Movies I Slept Through – X-Men: First Class

“X-Men: First Class” is a $160 million excuse to make James McAvoy one degree away from Kevin Bacon.

At this point, most people are familiar with the X-Men. They’re a bunch of mutants with special powers who run around either trying save the humans from a bunch of other mutants with special powers who are trying to kill the humans. It’s been mentioned in previous films that Professor X, the leader of the pro human mutants, and Magneto, the leader of the anti human mutants, were once good friends. “X-Men: First Class” is the story of their friendship.

As a young man, pre getting Christopher Reevesed, Charles is bold. He grew up as a child of privilege; using his powers as a telepath to get what he wanted, including women. He’s kind of like the main character in “What Women Want” but instead of wanting to destroy the jews he just wants mutants to be accepted.

Erik Lehnsherr(Michael Fassbender) discovered he had the ability to control metal while under extreme pressure at a concentration camp. The man running the camp, Sebastian Shaw(Kevin Bacon), noticed Erik’s ability and decides to help him harness it. Sebastian, being a Nazi and all, doesn’t use the nicest tactics in getting the young boy to embrace his powers. When Erik is older, he turns his sights on tracking down the people who wronged him in the past. Sebastian Shaw is top of the list and during one of his attempts to defeat Shaw, Erik meets Charles.

The bulk of “X-Men: First Class” takes place during the 1960s. For the most part, they did a really good job of capturing that era. Close attention is paid to details and the plot even ties into some historical events. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Kevin Bacon all fit in, but I felt like the younger mutants just didn’t look like they were from the 1960s. There’s one training scene in particular where one of the kids had the sleeves cut off of his sweat suit, and it just stuck out and bothered me.

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender give really nice performances. Any time they’re on the screen is fun to watch, which is a good thing because they have to carry the film. Kevin Bacon is good as well he’s much closer to being the “let’s turn invisible and rape people” guy from “Hollow Man” than the “let’s get drunk and dance” guy from “Footloose”.

“X-Men: First Class” is a fun super hero movie that at times feels like a spy movie. All the fights and special effects are pretty exciting and the stakes of the final battle were ratcheted up by having it tie in with actual events. It does falter a bit when it attempts to show the origin of some of the monikers the characters became known as, but over all, you should nap before so you don’t miss any of the cool action scenes.


Movies I Slept Through – Super

“Super” answers the question brought up in Dumb and Dumber, “What if he shot me in the face?”

“Super” is about  a man named Frank(Rainn Wilson). He’s just your average guy with an average drug rehabbing wife(Liv Tyler). When she is lured away by a drug dealer(Kevin Bacon), Frank decides to go to the cops. Unfortunately for Frank, he has no proof of wrong doing. So he does what many movie characters do and decides to take matters into his own hands.

Frank creates an alternate identity known as the Crimson Bolt. The Crimson Bolt has one goal and that’s to make crime shut up. I guess really two goals if you count getting Frank’s wife back. How does he make crime shut up? He gets a big ass wrench and beats people with it.

Now, I never saw “The Rocker” but based on the poster and what I assume is the plot; this is Rainn Wilson’s best leading role as of yet.[Editor’s Note: I found out that his character in “The Rocker” is called Fish. It can’t be THAT bad can it?] He shows some decent range by coming off as vulnerable in some scenes and quite a physical presence in others. Good job Rainn Wilson.

Ellen Page has an interesting role as Crimson Bolt’s side kick, Boltie. She inadvertently helps Crimson Bolt realize what he is doing may not be the best thing in the world. The glee with which she attacks people is disturbing.

Liv Tyler does an ok job as the drug addled wife. She spends most of her time in a stupor so it’s hard to judge the quality of her performance. I just imagined her character was the same chick from that Aerosmith video just 17 years down the road.

Combine Kevin Bacon’s role here as the drug dealer who steals Rainn Wilson’s wife with his performance in that Logitech Revue commercial and I say we’re ready for a “Footloose” sequel.

The violence in “Super” walks a fine line between being completely brutal and having that brutality come off as comical.  It’s dark, very dark. The plot grows to the inevitable point of the Crimson Bolt doing something that a real super hero would do, much like this review grew to the inevitable  comparison of “Kick Ass”, but “Super” shows a little more restraint than “Kick Ass”. Spoiler Alert: There are no jet packs in “Super”.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, but the scenes where Rainn Wilson hallucinates/receives messages from God took me out of things a bit and Ellen Page’s character is legitimately disturbing  to the point I’m afraid she’ll become someone people like but really shouldn’t. “Super” gets a Nap Before.