Monday, July 11, 2011

"X-Men: FIrst Class"



I enjoyed the first two "X-Men" movies -- I thought Bryan Singer did a great job of bringing the characters to life on screen. The casting was excellent, the effects were well-done, and the stories held together.

Things started to fall apart with the third "X-Men" movie, which had a few good scenes but really started to devolve into an embarrassing mess about halfway through… and the big battle between the mutants had some really bad fight staging. And the less said about Hugh Jackman's solo "Wolverine" outing, the better.

So when I heard there was going to be another "X-Men" movie, I did not hold out great hope that it would turn out well, especially when I heard it was going to feature all young mutants, in a prequel of sorts to the other three films. There would be no Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen, sadly.

However, as time went on and I started seeing trailers for the upcoming film (titled "X-Men: First Class"), I began to feel somewhat hopeful. It actually looked interesting.

And on a recent short visit by our daughter Emily to this side of the country, I got to see it with her and Jeannine. Em had already seen it, but was willing to go again (she wasn't so willing to see "Green Lantern" again, but that's another story).

We all liked it, quite a bit. I especially liked seeing Hank McCoy realized much like he was in the original "X-Men" comics, although I do feel the actor they chose to portray him should have been a bit shorter and stockier, But it was still cool to see the bespectacled, slightly nerdy "Beast" in his pre-blue furred state. I would have liked to have seen the complete original team from those first comics -- Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman -- but I guess that wasn't possible if this film was to fit into the established continuity of the first two.

And as far as I could tell (from that single viewing), it did fit -- I did not detect any glaring errors. Maybe when I see it a second or third time, something will jump out at me, but it appeared pretty seamless.

I did feel that January Jones was not terribly impressive in her part of Emma Frost -- she seemed for the most part required to stand around and look sexy, which I guess she did, but her energy level seemed far below that of the other actors. Not so much as to ruin the film, but it was a little distracting.

There was one great cameo appearance which lasted all of about ten seconds -- I won't spoil it by revealing who it was, but it made me laugh.

I would definitely recommend this movie, especially for fans of the "X-Men" movie franchise who thought it was all over after "Wolverine". -- PL

11 comments:

Jeff M said...

I also watched this film for the first time a few days ago, and I completely agree with your view on this one (and the others for that matter.)
As for the cameo, it made me laugh, how they just turned away instantly after 3 or so rough words. All in all, a decent movie though.

Mayhem said...

I rather enjoyed it as well. There are two cameos actually... the first one, as mentioned, is obvious. The second? When Erik comments that Raven is too young for him, she changes appearance to look much older. And who is the person in question that she has changed into? Answers on a postcard to...

Jeff M said...

ah! yes, you're right! I forgot about that one!

Brookslyn said...

I also saw it a few weeks after it came out and walked away suprisingly satisfied! I also agree with you on the other x films. I haven't seen green lantern yet. I'm crossing my fingers for Captain America.

Marshall Banana said...

I felt the same regarding the previous X-Men movies, and was also pleasantly surprised with First Class. There is one tiny mistake in it, but it has nothing to do with the characters: in one point Magneto goes to a town in Argentina: Villa Gesell, and they depict is as a beautiful village surrounded by snowy mountains and a lake... the only problem is that Villa Gesell is a seaside village, and there are no mountains anywhere near it, no lakes, and most certainly no snow, EVER! I know it's silly, but everyone here in Argentina laughs during that scene.

exscind said...

Really loved this movie; went and saw it a second time (something I rarely do). Michael Fassbender is a really exciting actor to watch; I knew when I saw Inglorious Basterds that he'd be a huge star. If First Class isn't the best X-Men movie it's definitely close. (X2 is the other one I really love).

I heard an explanation that Emma Frost's cold demeanor was an extension of her "frostiness". Works for me.

I did see one really distracting problem that should've been corrected. It's pretty distracting so DON'T READ THIS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET BUGGED BY IT LATER...

...

...

OK, so here's what I wish they fixed: Magneto's helmet sits crooked on his head. What?!

Anonymous said...

There are alot of errors from the other films the major ones are.
In X2, Hank McCoy appears in human form and is speaking with a living Sebastian Shaw on television.
In The Last Stand and Wolverine, Xavier is bald and walking.
Emma Frost is younger in Wolverine than she is in this film.
In the opening of of The Last Stand, Eric and Xavier are still working together to recruit Jean Grey in the 1980s or 1990s.
In the first X-Men movie, Professor X tells Logan that he met Erik Lehnsherr when he was 17 years old. It is clear that Charles and Erik were born before 1944 as they were both depicted as young boys at that time in First Class. According to First Class, they met for the first time in their mid-20s in 1962.

B.Thomas said...

Great review Peter! What did you think about Michael Fassbender's performance as Erik/Magneto? Personally, I thought he was fantastic and made a character who you can sympathize with. I agree with you about January Jones, she was bland as Emma Frost.

cloud said...

I also loved the cameo. It was a surprised since I wasn't expecting any cameos and it was really funny.

Overall the storyline was really close to the first X-men movie. It is the same franchise afterall. I've heard news about a new X-men movie (insider info) not sure what that's all about.

mikeandraph87 said...

Of all of the superhero movies out this summer which did you enjoy the most? It was Green Lantern for me.

margui118 said...

I really enjoy the movie so much, a good story and a lots of action.

Question: Do you think is offensive for the Jews the portray of Magneto?