Thursday, June 2, 2011

X-Men: Best in the Class (Inglourious Basterds Remix)

Last night, I had the opportunity to see a preview screening of X-Men: First Class. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, it is by far the best film of 2011.

This is possibly as close to a perfect film I have seen in a very long time. On the front-end, this movie boasts a solid cast, most of which you would never expect to deliver such stunning performances. On the back-end, a duo of filmmaking elitists, Bryan Singer as Producer (Director of the first 2 X-men films, responsible for the overhaul of comic book film franchises) and Matthew Vaughn as Director (Kick-Ass). Although Matthew Vaughn is still considered a newcomer to the industry, he has completely proven himself to be an extremely dynamic director. If you didn't like Kick-Ass, who cares, and if you did like Kick-Ass, who cares. Never make the assumption that those two films will be similar, or that the reason he was hired was to bring that style or pace to the X-Men franchise. If you thought that, you are very, very wrong.

Back in 2009, I went to see Inglourious Basterds, with CastleAwesome founder, haynezeeboy. The film was not what I expected, and I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. I was expecting classic Tarantino, but instead, it was something different. Very, very different. I learnt to love and respect Inglourious Basterds, and to this day, it is one of my favourite films.
X-Men: First Class is the Inglourious Basterds of Comic Book films. There, I said it. The difference is, it is a new style you will welcome, which makes it, an instant classic.

No it's not on par with the Star Trek reboot - it's better.
I would have to say it is on par with The Dark Knight, but I can't compare the two. I can only compare that feeling when you walk out of the cinema, and in this case they were fairly similar to me. (If you happen to be one of the two people who did not like The Dark Knight, I'm not comparing them, you will still like X-Men: FC)

The other thing I really liked about this film is the not-so-in-your-face superhero element. In fact every time I was reminded that this movie contains superheroes, I felt slightly removed from the film. Thankfully, that didn't happen often. The story and character development drove this film without requiring the need to use overzealous visual effects. With that in mind, there were a few VFX moments that made me drool, and one or two moments that made me cringe.

My only real criticism, would have to lie with the SFX Make-up department, mainly Mystique and Beast. I can imagine it would be a struggle to re-create the fantastic Mystique makeup from the original films, considering time could've been a factor. I'm not sure if it was viable to do a 12-hour makeup session for a character that rarely shows that side. Obviously in the original X-Men films, Mystique's blue form was usually her natural form, but with First Class, being set in the 60's (and we all know how they treated blacks), she remained as a pretty girl most of the time. As for beast, not to give anything away, nothing that you wouldn't have already seen in the trailer, we do see 2 different types of Beast. In the original comics, Beast was still Beast but in a more human form. At some point, he does change into his furry loveable blue self, and although the back-story behind that transformation was interesting to know, I actually would've liked to have seen human Beast throughout the film.... Why? Because his his blue furry makeup was average. For a film that is quite moving and at times, very serious, seeing a blue pokemon running around in the film made me laugh.

My overall favourite aspect of this film.... This guy.

I'm actually a big fan of Kevin Bacon, I think I missed most of his films that were deemed awful (yep, never seen Wild Things), so I'm not going to go as far as to say this revived his career, I think it just solidifies the fact that Kevin Bacon is an extremely talented actor. From the word go, he lifted this film up, and throughout the duration, brought a side I had never seen him previously posses.

Ok, so you don't have to be a fan on the X-Men world to enjoy this film... but it helps. Also keep in mind, this isn't in anyway a reboot film, this is a prequel. I would suggest at least watching the first two X-Men films, directed by Bryan Singer.

Lastly, I took my partner in crime, and mad crazy X-Men fangirl to this film last night, and she will probably say that I only wrote about 5% of why this movie is good. Unfortunately the people who read this blog have the attention span of a goldfish, so I won't dive into too much detail. I will write the most important words here....

If you like or love the world of X-Men
Go and see this film TODAY. Otherwise there will be a few gems that could be ruined for you if you wait too long.

If you appreciate the "art" side of cinema
Go and see this film, you will be pleasantly surprised and appreciate the images on the screen considering it is a comic book film.

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