Monday, June 27, 2011

I saw X-Men first class yesterday. I would have skipped on it and tried to see Thor instead but Kate Reid wanted to see X-Men. It was okay. Actually, I'll go ahead and say it was decent. Marvel comics movie tend to rely heavily on CGI and comic book fan pandering. Xavier makes a stupid joke about his hair, or Xavier and Magneto walk into a bar and Hugh Jackman (as an unnamed Wolverine) tells them to get lost, and the theater audience ate it up like a new episode of Seinfeld. That and there was a tedious 10 minute scene where all these characters are sitting together and they go around in a circle showing off "what they can do." Ugh, shoot me now. 10 minutes of bland "stand back!" dialogue and CGI, but luckily it was all inter-spliced with scenes of Xavier and Magneto actually moving the plot along somewhere else.

My biggest problem with the movie is this character called Banshee. He's sort of a weird looking guy, and I remember him a little from the comics but I never paid much attention to him. His talent is to make noise, and I guess he has some internal sonar too, okay whatever. But he can also fly by making noise at the ground. One of the characters says that so long as he makes supersonic sounds, it'll let him fly. How could you even think that is plausible? Supersonic means faster than the speed of sound. How do you make sounds of different speeds? Well, you don't. There is only one speed of sound. Unless you're controlling the air temperature/pressure. And how would a sound keep you afloat? Answer: it couldn't. The comic book writers have confused sound with wind, and the two are not at all the same. Sound is just a vibration, it won't push things over or kickback at you like shooting a gun. If your mouth was blasting the air that carried the sound in it, then it would take a noticeably long time to even hear the person talking from across the room.

So I didn't like Banshee. Beast's feet were super gross and they were heavily featured. Mistique's constant self-pity was boring, but I guess that was necessary to have her shift from Xavier's sister to working for Magneto. The whole "everyone's mutation is different" premise has seemed stupid since high school, as has having a mutation that lets you do physically impossible things like control magnetic forces or read minds. But the movie only threw these things in your face some of the time. And there were a few inspired moments, like with the Navy captains who are reluctant to start world war 3. So I'll give it a B for what it was, a comic book movie. I don't have high hopes for Green Lantern, but I still want to see Thor at some point.

(from a star trek forum)
Bryan: I still chuckle over a scene in the "Gambit" episode when the Enterprise detains and inspects a small Klingon transport on fairly flimsy legal grounds. At one point, Worf tells Crusher "we could claim [his] computer was generating unusual signals" as a pretext for a more thorough search than the law allows. It's nice to see situational ethics aren't limited to humans.


Zack S said...

Yeah, Green Lantern was a waste of time. Do not recommend. Thor is good, though. Not great, but workmanlike and serviceable. I'd rank it up there with First Class.

See, my thought was that the decision to include "lamer" mutants in First Class was a mercenary tactic to not grab attention away from The Xavier/Magneto Show - almost like they were tacked-on as a glorified plot device. That's lazy and incompetent storytelling. If you don't trust your main characters to hold up a storyline, then either write better characters or get better beta readers. As it stands, they would've held up fine even with series hero Wolverine brooding in the background.

Aside from the excruciating failure re: side characters, I liked First Class. Mainly because the writing is otherwise good (even very clever in some places) and the color palette is visually pleasing, but also because Rose Byrne makes any movie better. And she walks around in lingerie here!

joe said...

I think they're trying to make all these movies fit within the same continuity. So I guess they couldn't have any of the other X-men because, other than Beast and Wolverine, they're all too young when they're shown in the later movies. Now they can do a connecting prequal that shows how Banshee and the old generation mutants die out, they find a baby Cyclops and Storm, and maybe how Xavier pulls all his hair out from the stress.

It did have a pleasant color palatte. I noticed it but forgot to mention that in my review.

Zack S said...

The consensus I've seen is that it's (mostly) canonically in line with the two Bryan Singer X-men films, but retcons out of existence "The Last Stand" and "Origins".

Rachel said...

here is my ranking
1. xmen first class, fun to watch if nothing else
2. Thor, pretty guys to watch if nothing else
3. Green Lantern...blake lively sucks

joe said...

I'm not sure if you'll see this because your comment was years ago, but Blake Lively was good in The Town. Does she really ruin the Green Lantern movie? Is it possible for a supporting actress to ruin a good movie? I had thought it would be bad just based on its comic book and cheesy space hero themes.