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X-Men: First Class

The 2011 prequel to the "X-Men" film franchise directed by Matthew Vaughn.

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A movie I would watch several times again just for the pure share of "awesomeness" it gives.

  • Jun 14, 2011

Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men" version is definitely one of the movies that made me feel sorry for the skepticism I had before it's release. This proves once again that some trailers might not say anything at all about the final content. I was not impressed with the first footage and the first trailer of the film. I thought it was going to be just decent. Well, I was wrong because "First Class" is by far the best X-Men movie made and one of the best comic-book movies ever made.

Entering the theater. Waiting for the opener scene. World War II in Poland. Great music. I'm thinking "this is nice". A little bit rushed presentation of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto). "So and so" feeling. Then something happened: suspense and tension erupted. "This might be good". And yes it was.

The story starts in 1962 with Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) who's on a chase after the murder of his mother, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Erik has a mutation which gives him incredible magnetic force. He can twist, bend, cut, implode, destroy, move, stop and throw every metal around him with just the power of the mind. The only problem is he can't fully operate it at it's maximum potential because he can't fully control it due to the negative energy inside him, his inner quest for revenge. On the other hand, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a rich young scientist specialized in mutations, has massive telepathic powers that allows him to perform such incredible actions like stopping the time or entering someone's memories and learn everything about his life in just a scent of a second. Both these guys are at the extremes but they will join forces after they'll realize they have a common target: Sebastian Shaw. Sebastian Shaw is our main villain and his power is that he can "encapsulate" any sort of energy and release it however he wants. Practically, he is almost invincible. His main goal is to create tension between United States and U.S.S.R. in order to generate a nuclear war between these two superpowers so that his own kind could conquer earth after the war is done. He is an idealist, an extremist, a ruthless visionary who fights for his own kind's "freedom". However, his methods are cruel and must be stopped. Charles Xavier gets in contact with the CIA who proposes him a deal. He accepts it and starts to create his own school for people with "superhuman abilities", not before creating a common front with Erik Lehnsherr in which he sees the potential of good beyond his dark heart. They become real good friends, they learn from each other and share till one point the same ideas. Xavier even admires Erik for his true power and encourages him to leave his negative emotions and try to balance his spiritual and mental state so that he can use his powers at their potential. Xavier's school was first made not as a center where Charles could recruit any mutant in the world but mainly to gather other powerful mutants that he needed in order to get to Sebastian Shaw because Shaw had his own class of friendly mutants, Riptide, Azazel and Emma Frost (January Jones). In Xavier's corner we get to see Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast, Angel, Moira, Banshee, Darwin or Havok, all mutants that will learn to control their superpowers. We have some really ridiculous mutants that I thought they had pretty stupid powers like Angel for example but it all fades away and you kinda forget about it. From this point on we get to a on-going chase after Shaw. Xavier and Erik develop a really strong friendship, friendship that is in the middle of the emotional core of the film. Very well written characters, powerful performances and most of all the intelligently developed relationship between these two make the movie really impressive as far as narrative content. We get secondary characters built around the main ones but separately as far as their own story and origin, we get conflicts in-between them, we get really dramatic pursues, we get to find out how our characters got their names, we get a hilarious cameo, funny jokes and situations but also inner conflicts and decisions that these characters must take in order to survive or accept themselves as who they really are. Add a solid chemistry between them and the last but not the least add a solid, temperate, charismatic and powerful villain in Shaw and you have almost a great receipt for a great film.

The movie builds up till the final confrontation between Shaw and Xavier and Magneto where ideologies are put to test, where friendship and hatred confront, where decisions must be made at any cost. We realize how Magneto became Magneto we know, how Professor X became the professor we know and even how mutants changed sides. The dramatic core between Professor X and Magneto is incredibly emotional and really beats out the final moments of the film. The scenery, the atmosphere, the tension and suspense, the humor, the raspy jokes or punts, the challenges of beliefs, the drama, the bonds of friendship and betrayals are all blend in together perfectly. There's no sense of confusion about the movie's identity and what it wants it to be. It's extremely well executed and literally made me have no words against the quality of this film.

The acting is too good for an X-Men film and with all my respect for Ian McKellen's Magneto I have to say that Michael Fassbender really steals the show and that he's too good for Magneto. He creates such a wonderful character that you can't keep your eyes off. You want more scenes with him because he bring life to that character in such ways you sometimes forget you're watching an actor. He goes so well from rage and fury to patience and a methodic state. His charm is obviously an advantage but the delivery is what creates perfection with this character. James McAvoy plays perfectly the wise Xavier even though he appears sometimes to be too gentle. Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw delivers a great performance as the meticulous and ruthless villain without being at extremes. He's really down-earthed and incredibly realistic. The only problem I have is with January Jones who plays Emma Frost. All I got to say is "this is not a modeling contest girl"...

Technically the movie is superb. Beautiful cinematography, great contrast, really good special effects though I have some issues with Mystique's transformation because it felt too unreal or with the submarine getting out of water staying in the air for minutes and water still falling off the sides of the submarine. I mean, how much water could slip away? Millions of gallons? Anyway, this is still the best executed movie I've seen this year. The music created by Henry Jackman is also really incredible and it matches perfectly all the scenes. The action scenes are overwhelming and most of all I have to state something that I forgot the state earlier: the mutant powers were smartly but in balance one with each other. It was a real nice thing to really develop a good idea about how powerful these mutants are without being clicheic or predictable.

Overall X-Men deserves it's praise. It is the best X-Men movie, one of the best comic-book movies ever made and by far the best action movie I've seen this year till the current date. It creates an immersive reality that feels real thanks to the great development of the story and characters, the strong chemistry between them, the impeccable performances and solid technical execution. Definitely a movie I would watch several times again just for the pure share of "awesomeness" it gives.

Storyline/Dialogue: 8/10.
Acting: 8,5/10.
Technical Execution: 8,7/10.
Replay Value: 9/10.
Overall: 8.4

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June 16, 2011
For a re-imagination of a story I know by heart (origins of X-men) this movie was well done; I can definitely see this as a vantage point from whence the group came. The movie had its issues; both regarding the lore and regarding the cinematography, but everything does. It was a fun one, definitely has its re-watch value, and I commend on them creating a fun young prof X, a character whose past is known but never seen. Great review. Well done. (all these praise and only a 3? You rate hard, sir.)
June 16, 2011
Well, it's an actual 8 so -5 being 1 and -4 being 2 you get to 3 being 8. :D
June 16, 2011
true, I forgot about the (-) system. Not used to it yet:)
June 14, 2011
Yep, this was a really fun movie. I had some issues with it, but the good parts certainly outweigh the bad ones. I still see X2 as the best X-movie to date, now I do hope the next stories won't be afraid to go darker.....
More X-Men: First Class (2011 movie... reviews
review by . June 04, 2011
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The Children of The Atom Equals An X-Citing Re-Boot Prequel!
When I first heard of the coming “X-Men: First Class” film, I will have to admit that I feared for the worst. The first three movies of the X-Men franchise have been a mixed bag for me; while the first film was decent, “X2: X-Men United” was real good, “X-Men: Last Stand” was just so disappointing that I hoped that the franchise was over. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was fun, but it just reshaped the “X-mythos” for me in the way that I didn’t …
review by . June 12, 2011
Marvel Studios must have a mutant named
It is a little sad that the when the first X Men movie kicked off the big budget comic movie boom in 1999 that it was the one that ended up needing rebooted in most people's eyes.  I actually liked X Men 3 a little bit and could at least see Wolverine as a halfway decent action movie in it's own right.  However, since X Men 3 is the movie that killed everyone's dog and Wolverine peed on the corpse; to the general public a few changes needed to be made.      …
review by . June 09, 2011
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   Imagine if someone Nolan-ized X-Men. Ok, maybe we use the phrase “Nolan-ze” a little too often. But if Nolan ever did direct an X-Men film, it’d be something close to First Class. Whenever I was a kid I remember watching the Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films, and compared to bigger, more fantastical superhero movies I was accustomed to like Sam Raimi’s Spiderman series and even the pre-Nolan Batman films, they weren’t my favorite. In fact they …
review by . June 16, 2011
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Yes its a prequel, No it dosent suck, Yes im also a telepath.
I originally didn't want to see this movie because I heard that it is a Prequel/reboot two things I hate all rolled up into one package. It was actually the reviews here on lunch that changed my mind.      First class focuses on the young Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher before they become Professor X and Magneto, how they met and what tore them apart. (no it dosen't show how the Professor went Bald). The Movie also follows the lives of the first students …
review by . June 04, 2011
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Star Rating:         There has been much talk about how sequels aren’t supposed to be better than the films that preceded them. Does the same thing apply to prequels? If so, then X-Men: First Class has set a new standard. Apart from being the best of all previous X-Men films, it belongs on the same shelf as Superman, Batman, and Iron Man as one of the greatest superhero films ever made; it’s superbly cast, the characters are very well developed, it tells …
review by . June 03, 2011
'X Men-First Class' 'Two Jews On Film' Just Like Prof X & Magneto They Go Their Separate Ways- Video
   Right off the bat, I have to say that I gave 'X-Men First Class' 5 bagels out of 5.  I absolutely loved it. The director, Matthew Vaughn  did the 'X Men' franchise proud.        'X-Men First Class' is a prequel.  Before Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) was Professor X and Eric Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) became Magneto, they were just two mutant guys discovering their powers and figuring out how to use them.  Charles …
review by . October 10, 2011
2 1/2 stars :
We have all heard the stories before. The stories of these so-called super-humans, people born with special abilities that grant them the power to stand above all others and look down on us like the insects that we are, these stories were told in Greece during the time of Christ. They have been retold countless times over by the Romans, and then again by writers, family members, and teachers and comic book writers. We have all heard of these stories in one way or another; some might …
review by . June 04, 2011
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There's no other way to fly.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS   Written by Ahsley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughan   Directed by Matthew Vaughan   Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Bacon       Charles Xavier: I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity.       I’ve always had a soft spot for the X-Men within the ever-expanding realm of comic book film adaptations. Given my own, …
review by . June 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Before becoming enemies Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr were allies and good friends. That is till they realized that their views on human-mutant relations were so inherently different that they could no longer work together. You don't need to be a fanboy to know this. Anyone who has seen the previous movies know just by watching, which any decent screenwriter will tell you is the objective, show don’t tell. However the producers decided this was neither clear enough nor a completely …
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - 132mins - Action/Adventure/Drama - 1st June 2011   One problem that every prequel has to overcome it the ability to keep interest despite us knowing the eventual outcome of the movie. If you have seen any of the previous four films then it's quite probable you can piece together how this movie is going to end and how the characters are going to turn out. This therefore needs to be compensated for and is done so successfully by the introduction of plenty of new characters to keep …
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Julian Left ()
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X-Men: First Class
is a 2011 American superhero film directed by Matthew Vaughn. Based on the characters appearing in Marvel Comics, it is a prequel to the X-Men film series. X-Men: First Class was released June 1, 2011 in the UK and on June 3 in the US.

The film is set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and focuses on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The film stars James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Other cast members include Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till. The film was mostly shot in England and parts of the United States.

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Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: June 3, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Bryan Singer, Zack Stentz
Runtime: 132 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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