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X-Men: First Class

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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.

 

I'm right there with you. I like her better without the make-up.

 

Rogan, I liked X-2 well enough and thought x-3 started off well, but come on. x-fc is the high water mark for the X-Men franchise, and IMO it almost diminishes the good things in the previous 3 films.

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Dunno, the silly bits of X:FC were a tad bit sillier to me than the ones in X2.

 

Still, I feel that First Class actually adds some nice depth to the first two flicks (I fear nothing could add depth to The Last Stand, apart from a MST3K treatment).

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The MST3K treatment is the BEST way to watch Blade (unfortunately). I was rolling on the floor laughing my ass off when two of my friends were ripping Blade apart in a room full of people who loved that movie. The little red faces of Blade fans complemented well the blue barbs and one-liners my friends dished out by the bucketful.

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Saw it today, twas quite good.

Matthew Vaughn is a solid filmmaker, I like all 4 four films he's directed.

Great casting except for January Jones as Emma Frost-- the poor girl really can't act beyond Betty Draper, can she?

The were several strong scenes in the film, plenty of clever action, and mutants actually killing people.

Unfortunately, there are almost too many scenes and I found the love I had for the first 45 minutes quickly waning; I imagine this film will make for excellent home viewing, perfectly structured as it is for two sittings.

B+

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Well, I am much more impressed by it than you guys. The writing was alsorts of awesome, imo. The delivery of the lines was just so good too. The scene in Arginetina made the hair stand up on my neck. The congenitally undemonstrative Auckland audience was heard to mutter things like "Fucking oath" and "Oh yeah" at that point, and quite a few quiet cheers were delivered through the movie at various points, which is, for this town, unrestrained fury and hysteria.

 

And some of your complaints, well, they just look like people focused on having a complaint, imho

[ Spoiler : . OK, I give you it was bad if the writers decided "Our whiteness insists that the only black characters died or broke faith", but is this what you are really claiming?. Did we see the same movie, guys?.

Because what I saw was a man, completely accepted as an equal by his peers, BEING BRAVER AT THE BATTLE FRONT THAN HIS PEERS, turning his head to his brother in arms and trusting him to read his face, actually feeling he COULD trust the other young man to know "This is a man like myself, look, he is willing me to stand beside him and risk our lives for our once team mate even though she betrayed us, we will redeem her or maybe die in the attempt" and then going to his death to try to do his duty. If that were prejudice, all right thinking men demand it as their reward, let us hope for prejudice in our turn. A heros death in a team of equals, smighting the unrighteous. Please, will you tell me what it is you actually want?. No black character to ever die AND them to be actually the most brave character in the show too?.

 

And the line the female agent throws away, as a mere inconseqential joke to her, AGAIN, at least nominal equal, you notice the other agent treats her as if she has an opinion in the field, and doesn't try to order her to stop or whatever. And though she jokes, what is she doing?. Her duty, which leaves her dressed in her underwear, going into the enemies camp, where she shows considerable spunk and daring and self possession, and "wins the day" just as well as any other agent could. Her speed of comprehension of the opportunity alone was commendable, then her resolute putting the idea into motion. Quick, cool, daring, just what would best serve her country, and you guys decide that she demeaned herself?. No one forced her to do it, she choose to, rose to the occasion and deserved a medal.

]

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I saw it and loved it (and so did my girlfriend, an X-Men geek)--with the caveats that Mark and Balthy have already pointed out. I was really surprised at that scene, actually--though I shouldn't have been, in a mainstream movie--because I saw an unexpected amount of subtlety in how they handled Charles's and Erik's opposing resistance tactics. It seemed at that point to be a film that was very aware of race, ethnicity, and prejudice, and then it dropped that racial trope that just won't die,

a black person sacrificing himself for the good of some appropriately grateful white people, who are of course the real main characters.

Mmm, thanks, we really need to see that again.

 

More spoilery thoughts:

I do get why Angel would leave the team--her comments about being stared at by the FBI jerkoffs seemed to be getting at something important about the sacrifices you have to make to work within the system--but the fact that Darwin dies right afterward kind of killed my willingness to read that development sympathetically. There's this one shot, as I recall, right after Darwin has fake-defected, where we're looking over the baddies' shoulders and we see: four lily-white, middle-class, blond and brunette kids standing opposite a red demon guy, a dark-haired southern-European-looking dude (coded foreign), a woman who looks either mixed or Latina, and a black man. I wondered at that moment if anybody was actually paying attention to the movie they were making...

 

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[ Spoiler : He didn't act, until he saw his friend, Angel, leaving with two murderers and their master. None of the others acted before he did, because they felt over powered, but the chance to save his friend was enough to make the wager worth making to him alone of them.

 

He did not act to "save some appropriately grateful white people" but to wrap his protective arms around one erstwhile comrade, placing himself in the line of fire of another team mate, and within the reach of the two murderers and their master, whom he was clearly and sensibly mortally afraid of.

 

He did it to allow the team to attempt to kill enemies of their state ( who the team was training to serve ) who had just killed 40 or so of their allies/trenchmates. I am guessing the 40 white deaths were alright by you?.

 

It seems to me that you guys are determined to be offended, filtering everything through a mesh whose only catch is pre-determined to be "AHA, RASCISM !! !".

 

The result of film makers taking your overly sensitive concerns to heart, would be negative. Not just or entirely negative for "coloured" people* as represented in film, but negative for everyone, would portray a negative, weak world view.

 

Here the two results of following your dictates.

 

Either

Every coloured character/actor would be reduced to a passive foil, because none of them could choose as this one did, to dare his life in service of something because "Opps, can't have him getting killed in a noble act, because, you know,we aren't allowed to kill any black characters, no matter what narrative imperitive we are actually writing, it will be judged as rascism".

 

Or

Every black characters' endeavours will be sham, seen as worthless, performed at no cost, with no danger to them, because they will never be shown to have paid any cost at all for their heroics. Everyone will know that any black character can run through the crossfire of a million machine guns, unharmed.

 

I wouldn't mind so much about you guys twisting this thing, if the movie had IN FACT been racist or sexist. But the claim it was is hollow.

 

We have a group of characters, all young people, absolutely treating one another as equals, IN 1962, being treated as equals by everyone else too, even the guard who in extremity betrayed their location, didn't give two shits what colour or sex they were.

 

We have at least one main female character showing great acumen and resolve, another, ( shown initially as under the control of a male figure who did self-promote himself into a paternal role, I give you that, but that was perfectly consistant with the nature of that bloke, you have to admit, his whole shtick is Professor daddy protector ) too young to drink so obviously still judged by society to be a youth, but shown to grow into her own confidence and come to make choices without regard for anyone else opinion, male or otherwise.

 

On the flip side we have bad guys, murderers, who are white, "coloured", male and female. So no racisim even in the off hand.

 

It is my opinion you guys are far over sensitive to this issue, to the point it has warped your judgement of the facts of the matter. ]

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Aavunt, for the love of God. It is a Racial Trope. Look> Many, many examples.

 

Spoiler:[Darwin's character has survival as a power. By all accounts he whould be the last survivor(note the word surivivor). Yet Boom. He dies first. ]

 

 

No amount of wishful thinking that Hollywood has grown up is gonna change that.

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Like the Bechdel Test, it's not really even got anything to do with this film in and of itself. As Akhira points out, it's simply representative of a far wider trope, and it's that - the sheer volume of Hollywood films in which, if there's even a black character at all, that character is the one who's sacrificed as a way of motivating the other characters - which is problematic.

 

There are plenty of stories with no prominent black characters, or with one or two token ones who die first, which couldn't credibly be decribed as racist, and to be honest, as I thought I'd made fairly clear in my first post on the subject, I'd cheerfully include this film as one of them (I accused the film-makers of tone-deafness or carelessness, not racial prejudice). But the fact that the trend is so widespread - and that even now, many years after it started to be commented on, there are still so few major films which break or subvert it - is indicative of a deeper underlying systematic/societal prejudice, one that exists way below any sort of conscious "let's kill the black guy!" level, and that's what we're observing.

 

The points you make are largely valid, but you seem to be arguing against a position nobody here has actually expressed - ie., that this film is, in itself, racist. It isn't, but it's nonetheless indicative of a wider trend which is.

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Like the Bechdel Test, it's not really even got anything to do with this film in and of itself. As Akhira points out, it's simply representative of a far wider trope, and it's that - the sheer volume of Hollywood films in which, if there's even a black character at all, that character is the one who's sacrificed as a way of motivating the other characters - which is problematic.

 

There are plenty of stories with no prominent black characters, or with one or two token ones who die first, which couldn't credibly be decribed as racist, and to be honest, as I thought I'd made fairly clear in my first post on the subject, I'd cheerfully include this film as one of them (I accused the film-makers of tone-deafness or carelessness, not racial prejudice). But the fact that the trend is so widespread - and that even now, many years after it started to be commented on, there are still so few major films which break or subvert it - is indicative of a deeper underlying systematic/societal prejudice, one that exists way below any sort of conscious "let's kill the black guy!" level, and that's what we're observing.

 

The points you make are largely valid, but you seem to be arguing against a position nobody here has actually expressed - ie., that this film is, in itself, racist. It isn't, but it's nonetheless indicative of a wider trend which is.

 

Exactly this. I wouldn't accuse the film of racial prejudice either but it's certainly a disturbingly widespread trend.

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I, too, expected more of the screenwriters (all 20 of 'em), though Mrs. Wossy is on my shit-list thanks to Stardust. The crime of this movie is that you'd expect the minorities too have the exact opposite portrayals/treatment, heavy-handed as it may be ("have you tried not being a mutant?"), in an X-men flick, especially in a film that was practically advertised as Mad (X)-Men.

 

I mean, the very casting of January Jones would suggest that someone involved in the making of this movie had actually seen the show that made her famous.

 

Minorities getting the shitty end of the stick in an X-men film is like a Superman film that wouldn't at all deal with his mild-mannered journo/omnipotent übermensch hidden duality, and have him just punch monsters really really hard, or an Iron Man film that wouldn't touch upon the whole war/weapons/weaponmakers issue.

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The crime of this movie is that you'd expect the minorities too have the exact opposite portrayals/treatment, heavy-handed as it may be ("have you tried not being a mutant?"), in an X-men flick, especially in a film that was practically advertised as Mad (X)-Men.

 

That's what I thought--especially since there are so many Malcolm X/MLK Jr.-type parallels drawn between Erik and Charles. It feels a bit cheap for a film about white people to so heavily metaphorize the experiences of people of color and other minorities while also not allowing them any narrative space.

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<----- Has watched a few films, folks, and I don't know if I mentioned it before ( i.e. I am well aware I have done so ), but two of my four grandparents were Maori, I have always identified myself as New Zealander, part Maori. so, do you suppose, given that fact, I have been aware that once it was normal practice to have "Happy Sandboy" characters, devalued brown fellas?. Do you suppose the indignity of this was lost on a boy who loved his nanna, thought she was BETTER than other people, not somehow a lesser being because she was brown?. Once it having been commonplace to consider them having died in a movie no particular tragedy, maybe I had that jar on me as a child, and still since?. Do you suppose I saw movies in my youth that left a bad taste in my mouth, maybe?.

 

Seriously now, do you guys think it was anything other than un-neccesary to "teach" me in detail, with links, about "Racial Tropes", ( and I don't actually even mean that about the fact that I am personally aware of them because family members of mine once apon a time even in this most equitable society of New Zealand suffered from prejudice, because so many people can say the same ) but actually, it is condesending to do so to any half way intelligent person, who has maybe shown himself to be passingly moral on occasion?.

 

Not to mention the more explicit fact that I had already read posts by all four of you that made clear what you had in your minds as a failure in this particular film. And had addressed same. So, you know, maybe you could have all had a trifle less minatory tones, and, if somehow you had missed the fact that I was aware of your point, just asked me "You know what our actual complaint is, eh?".

 

But , OK. You have all clarified your point, we are in fact all on the same page.

 

 

So what are you guys in effect saying, is it is alright if the people die in equal numbers?. I mean, ok, if that would somehow absolve the movie makers from condemnation, it seems a simple thing, though checking the numbers is going to be fucking difficult in a normal action film. We would all need to teach ourselves to be fluid with our math.

 

Shit, and we are going to have to know real world percentages too, because equal numbers, well actually that would be disproportionate number of black people killed.

 

 

 

But no, that isn't what you are saying, because basically he was the ONLY black guy to die, dozens and dozens if not scores of white ones did, but that is ok, they were not sympathetic characters, so around and around the circle we go again until you have reached the position I suggested you hold, probably by accident, I am not suggesting this is the intention of your taking up this issue, but in effect you are saying

 

No black characters can die in a film, because PREVIOUSLY black characters have died in films. And the fact that the film itself is absolutely scrupuliously neither racist or sexist would not matter a damn, dare to mistep into some trope, and here is your can of shit, carry it.

 

No consideration of narrative, bravery, stupidity, or any other thing about the character can be allowed to interfer with this basic commitment, they shall not die, and so to eternity, because ONCE APON A TIME films were racist.

 

Good luck with that, because it would make for shit "coloured" characters that would be every bit as damaging to humanity as the previous trope was.

 

 

To people with a butterfly net, everything looks like Lepidoptera.

 

 

The fact that his character is supposedly unkillable being ignored, surely is a fault, but then it would be the exact same fault regardless of his colour.

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but in effect you are saying

 

No black characters can die in a film, because PREVIOUSLY black characters have died in films. And the fact that the film itself is absolutely scrupuliously neither racist or sexist would not matter a damn, dare to mistep into some trope, and here is your can of shit, carry it.

 

 

No one here is saying anything of the sort. In fact, I shall say something opposite - I'd have preferred if all the black/female/gay characters died, if it had better served the plot/themes of the movie. Having x-men who are afraid of the "normals" because they're different turn on one of their own because they're a different kind of minority in the 60's would have been some bold, intriguing stuff, for example.

 

 

And on a totally unrelated note, I just stumbled upon this webcomic :

 

 

2011-06-20-128Subtlety.jpg

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Before we get a dog-pile here, I reckon it is ironic that there's been an explosion on what was a minor quibble about the film.

Avaunt expressed his view in his usual manner, people who disagree contended with references, next thing you know, it is a liberal majority lynch mob ...*

(*You know Avaunt is the minority here? Is there an internet trope about the number of people who have to argue a point before it becomes a hive mind ?)

 

In much the same way as no-one said black people should not die in films, no-one really responds to Avaunt's own reading of the character & plot being discussed here.

If this discussion needs its own thread fine, but Avaunt's thought about over-reacting has got a point when the longest most thoughtful posts are not even about the film.

Actually, it's not even over-reacting to the film, but to someone expressing an opinion we disagree with.

 

Let's take Mark's lead and admit that we dwell on quibbles, but let's allow people to see a film (etc) for what it is rather than what it might represent.

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For what it's worth, I did enjoy the film quite a bit. WE were only stating that the quibble exists. I don't personally think that the entire movie has very negative connotations. Only that such quibble does infact exist as trope in this film.

 

Spoiler: [To be fair they may have killed of Darwin because he his powers could be a game-breaker for the plot. On the other hand he may have adapted himself to survive the explosion and everyone only things he's dead (Major ass pull)?]

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I, personally, just don't have any other major complaints--it was a lovely film and I very much enjoyed it. The film I wish it had been, however (and Rogan, it seems you agree), would have directly dealt with the relationship that mutant minority status bears to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. We get a hint of that when Angel says that being stared at by the FBI goons is worse than being stared at in a strip club--she'd rather have her sexuality exploited than her mutant status. That's really interesting to me, and I just wish there'd been more of it. However, the fact that my main problem was "I wish the film had transcended its minor amount of racial insensitivity and instead contained a thoughtful treatment of minority politics in our modern age" is a pretty high compliment, I think.

 

And for me, what's upsetting about the "black dude dies first" trope is that the black character frequently dies for the narrative reason of providing motivation to a white character, and before he's had a chance to affect the plot in any other way. It's not just that he dies--it's that he doesn't get to do much else.

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I wish to retract the butterful hunter jibe!.

 

;)

 

I do realise it is an important thing that those of us that care about equality, always speak out about it, and I also accept that none of you were saying "This inclusion of a regretable trope ruins the movie".

 

Things must be what they are, and this actually is a pretty good argument from the point of view of us not being completely useless comic nerds, you know. Comic nerds really ought to have been too self absorbed in the comic sin of Darwins character being killed when his mutation is "I mutate so that you can't kill me. Instead we were spending bits on equality.

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guys, I kinda need some help with this one

 

is the First class a prequel to the X-films, or is it supposed to be the start of a new series, or something like that?

 

I mean....I would sooo like it to be a prequel, building a big story, and everything....but, damn, there are sooo many inconsistencies with other films, I don't understand :/

(loss of Charles' legs, Moira McTaggert, Alex Summers, etc....) yet, it seems that they've tried to tie this one rather close to the old films....

 

I'm confused, even the bloody Wikipedia calls it "prequel/reboot", what the hell is that supposed to mean? :/

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guys, I kinda need some help with this one

 

is the First class a prequel to the X-films, or is it supposed to be the start of a new series, or something like that?

 

I mean....I would sooo like it to be a prequel, building a big story, and everything....but, damn, there are sooo many inconsistencies with other films, I don't understand :/

(loss of Charles' legs, Moira McTaggert, Alex Summers, etc....) yet, it seems that they've tried to tie this one rather close to the old films....

 

I'm confused, even the bloody Wikipedia calls it "prequel/reboot", what the hell is that supposed to mean? :/

It's really both, it's primarily a prequel but as Fox shat a lot of the X-Men mythos with X-Men 3, Fox are now entertaining more prequel outings or possibly full reboot from this.

There are numerous plot inconsistencies, but overall even if nothing were to follow this it would serve as a prequel to the earlier trilogy quite adequately.

 

The truly awful Wolverine Origins was as it's name suggests a prequel too (There's a prominent Emma Frost inconsistency regarding both films).

Additionally, once they've secured a Director (James Walk-the-Line Mangold is still in talks), another Wolvy film to come which is most likely a prequel too.

Not sure how they would resolve or compound existing shared plot hicups there and it could very well be used to further reboot the franchise.

It might not even technically be a sequel if one cares that much.

Reboot or not Jackman appears to have survived the cut.

 

Essentially the Magneto film they kept umming and aahing about became X-Men First Class.

In terms of plot linking you'd probably quite like aspects of X-Men First Class, some glaring bits aside it's relatively well interwoven.

 

Overall I didn't like the film it bu it's not without it's moments and for my money Xavier and Erik could not have been cast better and work very well together.

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like a Superman film that wouldn't at all deal with his mild-mannered journo/omnipotent übermensch hidden duality, and have him just punch monsters really really hard

Enter Zack Snyder on Superman.

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It's a prequel but as Fox shat a lot of the X-Men mythos with X-Men 3, Fox are now entertaining more prequel outings.

 

OK, so I should regard it as a prequel.

Bloody X3....I've always said that it ruins everything :D

 

Th truly awful Wolverine origins was a prequel too (There may be an Emma Frost inconsistency regarding both films).

 

yeah, I got the Wolverine (and I kinda liked it, although it had some rather dull moments, starting with idiot-like Deadpole, good grief....)

for my part, it was far better than the X3, hope you don't mind :D :)

 

There's, once they've secured a Director (James Walk the Line Mangold is still in talks), another Wolvey film to come which is most likely a prequel too and they keep umming and aahing about a Magneto film.

 

hasn't the Magneto project been canceled?

 

In terms of plot linking you'd probably quite like aspects of X-Men First Class, it's relatively well interwoven.

 

no, I did like it very much (in terms of a superhero movie)

however, there are, how should I put it....HUGE disagreements with the comic universe, and THAT I don't quite like....

 

take an example - (besides from Kevin Bacon) The Hellfire club became a "Mickey Mouse spoiled rich mutants companionshipo trying to rule the world" ? o.O

 

what else....Havoc should be Cyclops' little brother, not his, Idonnow....father?

why the hell is Moira a CIA agent?

etc....

 

but apart from those tiny details, it's a really cool feature :D

 

Overall I didn't like the film it bu it's not without it's moments and for my money Xavier and Erik could not have been cast better and work very well together.

 

couldn't agree more on that one

 

I had hard time choosing whether I better liked Charles or Eric (because only those two, and Shaw, were THE impressive and charismatic characters)....but after I had given it some thought, I got to notice that it's actually the two of them together that work so well (although I did not quite like the sudden breakup, but ok, you can't ask for perfection, can't ya? :D :) )

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