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X-Men: First Class
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326 of 377 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 2, 2011
Format: DVD
The X-Men films are kind of a huge letdown as a whole, aren't they? The first two are pretty good, but everything good they had going for them was completely destroyed once The Last Stand came to fruition. Thank you, Brett Ratner. And X-Men Origins: Wolverine just drove the franchise even further into the ground; kudos, Gavin Hood. So there probably isn't any reason to get excited over a new X-Men film even if it is a prequel to the X-Men films people actually enjoy. Why would we want to see another comic book movie with limitless potential only to drop the ball yet again? Not only does X-Men: First Class take that ball and run with it but it uses it in all the right ways and reminds you why you loved the X-Men in the first place.

The cast is way better than it has any right to be. Everyone fits their character incredibly well and works fantastically as a cohesive unit. Kevin Bacon seems like a bit of an odd choice for Sebastian Shaw at first, but any doubt you may have is washed away once you finally see him absorb energy. His role as the main villain may be significantly smaller than you may imagine, but his more than qualified acting chops make nearly every scene he's a part of memorable (nothing really tops his first scene with young Magneto though). James McAvoy does an excellent job handling Charles Xavier. He's gentle, kind, and really seems to care about helping his fellow mutants. Michael Fassbender as Magneto manages to have the strongest on-screen presence. He's intense, powerful, and emotional; the best-rounded character of the film.

It was gratifying to see McAvoy and Fassbender make the roles of Professor X and Magneto their own without completely rehashing what Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan established the first time around. That is often a problem when it comes to prequels; these younger actors wind up focusing on mimicking the older version of who they're meant to portray without putting their own spin on it. Luckily, that wasn't an issue here.

No expense was made when it comes to the special effects either; Azazel is a perfect example. By the end of the film, you still won't know anything about the character other than the fact that he can teleport like Nightcrawler and is a master swordsman. His teleporting ability is just as fun to watch as Nightcrawler's was in X2 and his fight sequences (especially the one with a particular blue mutant) are always quite engaging. Most of Magneto's scenes involve some pretty hefty CG and it's pulled off rather well. The metal fillings scene is a personal favorite along with the Argentina bar scene (pay particular attention to the slow building yet unnerving music used during that scene along with the weapon used at the table). Then there's the obvious scene of Magneto reversing the missles that's being shown in nearly every advertisement these days. Beast is probably a high point of the special effects. Nicholas Hoult portrays Hank McCoy rather flawlessly (other than one scene that I won't spoil); brainy, shy, not sure of himself, and ashamed of his mutation. Beast's transformation is one of the best scenes in the film though. It gave me flashes of An American Werewolf in London. It's a shame we didn't get to see more of him as Beast because the one good long scene we see of him is really impressive.

One of the things that make X-Men: First Class so good is that we get to see how these characters grow into the superheroes and super villains that we know and love today. And again, while the film loosely follows the comics it still manages to blossom and mature into something exceptional on its own while also planting the appropriate seeds to line up with the Bryan Singer X-Men films.

So by now you have an idea of how good the film is, but is there anything bad about it? Some characters feel really underdeveloped; Riptide, Darwin, and Angel come to mind, but the biggest disappointment is Havok. There are no connections that he's actually the brother of Cyclops and many will be upset about that. Plus his character doesn't really feel very useful in comparison to both Beast and Banshee who at least put their powers to good use on several occasions throughout the film. Other than a few minor gripes about certain characters, which could surely be rectified in future installments; there really isn't much to complain about with X-Men: First Class.

Do not let other 20th Century Fox comic book related films put you off, X-Men: First Class deserves to be held in the highest regard right next to Marvel's best. The cast is practically overflowing with talent, the storyline is both sharp and absorbing, the special effects are probably the best they've ever been in any X-Men film, and the appropriate connections are made to the best parts of the original films. X-Men: First Class should be the standard for all X-Men films from here on out. It's intelligent, engrossing, and spectacular. It's easily the best X-Men film yet.
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117 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
What drew me to check out X-Men: First Class was not any particular love of comic books nor any particular fondness of the previous films. What drew me to this film was the presence of actor Michael Fassbender, whose increasingly eclectic work has continued to impress me more and more with each new film he appears in. I recall little about the first three X-Men films, besides that I found them enjoyable and I admit that I haven't even bothered to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I figured it was only a matter of time before Fox rebooted the X-Men series after the lackluster reception of the last two X-Men films. Bringing in director Matthew Vaughn, the director of 2010's cult hit Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class is a summer blockbuster that delivers on all fronts, while reinventing and re-energizing the series.

The film opens with the same scene that opened the first film, introducing us to Erik Lehnsherr as he's separated from his mother at a Nazi prison camp. These first scenes, particularly Erik meeting his mortal enemy Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), are surprisingly effective. Several years later, the film sets itself up against the backdrop of the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis as Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is recruited by CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) to assemble a team of mutants for the purpose of stopping Shaw from triggering World War III. Charles forms a partnership with the vengeful Erik (Fassbender) to help him assemble the team, which already consists of Charles' adopted sister Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), and the film leads us through the events that culminate in Charles, Erik, and Raven becoming Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique, respectively.

The story and screenplay give credit to six people total and the key to the success of this movie may be that one of those six people is Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men films whose absence may have been what guided the last two films into mediocrity. His involvement, Vaughn as the director, and the changing of the time period all have significant impact on the film's success. The material seems much more at home in the 60s time period, while also helping to establish a different atmosphere and tone that separates it from the other films in the series.Vaughn emphasizes a steely, gray palette, an atmospheric visual aesthetic that gives the film a much bleaker tone than it's predecessors. He's assisted in establishing this effective atmosphere by the ominous musical score by Henry Jackman that lends to the atmosphere and builds the suspense.

There is some great talent in front of the camera. Lawrence, a recent Oscar nominee is a perfect fit for the young Mystique and Kevin Bacon gives a diabolical performance as the antagonist, but it is Michael Fassbender whom I believe will walk away from this film a star. It's sad that with so many great roles behind him in the last few years Fassbender has to play Magneto to finally get the recognition he deserves. With that said, Fassbender's performance as Magneto is fascinating to watch and brings a new level of depth to the character. His charismatic performance shows Erik as a tortured soul, but also a (forgive me for not being more eloquent, but no term I can think of is better) bada**. Furthermore, he shares remarkably strong chemistry with McAvoy and these two work well enough together to carry more films in this series.

What really elevates the material beyond it's predecessors and, for that matter, most superhero movies, is the level of drama and genuine humanity it contains. It's a complete success as a summer action film, but it's much more than that; it's a genuinely good, well-made film. In addition to that, it's almost unbearably entertaining. I found it riveting for it's entire 132-minute running time, while marveling at how it's so insanely entertaining without relying on contrived, repetitive, action sequences to guide its entertainment value. There are some negative elements; Mystique's makeup looks much cheaper than it did in previous incarnations and there is the occasional cheesy line of dialogue, but none of this was substantial enough to negatively impact my view of the film.

X-Men: First Class is exactly what it's title implies; first class. Backed by a script that is both entertaining and intelligent, guided by great direction, and brought to life by a tremendous cast, I have no reservations calling this the best X-Men film yet. It has all the things you could want from a summer blockbuster; action, adventure, intelligence, soul, Magneto exacting revenge on Nazi's, great performances, and one of the funniest cameos I've seen in a long time. It's not a masterpiece, as it sticks a little too close to the summer-film template but, be that as it may, the heart must rule the head and I have no qualms admitting that I loved it.

GRADE: A-
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53 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
From reviews I expected a pretty decent movie. Surprisingly, it was even better than I expected. I liked all 3 original movies, btw, and I really have to say this was a much better quality movie still. Good casting and acting. Good story. Great introduction to characters and tie-ins to the comic book universe. Also didn't do anything to upset the time line with the original movies, which I appreciated. It was also neat to see actors I didn't even know would be in this movie, plus a ton of good actors who are somewhat recognizable but not enough that I could tell you who they were. Some things in the story didn't fit 100% with the comics, but just pretty insignificant things, and I really didn't mind at all. For instance, it would appear that Scott Summers' brother Alex was older than him? Aah, that's alright, Havoc was never that big a deal anyway. And I have to say I liked Banshee in the movie much more than I ever did in the comic. Not that he really had any lines, it was just really fun seeing him fly and do his scream thing...it always seemed a little lame in the comics.
UPDATE: Just wanted to add that it's been almost a year since this was released and it's now continually playing on cable and I find myself getting stuck watching it every time I flip by it. I really don't think this movie, the story, the casting and acting, all of it, could have been done any better.
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33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
For those of you who don't know, this edition of X-Men: First Class is not available at all stores, thus why the price is more expensive. I was fortunate enough to get this edition at Target, and they have a ton of them there, so if you live near a Target store, check there and get yourself a copy!

Anyways, for those of you who aren't aware, the normal Blu-Ray release of this film does not include a DVD copy of the film, which may be an inconvenience to some. However, this release does, as well as the Blu-Ray disc and Digital Copy Disc from the normal release. Unless you need a DVD copy of the film, you don't need to get this release. However, I think that this should have just been the original release, because it is convenient to get a DVD copy of the film. The film itself is fantastic, one of the best comic books ever made along with The Dark Knight, and it is presented in beautiful 1080P HD, with one of the best transfers released this year. The audio quality is also fantastic and will shake the walls with it's fantastic mixing and volume levels. As for the special features, they are solid if not a little underwhelming. The features on the disc are great, such as the X marks the spot viewing mode that has X's placed in specific parts of the movie to show a behind the scenes feature (kind of like on The Dark Knight release), a documentary on mutants, and some stunt work stuff. It was overall solid, but I wish there was more. Still, it is worth the price if you are an X-Men fan or enjoyed the film.

Again, I don't know why the original release didn't come with a DVD copy of the film, I think that it is somewhat ridiculous. And if you are buying this product online, don't even bother because you will most likely feel ripped off. However, if you have a Target store nearby with copies of this edition in stock, it is worth picking up. It's the same price as the other release and includes a DVD copy of the film. If, however, you don't have one near you or any copies in stock, the normal release should be just fine.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Movie - 5.0

Suffice it to say, X3 and Wolverine were pretty underwhelming. The dynamic relations in Xavier and Magneto's friendship and philosophy was pissed on and turned into some generic, shallow shell of its former self, and the potential depth in a character like Logan was wasted away by the whims of studio big heads. Thankfully, though, with Bryan Singer back on the X-train as producer and co-writer and Matthew Vaughn at the helm fresh off his Kick-Ass success, X-Men: First Class more than makes up for the disappointment. First Class is literally what it sounds like: an origins film. For those who aren't familiar with the X-Men franchise, there's actually very little you need to know, as the movie just essentially builds everything from scratch. If you're like me, and have been a fan for a while, whether it be through the comics, cartoon, or previous live-action films, then it should go without saying that you're in for a real treat. The one element that always attracted me to the franchise as a whole has always been the beliefs that Xavier and Magneto held and the conflict that existed between them. Both are ambitious and both have goals to someday create a world where mutants can live in peace. The only difference is that based on their upbringing, one believes in violence while the other does not. As mentioned about the dynamic between their relationship, I can't say how much I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Both play their roles in very convincing fashion and really manage to capture the spirit of the two, which is a refreshing sight to see and a definite positive step in the direction of the movie franchise. The storytelling is perfect in terms of character development and looks amazing on a production and technical level as well. In addition, the supporting cast does an equally good job. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique really helps to support the foundation of Xavier's beliefs, and Kevin Bacon does a surprisingly good job as Sebastian Shaw in ultimately shaping Magneto's beliefs (plus it's been a while since I've seen him in anything, so it's good to see him acting again). Before this film, I didn't think X2 could be surpassed in terms of scope. First Class has proven me wrong by a long shot. So far, this is the best movie of the franchise, and I'm hoping it leads to a few more.

Video - 4.5

- Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
- Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

So lately, I've started to become very interested in a lot of the technical work that goes in to movies, with a big part of it being the cinematography. When I discovered John Matheison, who had done the slew of Ridley Scott's epic period pieces (Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Robin Hood), I was very much excited to hear of his involvement as DP for First Class. I still find it ironic that First Class itself is something of a quasi-period piece taking place during the Cuban Missile Crisis and paying aesthetic homage to the earlier Sean Connery Bond films, but I think it actually works out very well. First Class was filmed on 35mm and has a very nice filmic texture giving it a dated, yet very clean look to the overall picture. Black levels are easily the best part of the video giving lots of great shadow delineation while providing excellent detail in clothing and facial features. Contrast isn't too high or low providing a good deal of discernment between people, objects, and the background, especially in some of the more darkly-lit scenes. The color palette starts off a tad muted at the beginning of the film when we see Erik in the concentration camp, but things tend to get much more vivid when he and Charles are grown up. This is most noticeable when we see Erik traveling around the world looking for Sebastian Shaw and get some brighter yellows, oranges, tans, and whites throughout the shots of the Swiss bank and Argentinian bar scenes. Detail is sharp for a good majority of the film aside from one very dark shot when Charles and Erik are in the truck sneaking around in Russia. There's also a shot when Charles is trying to train Alex in the bomb shelter where all the light fixtures cause a kind of blue ringing effect on the camera, but it's more so just a quirk with the lighting than any kind of transfer problem. Other than those possible minor quibbles, there's really nothing wrong with the picture quality as a whole. Overall, I love the filmic texture and the picture's ability to balance dark and flashy. Emma Frost looks very good in either her sparkly dresses or diamond body form, and the visual effects appear virtually seamless whenever there's action on screen.

Audio - 5.0

Languages
- English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
- English, French, Spanish

Equally impressive is First Class' audio presentation. Designed and recorded by Ron Bartlett (some of whose work includes Sherlock Holmes, Terminator Salvation, and the final cut of Blade Runner), there's a lot to enjoy, here. To start, dialogue is clear and audible through the center, and for what Charles' power is worth, from the other four speakers. In fact, I think one of the cooler, more subtle effects of the film is his telepathy. It has something of a rippling resonance to it that gives it an even cleaner sound than just hearing him talk on camera. Granted, it's a sound effect added through post-production, but what did you expect from an X-Men movie? But moving along, I also really like Henry Jackman's score. Listening to it as a standalone CD, as a part of the movie, and then as an isolated track on the BD (in conjunction with his wonderfully spirited interview on the special features), I have to say I've really come to appreciate his compositional work and how it really creates the mood of the movie overall. And then of course there are the sound effects. Being a summer blockbuster, the film has its definite fair share of booms, bangs, zips, rumbles, etc. High and low ends handle extremely well, particularly in the form of energy charges whether it be Shaw absorbing bombs, discharging it to kill a bunch of people, Magneto moving metal, Alex shooting his beams, or Azazel's teleportation. Surround activity has an excellent balance of front and rear channel dispersion as well, some of it around the beginning and middle, but mostly at the end when the X-Men and Magneto are fighting the Hellfire Club. LFEs are my favorite part of the audio, though. The aforementioned moving of metal by Magneto is the best example of this. Much like the previous X-films, whenever he uses his powers the sound design has always made that creaking sound which, if you have a competent sub-woofer, should sound amazing. I also really like the first appearance of the Blackbird towards the end of the film for its rumbly jet turbines and engine, and of course the part where Magneto lifts the submarine out of the water and drops it on the island.

Extras - 4.0

- X Marks the Spot (HD; 19:55 altogether)
A feature that you can either play with the movie itself or as a standalone. It plays more like the half-assed version of Maximum Movie Mode where the film diverges into behind-the-scenes footage during the actual movie and not as a true Picture-in-Picture that goes along with the it, but it's still pretty informative. However, I don't think the overall duration of it is really worth watching in-movie, as it feels a tad intrusive. Had it been something of a true P-i-P like what Vaughn was able to do with Kick-Ass, then that would've been much, much more immersing. These are the features broken down:

- Erin in Auschwitz (1:57)
- Charles Meets Raven (1:56)
- Mr. Howlett Declines (1:55)
- Mindscape (1:49)
- Emulsional Journey (4:13)
- Rebecca's Return (1:44)
- Cuban Beach Pre-Viz Sequence (3:07)
- Retro Cool (2:51)

- Children of the Atom (HD; 69:49 altogether)
It's a 7-part feature that essentially covers everything from pre- to post-production and everything in-between. Of particular interest to me was how articulate the crew was in trying to make this a kind of throwback movie to the days of James Bond, but with an X-Men twist, and a little more grit. There were also some very cool snips of how the makeup and visual effects were created and implemented, and I especially loved the interview they had with Henry Jackman. It's only a few minutes, but the guy speaks so candidly and with so much gusto that I was very entertained, yet felt very informed by the what he had to say about composing the music and the kind of ideas he got from talking with director Matthew Vaughn. Here's the breakdown:

- Second Genesis (10:01)
Talks about the initial concept of setting the movie in the '60s, how the idea came about in the first place, and why they decided to go for it. After the abomination that was X3, I wholeheartedly accept this sort reboot prequel.

- Band of Brothers (11:51)
Discusses why they chose to use certain characters and how each actor was chosen to play them. In thinking about it, I find it interesting that despite continuity issues this main cast of characters still worked out pretty well. While it's definitely more of an Xavier/Magneto-centric film, the characters still offer enough support to back the literary themes of the story very well.

- Transformation (10:06)
A pretty cool look at the make up and prosthetics work that went into Beast, Mystique, and Azazel. In particular, I really liked the bit on choosing the right design for Beast. They mention Vaughn wasn't all that keen with Kelsey Grammer's look in X3, and that they wanted to go for a more wild, animalistic style for this re-visioning.

- Suiting Up (8:33)
The costuming of the film, getting all that '60s clothes, and how they managed to put yellow back into the original costumes. It was very interesting to find out that the yellow itself was supposed to represent the natural color of Kevlar.

- New Frontier: A Dose of Style (9:55)
Goes into great detail about how Vaughn specifically wanted to refer back to classic James Bond movies (of the Sean Connery variety) for the production and art design of First Class. They talk about how is such a genre piece now that they wanted to infuse as much of that style and ambiance as possible by building a lot of the sets from scratch. And in hindsight of what was written when Vaughn saw Inception, I can see why he was upset that the "revolving set" idea was beaten to the punch. Ah well, the tumbling X-Jet sequence still looks pretty cool.

- Pulling off the Impossible (10:23)
Shows the awesome work of Visual Effects Guru John Dykstra. Here, they cover a lot of things like how the Banshee/Angel fight scene was actually filmed on helicopters and no green screen, the detail in Emma Frost's diamond form, and concept behind Sebastian Shaw's energy absorption/discharge.

- Sound and Fury (6:29)
A very entertaining interview with composer Henry Jackman. The highlight of this feature is how he went through all of the trouble to create Magneto's theme with a bunch of fancy notations and drawn-out tunes, when all Vaughn really wanted was "the f-ing bass line." And guess what, it was a good idea.

- Isolated Score (Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps)
It would've been cooler to have it in lossless format, but it's still a great listen in hindsight of Jackman's interview and in the context of everything else the movie established both symbolically and thematically.

- Deleted Scenes (HD; 14:07)
Most are just alternate takes, but some of them are actually pretty funny, though they probably would not have worked as well if left in.

- Cerebro: Mutant Tracker
It basically takes clips from all the other movies and tacks on a little dossier at the end of each one. I could write better bios than this based on what I've seen and read in the cartoon series and what little I've read of the comics...

Personally, as informative as the extras are, I was hoping for it to be closer to the level of Kick-Ass, where at least an audio commentary or a true P-i-P track to go along with all, if not most of the movie, would've been nice.

Overall - 4.5

I've always been a fan of the X-Men franchise. I read some of the comics, watched all of the cartoon, played the numerous video games, collected the action figures, even made a (short-lived) fan club for it in 5th grade, and have really enjoyed the live-action movies (the first two, anyway..). And just when I thought X2 could never be topped, I was proven wrong. Matthew Vaughn (whom I now really wish would've done X3) has really shown signs of great directing prowess. Screw the financial shortcomings and pay attention to just how great of an X-Men film this is and show your support for more incarnations to make their way into the franchise. Whether it be more prequel stuff or even present day continuations, Brett Ratner's piece of crap and the slightly better (but not by much) Wolverine have been redeemed. With some masterful characterizations, a fun atmosphere, and some amazing production values, the movie deserves high praise. And while the extras are still a good two hours in length, I still wish a better P-i-P or at least an audio commentary were available. But with reference A/V quality to enhance the already great story, this is still one of my favorite BDs for the year so far. It's a must-own for X-Men fans and even a definite recommendation for those who aren't familiar with the franchise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This digital copy comes in a format I'm not used to- unlike Ultraviolet which has a code, this one has a disk you have to insert and THEN a code to activate the copy to save it to your computer. I have not used it yet because I generally don't carry that many digital copies around with me, but the extra waste of printing a disk seems silly. The Blu Ray edition is pretty and works well- nothing special about this edition so if you're looking for your Marvel 'collection' look to the more expensive packages. GREAT for $7.99 since the new movie is coming soon and we wanted to refresh ourselves and have it in high quality.

The film itself is the best of the Xmen franchise with incredible casting and chemistry between the players. The 60's setting adds some fun to the whole experience and the intense investigation of the effect the time in the Nazi death camps had on Magneto/Erik makes for a depth most people don't expect from "comic book movies".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Wildly entertaining "X-Men: First Class" works amazingly well as both a prequel to the trilogy (there are inconsistencies between this film and the third one but it's also been suggested by the makers of this that it is a reboot since Professor Xavier and Magneto are working together in the third film and Professor X can walk in the third film and "Wolverine")and on its own even if you haven't seen the other films. It's refreshing particularly after "X-Men: The Last Stand" which had some major dramatic flaws.

I'm going to skip the plot of the film because that's been well covered elsewhere except suffice to say that this is where Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender)first meet and try to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon)a mutant determined to wipe out humanity.

Evidently "X-Men: First Class" doesn't play on all Blu-ray players (most notably some of the 3D players and Samsung)so be aware that until they develop firmware updates it will be a problem for some players. I'd suggest shutting off your BD Live if it is Playstation related as that sometimes will also slow down the loading of the BD.

The image quality for "X-Men: First Class" is top notch with a brilliant, sharp and colorful presentation.

The Blu-ray features a number of cool extras including "Cerebro: Mutant Tracker" allowing you to track your favorite mutants and see exclusive videos, profiles, etc.

"Children of the Atom" a multi-part documentary on the making of the film focusing on the origin of the story and the obvious James Bond influence on many sequences of the film. We also get deleted and extended scenes (some of which if director Matthew Vaughn had been allowed to add them back in would have worked quite well for home video)and an isolated score by composer Henry Jackman.

There's also an "X Marks the Spot" enhanced viewing mode allowing one of eight featurettes to pop up as you're watching the film.

The film also comes with BD-Live enabled content including exclusive "proof of concept" footage of the aerial dogfight between Angel and Banshee, a digital copy of the film for PC's. You can also access 10 free X-Men comics in digital format online but you do have to register with Marvel.com.

Over all "X-Men: First Class" is a top notch film with a heck of a lot of plot packed into it's 2 hour and 12 minute running time. Part of the success of the film certainly can be attributed to director Mathew Vaughn's (who, interestingly, was originally to direct "X Men: The Last Stand" after Bryan Singer departed but before Brett Ratner stepped in) unique take on the material as well as Bryan Singer's involvement again (and let's not forget the producers and the scriptwriters, the original comic book creators, etc.)with the series.

The film manages to be both entertaining while also having a conscience a rare thing in a big Hollywood production these days.

After "X2" this is the finest of the series of films.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I'm biased because I love X-Men movies. This, X-2, and The Wolverine are my favorites. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy play excellent roles as the younger Magneto and Professor Xavier, respectively.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
In this movie you witness the beginnings of the leaders in the X-Men Movies, which I personally love. You watch as Eric, aka Magneto, once a young boy who adored his mother was forced to watch her die because the Nazis, specifically Sebastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon, wanted to witness his power. With each scene you can almost understand how Magneto was almost forced into having the bad guy mentality because of his childhood at the hands of Shaw. You see Charles aka Professor X when he was young, taking a young mutant Raven aka Mystique into his home after she breaks in in search of food. You get to watch him as a young man, still walking, a born charismatic leader. When Shaw decides to start World War III in an attempt to absorb all the power and to decimate the race of average human beings, the FBI turns to Charles who begins to assemble a team of other mutants in an effort to fight back before the human race is destroyed. What follows is a fast paced and gripping action movie as Professor X and his team race to prevent Shaw from destroying every average human on earth.

I guess I should probably be a little more critical of this movie. I'm not usually a hand out five stars kind of reviewer, however I really can't think of much bad to say about it. I mean the scene where Professor X got shot and became paralyzed I think could use a little bit more. Not so much emotionally but I guess I was expecting a little more action in him losing the loss of his limbs than it being a random accident that wasn't even directed at him. Other than that though I loved this movie.

Not only is it thrilling drawing you in from the first minute, but the way it pulls you in to who Eric and Charles are as people is stunning. There's real character development in this movie. For the most part with movies you just take a character at face value, it doesn't offer the opportunity to really know them in the way a book does. This movie, those two characters you feel connected to them. You can't even bring yourself to hate Magneto when he changes sides after murdering Shaw. It's near to impossible to blame him for his decision to become the person he does become, nor can you blame Mystique for hers. Many of the characters in this film are extremely well developed and easy to connect to.

There's an awesome appearance from Hugh Jackman, aka Wolverine where he tells Eric and Charles to f%&$ off before they even have the chance to recruit him. I personally loved that scene. You meat a lot of new characters with amazing abilities and even discover how the beast became blue. I can't imagine a single scene in this movie which isn't interesting. Each scene has you on the edge of your seat unable to look away for fear that you'll miss something.

And it's also bonus that pretty much every guy in a major role is a pleasure to look at as well as an excellent actor. Overall, X-Men: First Class[Image] is a definite must see for anyone who enjoys the X-Men Franchise films or action movies in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
Format: DVD
X-Men: First Class

This was quite a surprising movie. It reminded me that with a good script, and being true to the fan base, you can have a good film with relatively unknown, or at least, up-and-coming actors. They all did commendable jobs of filling the shoes of the more famous actors. Magneto, Professor X, Beast, Mystique--they all came across perfectly.

I was also able to appreciate the feel of the movie. Set amid the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film drinks deeply of the 1960s. It was Mod Squad Meets Blofeld, with the hip youth--Professor X chugging after his degree (a nod to Feynman), Mystiques hip fashions, Shaw's stylized submarine (a la Austin Power's mojo jet). And not to mention Bacon's Ace Ventura hairstyle, and Scooby-doo suit. It all works.

Yet the film retains the distinctive X-Man-ness of the first four films. And that may be a weakness. Some of the plot elements were already dealt with: the anti-mutant serum, accepting a mutantness ("Mutant and Proud"), "outing" mutants, government friction, etc. These were all covered in earlier movies. Not only is this boring, but sells the franchise short. There is more to mutanthood than was depicted.

And the clichéd gentleman's club was a bit over the top, along with a second house of ill repute. One per film, please. And there were two prescient bald jokes. One per film, please.

That's the bad, aside from Jackman's funny but predictable potty-mouth. None per film, please. And killing off the black actor was also a movie cliché. Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary: A Greatly Expanded and Much Improved Compendium of Movie Clichés, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed ... Shopworn Conventions, and Outdated Archetypes

IF the film was reedited to a PG, nothing good would have been lost, and would have been enhanced the good by having the deadwood cleared and burnt.
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