This is the Creative COW version of a "check in"
Watching previews before X Men First Class. Review coming. Chime in if you see it first.
PS. Robot Boxing...interesting.
I just got out of a screening about an hour ago. Probably won't have time to write a more in depth review until Sunday night/Monday morning. I will say though, I thought it was probably one of the better (maybe the best?) movie released so far this year.
You got the Hugh Jackman Robot Boxing trailer...? You must go to a cooler theater, I got the dreadful looking Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds body-switch comedy trailer... which I've now seen three times.
And also I got to see the Paul Blart Zookeeper trailer on the big screen! How exciting! Almost walked out of the theater after that, assuming anything that followed would be horrible in comparison.
Dear Matthew Vaugh
Please make more movies like this. Fun and a good story. Kevin Bacon's plastic surgery has prepared him for this role. A true evil genius with a James Bond villain submarine. I have a greater appreciation now for X1 and 2 and dislike 3 a bit less now.
Nods to Dr Strangelove and Star Wars and nice detailed visuals
I like the setting in the 60"s. It would have been good even without the mutants..this could stand as a 1960's techno thriller.
I think I should start this review with a movie critic quality pun line, here goes: “X really marks the spot in this latest comic book installment, which is definitely a FIRST CLASS summer blockbuster!!” (snickers to self over typewriter, sips chardonnay, puts on Mozart).
I think it’s slightly unfair of me to say this is the best of the X-Men series, because in all honesty I haven’t watched X2 in a few years. But I remember REALLY liking X2. Maybe the immediacy of seeing X-Men: First Class is making me say this, but: this is the best of the X-Men series.
It works as both a fresh start for the series that definitely went stale with the Wolverine solo picture, and also as a really great period piece that intertwines actual history with make-believe mutant ones (a la Watchmen). To be honest, if I never saw Cyclops in another X-Men movie, I’d be pretty happy. And the central characters of the story are Xavier and Magneto, who get new life with some good actors playing their younger selves. Now, I loved Ian McKellen as Magneto, and I liked Patrick Stewart as Xavier, but these new guys just seemed more… lively? Passionate maybe? Michael Fassbender in particular was awesome in this movie. Giving an ice cold portrayal of Magneto, while still being able to unleash some rage metal bending. Between this, Inglorious Basterds and Fish Tank, this dude’s got some skills (I loved Fish Tank, btw, definitely worth looking into). Jennifer Lawrence seemed slightly underwhelming from an acting perspective. But I’m not sure if that was her, or the lines she had to read.
Over on the bad guy’s side, Kevin Bacon was pretty good, showing up out of nowhere to be the main villain in an X-Men movie… January Jones was her typical frowny self, but I can’t complain about her costumes. And I suppose the tornado guy was able to pick sides at some point, but I feel bad for the guy who looked like the devil. I think you’d assume he was evil even if he fought for the X-Men.
Again it works great as a period piece, with all the 1960′s CIA and espionage you can handle. And it’s also a good origin story without having it feel like a normal comic book origin story. It felt more like the main, core plot was the Soviet threat as opposed to discovering powers (even though it was gratuitously examined in a fun scene). That’s probably because all of the mutants have been that way since birth, there’s nothing to discover. It’s more about coming out of hiding than anything else. And not having a problem being yourself, and all that jazz. That’s not new ground for the series, but I felt like it was covered most elegantly in this one.
Aside from elegance, the action in this not to shabby, either. I don’t recall any of the action scenes in a negative light as I try to remember them. Maybe some of the special effects were a little suspect, but nothing laughably bad. And it had the greatest training montage I’ve seen since Team America mocked training montages several years ago (talkin’ bout a montaaaage). It was good summer entertainment, while not also being throwaway summer entertainment. Only at the end did some of the lines seemed forcefully bad, always involving saying a character’s name. They might as well have just looked into the camera and winked. But the story and (most of) the dialogue was definitely above average.
I think they picked the best director for the job, and I would definitely pay to see another X-Men movie directed by Matthew Vaughn. But I hope this stays a standalone picture, and they don’t beat it into the ground like they did with the other X-Men movies. I’d be way more happy if Vaughn went on to other projects he really wants to do. And if I was a movie studio executive, I’d let him choose whatever he wants. First Class was no Kick-Ass, but both of those movies are better than a vast majority of crap that normally gets released. I expected a good X-Men film out of Vaughn, and I ended up being completely satisfied without being blown away. Plus it’s around 2 and 1/2 hours, and to me it felt maybe 30 minutes shorter than that. Always a good sign if a film is fun enough to make time fly.
I'd give like an 8 out of 10.
The montage parody and song is from the guys who filmed "Team America", but it's actually from an episode of South Park, the one where Stan has to ski against some d-bag, in a parody of the John Cusak movie "Better Off Dead".
/back to my nerd cave, until I get to see the x-men movie.
That's a quality episode. "Good luck out-skiing me, DARSH".
But the Team America people and the South Park people are the same guys, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, by the way.
Interestingly to me (I have a British wife and we watch all the British tv we can find) two stars of this new X Men movie are former stars of two influential British tv shows.
Prof X himself, played by James McAvoy. McAvoy was briefly on the first series of Shameless - the raunchy show about life in the council houses in Northern England. The show is now on its 8th season. Showtime did its best to recreate this show this past season with William H Macy, Joan Cusack and a cast of misfits and talented teen actors. While American remakes are usually toned down from their British counterparts, Showtime did a decent job in Americanizing the characters and did not hold back on some of the raunch.
Beast was played by Nicholous Hoult best known for playing the boy in the Hugh Grant flick "About a Boy." Hoult grew up to play sleazy teen Tony in the British version of Skins. A cast-mate went on to star in a little seen movie about a boy from India who wins a million dollars. This show too was recreated on American tv this past season, on MTV of all places, and met with the consternation of adults everywhere, and some serious re-editing after the pilot. A show like this is for HBO or Showtime. Needless to say, part of the appeal of Skins in the UK is its raunchiness but with pretty serious character arcs once you get past the sex and drug use. It is into its 5th season over there - they replace the cast every 2 years.
I finally got around to seeing X Men; First Class.
Liked it, though I kept thinking Prof. X was being played by Tobey McGuire, and the actor playing Magneto suddenly seemed to change his accent to Irish in the climactic beach scenes. I liked Oliver Platt, he's great in everything he does, wish he had a bigger or more permanenet role. Michael Ironside is always fun to see in a movie. Kevin Bacon really seemed to relish his part, and chewed the scenery with vigor.
The plot was predictable, and when that's the case, you have to concentrate your critique on the quality of the execution. I thought it was executed well, for the most part. Some of the dialog was weak, and some of the character development hand-waved, but that happens when you have a larger cast. I liked the multiple origin stories and they moved quickly. The effects were a little on the glossy side, but they did feel like they were from the comics. The framing and composition as well felt like an X-men comic, though I don't follow those comics very closely.
If I could change one thing about the film, it would be to wrap up the Cuban Missile Crisis plot line earlier, because the much more interesting story is the tense relationship of the normal humans vs. mutants, parellels with 60's era civil rights struggles, and how it evolves and flows back and forth from our government hates and distrusts them/ govt. needs and aprpeciates them/ govet. insists on controlling them/ govt. is too scared to deal with them., vs. Charles' naive attempts to bridge to an understanding and co-existence.
I enjoyed X-Men and was happy I watched it. I still like X-Men 1 & 2 better. The one thing that really distracted me was the montage training part. The PIP thing really didn't feel like it fit in the movie and I found myself focusing on the PIP look instead of the training. I really love the "How It Should Have Ended" version as shown below:
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