Excerpt: It’s no secret that films based on comic books and graphic novels are a dime a dozen these days, but back in 2000 that wasn’t necessarily the case. I had the opportunity to see the original “X-Men” movie in Las Vegas while at the VSDA convention and, suffice it to say, we were all blown away.
Excerpt: Movie X-Men: First Class , if you didn't know by now, takes us back to the formation of Marvel's famed mutant organisation. With X3 having brought the curtain down on the original lineage of X-Men flicks and Wolverine safely established in a franchise of his own, 20th Century Fox turned to the British writer/director team of Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn to start the series anew, backed by producer Bryan Singer.
Excerpt: Directed by Matthew Vaughn, he of Kick-Ass fame, and based on a script credited to a half dozen writers (!), X-Men: First Class begins during the Second World War where a Nazi scientist named Dr. Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) discovers that one of the Jewish children in the concentration camp he overseas, Erik Lensherr, has powerful mutant abilities – something made all the more obvious when Schmidt shoots dead Erik’s mother, sending him into the first of many uncontrollable...
Summary: Matthew Vaughn might appear to be an odd choice to direct this feature. You might remember that he left production of the third film and many fans had thought he bailed on the project. Bringing back Bryan Singer was a stroke of genius but many have questioned Vaughn’s participation. Question no longer. He turns out to have been the perfect director for the project. One now must wonder what the third film might have been like had he stayed.
Excerpt: The Movie Prequels are an especially vexing challenge for filmmakers, as we already know the futures of the characters we are revisiting, The cinematic X-Men universe has tried its adamantium-clawed hand at prequels once before , but X-Men: First Class is a truly grand, rousing reboot of the franchise.
Excerpt: X-Men: First Class will produce grandly scaled summer movie entertainment, partially to keep a billion dollar franchise cranking, and to appease mainstream buffs with high energy visuals. Straight to the point, it’s what we expect. In front of the lens of Kick-Ass’ Matthew Vaughn though, the series is able to show restraint, carefully shot and plotted restraint at that.
Conclusion: X-Men: First Class was definitely better than I expected, and although it's not a perfect comic book film, it's miles and miles beyond the last two entries in the franchise. So yes, First Class is a return to form, one that should leave all but the most persnickety and discriminating Marvel fans satisfied. As you'd hope, the film looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray, and the disc comes with some great special features, including an hour-long making-of documentary.
Conclusion: 'First Class' was one of the best summer blockbusters, because it was smart and wasn't afraid to go places few superhero movies fear to tread. It's an engaging origin story, but it stands on its own as a great film. It looks and sounds fabulous on Blu-ray, and it's crop of special features is inviting. I would've loved a commentary, but other than that the extensive making-of feature is a great addition. This one comes highly recommended.