TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3428:
X-Men: First Class
This summer may prove to be the Summer of the Comic Book Movie. We've got Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America, Transformers, and Cowboys & Aliens. And X-Men: First Class is the one I've been wanting to see.
A note to the guys: a lot of women are psyched to see X-Men: First Class. In all my informal surveys, the women name this as the movie they want to see most; the men not so much.
So wake up fan boys and get yourselves to this movie - with or without a date!
This film is like a chick magnet. It's got James McAvoy (Atonement - you don't need to rent it, just tell them it's the guy from) and Michael Fassbender (from the millionth and one rendition of Jane Eyre) -- how sensitive is that?
This X-Men is the sensitive comic book movie of all time. Face it, the X-Men are all about being sensitive - celebrating diversity, teenage angst, and young love, then kicking some ass. In this franchise reboot, sensitivity takes center stage.
(SPOILER WARNING! TO SKIP THIS SECTION, GO DOWN TO NEXT RED COLORED FONT LINE!)
Sure, there's plenty of action in this version, it's just not so hot. The final battle looks like something a bunch of kids would stage in their bath tub. And the attack on the CIA research complex, let's just say there's no comparison between seeing a bunch of MIBs get their asses kicked and watching Stryker and his team attack the school in X2.
The story is a prequel, so expect a lot of references to what you've seen in the previous three X-Men movies.
Note to fan boys: try to avoid elbowing your seat mate (especially if it's a woman) every time you hear one. Yes, Stryker's in the movie - and thanks, husband for pointing that out to me.
X-Men: First Class assembles the first class of students at what will become Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters where mutant children learn they're not alone, and how to control their powers.
Using Cerebro for the first time, Xavier "locates" the mutants so he and Erik (Magneto) can find them and persuade them to come to the school. Keep your eyes peeled for the spoiler scene of the movie during this segment. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else here to hold my attention. We're treated to a week of mutant power training (feels more like an entire summer). It's a far cry from Robert Downey Jr. testing out the suit in Iron Man, but the audience seemed to enjoy the comic relief.
All this sets up the showdown between evil Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and the X-Men to avoid a nuclear WWIII between Russia and the US. Who knew Kevin Bacon was behind the Cuban missile crisis, talk about 6 degrees of separation. In fairness, the historic element to the story is interesting, especially the use of the actual Kennedy footage.
If you only know the X-Men from the movies, you'll be wondering how Mystique could ever have ended up in Magneto's camp. You'll understand completely in this movie. Before he was Magneto, that Erik sure understood human nature and women in particular. But, he's not a manipulative bastard like in the earlier movies; he's just being honest.
Fassbender gets all the best scenes. McAvoy has more lines, but Fassbender steals the show. His exchange about "never again" is powerful. I was heartened to see the theme of the Holocaust being explored in a movie for young people. At my age, I grew up with kids who had relatives killed in the concentration camps. But today, it's not so talked about. Kudos to Bryan Singer for making the story relevant to today's youth and making sure we never forget.
Why no Stan Lee cameo? I don't buy that it was too far away for Stan to travel.
Why did killing Kevin Bacon make Michael Fassbender suddenly start talking with an Irish accent? (I get that he was raised in Ireland, but he'd managed to control it for most of the film.)
Why don't the bouncers stop Agent MacTaggert when she crashed the Hellfire party in her undies? This girl is clearly not a D-cup like the rest of the entertainment.
Why would a mutant Tinker Bell (Angel) spit fire? For that matter, what was the point of the rest of the "bad" mutants other than fighting the "good" mutants? The producers should poll the fans and use their favorites in the next film since their characters and abilities serve no purpose in the story. Who would you like to see?
(END OF SPOILER WARNING...!)
My comic book grade for X-Men: First Class: 8.5 out of a possible 10.0 comic book grading scale.
Thanks, Tina for a 'Woman's POV' on this comic book movie! And to think, you wanted to see this comic book movie more than me! I gave it a higher 'grade' than you did! So you must have been a little disappointed?!
For comparison value, I invite the readers of Tina's guest blog here, to check out my Blog at #3427 from a comic book fan's POV!
~Michael D Hamersky
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