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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 8 December 2011
I grow ever-more weary of sequels, prequels and reboots and therefore approached this film with a certain amount of trepidation. I should've known that, with the involvement of the likes of Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Bryan Singer, we are in safe hands.

Here we are shown the story of how mutants are first revealed to the world and how Professor X and Magneto go from being strangers, to friends, to enemies. These events are set against the background of the Cold War and, more specifically, the Cuban Missile Crisis, making for some excellent James Bond homages (albeit with a mutant twist).

In the original X-Men trilogy, for all the popularity of Wolverine, it was the interplay between Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen's Erik Lehnsherr that was the strongest element. Immeasurably powerful enemies dedicated to their opposing philosophies, and yet somehow still friends. So, for all the shiny new mutants introduced, it was always going to be the portrayal of these two iconic characters which would make or break 'X-Men: First Class'. Amazingly (almost impossibly), James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender do an admirable job of stepping into the younger shoes of two acting greats and every moment between Professor X and Magneto is a joy to behold.

For all the X-fans out there, we're also treated to a host of familiar faces including Mystique, Beast, Banshee, Havoc and Emma Frost. This film also features what may be the greatest character cameo of all time, when Charles and Erik meet Logan (I challenge you not to laugh).

Overall, an immensely enjoyable movie, with some great performances. If nothing else, you can be amused by the fact that very early on the lovely Rose Byrne is made to run around in lingerie for no real plot-based reason!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Continuing on from X-Men Origins: Wolverine [DVD] in telling the back story of how characters in the X-Men [DVD] [2000] got to the point where they were at the start of that one, it's now time for the story of everyone who isn't Wolverine.

We thus start with the concentration camp scene from the beginning of x men, but played from a different angle. As a nazi who has a slightly different bunch of eugenics theories to his comrades takes an interest in the abilities of young eric.

Meantime in a big house in america young charles xavier and a young girl both find that they're not as alone in life as they thought.

Flash forward to the 1960s and a hirsute charles is on the verge of a professorship, thanks to his theories about evolution. Telepathy comes in very handy when youre trying to chat up the ladies.

Eric is all grown up and on mission to get revenge on those who did for his parents.

CIA agent Moira Mctaggart, a lone lady agent amongst men who think women should stay in the typing pool, is fighting hard to do her job and be taken seriously.

A certain nazi hasn't gone away. And has his own plans for the future of the planet.

And the Russians aren't taking kindly to nato putting missles into turkey.

A missile crisis is upon us. With hidden forces pulling strings behind the scenes, it might be up to charles and his band of special people to save the day. But not everyone may agree on the way to do that. Or think that humanity is worth saving.

This doesn't have as much exposition to get through as Wolverine did, although it does have to introduce a lot of characters and get them to a certain point. Plus be a good blockbuster at the same time. And throw in the usual moral debates about whether erik or charles has the best approach to the mutants v humanity situation.

It does all that it needs to do very well. James Mcavoy does command the screen very well as the young charles, making him a calm but commanding presence. And he plays off Michael Fassbender - barely suppressed anger throughout - superbly. All the claims that the latter might be a good james bond would, on the basis of this, appear to be justified.

A long film at 132 minutes but after a little while you will find it commanding your attention. If offers x men characters who both have and haven't been seen on the big screen before. And the final action set piece is one of those that does seem to go and on and yet in this case it doesn't feel stretched. It plays out exactly as it should. It also manages an excellent aerial combat scene that hardly has to resort to superimposiiton.

Kevin Bacon makes a superb villain. Some of the female characters don't quite make as much of an impact as most of the males. But that's the 1960's for you. It is also very good as a period piece. And the burgeoning attraction between shy science guy hank mccoy and mystique is delightfully and quite touchingly played.

There is one delightful surprise to be had about a third of the way through. You'll know what I mean when you see it.

But for once in a marvel movie there are no extra scene during or after the end credits.

Matthew Vaughn this finally gets to direct an x men movie. And he did a really good job.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

English audio descriptive.

It has a digital copy that can be downloaded to other media allowing you to watch it wherever you like. A short piece about this at the start of the disc can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

The only extras are five extended scenes. Four from the training moments in the middle of the movie and one character scene. All run a little over a minute each and can be watched on their own or all in a row.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 December 2011
Wildly entertaining "X-Men: First Class" works amazingly well as both a prequel to the trilogy (there are inconsistencies between this film and the third one but it's also been suggested by the makers of this that it is a reboot since Professor Xavier and Magneto are working together in the third film and Professor X can walk in the third film and "Wolverine")and on its own even if you haven't seen the other films. It's refreshing particularly after "X-Men: The Last Stand" which had some major dramatic flaws.

I'm going to skip the plot of the film because that's been well covered elsewhere except suffice to say that this is where Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender)first meet and try to stop Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon)a mutant determined to wipe out humanity.

Evidently "X-Men: First Class" doesn't play on all Blu-ray players (most notably some of the 3D players and Samsung)so be aware that until they develop firmware updates it will be a problem for some players. I'd suggest shutting off your BD Live if it is Playstation related as that sometimes will also slow down the loading of the BD.

The image quality for "X-Men: First Class" is top notch with a brilliant, sharp and colorful presentation.

The Blu-ray features a number of cool extras including "Cerebro: Mutant Tracker" allowing you to track your favorite mutants and see exclusive videos, profiles, etc.

"Children of the Atom" a multi-part documentary on the making of the film focusing on the origin of the story and the obvious James Bond influence on many sequences of the film. We also get deleted and extended scenes (some of which if director Matthew Vaughn had been allowed to add them back in would have worked quite well for home video)and an isolated score by composer Henry Jackman.

There's also an "X Marks the Spot" enhanced viewing mode allowing one of eight featurettes to pop up as you're watching the film.

The film also comes with BD-Live enabled content including exclusive "proof of concept" footage of the aerial dogfight between Angel and Banshee, a digital copy of the film for PC's. You can also access 10 free X-Men comics in digital format online but you do have to register with

Over all "X-Men: First Class" is a top notch film with a heck of a lot of plot packed into it's 2 hour and 12 minute running time. Part of the success of the film certainly can be attributed to director Mathew Vaughn's (who, interestingly, was originally to direct "X Men: The Last Stand" after Bryan Singer departed but before Brett Ratner stepped in) unique take on the material as well as Bryan Singer's involvement again (and let's not forget the producers and the scriptwriters, the original comic book creators, etc.)with the series.

The film manages to be both entertaining while also having a conscience a rare thing in a big Hollywood production these days.

After "X2" this is the finest of the series of films.

Highly recommended.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
I saw the movie at the cinema on the first day of release and was blown away, the DVD although very light on extras, just a few extended scenes, is superb.
Forget about the Marvel comics history and any time-line inconsistencies with the other X-Men movies and just enjoy it for what it is, a valiant attempt to knit together an original version of the birth of the X-men and what drove Charles and Erik apart set against the backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis.
It ties in well with several elements from the first movie, the concentration camp scenes and the fact that Charles and Erik were once close friends but to its credit it delves into the past of other major characters especially Mystique and Beast but also Banshee, Havok and not forgetting Emma Frost and Moira MacTaggert.
Kevin Bacon is well cast as Sebastian shaw, no Hellfire Club but a credible background story of an attempt to kickstart nuclear war in order to create mutations, the children of the atom. I won't grumble at the lack of others from the club as most of Emma Frost's appearances are quite memorable.
Not all the new to the screen mutant characters work but most fit into the movie fairly well.
There's lots of nods towards the X-universe with brief appearances by Cyclops and Storm as well as noteable cameos by Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn.
Not sure where the X-Men franchise will go from here but the way the movie pans out means that there is plenty of scope for a sequel with the emergence of a new Brotherhood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2012
I enjoyed the first two Xmen movies but was less then impressed with the third installment. Xmen Origins Wolverine was good if not a little predictable plus I felt it went over much old ground that had been covered in X2 so I was a little cautious with this one when it came out.
I Didnt need to be this movie is incredible. I heard somewhere that the guy who directed this was offered Xmen 3 but turned it down as he didnt think he was ready for such a big movie. There are two ways of looking at this. Firstly had he of done X3 it could have been amazing and the franchise would have carried on, or secondly this movie would not have been made and that would have been a real pitty.
The movie concetrates on the relationship between a young Charles Xavier played by James Mcavoy and a young Erik Lehnsherr played be Michael Fassbender. In the original Xmen movies we gather the two men were once friends but this movie shows the level of the friendship from there first meeting to the ultimate opposite outlooks that tear there friendship apart. Macavoy is brilliant as a young Professor X and carries himself with a little swagger as he attempts to chat up college girls at the beginnig of the movie to the paitient individual we met in the fist film when he is helping to train the original Xmen. But it is Fassbender that steals it for me from his small and fleeting one liners to the intensity as he uses his powers to pull a nuclear submarine from the ocean beneath him he is truly captivating when on screen and the chemistry between he and Macavoy is something to be seen. The rest of the mutants just sort of follow along with the exception of the key bad guy Sabastian Shaw played by Kevin Bacon who brings Magneto and Professor X together.
When the two friends finally go there seperate ways the pain in Magneto as he realises his friend will not join him is evident.
In closing this is an amazing superhero hero movie on par with the original two Xmen movies if not better. The cast is good the effects brilliant and a very good story. If there were a comic inspired movie out there to rival Marvel Avenger's this could be it. This is a well made movie and has a great deal of replay value.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 June 2011
I was extremely impressed by this movie, which in my personal opinion is the most interesting and the best conceived of all the five films in the franchise. I was very positively surprised by the very high quality of acting, by the scenario and also by the visual aspect of this film. The great effort everybody (director, scenarist, actors, CGI specialists) put in making this movie deserves commendation, as at the fith installment in series, a certain loss of quality could be expected - but here the contrary happened! In fact I would be very happy if we could have the sequel of the prequel soon...

Below some more details, on acting, scenario and the CGIs, with some limited SPOILERS:

1. Actors. The cast is impressive - there is no other word. The two best, absolutely stunning performances, are those of Michael Fassbender (Erik/Magneto) and Kevin Bacon (dr Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw). Michael Fassbender, whom I already liked very much in "Centurion", gave to Magneto a charisma which makes it easily understandable how can he command such loyalty to his impressively powerful henchmen. In fact, if I was a mutant, I would probably follow him... Kevin Bacon gives here his most evil performance ever - his character is nothing short of satanic and he gives a great show. James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) is also excellent, as he makes his character very credible and very interesting - which is not so easy with positive heroes... Also, his effort is even more impressive when one remembers his character in "Last King of Scotland" (a whiny pathetic loser). Be able to play two so radically different people, that takes lots of talent...

Ladies are also very good, with the best performance reward going to Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique). She is not only very beautiful, but she gives her character a depth which was lacking in previous movies (well, maybe with the exception of the third X-Men...). One thing however bothered me a little in her character - the fact that she considered her true form monstrous. Me in fact, I found that she was ULTRA HOT with blue skin, golden eyes and burning red hair (and I am not surprised that Magneto thought that too...) some anatomical novelties notwithstanding... January Jones is also smoking hot as Emma Frost, her character is also quite interesting and she plays very well. The slightly kinky scene in which she is chained to bed and powerless considerably raised the temperature in the cinema... Rose Byrne is always a very pleasant sight and in this movie she offers her fans a "lingerie moment", which I appreciated greatly. Last but not least, Zoe Kravitz is a very pleasant addition to the cast as as Angel, a fairy winged exotic dancer...

2. Scenario. Mixing X-Men adventures with Cuban Missiles Crisis was a great idea and even more important, it was very skilfully made! I do not want to reveal too much, but the whole scenario is really excellent and keeps us wondering until the end what EXACTLY will happen - and that is impressive, considering that everybody more or less knows how the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis ended... The scenario contains also some twists and quite a lot of humour. And posibly the best thing in the whole story is the fact that EVERYBODY has a story to tell and a personality - even mostly silent Shaw's henchmen Azazel and Riptide.

3. CGI and visual aspect. This movie is visually extremely impressive, even if there is no so many gigantic scenes of mass destruction like in some of previous chapters. Riptide and Azazel provide many of the best action moments. The latter in particular is so impressively powerful, that if I was Magneto, I would watch my back carefully in the future, in case if he wanted to claim the leadership... On the "good guys" side, Havok and Banshee give also a very good display of their powers. But it is Magneto who, as the master of the metal, gives some of the best moments in movie - especially the one which includes a humongous amount of ordnance (missiles and shells).

I liked this movie very much and I would certainly welcome a continuation of the story line - why not with a plot turning around the first American landing on the Moon in 1969?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2012
The problem with the X-men is that there are lots of them and each one needs their origin story for the benfit of those people that have never read the comics. This eats into the run time and makes the story drag... First Class does an abmirable job of multiple origin stories whilst maintaining the pace of its narative, bu concentrating on the two people that matter Charles Xavier (Prof. X) and Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto).

The two leads, McAvory's Prof. X and Fassbenders Magneto, have great chemistry and make believable friends despite the obvious divide between them. The supporting cast does well with their limited screen time; Jennifer Lawrences Mystique and Celeb Jones' Banshee being the standouts with January Jones Emma Frost being the low point (seriously this woman cannot act). The rest of the cast give decent performances but this is McAvory and Fassbenders show.

Fassbender in particular does an outstanding job of putting humanity into his 'bad guy' origin; his chooses and his eventual 'fall' all make sense for him. Though he does go from sceptical supporter of Xaviors ideal to out and out opponent far too quickly.

The film maintins a good pace and has some excellent set pieces, easily lifting it above the pretty decent first two films and way, way above the appalling Last Stand and Wolverine calamities
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2013
The movie gives you some quick backgrounds on 4 of the characters, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Raven / Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). The rest you have to guess at. And if you are like me, and have never read the comics, you are clueless and sit back and enjoy all the women in lingerie. It boils down to a good vs. evil scenario, which I can understand.

The good guys create a machine that will locate other mutants. Charles is able to cleverly locate all the mutants during a single music montage. Meanwhile Kevin Bacon wants to start an all out nuclear war so the radiation will kill all the humans and only leave the mutants. This is remake of the history of the Cuban missile crisis.

As always, great special effects. Background knowledge of the characters and other movies would be a plus, such as cameo by Hugh Jackman or Rebecca Romijn, but not necessary to enjoy the film.

The nuclear reactor controls on the submarine were totally bogus for any era. Favorite line: "I have been at the mercy of men just following orders. Never again."

F-bomb (thanks Hugh for the F.O.) sexual situations and "Avatar" nudity. Excellent prequel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A fantastically good reboot - "X-Men: First Class" is an obvious BLU RAY purchase as a stand-alone. But fans should note the following…

"X-Men", “X-Men 2: United", "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "X-Men: First Class" are all REGION A LOCKED BLU RAYS on their ‘American’ 20th Century Fox issues - so they won't play on our machines no matter how enticingly cheap they may be.

Best bet and value is the British (Region B) Box Set release of "X-Men And The Wolverine Adamantium Collection" which gathers up all 6 movies with of course copious amounts of extras and no playback problems...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2013
As a fan of X-Men in comics and in the movies, I have to admit this is great. It's a little bit off in time lines, but unless that actually bothers you it's still fantastic. Good pacing, absolutely awesome music and scenes. Very touching where it should be, and the actors are wonderful. Would recommend to anyone, really.
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