Friday, June 10, 2011

X-Men First Class

I'm on board for the thirties thing, too. I haven't watched The Blue Angel yet but I hope to soon. Maybe later tonight. what exactly are the parameters of the week? Sunday to Saturday? How long do I have left until the next assignment is given?

I saw X-Men: First Class last night and really, really liked it. It wasn't perfect, but it reminded me of the new Star Trek movie in that it wasn't trying to be what came before. It was telling a new story, with a lot of classic (and more recent) elements of the comics mythology artfully and cleverly arranged. I think because it was so different from the comics in terms of blunt narrative, I didn't find myself making comparisons, only smiling to myself when a reference was made to some aspect of comics lore. For example, in the film Beast becomes blue and furry because of a serum he creates to disguise his physical mutation, which has the opposite effect of amplifying his beast-like qualities. He extracts some of Mystique's DNA which explains why he's blue. In the comics, he becomes blue and furry because he takes a serum to intentionally change his appearance, but waits too long to reverse it. Much later on (after he is blue), he is tempted to take a serum that will "cure" his mutant gene, but ultimately opts against it. And of course, his being blue has nothing to do with Mystique. I like how they combined those different elements of the story together to create a scenario that makes sense and fits in well with the storyline. I love the X-Men--I've been reading in order over the past couple of years the classic Claremont back-issues, and appreciating even more the depth and complexity of the characters. However, it's a long narrative that to some degree gets made up as it goes along, with revisions and retcons galore all along the way. X-Men: First Class has the advantage of 40 some-odd years of story to draw from and tighten up, and it does a very good job of pulling together a lot of what makes the X-Men story so compelling. And, honestly, I expect a lot of superhero claptrap in blockbuster movies like this, but there was really a minimum of it here.
And Kevin Bacon is fantastic. I expect that history may well regard him as one of the best actors of his generation. He may not have always been in great films, but the guy has incredible range.

Other than that, I've seen Hangover 2 (John's right, it's a dim reflection of the original, sad to say) and POTC 4 in the theater (fun, better than the third, but ultimately shallow entertainment) and a string of terrible horror movies that are not worth mentioning except for a few, for recommendation purposes.

Lisa, I would recommend Roman to you--it's not a great film, but it's a quirky indie romance-oriented film with some unique and appealing elements. I often suspect that you like indie films for some of the same reasons that I do. Even in a film muddled with inexperienced production there can still be some lovely gems of original moments and ideas unsullied by the cynicism of the more established movie industry.

Brandon, I would recommend Live Animals to you. Again, not a great film, but another take on the torture porn genre that's a little bit original and a little bit ridiculous--and does have an exciting final 20 minutes.

I also saw a couple of Tobe Hooper horror non-classics: Mortuary and The Toolbox Murders, a couple of highlights from my B-horror extravaganza. The Toolbox Murders was apparently a remake, but with some added elements that led me to believe it was better than the original. It was part slasher, part supernatural, and part mystery. I'd almost watch it again. Mortuary was inferior to Toolbox, but still fun and tongue-in-cheek. And both films reinforced Hooper's reputation and a guy who likes to feature misshapen freaks in his films.

No comments:

Post a Comment