‘X-Men: First Class’ gets a C-

I was pumped to see “X-Men: First Class.” East Grand Forks’ River Cinema played it on three screens at midnight Friday, and it seemed the attendance only called for one. This kinda describes the movie as a whole. Big budget, big premise, disappointing results.

The screenwriter had the same problem as the creators of “X-Men: The Last Stand.” So many awesome characters (that some of us grew up with) and not enough time to do them justice. Continuing the “X-Men Origins” series might be just the ticket. There is the risk of it laming out, i.e. “Daredevil” spinoff, “Elektra,” but we’d get the back story and the action.

Michael  Fassbender did a great Magneto, Kevin Bacon seemed to channel Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds” ) as Sebastian Shaw and Jennifer Lawrence overdid it as Mystique. (To be fair, I’d only ever seen her rocking nuance and subtlety in  “Winter’s Bone.”) “Mad Men’s” January Jones fit right into the 60’s time period, James McAvoy’s general likability made him a great pick for Charles Xavier, and hot, young stars Rose Byrne, Zoe Kravitz and Nicholas Hoult were young and hot.


The film did a great job of giving weight to Magneto’s motivation, his relationship with Professor X and the effects of ongoing alienation and persecution. (Spoiler alert) One scene, Magneto shoots missiles back at military men and Professor X says “They’re men with families. They’re just following orders.” Magneto: “I’ve been at the mercy of men following orders. Never again!” (If you’re not keen to Magneto’s back story, he’s a Holocaust survivor.)

I’ve got to cut “X-Men: First Class” some slack. That’s not too bad of a sign when at the end of a movie, I want more. I’ll definitely watch it again and what ever else is released with the “X-Men” stamp.

And no matter how far from adolescence I get, I’m still hoping my mutant powers will kick in.

Here’s the trailer. Click here to read other movie reviews.

Upcoming summer movies

Have you seen “Thor” already? Are you excited about “Hangover Part II”? Have you read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and are you pumped for the movie that comes out Aug. 12?

This might be the summer of sequels with all of these releases: “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Cars 2,” “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World,” “Final Destination 5,” and of course, the much-anticipated “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.” We’re all going to have a lot of movies to choose from.

I’m looking forward to the “X-Men: First Class,” a prequel to the movies. I grew up watching the TV show on Saturday mornings and I was disappointed with the way the movie trilogy ended, but I’m going to give it another go. The prequel has a star-studded cast: James McAvoy, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence of “Winter’s Bone, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, January Jones of AMC’s “Mad Men” and Zoe Kravitz. Here’s the trailer.

X-Men isn’t the only movie based on a comic book that’s coming this summer. “Green Lantern” will be out in theaters June 17 and “Captain America: The First Avenger” out July 22.

In the Herald’s Friday Arts section, we asked for you movie-goers to talk about what you’re looking forward to seeing, what sequels you think shouldn’t be released or how well you predict they’ll measure up at the box office. Here’s your platform. Please feel free to comment. Let’s get a discussion going.

Click here for a list of this summer’s flicks, click here to read a summer movie guide.