Monday, June 6, 2011

Wolverine to Professor X... Go F' Yourself. Classic!

Film Foray Cavalcade no. Nueve: X-Men First Class

X-Men First Class

It has been roughly five years since an X-Men film has been in theaters and we all know what a disaster X3 was. Thanks Brett Ratner. Of course, it can not be a summer without three movies based on Marvel Comics properties. I will admit of the three (Thor, Captain America and X-Men First Class), X-Men was the one that I was most excited to see. While it was not a bad film nor the worst in the franchise (Rated in subjective order, X2-X-Men-X-Men First Class-X3), it was a decent enough film.

With Thor, I asserted that Marvel films tend to strive for mediocrity rather than break new ground. All of them are polished and devoid of the grit employed by Nolan in the Batman series. Yes, every comic films will be compared to Nolan's masterpieces. The cinematography in these films leaves much to be desire but that is a small gripe. Also, why is it, these films always take place in the middle of the day? This makes the "impending doom" of the situation seem less pressing. The other thing that really bothers me about Marvel's franchises is the lack of quality special affects (Think Spiderman's aerobatics or in this case, Emma Frost's diamond form).

I did enjoy several things about this film, in particular was Michael Fassbender's performance as Magneto. When I think of Magneto in the comics, this is how he conducted himself on-screen. It was a nice to see the character as a young man rather than a geriatric with a walker. I also was a huge fan of Kevin Bacon's hair in the film. It was a magnificent mane that continued to grow from scene to scene. James McAvoy did a decent job but overall he came across as arrogant for a man who utilizes the same technologies for the next forty years. I also thought the film did a really good (great actually) job of establishing the dynamic between Professor X and Magneto as enemies. They do not hate but respect each other, theirs is a difference of opinion. Of course, the best part of the film was Hugh Jackman's cameo where he tells Magneto and Professor X off (That is how you do a cameo! Sorry Hawkeye).

Of course, the film was far from perfect and suffered from an excessive use of "lame" references to later developments. Notable examples include Charles about being bald or Moira MacTaggert (who oddly enough is not Scottish) creating the name of the team. In retrospect, most of the film's issues merely stemmed from the screenplay. They even rehashed one of the worst aspects of the first film... Namely, the development of codenames, "I dub you Magneto."

In the end, I thought it was a decent film, it does not break new ground but it was not a horrible blockbuster sequel like Iron Man 2. Personally, I enjoyed it but I am getting exhausted by the fact that Marvel films refuse to break the mold and take a chance. I hoped that Matthew Vaughan would bring something new to the table as director but it is clear that the studio still wields a mighty fist. Then again, I would like Layer Cake Vaughan and not Kick-Ass Vaughan. Sorry Bence, I cannot get over that jetpack, I digress.

P.S. Why does January Jones always just play Betty Draper... Is the advice from directors to her, "Just stand there and look pretty?"


  1. I would argue that betty draper has far more personality than her emma frost did.....but I laughed considerably when I read that line.....also break new ground? Vaughn took these characters and placed them into a whole new setting and time period....he made them spies and cold war fanatics.....go f#ck yourself boss

  2. yeah Betty Draper is straight up nuts, in this movie, she's straight up emotionless.

    But yeah, Marvel doesn't take chances with their films...the biggest chance this one took is it put up a number of characters lesser known to the general public on-screen. Putting it in the 60's isn't really a risk. The cinematography was bland (X-Men and X2 actually had interesting cinematography with some wonderful lighting gels and looks, if a little too clean), the montage editing was some of the worst montage editing I've seen in sometime (oh wow, you learned how to do 3D PiP effects on the Avid, congrats!), the effects on Emma Frost in particular were weak but for the most part I didn't mind the VFS, and while I enjoyed it overall, it was in the end, more of the same from the other X-Men films: please don't be intolerant of us mutants! I don't mind that, I enjoy it, I'll watch it again and again with more installments, but by this point it's nothing fresh or new.

    Like I said I liked it, but let's be honest, Kevin Bacon's hair stole the bloody show, can we say honorary Oscar? And once again, when did Professor X become Thaddeus Venture? So glad to see you using all the same equipment you have 40 years later...

    I probably sound like I liked it less than I did, I thought it was solid.

  3. also, in what universe is it so accepted for female businesswomen and Government workers to show so much leg? Because I want to live there...

  4. Yeah...I pulled a double feature and got caught up on my movies yesterday (saw Thor and Xmen). And honestly I think I liked Thor better...only because I had almost no expectation of it being good. And it was pretty good. Xmen has always been near and dear to my heart and thus I had very high expectations for First Class.

    I've heard people say what Nolan did for the Batman franchise is what Vaughan has done for Xmen and I couldn't disagree more.

    Manny was right...there was nothing groundbreaking or particularly new and exciting about First Class.

    Yes it's light years better than X3 and Wolverine...but that's really not saying much. I guess I will always be defensive about my favorite group of mutants. Who knows.

    Are they making a trilogy out of these set of movies? Because there is still a gaping hole in the X-men timeline that hasn't been depicted on screen yet.

  5. I respectively disagree with Bence... You are giving the director way too much credit for something the screenwriters dreamed up. Also, he did nothing risky by placing him during the Cuban Missile Crisis nor making them "spies" (Also, they were more of a black ops army anyway). What I meant by daring is to do something different and I give them a huge amount of credit for using characters that not many people know about.

    Honest opinion, it was a good or decent film but I am not to pound the table and say it is a great one. As Gonzi "it is light years ahead of X3 or Wolverine but that is not saying much." It ranks in the middle of all of the XMen films and that is not doing it a disservice.

    If they want to make a particularly compelling film... Given the director greater control. Quit meddling in the scriptwriting process (seriously, four writers... Credited!) and get a cinematographer to take risks with shot selection. At the very least, the studio should quit meddling in these productions. I said it in the Thor release, Marvel films and its properties are going to kill the genre.

  6. Gonzi... Word on the street is that (depending on the success of First Class) there will be a trilogy.

  7. the director always gets too much credit (or hatred) in filmmaking, it's the most overrated position there is in film. In this case, the bottom line is you had 4 credited screenwriters (who knows how many actually took a stab at the script) on a film that was, technically speaking, pretty lackluster.

    Good not great is the general consensus on the film, and that's about right. We'll see what happens with the sequel...hey whatever happened to Ryan Reynolds Deadpool origins movie? lol

  8. I thought this was funny, this is a tweet (that term doesn't get any less gay as time goes on) from one of the producers of the last Star Trek and my favorite (/sarcasm) Lost...

    "Emma Frost's THREE mutant powers: Telepathy, Transformation to Solid Diamond and last but not least, Sucking at Acting."