X-Men: First Class – Review

X-Men returns in this prequel that could be the best film in the franchise… Directed by Brit, Matthew Vaughn (known for directing Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Kick-Ass) and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon, this movie takes a look at the early days of Professor X and Magneto… It’s another X-Men Origins story but this one shits all over Wolverine!

First Class opens in 1944 with Erik Lehnsherr, a young boy whose parents were taken away and killed during the Holocaust. His powers were enhanced by Schmidt when he killed Erik’s mother in front of his eyes. Also during 1944 in New York, a young Charles Xavier meets Raven a ten year old shapeshifter, the young Mystique. Years later, Erik has honed his powers and is going around seeking vengeance against former soldiers of the Nazi Party. Meanwhile Charles, a graduate at Oxford University, and Raven, a waitress live together while Xavier finishes his thesis on Mutation and becomes a proper Professor. In the US, a man by the name of Sebastian Shaw, who hasn’t aged since he was a soldier during the Second World War… named Schmidt… is gearing up to start World War Three by positioning nuclear missiles in Turkey and Cuba, aimed at the Soviets and the US respectively. With the help of the CIA, Charles along with Erik and Raven seek and recruit fellow mutants to try to stop Shaw in his plot to rid the world of humans and advance the Mutant Race.

The film has received very positive reviews despite the disappointing box office results. Matthew Vaughn, has done very well making this movie and he has put himself in a position as a great Superhero Filmmaker. Good points of X-Men: First Class include the montages, first when Charles and Erik are recruiting (including a brilliant cameo from Hugh Jackman, Wolverine) and secondly when Charles trains his First Class at his old mansion, the site for Charles¬†Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, these two montages were beautifully done the latter featuring very effective split screen techniques. Down sides include as with almost all superhero movies is the part where they come up with their superhero names (seriously, look at almost every movie, that part is always shit) other than that I can’t fault the first instalment in what Fox foresee as a possible trilogy. It was humorous at points and it’s good humour, not crappy american humour… because it’s directed by a Brit. Intellectual and Action-Packed, X-Men: First Class is and will be the Best Superhero movie of the year!

X-Men: First Class: Above Average

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Super 8 – Review

Super 8 is written and directed by J. J. Abrams, the brain behind movie and tv shows like Cloverfeild, Mission: Impossible 3, Star Trek, Alias and Lost. This guy is no stranger to the high concept film and blockbusters, and Super 8 is no exception. Originally believed to be a sequel or a prequel to Cloverfeild, and while some elements of the films are similar, I found Super 8 much more enjoyable.¬†Another trait Abrams is famous for is his promotional campaigns, the viral marketing released before the trailer conveyed a very different movie and had me thinking, “Oh great, another Cloverfeild. Come on J.J., pull your head in.” But when a hidden ‘playable’ trailer appeared on Portal 2, I was thinking, “Hmm what an interesting way to market a film, look out Nolan (but i’m still not sure what this is about)”. Finally the trailer came out which revealed the true plot and look of the film… changed my perception of the film and boy was I interested.

Four months after Joe’s mum dies, he and his friends are working on a short zombie flick for a Super 8 film festival. While filming a scene at a train station, shit goes down… A wayward car runs into a train and after a truly epic crash scene a door flings open and something escapes one of the train carridges. The only sighting of what escaped was recorded on the Super 8 camera. The story continues as mysterious happenings start hitting the town, people going missing, dogs running away to neighbouring towns, and electrical equipment just vanishing. It’s not until the US Air Force start hiding everything from the sheriff’s department and the town that the kids who stumble on the secret try to find out more. The Air Force commence ‘Operation Walking Distance’ and evacuate the town… Only one problem, the object of Joe’s affection, Alice, goes missing, Joe and his friends go back into town to save his young love and find the secret of what was in that carridge.

The cast is prodominatley children and they do very brilliantly… I suppose maybe these kids appeal to me becuase they are filmmakers and i would wish that this story could happen to me but who knows… The stand out character was the comic relief and eventual hero, Ryan Lee, a slightly pyromanicle teenager who also has a knack for playing a zombie. The lead, Joel Courtney, and his love, Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister), also do a good job, and are apart of (in my opion) a proper relationship for their age. They never kiss, they take things slow, their like 13, and I think it’s good to finally see a relationship like this. Very impressed J. J.!

Ultimately, Super 8 is a great movie for the family with the execption of 1 f-word being dropped so probably an older family with kids no younger than 12. This movie I hope will cement J. J. Abrams in his rightful place as a storytelling master and a true filmmaker for the 21st century. I want to see more like this… Mr. Abrams, keep it up! It’s a new age E.T. and with the Executive Producer Steven Spielberg on board it generates more of that feeling. The Lens Flare Is Back In A Big Way!!!

Super 8: Average

P.S.

Keep an eye out for the the short zombie flick during the end credits entitled ‘The Case’, it’s the competed film that the kids were working on and it’s a lot of fun.