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X-Men First Class
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X-MEN: FIRST CLASS charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop nuclear Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.
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I thought the writing was smart in positioning these characters away from the movies that were already done previously while also introducing some mutant characters that were in the original comics but not written into the earlier film adaptations. I also like the idea that real historic events are used to tell a story and make the overall plot a little more believable... for a Sci-Fi movie.
Super important to know where the Xmen came from.... not just a superhero team that automatically existed to save humanity. It's also nice that these marvel movies are portraying characters that make mistakes, and not perfect.... I think that is part of the success of this movie. Not just overall good/evil, but bending the rules a bit.
Another disc included for extras... Not a whole lot, but a lot for the movie lovers. Again, I'm going to reference my first comment that they will probably release a collection with even more extras, but definitely get a good bang for your buck with this blu-ray disc.
I have to confess up front I'm a fan of the franchise. But given that there are now five of these movies I can tell you objectively that I'd order them as follows:
1. First Class
2. X-Men United
4. The Last Stand
The negatives...include some plot gaps--never showed Magneto helping Prof X build Cerebro under ground, absolutely no indication in the original X-Men that Mystique was an X-Man, and the statement by Prof X in the original X-Men that he met Magneto when he was 17 (but in First Class he clearly is in his early-20s), among others--that make First Class its own story within the X-Men mythology and not necessarily a true prequel to X-Men. (They did try to stay somewhat consistent as Mystique becomes Magneto's buddy by the end of the flick.) I also thought it was odd that original comic book team members Scott Summers and Jean Grey were not part of this story. Perhaps they figured they needed to introduce "new" characters but in reality those two should have been part of it.
...are far outweighed by the positives, primarily the performances of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles Xavier/Professor X and Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto, respectively. Magneto is portrayed as a child abused by experimentary methods of Sebastian Shaw, a Nazi during WWII. Shaw, while different in context than the comics, was done creatively and Kevin Bacon nailed the performance; the handoff of power from Shaw to Magneto was also sensational.
The bottom line is that fans of the franchise NEED to own this movie. It was unappreciated at the box office but is THE BEST X-flick to-date. (With the cliffhanger ending as good as it was I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL!)
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