X-Men: First Class

“Little late on this write up, but I feel I hafta spread the awesome of this movie. So better late than never, yeah? Two reasons for my tardiness: I saw it on midnight on Thur, and I went to see Jimmy Eat World last night.

Anyways, continuing my social summer with my theatre group, I coerced a few of my peeps to come to the midnight show. The group was smaller than Pirates, but this one was so much more worth it. I realized earlier in the day how excited I really was for the film. I think I hadn’t let myself get to that point, partly due to the lack of hype, but mostly because on some level I feel rather protective of the X-Men. They are what got me into comics, and why I am a Marvel girl (even though Superman is my hero and he’s DC).

It all started in second grade. My daddy and I used to go to Blockbuster every Friday and rent a video game for the Sega Genesis for the weekend. One day we brought home X-Men. This was in part prompted by the fact that I had one of my guy friends coming over on Saturday, so we wanted to get something he’d be interested in. I was just in awe of the characters. I picked up a few comics, and books, and videos, and thus began my fandom there. I’ll admit, I dont know all the characters’ backstories as well as I should. It was always a sporadic interest, not something I obsesed over. I did have a subscription to Uncanny X-Men for a while, but a lot of them stayed unopened (why the hell did I throw so many of those out?!)

Dont worry, I’ll get to First Class in a bit. Just wanna throw in a few quick words about the previous movies first. I did enjoy those, mostly because the characters were portrayed so well. All of the cast was perfect, and it was so exciting to see these characters that I’ve loved for so long come to life. And it was particularly great seeing new ones brought in with each sequel. But I was never particularly wowed with the series. Maybe with the first one a bit just because it was so new, but they’re not ones I think about as favorites.

I may be speaking too soon (I dont like to give such strong opinions until a second viewing, once I’ve processed and the excitement has lessened) but I think First Class blew the others out of the water. It was easily better than Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine. However, I think you need an appreciation of the other films to truly love First Class. I’m not only saying that because of the \m/ amazing cameos (I wont spoil, but go watch soon since the surprise is just awesome), but it tied in so well with them. People have been thinking of this as a reboot (since that term seems so popular) but it really is a prequel, meant to tie in. Hell, it starts off with the exact same scene as the first movie did. And the way that future events are referenced is perfect. Some of them are comical (okay, there may have been one too many bald jokes in there), some are forboding, others are just winks to the audience.

For me, when it comes to X-men, the characters are the most important element. And this time around they were cast just as perfectly as they had been previously. You really do think that no one could top Patrick Stewart as Professor X, but James McAvoy was perfect. I can’t say one was better than the other (it would feel blasphemous no matter which I chose), but because they represent the prof at different stages in his life that’s totally fine. Michael Fassbender blew me away as Magneto, much like Ian McKellan did.

For some reason I’ve never been able to understand, Beast has been my favorite X-Men since the beginning. Sure now I can attribute it to his nerdy goodness, but I dont think that was the attraction in 4th grade. Anyways, I absolutely adored Nicholas Hoult. He was spectacular in A Single Man, and getting to see him in bigger film is great. I will say that I preferred him over Kelsey Grammer, but then again I was never a Frasier fan. Granted, young Beast is a very different person from old Beast. Here he was more the awkward yet loveable nerd type that I could relate to, as opposed to being the wise and collected scientist.

Also really excited to see Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. I’ve been completely eating up all of the Hunger Games hype, and I can’t wait to see her as Katniss. X-Men made me even more stoked for that. The one who really suprised and impressed me was Kevin Bacon. Did not know he was in here (which of course meant that I spent a good while memorizing actors in the film to add to my Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon arsonal), and he really kicked ass as Shaw. Although I think I was just impressed by his early scene in German. Points for January Jones as Emma Frost. You do see a little bit of a cold evil in her as Betty Draper on Mad Men, so watching her run with that here was a treat.

With midnight movies, it’s often a fight to stay awake, even if I took a nap beforehand. This time around, my nap was cut short by a work event, so I was rather worried. But I was so absorbed by the film, I didnt even have a moment to lament my loss of naptime. The pacing was quick, the story was good, the action sequences were fantastic. Aaaaand Im noticing the length of this write up and guessing I’ve lost most of you, so I’ll quit my gushing now. I actually kinda wanna go see this again…

X-Men: First Class – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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