Work managed to crush me today, so I decided to step away for a while and recharge. The plan was to go back to my hotel room and read a book, but I knew if I did that I'd just end up checking email and getting sucked back into work all over again.
So I decided to go to a movie.
And despite my raging hatred of the first three crappy X-Men movies, I went and saw X-Men: First Class.
I thought that the "first class" in the title was referring to the first class of students in "Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters" from the comics... but it would seem it's actually referring to the movie itself. Because this film was one classy affair from start to finish.
I loved it.
From the retro 60's styling and amazing cast to the cohesive story and terrific special effects... this movie has it all...
The plot revolves around the formation of the mutant super-hero group, The X-Men, and the initial friendship of Charles Xavier and Erik Leshner, who would eventually become deadliest of enemies as Professor X and Magneto. The story begins with Xavier working with the US government to help mutants help humans so they can be better accepted by humanity. Along the way he meets Leshner, who is tracking down the Nazis responsible for the death of his mother in a Polish concentration camp. This eventually leads to a confrontation with The Hellfire Club, who is attempting to kick-start World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis and rule the earth.
What made the previous three X-Men films fail so stupendously, was that there was ZERO attempt to make any of the characters kick the copious amounts of ass that the X-Men are known to do in the comics. They were just pathetic dumbasses who wandered around in lame stories and not really doing much of anything.
In the original X-Men, there are minor scuffles between the team and Magneto's henchmen, but the only real "fight" the X-Men get into is fighting army men. Lame. In the sequel, X2: X-Men United, the filmmakers make a half-assed attempt to start up the "Dark Phoenix Saga," but failed on every possible level. Even worse, the only real "fight" the X-Men get into this time is with water. Yes, fucking water! Super-lame. After watching the previews, I thought that finally things were heading in the right direction with X-Men 3: The Last Stand. They hinted that there would be an all-out battle between mutants, which would have kicked all kinds of ass... if it would have actually happened. Instead they pussed out again and gave us a watered-down fight with mutants mostly just running around. Not only did we get no fights worth watching, but there wasn't a decent story either. Hella-lame.
X-Men: First Class isn't overwhelmed with the mutant-on-mutant special effects battles I was hoping for, but it does do something we've never seen before in an X-Men film... have compelling characters and a good story. And when it comes to ass-kicking, Michael Fassbender's brilliant portrayal of Magneto delivers the goods. I can only hope that if (when we get a First Class sequel that they continue with the brilliant set-up in this film and add tons of cool action sequences that will finally depict the X-Men the way we see them in the comics.
That would be a movie worth waiting for.
In the meanwhile, there are a lot of potentially awesome comic book films in the pipe, so it's a really good time to be a fanboy right now.
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can you explain to me why january jones is dresses as an amateur stripper? I mean, seriously, the angora shoulder wrap and white bra?
it doesn’t look sexy.
so i’m hoping it’s perninent to the story. because dangit, jj is hot stuff when dressed properly.
ok, little help explaining if you have the time! 🙂
January Jones is playing “Emma Frost” who is a member of the Hellfire Club, and this is how she dresses in the comic books to appeal to teenage boys.
In the film they actually come up with a plausible explanation… “The Hellfire Club” is some kind of Vegas nightclub where women in their underwear entertain gentlemen looking for some =ahem= companionship. Emma Frost is just wearing her “uniform.”
Sadly, January Jones was categorically awful in the roll. I mean, she looked very pretty, but her few lines were delivered with a “performance” so wooden that it seemed horribly out of place compared to all the other performances, which were mostly awesome.
Yeah see, i didn’t anticipate her doing all that well outside the Betty Draper role. I mean, she started out a model. And fully admits she doesn’t have an actor’s training.
And her instinct only, wooden performance is fine when she plays Betty, who is pretty but doesn’t require much range beyond repressed and rageful little girl trapped in a barbie doll body.
So yeah, I just really see JJ as not a good choice for this whole superhero role.
OK, glad you enjoyed the pic! 🙂
I went and saw this on my birthday and liked it, too!
My wife suggested we go see this last night but I had trouble mustering up any excitement for it. (I felt the same way about Thor… it was a lot better than I expected it to be.)
I sort of skimmed to avoid spoilers, but you’ve got me excited to see 1st class! I was just commenting to a friend the other day that I couldn’t even keep track of what happened when in the underwhelming 2nd and 3rd movies. Or even if I’d seen 3, which I have.
I read the Whedon Astonishing X-Men book and was surprised by how awesome the characters are. So much cooler than the movies I’ve seen.
I enjoyed the crap out of this film. They messed with the “mythology” a bit in adapting this film to the big screen (Moira MacTaggart as a CIA agent?), but the finished product was believable and, ultimately, bad-ass. I loved the 60s spy-flick feel of it, the whole Cold War feel to it, the way Magneto spent his time tracking down Nazis to the far corners of the Earth…just everything. I will gladly see this on again and holy shit am I excited about Captain America coming to the big screen too.