December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

June 6, 2011

X-Men: First Class (2011)

When it’s over, X-Men: First Class wasn’t first rate, but a worthy prequel to the franchise.  I was expecting a lot of special effects and not much plot, but instead I got the opposite, which was great, because it’s really the story that made this film work.  James McAvoy plays Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender plays Erik Lehnsherr who would later become Magneto, Xavier’s archenemy.  Both actors were well casted and did a fine job at reinventing the roles made famous by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.  However, the casting for the remainder of the mutants were new faces with “so-so” acting.  One character I didn’t like was the villain Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon, who had the mutant ability to harness energy.  Bacon didn’t fit the role, and despite his acting abilities, just wasn’t convincing as a mutant set on taking over the world.  Although the film is made up of many characters and storylines, it’s the meeting, the friendship, and the separation of Charles and Erik that the film stays focused on.  The film successfully sets up (in this case, tells the evolution of) many storylines that were prevalent in the X-Men films of the past years including intros to William Stryker, the machine known as Cerebro, how Mystic ends up in the company of Magneto, how the Beast got his look, and how Xavier ends up in a wheelchair, just to name a few. 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5


  1. James McAvoy is always great in everything.

  2. "X-Men: First Class wasn’t first rate, but a worthy prequel to the franchise". WHAT??!!!! I thuroughly enjoyed the movie. In comparison to all the other X-Men movies released this was, by far, the best of all the X-Men installments. Archenemies yes but I also think that their life long best friends. Magneto is very protective of Charles, always, and they frequently work together in reigning in a fellow mutant whose gone rogue, case in point, when Jean became the Phoenix. Further, Kevin Bacon was ridiculous as Shaw. He's an amazing villain. He's the type of villain you love to hate and he's so good at it. IE. Hollow Man, and Sleepers. I did want to see more of a face off between Magneto and Shaw though, it was a bit of an unfair fight, more like stabbing him in the back then actually being victorious over a man who heartlessly killed his mom and had been the source of his rage for most of his young/adult life. I wasn't too impressed with Jennifer Lawrence who played Raven/Mystic. She seemed very awkward on screen but then again that might just be who mystic is. I long to see a really good portrayl of Rogue and Storm played by some really good female action stars. They to me are the strongest and best of all the mutants. Another thing, what's up with all the x-men being kids, I'm so getting tired of that. I would like to see a proper, mature X-Men movie, like Wolverine but better actors/actresses. I would give X-Men First Class 4 stars.

  3. Yes, I agree, I would also like to see a mature X-Men movie with some really serious, dark storylines. In saying that, it would most likely be R rated and studios know they can't sell it as easily to the younger audiences, and that would mean less $$$. But, hey, who knows...

  4. This is probably a biased critique since I'm swooning over Michael Fassbender to the point of not seeing any acting flaws. I really like the 2 major casts as Magneto and Xavier. They bring an added dimension to the characters not previously seen in the other x-men films. I also feel a real friendship or camaraderie between them that probably translates off-screen as well. One of my favourite scenes is when they are recruiting mutants and it ends in a cameo of Hugh Jackman. That's just so funny. Also when Magneto pushes the sonic guy forcing him to fly.. then he and Charles looked at each other, I have a feeling that wasn't acting at all, that was real.. lol!

    Oh gosh.. I have much to say about Fassbender but Steve McQueen said it well, "with Michael you don't see a hero, you see a real person.." And that's how he is in the movie. I did not see him as a bad guy or an anti-hero.. he's a troubled guy like many of us are.
    The supporting characters are less than impressive compared to those 2, even Kevin Bacon. He's the usual Kevin Bacon from other Kevin Bacon films I've seen. I hope we see some more depth from other supporting characters in the next x-men. Can't wait!

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  6. If they have another X-Men film, I hope they keep the two main leads - McAvoy and Fassbender, and replace everyone else, except maybe, if they bring back some of the original cast (Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, et al).