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X-Men Reviews 4

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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:24 am

http://thiessenbros.blogspot.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class-and-why-my-mug-is.html

Thursday, 9 June, 2011
X-Men: First Class and Why My Mug is Almost Always Up

I have deliberately avoided going to see most of the biggest hits of 2011. Films like Hangover II, Thor, Fast Five, Pirates 4 and Kung Fu Panda 2 are not my idea of a fun evening at the cinema and are not likely to get an upward facing mug from me (the chance that one or more would surprise me is always there but the odds are against it). Since I am not being paid to write reviews on my blog, my life is too short to watch films that are unlikely to get three stars from me. You may recall that my foundational criterion for giving a film three stars is that I am willing to watch the film again. If I am not willing to watch it again, it gets two and a half stars or less. But since I happen to believe that any film worth watching once is worth watching twice, it follows that any film I do not think is worth watching again is not worth watching the first time. So that, my friends, is why most of the films I watch and review tend to get a mug up.

I had pretty well decided to lump X-Men: First Class with the films mentioned above, but the reviews were better than those for the others and Katrina recommended it, so I gave it a chance this evening, going in with fairly mixed expectations. Sigh. On the whole, I found X-Men: First Class a rather tedious film. The truth, which I am sure I have shared here before, is that action generally bores me. The action in First Class was definitely of the boring variety and there was altogether too much of it. When the action stopped, I occasionally found the film diverting, especially when James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were alone on the screen. So I would be willing to watch it again, thus assuring that my mug will once again be up.

X-Men: First Class takes us back to the early days of Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Magneto (Fassbender). With the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 as a backdrop, they join together with a group of young mutants to take on another group of mutants led by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who had helped train Magneto, but also killed his mother.

The acting was mixed. I can’t say I was overly impressed by Bacon or January Jones (maybe that’s because they were the “bad guys”), but Jennifer Lawrence was very good as Raven (no surprise there after her fantastic performance in Winter’s Bone) and McAvoy and Fassbender were, as hinted at above, great to watch. The score was a little over-the-top, but that’s probably to be expected in an X-Men film. The cinematography was good enough but I am growing tired of CGI.

Needless to say, I found the violence in First Class quite disturbing, especially since kids of all ages are going to find their way into the cinema. I did appreciate the mutant versus ordinary human theme, as always, and Xavier’s generally pacifist mentality. He tries valiantly to keep Magneto from killing Shaw but in the end the filmmakers still seem to require that the ultimate bad guy (a nazi, no less) be gruesomely killed at the end of the film, and all sorts of violent mayhem was still apparently necessary to save the world. Sigh.

So, mostly because I enjoyed watching the three primary actors, X-Men: First Class gets *** and my mug is up.
Posted by Vic at 12:17 AM
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:25 am

http://www.marshallnews.com/blogs/1132/entry/41892/

X-Men: First Class / *** (PG-13)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 9:55 PM

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy lead a younger group of mutants in this origin tale of the popular comic book series "X-Men: First Class".
20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Matthew Vaughn. Written by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn and Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer. Based on the Marvel comic books. Running time: 132 min. Rated PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language).

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end; then stop"

-- Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"

It seems not many people in Hollywood read much Lewis Carroll, except of course as potential blockbuster material. Here we are on the fifth "X-Men" movie, and only now are we learning "how it all began." Unless you're talking about Wolverine, for him it began even before this movie takes place; but never mind that. The good news is that, contrary to reports that Wolvie isn't in this prequel, the clawed mutant is responsible for one of the best moments in this film, and he never even takes his claws out.

This "X-Men" seems like the most thought out of all the scripts. Beginning with the flashback that opened the series in the first movie of a young Eric Lehnsherr discovering the abilities that will eventually lead him to become the master mutant villain Magneto, this time we learn what happened to Eric after the Nazis took his parents away in the concentration camp. He meets a Nazi officer played by Kevin Bacon ("Mystic River"). Bacon is imposing while keeping a smile on his face at all times. He introduces Eric to Nazi coercion by shooting his mother dead in front of the boy. This unleashes Eric's full mutant ability to move metal. This event will shape all of Eric's actions to come.

We are introduced to two other young mutants, a boy telepath and a shape shifter. They are the first two mutants either has yet discovered. The boy comes from a wealthy family that treats him well. The girl is a runaway who has turned to crime because of her family's rejection of her. The boy takes her in as a sister. Apparently his parents are quite absentee, such are the lives of the ridiculously rich. These mutants are Charles Xavier and Raven. They will grow up to become Professor X and Mystique.

Fast forward to 1962. Mutants are a phenomenon that is just starting to rise. Mutants are starting to reach the age of maturity where their powers fully manifest themselves. The screenwriter's explanation of this mutant explosion is intriguing. As the world is entering the nuclear age, the fears and possibilities of a nuclear society are realized. It is suggested that this nuclear world has somehow sparked the evolutionary change that Xavier attributes to the mutations.

A rambunctious CIA agent, Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne, "Knowing"), discovers that a mutant organization called the Hellfire Club, under the leadership of a man known as Sebastian Shaw, is using their powers to influence government officials to place nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, a move that will draw the ire and retaliation of the Russians. She tracks down Xavier (James McAvoy, "Wanted") and recruits him to head a team of mutants to work within the CIA to help address the threats of mutants using their powers against the greater good.

Meanwhile, Eric Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, "Inglourious Basterds") has tracked down the Nazi who took away everything he loved and created the man he's become. That former Nazi is now going under the name of Sebastian Shaw, who appears not to have aged. Lehnsherr tries to take revenge, but hasn't anticipated that Shaw himself may be a mutant or has gathered other mutants around him for protection. He fails in his first attempt at revenge, but is recruited by Xavier to help form the CIA mutant team.

That's probably enough of the plot. That only scratches the surface, which explains why this "X-Men" is the longest entry yet. Another reason is that director Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass") is content not to rush his super powered mutants into battle. He takes great pains to develop Eric's journey of revenge and Xavier's theories and attitudes about mutantism. Xavier in particular is very much allowed to be a real person. Highly intelligent, but willing to bend the rules and have fun being young. He uses his mutant theories as pick up lines in bars.

Vaughn also spends a good deal of time developing the most complex personality of the group, the torn and obviously mutant in appearance--Raven (her last name is never mentioned). She's played by Jennifer Lawrence, last year's great discovery for her Oscar nominated performance as a teenager trying to provide for her siblings in the ruthless backcountry of the Ozarks in "Winter's Bone". Raven has blue, scaly skin, but can make herself look like anyone. She is in the middle of an ideological tug of war between Xavier and Eric. Xavier believing that mutants should integrate with humans, while Eric's beliefs run more towards embracing their mutantism at the expense of fitting in.

Another mutant, a scientist named Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult, "A Single Man") intrigues Raven. Hank is another mutant whose mutation has manifested itself in his appearance. His feet look and operate like hands, with opposable thumbs. After he takes a "cure" that is supposed remove surface mutant characteristics but allow him to retain powers, Hank's mutation somehow becomes even more obvious when he grows blue hair all over his body. The two brush at a romance, but eventually Raven's beliefs are shifted closer to Eric's views, and she decides to embrace her true appearance.

There are a great deal more mutants introduced in this origin episode of the series, including Havok (Lucas Till, "Battle: Los Angeles"), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones, "The Last Exorcism"), and the villainess Emma Frost (January Jones, "Mad Men"). To list them all would be pointless and require more synopsizing. Despite all these characters and plotting this "First Class" doesn't have the overstuffed feeling of the third installment, "The Last Stand". Vaughn's insistence of allowing the story to develop, rather than driving it with loud and explosive action sequences gives more weight to the story's social themes of bigotry and tolerance.

That's not to say there aren't some great action sequences. The final showdown set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis is fraught with the anti-authoritative tensions of the era. It exemplifies the types of events and fear that inspired the creation of such comic book characters as the X-Men. It even contains some awesome images. With all the characters and special effects and the wide range of thematic material the filmmakers try to cover, some elements get left a little underdeveloped, such as Xavier's relationship with MacTaggert.

Some people may not take to this vision of the X-Men as readily as the previous outings. It's more cerebral, with a much stronger focus on the characters and themes of the series. To some the ever-unfolding plot may seem to drag, but this is the X-Men as they should be presented. They're more than just a team of super powers. Each character has always held very specific purposes in the X-Men universe, and it's nice to see a comic book mythology represented so faithfully on screen. But, I'm beginning to wonder whether this series will ever end, since this material has been fairly well covered by this point. Could Carroll have been onto something?

"X-Men: First Class" is currently playing at Marshall Cinema and at Galaxy Cinema in Sedalia.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:26 am

http://www.cinebrooding.com/2011/06/movie-review-x-men-first-class.html

movie review: "x-men: first class"
written by Blake Tan at 10:36 PM
"Mutants have hit the big screen again, and this time, it’s without the rugged good looks of Hugh Jackman. But that doesn’t mean “X-Men: First Class” is without its own handsome cast: leading the charge are James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, both talented and good-looking actors to play the parts of two of the most famous super-powered mutants in the Marvel universe.

“X-Men: First Class” details the origins of Professor X, Magneto, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, while it explores the intricate relationship between the two groups and their leaders. Unlike most arch-nemeses, Xavier and Erik do not hate each other. In fact, they were once the best of friends whose goals were to protect the mutant community. However, they disagreed on methods and this led to the schism that created the rival groups."

Read the rest of my review here at speakeasymag.com in the entertainment section.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:26 am

http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/x-men_first_class#.TfcM7luRJac

X-Men: First Class (PG-13)
Ken Hanke | 06/07/2011
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Genre: Sci-Fi Comic Book Action
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oliver Platt

Among the year’s more pleasant surprises in terms of blockbusters and would-be blockbusters is Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. Of course, it’s worth noting that none of this year’s big pictures have exactly been terrible (give it time, Michael Bay is on the way). It’s equally worth noting that I have no clue about what aspects the movie might or might not get right as concerns the comic-book mythology it’s all based on. Nor do I care, though I’ll be more than happy to listen to any litany of sins it may have committed.

Here’s where I stand. I liked X-Men (2000). I more than liked X2 (2003), which still gets my vote as best of the new breed (read: from X-Men forward) of serious-minded, superhero-comic-book movies. I really disliked X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). And I didn’t mind X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). The current installment I’d place about on a par with the original X-Men. It’s not quite in the same league, and it’s sure not up there with X2, but it beats the trousers off the last two. The downside to this? I really expected a little more from Matthew Vaughn.

I don’t know whether this new film is a prequel or a reboot, but it certainly takes place prior to the action of the first three films, since it deals with the origins of Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Some of this—especially Erik’s days in a Nazi concentration camp—have been touched on elsewhere. Here, however, they’ve been given prominence, and this mostly works. Placing the film against a Cold War backdrop that threatens to become anything but cold during the Cuban Missile Crisis works surprisingly well—and gives the proceedings a little extra weight. Yes, it does require the viewer to swallow a certain amount of alternate history, but considering we’re in a story that involves folks with super powers, is that asking all that much?

The central story involves Erik’s old concentration-camp nemesis (Kevin Bacon) who has resurfaced (fresh from a bracing stint in Argentina, of course) as Sebastian Shaw, a shady millionaire with aims to start WWIII for purposes of his own. Erik, on the other hand, is after Shaw for killing his mother in front of him to provoke his metal-controlling mutant powers. It is this, more than the privileged telepath Charles’ notions of right and wrong, that causes Erik to throw in his lot with the CIA and the incipient X-Men. That’s ultimately as it should be, of course, since Magneto’s aims are not wholly unlike those of Shaw—albeit for somewhat different reasons.

What the film ultimately comes down to is the believability of both Charles and Erik. My only complaint here is simply that McAvoy looks much younger than Fassbender (he isn’t actually), but I like both men in the roles in terms of performances. Fassbender—despite a tendency to drift into his Irish accent in moments of excitement—has the edge. Much of that is due to the strong mitigating factor that Magneto is simply the more interesting character and makes a stronger case for his point of view.

More of the film rings true and works than doesn’t. It helps that the film’s design cheats the era. Production design—especially involving Shaw’s gadgetry and the look of his lairs and personal submarine—has much more in common with the pop-art world of the later 1960s than the 1962 setting. Much of it looks like something out of a mid-period Sean Connery Bond movie, or even a spy spoof like Casino Royale (1967). When you realize how mundane the real 1962 looked, this is a pretty big plus. Generally, the film captures the right balance between the serious and the jokey. (One cameo goes perhaps too far in pulling you out of the movie, but since it provides the film with its biggest laugh, it’s hard to complain.) Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:33 am

http://fastfilmreviews.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/x-men-first-class/

X-Men: First Class

Two allies and a powerful team of mutants band together to save the planet from nuclear annihilation. That’s the picture in a nutshell, but it doesn’t even begin to detail the numerous story threads and characters that make up this ambitious, but overly plotted film.

Drama concerns the honorable Professor X, leader of the X-Men and his future arch nemesis, supervillain Magneto. Here however, we delve into the details of how these mutants came to be. What drives them and how they evolved. Origin stories are endlessly fascinating because they explain details we thought we already knew. X-Men reveals remarkable nuggets that enjoyably flesh out the individual backstories. For example, before he became Magneto, he was Erik Lensherr, a Jewish Holocaust survivor. Who knew? His benevolent purpose in protecting the mutant race seems surprisingly noble when compared to the megalomaniac we know he ultimately becomes. Less unexpected, but still interesting, is Professor X’s origins as Charles Francis Xavier, an ambulatory teacher who is a champion of mutant (read civil) rights.

Much of the enjoyment will be for fans of the series in discovering how these two important figures came to be. The problem is that the screenplay attempts to take on too much. Here we are presented with an alternate reality period piece that tries to interweave Nazi’s, the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, teen romance, civil rights and a dizzying number of actors. That last pitfall has always been an issue with these movies, so that’s not as surprising. Mystique, Beast, Havok, Banshee, Angel and Darwin are all addressed as well as several other mutants. However, the story could have been more emotionally engaging if the narrative was simplified to focus on just a few leads and provided more depth. As it is, a great deal of the plot is a special effects extravaganza of superpowers by characters that quickly pop up with little introduction.

Every so often the script has a brilliant flash of creativity. Actress Rebecca Romijn shows up in one scene that is truly inspired. And occasionally there are inside jokes that any casual fan will understand. It’s those touches that make the action enjoyable. It’s as if the seven(!) writers were so concerned with packing in innumerable expository details, they forgot the fun. This is a superhero adventure after all, not Schindler’s List. Tackling so many plot threads can feel somewhat unfocused. And advancing clichés like “Be Yourself” or “Mutants are People Too”, though admirable, aren’t innovative enough to require their mention more than once. Ultimately X-Men is best enjoyed as a simple tale between good and evil. Thankfully thespians James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender brings their serious acting credentials to the franchise. They imbue their characters with a substance that the script often doesn’t allow. The end result can be an articulate, verging on talky, picture that will probably most captivate the dedicated fan, and just satisfactorily entertain everyone else.

This entry was posted on June 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:34 am

http://www.simplysyndicated.com/review-of-x-men-first-class/

Review Of X-Men: First Class
Posted: June 7th, 2011

I’ve just seen X-Men: First Class and it has taken the place of best film I’ve seen this year, and is one of the best I’ve seen in the last few, now to explain how I came to this, from both an emotional side and from the clinical why on a practical level it was a great film.

So let’s start with the practical side of it. X-men: First Class is a film that at its core is the beginning of the relationship between Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) who is better known as Magneto, and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) who is better known as Professor X who in the original X-Men trilogy was played by Patrick Stewart. This is where a big decision that you have to make to enjoy this film happens, do not expect continuity with the previous trilogy, they may be saying it’s a prequel but it’s not really there are so many continuity errors it is restarting the movie world from scratch.

Now to the over view of the plot it begins with the scene from the beginning of the first of the original trilogy showing Eric’s beginnings in Nazi Germany, followed by opening scenes for Charles and the character that seems to be the one that forces division and makes up the trio of lead X-men, Raven Darkholme/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). We get a glimpse then into the Hellfire Club, were we meet the team of bad guy, lead by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) the Black King of the organisation, and his White Queen, Emma Frost (January Jones) telepath, and there thugs Janos Quested/Riptied (Álex González) who can create twisters, and Azazel (Jason Flemying) who’s a bright red demon looking mutant, with teleportation powers, the same as Nightcrawler from X2, this is all watched by Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) who instead of being a Scottish doctor as in the comics is an American CIA agent).

Then begins the full story of the formation of the original X-Men, which is vastly different from the team in the comics of Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and Iceman. In X-Men: First Class the starting team is found through Cerebro, a telepathic amplifier designed by Hank McCoy, this is where a few cameos appear, and the team is; Professor X, telepath, Magneto, manipulator of metal and magnetism, Mystique, with the power to change her form, Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), super smart and super athletic, Sean Cassidy/Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), who’s voice box can produce sonic booms, Alex Summers/Havok (Edi Gathegi), can fire out arcs of combustible energy , Armando Munoz/Darwin (Edi Gathegi), a new mutant that can adapt to survive anything, and lastly Angel Salvadore (­Zoë Kravitz) who is a new mutant serving as a stand-in for Angel, she has wings and can spit explosive projectiles.

From this point we go into the war between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club which will have repercussions for the cold war.

Now onto the actors, Michael Fassbender, he plays Magneto with so much presence and power he fills the screen every time he’s on, this guy has a big career ahead of him. His portrayal is perfect, he powers trough the playing a man powered by his loss of his mother and the grief for all of him people who he lost in WW2 it is truly believable. The one problem is that when shouting his Irish accent comes through which is a little disconcerting when he’s supposed to be a Polish Jew, but his passion smashes straight through these slip ups. James McAvoy, portrays the Professor with a wisdom far beyond his years, his Xavier is much younger than Stewarts was and with this comes the lack of worldly experience of youth, he’s a character that loves to have fun but is constantly burdened by his hope for the world and his fellow mutants place in it. Kevin Bacon play Sebastian Shaw, like a Bond villain of the sixties which was the intention, over the top and full of pure cheese, and January Jones is the perfect evil Bond girl, but how else could they play it this film is a mutant fuelled Bond film with Charles and Erik are the 00 secret agents and Shaw the smarmy background manipulator of the Bond films of old.

The true reason I feel this film is close to perfect is because of how it affected me on a pure basic emotional level, this film will stay with me for a long while because of this. For those of you who do not know the medical condition I suffer from here’s the short version, I suffer from a dissociative disorder that has caused an almost splitting of my mind into logic/hope and anger/fear, there is a meeting place in the middle but a lot of the time there is a constant war going on in my mind between these two parts, can you see where this is heading?

The split between Eric and Charles is the same; Eric is a character that is fuelled on pure anger from the damaging effects of the events of his youth and fear that the persecution that happened to the Jew in WW2, would happen to the mutant population, where as Charles is a man of logic and hope that the world is better than to persecute again. This battle struck a chord with me as this is the battle going on in my mind, and the way in which they did it was magical. My biggest hope for the future of this new trilogy is for them to continue down the war of logic and passion and not take it down the good verse evil.

I can’t wait to see what this cast and this series do next. If you have a chance to go see this at the cinema then take it, the big screen really adds to this film, as the special effect are magical, but used in a story telling not showy way.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:35 am

http://moviekid-zach.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-x-men-first-class.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
REVIEW: X-Men: First Class
MOVIE
X-Men: First Class

CAST
James McAvoy,
Michael Fassbender

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
June 3, 2011

DIRECTOR
Matthew Vaughn

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

RUNNING TIME
2 hours 12 minutes






STARS
***3/4












REVIEW:

I never saw the critically acclaimed films Kick-Ass or Layer Cake. but those movies, directed by the X-Men series' latest director Matthew Vaughn were both very well recieved by audiences and critics alike. That was one of the many perks that X-Men: First Class had before it was released. However, the rushed shooting dates and average trailers made this movie seem less enjoyable than it was eventually going to be. Yes, I am very happy to report that X-Men: First Class is quite an excellent movie. It has the concept that the first two X-Men movies, the charm of any Marvel movie, and the bad-ass-ness of any superhero movie in existance. This movie is the perfect prequel to the X-Men franchise, and in my opinion may be the best X-Men movie of them all. I liked Thor a month ago, yet I noticed many of its flaws while watching. Now it's a month later, and I absolutely loved X-Men: First Class.

Before we called him Professer X, he was known as Charles Xavier, a gifted indivitual who can read minds. Before we called him Magneto, he was known as Erik Lehnsherr, a survivor of the Holocaust who can control all kinds of metal items and isdesperately seeking revenge on the man who killed his mother during WWII. As World War III is quickly being formed, Charles and Erik recruit a group of extraordinary kids with special powers, other known as "mutants." The man responsible for creating another war is Sebastian Shaw, a mutant who also happens to be the murderer of Erik's mother. While the mutants are being recruited, Erik is secretly planning to take revenge on Shaw for killing his mother. It is the events in this movie that supposedly set off the chain of events to occur in X-Men and X2. (let's just forget that 'The Last Stand' and 'Wolverine' ever happened, okay?)

A little over two years ago, another fantastic origin story came onto the spotlight. That movie's name was Star Trek, and I would be surprised to find people who didn't like it at all. The reason why I mention Star Trek is because this movie is the Star Trek of 2011. For people who love to revisit younger versions of characters whom they grew up with, this is an absolutely excellent movie. This may be the best superhero movie I've seen since the original Iron Man. Thats right, I'm cpnsidering this movie far more superior to The Dark Knight. I like this more than The Dark Knight for a few reasons: the first reason is that I believe that The Dark Knight was a bit overrrated, due to the fantastic preformance of the late Heath Ledger. The second reason is that I'm not as much a DC fan as I am a Marvel. The third and final reason is that DC always is too realistic for superhero films. Marvel films are just made to be unrealiastic superhero films. They're fun, witty, and sometimes over the top, yet most of the time they are purely excellent. Take Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, and the two other X-Men films out of the mix and you can consider all Marvel movies to be excellent.

I like how all of the recent Marvel movies these days have superb acting. Ever since Iron Man came out, the main lead actors have always been award worthy. The most notable mention must be Robert Downey Jr. as the title role in both Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Fox superhero movies have never had teriffic acting, with 2009's X-Men origins: Wolverine and 2005's Fantastic Four being prime examples. Finally, we have a Fox superhero film with fantastic acting. There is no singular main character, there are only two main co-stars. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are fantastic in this movie. They are funny, interesting, and most importantly, they are incredible badasses! James McAvoy shows a side of Professor X that we've never seen before. He doesn't seem so emotionless as he does in the first two X-Men movies, despite still being such a brainiac. In this movie, you see Charles being a college student: drinking and hitting on women. He sort of reminds me of a smarter Tony Stark in the 60s. Michael Fassbender actually may be the show-stealer of the movie. Even though I mentioned that these two stars are fantastic co-stars, there's something about Mr. Fassbender's performance as Erik/Magneto that steals the whole movie. You actually gain feelings for this troubled character, despite the destiny he has coming for him. He is now possibly the coolest supervillan of all time. All of the acting in this movie was great, but it was the two leads who were undeniably fantastic.

Despite my desire to give this a perfect four star rating, there's only one reason why I cannot. Despite being a prequel, this movie had no relations to X-Men: The Last Stand or X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This may be entering spoiler territory, so those who haven't seen this x-men or the previous two should stop reading this paragraph NOW. At the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, you see the young mutants escaping the science facility encounter Professor X. X can walk, yet he has no head of hair on him. At the end of this movie, Charles loses his ability to walk, yet still has his head of hair present. At the beginning of X-Men: The Last Stand, we find Charles and Erik meeting a young Jean Grey, who plays a significant part in the original trilogy. In this movie, she is not present anywhere in this movie, thus erasing her story in X-Men 3 from that storyline. I felt that Matthew Vaughn, the film's director should have revisited the original four movies and try to incorporate those stories into this one. After all, the mediocre third and fourth X-Men movies are still a part of the series. Still, this was just one wrong doing in this movie, and it never affects the way you enjoy the movie at all.

So with the charm of Iron Man, the special effects and awesome action of the first two X-Men movies, and the single best use of the "F" word in cinema history, X-Men: First Class is with no doubt one of the best movies of 2011. The movie makes you learn about the past of some of the most iconic superheroes in recent history, as well as give you explanations on how characters become the way they are. The cameos in this movie help give the audience some great laughs and small hints of characters that will be in the first two X-Men movies. There are four superhero movies coming out this summer. If Marvel plays their cards right, they may have one hell of a good summer. However, Green Lantern sure looks amazing. I believe that this movie may havde a strong shot as the best superhero movie of the summer. I'm saying this because I thought that Thor was just an o.k. movie. Thor might've just been o.k., but X-Men: First Class was a spectacular movie. Even if you're not an X-Men fan, you will still enjoy this movie because of the historical content this movie has. The summer is getting better and better by the week, and we're barley through June yet. I officially declare X-Men: First Class as one of the best movies of the entire year.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:36 am

https://www.filmfare.com/articles/xmen-first-class-2462.html

Jun 08, 2011 - 03:50 PM
X-Men: First Class

Director: Mathew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, January Jones and Jennifer Lawrence
Release Date: 2011-06-10 00:00:00
Quick Take: The best of X-Men

It’s the fifth movie in a series of superhero flicks that have become one of the biggest movie franchises ever. It’s a continuation of the movie universe of X-Men. And arguably it’s the best X-Men film yet.

It continues the timeline after X-Men Origins: Wolverine and shows how Charles Xavier set up the X-Men and his mutant school and how Magneto came to be the leader of the evil mutants. The movie comes up a bit short on the story simply because the idea behind the film is to show the events that led to the inception of the X-Men. So the core of the film is slightly frail but what makes up for it is the heavy characterisation. This film is essentially about the camaraderie between Magneto aka Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier and you get to see a back story to both characters. Erik is a Jewish survivor of the Nazi Camps from World War II while Charles is an English millionaire obsessed with genetic mutation. They meet by chance and instantly hit a note with their concerns about mutant future. Along the way you have an enviable super villain in Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and some mutant-human philosophy and a grand climax too.

More than anything else, this is a Mathew Vaughn film. No, Vaughn is no Spielberg but he’s got a unique directorial skill that gives his cinema personality. Watch his previous works like Layer Cake and Kick-Ass and you’ll see a distinct treatment in each film. But with X-Men, Vaughn seems to stray here and there. Out of nowhere, when the new mutants are training under Xavier, the film’s treatment suddenly becomes edgy with slide-in transition shots like the ones in Kick-Ass. The climax where Magneto turns the tables on the US and Soviet Navy seemed a bit hushed. But then this is a film based in the ’60s and lack of CGI and slick action as well as body suits is acceptable.

But there is a master stroke too. And it’s Kevin Bacon’s Shaw, modeled cleverly on Baron Strucker from the Marvel comic universe. The character is as fascinating as Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. He’s menacing and charming at the same time. Slightly cheesy, slightly cocky but ever so impressive. Full marks to Bacon for acing the German, Russian as well as Texan accents and to Vaughn for coming up with a deft, poetic end to Shaw.

There’s plenty of action in this film as well and it’s staged on a grand scale. And if you’re one of those who believe that X-Men can’t be done without Wolverine or Hugh Jackman, it’s true. First Class is a thoroughly entertaining film and Henry Jackman’s background score helps a lot. But it’s also a bit rough around the edges. Vaughn is capable of better, but this is still worth a watch.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:38 am

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
X-Men: First Class
You may remember from my Trailer Talk for X-Men: First Class that I was a LITTLE excited about this film. Well, I saw it on Friday, and it did not disappoint.


I have been an X-Men fan for a long time. I loved the first two films - I think X2 is one of the best superhero movies this side of Batman. I didn't even hate the third one so much, I thought it was fun and a decent way to end the trilogy. (I never saw Wolverine.) One of the reasons I can enjoy the movies so much is because I'm not a stickler for continuity - I don't think you can be, and stay a sane member of the X-Men fandom. The writers have played with the timeline SO much and SO frequently, and there are SO many continuities at play, that to put it all into a movie basically requires a lot of cherry-picking while doing the best you can to preserve the spirit of the characters. This is why X-Men: First Class succeeds so very, very well.

The obvious stars here are Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. As pre-supers Charles and Erik, they are electric together and bring so much life to the relationship between the two characters. I was always sad that the only real allusions to this friendship, which I believe is one of the most important and far-reaching in comics, in the previous films were pretty brief. So I was extremely happy that it got explored more fully and to great effect here.

The action sequences are superb, and for once the "side-line" mutants all get a pretty strong spotlight. The training montage is extremely well done, so that it doesn't feel stale at all. The cinematography overall is extremely clever, and makes parts of the film feel like classic James Bond - appropriate, considering the Bond Girl-esque ensemble January Jones sports for most of the movie. The 60's aesthetic works well, and the styling and costumes feel period-appropriate without being derivative. The whole thing looks completely great.

Kevin Bacon was an excellent Sebastien Shaw, and my only real complaint about the villains is that I think there should have been MORE of them. Here, Shaw is ostensibly representing the Hellfire Club and also mongering World War III. Except that the Hellfire Club is FULL of wealthy and politically influential people, and I wish the filmmakers had portrayed it that way. Shaw is certainly a good leader figure, but I had a hard time believing he could exert as much influence as he does without any kind of additional evil backing.

I'd like to take a moment to address some concerns regarding Ms. Jones, as well as Jennifer Lawrence, who inhabits the role of adolescent-Mystique with verve and aplomb. Many people on the internets (at least, that I have come across) feel as though these roles have been marginalized, and two of the most powerful female characters in the franchise reduced to arm candy and and frivolous teenager. To which I reply: well, yes. But that doesn't mean they're not ALSO powerful females. Jones as the chilly Emma Frost certainly holds her own with the boys, proving to be even a force for Charles Xavier to reckon with. I agree that Lawrence could have used a scene or two to stretch her muscles and show some kick-ass, but this is not the same Mystique we get in later films. It is pretty well acknowledged that she does a hell of a lot of inward thinking between know and then, and we get intimations of her changing views throughout First Class.

You can't afford to get too picky when it comes to continuity in the X-Men universe, but this film certainly does its best to be an honest prequel to the older films. I think it hits that without jumping the shark into "reboot" territory - this movie slots right in to the timeline of those movies. Right down to Xavier's mansion, which looks a hell of a lot like the set used in the trilogy even if it's not the identical house (I think it is, though) and the look of Magneto's helmet. It's clear they paid attention and it pays off.

In summary, if you're willing to let go of the comic continuity (any of them) and just have fun with it, First Class is an incredibly well-acted and well-set summer romp. It is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise.

Also, if Marvel would like to make either He Reads Minds, He Broods Broodsomely: Together They Fight Crime or Michael Fassbender: Nazi-Killing Super-Spy Ultimate Bad Ass, I will be first in line for my tickets.
Posted by Magical Martha at 9:52 AM
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:42 am

http://www.underbellyofsunshine.com/?p=1260

Even though I am paying for it right now I went out last night to go see the flickering lights that was X-Men First Class. And I am so glad that I did.

The movie is about how the X-men got started and how Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto became enemies. It takes place mainly in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis with introductions to characters as far back as the 1940s.

The main characters were awesome. James McAvoy as Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik were perfect choices. They were really the stars of the show. They became these characters and understood that there is an unspoken understanding and trust between the two of them that made them friends and the worst of enemies. Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw almost stole the show. You believed his malice and his ability to instill fear in an individual with just a look. I really liked Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast. He managed to pull off humble genius all covered in sweetness.

With that said, if those 4 people did not step up and perform the movie would have really sucked. The secondary characters were either wasted talents or didn’t have talent to waste. Even with the well scripted, complex, layered story it would have fallen apart if some of the acting wasn’t to par. January Jones should not have been cast as Emma Frost. The character is supposed to be stoic not wooden. It seemed for her whole performance Jones just read off of cue-cards. I also had a problem with Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique. She was just so bland. There was also Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore. I am sorry to say the girl can’t act and is absolutely not sexy. The character she played is supposed to be innocent but sultry at the same time. She just looked really bored and sleepy for most of it.

Then there were talented people like Oliver Platt and Jason Flemying who were completely wasted in the roles they were given. Platt was a man in black that played an important role but had a few mediocre lines and wasn’t there for long but he acted better than the 3 previous people that I mentioned. Flemying, as Azazel, was in the whole movie, covered in thick layers of makeup making him unrecognizable (not the real issue) he just stood around in the background most of the time just scowling. You only need a mean faced thug for that. There are also a couple of fun, unexpected cameos in the movie that are a treat for the audience.

Even though some of the performances are lack luster the overall product is great. It is a much more interesting story, good script and better effects, than any of the previous movies in the X-Men movie franchise. It is sad that it had a relatively small opening because this deserves to be seen.

Well that is what I have been up to for the most part. I think I got all the “important” things in there.

Tra
posted by Tra at 12:03 pm


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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:46 am

http://buddyhollywood.com/2011/06/1858/

X-Men: First Class
Posted by Matt Mungle on Jun 7, 2011 in Movies | 0 comments

X marks the spot for some summer movie fun. Is X-Men: First Class a perfect origins film? No. Are there plausible holes for the die hard fan who will meticulously dissect this one for any flaws in continuity? Yes. But for the rest of us who simply want a solid plot and have our basic questions answered as to how the blue chick and the guy in the wheel chair came to be; it is top notch.

X-Men: First Class
20th Century Fox

X-Men: First Class goes all the way back to the start with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy / Laurence Belcher (at age 12) ) when he discovers that he isn’t the only mutant on the planet and that all of his educational studies have not been science fiction. Raven / Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is struggling with wanting to fit in and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Michael Fassbender) only wants to seek revenge on the man, Sebastian Shaw, (Kevin Bacon) who murdered his mum. When Shaw starts manipulating what we know as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crises, it is up to Xavier and the rest of the mutants to try and stop him.

A few ticks past two hours in length can be brutal in most flicks but this one seemed to move by fairly quickly. There is a lot of character development which keeps you engaged. They blend that with humor, action, and volatile situations. If you have seen any of the previous X-Men films you know where everyone ends up. So it is fun to watch the pieces unfold. Unless of course you are the meticulous dissector mentioned earlier. The average film goer with a mediocre respect for the franchise will possibly enjoy it even more.

The studio had only a short span of time to create this film and it looks fantastic considering. The effects and imagery are solid while the acting, though never perfect in these genre films, is arguably above par. The casting of professionals like McAvoy and Bacon assuredly attributed to this. The other members of the cast play out their parts solid enough to carry the emotion you would expect from young people trying to come to grips with their abilities. There is a lot of story to develop and the writers get it all in without too many holes or eye rolling moments. All of these things come together to make this an enjoyable summer blockbuster. But sadly, not for the whole family.

X-Men: First Class is rated PG-13 but more suitable for the 16 and up. Though certainly not deserving of an R rating there are things here that parents should take note of. It is a violent film in comparison to many of the superhero/marvel films. Though they all have this element I found this one to be more intense than others. The language gets a little iffy at times too with one F bomb and a G-D thrown in. The rest contains minor expletives through-out. Though not gratuitous there are other quickly inserted sensual scenes that might make many parents raise an eye-brow or squirm uncomfortably in their seat if watching with a younger family member. For the rest of us though it was a smart, fun time at the theater and I give it 4 out of 5 brain buckets. Just stop trying to figure it all out and you will have even more fun.

Matt Mungle


Review copyright 2011 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:48 am

http://pinartarhan.com/blog/the-awesome-x-men-first-class-with-james-mcavoy-jennifer-lawrence-michael-fassbender-kevin-bacon-rose-byrne/


The Awesome X-Men: First Class with James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon & Rose Byrne
Posted by zoey on June 7, 2011

X-Men: First Class starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon & Nicholas Holt

X-Men: First Class starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon & Nicholas Holt. Image via morfingen.com.

Warning! This review has been written for the people who have seen the X-Men movies (If you haven’t seen X-Men movies, there might be spoilers)



X-Men: First Class is the prequel to the X-Men series. We go a couple of decades back, to a time when Magneto was Erik (Michael Fassbender), and Professor X was Charles (James McAvoy), and he could walk… We get to see how the mutants were recruited by Charles to help save the humans from the common enemy Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), a man with a couple of mutants in his charge. Shaw is trying to destroy as many humans as he can because this makes him stronger, and Erik cares more about taking his revenge than helping others.

Here is how the story starts:

1940s

- The smart and telepathic Charles is born to rich but absent parents. He is living in a mansion when he meets Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), the girl who would later become Mystique. Raven had occasionally planned to hide her true (blue) colors, but Charles reveals his secret, as well as hers, befriends her and keeps treating her like a sister as they grow up.



- Erik loses both parents to concentration camps, and is kept alive by Shaw for his ability to control and move metal, an ability that surfaces when he feels extremely upset and angry. When Shaw kills Erik’s mother to guarantee the necessary amount of rage, he gains a very powerful enemy.



- Fast forward over a decade. Charles becomes a professor whose specialty is mutation, a specialty he uses to pick up girls. However, he becomes aware of the common enemy, and the existence of not-so-friendly mutants when CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) pays him a visit, demanding an explanation about mutants. While most of the CIA isn’t that cooperative and understanding, an agent played by Oliver Platt takes Charles to the special unit he has built, where Charles and Raven get to meet the mutant Hank (Nicholas Hoult) and start recruiting other mutants to help America, and Russia against Shaw. Will they be able to prevent a nuclear war and stop Shaw? What will break Charles and Erik’s bond? And how will each of the mutants feel about conformity or individuality and uniqueness?



**



X-Men First Class is indeed a first class prequel. It carries the right amount of emotion and character development (for the main characters), the glorious kind of action and terrific acting on all parties. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited to see it after seeing the trailer. But I am so glad that I did. The movie works so well on so many levels that the trailer just doesn’t do it justice. The movie also has fun references to the X-men movies, as well as 2 great cameos* (read below to spoil the surprise a little) from the X-Men cast.

*Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine/Logan, is sitting in a bar when Erik and Charles show up, trying to introduce themselves. The other mutants have been interested, where as Logan replies “f&#! Off! “ And orders another drink.

*Erik is drawn to Raven, but he finds her too young. When he sees her in his bed, he says “Maybe in a few years…” That is when Raven turns herself to Rebecca Romjin- who has played Mystique in the series.

*

The bottom line is: See this movie! It has a great cast, a great story and great effects. The cameos, and the other fun references to the X-Men movies are just bonuses!

Currently rated at 8.3 on IMDB.com. A heartfelt 9 from me. Can’t wait to see it again. It also made me want to re-watch the X-men movies.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:08 am

http://www.ihatejjredick.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class-review.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
X-Men First Class Review
6:22 AM Adi

I didn’t think that any movie coming out of 2011 would be able to give The Dark Knight or the original Iron Man a run for their money, but X-Men First Class is a powerhouse action flick that sets a new standard for what the comic book superhero movie should be. From the opening sequence to the end credits, X-Men keeps you enthralled with outstanding acting, engaging dialogue, and plenty of mutant action. I don’t think a 2-hour running time has gone by so briskly at the movies in quite some time. The film is an origins story about how Professor Xavier and Magneto came to meet and how Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters came about. We are introduced to the back story of how the mutants were discovered and realize that Magneto’s villainous actions in the later three films stem from pain and suffering experienced in a Nazi camp in his childhood.
Michael Fassbender’s performance as Erik Lehnsherr and later Magneto is amazing and absolutely steals the show. Fassbender has a screen presence that immediately grabs the viewer and there is a bar scene with him early in the film which you will not forget. You wouldn’t expect acting to be the most memorable part of an X-Men film, but Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds), Kevin Bacon, and James McAvoy (Wanted) as Professor X gave truly stellar performances. I expected a bit more from January Jones (Mad Men) as Emma Frost but her screen presence was cold and robotic. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) however stands out as a young Mystique and proves she has leading actress chops which she’ll need in next year’s Hunger Games film adaptation.

Bacon plays the villain, Sebastian Shaw, who is responsible for torturing a young Erik in order to get him to realize his full mutant ability while also killing his mother in the process. Erik as an adult seeks to find retribution on Shaw and through a crazy turn of events runs into Charles Xavier who takes Erik in and teaches him how to properly harness his ability. Xavier sees a world where the mutants can freely live amongst the humans without prejudice and discrimination. Erik feels that this is an overly idealistic view that will never come to fruition and it’s this very philosophical difference between the two men that eventually leads to a rift in their friendship and to the feud that we see in the prior films.


First Class takes place in the 1960’s in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Charles and Erik are assigned the task of creating a mutant task force for the CIA to help stop Shaw from setting off World War 3 between the Russians and the U.S. We see them recruit some familiar names such as Havok, Banshee, and Beast and some unfamiliar ones like Darwin and Angel, whom I believe was a guy in the comic series but a girl in the film. There’s even a very special blink-and-you’ll-miss mutant cameo which I won’t spoil here.

The CGI and effects in the climax are a bit lacking, but that’s due to the budget for this film not being as large as the original trilogy. In a way the lower budget also adds to the charm of the film as opposed to the blockbuster superhero movies that rely too heavily on big explosions and plenty of special effects, while not focusing the proper effort on story and character development. Another great thing about First Class is that it’s not shot in 3D or IMAX, which shows that a good film doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks to provide innovation in the genre. If you’re a fan of the superhero and comic book genre or just want a fun movie with some intelligent undertones and a few excellent performances then don’t hesitate to see X-Men: First Class.

Score: 9/10
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:10 am

http://www.state.ie/28261-film/x-men-first-class

X-Men First Class
By Jason Coburn on Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fasbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence
Duration: 132 mins
Cert: 12A

It’s been a rough few years for the X-Men series. The original trilogy ended on a whimper with Brett Ratter’s The Last Stand, and the less said about the flapping opus that explained the origins of Wolverine giganto-sideburns, the better. Now Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughan is on hand to salvage what he can of the neglected franchise and he accomplishes with style and gusto with X-Men: First Class. Though far from perfect, it’s a magnificent return to form for the series, and a terrific standalone film, closer in spirit to JJ Abrahm’s 2009 Star Trek prebootquel.

Set primarily in the early ’60s, the plot follows the origins of the first X team, as they square off against a mutant conspiracy to incite a global nuclear crisis. Played against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film uses some creative licence to put a new spin on the historic battle of superpowers. However, the real core of the story here is the birth of the friendship-cum-rivalry between Professor Charles Xavier and Erik ‘Magneto’ Lehnsherr. Both characters are magnificently personified by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender respectively. These two men are so radically different, yet their friendship feels utterly authentic. Fassbender brings a passion and quiet confidence to the role of Magneto while McAvoy lends Xavier an unexpected swagger, with a combination of kindness and cockiness. Both radiate charisma, and it’s no exaggeration to say that that almost everything that’s great about this film is tied directly to these characters. It’s a wonderful thing to see, and witnessing the origins of this complex relationship actually lends weight to the original trilogy.

Of course it wouldn’t be an X-movie without a small army of mutants popping up on screen, and there’s plenty more to the film than just Magneto and Xavier. The young team of X-men are a likable bunch with the standouts being the buddies in blue, Beast and Mystique. The group overall has good chemistry and their antics afford the film some genuinely funny moments. Regrettably, the movies villains are far less interesting. Kevin Bacon hits all the right notes as the immortal-ish antagonist Sebastian Shaw, but the character simply isn’t fleshed out enough and his motivations are convoluted. Meanwhile Shaw’s right hand lady, uber mutant Emma Frost, is rendered completely unthreatening by an utterly wooden performance from Mad Men’s January Jones.

X-men First Class is coated with a layer of camp cheesiness that sometimes works perfectly, yet other times feel entirely at odd with the sincere performances and believable characters. It certainly suits the 1960s setting, but moments such as seeing Magneto in full comic book regalia felt so out of place it’s, literally, cringe inducing. Not helping the matter is the inconsistent quality of both the physical and digital effects. It’s not a stretch to say that the majority of the effects work in this film is actually less convincing than in X2, a 9 year old film. X-Men 2 also offered superior action direction, with much tighter staging. The battles in First Class are engaging, but far from exhilarating. Still, the film has a tremendous sense of style and makes great use of set design, music and editing to recall both its ’60s setting and comic book origins. Even trite clichés like training montages are made exciting and tackled skilfully here.

A terrific rebirth for the series, and a worthy reconciliation for jaded fans, First Class rewards die-hards with winks and nods to the franchises legacy, while at the same time is fresh and accessible to new comers. It’s certainly not firing on all cylinders, but the elements that work here work tremendously. It’s a testament to all that’s great in the film that despite its flaws, it’s still a must see.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:12 am

http://ruelleelectrique.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/the-world-of-prequel-sequels-review-of-x-men-first-class/

The World of Prequel Sequels: Review of “X Men: First Class”
In Celluloid Lit, Other Bohemian Activities on June 7, 2011 at 8:49 am
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender photo from X-Men: First Class

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender photo from X-Men: First Class

By Your Salonniere

From Edward Rochester to Eric Lehnsherr, Michael Fassbender owns X Men: First Class, the prequel to the X Men film franchise directed by Matthew Vaughn. This installment covers a lot of ground, starting with the early childhoods of both Eric, later to become Magneto and his friend, for only a blink of an eye, Charles Xavier, who we’ll come to know as The Professor, played by James McAvoy. Their friendship is severed just as soon as it blossomed, but the groundwork is deftly laid to explore the complexity of what motivates Eric, and this is one of the strengths of the fifth installment. Like the Star Wars prequels focusing on Darth Vader’s quick rise and doomed fall, thankfully, this film isn’t so much concerned with the do-gooders but zooms in on the making of a villain, and Magneto is a deliciously complex antagonist, played with nuance and the same irresistible brooding intensity that Fassbender brought to Jane Eyre’s paramour. He is matched by a more sickeningly sinister villain Sebastian Shaw, performed by Kevin Bacon, who’s made playing the antagonist a fascinating art.

Kevin Bacon wreaks pure evil and does it with swinging Sixties style while James McAvoy reprises his role as a plucky, good-natured naivete, which seems to be the pigeon-hole American audiences have fitted for him, so take heed Mr. Fassbender, lest you find yourself stuck with the sulky beefcake role. McAvoy’s performance as Charles Xavier is a couple notches above his other Yankee box office hits like Wanted and Penelope, but anyone who has watched Atonement and appreciated the well-crafted original TV series Shameless or State of Play knows that McAvoy is a far better artist, who’s been given the American short shrift.

The X Men films, like all movie series, had lost creative steam with each follow up after the jaw-dropping second installment United. Where is it written that sequels have to outdo their previous incarnations with bigger explosions and supposedly edgier CGI? When we do find the Ten Commandments for action movie-making can we finally, for once and for all, abolish the racist trope of killing off the single African American character half way through the movie? Although groovy in its costumes and design since First Class takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis and includes plenty of footage of JKF and his address to the nation on October 22, 1962, this X Men has not only gone 60′s retro stylistically but seems to completely shrug off the Civil Rights roots that Stan Lee’s comic book series had championed. At least in the previous installments Storm or Ororo Iqadi T’Challa enjoyed an ample share of screen time with her male Euro-American counterparts, but there’s no such character to fill this huge void in First Class save for Rose Byrne’s Moira McTaggert, who serves more as sassy and smart eye candy and has no powers of her own except for non-mutant cunning.

X Men V leaves a bounty of teasers for future installments, from finding out how Xavier loses his hair to, hopefully, the origin of Storm and her background. The story is gripping, the characters engrossing enough, and the special effects, impressive. We’re introduced to Mystique, who’s storyline like Rogue’s teases us with some interiority but is abandoned for more explosions and the building battle between Charles and Eric. We also get to meet Beast, Havok, and Banshee. If we can overlook the Black Dude Dies First Syndrome–this film barely bothers with tokenism–X Men: First Class is certainly an improvement from The Last Stand and Wolverine, but in a world of sequels, and prequels, and the looming crush of prequel sequels, is an improvement saying much or is that the best we can hope for?
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:13 am

http://cptakehollywood.com/2011/06/07/take-two-x-men-first-class/

TAKE TWO: X-Men: First Class

7 Jun

X-Men: First Class

Rated: PG-13

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Chris’ Take: Well, I finally got one right this year. After most of my most anticipated films that have come and passed were abysmal disappointments, X-Men: First Class paid off in droves and revived a dying and increasingly soul-less franchise.

The plot is fairly simple, chronicling the start of the X-Men and establishing the tragic friendship between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensher (Michael Fassbender) during the heart of the Cold War. The fact that the writers brought in some historical context to the start of the heroes, and while it may have off put some die hard fans of the comics, made for an intriguing story. I have read the first several X-Men comics, and found this version to be far more interesting than the humble beginnings of the actual comics (even though I did enjoy them growing up).

While I was hoping for something comparable to the first two films in the series, I was also hoping for something fresh, and director Matthew Vaughn brought that while working in conjunction with producer Bryan Singer. There is a lot of action in the film, but it is far more subdued than the recent outlandish antics of the latest two X-Men films, and as several other critics have pointed out, contained a strong dose of 60′s James Bond coursing through its veins.

One drop of Sean Connery's blood immediately makes you 10 times cooler and more attractive to the opposite sex.

One of the difficulties of comic book movies is that unless you have strong acting talent, it will end up looking more like a cartoon than a film to be taken seriously. X-Men: First Class picked a super cast, especially Fassbender and McAvoy. Kevin Bacon started out great as supervillain Sebastian Shaw in the beginning, but seemed to fade into being a static character by the end. I thought the rest of the young cast did a decent enough job portraying their characters with a wide eyed outlook on life that slowly devolves as the horrors of the world are revealed to them in ways they probably never expected. There was never a point in the film where I was bored, except for the few scenes where Mystique and Hank McCoy (Beast) were caught up in an awkward and unnecessary romance.

It also didn't help that Beast looked more like the monkey boy from Jumanji than the Beast from the comics.

Matthew Vaughn did a great job balancing out the action and humor while remaining true to the characters, creating the perfect mix for a summer blockbuster. The tone and lighting for the film were much brighter than all of the previous films, which was a welcome change to the idea of the “gritty and dark reboot” that is popular around Hollywood. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the darker superhero films, but this one was a refreshing breather from that before launching back into The Amazing Spider-man, Man of Steel, and The Dark Knight Rises.

All in all, the film did not disappoint from the lofty expectations I had for it, and I may even be convinced to attend a repeat viewing. Knowing that the X-Men franchise still has some juice, it will make it even more disappointing if the next Wolverine film resumes the tone that the last one did. I hope that Vaughn and Singer decide to keep up with this storyline because I am thoroughly enjoying the ride so far.

OVERALL: A-

Pac’s Take: The discussion Chris and I had coming out of the theater after seeing X-Men: First Class was whether or not this was the best X-Men film to date. Though Chris argued that this was comparable to X2, it may have fallen just short of that mark, I had a hard time remembering anything from X2 beyond the opening scene with Nightcrawler in the White House. Though X-Men: First Class is still fresh in my memory, I believe it will have a much more lasting appeal than any other X-Men film, making it the best of the franchise. Chris mentioned a few points that support my opinion, with the contrast in tone to many other superhero franchise currently circulating, coupled with the cold war period, this film is unique to not only the other X-Men films, but also the current trend.

Though the casting decisions may have contributed to the modest (comparatively) tracking the film garnered over the opening weekend, it allowed for a deeper immersion in the story, and stronger character development. This doesn’t really buck the trend, cast a relatively unknown as the hero while having a familiar face with strong billing as the villain. Not to say certain performances didn’t stand out, while McAvoy was exceptional, and no one performance really fell through the cracks, Michael Fassbender stole the show. One of the reason’s I was so looking forward to this film was because I wasn’t really familiar with Fassbender and wanted to see his talents in anticipation for next year’s Prometheus.

There are just too many puns to choose from.

Kevin Bacon’s turn as Sebastian Shaw was beyond what I expected from a villain as well. While Heath Ledger may have set the bar for villains as The Joker, if you look past him to almost any other supervillain, Bacon excels. Take for example, another highly acclaimed Marvel film - Spiderman 2. Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock become fused with the mechanical tentacles and is for the most part “programmed” to be evil; what Bacon, Matthew Vaughn, and the writing team did here with Sebastian Shaw was develop a strong character and motive in the first act of the film, then allowing him to wreak havoc for the rest. As for the humans, Oliver Platt served his purpose but his talents may have been wasted in his role, and Rose Byrne stole my attention every time she was on-screen, she was stunning and embraced the look of the era perfectly. (Byrne is having a hell of a year – Insidious, Bridesmaids, and X-Men – we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of her in the future).

X-Men: First Class should ultimately fall in the ranks and conversation of best superhero movie alongside The Dark Knight, Superman: The Movie and Superman II, X2, Iron Man and Spiderman 2. Time will tell its ultimate rank but this and Thor have set the bar high for Green Lantern and Captain America as far as 2011 is concerned. X-Men: First Class is a must see for both longtime fans of the franchise and new viewers alike.

OVERALL: A
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

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

http://thedangerblog.com/2011/06/06/x-menfirst-class-review/

X-Men:First Class Review

Jun 6

Posted by bobdanger

So, this makes Six Degrees . . . so much easier for me.

X-Men:First Class is just that; X-Men. No, I was referring of course to the second part of the title. It is a film that excels at virtually every step of the way and is vastly superior to the two most recent films in the franchise, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men 3: Pretend Brett Ratner Isn’t Directing This One. First Class is an origin story and though Hollywood has become awfully fond of these nowadays, this is one of the best. James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto) are the protagonists of the piece and perform their jobs in an expert fasion. Fassbender in particular is exceptional as Magneto and the fact that he is one of the most criminally underused actors in Hollywood is thankfully about to change. Along with the two leads, Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) helps to make First Class what it is in a layered performance that brings her character into a new light. Nothing against Rebecca Romjin, but Lawrence is in a completely different category as an actress. Plus, she is drop-dead gorgeous, so that always helps. Now that Natalie Portman is becoming a mom and I feel weird about finding her attractive, Lawrence might be my new favorite. Another of the highlights for me was both the choice and the depiction of the Hellfire Club as the villains of the film. Kevin Bacon is extraordinary as Sebastian Shaw and January Jones plays Emma Frost quite capably, though she does not have much to do as a character. I had a bit on Rose Byrne as well, but I’m going out on a limb to guess that Professor C will have that covered in better depth.

Matthew Vaughn is developing nicely as a director from Layer Cake to Kick Ass and now to First Class and it is exciting to watch him do so. His casting is always spot-on, his handling of action scenes is excellent and he knows Jennifer Lawrence’s cell phone number. I think that good things are in store for Vaughn, so let’s hope that he does not get bogged down with a sequel to Kick Ass and instead focuses on more original story-lines and perhaps an X-Men sequel worthy of his time.

Overall, X-Men:First Class is not only the best film of the summer to date, it is deserved of a place in the upper echelon of the comic book genre behind Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Spiderman and Spiderman 2. Its gross this past weekend unfortunately did not do it justice (especially when Pirates of the Crappybean is raking in $200 mill), but here’s hoping that the quality will promote repeat business and ultimately undue the quantity of lesser films already released.

Bob’s grade – 88%
Bryan Singer’s 2000 ‘X-Men’ movie caught audiences and critics alike a bit off guard with its cerebral, character-driven take on the super hero comic book movie. While the franchise took some well-deserved hits after Brett Ratner’s putrid ‘X-Men 3′ and the ‘Wolverine’ offshoot, the series is safely back on solid mutant footing with the release of ‘X-Men: First Class.”
Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass), XM:FC (not X-Men Fried Chicken, oddly) plays a little bit with alternate history, namely the Cuban Missle Crisis, in a story that traces the origins of the X-Men team as well as the long-standing difference of mutant philosophy as espoused by Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (a magnetic, yeah I said it, Michael Fassbender).The first third of the film traces the origins of Magneto’s story, from frightened Holocaust survivor with nascent powers who catches the eye of Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who seeks to unleash the child’s immense power within, to the adult Erik Lehnsherr who is out to personally track down the men that made him the Frankenstein’s monster he feels he’s become. Fassbender owns the film here and his internal pain and rage imbues the story with the same magic that inhabited the first two X-Men flicks. It also sets up the inevitable conflict between his character’s idea that mutants are the superior race to Xavier’s more hopeful and inclusive vision for the future of mutant-kind.
Of course it wouldn’t be an X-Men movie without a lot of mutants flying, shapeshifting and teleporting around and we’re introduced to quite a few, notably Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique. And oh, hello again, Rose Byrne who plays non-mutant CIA operative Moira McTaggart. There’s a lot of nods to the comic canon and some nice touches as we see early versions of what would become familiar during the first run of X-movies. There’s also a great cameo during the ‘recruitment’ montage that makes perfect use of the PG-13 movie’s one allotted F-bomb.
The film ultimately pits the new X-Men versus Shaw’s Hellfire Club as the latter looks to use the U.S. – Soviet standoff in Cuba as a means to start World War III and bring about an age of mutant superiority.
For a two and half hour movie, there’s a lot going on, yet the time, for me, flew by. Despite plenty of time spent fleshing out character and story, in no way does the film’s momentum suffer for it. I’d easily put XM:FC among the top pantheon of comic book movies, a welcome return to a franchise I am always rooting to do well.
PS. Look for some classic cameos by classic badass character actor Michael Ironside as a Navy ship captain and James Remar, famous for playing Ajax in ‘The Warriors’, as a U.S general. It’s nice to see these two gentlemen still collecting a paycheck in the movie business.
Pete’s grade – 90%

Posted on June 6, 2011
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:16 am

http://www.listener.co.nz/culture/film/romeo-mnl/genocide-and-bubblegum-%E2%80%93-x-men-first-class-review/

X-Men: First Class review
Genocide and bubblegum – X-Men: First Class review
By David LarsenDavid Larsen | Published on June 7, 2011

David Larsen likes everything about the new X-Men film. Except for the things that made him want to scream.

X-Men? Why call them the X-Men? Did no one pause and say, “Actually, guys, you know what, that name makes it sound like they’re all either eunuchs or transsexuals”?

Michael Fassbender as Magneto

Yes, yes, it’s X for Xavier, Patrick Stewart as was, James McAvoy as is, and we’ll get to him. But the X-Men really are ex-men at the species level: they’re ex-homo sapiens. You know what that means? X-Men: First Class has a very clear idea what that means. It means the Nazis were onto something. My guess is that, on this particular point, the four people credited with the screenplay never quite noticed what they’d written. (Two things you can generally assume when four people are listed as co-writers on a blockbuster: half a dozen other people did bits of the writing as well, and the film would be better if they hadn’t.)

If you haven’t been to the new X-Men yet and you just want a yes/no recommendation, this is a slightly lukewarm yes. Though it’s an odd kind of lukewarm. The film’s okay, but it arrives at okay via a far more complex averaging process than most superhero movies, being an amalgamation of things that thrilled me, things that bored me, things that made me think, and things that made me want to tear my hair out, rather than the more common diet of pretty CGI action mush mit der clever one-liners. (No shortage of CGI action or one-liners though, if you’re worried.) That peculiar warm-the-room-by-chilling-half-the-air-and-superheating-the-rest process is what I’m mostly going to discuss here, which is going to require massive spoilers. Since it’s polite to mark the point beyond which I’ll assume all persisting readers have either seen the film, or decided they have no intention of ever doing so, and since I also want to talk about the trailer at some point, let’s embed it. (Be advised that the reason I want to discuss the trailer is that it’s full of spoilers itself.)

So, Nazis. Stephen Jay Gould once wrote an essay called “Human Equality Is a Contingent Fact of History”, in which he suggested we contemplate what the world might be like if the Nazi reading of Darwin had been the correct one: if evolution had handed us a world containing several different human subspecies, some of them inherently less intelligent than others. “Would we have built zoos, established reserves, promoted slavery, committed genocide, or perhaps even practiced kindness?” It’s pure chance history never asked us to answer that question. Recorded history, at least. As Gould points out, there were australopithecines, close evolutionary cousins of ours with one third the cranial capacity, co-existing with our direct ancestors less than a million years ago.

If you tell a story in which you change the basic assumptions of most ethical reasoning, you lose the ability to appeal to conventional ethics. This is a science fiction truism. X-Men: First Class wants to be allowed to behave like science fiction – the standard movie version of science fiction, where scientific impossibilities are shoved into pseudo-science clothing and no one asks awkward questions, such as “Which exact gene complex was it that turned your eyes into laser weapons while still allowing you to see out of them?” – while retaining the framework of standard good guy/bad guy Hollywood ethics. This would be just one more additional weight to hang from the suspend-your-disbelief-here-please hooks at the theatre door, except that it also wants to deal with profoundly troubling subject matter. The entire X-Men franchise has this subject matter in its DNA, because the very first film in the series opens at the gates of Auschwitz.

I had the chance to talk with the fantasy author China Mieville a few years ago, and he cited this sequence, which the new film recreates for its own opening, as an example of what fantasy can do that realism can’t. “I think that scene is one of the most astonishing pieces of modern cinema I’ve ever seen. The funny thing is, I don’t think any f#%@#&! film theorists or cinema critics noticed. Because it’s in a bubblegum film, people don’t realise – whatever one thinks of the rest of the film, there is this truly extraordinary three minute section at the beginning. And one of the things that I think is so amazing about it is that it reinvigorates the iconography of the death camp. One of the tragedies of the depiction of the Holocaust in film and literature is that inevitably, because of the repetition, it ends up losing its power, and worse, it ends up becoming a kind of kitsch. When you see this child splaying his fingers, and the f#%@#&! barbed wire reaches out for him – I have goosebumps thinking about it. It gets at an emotional and political truth about the Holocaust with a power and a punch that a realist film could never have managed. It reinvigorates the power and the utter horror of it, and it does it using fantasy. I thought it was the most astonishing vindication of the fantastic mode as a way of talking about politics and history. It rescued that iconography from realism, because realism, when it comes to the death camps, can no longer be realistic. We can’t see it any more, it’s been too done.”

This is a typically elegant Mieville argument, in support of not one, but two positions I fully endorse – first, that fantasy can go places realism can’t, making the disdain of many critics towards it a very self-damaging piece of snobbery, and second, that the Holocaust should be hands-off material for all storytellers who can’t do it justice, which is to say, most of them. So it pains me to admit that I don’t see what Mieville sees in that scene. Have a look.

The boy splays his fingers, we see his hand in close-up, and the barbed wire moves in reponse. Even if one doesn’t know one’s watching the future Magneto discovering his mutant power and his motive for distrusting ethnic majorities in one neatly packaged moment, the causal flow is too unambiguous for Mieville’s lovely flash of horror: there are no shadows for it to hide in. The wire isn’t reaching for the boy, he’s pulling at it. He’s about to rip it apart.

Ian McKellen as Magneto

The scene, in other words, does not represent the use of fantasy to revivify the overexposed imagery of the Nazi genocide. The flow goes the other way: a story about a persecuted minority is drawing on the Holocaust to complicate our moral response to its villain, and in the process acquiring baggage it has no idea what to do with. After the guards club the young Erik unconscious, we cut to the present day, where a grandstanding conservative politician is demanding all mutants be registered with the government. A regally ageing Erik and his old friend Charles argue the implications. Erik sees Auschwitz. Charles believes humans will never do that again. “They’ve evolved.” “Yes,” replies Erik. “Into us.”

Credit the original film with this: when Charles says, “They’ve evolved”, he knows he’s speaking metaphorically, and Erik, in switching the literal meaning of “evolve” for Charles’s woolly-headed New Age one, is making a grim joke. If only the new film aspired to this modest level of conceptual clarity. Early on, we see the younger Charles reading one of his academic papers aloud to his adopted sister, Raven. It’s an account of the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis. It seems that as soon as Homo sapiens arrived in any region, “their less evolved cousins” died out. The implications for Homo sapiens now that mutants have appeared on the scene are left as an exercise for the viewer. Later in the film, as the Russian and American military simultaneously arrive at the conclusion that wiping out the mutants who have just helped them avoid thermonuclear war is the only prudent thing to do, young Erik announces, “The Neanderthal is running scared, my fellow mutants!”

(Erik, incidentally, is supposed to be one of the two smartest people in this film. At least two of the people who wrote this film have also written whole scripts full of lines you can say aloud without feeling as though half your brain cells have just dribbled out onto the floor; one of those people happens to be director Matthew Vaughn, who has never previously helmed anything with dialogue this wretched. Did Marvel have a guy on set the whole time they were filming, whispering “Bombastic and dumb, bombastic and dumb, this is our property you’re working on, check your contract, we specified bombastic and dumb”?)

So Charles and Erik are on the same page: Neanderthals were “less evolved” than modern humans, modern humans are “less evolved” than mutants. (And here I’m tearing my hair out again. Scientifically, “less evolved” is a meaningless phrase, but it’s plenty meaningful when used by the two big intellects of a movie millions of people are going to watch. The meaning is, “We endorse your misconception that evolution tends towards greater and greater perfection. Do not learn better. Do not equip yourself to have intelligent discussions about the science behind drug-resistent bacteria or the politics around teaching evolution in schools. Stay ignorant, people!” All this with two words. How is it I have any hair left?) But having accepted that mutants are more genetically progressive than all the people watching them on the screen, Charles and Erik cannot agree on what it means politically. Charles is all for peaceful coexistence. Erik thinks Charles is a naive fool. The film’s story arc suggests that Erik is tragically damaged and could have been a good man, like Charles: that is, he’s a lethally dangerous proto-terrorist who’s going to kill a lot of people, but, well, his parents died in the Holocaust, and so … and so what? The film is either too canny or too nervous to come out and say “and so one can’t expect too much of him, morally”, but that’s what it’s trying to tell us. I would love to know how that message plays in the Middle East. “Tormented, vengeful and on the road to evil: sexy, though. What does Hollywood’s latest Jewish antihero tell us about America’s real view of Israel?”

However. In order to procure its big finish – hordes of missiles streaming towards a beach full of exhausted mutants, Erik freeze-framing the missiles in midair and reversing their flight, Charles desperately trying to stop him and ending up crippled for life – the film has to endorse the implications of Charles’s paper, which happen to be exactly the same implications Erik sees in the Holocaust. So while the overall shape of the film says, “Erik wrong! Charles right!”, the details say the opposite, and they say it in a particularly nasty way. The ordinary humans in this film behave exactly like Nazis when they perceive a racial threat and, given what happened to the Neanderthals, and given that Homo sapiens are now in the Neanderthals’ position, and have indeed just weathered a near-successful mutant plot to exterminate them, it isn’t obvious that they’re wrong to do so. So they will never stop trying. So if Erik lets them live, he’s at best setting up a future war, and at worst consigning his people to oblivion. This is convenient for the franchise from a story-generating point of view, but in other respects it’s problematic. If you live in a world where your species faces extinction if you fail to commit genocide, your moral reasoning may still take you to the conclusion, “I must not commit genocide.” Or it may not. It’s an interesting question, if an unpleasant one. Do Charles and Erik ever apply their formidable minds to debating it? Of course not. They’re too busy saying things like, “There is good in you, my friend.”

The curious thing is that lines of this calibre can be made to work and, here, quite often are. Did I mention that I enjoyed watching this film, hair-tearing notwithstanding? Partly for the grand special effects set pieces, which really do come off splendidly; but this is very largely because they have more emotional punch than the digital extravaganza norm and this, in turn, is because the characters in them have been brought to life by first-rate actors. The film’s three biggest assets are James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and the collective abilities of an excellent supporting cast. (Jennifer Lawrence, the revelatory young actress of Winter’s Bone, is Charles’s adopted sister. Kevin Bacon has huge fun as the villain. And we get such minor treats as Michael Ironsides and The West Wing‘s Oliver Platt in spear carrier roles.) I expected Fassbender’s Erik/Magneto to be the best thing on the screen but, good as he is, McAvoy is quite a lot better: better, actually, than he has been in years. I found him bland as white bread as a junior Tolstoyan in The Last Station, and his earnest young lawyer in The Conspirator never rises above the level of a moralistic and highly formulaic plot. What were the odds he’d turn in a good Charles Xavier? Rich, well intentioned, ever so noble Charles, the mutant whose superpower is understanding people with a side order of getting the last word – bland and moralistic, right down to his bones. Even Patrick Stewart couldn’t make me like him.

James McAvoy as Charles Xavier

McAvoy doesn’t try. His Charles is overconfident and very slightly slimy, a womanising golden boy who loves his wealth and power, thinks he deserves them, and expects the world at large to agree. McAvoy revels in the chance to play a full-steam-ahead arrogant born-to-rule prat, and yet never overdoes it: you can see the potential for this Charles to grow up as easily as you can see that he needs to. Isn’t it odd that the best performance McAvoy has produced for years should be in a film whose scripting kept making me want to beat my head against the collected works of Stan Lee?

Fassbender, on the other hand – if Fassbender has a weak performance in him, I’ve yet to see the evidence of it. Erik is a showy role, in a mold I wish Hollywood would stop using, the man driven by anger after someone messes with his family. (“We want Liam Neeson to torture people to death without becoming unsympathetic … hmm … I know, let’s have someone abduct his daughter.”) Fassbender doesn’t sidestep the predictable elements of his character the way McAvoy does, but he does make the role work, to the point where Erik’s final showdown with the man who killed his mother – a scene which on paper I should have loathed, being a sadistically drawn-out execution in which we’re meant to side with the executioner – held me quite spellbound. The way he holds his body in this scene conveys the absolute self-control of someone who is nonetheless choosing to let himself go: performing rage as though the emotion were sacred. I enjoyed this character as played by Ian McKellen; I enjoyed him here. I kept wishing the dialogue was up to the level of the acting. But then I also kept smiling at the way the acting transcended the dialogue.

Erik’s rage, by the way, is both the door to and the brake on his mutant powers. Initially he can only access them when furious; but the fury keeps him from focusing his mind sufficiently for full control. Charles has to teach him to inhabit his own emotions without being possessed by them, a process which ought to have been the psychobabble equivalent of the film’s harebrained evolutionary science, but which McAvoy and Fassbender turn into one of its best scenes. As is the way of these matters, Bacon, our would-be genocidal villain (“Radiation gave birth to mutants – what will kill the humans will only make us stronger!”) (I swear that’s verbatim) roams about the world in a nuclear submarine. Erik attempts to lift this sub out of the water early on the story, before he’s met Charles, and fails, nearly drowning in the process. The moment when Erik saves the day by successfully hoisting the sub aloft therefore carries all the emotional resonance of his near-death, and of his new friendship with Charles. Or it would do, had not most of the potential audience had the scene’s teeth pulled by seeing it in advance, as a throwaway “Look! We have special effects!” moment in the trailer.

Which brings me to the obligatory critical complaint that these movies cost too much, and therefore have too much riding on them to be allowed to fail, even though some of them inevitably will, and therefore get launched into the world with insanely frenetic promotional campaigns that often involve, as in this case, doing foolish and unnecessary harm to the actual experience of watching them. It’s a pointless complaint, I do realise. Despite the occasional counter-example –heavily promoted films that “fail” on their opening weekend and then go on to build their numbers on the back of good word of mouth, as How To Train Your Dragon did – the industry perception is that the only safe way to make your money is to do it on the opening weekend, before people have a chance to pick up on any negative buzz. This requires all-out publicity. So if you’ve got a good special effects scene in your would-be blockbuster, it’s going in the trailer. These are the current operating conditions and it will be a while before economic shifts and technological tectonics force a change: probably it will be the whole of the remaining reign of the superhero movie as the dominant cinematic lifeform. I should just accept that I need to avoid trailers. (Much easier for me than for most movie-goers, by the way; media screenings are usually trailer-free. But I’m addicted to watching the things online.)

I really did enjoy most of those special effects scenes, even though they drove me crazy. As I’ve written elsewhere, I grew up reading superhero comics. And now, two or three times most years, a window opens in the air and I get to peer through at actual superheroes, doing actual superheroic stuff. Let’s not pretend I have any difficulty locating my inner twelve year old for these moments. I love seeing submarines dragged out of the sea by a man armed with nothing but a look of extreme constipation. I love seeing teleportation used as a devastating tactical weapon in a well constructed fight sequence. Aerial dogfights between a man flying on reflected sound waves and a woman with dragonfly wings? Pure clover. If we can live in a world where an actor of Fassbender’s calibre gets to play both an IRA hunger striker in one of the best films of the decade and a conflicted mutant terrorist who juggles submarines in, as Mieville would have it, a bubblegum film, that’s firmly in the win/win column as far as I’m concerned.

Patrick Stewart as Professor X

But damn it, my inner 12-year-old isn’t actually brain damaged. Is internal logic really too much to ask of a film with a bigger budget than some of the world’s smaller countries? I don’t expect a major Hollywood production to confront us with a serious examination of how the genocide-as-self-defense concept might change its moral weighting in a world with multiple sentient species, but to raise the issue without seeming to notice? Likewise, I don’t expect our mutant heroes’ superpowers to make any kind of scientific sense, but there’s an absolute requirement that they have their own set of implied rules. Speculative fiction law #1: in a world where anything is possible, nothing matters. One of your minor characters can generate ultra-high energy sound waves? Neat. You want him to bounce them off things and surf on the reflected energy, thus learning to fly? Sure, especially since you make it clear this is tricky and dangerous, giving us a reason to care about this character who was, frankly, pretty much just part of the scenery until now. You need to locate a sub under water and you want to use him as a sonar set? Hang on, that doesn’t work at all: you’ve never suggested he has the ability to receive and interpret reflected sound waves, as well as emit them. You might as well have him discover he has the power to hear bad guys talking under water and have done with it. Petty niggling? No. The whole climax of the movie just fell apart, because, as it turns out, Erik couldn’t have lifted that sub out of the water. He had no way to know where it was. Oops.

The film’s real implied rules boil down to “Because we say so, okay?” This can be restated as, “Who the hell cares, it’s a superhero movie,” and also as, “Look, our audience doesn’t expect this stuff to make sense, they just want fight scenes. Our fight scenes rock, you have to admit it.” And I do admit it. But still. This is where I find myself wanting to hit someone over the head with a large sign reading, “Pop culture is allowed to be clever!”

So often – so often – I walk away from films like this feeling as though I’ve just spent two hours watching a motorway traffic jam. No fluency of motion, no joint purpose beyond making it to the exit, just a bunch of folk who can’t help getting in each other’s way, because the complexities of large scale social organisation dictate that designing a city properly, or indeed the kind of movie that can only be made with vast amounts of other people’s money, is really difficult. (Why yes, I do live in Auckland.) That was the story with X-Men: The Last Stand, and again with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. There is no actual law stating that a film in this genre shouldn’t be zestfully well written and intelligently plotted; if there were, Matthew Vaughn’s last directorial outing, Kick Ass, would never have reached the screen. And yet.

Class of 62: X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is no traffic jam. It’s so smart on so many fronts. It does so many things right. But whenever it seems about to zip into the fast lane and roar off into the distance, it graunches a gear and has to swerve to miss a truck. It seems so determined to provoke X-Men: Second Class jibes, so wedded to the notion that its audience are idiots and should be treated as such. It comes up with good jokes, and then repeats them, in case we didn’t get it. It tosses us a nice little cameo from a popular franchise character, and then lingers on it and lingers on it and lingers on it, in case anyone’s failed to register who they’re looking at. You could say “Glass half full”, I suppose. But I’m more inclined to say “Glass ceiling”. Even when superhero movies can glimpse the land of the clever, seemingly just within reach, it’s so very, very rare for one to be allowed to go there.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:16 am

http://www.moviefilmreview.com/6383/x-men-first-class-2011-2

X-Men: First Class (2011)
Reviewer's Rating: This entry has a rating of 4.5

Posted on 06 June 2011 by ravingmadscientist

If all the big blockbuster/superhero films coming out over the next few months are half as good as X-men: First Class, then we’re in for a helluva summer.

This fantastic prequel, directed by Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass, Stardust), takes us back to the days when Magneto, here known by his real name, Erik Lehnsherr, and Professor X, or Charles Xavier, first met, became friends, and joined forces. We get to see more of Erik during the Holocaust, and meet the sadistic villain Sebastian Shaw (played capably by Kevin Bacon), who helps Erik to discover his powers (albeit in the worst, most horrific way possible) and then experiments on and teaches him how to use them. We see Charles and Raven, or Mystique as she’s later known, meet as children, as he adopts her into his family. Once the boys are grown, we watch Erik as he attempts to hunt down Shaw (who’s trying to single-handedly start World War III), yearning to exact revenge for the horrors bestowed upon him by the Bacon-ater. Xavier is at university, publishing a thesis on mutations, and through various plot devices, the men join forces to try to stop Shaw and prevent a war during the Cuban missile crisis. Kind of a bizarre backdrop, but it works.

The standout of the film, who I don’t think enough good things can be said about, is Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto/Erik. He absolutely OWNS this film - he’s AMAZING. He brought so much depth and complexity to the character as to make him the best kind of villain: The multi-dimensional one who isn’t truly evil, he’s just been through the ringer, and the filmmakers have enough respect for us as an audience to show how the character has become what he is today. This film illustrates Magneto’s journey perfectly, and Fassbender is up for the challenge. I can’t even imagine anyone else playing this role, and I only saw the movie yesterday. He’s truly some kind of genius - he carries around such unparalleled intensity, if he wore a paper bag over his head, his eyes would surely burn holes right through it. Excellent in Inglorious Basterds, I can’t wait to see what he does next - there’s no way this guy won’t get an Oscar in the next five years.

James McAvoy likewise, did a fantastic job. He brought the sense of fun and kindness to his role that Patrick Stewart so wonderfully has done in the past. The two leads have superb chemistry, and it’s a complete blast to watch as their friendship blossoms and they’re united, fighting alongside one another, their powers playing off the other as easily as can be. We want so badly for them to continue working together, but we all know they become enemies, and this film does a great job of helping you get why they need to go their separate ways. Heartbreaking stuff, in all seriousness. It makes me wonder how McKellan and Stewart feel to see their roles played again by younger men since there’s no doubt McAvoy and Fassbender have done each character his due justice.

There were a few things I wasn’t too crazy about, one of which was January Jones, who plays Shaw’s right-hand bee-yotch Emma Frost. Truly, she has to be one of the worst actresses working today. I know she looks like a living Barbie doll, but aren’t there other super-hot, LESS lifeless choices out there? She brings new levels of stiffness to the term “wooden”. I think she’s quite awesome on Mad Men as the crazy bitch that is Betty Draper, but then again, Betty is an insipid, shallow, shrew of a housewife, and I guess those terms probably describe Jones as well. I don’t think playing Betty taxes her.

There’s a group of young mutants who are rounded up by Xavier and Erik to help the cause and while they’re mildly amusing, they’re mostly embarrassing. Mystique and Beast are the standouts, and much as I heart Nicholas Hoult from his childhood days when he was in About a Boy, once he turned into Beast, I could hardly stand to look at him. Why, when Kelsey Grammar played this role in the last film, was his face painted blue (which looked about as realistic as one could hope for a blue-headed monster) and then Hoult gets his turned into a cross-eyed CGI blue furry monkey? This was distracting, and probably the only place I thought the look of the film was poor.

In general though, the CGI for once wasn’t overblown or overdone, it seemed to serve the story, instead of the other way around, which is what I loved about the first X-Men. That film blew me away with its focus more on the characters and their struggles, as opposed to effects and no plot, which is what I’m used to for blockbusters. I remember just being plain fascinated with those characters, and eager to find out more about the world they inhabited. This film created that magical sense of wonder for me again, and a desire to rewatch the first couple of films just to see the Magneto/Xavier chemistry again, knowing the things that I know now.
Written by Annie
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:18 am

http://www.toplessmoviereviews.com/x-men-first-class/

First Class
Reviewed on June 3rd, 2011

Review by Sophie Dee

Starring: James McAvoy & Jennifer Lawrence
PG-13 2 hours 12 minutes

X-Men: First Class brings together the epic scale and action of a summer blockbuster with a character-driven story that unveils the beginning of the X-Men saga, when Charles Xavier met Erik Lehnsherr. Before Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers. Before they were archenemies they were the closest of friends, working together and with other mutants to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:19 am

http://www.dailynebraskan.com/special-issues/parks-and-trails/x-men-first-class-sits-in-middle-ground-for-series-1.2598472

‘X-Men: First Class’ sits in middle ground for series

By Spenser Albertsen

Published: Monday, June 6, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 18:06

Going into today, 20th Century Fox was two for four in terms of cranking out decent "X-Men" properties.

Bryan Singer followed up a well-enough received first movie in 2000 with a spectacular sequel in 2003. When he left for Warner Brothers to helm a Superman film, Fox seemed to take it personally, hiring Brett Ratner to direct No. 3. The film was technically a success if you don't like to speculate on quality as being an indicator of audience approval. What "X-Men: The Last Stand" did to mildly stifle the progression of good sense and coherency in the franchise, the spin-off "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (still a terrible title) drove it face-first straight into the ground.

So what of the tie-breaker? A fifth film that further explores the frustrations and intricacies of the persecuted outcasts could offer what at this point? Could it be possible to cruise past the mistakes of past studio intervention and make a truly exceptional film? Or is it more than likely to repeat one's self due to iniquity of the players-that-be? For "X-Men: First Class" … well … a mixture of both, really.

"First Class" brings the young versions of Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) into the context of the 1960s. Xavier is a recent recipient of a doctorate from Oxford and Lehnsherr (later called "Magneto"), as a labor camp survivor, spends his days hunting down Nazi perpetrators to avenge the death of his mother. Both more or less on the same side at this point, they meet each other by chance while trying to stop another mutant, Sebastian Shaw (a Bond villian-esque Kevin Bacon). From there, the rest of the movie concerns itself to show the recruitment and training of fellow mutants to help avoid nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis nudged on by Shaw and his own small band.

The story is simple enough, as in no huge disparaging threats to continuity without being on purpose, but in the hands of director Matthew Vaughn, everything seems a little bit deeper, a little bit more textured and full. Visually, he grabs onto anything comic-styled: bright, but not overbearing colors, skewed vision when if ever straight on a character's face and more visible breathing room during fight sequences (you've nearly ruined my eyes, Michael Bay). He gives "First Class" a certain burst of fresh exuberance. Not only from the visuals, which hover between the dark "X-2" and the overly shiny "Wolverine" to give a great sense of the sunny, but atmospherically dim '60s.

The effects find themselves in something of a mixed bag as the CGI and the locations are gorgeous, but practical makeup on Mystique, Shaw's red-skinned associate Azazel and especially Beast still look ridiculous and hokey. They might as well be giant plush toys or plastic figurines for the way they transfer to live-action believability.

While Vaughn may not have impressed me too much with "Kick Ass," he certainly exhibited a developing sense of emotion and character over wild action in a movie most people never saw called "Stardust." So I wonder why that aspect becomes thinner and thinner as the movie goes on? McAvoy and Fassbender play there parts extremely well. They don't even necessarily give homage performances to their older incarnations from the earlier movies, the likes of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. They seem to understand that without the hindrance of basing themselves on older versions, they're free to grow unbounded by a time frame in one movie. Maturity can come at a later time … or a sequel.

Lesser characters like Mystique, Banshee, Beast and Emma Frost are given a leg up and a lot more to do but still seem to be no more effected than children sitting at the small table while the grown-ups argue about a divorce. It may very well be appropriate to sit them to the side, or to treat them as secondary involvement, but just as they begin to grow, their personalities die off during the final half hour. And as I said earlier, Bacon's natural charisma allows him to play a very vintage villain that only rarely has the propensity to become a stale suit. Otherwise, he nicely balances the mid-century suave with new era maniacal aspirations convincingly.

The overall mood here is fun, and I suppose that I shouldn't express anything more than gratitude for the fact that it cruises the middle-ground in the series on almost every level. The malaise of average becomes dimpled with triumph and failure almost precisely evenly. For every insightful, clever twist on the genre through a quip or a less than traditional emotional objective for a character, there is still a long, cheap speech, and a cliched turn of dialogue meant to avoid explaining anything. The objective and the players become Saturday-morning cartoons over graphic and calculated, which I feel would be genuine and purposeful if they weren't so bland and clearly stock.

Suspension of disbelief is key in movies like this. It is cultural curiosity that we would even conceive of seeing these characters that have been spread out over the course of 11 years. They must be intrinsically interesting about them. Sure, mutants are enjoyable to watch when they can do amazing things, and giant explosions are cool, but what are we really looking for? What does 20th Century Fox still think they have with the "X-Men" brand? I believe that operating in the fog can only get you a 50/50 chance of succeeding.

Matthew Vaughn must know what he's doing: with the help of some terrific others, he has created something good. Nothing X-traordinary (please don't kill me for that), but a fine piece of a small puzzle that's been beaten up on the corners for a little while now
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:19 am

http://sloblogs.thetribunenews.com/shelikestowatch/2011/06/06/x-men-first-class-is-an-uncanny-success/

“X-Men: First Class” is an uncanny success
June 6, 2011 3:07 pm Sarah action, review, science fiction/fantasy

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) in "X-Men: First Class."
Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men” reboot belongs at the top of the class

“X-Men: First Class” is nothing if not ambitious.

In two hours and 11 minutes, director Matthew Vaughn’s “X-men” reboot attempts to encompass stylish, sexy spy thriller, superhero origin story and retro bromance, combined with a sunny sermon about self-acceptance and tolerance. Remarkably, it succeeds on all counts.

We first meet our main mutants — brilliant scientist Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and tormented Holocaust survivor Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) — as children in 1944.

In a shot-for-shot recreation of the concentration camp sequence from 2000′s “X-Men,” Nazi guards tear young Erik Lensherr away from his parents. Struggling against his captors, he manages to bend the iron gates between them before being knocked unconscious.

Erik, you see, has the ability to manipulate metal objects using their electromagnetic properties. As sinister scientist Dr. Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) discovers, it’s a gift best triggered by “pain and fear” — such as his mother’s murder.

Meanwhile, at a country estate in New York’s wealthy Westchester County, telepathic pre-teen Charles Xavier startles an intruder raiding the family icebox. The scaly blue shapeshifter introduces herself as Raven.

Jump forward to 1962.

Charles and his adopted sister (Jennifer Lawrence) are now living in England, where he’s studying genetics at Oxford University. A world away in South America, a vengeful Erik is on the trail of Dr. Schmidt.

Their paths cross with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), who’s is tracking the same mysterious man — now going by the name of Sebastian Shaw.

Shaw is the head of the Hellfire Club, a secret society bent on world domination. (He has the ability to absorb kinetic energy, keeping him eternally youthful.) Together with his cohorts — telepath Emma Frost (January Jones), human whirlwind Riptide (Alex Gonzalez) and teleporting demon Azazel (Jason Flemyng) — Shaw plans to engineer nuclear war between America and the Soviet Union.

Once World War III renders the superpowers leaderless, Shaw will simply step into the void.

The only ones capable of stopping him? Charles and Erik, of course.

Operating under the auspices of the U.S. government, they recruit a team of powerful young mutants, including big-footed brainiac Beast (Nicolas Hoult of BBC’s “Skins”), insect-winged Angel (Zoe Kravitz, “Californication”), adaptable Darwin (Edi Gathegi, “Twilight”) and Havok (Lucas Till, “Battle: Los Angeles” ), who generates plasma blasts. Their mission will eventually pit friend against friend, and ally and against ally.

Coming on the heels of two disappointing franchise outings — 2006′s “X-Men: The Last Stand” and 2009′s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” — “X-Men: First Class” feels like an invigorating blast of fresh air.

It benefits from cool special effects, an attractive, talented cast and a thrilling story thoroughly grounded in its time and place. (The computer-generated imagery can look a little fake at times, especially in the case of a climatic sea battle, but that fact rarely detracts from the overall effect.)

In fact, in terms of science-fiction franchise reboots, “First Class” has more in common with J.J. Abram’s energetic “Star Trek” than Christopher Nolan’s grim, gritty “Batman Begins.”

Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Jane Eyre”) is magnificent as the future Magneto, an emotionally and psychologically damaged man motivated by ruthless revenge. Put in the context of a contemporary, British secret agent James Bond, he combines Sean Connery’s effortless cool with Daniel Craig’s killer instinct.

If Erik Lensherr embodies the dark legacy of World War II, Charles Xavier exudes the kind of Kennedy-era optimism that fostered the space race and the Peace Corps.

As played by James McAvoy of “Atonement” and “Wanted” fame, the soon-to-be Professor X is an intelligent, compassionate and charismatic man who occasionally lets his ego get the better of him. His interactions with “Winter’s Bone” star Jennifer Lawrence, equally strong here as a young woman struggling to find her identity, are particularly telling.

Kevin Bacon is deliciously smarmy as grandstanding mastermind Sebastian Shaw, while “Mad Men” star January Jones brings an icy remoteness to Emma Frost. Even Oliver Platt has a quick, fun cameo.

The best moment of “X-Men: First Class,” however, belongs to a former franchise cast member. I won’t give away any clues other than the fact that he utters his memorable line through teeth chomped around a cigar.

“X-Men: First Class” isn’t high art. Nor will it satisfy the most exacting of X-Men fans. But it does offer the ultimate in summer entertainment — stunning eye candy, a sprightly storyline and a now-familiar comic book franchise interpreted in new and exciting ways. 3 stars
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:20 am

http://pacejmiller.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/movie-review-x-men-first-class-2011/

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class (2011) June 7, 2011
Posted by pacejmiller

If X-Men Origins: Wolverine was economy, the X-Men Trilogy was business, then X-Men: First Class was definitely….first class.

That was lame, but X-Men: First Class really is one of the best superhero origin/reboot movies I’ve seen. And I’m not even that big a fan of the X-Men in general. Actually, simply put, it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

First Class takes us way back to the very beginning, when Magneto was just Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) and Professor X was just Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). Even though we know who they will ultimately become, it was still a blast seeing them develop from children into adults, adults into best friends, and best friends into mortal enemies. And all of it takes place during (alternate) versions of real historic events, such as the Holocaust and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Although it’s a long movie at 132 minutes, First Class is an incredibly tight film that fits in not only the life stories of both Magneto and Professor X, but also features the back stories of a bunch of other key characters (such as Mystique and Beast), some of whom appeared in the X-Men Trilogy, others laying the foundations for future characters (though you probably need to watch carefully or do a bit of post-film research, like I did, to understand the connections — as well as the inconsistencies).

There are also many allusions to future events and several delicious cameos that fans of the previous films and of the franchise in general will lap up.

Everything about First Class, whether it’s the drama, the action, the make-up, the special effects, the pacing or the character development, is handled very well by director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kickass), but what elevated the film beyond anything I could have expected were the performances of the stars, in particular Fassbender, McAvoy and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw. These three superb actors brought their difficult characters to life and proved that good actors do make a huge difference, even in superhero movies.

Apparently, First Class is just the first of a new trilogy and the next two films are currently in development. No matter what they do, I just hope they can keep Fassbender and McAvoy and maintain this level of excellence. Considering how high they’ve set the bar, that’s not going to be easy.

4.25 stars out of 5
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

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

http://filmjunkie25.blogspot.com/2011/06/link-hornet.html

I saw X-Men: First Class yesterday, and there shall be a review up tomorrow. Meanwhile, just about every man and his dog has reviewed it, and here are some of them: [film] girl, interrupted, Things That Don't Suck, Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob, Andy Buckle's Film Emporium, A Place for Reviews and The Silver Screen.

Meanwhile, Max did a really awesome post describing the 'otherness' of the mutants in X-Men: First Class over at Anomalous Material.

Nikhat also has 'Fassy Fever!'. Otherwise known as an unforgiving obsession with Michael Fassbender, who exudes sexiness in so many ways.
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Re: X-Men Reviews 4

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

http://blogs.rediff.com/bqc/2011/06/07/xmenfirst-class/

XMen:First Class
X-Men as the name suggests is a series of adventures of Xtraordinary Men, to be precise - Mutants, who have been around us all the while. The movie starring names like Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence and many others not only created hysteria in the minds of hardcore X-Men fans but also attracted a lot more attention compared to the previous movies in the series. The reason being that X-Men: First Class had a new medium and platform to reach out to its audience-Internet Marketing and Social Media.

The marketing of Hollywood movies rarely penetrates into markets like India. Internet comes in extremely handy in such cases. Keeping this in mind, X-Men: First Class created a separate page for all the international markets they were to release the movie in, including India. The other major marketing challenge was to lure audience to the theaters without Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine. They kept the campaign extremely tight with interesting activities, applications, interactive posts and polls.
The new characters were given a lot of emphasis to get the focus off Wolverine, so much so that a widget was created and recommended by independent X-Men Fan Pages. The 4 widgets were created for characters like Mystique, Havoc, Banshee and Beast. The widgets spread like wildfire among the internet and other independent X-Men pages as the X-Men Movies India page was then recognized as the best source for information, creative art and the most liveliest X-Men: First Class page.

Various facebook applications like ‘Get Mutantized‘ and ‘X-Men Universe’ were highly appreciated and accepted by the X-Men audience. The ‘Get Mutantized’ application got you an X-Men stamp on your picture with the help of a digital badge and made the user feel to be a mutant. This application was also publicized on popular broadband sites which saw tremendous response. Alongside this came the ‘X-Men Universe’ application where fans uploaded their picture in order to complete the X-Men logo. It took about two weeks for the logo to complete. Another application, named ‘What’s your mutation?’ also gave the X-Men crazy fans a chance to discover their own super-powers.

One could find X-Men: First Class- banners, videos, pictures, articles, contests on all popular sites like Sify Movies, Yahoo, Rediff, Book my Show, MSN, Youtube …. The user interaction for the contest held on all these sites was again X-Traordinary.

Last but not the least, the page was extensively publicized on all Fox Star News Corp. pages which include movies like Avatar, Rio , Date Night, Knight and Day that amounted to an approximate reach of half a million fans. Adding to this number, X-Men was also publicized on the facebook fanpages of highly acclaimed Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar blockbuster My Name is Khan; Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu starrer Dum Maro Dum; and the creative head behind Taare Zameen Par, Amol Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba. This strategy helped in pulling all Hollywood fans who loved X-Men series and Bollywood fans who may or may not have seen the previous X-Men movies.X-Men: First Class proved to be a first class example of an excellent marketing strategy. In the end; it was truly X-Traordinary.

Posted in Uncategorized.

By Ravi Jaswani – June 7, 2011
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