Michael D Hamersky On Comics Reviews:
The 2011 Marvel Film
'X-Men First Class'
Which Opens Today... Friday, June 3rd, 2011 At A Local Theater Near YOU In the USA!
Once again, just like the THOR film, I haven't blogged all that much about this new X-Men prequel film... Because I haven't really been that excited about seeing it, to tell the truth!
You may find that strange, coming from a guy who has been there since the 'beginning of the X-Men' in the Marvel Comics title, 'X-Men' #1 back in 1963. Plus I did like the earlier three X-Men films with Wolverine and Storm. However, this prequel just didn't get me excited to see it on the Opening Day. My opinion was not shared At the April 2011 Semantink's Comic Savvy Meetup in San Diego, where 38% of the attendees placed this film as their #1 choice of the 4 comic book movies they most wanted to see. (Between Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America, and X-Men. I'm not counting the 'Priest' film, based on a Korean comic book series.)
Those same attendees, who are really into comics, thought that 'mainstream America' would want to see this one of the four films for sure. They figured that a whopping 37% of those 'mainstreamers' would place this film as their #1 choice, coming in second after 'Thor'!
So we will see how the Opening Weekend does for this X-Men prequel film... I know that my wife, Tina, really wanted to see this film more than the Captain America film, (which is my #1 choice to see)!
This blog is being formatted prior to my going to the Big Theater with Tina in the mid-afternoon. So that all I have to do is to write my review in the main body of this blog below the blog number (#). For more general info on the film, (SPOILER ALERT!), You can check the Wikipedia entry for X-MEN FIRST CLASS via this link. There is probably TOO much info there prior to seeing the film itself, thus the SPOILER ALERT! | |
THE X-MEN FIRST CLASS FILM POSTER! The above film poster shows Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr as the featured characters.
X-MEN FIRST CLASS - THE SPANISH LANGUAGE FILM POSTER - This poster shows Professor Xavier and Erik Lahnsherr as the two top billed characters with Emma Frost and Raven (Mystique) flanking them.
EMMA FROST IN X-MEN FIRST CLASS FILM POSTER - A lot was made of January Jones replacing another actress for this part. And several of the foreign film posters also emphasized this!
AFTER SEEING THE X-MEN PREQUEL FILM - REGULAR VERSION (NOT 3D) - Okay... It's a lot better than I thought I would be... Not really two thumbs up, but pretty good for a prequel after the earlier trilogy!
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3427:
Okay... Tina and I are back from watching the 'X-Men: First Class' film on the Big Screen at a local theater during an afternoon matinee run. This is the second film of the five comic book films that we wanted to see during this 'blockbuster film season'...
So... "What's My Take On The Film?" you ask?!
Well, considering this is a 'prequel' film to a film series that has already been seen by the majority of those reading this blog, including myself... I am going to say that this film is much better than what I thought it would be!
Seriously! As this film was not my personal #1 choice as a'must see' of the five films previously mentioned: Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America, X-Men, and Priest.
The trailers that had been aired on TV and in the Big Theater didn't do justice to the storyline that was presented in the film that we just viewed at our local theater.
And I'm sure that several of you will want to know what Tina's 'Take' on the film was... But I'll let her tell you her 'Point of View from a mainstream movie goer' in her own blog post sometime this weekend. She shut down the home office early, so as to take in this film today, and has to finish a project between now and the time she shuts down tonight.
So here's 'My Take' on the film...
First it's time for the SPOILER ALERT!
DON'T READ BELOW THIS ROW, UNTIL YOU SEE THE RED FONT FOR 'END OF SPOILER ALERT' UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE INFORMED OF THE FILM BEFORE GOING - 'NUFF SAID!
Okay... here's 'My Take' on the storyline, cast, direction, etc., etc., as much as I have time for tonight...!
STORYLINE - As I stated above, the storyline was a far cry better than what has been stated. Period. Maybe because I'm a student of history, and I loved the way the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis was intertwined in this storyline! I was there in 1963 when the X-Men first came out with Stan & Jack, but as the 'New X-Men' came along later, I lost interest as the subplots that never concluded were brought in, along with multiple mutant titles that I couldn't afford to buy. So this storyline is one that is relatively simple and does set the stage for the trilogy that follows chronologically!
STAN LEE CAMEO - No, Stan (The Man) Lee didn't get his cameo in this film. His statement at his own Facebook Fan Page stated that the film was too far away for him to attend. However, there was another 'cameo', and one that I don't want to ruin for you, but it does involve a certain character that... well... Just wait for it during the early part of the film!
CHARACTERS USED IN THE FILM:
James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier: Not really casted the way I would have thought the early Charles would have been. Might have been the writing, but the character didn't ring true for me. I don't believe its the actor's fault, as he played the part written pretty well. Just not what I remember of Professor X.
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: This character rang more true for me. The role on camera was actually a better one that Professor X's, and the dialogue seemed to fit smoothly in the film from beginning to end. I truly felt for Erik's pain, and better understand his reasons for his actions.
Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw: The early years of this character were fascinating. The current year that most of this film is set in, (1962), for this character seemed to have him play his role a little over the top for me. However, he made a good villain that those could take on both Professor X & Magneto. So I suppose a 'little over the top' is okay.
January Jones as Emma Frost / White Queen: Yes, I know she was chosen late, and replaced another actress. But I feel she fit into this role smoothly. The lack of her screen presence at the end was felt by me. It was good to see her back at the very end of the film.
Rose Byrne as Dr. Moira MacTaggert: I don't understand why MacTaggert had to be 'Americanized'. Why not use some other character? However, if I wasn't a comic book reader, and just attending the film with someone else, then Rose Byrne did a fine job for the role.
Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy / Beast: I liked the backstory of Hank... but the pre-transformation period seemed out of place for me. I really dug his acting as the 'Beast'.
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven / Mystique: Great casting! I thought that this would be a tough role for anyone to fill, after the great acting in the trilogy, but Jennifer was superb in her dual roles as 'human looking' and in her 'mutant' form. Can't say enough about her!
Rebecca Romijn has a cameo as Mystique: Speaking of the previous actress... it was great seeing Rebecca back, even momentarilly!
Oliver Platt as The Man in Black: Who played a CIA agent and head of Division X, a government agency working with the X-Men. A valuable role, and played just right by Oliver.
Zoë Kravitz as Angel Salvadore: As mentioned above, I haven't really followed the X-Men after the John Byrne period many years ago... So this character was new to me. Was she placed in this film to fill the spot of 'Toad' from the Trilogy? Her power and usage in this film wasn't very key for me.
Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy / Banshee: This character made sense to have in this prequel to me. And the actor had some good scenes!
Lucas Till as Alex Summers / Havok: Much better role in this film than in the early comics for me. Lucas made the role come to life for me.
Jason Flemyng as Azazel: Sometimes a character is too powerful. How did the X-Men really defeat this character so easily?!
SETTINGS: The film was shot in the UK, Russia, and the USA, including Jekykll Island. Great blue water scenes there! The photography of the natural sets was great! The usage of black & white TV footage added so much to this time period film as well!
GREAT MOMENTS - None really for me... That I could call 'Great'. Of course my wife Tina will probably call the cameo scene with a certain person, 'Great', but I'll wait for her to you that!
TRUE TO THE COMICS? - Well, I can't really say for sure... Because I haven't read X-Men in years, and none of the 'Ultimate X-Men'. But a lot of was presented in this film made 'sense' even if it wasn't 'true to the comics'.
CREDIT TO WHERE CREDIT WAS DUE? - We stayed till the last of the credit ran, and yes, we figured there wouldn't be any last minute scene at the very end, as this was set in 1962. But I didn't the credits acknowledging the creators. But I might have missed them.
CONTINUED... - There is some talk of that... But doesn't X-Men I pick up right after this? Or am I thinking of 'real time' versus 'comic book time'?
END OF SPOILER WARNING!
END OF SPOILER WARNING!
That's it for 'My Take' on this X-Men prequel film, as I want to post it before it gets too late back East. It's currently 6:11 PM PST Saturday night here on the West Coast!
So yes, I was pleasntly pleased & surprised with this film on the Big Screen. It was definitely worth my 'investment' of 2 & 1/2 hours plus $ to see it there in my local theater...
So what's my 'comic book rating' for this X-Men film?
Well... Quite honestly, this storyline made me enjoy the film more than what I thought I would. You see, it was Tina who wanted to see this film more that I did. So I was pleased to see a good treatment of the earliest years of the X-Men come to life on the Big Screen. Pleased enough to give it a VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a 10.0 possible comic book grading scale!
So who would I recommend to see this 'comic book film'?!
Well, I would have to say that any of those film goers that enjoyed the earlier trilogy of X-Men films should be pleased with this prequel.
For 'mainstream viewers' that haven't see the earlier X-Men films, you don't have to have seen them to follow the storyline in this film.
For old timers like me who have read X-Men comics years ago, and also like the X-Men Trilogy of films, you'll probably like this one as well.
I would suggest that the PG-13 rating keep your younger children from attending the theater with you. Not for the violence, but for the scantily clad actresses in some scenes...!
Again, I'm pleased to have seen this at the Big Screen earlier today. It is a film that you should take in if you care about the X-Men Universe!
That's it for tonight's blog from me! I'm looking forward to Tina's 'Take' on the film, which will be posted Sunday evening at the latest!
My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now at 3,427 total posts in number! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!
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~ Michael D Hamersky
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