Category Archives: X Men First Class

What I’ve Been Watching: X-Men First Class

XMenFirstClassLogo020911 thumb 550x627 57128It was 2004. Bryan Singer had successfully brought the superhero movie in the 21st Century with the excellent X-Men, and the even better X2. In moving away from the universally derided cheese of Batman and Robin, he created a darker, more human template for the genre. Something series like Spiderman and Batman were only too happy to follow in their forays onto the big screen.

Singer had already laid the groundwork for X-Men 3, with his ending to X2, promising to bring one of the most famous arcs from the comics, Jean Grey’s transformation into The Dark Phoenix to a new modern audience.

Then Singer left Marvel’s X-Men 3 to join DC Comic’s Superman Returns. To put that move into context, it’s much like Wayne Rooney leaving Manchester United to join arch-rivals Liverpool; or Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona to join Real Madrid; or The Pope deciding to become a Protestant…

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X Men: First Class Trailer

One of my Top Five Anticipated Movies of 2011 was X-Men: First Class. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick Ass) it tells the story of Professor X and Magneto when they were still friends, and running Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters together.

Set during the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis, it will show the story of the first mutants as they come to terms with their own powers, and cope with the public’s reaction to finding out about their existence.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) acts as a kind of Martin Luther King to Erik Lehnsherr’s (Michael Fassbender) Malcolm X. Both want equal rights for mutants, but have very different opinions on how to go about this.

Whether the film succeeds or not will rely on whether Vaughn can tell a unique, interesting story that does more than simply fill in the gaps of the first three X-Men films. The relationship between Professor X and Magneto was always one of the most interesting things about the trilogy. If played correctly, it could make for a very compelling story. However, Vaughn must balance making First Class both accessible to new audiences, and simply retreading the ground already covered in the existing films.

The trailer gives us no hint as to whether he will do that or not. What it does tell us, is that some of the costumes have changed, but it still feels very much like the X-Men movie franchise as created by Brian Singer over ten years ago.

Check it out for yourself:

Top Five Most Anticipated Movies Of 2011

2010 has had its time (and its Top Five Lists). Now it’s 2011’s turn. So here for you are my Top Five Most Anticipated Movies Of 2011:

5. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
(October 2011)

The talent behind this film is such that I can’t help but be excited. The screenplay comes courtesy of Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), and Joe Cornish (off of Adam and Joe). It’s produced by Peter Jackson, and is directed by Steven Spielberg.

If that doesn’t get you excited enough, the motion-capture in this film is supposed to be something pretty special. As yet, there’s no trailer, although hopefully this still will give you an idea of the visual feast on offer:

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4. X-Men: First Class
(June 2011)

Given the disappointment of the last two X-Men films (X-Men 3: The Last Stand and Wolverine), I’d understand why some people may not be too overjoyed by the prospect of another.

This one, however, comes courtesy of the same writer-director team (Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn) that brought us Stardust and Kick-Ass. Expect plenty of fast-paced dialogue and visuals as we meet Professor X and Magneto before they called themselves Professor X and Magneto.

3. True Grit
(11th February 2011)

The Coens’ last movie, A Serious Man, was my favourite movie of 2009. Their next film is True Grit, a remake of the 1969 Western which won John Wayne an oscar.

The Coens showed they could handle the genre in a modern setting with the superb No Country For Old Men. True Grit is set during a more traditional timeframe as Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon help a 14-year old girl hunt down her father’s killer.

2. Super 8
(August 2011)

Not much is known about Super 8 beyond that it’s written and directed by J.J. Abrams, and is intended as a throwback to Spielberg’s sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s. The title also suggests it may be based on ‘found footage’ from a Super 8 camera. (cf. Cloverfield, Blair Witch Project, etc.)

Any more information than that you’ll have to glean from the teaser trailer. Like the original trailer for Cloverfield, this is a masterclass in giving us just enough footage to leave you confused, intrigued and excited about the film:

1. Black Swan
(21st January 2011)

Darren Aronofsky has become one of the most exciting directors of the past decade or so. Films like Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain have given the audiences experiences unlike anything else in American cinema.

Black Sawn seems to use a lot of the fantastical and psychological elements from these two films. We follow Natalie Portman’s tormented ballerina, desperate to take centre stage from her rival, played by Mila Kunis. Those who have seen Requiem for a Dream will know no one does ‘central character going insane’ better than Aronofsky.