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X-Men Reviews 5

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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:56 pm

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

Saturday, June 4, 2011
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class is the superhero movie I didn't even know I'd been waiting for. A hybrid of prequel and reboot, it's most successful in borrowing the elements that worked best from each of the previous X-Men films and consolidating them into one fluid story. Inspired casting, solid acting, a terrific script, impressive effects, and really great action: what more could you want in a superhero film?

X-Men: First Class
Co-writer/Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, January Jones


In the recent pantheon of superhero movies - since Bryan Singer's X-Men hit theaters in 2000 - I'd place First Class under The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man, and possibly X2: X-Men United. Considering there have been over 40 superhero movies released since 2000, the high placement of First Class should obviously be taken as a testament to its superior quality. Director Matthew Vaughn not only infuses the film with an inspiring style desperately lacking since Singer turned the director's chair over to Brett Ratner in 2006, but Vaughn also contributed to the script with his Kick-Ass co-writer Jane Goldman. (Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, the duo behind Marvel's most recent effort, Thor, co-wrote First Class as well.) Also impressive is Vaughn's ability to jump from deconstructing superhero tropes in Kick-Ass to effectively utilizing them here in First Class; more importantly, he handles both approaches with equal amounts of skill, able to slide around within the same genre from parody to a more traditional (yet still outstanding) entry.


The casting in First Class is stellar from top to bottom. James McAvoy is the perfect young Charles Xavier. Strong-willed and powerful, he's easily imaginable as one day growing into Patrick Stewart's iconic representation of the character. Michael Fassbender continues his slow rise to member of the Hollywood elite as Erik "Magneto" Lensherr, imbuing the character with an intensity and smoldering rage coupled with a willingness to keep an open mind...until his inevitable shift. That's what's awesome about this movie: they didn't stretch out the character development over three films (ahem, Star Wars prequels). By the end of this movie, I was rearing to go for a sequel right then and there, and that's a rare feeling for me in a big budget blockbuster franchise movie these days. Jennifer Lawrence is splendid as Mystique, pulling a complete 180 from the dirty noirish heroine of Winter's Bone to the beautiful shape-shifter we see here. Even Kevin Bacon (what's he doing here?!) was fun to watch, playing it relatively straight - after his Nazi intro - as the villainous Sebastian Shaw, hellbent on nuclear war and complete with a harebrained scheme involving mutant domination of the fallout.


The secondary cast members were also impressive, led by the wonderful Rose Byrne as CIA agent Moira MacTaggert. She's an actress who's basically been the real life Hollywood equivalent of Mystique lately, disappearing into vastly different roles in Get Him to the Greek, Bridesmaids, and now this. January Jones was the only weak link, although her stiff and lifeless acting was perhaps more apt here since she's playing ice queen Emma Frost than in other roles she's inhabited in her career. (See gratuitous picture at left.) Don't get me wrong, she looked spectacular - she's just a terrible actress. The rest of the young mutant cast was fine, but not worth mentioning (aside from the technical point that Scott Summers' brother Alex - aka Havok - is involved in this movie even though this makes no sense in the overall series timeline). One of the largest successes of this film is that Vaughn and his crew were able to assemble the best cast of military character actors ever committed to film. All these guys are in the same movie:


(Photo above. Top row, left to right: Glenn Morshower, James Remar, Matt Craven. Bottom row, left to right: Ray Wise, Michael Ironside, Olek Krupa, Rade Serbedzija)


The main triumph of First Class is the way the writers were able to fit the best elements of each film into one cohesive story. There are the uncertainty issues of growing into one's powers featured in the first movie, Magneto is essentially a stand-in for Wolverine from X2 (the loner badass of the group), and there is a "cure for bizarre outward appearance" subplot featured heavily in X3 that arises between the smitten Beast and Mystique this time around. The seamless integration of these elements makes me wish Vaughn would have written and directed X-Men 3, but he left the project before Ratner ultimately got his hands on it. Some may argue that this movie makes too many references to what will eventually come in the series (Charles and Erik play chess! Cerebro is built! The Blackbird appears! Charles is paralyzed! Magneto's helmet! Two famous cameos!), but I didn't find these as distracting as they easily could have been. I think that's the clearest sign that this is a really solid script - there are so many winking moments to the fans, but none of them get in the way of the film's legitimately interesting plot, which invokes historical events (here, the Cuban Missile Crisis) in a way that no other superhero movie outside of Watchmen has attempted.


X-Men: First Class is a fantastic example of how to breathe new life into a dying franchise, and I'm really hoping Vaughn and the rest of the cast can bring the same magic if they decide to make a direct sequel in the next few years. But even if they can't recapture the same glory, we can be thankful they've already brought us one of the best superhero movies of the past decade. Until next time...
Posted by Ben Pearson at 12:44 AM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:57 pm

http://thefatherlife.com/mag/2011/06/04/review-is-x-men-a-first-class-summer-blockbuster/

[REVIEW] Is X-Men a First-Class Summer Blockbuster?
By Miguel Guadalupe

X-Men: First Class movie review by Miguel Guadalupe
X-Men: First Class (MPAA rating: PG-13)
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Caleb Landry Jones
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

The Muties are back! In this prequel to the very successful X-Men series, we step back to the first appearances of mutants on the global stage. Set during the beginnings of the cold war, and specifically during the Kennedy presidency, X-Men: First Class builds such a great foundation for the series that anyone who hadn’t seen X-Men 1 thru 3 and the Wolverine spin-off will definitely be interested now. We are introduced to the tormented relationship between X-Men founder Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Wanted) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, 300, Inglourious Basterds), how their very different childhoods lead them to differing views of the mutant/human world, and how their onetime friendship morphs into their becoming lifelong enemies. McAvoy does well as the idealistic and debonair Xavier, and Fassbender’s Magneto is full of vengeful drive and haunting memories. As we chronicle their friendship, we learn how they came to their opposing philosophies – defending mankind in the hopes of acceptance, as is the Xavier way, or rejecting mankind in defense of their own. It is this theme that permeates the entire Marvel Comics mutant canon. This movie gives the audience a taste of the parable without sounding trite.

Vaughn directs this piece in a way that allows us to remember the characters as their older selves, yet injects just enough new energy to make them his own. The large cast of fellow mutants make for great fight scenes and nostalgia – an old comic favorite, Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones) makes his first appearance, and we see the origins of the blue Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and the shape shifter Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). There is a notable cameo by Wolverine, and if you know his story, it shouldn’t surprise you at all that he was played by none other than Hugh Jackman, no youth-inducing CGI magic needed. Vaughn and company do a great job juggling the cast and making them real, though they fall into two cliché hollywood traps which shouldn’t be ignored: Did the only black character really have to be the first to die, and did the only Latina character really have to be a stripper? Really? On the bright side, Kevin Bacon as the sinister Sebastian Shaw just made me smile. Bacon as a mega maniacal super-villain – Now THAT’s range!

The effects are great in the movie, as is expected for an early summer blockbuster. There are some really violent scenes, especially as Shaw’s henchmen rid themselves of some pesky humans , so be warned for the tiny ones. But overall, you should use any super power you have, like the ability to load up the daddy mobile, and see this movie.

Your Daddy Time: Wasted or Worth it? Worth it! 3.5/5 Stars
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:58 pm

http://www.thefanboyseo.com/movies/an-uncanny-review-for-x-men-first-class

An Uncanny Review for X-Men: First Class
Posted by FanboyKaizer on June 4th, 2011

Me and the Flipgeeks crew were lucky enough to be invited by 20th Century Fox to the advance screening of X-Men: First Class starring James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.

And like all the other people who’ve already caught the film, I’d say it was a brilliant movie.

What’s to Like:

What I loved about the movie was the sincere approach in making us like the characters like Magneto and Professor X who only played second fiddle to Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine back in the first trilogy.

Fassbender (who played the role of the Spartan Stelios in the adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300) was a great choice as Erik Lensherr/ Magneto (whose real name was Max Eisenhardt but for the movie was carrying Erik Lensherr)…

Michael Fassbender as Magneto gave hints that he was both malevolent and benevolent in his actions. Two scenes from the movie definitely showed how good casting Fassbender was. First was the scene were he had to kill Sebastian Shaw (played by Footloose star Kevin Bacon) and the second more subtle scene was when he was trying to move the satellite dish near the Xavier mansion.To quote Bacon’s dialogue – WUNDERBAR!

James McAvoy for his part as the X-Men founder Charles Xavier was a delightful new look at a character that was old and ineffective and more of a mentor.

While he is still ineffective in an actual battle (like the battle between the Hellfire Club and the X-Men in the beach) there were stellar scenes for the Wanted star including the first few scenes where he was trying to flirt with a girl. He can be obnoxious and at the same time very smart and charming.

When the movie was announced, I knew that it was going to be a prequel. A time when the X-Men weren’t formed and when they announced who the characters would be, I knew that it would like some untold tale about how Charles became a paraplegic and how Magneto become crazy with power and with his whole superiority complex. I’ve also predicted that this was going to be an origin story of sorts, the origin of the conflict between Mags and Chuck and the origin of the X-People and the Brotherhood…

The question running in my mind at the time was whether the movie would be good or bad. After all, Bryan Singer was returning which was a good thing, only with the exception that he was still being criticized for his poor take on Superman via Superman Returns.

I was wrong for believing that it was a bad idea for Singer to return.

As for easter eggs, you’d be surprised at the number of ideas, images and cameos that have been sprinkled in the new movie. From the appearance of a pre-pubescent Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey right down to the cameos by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine telling both Magneto and Xavier to “GO f&#! YOURSELF”…

To the cameo of the original Mystique, Rebecca Romijn in a pivotal scene between Magneto and Mystique.

Im going to stop talking about these two and start talking about other characters.

Kevin Bacon who played Sebastian Shaw was great. I almost forgot how good this guy is when playing the bad guy. He certainly brought in his A-Game. The acting was good enough to forgive the soddy and weird way of portraying Shaw’s powers. (When we first see him in the film, I had to sing Footloose like 4 times)

January Jones plays Emma Frost. Like her diamond form, it felt like she had the hot bod for the role but none of the substance that was needed to portray a character as complex as dear old Auntie Emma. Or maybe she needed more screen time, but I’m probably going with gave a dry acting…

Lucas Till who plays Havok was a nice addition. He was the angry dude. Sadly though the anger doesnt hold up well since the film didn’t make any time to tell a compelling backstory. Why was he in jail? Did he put himself there? Was he arrested? How is he related to Cyclops?

Nicolas Hoult as Beast was interesting and fun. The actor had the balls to play the role of Hank McCoy. He looked brilliant and certainly handled himself as great as when Kelsey Grammar took the role of Hank McCoy in X3.

Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore was another hottie who brought it where it was needed. Her surprise role reversal from good girl to bad girl was great and her battle with Banshee and Havok made the film really enjoyable.

Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy aka Banshee was a great performance. It was short but the jokes for the character matched and his great scene both underwater and when he was starting to learn how to fly were really amazing.

And Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique was a great turn to. She carried some scenes extremely well, acting as the mutant caught between the ideals of her foster brother Charles and her soon-to-be lover Magneto… She’s also the film’s badly needed sex appeal. Great call in casting her as the younger version of Mystique.

The action scenes were extremely well-made and well thought of. I was trying to find the scene where director Matthew Vaughn wanted to add the revolving room scene from Inception but I can’t seem to find it though. The whole battle in the island as well as the chase scene between Angel was intense.

Even the battle between the X-Men’s Lockheed blackbird and the Hellfire’s submarine looked ridiculously awesome (what with Magneto lifting the sub from underwater) just like in the trailer…

Now I don’t have to go and spoil everything for you. If i had telepathic powers, I’d probably tell your brains to watch X-Men: First Class at least twice. One to enjoy the story which has more flesh than the previous outing and the other time to enjoy the visuals and even the GREAT musical scoring…

X-Men First Class International Poster Magneto

Oh and I forgot to mention that Magneto in this flick is pretty bad-ass. Part James Bond and part Deadpool (in the sense that he’s crazy and hell-bent on killing Shaw and a Nazi hunter/ assassin as well)…

A totally great and amusing movie which can be enjoyed by both fans and non-fans of the franchise.

Special thanks BTW to 20th Century Fox Philippines for the cool looking movie invites.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:58 pm

http://ihogeek.com/2011/06/04/ihog-the-movies-x-men-first-class/

IHOG @ the Movies! X-Men: First Class

Jun 4

Posted by ladyvader99

1 Vote


I’m gonna start this review with a little disclaimer. I am a die hard X-Men fan. I’ve read X-Men: First Class. I was all set to NOT see this movie based purely on the fact that it was supposed to based on that graphic novel. As the opening date came closer and closer, I decided to just go see it with zero expectations whatsoever.

Now, let’s begin and I warn you, there will be spoilers.

(BTW, Youtube the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer!)

The movie began with a somber tale of a young Jew and a young privileged young man in the year 1944. One was put through emotional trauma and scarred for life, one was fortunate to have anything he could have needed. I was enraptured by the early tale of Magneto’s beginnings having absorbed his origin tale (graphic novel Magneto: Testament) due to my odd, intense love for Holocaust related stories. I won’t lie, I shed a tear for Magneto (okay, I shed several). On another continent, Charles came across a young, hungry Mystique and ecstatic at not being the only one with powers, he welcomes her into his home. As we see the machinations of Sebastian Shaw, a wonderfully cast, chocolate eating Kevin Bacon, young Erik Lensherr taps into his power. While screaming what I thought was NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIN! at the turn his life had taken at the hands of Shaw, I quietly giggled at the exaggerated gestures to show his magnetic mutation. These gestures were echoed throughout the movie by James McAvoy as he demonstrated his telepathy each and every time.

As we see more and more of Xavier’s and Lensherr’s lives, it was no f#%@#&! wonder Magneto is the person he came to be. He is the people’s hero and the every man who becomes what he needs to be in order to survive everything he’s been through. His ideals and goals were valid based on everything he’s experienced and I must say, I was ready to take the hand extended to ensure Homo Superior prevailed.

About 20 minutes into the movie and straight into what was my favorite scene of the entire movie, Michael Fassbender quickly became the newest object of my desire. He was absolutely delicious to watch as he spoke fluent French, German, Russian AND donned a wet suit. He guzzled beer, threw knives with lightning fast ease and when he boarded a boat in a later scene, I half believed I was watching a James Bond movie.

Lensherr. Erik Lensherr.

Each scene change, I caught my breath and stopped blowing Fassbender with my eyes long enough to notice Charles Xavier was apparently quite the ladies man. Not one to think the bald, crippled Xavier could get some no matter the pick up line, I was quite surprised to be charmed by McAvoy as he ployed the Oxford co-eds with mutation pick-up lines.

I even think she used a push up bra, lol

Amongst the plethora of characters introduced the movie, I was severely disappointedwith January Jones as Emma Frost. Her wooden acting and lack of ass contributed nothing to the character so I am of the belief she had to have blown SOMEBODY to have gotten this role. Early rumors had Alice Eve cast as Emma Frost and I sorely wish she had gotten the part. I didn’t even think January could fill out the costumes she was given so yeah, by far, I didn’t like Emma Frost.

Azazel was another character that I was excited to see and I thought worked quite well. His associated Riptide was unfortunately superfluous and should have been left on the cutting room floor. Same went for Angel, (who I thought was PIXIE the whole time) who flew around with one leg bent. Her absence from the entire movie would not have been missed by anyone. But I digress. As the movie progressed, I found myself put off by McAvoy’s portrayal of Xavier more and more, be it because of his exhausting hand to temple gesture, or because he came off arrogant. I truly tried to stay unbiased but Fassbender shone in every scene he had. When Xavier first tells Erik he is not alone, the visible, physical impact it has on him is shown in every crease on Magneto’s face.

We begin to see Dr. Hank McCoy’s inventions, which included an early prototype of Cerebro (that’s Spanish for brain, Dr. McCoy tells us). Xavier puts on the helmet and we’re pulled through hundreds of people as Cerebro begins locating mutants. We’re treated to several cameos as Charles and Erik begin recruiting. I think this was the only time I ever heard any cheering for poor ole’ Havok and I won’t ruin them for you here, as they’re truly enjoyable, but one drops the only “f&#!” we hear in this movie and it’s brilliantly said. Once recruiting has been completed and they’ve rounded up the least loved Summers brother, we’re treated to a chess game between the two in front of the Lincoln Memorial. By mid movie, everything has been pretty well established. The storyline has been even, the action scenes excellent and it becomes time to kill off somebody.

As always, it’s the minority kid and the death shakes the newly recruited X-Men. Lines are drawn and alliances are formed and it led me to think that if someone had just paid attention to poor Mystique and told her it’s okay to be different, things would have turned out MUCH differently. The second someone showed her some affection and accepted her for who she was (*cough*Magneto*cough) she made up her mind and embraced her blue skin and his mantra.

Oh yeah, during all of this, there’s a missile crisis being manipulated into play by Sebastian Shaw but that’s by and large unimportant. The X-Men are rallied to stave off this nuclear threat and don their trademark yellow and black uniforms. I felt like the missile thing was just an excuse to lead to the outfits. Havok’s has a weird speaker like contraction on it that looks nothing like what we’ve seen in the comics and Beast’s transformation into the furry guy we’re used to reminded me more of the Cowardly Lion than Beast. Sebastian Shaw pulls out a distinctive helmet that he’s taken from the Russians and guards himself from the telepathic assaults of Charles Xavier while Erik struggles to pull a Submarine out of the ocean. Fassbender fully OWNS these scenes and the soundtrack finally makes itself known during the climax.

The final showdown begins and McAvoy apparently becomes confused and forgets he’s using telepathy and not a telephone. Multiple “ARE YOU THERE?!”s made the audience laugh as did the unavoidable monologue from Sebastian. I grew occupied with watching Kevin Bacon’s lazy eye but I knew Erik would reign supreme and he didn’t disappoint in letting us know that revenge is sweet.

All in all, X-Men: First Class is an origin story all its own. If you do choose to see it, approach with an open mind. It’s enjoyable. The actors are excellent. You’ll hopefully not be disappointed. And you’ll definitely, definitely enjoy Michael Fassbender <3
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:58 pm

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

Friday, June 3, 2011
X-Men: First Class

(art by Noelle Stevenson)

Just saw X-Men: First Class with Greg. All I can say is, without spewing spoilers everywhere, is THAT WAS AMAZING. Amaaaazing. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are incredible as Erik and Charles aka Magneto and Professor X, and Kevin Bacon is so gross, and Beast is adorbs, and Mystique is adorbs, and all the baby mutants are adorbs, and and and. And the slashiness, it is pure unadulterated glorious perfection. Please watch. Please watch for the slash. I am so upset that there isn't already a treasure trove of a billion fanfics for me to read of Erik/Charles. Alas.

Disclaimer: I have never read any of the X-Men comics nor do I really read comics at all but I absolutely love the X-Men movies so there you go! Fun for everyone! Go see.
Posted by Meg! at 11:59 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:04 pm

http://www.cinesnob.net/archives/x-men-first-class/

June 4, 2011 by Kiko Martinez

"X-Men: First Class" is the fifth feature and second prequel of the X-Men franchise, which began in 2000.

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”)
Written by: Ashley Miller (“Thor”), Zack Stentz (“Thor”), Jane Goldman (“Kick-Ass”), Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”)

As much as you’d like to get the bad taste out of your mouth cause by director Brett Ratner’s 2006 sequel “X-Men: The Last Stand” and director Gavin Hood’s 2009 prequel debauchery “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” adding “X-Men: First Class” into the series lineup isn’t going to do much good unless you consider yourself a diehard fan of the mutant mythology. “First Class” is another prequel in the franchise and director Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”) doesn’t let you forget it for a moment. Want to know how each mutant gets his or her name or how Beast becomes a, well, beast? It’s all right here in this flat, overdone blockbuster. While “First Class” has a bit more style than the last two movies, there is a lack of intrigue no amount of shoddy CGI can save. Come for actor Michael Fassbender (AKA Magneto). He is the saving grace of the film when there’s nothing left to save except the world.

Grade: C
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:06 pm

http://www.cinevistablog.com/en/x-men-first-class-review/

June 3, 2011

X-Men: First Class – Review

Did you watch this movie?
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender”.

Another opinion on internet

“If you are worried about the performances of James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, or Michael Fassbender as Erik Lenherr, let me set your mind at ease. These two actors did an outstanding job of portraying the younger versions of these characters. Watching a young Charles become a professor, while seeing a young Erik obsessively travel the globe, hunting Nazis from his past is fantastic, and Fassbender could not have played the anti-hero any better than he did”. www.scifimafia.com
The Official Website: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/


By Sandra M. Ríos (sandra-rios@cinevistablog.com)

Prequels have always offered an aditional interest after having enjoyed or endured a long saga. After four sequels, today has been the worldwide X-Men First Class premiere, the film that reveals the origin of this group. The movie has been directed by Matthew Vaughn this time.

Stan Lee’s comic is one of his best works that he has ever made due to the direct and close relationship with human beings and their evolution, besides, the large amount and richness of its characters.

So, the film returns us to the first class of this group created to protect its race and humans, and keep under control the peer pressure between them.

The mise en scène is really good and set during the Cold War, a conflic between United States and USSR that kept people in a permanent uncertainty. To be more exactly, the movie is set on “Cuban Missile Crisis” happened in 1962. During that time, human beings know about mutant existence on Earth.

While the tension was evident and permanent between mutants and human beings in the other sequels, in this opportunity, humans should focus on assimilating their existence and decide to form alliances or fight against them.

x-men first class - the prequelTo X-Men are also represents a conflict between their powers and ideals. Lee story had always had a kind of analogy with real politics and even religious, that has been preserved on this franchise and handled with caution.

We can see many X-Men when they were young, we can see some enemies being the “good boys” and the exact moment when Proffesor X or Charles Xavier lost all mobility in his legs. We can discovered who causes this paralysis.

The casting really did a good job in this film specially James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michale Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, Magneto. Both actors built a special relationship between these powerful characters. The screenplay adaptation is good, the dialogues are abundant, agile and has got many references to real goverments, secret services and secret experiments.

Prequels usually develop more story than action and that happens in X-Men First Class, however, the director doses too much dialogues with a series of little confrontations with their first enemy: the “Hellfire Club”.

X-Men First Class is simply a complete movie, a good prequel that keeps intact the expectations for their following steps. A good combination among screenplay, casting, visual effects, sound, editing and music. Director Matthew Vaugh (Kick-Ass) has showed his great potential one more time.

x-men: first class - reviewCast & Crew

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Ciencia ficción
Writers: Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman
Duration: 2hr 12min
Casting: Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Zoë Kravitz, Jason Flemyng, Lucas Till, Morgan Lily, Edi Gathegi, Oliver Platt, Ray Wise, Bill Milner, Caleb Landry Jones, Álex González, Demetri Goritsas, Laurence Belcher, Russell Balogh, Tony Rich, David Crow
Cinematography: John Mathieson
Music: Henry Jackman
Costume: Alison Levine, Angela Pledge, Annette Allen, Barnaby Smith, Branden Marks, Bren Cook, Candace Rice, Chris Byrne, Cylinda Nesmith, Elaine Flynn, Elaine Mansouri, Gemma
Animation: Aaron Sims, Anneka Fris, Bernd Angerer, Brian G. Curtis, Caroline Ting, Chris Street, Ian Blum, Jason Fittipaldi, Matt Weaver, Nicholas Avallone, Peter Panton, Roy Sato, Sandra Lin, Sebastian Trujillo, Vincent Gorman
Editing: Eddie Hamilton, Lee Smith
Vestuario: Alison Levine, Angela Pledge, Annette Allen, Barnaby Smith, Branden Marks, Bren Cook, Candace Rice, Chris Byrne, Cylinda Nesmith, Elaine Flynn, Elaine Mansouri, Gemma Rasmussen, Imogen Hose, Jacqueline Simpson, Joanna Weaving, Joulles Wright, Karen Beale, Karen Young, Kate Bennett, Kate Chadderton, Kate Frampton, Lisa Robinson, Luan Placks, Matthew Savage, Melanie Mascioli, Miracole Walker, Nicole Young, Peter Norcliffe, Poli Kyriacou, Richard Sale, Sahar Halabi, Sam Keyte, Samantha Langridge Sammy Sheldon Sharon McCormack, Shelly Hazell, Sophie Canale, Stephanie Paul, Susan Adams, Taylor Smith, Tess Inman, Tom Hornsby, Victoria Garside, Wendy M. Craig
Country: Estados Unidos
Year: 2011
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:10 pm

http://linda075blog.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-review-x-men-first-class.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
Movie Review: X-Men First Class
I just got home from watching X-Men First Class and I LOVED IT! But to be fair, I can't say I'm really all that impartial because I love all the X-Movies, even the third one that all the movie snobs say was horrible, trite, predictable, silly, blah blah blah. SO WHAT if at the end, when Dr. Jean Gray was totally freaking out with her crazy mind power so much that only Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) could get near her, and her power was so intense that it kept blowing off his shirt and his chest flesh (but not his pants)? It's called DRAMA, people! Wolverine loved her, but had to kill her to save the world, but he loved her, but the world depended on him. But he loved her. DON'T YOU GET IT! IT WAS A TOUGH DECISION! It plunged further into the murky depths that make up Wolverine. How anyone could sit through that without shedding a tear, I will never know.

That all being said, this X-Men was fabulous! And part of the reason I am saying that is because I am newly in love with Michael Fassbender who played Magneto, who also played Mr. Rochester in this year's movie version of Jane Eyre. I went to see that movie a few weeks ago at the new hipster theater downtown and the tiny theater was packed full of people, most of whom probably remember when the book came out. They were OLD. I think it might have been a nursing-home field trip. Anyway, I also LOVED Jane Eyre (because I think I might love every movie) and Mr. Rochester was soooooo wonderful. Crazy, lovable weirdo. Mitch calls Jane Eyre "19th century pulp fiction" so he wouldn't go see it with me. Apparently the Bronte sisters were the 19th century version of Danielle Steel (according to Mitch; crazy, lovable weirdo!)

The movie starts with the same scene that starts the very first X-Men movie. Magneto is a teenager, in Germany, in 1944, and he and his family have been taken to a concentration camp where he was separated from his parents and he can't stand it and he is calling out and trying to get to them, and in the process bends a gigantic metal fence with his unharnessed power. I know that's what happened because I've seen that scene a million times. However, I did not really see it this time because some lady came down my aisle (which is always up at the top so I can avoid this very problem) and needed to get past me. OF COURSE! There are hundreds of open seats all over the place, but you have to sit in MY row, in a seat on the other side of me, during the first scene of the movie! So I missed the big fence-bending because I was looking at this lady's ass and she was stepping on my feet, but I got the idea.

Shortly after that the movie jumps ahead in time 22 years to 1962.* Magneto is trying to avenge his parents, and Dr. Charles Xavier has just gotten his degree from Oxford. Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, they get together and prevent the Cuban Missile Crisis from turning into a nuclear war. (Oh, sorry. Spoiler alert.) Sam was watching it too with some of his friends and I take great comfort in the fact that this is now and forever going to be the first and therefore most credible version of the Cuban Missile Crisis that they ever learn. (I wish there was a way to make sarcasm come through in typing because that last sentence was supposed to be sarcastic. fyi.) This movie answers the questions we've all always had about the X-Men: How did Professor Xavier get paralyzed? Why does Mystique walk around naked all the time? Why aren't Charles and Magneto rivals who always call each other "old friend?" How did the X-Men school get started? Where'd they get that big plane?

It's very good. You should see it, if only for Michael Fassbender.

Mr. Rochester/Magneto/Michael Fassbender, (but mostly Mr. Rochester in this picture.)
*UPDATE: My dad kindly pointed out to me that 1944 + 22 years does NOT equal 1962. I guess I meant to say that the movie jumps ahead 18 years. Soooooooooorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! (again, I wish there was a way to convey sarcasm in type) I don't need basic math skills right now, it's summer!
Posted by Sarah Lindahl at 10:51 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:10 pm

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

X-Men: First Class
© 2011 Ray Wong

Before they were X-Men, they were just kids. X-Men: First Class is a reboot/prequel of the original trilogy and the Marvel comics.

Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, Bill Milner as child) is a concentration camp survivor during WWII when the Nazis collaborator Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) discovers that Erik is a mutant who has the power to manipulate metals. Meanwhile, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Laurence Belcher as child) is a precocious, privileged child who discovers that he can read and alter others' minds. Charles befriends a shapeshifter named Raven (Jennifer Lawrence, Morgan Lily as child) and realizes he's not the only one. He decides to study human mutations to figure what is going on.

Years later, Charles successfully completes his PhD and becomes Professor Xavier, and Erik is on a mission to find Shaw, who killed Erik's mother and tortured him at the camp, for revenge. Their paths cross when Xavier helps the CIA find Shaw, who is collaborating with the Russians to start WWIII. They realize Shaw and his group of mutants would be unstoppable unless they raise their own army of mutants to fight Shaw. Using his telepathic capabilities, Charles recruits young mutants and train them.

Soon, Shaw's plan to manipulate the Russians to place nuclear missiles in Cuba is revealed. More surprising is that they discover Shaw himself is a mutant. In a race against time, they must locate and defeat Shaw before he starts WWIII. Meanwhile, despite their friendship and mutual admiration for each other, Charles and Erik have fundamental differences in their philosophies especially when it comes to the "normal" human race. Erik doesn't trust the humans and believes the mutants are a better race (which is ironic given what he went through during WWII), but Charles believes in the goodness of men and how they can all accept one another. Their differences cause a rift between them and may jeopardize their mission.

James McAvoy (The Last Station) is an interesting choice to play Charles/Professor X since Patrick Stewart played the older Charles. McAvoy is smart and unassuming. He's charming but sincere. He's the guy-next-door you can trust. McAvoy does a good job with the character, making it his own without invalidating Stewart's work. Michael Fassbender (Jonah Hex) is also excellent as Erik/Magneto. He has the steely James Bond-esque suaveness and chill, but also the sensibility and heart of the character that Ian McKellen has paved the way.

Kevin Bacon (Super) once again does pure evil with relish. His Sebastian Shaw is creepy, outrageous, larger-than-life, and simply evil. Normally I rather cringe at such as two-dimensional character, but Bacon's flashy performance makes it work. Shaw is a comic villain, and Bacon gives us just that. Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) has the thankless job of playing the "straight girl" in a movie about superheroes. She's fine, but just can't rise above the material.

The mutants all have their unique abilities and personalities. Jennfier Lawrence (Beaver) is very good as Raven/Mystique. We know her from the previous movies (played by Rebecca Romijn) and Lawrence adds more layers to the familiar character. January Jones (Unknown) is fantastic as Emma Frost. Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man) is effectively naive and bookish as Hank McCoy/Beast.

The list of writers including director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) may suggest a potential "write by committee" disaster. But generally speaking, the screenplay is coherent and well-thought out. There are places when the multiple threads get tangled up and become somewhat confusing. The plot that ties with the Cuba missile crisis in the 60s is somewhat contrived (seriously, the mutants with all their powers can think only of starting WWIII with a Russian nuclear missile?) Despite the corny plot and some holes, the story is by and large fluid and plausible. Though flawed, the movie's historical backdrops do give it some gravity and realism. It's as good as alternate history gets.

Most impressively, the screenplay further develops the personalities and relationships between these popular characters we have come to know and love, especially the three major ones: Professor X, Magneto and Mystique. I suppose that's the most satisfying aspect of the story. Don't get me wrong: the plot is interesting and entertaining, but it is the characters that make us care.

Matthew Vaughn's (Stardust) resume isn't that long, but his movies have not disappointed so far. X-Men: First Class continues his winning streak. His direction is fluid, brisk, and sensible. The pacing is just right, and he leaves enough room for the characters to breathe and bond and make an impression. We come to actually care about them. And that's not an easy task given the full plot and the large cast of characters.

I have to say, beside the first X-Men movie, this may be the best of the bunch. It has intrigue, mystery, action, humor, excitement, horror, and heart. It makes us care about these characters again. It's very entertaining and leaves a nice impression. It's first class all the way.

Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Oliver Platt, January Jones, Nicholas Hoult
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Ashley Miller, Zach Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Sheldon Turner, Bryan Singer
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for themes, language, alcohol, violence
Running Time: 132 minutes

Ratings:


Script – 7
Performance – 8
Direction – 8
Cinematography – 8
Music/Sound– 8
Editing – 7
Production – 9


Total – 7.9 out of 10
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:11 pm

http://movieupclose.com/movie-review/weekend-movie-guide-x-men-and-uh%E2%80%A6-x-men/

06.04.2011
Weekend Movie Guide: X-Men and, uh… X-Men

WEEKEND PREVIEW: There are a couple new films I haven’t covered coming out if you live in New York or LA (, ), but for most of us, it’s just X-Men: First Class (and Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris, but I covered those and the ). But good news, blue titties.

X-Men: First Class: An ungodly combination of prequel, reboot, origin story, and Fox project, but from the director of Kick-Ass.

RottenTomatoes: 88%

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“The movie feels smarter and more ambitious than many of its brethren, not to mention more thrilling and flat-out fun. The central performances by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are unusually nuanced for a superhero flick, somehow vulnerable and badass at the same time. This is how it’s done, folks!” -Eric Snider,

“The best acting in “X-Men: First Class” is by President John F. Kennedy, who in his Thanksgiving 1962 message to the nation, expresses gratitude for the successful end of the Cuban Missile Crisis while suppressing what he surely must know, that American and Soviet missiles spent a great deal of time flying back and forth while mentally controlled by the awesome powers of mutants.” -Robert Ebert

“I suppose a ridiculous yarn about how a group of superhuman genetic mutants in silly costumes intervene to resolve the 1963 Cuban missile crisis (after starting it in the first place) fits the bill, somewhat. But I’m pretty sure that those who are claiming that “X-Men: First Class” is actually good are engaged in the kind of brainwashed magical thinking that goes along with a culture where the entire media and most of the public have to behave like savvy insiders all the time.” -Salon

I can’t even remember the last time I agreed with Ebert. I enjoy the guy’s writing, but I think I agree with Armond White more than him.

ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: Well, you already know of it. Probably more than you ever wanted to. There were some plot holes and it gets major negative points for stealing a dumb subplot from X3, and January Jones had that bitchy, non-facial expression that she always has the entire time, but overall it was pretty entertaining. Best superhero movie since, well, Kick-Ass. Plus Michael Fassbender is dreamy.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:12 pm


http://buckle22.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-release-review-x-men-first-class.html

Saturday, June 4, 2011
New Release Review: X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn, 2011)
I'll start this review by stating that I am not a big X-Men fan. I seem to have a natural aversion to the X-Men films, which is an emotion I cannot really explain, but I originally had little interest invested in this prequel. But with such a great cast, a flood of positive early reviews, and an eye-catching trailer, I may have overestimated my expectations. I admit, Bryan Singer's X-Men and X2 were quite good, but I was seriously hoping that this film would be good enough to extricate the pungent stench of Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If we are to count Thor as the first of this year's blockbuster season, then this is the best one so far. Is it a masterpiece, or even a remotely memorable film? No.


The idea of First Class is to explain the origins of as many X-Men characters as possible. This excludes Wolverine, because his 'riveting' story has already been told. Though primarily focusing on Professor X and Magneto, it does introduce a lot of recognisable X-Men who are given very little to do. Despite its shortcomings, which I will look at later, First Class is an entertaining action film that effortlessly surpasses the previous two films. Whether it is better than the early instalments, I really cannot say. With excellent performances from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, this fresh twist on the ailing franchise blends a frightening period of historical conflict with a relatively engaging Marvel story.


First Class unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, establishes the friendship between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) before they became Professor X and Magneto, and reveals the reasons why they shifted to opposing alliances. The film opens by briefly introducing these two when they were younger. Erik reveals his incredible powers to a prison doctor when he is separated from his parents at a German concentration camp in occupied Poland in 1944. Having witnessed the boy bend a metal gate while under duress from the guards, Dr Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) instructs him to demonstrate his magnetic powers or risk seeing his mother shot. When Erik cannot, Schmidt heinously kills his mother, exposing that Erik's powers emerge when fuelled by anger and duress. One night about the same time, in a New York mansion, Charles Xavier, an orphan raised in a world of wealth and privilege, meets a shape-shifting girl named Raven. Overjoyed at discovering someone else who possessed special abilities, Charles adopts her into his family.

The film then jumps forward to the present day (1962), where we see a haunted and bitter Erik seeking revenge against Nazi war criminals and trying to track down Schmidt (now Sebastian Shaw) by tracing a bar of Nazi gold to Shaw's personal yacht in Florida. It is during this assassination attempt that he is saved by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a fresh college graduate from Oxford working with the CIA. Charles, still living with Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), had earlier been approached by CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) after she had followed the U.S Army Colonel into a Hellfire Club and discovered Shaw and his mutant associates, Emma Frost (January Jones) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng), conspiring with the General. With the impending Cold War between Russia and the United States intensifying, Shaw recognises World War III as an opportunity for Mutants to set off an Apocalypse and rule the Earth.


MacTaggert introduces Charles to the CIA, where they convince their Chief that Mutants exist and that the powers Shaw possesses are a real threat to National security. Faced with the same mission, though each possessing very different ideologies about humanity, Charles and Erik unite. They start to recruit a group of younger mutants to assist them, seeking refuge at Charles' family mansion and learning to control their abilities and utilise them in an effective way. When President John F. Kennedy institutes a blockade to stop a Russian ship from moving nuclear missiles to Cuba (the Cuban Missile Crisis) a series of events are set in motion that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe. I was pretty disappointed by the climactic missile strike. With the exception of the fantastic shot of the ship exploding, the action was far from engaging. The stand off between the Russians and the United States was predictable, and I really got sick of the close-up shots of the rival captains. Having said that, the final moments on the beach, where the X-Men alliances are decided, were quite powerful.

Situating the uprising of Mutants within the context of an impending Nuclear Armageddon is a brilliant idea, but it's a shame that the film is so poorly constructed at times, often caught between a state of maddening simplicity and aggravating convolution. The film's pacing is an essential element to how we perceive the events and seek to engage ourselves in them. Matthew Vaughn (whose overrated Kick Ass was stylish but misguided) chooses a hyperactive approach and throws a lot of different things at the audience. The plot moves at a brisk pace. An awful lot happens, in a lot of different locations, and happens quite quickly. While this ensures that the film's lengthy running time feels significantly less, deems the film very watchable on repeat viewings, and doesn't allow the plot to get bogged down at any time, it does feel very rushed. I struggled to keep a grasp on everything that was taking place. The film is weak in nearly all of the sequences not centred on the Mutants, especially when the United States Government is deliberating how to proceed with Nuclear War, or when the CIA are bickering about whether to utilise Mutants. I lost count of the number of location titles that appeared throughout.


The experience is worth it for the relationship between Erik and Charles alone, which is really well done, but it is disappointing that the other Mutants exist solely for their participation in the action sequences, where Vaughn proves most of his talents lie. This is definitely what I would call an All-Star cast, but it is far from an effective ensemble. Rose Byrne is given little to do other than be a sympathetic CIA agent taken along for the ride, while January Jones' role was to look hot. This was accomplished rather effectively, I must say. Jason Flemying had maybe one line and Oliver Platt was involved for a few minutes. Kevin Bacon (who I usually find quite watchable) was serviceable as a smirking villain. I have it on good authority that his German in the early sequences was woeful though. Jennifer Lawrence was really the only supporting performer who added any real complexity to her character, endowing Raven/Mystique with a teenage self-image problem, a romantic interest, and conflicted sidings to both Charles and Erik.

While I have almost already forgotten about this film, there is still plenty to admire about First Class. Fassbender's portrayal of Erik Lensherr is one of the great portrayals of a comic book character to hit our screens to date. This guy is certainly on the rise following acclaimed performances in a number of indie dramas (Hunger, Fish Tank), while also tackling the bigger market (Inglourious Basterds, Centurion and Jane Eyre). The talented McAvoy (outstanding in The Last King of Scotland) is just as good, endowing Charles with charming, likeable, level-headed qualities, but also a flawed naivety about humanity's acceptance of Mutants. To mask the sporadic plot, Vaughn does reveal some stylish direction at times. The split screen techniques, and the shot from the interior of the Swiss banker's mouth, were particularly innovative. Another impressive feature (in addition to January Jones' chest) was Henry Jackman's score. First Class should not only satisfy X-Men fans, but will also be entertaining enough for viewers with no vested interest in the comics looking for a popcorn flick. It may just be one of the best of its kind released this year.

My Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (B-)
Posted by Andy Buckle at 1:16 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:12 pm

http://couch843.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-review-x-men-first-class.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
"Peace Was Never An Option" My X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Movie Review

"Peace was never an option"

The last X-Men movie I saw, if you can call it that, was X-Men Origins: Wolverine; and it was horrible. It sadly set the franchise back a few millennia. For a while there it seemed that all hope was lost and we might never see another good X-Men movie again. Around the same time that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was being prepped there was another origins movie being prepared; Magneto's. The return of Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn saw idea of expanding Magneto's solo origin story into an origin story of both Erik Lensherr and Charles Xavier.

There are a few recognizable mutants in this story but I was delighted to see that there were no "name" mutants. No Cyclops, No Storm, No Iceman. While I see the appeal to have these mutants in an X-Men movie, given that they are such staples by this point, it would purely be to sell tickets and make money. First Class, is a story about Magneto and Professor X.

Michael Fassbender (HUNGER, Inglorious Basterds) has the meatiest character arc as Erik Lensherr a.k.a Magneto. His journey from lethal bounty hunter to one of the most powerful mutants of all time is truly a great sight to behold. Also many of his journeys are very reminiscent of James Bond movies, being that the movie is set in the 60's its actually very fitting.

I put my vote in for Michael Fassbender as James Bond when Daniel Craig retires from the role; Make it happen HOLLYWOOD!

James McAvoy (WANTED, Atonementt) brings a breath of fresh air to the younger version of Charles Xavier; most notably using his intelligence and the explanation of the evolution of Mutants as a pick up line to loose women in bars; I like this Xavier. Fassbender and McAvoy's characters are simply defined by the iconic chess games they have together throughout the film. They make their characters more relatable and down to earth in addition to paying homage to the older versions of the characters already established by Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart.

Another duo story line I was pleased with was the story between Dr. Hank McCoy a.k.a BEAST and Raven Darkholme a.k.a Mystique. Hank McCoy is played by Nicholas Hoult who was most recently in Tom Ford's directorial debut A Single Man. Raven is played with great dimension by Academy Award Nominee Jennifer Lawrence, who was last seen in Winter's Bone and will soon be see in the big screen adaption of The Hunger Games; she plays Katniss. Their relationship is what truly defines the yearn to be accepted that is so universal in the X-Men series. We got a taste of it with Anna Paquin's Rogue in the original series, but it aside from Erik and Charles, its nice to see two younger characters battle with their own acceptance together.

I have to give credit to Kevin Bacon, whose played villain Sebastian Shaw very cool. It could have been very easy to see him "twisting his mustache" in every scene but Bacon held a great balance of villain and "freedom fighter".

Bryan Singer returns to his comic book roots to co-write and produce this origin story. Director Matthew Vaughn finally gets his crack at a Marvel film after X3 and THOR fell through for him. What Vaughn brings to this story that didn't even show up in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a sense of the time period. For all of you who are reading this, did you know that X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes place in the late 70's? Yea that's right THE 'EFFIN 70'S!!! Sure doesn't feel like it right?

First Class puts the 60's right in your face! The Wardrobe, the music, the score, and the dialogue. The dialogue at times seemed a little corny but then you had to check yourself and say "wait, this is how they talked in the 60's". Matthew Vaughn got to make is Marvel Comics X-Men movie and James Bond movie all in one. Massive credit and thanks to Matthew Vaughn for giving us an actually period piece superhero movie.

X-Men First Class is a really intelligent comic book movie, that aims to show us the TRUE ORIGINS of Mutants during the 1960's during the Kennedy era and also gives some background to the "hidden" reasons that sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis. This I feel is the most mature of all the X-Men movies. X2 is still number one in my book, but X-Men First Class is right underneath it. The James Bond-like globe trotting, the involvement of the CIA, the politics, the betrayal and world being in peril, gives this series the jolt of lighting it needed to become relevant again!

Deuces!
StuntmanBob
Posted by The Couch at 8:16 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:13 pm

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

Friday, June 3, 2011
X-Men: First Class
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender
When we first see the adult Erik Lehnsherr — the super-powered mutant who will become the villain Magneto — in X-Men: First Class, he's a multilingual globe-trotting assassin hunting down the man who tortured him years before in a Nazi death camp. This seems a suitable origin for a character who eventually turns against humans and comes to believe that mutants should rule over them. (George Lucas, take note: this is how you turn a character to the dark side!) What is not so suitable is that in Magneto's own origin story it is revealed that before there was Magneto, there was . . . another Magneto. Perhaps not the Magneto, but an evil mutant named Sebastian Shaw, who has his own dangerous powers, dangerous motives, and a dangerous team of evil mutants similar to the one the elder Magneto commanded in the previous X-Men movies. This is the disappointing thing about X-Men: First Class, because the interesting possibilities of such an origin story — in which the future Magneto befriends and then parts ways with his future rival Charles Xavier — are abandoned in favor of the team-vs.-team formula of the previous three X-Men films.

This is particularly surprising because First Class uses as its backdrop the Cuban Missile Crisis, a historical event weighty enough to provide sufficient threat and conflict for any super team. Given the novelty of the period setting and the possibilities inherent in the blending of history with fiction, it is puzzling why the filmmakers decided to eclipse the drama of Magneto’s supposedly unique origin with a villain who is essentially the character we know Lehnsherr will become, a character we have seen plot against humanity and be defeated before.

The other major figure is Charles Xavier, destined to become Professor X, a man committed to protecting humans regardless of how poorly humans treat mutants. The younger Xavier portrayed by James McAvoy is less restrained than the serene elder portrayed by Patrick Stewart in the other X-Men movies. Because his mutation — the ability to read and influence other peoples' minds — is not readily apparent to the outside world, Xavier effortlessly enjoys human society, winning drinking contests and hitting on women with a practiced pickup routine. Consequently, he is detached from the pain felt by mutants who, like his friend Raven, a scaly blue-skinned shape-shifter, must work hard to conceal their difference in order to be accepted. We see in Xavier a genius with a lot to learn, and though we can assume the events at film's end will humble him somewhat, we never see a true epiphany.

We do get to see Xavier, supposedly a professor in earlier films, actually teach in First Class — he helps Lehnsherr develop his powers of magnetism to astonishing levels, and watching him show a young mutant named Banshee how to fly is the film's highpoint of fun. The role of cool Nazi hunter suits actor Michael Fassbender very well, maybe in part because he played one so well in Inglourious Basterds, though certainly his own multilingual European background and good looks make him a natural for such a role. He keeps Lehnsherr's childhood trauma just under the surface at all times, unpacking it as needed to great effect and making Lehnsherr the most tortured — and most appealing — character of the film.

See also: Iron Men


Posted by Jeff (Second Reel) at 11:08 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:13 pm

http://www.suite101.com/content/the-throes-of-evolution---review-of-x-men-first-class-a374288

The Throes of Evolution - Review of X-Men: First Class

Jun 3, 2011
Justin Holbeche

First Class - The way it should have been - Sabrina Eras
First Class - The way it should have been - Sabrina Eras

A review of the newly released X-Men: First Class

This Friday, June 3rd, audiences were bombarded with the existence of mutants in the newest superhero flick of the summer, X-Men: First Class. Focusing on the early years of both Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), Matthew Vaughn’s film chronicles the first conflict of the yet to be named X-Men. As the small band of mutants attempts to save humanity from the villainous Hellfire Club and the powerful Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), both Xavier and Lehnsherr’s ideals regarding humanity and evolution are crafted. The film is an action-packed adventure, but fails to utilize the already brilliant structure the material has.
Story and Plot

As with all comic book movies, the issue of canonical accuracy is brought up. As I mentioned previously while reviewing Thor, I have no problem with changes, but they need to be necessary. In an attempt to get as much from this film as possible, I attempted to ignore all variations and simply analyze the story presented, and it is my pleasure to state that it was not the changes that made the films story un-enjoyable, it was pretty much everything else. It baffles me that so much difficulty is found in adapting something that already has so much compelling and terrific story elements. The X-Men series of comic books is probably one of the best in crafting excellent story with controversial and real world issues. This film however, took those issues, and presented them like an after-school special. I was looking forward to seeing a film about the ever-present prejudice of the world and witness the emotionally painful fallout between Xavier and Magneto, two “brothers” split by their ideals. This film took a different root, only dabbling in this plot points like a scared little girl dipping her toe in the water, finding it too cold. Furthermore, the level of character development was unbelievably low. I found myself having to wait until the credits just to learn the names of some of the characters.

As well, in true X-Men film style, the use of absurd characters was absolutely horrible. The X-Men character bank is probably the widest in comic book history, yet characters like Darwin (Edi Gathegi) and Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz) are chosen over much more appropriate characters. And in the end, Magneto and Professor X are the only characters that are really given any attention. While the story that was present wasn’t bad perse, the fact that there was so much more it could have been made it really hard to enjoy.
Acting

Once again, there was a major issue with the acting. While James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were absolutely brilliant in their portrayals of Professor X and Magneto, all the other performances were subpar. Very droll, very dry, and very unnatural is the best way to describe every other character. Even characters like Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who have such excellent character elements due to their aesthetically effected mutation and their desire to be accepted, were presented very little in the performances. However, Fassbender and McAvoy effectively save the film, being absolutely exceptional. The chemistry between the two actors, building the characters’ level of brotherhood was really enjoyable.
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Visuals

The acting and storytelling aside, the visuals were not bad. Very impressive special effects and set design made the film aesthetically pleasing, somewhat distracting me from the plot deficiencies. My only problem was the period in which the film was set, during Cold War America, was kind of lost throughout the film, and I found myself having to remind myself that the film took place at that time. But other than that, I found the visuals very appealing and enjoyable, which compensated for the story and quirky acting.
Overall

Though this statement is rather redundant, given the frequency in which it is stated when discussing comic book films, it is necessary to note that if you are a fan of X-Men, you probably will not like this movie. However, I felt that even if you know nothing about the canonical predecessor to the film, the weakness of the story will probably still only give you a satisfactory experience. For a film utilizing materials that has so much potential for engaging, thought-provoking, and character-driven plot, this film failed to tap into the already existing greatness that is the X-Men.
Rating: 6/10
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:15 pm

http://pop-break.com/2011/06/03/review-x-men-first-class/

Review: X-Men: First Class

daniel cohen reviews the newest x-men flick…

Plot: In the early 1960’s, mutants are still hidden from the general public. When the Hellfire Club, a pack of mutants who try and force war between the United States and Russia, Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) of the CIA recruits Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a student of genetics and a powerful mutant, to combat these dangerous foes. He is joined by Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), a vengeful mutant who seeks revenge on Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), the Hellfire Club’s leader. Xavier and Lehnsherr form a close friendship as they locate and train other mutants.

Much like with the Tim Burton Batman movies, as much as I loved them, they became a distant memory when Christopher Nolan came around. Well, now with Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, the original X-Men trilogy has joined the Burton Batman films, fading into dust forever. Now I’m not saying X-Men: First Class is the caliber of the Nolan Batman movies, but it’s a spectacular piece of entertainment, and so far my favorite movie of the year.

James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X

For me, the best part about X-Men in general is the relationship between Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto). While this is certainly present in the original trilogy, let’s face it: it was the Wolverine show. He was the main character in those movies. In First Class, it’s their friendship that will impact the future of mutants forever. You feel that in this movie. And these guys really are good friends. They joke around and have fun. There’s a great montage where both of them practically go on a road trip rounding up mutants, and you feel their bond oozing out of the screen. It also helps that the two actors are off the charts outstanding.

James McAvoy is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. He gives Charles Xavier charisma, power, and leadership that may even out do Patrick Stewart’s performance of the character. And Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr: Awesome. There’s one sequence where he’s just ripping through guys in this compound. His eyes are basically telling everyone to ‘Stay the hell away.’ Aside from his rage and anger, he gives the character an equal amount of pain and vulnerability. McAvoy and Fassbender work together like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

But they aren’t the only ones who shine. Jennifer Lawrence as the shape-shifting Raven/Mystique may be the most compelling figure in the whole movie. She’s so likable, and the script really fleshes out her character. They give Raven three well-developed relationships throughout the course of the movie which include Xavier, Erik, and Hank McCoy/Beast played wonderfully by Nicholas Hoult. The only disappointing thing about McCoy is that when he finally goes into Beast mode, his fighting style isn’t as cool as it was in X-Men: The Last Stand, which is one of the few great things about that film.

Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender, left foreground) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, right foreground) lead Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones, left), Raven Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence), Dr. Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), and Alex Summers (Lucas Till) in a battle to prevent nuclear war.

All of the other supporting characters are great. There is no weak performance. Kevin Bacon as the villain Sebastian Shaw does not disappoint. He’s such a slimy, evil, powerful jerk bag, but he’s so charismatic when doing it.

Everyone has a good time in this movie, especially the younger mutants. The director has a lot of fun with the material, but it’s also a very serious film. The acting is good in the original trilogy, but a lot of the performances are stoic and overly serious. I love the camaraderie and fun the younger characters have, because when bad stuff happens to them, it has such a bigger emotional impact.

The original trilogy is definitely more comic-bookey, which is fine. But here, Vaughn takes a page from the Christopher Nolan hand book, making this as realistic as possible, even though it’s a movie about super-powered beings. It’s just that you believe in this world a lot more than other superhero flicks.

But don’t worry, because you get your fill of mutant powers. And they improve upon it as well. For example, in 2003’s X2 we saw the teleporter Nightcrawler who was certainly bad ass, but the teleporter in First Class, Azazel (Jason Flemyng), really uses this power in a scary way, getting some of the characters into some serious s$#!.

Michael Fassbender as Magneto

I also the love the training sequences, especially when Alex Summers/Havok has to focus his ability. This crazy bastard’s power is so unstable that Hank McCoy has to build a special chest plate just so he can control it. Geez Louise. One thing that was annoying though was that in these training scenes, Vaughn goes with the comic panel style editing, similar to Ang Lee’s Hulk. It’s not as annoying, but completely unnecessary.

Now one thing I want to touch on is how First Class does or doesn’t connect with the original trilogy. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I am going to explain whether or not it fits the continuity of the first three films. So if that’s something you don’t want to know, skip the next paragraph.

This is a total 100% re-boot. However, they try something here that has never been attempted. It’s a re-boot, but with an asterisk. They take certain elements from the first trilogy and put them in this new franchise. I was confused and not really buying it at first, but when the film ended, I totally got onboard. It’s basically like rebuilding a sports team, but certain things get to move on with the new regime while others are erased from existence. This is an interesting approach to a big budget franchise that we’ve never seen before, but it works.

In fact, the movie was just very good to great, but it wasn’t until the last thirty minutes where it transcends into OMG level. The last act is absolutely heart pounding. To use the old cliché…I was on the edge of my seat. Some of it is predictable, but even the predictable stuff is executed so brilliantly, you don’t care. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of stuff that totally catches you off guard. It’s just superb directing by Matthew Vaughn.

Vaughn delivers a near masterpiece. It’s paced so well. There was never a moment where I thought it was slow and needed editing down. When the film ends, I desperately wanted another half-hour. And the movie is over two hours long! It’s fun, serious, action-packed, and filled with character development. I pray we get a sequel.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG)
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:15 pm

http://ismellsheep.blogspot.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class-top-of-my-class.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
X-Men: First Class, top of MY class.
X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn, stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones and Kevin Bacon. Director Vaughn, as some of you may know, is also the guy who brought us Kick-Ass. Although Kick-Ass was hit or miss with most folks, it was a BIG hit with me. I was eagerly awaiting the release date of the latest installment of X-Men, and while I try not to look at any reviews before I go to a movie it was a little hard not to hear a few things from other reviewers. I was so afraid the other reviews were going to taint my overall movie experience but I am happy to say it did not! If you don't come away from this movie loving X-Men even more (as if that's possible) then you may want to see a shrink right away. This movie was a boat load of entertainment!

First off let me just give a big tops off (yeah you read that right) to Michael Fassbender who plays the young Erik aka Magneto, this man can act and hot diggity dog does he look slap-my-ass-and-call-me-sexy good on screen. (Yeah I'm a crotch slobber, I read romance books like you all breath air. Deal with it.) I enjoyed him in Inglorious Bastards and more recently the revamp of Jane Eyre, he packs an acting punch that held so true to the story of Magneto I came out loving it. James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence (Winters Bone) should not be overlooked either; both are also incredible actors who came ready to do the work it would take to make this movie believable. The young charismatic pub partying Xavier and vulnerable Raven, who later becomes Mystique, have a sordid history and I was so very pleased the film took the time to establish that foundation. I would have liked to see this film come out before all the others since it's first of the films chronologically, but prequels seem to be the fad nowadays and so it shall be.

The main plot of the film revolves around the Cuba missile crisis that took place back in the 60's. X-Men does a great job of tying in historical events and depicting them as possible mutant maneuvering. A bunch of seasoned secondary cast members had me spotting actors I love throughout the film. Dealing with discrimination and emotionally complex issues, First Class deals with some tough ideas while mixing in mutant myth. If you're looking for an action packed non-stop blow up fest you won't find any of that until about half way into the movie. The main point here was to show the origins of the mutants for people familiar but also unfamiliar with the X-men mythos. For those that need the action it comes at ya, but the main point of this film is grounded in storytelling rather than fight scenes.

Kevin Bacon's (Everybody cut Footloose!) character is basically held accountable for being the guiding force behind Erik's transformation into Magneto. While he forms a few bonds of friendship it's ultimately not enough, as well all know, to stop the change that leads him to a very different conclusion than Charles Xavier and his X-Men. Layers and layers of story take place in both the X-Men comics and movies but this would be a great starting point for those late comers that may not know much about what the whole world is about. A certain cameo scene had me laughing in my seat, you won't see it coming but you will enjoy it. The only character who felt the blandest to me was Emma Frost played by January Jones, I really wanted to get more out of Emma's character but felt her portrayal missed the mark. That being said, it's not awful just a little to distant for me.

The whole film has a Bond-esque feel to it, beautifully shot and well directed. Some amazing CGI is also thrown in to wow the audience. Overall this Marvel fangirl got her fix and walked away pretty darn happy. Getting a strong recommendation from me to go see it, and ladies do NOT be afraid the film is chock full of eye candy AND a great story. It's a win-win! Smile

Getting 4 Wolverine Sheep
KD

Posted by Katie Dalton at 7:14 PM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:16 pm

http://blog.redbox.com/2011/06/in-theaters-review-of-x-men-first-class.html

In Theaters: Review of X-Men: First Class
by Locke Peterseim | Jun 3rd, 2011 | 8:04PM
Editors' rating:

Currently 3.5/5 Stars

User rating:

Currently 4.5/5 Stars

Click a phrase to jump to the first occurrence, or return to the search results.
Theatrical Review: Thanks to a swinging ‘60s style and two fine actors fleshing out comic-book characters, X-Men: First Class pumps some much-needed life (and new mutant blood) into a promising franchise that was slipping away from us. The result is one of the better superhero movies of recent years.

I used to think the best way to reinvigorate the once-sagging James Bond franchise would be to take the films back to their roots and set them in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, when the Ian Fleming novels were written. (Or just get Daniel Craig to play 007. That works, too.) Turns out I was off by a franchise or two—instead it’s the X-Men who get a solid boost from a Cold-War prequel.

X-Men: First Class starts (as did 2000′s X-Men) with Auschwitz and Nazis in 1944 and then follows the very different paths and experiences that shaped the philosophies of vengeful young Erik Lehnsherr (Inglourious Basterds and Jane Eyre’s Michael Fassbender) and privileged academic Charles Xavier (James McAvoy).

The two young men (and mutants) become friends during a brief post-war period when they thought their Malcolm X and MLK approaches to mutant rights and pride could co-exist. That is, before they became Magneto and Professor X.

Of course, being a summer blockbuster superhero flick, we also have battling teams of heroes and villains–the good mutants align themselves with the CIA and the bad ones throw in with the Rooskies. They end up tussling smack dab in the middle of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which means X-Men: First Class gets have a stylish ball with swinging skirts, arrogant facial hair, and a villain’s super-sub straight out of a Bond movie.

Leading the baddies are Kevin Bacon and His Amazing Sideburns, and by his side is January Jones In Her Spectacular Underwear. (The always impressively dull Jones is completely out-acted by her own cleavage.) In the opposite corner, the newly recruited X-Teens are a walking special-effects display–an uneven mix of bland, beguiling, sexy, and silly mutant adolescents.

Relative unknown Lucas Till slowly shows charismatic promise as young, super-powered Alex Summers, but as the blue-skinned shape shifter Mystique, Winter’s Bone and Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence–one of our strongest young actors–is unable to find a handle on her character’s relationships with Charles and Erik, not to mention pull off a weak teen-love subplot.

About a Boy’s Nicholas Hoult also has trouble managing super-genius Hank McCoy—again a good actor seems unable to concoct a real character out of the usual blockbuster shorthand swaths. (It doesn’t help matters when McCoy Teen Wolfs into Cookie Monster.)

Still, the film’s scenes with Fassbender and McAvoy (playing early versions of the Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart roles) are easily its best bits. These are neither show-offy action hunks nor stuffy hambone thespians, but two naturalistic-but-intense actors who (like Robert Downey Jr) know how to evolve the usual melodramatic comic-book dialog into something with the right amount of wit and gravitas. Fassbender, sporting the World’s Strongest Jaw, finds a sweet Where Eagles Dare Eastwood-Burton swagger, and McAvoy even pulls off Xavier’s “I-touch-my-temple” mind control mannerism with some dignity.

(It probably says more about my tastes these days, but as with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ main characters, I’d rather see an evening of Fassbender’s Erik and McAvoy’s Charles just playing chess and talking it out in a stage play than watch them have to hop through exploding orange hoops of summer-action fire.)

As directed by Kick-Ass’ Matthew Vaughn, X-men: First Class does take half its overlong running time to find its groove, and some action bits (like Magneto Vs the Sub) work better than others. For all his visual verve, Vaughn never quite feels balanced amid the usual superhero sprawl of characters, subplots, and big-budget effects.

But Bryan Singer (who directed X1 and X2, the best of the bunch) is back on board as the film’s producer, and his steady, serious hand helps. Like a tightrope act, X-men: First Class has high-minded, daring ambitions. It may wobble here and there, but in the end it succeeds—and entertains—simply by not falling.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:26 pm

http://entertainment.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979403481

'X-Men First Class' Movie Reviews: Roger Ebert vs. Richard Roeper (Video)
June 03, 2011 09:00 PM EDT

The "X-Men First Class" movie reviews continue to pour in for one of summer 2011's biggest blockbuster superhero films. So what do popular film critics, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, have to say about this latest Marvel mutant extravaganza?

Magslee.PNGThe new film "X-Men: First Class" features a talented and sexy young cast of characters as it tells the tale of how the mutants learned to hone their skills and powers. Two best friends (Professor X and Magneto) begin to engage in the banter and rivalry that would lead to them becoming enemies. Other backstories present themselves as explosions and sonic booms dazzle and delight movie goers with the latest top notch sound and visual effects. Apparently, Kevin Bacon plays one mean villain too, and now gives more depth to the always popular game, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."

So how do Roeper and Ebert feel about the fifth "X-Men" movie? Film critic Richard Roeper gives the movie heaps of praise with an A- rating. Compare that to his recent C- for "The Hangover Part II." Roeper says the prequel is "as good or better than any of the previous efforts." Roeper also praises James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and the villainous Kevin Bacon. His only cons are the crowding of too many mutants and a bit too much speech about wanting to be accepted as mutants. Nonetheless, Roeper says this film will leave all who see it wanting more.

His former sparring partner on TV, Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun Times, isn't as pumped after seeing the movie though. In his review, Ebert is a bit disappointed that some top actors such as Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender have to take the roles they do as superheros in order to achieve stardom. Ebert says overall this film is "competent weekend entertainment" adding that "it's not a great comic book movie like 'Spider-Man 2,' or a bad one, like 'Thor.'" Of note, Ebert gives "X-Men: First Class" a two-and-a-half star rating versus one-and-a-half stars for "Thor."

So there you have it. Roeper is quite pleased with this film, while Roger Ebert seems sour on it. Then again, these guys never could agree on everything. Many other critics seem to be loving the latest superhero film based on an 87% overall rating at RottenTomatoes.com. If nothing else this film may help kill time as comic book and superhero fans continue to eagerly anticipate 2012's "The Avengers" and "Dark Knight Rises."
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:27 pm

http://riviewx.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-riview-x-men-first-class.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
Movie Riview: X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class
Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence
Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Just when you wanted to lighten the memory load on your personal hard drive by deleting the X-Men franchise (yes, The Last Stand and Wolverine sucked that bad), along comes this primal blast of a prequel, a potent reminder of what jazzed us about Bryan Singer's first two X-Men and the Marvel comics that spawned them. X-Men: First Class, the fifth in the series, is directed by fresh hand Matthew Vaughn, and as Kick-Ass proved, he's a live wire. In this cheerfully perverse origin tale of Magneto, Professor X and their mutant team, Vaughn delivers a fireworks display of action, smarts and fun, plus a touch of class from actors who can really act.
Peter Travers reviews X-Men: First Class in his weekly video series, "At the Movies With Peter Travers"
James McAvoy as telepathic Professor X and Michael Fassbender as the metal-bending Magneto are both dynamite. They take roles created, respectively, by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and give them an exuberant jolt of youth and flawed ambition. As Oxford brainiac Charles Xavier, McAvoy isn't bald, in a wheelchair or a stuffy utopian. He has one eye on a hot CIA agent (Rose Byrne) and the other on creating a society where young mutants can harness their powers and coexist with humans. This doesn't sit well with Fassbender's Erik Lehnsherr, a Holocaust survivor and the future Magneto, who'd like to see humans heel to mutants. That kind of thing can put a kink in a friendship. Luckily, the boys unite against the film's Dr. Evil, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon spewing hellfire). Set in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the prequel dances to an irresistible James Bond vibe that Fassbender runs with in high style (Daniel Craig, watch your back). Did you know the X-Men played a key role in the Cuban Missile Crisis? You will now.
Trouble spots? Too many young mutants means that too few register. But Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss in the upcoming Hunger Games, defines bombshell as Raven, Xavier's adoptive sister, who shape-shifts into the blue-skinned Mystique or anyone else she fancies. Catch her in Magneto's bed – yowsa! Props to Nicholas Hoult for giving a deep-well gravity to the cerebral Hank McCoy even as he morphs into Beast. And January Jones spins her Betty Draper cool into diamond-hard ice shards as Emma Frost, Shaw's accomplice. So who cares about plot holes and a few tacky effects? Go, mutants! You just made this summer movie the badass place to be.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:28 pm

http://mccoyonmovies.blogspot.com/2011/06/movie-of-week-6311-x-men-first-class.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
MOVIE OF THE WEEK (6/3/11): X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
"In 50 years, all these clothes we will have on will be back in fashion again ... Damn hipsters!" Cassidy - a.k.a. Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Erik "Magneto" Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), Raven Rakholme - a.k.a. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Dr. Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), Hank McCoy - a.k.a. "Beast" (Nicholas Hoult), Charles "Professor X" Xavier (James McAvoy) and Alex "Havok" Summers (Lucas Till) ponder a future where mutants can determine the fate of the world - and mankind's place in it - in a scene from X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Credit: Murray Close © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Lucas Till, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Álex González, Jason Flemyng, Caleb Landry Jones, Edi Gathegi, Zoë Kravitz, Glenn Morshower and some nice cameo work by a big star and some character actors.

WRITER: Ashley Miller (as Ashley Edward Miller), Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (screenplay); Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer (story); Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (characters)

DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn

WEB SITE: www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/

THE PLOT: Set in the early 1960s at the height of the "Cold War" between Russia and the United States, X-Men: First Class goes back in time to reveal the origins of some of the comic book world's most storied (pun intended) heroes.

Much easier to watch than it is for me to relay in text, the story begins with young Erik Lehnsherr being abducted from his parents in a concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. It is here where a German doctor (played by Kevin Bacon) tries to first bring Erik's metal-bending powers to light ...

Meanwhile, over in West Chester, New York, young Charles Xavier is living a luxurious life where he can explore all of his telepathic mental powers. It is also here where he encounters the powers of his "adopted" sibling Raven, who is struggling to deal with her true sense of self and takes to frequently hiding from it. (If you are at all familiar with these characters, this already makes total sense to you; if not, just hold tight.)

Fast forward to the 1960s and Charles (James McVoy) is now a young adult graduating from a prestigious university in the UK and Raven (Jennifer Lawrence is still struggling with her identity issues. Erik (Michael Fassbender), however, is now on the hunt for the German doctor that essentially ruined his life. What Erik doesn't know, however, is that that German doctor is not who he originally thought he was ... For his true identity is Sebastian Shaw. And like Charles - a.k.a. the future Professor X , Erik (the future Magneto) and Raven - the blue skinned, shape-shifting femme fatale that will become known as Mystique, Sebastian is a mutant. And not only is he a powerful mutant, but he's also got henchmen in the form of the devilish Azarel (Jason Flemyng), the aptly named Riptide (Álex González) and his true "gem" (sorry - these puns write themselves!), the telepathic Emma Stone (January Jones).

Sebastian is so powerful, in fact, that he would probably be able to execute his plan to bring nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia easily to fruition if it weren't for one little problem: His dealings with Colonel Hendry (Glenn Morshower) and his crew's mutant powers get discovered by Dr. Moira McTaggert (Rose Byrne), a CIA operative assigned to follow the colonel. This prompts her to seek out a human mutation expert ... Which leads to her attending a presentation that Charles just so happens to be making on the subject ... And well, you can likely see where this is going.

So what happens when the CIA needs to recruit its own mutants to fight off a rogue mutant before the world at large knows mutants exist while at the same time facing off with Russia on the brink of nuclear war? You'll have to watch to find out!

THE TAKE: Now, when you come into a movie - especially a movie based on a comic book that is already an established film franchise - knowing what will eventually happen, it can be very daunting to create a film that is (a) intriguing (b) offers introspect on its characters, motivations and most importantly (c) keeps your attention from start to finish, especially when the film is over 2 hours in length. X-Men: First Class takes all of these challenges head on and succeeds via a fairly exceptional script, solid acting across the board from its leads and tight pacing mixed with good visuals that draw out emotion, adrenaline and intrigue throughout the film.

To be concise, First Class works because it does what a lot of films of its type fail to do: [1] It shows the causes for its respective characters' motivations so that long-standing questions are answered while at the same time [2] showcases how the relationships between the characters you have known for so long and so well came to be what they are. Now, there are plenty of movies that explain how superheroes come into being, but much like the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight films, First Class does so without pandering to your senses, respecting the characters and the audience in sharing the struggles they face and doing so that you are drawn in to their world.

I'm not going to spend much time speaking about the cast's performances in the film other than to say they are very good as a whole, with Fassbender and McAvoy really embracing and bringing out the qualities of their comic book counterparts. The film essentially doesn't work without the duo's exceptional performances and chemistry, which illustrate the conflicts that have long been the staples of the X-Men in both print and film: [1] Mutants unsure of how to handle their own abilities/identities; [2] Being tired of hiding in the shadows once they discover their abilities; [3] Whether or not humans and mutants can live in peace and [4] Handling being extraordinary people.

Despite its lengthy run time, there is rarely a wasted moment in First Class. Whereas Marvel's first 2011 spring release Thor goes a bit too comical for its own good at times, lacks any memorable action or self-discovery sequences and generally fails to capture your imagination as it has with many of its other films, First Class thankfully does not. Director/co-writer Matthew Vaughn deserves much of the credit for bringing the best out of his actors, script and special effects department. Sure, some of the die-hard fanboys may have their qualms with certain aspects of the film – "Tempest" is called only by her real first name of Angel, not to be confused with the Warren Worthington III character Angel as featured in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, for example. But those type of complaints notwithstanding, Vaughn does what he says he would have done wen he criticized Last Stand director Brett Ratner's work: Delivering a quality movie based on a comic book and not a comic book movie that only its dedicated fans can appreciate.

PARTING SHOT: A movie that does a better job than most prequels (and comic book movies in general) at providing a satisfying story to explain its stars' origins, X-Men: First Class is the latest Marvel Studios release worthy of summer blockbuster status.

RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):
3
Posted by Tabari McCoy
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:30 pm


http://thatsovietguy.com/x-men-first-class-not-your-same-old-mutant-angst-movie-review

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant Angst [Movie Review]
June 3rd, 2011 Metegoolo

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstAre superpowers a blessing or a curse? Are mutants more like ethnic minorities, or queer people? For too long, TV shows and movies have been asking these same old questions, without really finding any interesting answers.

So it’s a pleasure to watch a movie like X-Men: First Class, which blows past these tired old questions, to give us some new ones. For the first time in eight years, the big screen versions of America’s favorite mutants feel like they have cool places to go.

Spoilers ahead!

The “are superpowers a blessing or a curse” thing is really overplayed, and X-Men: First Class mostly sidesteps this cliché. Instead, superpowers are just part of who you are, and they’re also skills, to be mastered and improved. It’s like asking if red hair is a blessing or a curse, or the ability to yodel.

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstSo X-Men: First Class breathes new life into Marvel’s most overexposed set of characters by going back to 1962 and recounting the origins of Professor X, Magneto and their respective mutant followers. It mostly works, because of a strong focus on the characters, especially Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr. Where the movie doesn’t work, it’s because it’s trying to do too much in one film, or because the plot is a bit silly, or because some bits simply don’t work. But more on that later.

The movie’s focus on character development absolutely does work – because once you recognize that your superpowers are just a part of who you are, a strong focus on character is obviously the best way to talk about mutant powers. And especially when it comes to Charles and Erik, the film manages to explore the idea that they both have major blind spots, which are both character flaws and a hindrance in using their powers fully. Charles can read and control minds, but his own smugness keeps him from understanding people. Erik can control metal and magnetism, but his rage keeps him from using his powers properly.

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstAnd it’s definitely in the portrayal of these two iconic characters that the film shines the most. Any time James McAvoy (who plays Charles) or Michael Fassbender (who plays Erik) is on the screen, the movie just clicks. Michael Fassbender, in particular, has a few incredibly emotional scenes in which Erik’s grief and rage feel absolutely present.

The movie follows both men from childhood. Charles starts out as an overprivileged British kid whose biggest problem is an absentee mother, then goes on to get a PhD in mutantology from Oxford. Erik, meanwhile, gets sent to a concentration camp as a small child, only to watch his mother die at the hands of a sadistic Nazi. Erik becomes a totally awesome Nazi-hunter, while Charles becomes fascinated with learning about this fellow mutants. The two meet when it turns out the Nazi who killed Erik’s mother is also the #1 evil mutant.

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstThe relationship between Charles and Erik has never been as fascinating – or as slash-ficcy – as it is here. They both help each other grow as people, and Charles especially helps Erik learn to work with others, and to find the space “between rage and serenity” where he can fully use his magnetic powers. McAvoy and Fassbender have amazing chemistry together, and their scenes involve a lot of tenderness and mutual understanding. You can really glimpse the potential for these two to become another Kirk and Spock, or maybe Luke and Han. The rise and fall of the Charles/Erik bromance goes way, way beyond a political alliance that splinters into disagreement.

After their first encounter with Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), the former Nazi and current genocidal mutant, Charles and Erik start tracking down other mutants, forming the first proto-team of X-Men. (You’ll hear the “Montage” song from Team America: World Police playing in your head a few times.)

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstAnd a lot of the middle section of the film has to do with preparing the newbie mutants to face their first real challenge. The interesting thing is, about half the mutants need to learn to master their powers. And the other half seem to have mastered their powers already, but need to learn to accept themselves as mutants. So the two tracks run simultaneously: learning to control your inner resources and strengthen your mutant muscles, and learning to accept who you really are, without hiding your true nature. So in a sense, mutant powers are both a skillset that need to be strengthened, and a form of identity that needs to be embraced. Like I said earlier, it’s a nice way around the same old questions about mutant powers that you tend to see over and over.

At the center of the “accepting your mutant self” narrativeline is Raven, aka Mystique, who’s been Charles Xavier’s friend since childhood but is having a harder time finding her place now. She can make herself look like a normal girl, but her natural state is the blue spiky nakedness that Rebecca Romijn made famous in the first few movies. And even though Charles pays lip-service to mutant pride, he mostly wants Raven to keep her mutant awesomeness on the downlow. (And Charles, in keeping with his general smugness, doesn’t appreciate how lucky he is to have an invisible mutation.)

Meanwhile, Raven falls for the sexy nerd Hank McCoy, another mutant who also “pass” for normal – except for his big prehensile feet. The only trouble is, Hank is a self-hating mutant who wants to find a way to erase all outward signs of his difference while keeping his superpowers.

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstThe absolute best thing about X-Men: First Class is that it doesn’t make any of this stuff look easy. It’s all a struggle, as some of the most powerful scenes in the film make clear. Like one great sequence where the young proto-X-Men watch helplessly as a ton of people are slaughtered in front of them. Or some of the scenes where Erik, Charles and Raven talk about whether it’s better to try and adapt to society, or make society adapt to you. Learning to be powerful and proud takes a lot of work.

There are other ways in which this film avoids asking the same old questions. For example, various characters talk about the idea that mutants are destined to drive humanity to extinction, in exactly the same way humans once wiped out Neanderthals. This is a notion that Grant Morrison bandied about in his New X-Men comics, but I don’t remember the movies dealing with it before.

X-Men: First Class: Not Your Same Old Mutant AngstSo like I said, the movie mostly works. When it doesn’t work, it’s usually because the film is trying to cram too much X-Men continuity into one two-hour movie. Or because a few of the requisite speeches about the future of mutantkind feel a bit canned. Or because the actual plot, in which Kevin Bacon almost starts World War III by confusing a few generals, does not feel even remotely plausible. (Grounding this narrative in the real-life Cuban Missile Crisis actually works against this narrativeline, because you just can’t believe that Kevin Bacon orchestrated these events.) And there are a few outrageously cheesy sequences that try to prop up this narrativeline, including two separate “nuclear war is scary” montages where we see mushroom clouds and terrifying cartoons, trying to impush on us the danger of nuclear Armageddon. Oh, and now that Bacon has proved he can make a fantastic villain in Super, he doesn’t seem to feel any need to prove it a second time.

But those are mostly minor complaints – I’d say X-Men: First Class is 3/4 of a great movie, with a few wobbly segments sandwiched in here and there. And if you’ve ever been fascinated by the Professor X/Magneto dynamic and wanted to delve more fully into their complicated, intense relationship, then X-Men: First Class is a dream come true. Most of all, X-Men: First Class fuses action and character development, in a way that makes the tragically overused mutant angst feel full of excitement again. Here’s hoping this movie sparks a trend.

Are superpowers a blessing or a curse?
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:44 pm

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

Friday, June 3, 2011
X-Men: First Class
It's been more than a decade since Bryan Singer introduced the X-Men to movie-goers the world over. The first film in the longest running superhero franchise other than Batman, it was single-handedly responsible for creating the comic-book film renaissance. In 2003, the sequel, X2: X-Men United, reached a cinematic height for the genre that would only be matched and outdone by Christopher Nolan's Batman films. But the higher they reach, the harder they fall. The highly anticipated third film in the X-Men trilogy could only be described as a crushing disappointment. The spinoff, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was even worse, joining the ranks of worst films ever made quite handily.

Two years later, director Matthew Vaughn, fresh off nerd cred from making the adaptation of Mark Millar's Kick-Ass comic book, is tackling a reboot of the X-Men franchise that throws out the continuity of the other films in the hopes of starting a new trilogy during the origins of the X-Men. Taking place in the 1960s, the film traces the origins of Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Leshnerr (Magneto) when they were actually allies, not enemies, as they form the original X-Men. The result is a staggering breath of fresh air, the likes of which haven't been seen since Batman Begins.

I'm on the record of being a fan of Vaughn's crime thriller Layer Cake, but really loathed Kick-Ass. But X-Men: First Class is such an intelligent, taught, slick return to form that I am completely ready to forgive him for his previous film. His direction here is incredibly assured and stylish, pumping new blood into a franchise all but headed for the morgue. Like Nolan did for Batman, Vaughn does the impossible and makes X-Men feel fresh, relevant, and exciting again.


Perhaps the film's biggest triumph is the casting of James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Erik Leshnerr, and how it handles the Martin Luther King Jr/Malcom X relationship between the two. The two actors have such great chemistry and play off one another so well that their friendship never rings false for even a moment. The best scenes in the film are without question the ones between them. In particular, there is a moment during the time when the mutants are all training where Xavier helps Erik unlock power he didn't know he was capable of, but through compassion, not pain and anger. Rage has driven Erik all these years and helped him harness his abilities to an extent, but only through calming his mind and focusing on that center between rage and serenity is he able to acheive what he is capable of. It's a beautiful moment that is elevated due to a powerhouse performance from Michael Fassbender. Fassbender really emerges as the true star of the film and as its emotional center. There is something to be said about a film and a performance that makes you truly feel something and empathize with a character who later in life becomes something of a genocidal madman.

The rest of the cast is no slouch either. If there's one thing the film gets absolutely right, it's casting. X-Men films, by nature, are large, ensemble driven films, and this is a great ensemble. By that same token, not every single character will get equal time for character development, but those who do really shine. Jennifer Lawrence is sexy and vulnerable as Mystique, Nicolas Hoult is perfectly nerdy and angsty as Hank McCoy aka Beast. Kevin Bacon is something of a mini-revelation as Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is a character not many unfamiliar with the X-Men mythos will have heard of, but he's such a fascinating and compelling villain that one can't help but love just how evil he really is. Kevin Bacon plays up the villainy and coolness of the character with such ease that it's mesmerizing.


On the spectacle side of things, the film is so beautifully choreographed and directed that one can't help but be in awe of just how well the action scenes play out. The final battle is epic and directed nearly to perfection, never outstaying it's welcome or becoming numbing, with plenty of moments that will leave you wow'ed. But this is because we actually care about the fate of the characters. Like the best of the franchise before it, X-Men: First Class succeeds because it focuses on character over spectacle, but never forgets to have great spectacle as the icing on top. But were it not for the fantastic emotional center of the film, it would just be empty and dull. Who knew Magneto lifting a submarine out of the ocean could have such heartfelt emotional impact? You've seen the money shot I'm talking about in the trailers, but nothing can prepare you for just how epic and beautiful it is on screen and in context.


The X-Men are finally astonishing again. Between Matthew Vaughn's slick direction, the strong script & emotionally invested story, fantastic action, and a perfect cast led by a star-making turn from Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class joins the ranks of Batman Begins as a reboot that returns a franchise to it's roots, while establishing new and exciting ground. I haven't been this excited for a sequel since the end of Batman Begins 6 years ago. Long live the X-Men.
Posted by Kevin K. at Friday, June 03, 2011
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:45 pm

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7:44pm | June 18, 2011
POSTED: 11:59 pm PDT June 2, 2011
UPDATED: 12:15 am PDT June 3, 2011

"X-Men" (PG-13) Popcorn rating Popcorn rating Popcorn rating Half Popcorn Rating (out of four)

Don't worry if the names Professor X and Magneto don't stir a fire in your soul, "X-Men: First Class" will spark excitement even in those who care little for comic book superheroes.

Much like the inventive 2009 "Star Trek" reboot that chronicled the early days of Spock and Kirk, "X-Men: First Class" goes back to the beginnings of "X-Men" when Professor X and Magneto first meet. Gifted scientist Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), who, because of his own genetic make up, has a gift of telepathy, and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), who, possesses the power to control magnetism when provoked, join together to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). The powerful energy-absorbing mutant has hatched a plan to have mankind succumb to its own demise so mutants can take over the world.

The imaginative story is set in the 1960s at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, and uses real historical events fused with fiction to heighten the tension. In "X-Men: First Class," Shaw has figured out a way to escalate the Cold War crisis to trigger an all-out war.

Setting the film in the 1960s also lends the atmosphere a bit of James Bond mystique. It's the dawn of the Space Age -- no cell phones, no 21st century high-tech gadgetry, just submarines and super powers. There are other themes from the era that are fascinatingly interwoven including human themes of Civil Rights. Here the question of man's equality creates audience sympathy for the mutants, outcasts who are feared and hated because they are different. It's also a bit of a tribute that the film is set in the 1960s -- the Marvel Comics series was first created in 1963 by Stan Lee with Jack Kirby.

Of course, what's most intriguing in this Part One is how the X-Men came to be the X-Men. How did Professor X end up in a wheelchair? And how did X and Magneto become archenemies? Those of you who aren't concerned about these burning questions can just enjoy the magnificent effects and the mastery of the story.

Fassbender as the headstrong Erik is the focal point of the film. "X-Men: First Class" introduces Erik with a scene that opened the original "X-Men." He's a youngster held at the Auschwitz concentration camp in the 1940s and has been separated from his parents. "First Class" takes the opening a step further with the evil Dr. Schmidt pushing Erik to the limit so that the boy's strong mental powers become a force to be reckoned with.

The film moves forward 20 years later, where Erik is out to seek revenge for what he had endured at the hands of Dr. Schmidt. One of the best scenes (reminiscent of "Marathon Man") is when Erik visits someone who may know the whereabouts of Schmidt, but in order to make the man spill his secrets he must use his magnetic powers to do a bit of dental work on the gentleman.

"X-Men: First Class" also introduces other heroes and villains (and villainesses), some from past "X-Men" films and others primarily from the pages of the comic books. Here, we meet some new recruits as teenagers: Blue-skinned Mystique, a changeling who can appear as her human self, Raven, or assume the appearance of anyone else, has been taken under the wing of Charles. In the original film trilogy, she is played by Rebecca Romijn, part of Magneto's Brotherhood. Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence from last year's "Winter's Bone" plays the young Mystique with an innocent charm.

There's also the big-footed Hank (Nicholas Hoult), whose secret to how he became Beast is revealed; Alex Summers (Lukas Till), aka Havok, who emits super-heated energy waves; Sean Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones looking an awful lot like Harry Potter's Ron Weasley), aka Banshee, whose unique sonic blasts carry him into flight; and Armondo Munoz (Edi Gathegi), aka Darwin, who is able to adapt to any situation or environment. Zoe Kravitz (musician Lenny Kravitz's daughter) plays Angel, who sports an insect-like tattoo on her back that actually sprouts real wings, which enable her to fly.

Shaw's Hellfire Club villains and villainesses include Shaw's right-hand woman, Emma Frost, played by a seductive January ("Mad Men") Jones; the demonic Azazel (Jason Flemyng) and the tornado creating Riptide (Alex Gonzalez). So where's Wolverine? Now that's a surprise.

"X"philes will rejoice that the franchise is back in full force after a slump while anyone out for a little fun will herald this super, superhero extravaganza that kicks off the summer movie season with a resounding bang.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:57 pm

http://digitista.blogspot.com/2011/06/colossal-superhero-movie-x-men-first.html

Friday, June 3, 2011
The Epic Beginning -- X-Men: First Class Movie Review
Potato On-the-Go:

Finally, after the long wait, 20th Century Fox has finally released the much awaited prequel of the X-Men saga "X-Men: First Class". Special thanks of course to 20th Century Fox Philippines for the invitation to the film's press preview in SM Mall of Asia.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, X-Men First Class tells the story of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), who before they took the names of Professors X and Magneto, were two young men discovering their powers for the first amidst issues of racial discrimination, burden of nations at war and threat of rise of nuclear power as weapons of mass destruction. Before they became archenemies, they were the closest friends working together with other mutants to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. But in the process, their differences opened a rift between them, which unleashed the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants and Professor X's X-Men.

True to its title, X-Men: First Class is first class in a lot of ways. After a long time, finally another movie, put me into a great awe and blew me away.

X-Men: First Class, like its first and original versions in different mediums, is a great story worth telling. Yes, it's a superhero flick, a special effects movie and a popcorn film but it's plot and theme is far more meaningful and relevant than its contemporaries. It narrates the story of the evolution of mutants, and how their existence is threatened and exploited by the dominant majority. The film has been talking about the ordeals of people with extreme mutation conditions but it simply tells us how people who are different from many suffer from the discrimination of the common majority but in a way prove themselves of their worth, which may be way exceptional than the rest. Screenplay was able to dissect the rich story content of the X-Men saga. It was narrated on a straight yet slowly revealing and entertaining way.

The characters featured in the film are superb! I was particularly awed by Magneto's immense magnetic prowess, Emma Frost's (January Jones) advanced telepathic skills and ability to cover herself with diamond skin, Havok's (Lucas Till) powerful nuclear blasts, Banshee's (Caleb Landry Jones) entertaining self discovery and amusing sonar scream and flight, Sebastian Shaw's (Kevin Bacon) deadly energy consumption, Beast's (Nicholas Hault) transformation, Mystique's (Jennifer Lawrence) lovely beginnings and Professor X's admirable intelligence, leadership, compassion and growing psychic powers. X-Men: First Class helped me understand how Magneto turned into the character that he is right now and admire Charles Xavier's vision for mutants (and eventually the X-Men).

The stunts are undeniably monumental and colossal. The scene where Magneto lifts a submarine through his magnetic power particularly put me into silence with my mouth wide opened. I was like a kid amused with a spectacular circus act. There are tons of scenes which made me speechless but I would rather let you guys witness them yourselves.

The film's sound and music ignited the intensity of every scene while editing drumbeat the excitement of audience in the movie. I was particularly amused and entertained in the comics like transition of scenes during the training of the newly recruited mutants by Charles and Erik. Cinematography framed well the important sequences of the event, may it be a heart breaking scene or a jaw dropping stunt.

Another noteworthy to mention are the outstanding performances of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. As they emit magnetic fields and telepathic waves, Both James and Michael conveyed emotions that effectively showed the human side of their characters.

The only builds I would like to share is about the screenplay and how characters are maximized in the story. First I would have loved to see Mystique display her impressive power and skills like in the past X-Men movies. X-Men: First Class focused heavily on Mystique's personal and social ordeals, letting me remember how Rogue is played up and wasted in X-Men 1 to 3. Her story here, however, helped me understand and embrace her character.

I also would have wanted to see more exhibition by Havok as his possessed enormous power is really interesting and visually appealing.

Then I also noticed a few inconsistencies if we connect this film with the rest of X-Men movies. Emma Frost in particular was a teenager who was captured and rescued alongside Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And Professor X appeared in that movie as an adult who already started the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. How come then that Emma here is a grown up criminal and is older than Charles Xavier?

If I'm not mistaken, the film also gave us a glimpse of Storm and Jean Grey in their younger years, while Magneto and Professor X are on their young adulthood. But in X-Men: The Last Stand, Professor X is already old and crippled when he and Magneto recruited Jean to join Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Lastly, I was surprised how USA and USSR have instantly changed their minds, ended their rift and went against another enemy (instantly means in a matter of minutes I guess?). I think the film should have shown that it took a while for the two governments to realign alliances before they joined forces.

Nevertheless, without the minor inconsistencies and lack of build up scenes, X-Men First Class is truly exceptional and monumental for its genre. Of the X-Men movies, this may be one of the bests alongside with if not better than X2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has the right blend of awesome superheroes, gigantic stunts, powerful special effects, intriguing conflict, socially relevant plot, and golden lessons in life.

From a scale of 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving X-Men a mutant and proud 8 1/2 with sonar and nuclear blasts!

By the way, you don't have to stay in the theater until the end of the CBB (closing billboard), the surprise and bonus scene is at the middle of the film. Don't blink your eye throughout the film as a prominent X-Men character will surprise you. =)

Produced by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Warner Bros., X-Men: First Class opens in theaters on June 02. See you in theater as I will definitely watch this again! =)

Posted by Ferdinand Bondoy at 11:43 AM
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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:59 pm

http://ocartsandculture.com/2011/06/x-men-first-class/

Posted on 03 June 2011 by Matt Knapil

x-men-first-class-movie-logoI must say that when I heard about X-men: First Class I was rather uncertain, and in fact, decided that it was probably a wait-until-its-on-DVD type of movie. I could not have been more wrong. This Cold War-era prequel was quite the surprise.

The story revolves around Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) and how they become friends and eventually, as we all know, foes (more like frenemies). It also reveals the rocky beginnings of the X-men and their unsuccessful relationship with the American government.

The story weaves together the history of the Cold War with the X-men mythos, blending the two into a seamless and believable story, save for the super powers and such. The writers took fewer liberties, if any, with the actual events of the Cold War than they did with the X-men mythos. And I believe any fanboy would support the changes made. That is, as long as one remembers that the movies are to be an alternate version of the X-men stories and not an exact retelling of the comics.

The Cold War appears to be more of a backdrop than a necessary plot device, as the most important part of the movie is the relationships between the characters. This is quite remarkable since most super hero movies tend to have cheesy dialogue and fantastical action sequences and give little to no attention to the intricate delicacies of relationships between the heroes. Except, of course, for the Nolan’s retelling of Batman and his beginnings.

Under the wonderful and capable direction of Matthew Vaughn, James McAvoy (Prof. X) and Michael Fassbender (Erik/Magneto) deliver great performances as the two well known and much loved/hated main characters. McAvoy portrays a cool, smart, and sexy Charles Xavier; much different than the Charles Xavier we are more familiar with. While Fassbender gives us a taste of the persistent Magneto who can never satisfy his lust for vengeance. There is certain magical quality about their acting when not on screen together but this is only multiplied when on screen at the same time. And don’t forget a wonderful supporting cast including: Bridesmaid’s Rose Byrn as Moira McTaggert, a CIA agent and love interest to Xavier, MadMen’s January Jones as Emma Frost another ESP-capable mutant, and the one and only Kevin Bacon as the main villain Sebastian Shaw. Oh, and of course, a Hugh Jackman cameo.

X-men: First Class is a great genesis story for the X-men franchise, as well a great restart to get the franchise back on it’s feet after X3 and X-men Origins: Wolverine. I personally am looking forward to the next installment in this nostalgic saga.
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