Jun 14, 2011

Life Imitates Art- X-Men: First Class

12:35 PM

Its been awhile since I caught a film on opening day-- yes, it has been over 2 weeks since then-- call me slow, whatevs..on Hawaiian time, yeah.  And boy was I glad to have picked this film for the crazy lines and critical mass that was brought in with the 20th Century Fox / Marvel Entertainment reboot of their X-franchise line.  We all know how the original trilogy ended with a fizzle that left us all feeling with some contempt on their mishandling of the ever so legendary Dark Phoenix arc.  So when I first heard of the approach on reprising the franchise with a prequel tactic, along with the quality of talent attached to the flick, I was like many
intrigued and hopeful that they would get us back on track with some of that magic we experienced in Bryan Singer's first X-film eleven years ago.

Matthew Vaughn came in and did just that and more.  The talented ensemble cast was put together in a similar fashion to JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot with young, fresh talent and by that I mean casting some actors with chops and of course the necessary eye-candy. 

Though I expected James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) to be the primary centerpiece in cementing the dramatic performance to counterbalance all of the geeky, high-action-- I was way off-- cause the head of the class of 62 in this case was clearly shared between madman Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto) and the fantastic, douchebag-ness of Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw).  So for the hardcore fans that are reading, my mutant lore is more steeped in the Claremont/Byrne classic run, a dash of 90's Romita JR/Jim Lee and of course the must-read masterpiece of Astonishing by Whedon/Cassaday.  I say all of this cause that First Class brand that has been out for some years was never a pickup for me..so from that standpoint color me clueless.

The inclusion of the Hellfire Club was a stroke of tasty, villainous genius as it provided much needed shine on the badassery of
Sebastian Shaw and the sexy January Jones (Emma Frost). 

Hawt chicks galore!  Sure White Queen was great on screen showing off her sparkly assets, but she was hugely overshadowed by the equally sexy Jennifer Lawrence (Raven Darkhölme)-- who actually made me care about Mystique-- and yeah Dr. McCoy was right about her staying in her fake form ; P  And let's not forget the stunner of Troy & Get Him to the Greek, Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggart.)  Was fabulous how they had her inserted as a CIA agent to bridge with the whole 60's espionage action.  Loved, loved, loved the Hell Fire Club whorehouse scene. 

And this is the Run DMC/MJ definition.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.    Was Fassbender or Bacon's performance reflective of a young Magneto and the immortal Black King?  Hmm..a bit indifferent on that.  But was their interpretations of characters as it was creatively retconned by Ashley Miller, Vaughn and co. a good effing filmgoer experience?  Hells to the muthaf*cking yeah.  Fantastic background and superbly acted to see just how Magneto was born.  Children of the Atom like hwat!!  Sick add of Nightcrawler's father, so they can make use of the ever-so-sick bamf! effects but the tightest use of CG was all Sebastian Shaw.  Logan bar scene was bananas!

Sorry, ugly is ugly.  And January Jones as the White Queen was FUGLY!  Emma Frost has so many more dimensions to her character than Jones coulda pulled off.  Maybe she shoulda traded roles with Jennifer Lawrence as her only shining moment (besides when she was in Diamond form) was when she was making the poor Russian dood get off with himself as she was brain-banging em from the couch.  Oh Havok sucked.  Oh yeah and that Darwin character sucked ass.  Umm, Banshee was alright but, Angel or Pixie or whoever she was yeah-- all of the ancillary mutants besides Beast and Banshee were a waste of screentime.  They might as well have put in Armor..oh yeah Asians weren't in position of power back then huh??  Finally, every damn time McAvoy touched his temple to give the cue to the audience, hey look at me I am using my telepathic abilities..really??  Meh-sauce.

Like Thor and the Iron Man films, X-Men: First Class propels Marvel far, far beyond the wack-ass films that we tried to forget were made...*cough..Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four, Punisher and (insert wack Marvel film here).  2 weeks late on this write-up, but how about that cool $200 mil that this film has grossed Internationally huh?  Not bad at all.  Only film beating X-Men: First Class in the Box Office is Super 8.

Though I am totally on the side of DCE when it comes to the source material, Marvel wins me over on the big-screen easy.  Fingers crossed for Green Lantern being more in the Dark Knight realm of goodness than what all the "critics" are saying.  Matthew Vaughn scores a fucking hat-trick for bringing us a round of solid comic book flicks with first Gaiman's Stardust, Millar's Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class.  What's next yo?

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big O
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