Showing posts with label x-men. Show all posts
Showing posts with label x-men. Show all posts

New pics: X-Men - Days of Future Past

Empire mag has some new shots from the upcoming X-men flick, which sees the merry mutants in the swinging 60s and today. Here's Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and the gang.

Review: X-Men: First Class

The second big flick of what's turning out to be Superhero Summer, pales in comparison to "Thor," but is entertaining nevertheless.

Where "Thor" was a surefooted romp that treated it's source material with a mixture of respect and good-natured amusement, "X-Men: First Class" has trouble settling on a tone. It's at times deeply earnest and at others campy.

Set in 1963, the film does a good job capturing the cool decor and fashion of the pre-Beatles era. James McElvoy, as a young professor Charles Xavier, is especially fun to watch. He's funny, low-key and warm. You really get a sense of the deep, albeit mutated, humanity of this man, who makes it his young life's work to seek out and help fellow outcasts.

Like the earlier X-Men films, that theme -- the prejudice and exclusion experienced by superhuman mutant freaks living in a human-dominated world -- is at the center of the plot. Whereas Professor X seeks to help humans and mutants accept and understand each other ala a Martin Luther King, Michael Fassbender's Magneto is a pre-reformed Malcolm X: angry and vengeful at humans and eager to do violence against them.

It's good material, and particularly deep for a superhero film, but now that we've explored it in four X-Men films, it also seems a little played out and heavy-handed.

So, given that we've seen all this before, it's tough to single out what's new in this film and why an X-Men prequel story is particularly necessary. The answer is, the film really isn't necessary. A lot of it seems rather perfunctory, offering us scenes that show us, for example, how Magneto got his telepathy-blocking helmet, how the beast became blue and fuzzy, and how Professor X ended up in a wheelchair.

There are some cool scenes, though, and some good performances. Jennifer Lawrence, who was fascinating to watch in "Winter's Bone," is compelling as the young, shape-shifting Mystique and Kevin Bacon is a kick as the villainous Sebastian Shaw. January Jones has been singled out for her wooden performance as Emma Frost and it's true that she doesn't bring much life to the role. I think she's wonderful as malfunctioning Stepford wife Betty Draper on "Mad Man," but here her chilly line delivery isn't right for the part, despite her character's last name.

"X-Men" fans will mostly enjoy the picture and it certainly stands up as a good summer night's diversion, despite not matching up to its Marvelous competition.