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X-Men: First Class

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Not the greatest comic book movie ever.

 

But it is fun and worth the price of admittance.

 

Eric's story line is probably the strongest part of the film, everything after that winds down is less well plotted. Fassbender rules this film.

 

The final fight is pretty good too.

I agree with all of this. It was a thoroughly entertaining movie. Not a CLASSIC, but probably my favorite X-men-movie. The middle sagged a bit, and I have niggles, but they're not really important. Bacon was a good villain as usual, and Fassbender owned the film.

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Mystique, I am disappointed in you.

 

On the other hand (mild spoilers), I want this scene on the future DVD:

 

That scene got exceptionally silly at one point. I don’t know if I’m even allowed to tell you what originally happened. But it got pretty fuckin’ kinky. I’m not joking. There was a little bit of cross-dressing going on.

 

- James McAvoy, on filming the scene in the strip club.

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Mystique, I am disappointed in you.

Really? I quite liked her. Her story was the second strongest in the film, IMHO.

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Almost certainly the best X-Men movie (although that's pretty faint praise coming from me), and the stuff it does well is generally very good indeed. But it adds up to less than the sum of its parts, I thought. There's no particularly compelling or coherent through-line of narrative or tone - it's a Holocaust revenge drama! It's a '60s espionage/Cold War thriller! It's a pop-art Bond/Flynt pastiche! It's a Bourne-style gritty shaky-cam action flick! It's a full-on superhero blockbuster! It's a friendship-turned-sour relationship drama!

 

The lack of focus feels like something which could have been ironed out if the film hadn't been rushed so quickly through the production/release schedule (apparently they were still editing it only a few weeks ago), something which also manifests itself in the characterisation. The actors do their best (Fassbender in particular, who completely owns every scene he's in), but the Big Character Moment at the end feels like it comes completely out of the blue, while some of the other important relationships are oddly half-formed. Supporting characters wander into the film in a way which suggests they're going to be important, only to fade into the background and play no further role for the rest of the story (hello, Moira McTaggart. Yes, that's very lovely lingerie you're barely wearing, but beyond that, I'm really not sure what you're doing in this film).

 

It's stylishly directed, well-acted and generally a lot of fun - although I agree with Pål that it sags badly in the second act - but I can't escape the feeling that, if they'd had a bit longer to develop the script and/or finish the film properly, it could have been a lot better.

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Almost certainly the best X-Men movie (although that's pretty faint praise coming from me), and the stuff it does well is generally very good indeed. But it adds up to less than the sum of its parts, I thought. There's no particularly compelling or coherent through-line of narrative or tone - it's a Holocaust revenge drama! It's a '60s espionage/Cold War thriller! It's a pop-art Bond/Flynt pastiche! It's a Bourne-style gritty shaky-cam action flick! It's a full-on superhero blockbuster! It's a friendship-turned-sour relationship drama!

Well put!

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Also:

 

 

The character death. Seriously, THE HELL? In 20-fucking-11 we're still being given films in which there's only one sympathetic black character, and his sole purpose is to be arbitrarily killed off halfway through? Weak. Very, very weak.

 

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Also:

 

 

The character death. Seriously, THE HELL? In 20-fucking-11 we're still being given films in which there's only one sympathetic black character, and his sole purpose is to be arbitrarily killed off halfway through? Weak. Very, very weak.

 

I hadn't noticed that.

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Yeah, I was wondering if it was an attempt at a meta-gag about the period setting that didn't quite take off (this is, after all, a film in which an actual plot point is made of the fact that [ Spoiler : one female character just happens to be wearing sufficiently sexy underwear to pass convincingly for a high-end stripper ]). But I still think it was a misjudgement. They just about got away with the period-appropriate casual sexism, because at least there were several prominent female characters, and they had slightly more to do than just "be sexy" (although, it must be admitted, only very slightly more). This one's harder to defend, because [ Spoiler : he really is the only black character of any note, and he's given absolutely no characterisation at all. He's just there to provide a token good-guy death. ]

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Actually [ Spoiler : there were two black characters, Darwin and Angel. One died, the other one betrayed the team. What annoyed me was that Darwin's powers is that he can't die. ] Thanks, Fox. :laugh:

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Yeah, I remember thinking "oh no they didn't!" at the time.

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Actually [ Spoiler : there were two black characters, Darwin and Angel. One died, the other one betrayed the team. What annoyed me was that Darwin's powers is that he can't die. ] Thanks, Fox. :laugh:

 

 

Wow, the other character you mention was so fundamental to the film that I'd completely forgotten she was even there. But yeah, now you point it out, the extra detail makes it worse, not better. The death doesn't even make sense!

 

Oh, Hollywood. You and your wacky hi-jinks.

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As has been said, best X-Men movie. But....it could've been so much more. Far too many "throw away" characters. I think there was a good opprotunity missed not exploring the story of a black mutant in 1962. Instead, he's cannon fodder.

 

Fassbender was awesome! In fact he did such a good job, I was rooting for Erik and would probably side with him over Charles.

 

Bacon was a great villian.

 

The whole Beast thing didn't make much sense. First he's a guy that would do anything to change his noticable mutation. Then, BAM!, his plan back fires and his mutatation becomes very noticable. Ok, just like the comics. That's good. But damn, he's gone for what?...maybe a few hours and suddenly he's just fine with it and ready to go save the world. No!

 

And the training. So in one week these guys are ready?!?! Oh wait! They had a stylishy shot training montage, thus enabling them to help avert WWIII

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I don't think Beast was okay with it towards the end. He attacked Magneto and then composed himself. He sucked it up to go help out, but he was noticeable pissed off for the rest of the movie. He also got annoyed at the end when Mystique left and told him to be proud.

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Having seen it yesterday, I'll, once again, simply concur with the general assessment of the movie - it had some very fun moments, wasn't atrocious, and it has some huge narrative/character development issues. Fassbender is awesome, and the presence of January Jones and the 60's ambient made me think of him as Don Draper's younger, handsomer brother. Xavier was alright, he made holding his temple with two fingers seem like a serious thing that adults do, so kudos for that.

 

Bacon had the most fun, I believe and it shows - he nails the fun, menace and the drama without effort.

 

Was surprised to see my countryman, Rade Šerbedžija, in the movie, and saddened to see that he's, once again, Hollywood's default evil/sleazy Russian guy. I hope they find some better use for him, he can give a great dramatic performance, when asked to.

 

I thought the music could've been a bit better, but was serviceable enough. Jackman's cameo caused the requisite amount of giggles, but two balding jokes on Prof. X's expense seemed a bit of a nudge-nudge overkill.

 

Hated the fact they killed Darwin halfway through just to raise the stakes, and get the teens thirsting for revenge.

 

 

Moira's improptu lingerie undercover act was horrible, coupled with the "using equipment that i didn't get from the CIA" line. The whole "let's show sexism of the 60's" really turned into an excuse for showing sexism in 2011. I don't expect an action summer flick to walk the fine line that even Mad Men can sometimes get a bit wrong, but this really wasn't the way to do it.

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Saw it over the weekend and liked it. It's the best X-Men movie by far (IMO). As far as Marvel movies, it's still not up with Spider-Man 2 or Iron Man. But I'll put it 3rd in that category.

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Out of curiosity I rewatched the thre previous X-films, and while number 2 is quite entertaining, and number 1 is adequate, none of them are close to the new one. The third movie is still just as dire as I remembered it.

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The first film is decent - a good focused, tight origin story which captures enough of what made the franchise work to feel faithful to its source, but still manages to be its own entity - but clearly suffers from being about 20 minutes (or one more good action setpiece) too short, which is arguably preferable to the usual Hollywood trend of films being an hour too long, but still leaves it feeling a bit slight.

 

The second one fixes that problem, but takes it a bit too far the other way - everything's a bit bigger and more expansive, but at the cost of that tightness and focus which were such a strength in the first film. There are lots of good scenes, but as a whole it feels a bit flabby. There's too much disparate stuff going on, and the constant cutting from one plot strand to another rather saps momentum in the build-up to the climax.

 

Oh, and most of the action direction/fight choreography in both films is absolutely woeful, because Bryan Singer doesn't have a clue how to make an action film (I recall the much-hyped BIG FIGHT in X2 between Wolverine and Lady Knife-Fingers - or whatever her name is - being particularly bad in an "I have absolutely no idea what's actually happening onscreen, and neither does the director" sort of way). The third film fixes that problem, at least - the Big Fight bits are far and away the best-directed in the trilogy - but everything else is messed up so badly that it doesn't really matter.

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To be fair, big fights in X:FC aren't really fights at all (not a bad thing, mind you).

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Watched the movie again. I'm honestly in love with the girl who played Mystique, with and without the blue make up. Good grief.

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She's amazing in Winter's Bone (which you should totally see, if you haven't already).

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She's amazing in Winter's Bone (which you should totally see, if you haven't already).

Very much seconded!

 

At least we know have proof that Balthazar has good taste. :boogie:

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