Counting down to X-Men: First Class – 5 reasons I’m seeing this on opening night

In about 72 hours, the wait will finally be over! As you know I’ve been excited to see this movie for some time now. I love the X-Men franchise, I even enjoyed the third one to an extent, despite all the flaws and Brett Ratner’s direction. I just re-watched the trailer of the first one and recalled how much I was so intrigued by the story and particularly the dynamic between Magneto and Xavier. Bryan Singer made a superhero film unlike anything I had ever seen, it was a complex and intelligent thriller that wasn’t all about the ‘Kapow!’ action and special effects, but one that was rooted in a compelling story and heavy on character development. It’s a classic good vs. evil we’ve seen so many times before, but rarely perfected.

Here are just five reasons why I’ll be seeing this on opening night:

1. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy
Two of the brightest British imports working today are perfectly cast to follow the footsteps of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. From the reviews I’ve heard (which currently still stands at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes with 35 reviews), both aren’t simply imitating the two acting greats but they’ve made the roles their own. In an interview on the Den Of Geek site, director Matthew Vaughn said he’s aiming for a Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid type of chemistry. Having just seen that classic film, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that same fun banters between the two. I really enjoy both actors’ work, so seeing both of them squaring off against each other on screen will be such a treat. And the fact that both look so darn handsome in their retro outfit can’t hurt, either 😀

2. The compelling back-story
An origins story always have a certain appeal to me, especially when you’ve got such an interesting pair of characters like Xavier and Magneto. The X-Men universe is ripe with endless possibilities to explore, but I’m glad Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer go back to basics and focus on the story that really matter, that is why the two BFFs become arch enemies and how each mutant chooses to be heroes or villains that we’ve come to know.

3. The retro 1960s vibe
I’m really digging the look of the movie so far, the costumes and set pieces really take us back in time. With the backdrop of the Cold War, the filmmaker mixes history with fiction by inserting factual news items during the Kennedy era. My hubby got this iPad fake magazine promo of the movie, check out the spread below and the photo of Xavier with JFK at the White House:

4. The cool special effects and bombastic action sequences

This movie’s got everything you want in a Summer blockbuster, and then some! I have to admit, I love superhero movies for the fun action and logic-defying effects, I mean it’s the ultimate escapism right? Seeing a big submarine being lifted from under the ocean and Magneto dodging all of those missiles whilst still looking as dashing as ever, these are the stuff we go to the movies for! I also enjoy seeing each mutant discover and learn to control their power, which I’m sure will be in abundant display here. The music used so far in the promos sound awesome as well, which should be the perfect companion for all the fanfare.

5. A Cold War setting + a Bond flick + Frankenheimer political thriller… all in one movie!
This came from the mouth of Matthew Vaughn himself in the interview mentioned above:

I think [this movie is] primarily it’s about the relationship between Magneto and X, but set against a backdrop of political espionage and the Cold War. I always wanted to do a Cold War movie, and I’ve been desperate to do a Bond film, always have been. And here I got my cake and ate it, managed to do an X-Men movie, and a Bond thing, and a [John] Frankenheimer political thriller at the same time. But this process has been nuts.

As you know, I love Bond movies! I grew up watching them and that’s one franchise I’ll always have appetite for. So I take it as good news that almost every review I glance through have mentioned the Bond comparison… one reviewer even said that it could pass for a Connery-era 007 spy thriller. I think Fassbender is unofficially the frontrunner for the next Bond, even Vaughn himself mentioned that in the same interview (note: he’s directed Daniel Craig in Layer Cake). Having seen Stardust and Kick-Ass, I have faith in the British director’s ability to deliver on this promise. With Singer’s backing, I expect to see a return to form of this franchise.

Btw, have you seen this inventive (and expensive!) marketing promos FOX is doing lately? FirstShowing reported this yesterday that the studio has hired planes to fly around and make giant X-Men logos in Southern California to generate the buzz. Apparently it worked as now people have been posting photos of them like the one below on Facebook and there’s even a YouTube video of it. Pretty cool stuff!

So who’s with me? Anybody else seeing this one on Friday?

50 thoughts on “Counting down to X-Men: First Class – 5 reasons I’m seeing this on opening night

  1. Ted S.

    I’m very excited to see it too, probably not on opening night. Maybe Sunday or early next week. I’ve been avoiding all the early reviews and resisted watching all those clips Fox released as part of marketing.

    1. Hey Ted, I was gonna ask you if you wanna see this together but we’re thinking of going Friday nite after work.

      I’ve been avoiding the clips as well, that’s why I didn’t put ’em here. I think studios often go overboard w/ the clips which lessen the freshness of the film once we go see ’em.

      1. Ted S.

        Oh thanks for the invite but I try to not go see these kind of big films on opening night because I know it will be packed and I can’t stand when the theater is packed with people. Maybe after you seen it and if you want to see it again, we can check it out together. It has to be a matinee showing though. 🙂

  2. Funk

    Should be a good one, I like the 60’s look, back in the old days this may have been a double feature,
    Thor and X-Men..

    1. A double feature? What a great idea! Though it’s probably better to have Thor w/ The Avengers or Capt. America? The only double feature I’ve seen in my life is Tango & Cash and Showdown at Little Tokyo with my late mother, believe it or not 😀

  3. I must admit, this does look pretty cool. I have been sceptical for a very long time but I will now join you in excitement. Although I won’t be seeing this for a while.

    I look forward to your review.

    Already halfway through our Holiday, I can’t believe it is nearly over 😦


    1. Hiya Custard, hope you’re enjoying your holiday! I envy you matey, I wish I were on holiday too, but our next vacation plan isn’t until mid July 😦

      THanks for dropping by during your time off, you’re a real pal!

  4. I have to admit, Macavoy and Fassbender are a big draw for me as well (though those photos look so obviously Photoshopped).

    I really like the fact that this particular superhero movie is also a period piece. Continuity issues with the prior films aside, it’s a welcome departure from the way other superhero films are done.

    1. Ha..ha.. yeah, the Photoshop work aren’t great, especially the one with JFK shaking Xavier’s hand, I mean, his expression looks so fake! But still, I think it’s cool to see the history mixed w/ fiction, and yes, a period piece superhero flick is still pretty rare.

      1. the lighting (or lack thereof) is waaaay off in the outdoor one with the pillars, i.e., no shadows on Xavier at all…maybe they are going for the kitschy look…?

    1. Oh, I didn’t know that John. So you’ll definitely enjoy this one. The costumes look pretty darn cool, I think the cast wear them well, too.

  5. SO. EXCITED. I’m seeing it opening night too!

    The draw for me is X-MEN since I was such a fan of the comics/TV show growing up. But after the wonderful first two films, it all went downhill with the third film and then Wolverine.

    I was probably going to see this film regardless, but the fact that it’s a prequel that takes place in the 60s starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender makes me genuinely excited for this world again. I’m also glad it’s getting good reviews so far!


    1. Good for you Ryan! I have a feeling this will please the fans of the comics as it takes place in the same era as the comics, too. Wolverine is bad, and though I like Hugh Jackman’s rendition of the character, I’m not gonna miss him here.

      This just might be the best-reviewed movie of 2011 so far. Can’t wait!!

  6. I’m not too excited for this but given the overwhelmingly positive reviews so far, I guess I should be? 🙂 I will probably see this but maybe not before the 2nd week.

    1. Jack Deth

      Hi, Castor, Paula and all:

      The clips look very cool with its Cold War vibe overall, since I lived through it as a kid. I’m also looking forward to the back story between Xavier and Magneto which hasn’t been successfully fleshed out.

      The only flaw I see dates back to the original ‘X-Men’ when an interview with a pre-blue furred Beast, Dr. Henry McCoy was briefly aired on a TV set in a bar where some plot advancement took place.

      That said. The project is in very capable hands with a cast and story that has tremendous potential in spades.

    2. You’ve got to see on the big screen, Castor, I’m sure the visual spectacle won’t disappoint. Man, FOX ought to give me a free ticket for all the promos I’ve been doing for them, ahah.

  7. Paula

    I agree with all your reasons Ruth! If it is a combo of Bond/Cold War/Frankenheimer, i will adore it. & I have to say, from a marketing standpoint, this film is already a success. People who don’t even care about movies are talking about it.

    I found it slightly off-putting when Vaughn said he added a sappy love song to X-Men because he wanted women to go see the film.
    As if that is the only reason a woman goes to see a movie. Really? i love popcorn action flicks as much as my husband does, and if the song is sappy enough, it might actually repel me. Also, is he aware Fassbender is in the film….? 😉

    That said however, Vaughn’s directed 2 of my fave action movies, Layer Cake and Kick Ass. And I’ve loved every X-Men clip i’ve seen. It just looks too good. so i can’t stay away. I’ll be there opening night.

    1. I just read the quote, and honestly i think Vaughns comments were sexist. I don’t think vaughn wanted it to come out that way but that is what it sounded like to me

    2. Hi Paula, sorry it’s been sooo busy at work today I couldn’t get to all the comments yet this afternoon.

      Yes, that’s an great combo isn’t it? Let’s hope Vaughn can pull it off.

      Oy, I find that quite offensive as well that he thinks the female audience need sappy love songs to go see a movie! I mean, I’m like you, I can’t stand those so it might actually backfire for me. I sure hope he’s not actually putting ballads from aging rock stars or songs from Bryan Adams or something. Ha…ha.. you’re right, Fassy is in this, that’s quite enough for us. Btw, did you see pics of him at the premiere? He’s got Billy Idol’s bleach blond locks!! Must be for a movie but I much prefer his dark look a la Rochester… oh la la 😀

      I haven’t seen Layer Cake but my hubby saw it and he said it’s ultra-violent?

      Anyhoo, glad you’ll be seeing this opening night. Are you interested to do a review of it?

      1. Paula

        hi Ruth,

        “blatantly ignorant about women” is probably the best way to describe it. Nicely done 🙂

        I heard on Twitter that Fass changed his hair for this next film Prometheus, he’s playing an android or some such. Ridley Scott is directing it, i guess it’s a prequel to Alien.

        I’m not a fan of the blond on him either, i like his natural color. Nobody asked me tho LOL & after the other stuff he’s done for roles…hair dye is nothing.

        re: Layer Cake…i remember it being about as violent as Rocknrolla.

        Sure, I would love to do a review of it if you want 🙂 When would you need it?

        1. Well, perhaps Claudia Schiffer (Vaughn’s wife) can teach him a thing or two about the fairer sex, ahah.

          Ah so Fassy is playing a blond Android, sounds good. My next fantasy movie is a sci-fi, and I was gonna cast him for the lead but I realize I already drafted him in my previous fantasy flick 🙂

          I might give Layer Cake a watch one of these days. I suppose if you can handle it I should be able to as well, he..he..

          Oh, for the review, it’d be great if I can have it by Sunday night, is that possible? If not that’s ok.

          1. i see you put Fass’ co-stars in tho 😉 have you ever seen Angel with him & Romola Garai? it’s…interesting.

            re: Layer Cake…exactly 🙂

            Sunday night should be fine, can i put my other on the back burner ’til next week?

            1. Oh I haven’t seen ANGEL yet but I really should as it’s got two actors I like!

              Yeah, no need to worry about the other post if you’d rather do the First Class review instead, it’ll be a double-review post on Monday 😀

  8. At first I didn’t have much trust to watch this, but after watching Thor and knowing that two of Thor’s screenwriters wrote First Class, it gives me enough trust to watch it.

  9. markuswelby1

    I’m actually in the minority thinking Last Stand is one of the best of the trilogy. Definitely excited and will be there this weekend. Great post.

    1. What do you think is the best of the trilogy then? I don’t hate Last Stand as much as others do, but I don’t think it’s stronger than the first two. Thanks for your comment.

    1. I’d just wait for the matinee, Julian. I typically go for that anyway, but for special occasions I don’t mind paying full price.

    1. You got that right, Fitz. I think the casting has been quite brilliant for this. I’m surprised Vaughn didn’t go for more Brits for the villains though.

    2. Fassbender is enough for me to go.

      Admittedly of all the recent comic book adaptations I have been the most invested in the X Men series (excluding Wolverine).

      Not seeing it Friday as I will be celebrating my birthday but am going to a morning matinee (6 bucks) in NYC!

          1. Wow, that is early. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie before noon but I suppose for 6 bucks I would 😀 Hope you enjoy the movie!

  10. I’m an X-men super fan as well! and so excited for this movie! I probably wont see it on friday but definitely sometime this weekend!

  11. Headed out to see this in just a few hours. missed a special preview yesterday…..

    Are you going to go out for the midnight preview as well? Heard nothing but great things for this film!

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