Monday, June 13, 2011

Phil sees X-MEN: FIRST CLASS at the Cinelux Almaden Theater-June 12, 2011

So as I stated in my review of the movie THOR last month, Marvel Studios is releasing three films based on their widely popular comic book series this summer. The first was the previously mentioned THOR, which was a huge success last month. Now their second film of their Summer Blockbuster Trilogy is released. While still feeling the power from the God of Thunder, I was very excited about their next film X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. Upon seeing it this past weekend, the film proved to me that Marvel Studios was going to have a very profitable summer.

The film is set in 1963. Before they were known as Professor X and Magneto respectively (and before they became arch enemies), they were Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), two mutants from two totally different backgrounds who unite to stop a common evil. The evil is named Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), who worked for the Nazis at their concentration camps (who also killed Erik's mother right before his eyes). Erik seeks revenge, while Charles offers him a different path in life. While both the United States and Russia are racing to the island of Cuba, preparing to launch World War III, they soon learn that Shaw, along with his cohorts Emma Frost (January Jones), Riptide (Alex Gonzales), and Azazel (Jason Flemyng) are responsible for the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he plans on ruling the world where mutants are the only survivors. Charles and Erik, with the help of CIA Agent Moira MacTaggat (Rose Byrne), assemble the very first incarnation of the X-Men: Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till), and Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones). Now the fate of humanity lies in the hands of the children of the atom.

This was a phenomenal film and the perfect springboard to relaunch the franchise. For those who have never seen any of the previous films, wait and see this film before hand. This is the film that should've been made in the first place. Kudos to the entire cast for creating deep, flawed, arrogant, and courageous characters that all evolve throughout the film, which moves the story forward. As I have stated several times before, this is very important in all action films. Without out realistic characters, you don't have anyone to cheer and boo for. And without them, the film goes nowhere and we, the audience, are bored for the next two hours.

With this in mind, all the screenwriters deserve a round of applause for writing a fantastic script. One of those writers is none other than Bryan Singer, co-writer and director of the first two X-MEN movies. And speaking of talented filmmakers, Matthew Vaughn (who helped co-write the screenplay and directed this film) did the impossible: getting the X-Men franchise back on track. The man who directed only three films prior (LAYER CAKE, STARDUST, and KICK ASS) does a fantastic job of directing the first class of X-men on the first mission in saving the world from the grips of atomic annihilation. Also, as a added bonus, look for uncredited cameos by Hugh (Wolverine) Jackman and Rebecca (Mystique) Romijn.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is the perfect summer action film, filled with larger than life characters that will make you stand up and shout. With the release of this film, Marvel Studios is now 2-0 for this summer so far. Next month we will see the release of one the most treasured comic characters in the Marvel Universe. Until then enjoy watching this film over and over again. If you're a mutant, just make sure you save some popcorn for us all.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is now playing everywhere nationwide, including at the Cinelux Theaters here in the South Bay. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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