Sunday, September 25, 2011

Movie Review: X-Men First Class

Sorry if my movie reviews are a bit unbalanced these days, I haven't actually seen much so I don't have much variety to put up here, hopefully the reviews will still be interesting/useful to some people out there. I mean, it was reviews of this movie that made me decide to see it, I haven't seen any of the other X-Men movies over the years (I've been curious about them but not enough so to go out and watch them) and yet I felt like I heard enough good reviews of it to check it out when it came to school with friends. I couldn't remember however if the reviews mentioned an after the credits scene or not so we stayed for that and I shall say it now, there isn't one. True it was cool to see all the other people who had also waited in the theater were fellow nerds I knew but everyone else can skip the credits and just head on home by that point. 

X-Men First Class

Summary: The origin of the X-Men wasn't a single event but a series of events involving an unlikely alliance between who would eventually become Professor X and Magneto and how the Cuban Missile Crisis really happened.

The Good: As someone who hasn't seen any of the other movies (or even know more than random facts about the X-Men) this wasn't hard to follow at all and made me want to check out some of the other movies which I would consider a success. I was a bit confused by Mystique when the movie started (since I did know some stuff about her) but I thought her arc was done well and fairly sympathetic and understandable, Magento and Angel's felt a bit more forced but both of them were foreshadowed sufficiently. I was also surprised at how much screen time Moria, the CIA agent (and one of the most prominent non-mutant characters), got, although I guessed at her eventual fate before the movie ended.  

The Bad: While this film may have a historical setting it plays havoc with it, I would love to see the textbooks (or wikileaks) from that world concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a bit awkward to look at the eventual make-up of the "good" and "bad" mutants though, for a series that has long been seen as a metaphor for racism/homophobia (I've seen people claim both and they both make sense), the "good" team was all white and male and the "bad" team had all the PoC and female characters, I think everyone on both teams was straight as well. If the story is already messing with some of the continuity (which is sounds like it is) then couldn't they have at least rearranged the teams so they weren't as, awkward?

The Audio: My friends and I were joking that one mutation most of the cast must've had was the ability to speak multiple languages, I don't think I've seen one character speak so many languages since Night Raid (although I think the accents here were better). Aside from not being able to see the subtitles as well from my seat I thought everything, spoken and soundtrack wise worked, although some of the music was a bit too dramatic and over the top at points.

The Visuals: There was some sloppy editing in a few scenes which really surprised me, I wonder if they were shooting on tight schedule and didn't have a chance to catch these problems while filming. I saw this happen at least twice where a scene would switch back and forth between two angles and an object in the scene would be in a different place (like a few inches, a noticeable difference) in each shot and it was easy to tell that they were combining two takes together. Also less than great was Beast, however they did the special effects on him just did not work and one of my friends (who has seen the other movies) said that he liked more the way they've done him in previous movies. Mystique seemed to be done well however and all the other special effects seemed solid so most people won't have any trouble with the movie.

A good popcorn flick and something I enjoyed more than I expected I would which is what I hope to get out of these one dollar movies, next one in that series will be Super 8 which I didn't see this summer since it sounded so completely dumb to me, let's see how right or wrong I was....

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