Friday, June 3, 2011

X-Men: First Class

Karen: X-Men: First Class has gathered less attention this Spring/Summer than some of the other super-hero films. You know, I really wasn't interested at all until I heard that it was set in the 60s. Then the pictures and trailers began coming out, and now, I can't wait to see it. So share your thoughts about the film with us.

Doug: I want to butt in to my partner's post and ask a fashion question -- how did you think the blue and yellow X-suits (or the Xavier school uniforms, if you will) worked? I'm sure you've noticed that the Green Lantern costume for the movie is pretty darn close to the comics, as was Thor's outfit and Cap's, too (well, close to Ultimate Cap). So, why in the first three X-Men films did the film makers feel the need to change the costumes to black leather?


david_b said...

I'm SO GLAD the X-Men film is taking place back in the 60s. It was a major complaint of mine that the FF films didn't take place back then. It could have been this very cool retro film, including beating the 'Ruskies', etc..

Instead we got the terribly-miscasted foursome (like Jennifer Alba) and other weaken aspects when we could have had a more interesting look at the Silver Age 'roots'..

Some folks told me that shooting 'retro' is too expensive, but with today's CGI work and clever camera usage..? Naaah.

Here's hoping that 'X-Men: First Class' does very well..!!

dbutler16 said...

Good question, Doug. Of course, the filmmakers weren't too concerned with being faithful to the comics when they did the X-Men movies, anyway, having butchered half the characters, but I guess they decided black leather looked "cool". Remember Wolverine's crack in the first movie about the black leather being better than yellow spandex?

William said...

Looking very much forward to this new X-Movie. I am really glad they decided to put the yellow in their uniforms to make them look more like they did in the original comis.

I HATED the black leather motorcycle suits from the original movies. It was said that Brian Singer originally didn't want to use any kind of uniforms at all, but one of the other people involved in the movie talked him into it. However he still didn't like the idea of super hero costumes, so he compromised and went with the leather.

I love the way these guys really want to direct "super hero" movies but seem to despise all the traditional things about comic books and super heroes in general. Such as colorful costumes, secret identities, etc.

I wonder how successful the original Superman movie would have been if Superman was wearing jeans and tee shirt or a black leather outfit instead of his iconic blue and red suit?

Inkstained Wretch said...

If you think about it, most live-action comic book movies avoid traditional superhero costumes to the extent they can.

The X-Men films had the nondescript black leather uniforms. The Fantastic Four films used similiar, though blue, uniforms. The Hulk and Iron Man films obviously had no need for costumes in the first place. Thor spent most of his movie in civilian clothes. Even the Batman films have tended to downplay the costume, making the Batman suit more like functional bodyarmor than his traditional gray and black duds.

My guess is that the producers think that creating a superhero movie already requires a big enough leap of faith from the audience and that having the actors wear brightly colored outfits would only be a ditraction.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Err .. The last line of my post should end, "would only be a distraction."

Must have been distracted by something.

William said...

Assuming that the movie going public don't want to see super heroes in movies wearing the same costumes that they wear in the comics is just unproven speculation by a bunch of no-nothing suits. They have a negative view "costumes", so they assume that everyone else feels the same way. Then the X-Men movie is successful and some people think that this proves the theory that the average person doesn't want to see super hero costumes. But then again we didn't really have a choice, did we? The man chose to have the movie versions of the X-Men dressed like a yuppie biker club instead of a comic book super hero team (WHICH IS WHAT THEY ARE!) So, for all we know, the movie may have been way more successful if the characters were wearing costumes that were at least somewhat reminiscent of their comic book looks.

Take the Spider-Man movie for example. It comes out with Spidey pretty much sporting his iconic comic book red and blues, and it blows the X-Men's box office out of the water. So, what does that prove? It proves to me that people are still going to see a "super hero" movie if the hero is wearing his or her costume, maybe even more so. People aren't stupid. They know who Spider-Man, Superman and Batman, etc. are, and what they are supposed to look like. If they weren't expecting them to look like they do in the comics, they probably wouldn't be interested in seeing the movie in the first place. If you go to see a Batman movie and Batman looks like Batman, you're not going to go, "Wait a minute, you mean this guy dresses up like a "Bat" and fights crime? I had no idea! This movie sucks!"

No one is expecting "Gone With The Wind" when they go to see Spider-Man, Green Lantern or the X-Men. They are fully prepared to suspend their disbelief to a very high degree.

The costumes are one of the main things that distinguish "super" heroes from all the other action characters out there. And I for one, would like to see them stay as faithful as possible to their iconic looks in movies.

J.A. Morris said...

When they made the 1st X-men movie, I think they were afraid a movie with a bunch of people in costumes would only appeal to hardcore comic fans. Once the first was a hit, they stayed with the formula.

As for the 60s settings, I'm sort of agnostic about it. I think the Silver Age FF were more defined by the 60s(Cold War,Space Race,etc) than the original X-men were.

I hope 'First Class' is good, I'm still mad that 'X3' didn't give us a full "Phoenex Effect".

Since it's set in the 60s, will the X-men visit Coffee A Go-Go? Some links in case I'm the only one who remembers the X-men's favorite Beat Bar:

dbutler16 said...

Don't worry, J.A. I recently read the Silver Age X-Men comics and recall seeing Coffee A Go-Go quite a bit. I only wonder if Beast & Iceman will have to take on some beatnik bullies.

Karen said...

We saw the film Saturday and really enjoyed it. I could sit here and nit-pick some of the details, but I won't because overall it was a lot of fun. I thought there were some very good performances from the actors playing Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique. This film gives Mystique some background, and while it's nothing like the comic character, it fills her out and gives her a reason to be with Magneto later on.

I'd actually enjoy seeing a film that focused just on Erik Lensherr, Nazi Hunter, after seeing this movie. As many people have said, there's a real 60s James Bond feel to the film and I could see Michael Fassbender (Magneto) playing 007 some day.

This film makes the same mistake as Last Stand and Wolverine and has too many mutants, especially ones that we never get to know anything about. Personally I would have rather seen Vanisher than Azazel, and Unus or Avalanche instead of Riptide or whatever his name was (the Fabio-looking henchman). But all in all those are small complaints.

I do wish they'd gotten hairstyles right on these 1962 guys; both Kevin Bacon and the Fabio guy were sporting hair far too long for that time. And I don't think mini-skirts were in vogue yet.Dang it, I said I wasn't going to nit-pick. Well just a little.

Regardless I give the film a thumbs up. I still enjoyed Thor more but this is a very entertaining film.


Doug said...

My sons treated me to this film tonight for Father's Day, and we were not disappointed. I'll agree with just about everything Karen has said. The major complaint I have is that now we have basically two timelines going in the two X-franchises, and neither really matches up with the comics. C'mon -- Alex would now be about 20 years older than Scott? But overall it was a very fun film.

As a Holocaust educator, I thought it was a nice touch when Magneto talked about being at the mercy of men "following orders" and stated "never again". I'd welcome an X-Men Origins: Magneto film along the lines of the Magneto: Testament graphic novel, and as Karen said, more on him as a Nazi hunter.

Geeked-out moment of the film for me was seeing him in all his X-Men #1 glory at the end of the film. Wow... Big smile.


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