger's famous Joker in The Dark Knight. Only 2 bad performances caught my eye. I did not like Rose Bryne as Moira. Also, January Jones was just awful as Emma Frost bringing no emotion or depth to the role at all. If she is in the sequel they need to either re-cast or get Jones to do a better job. The CGI effects are all great, with the acton sequences and dialog standing out. Only one other thing that bugged me was Mystique's makeup. It just looked really awful to me, I couldn't stand to look at it.

But nonetheless, Matthew Vaughn pulled off a great movie and bring me a sequel or X4. Even though I still like X2 more, this is a much needed improvement to the franchise.

9/10
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:52 pm

http://www.wilnervision.com/?p=1559

June 6, 2011
Perhaps Magneto Kept the Change
Filed under: Movies — Norm Wilner @ 8:23 am

I don't know, old chap, I thought we'd at least break $65 millionHere’s a surprise: “X-Men: First Class”, which makes up for the disappointments of the previous two “X-Men” movies, had the smallest opening weekend of any film in the franchise since the original “X-Men” opened with $54.5 million eleven years ago.

“First Class” took in $56 million — an entirely respectable figure for a summer blockbuster, unless you compare it to the other X-movies. “X2″ opened with $85.5 million; “The Last Stand”, $102.7 million; even “Wolverine”, despite the whole piracy kerfuffle, did $85 million in its first weekend.

So why the low numbers for the new one? I’d like to believe that comics fans, feeling burned by “The Last Stand” and “Wolverine”, held back until they could be sure this one actually delivered on the promise of an “X-Men” movie. But this is the age of the internets, and anyone who was on the fence would have known by Friday afternoon at the latest that it was worth the ticket price.

Lack of big stars, maybe? I mean, I’ll go see James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in anything, but they aren’t exacly megaplex marquee names yet. Lack of a breakout character? Jennifer Lawrence’s self-loathing Mystique doesn’t have quite the same appeal of Anna Paquin’s tormented Rogue or the lovesick hardass that was Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Bryan Singer’s first film … and Fassbender’s Magneto is too sinister to really click in the same way.

I dunno. Maybe people just held off because the weather was really nice, or they were still catching up to the “Hangover” and “Kung Fu Panda” sequels. ($32.4 million and $24.3 million, respectively.) Maybe “First Class” will have a strong second showing as people play wait-and-see with “Super 8″ next weekend.

In the meantime, people still go to the movies on weekdays, right? Go see it tonight, if you’ve been hesitating. No time like the present to see a movie set 49 years in the past …
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