First Class Refresh

I’ve been presuming all along that Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class (20th Century Fox, 6.3) is a prequel using a Cuban Missile Crisis backdrop because of the early ’60s chic mentality created by Mad Men and furthered by Zack Snyder‘s Watchmen…right? They’re basically following the stylistic lead of other films.

I’ve just re-watched JFK’s Cuban Missile Crisis speech (part 1 and part 2). No mention of mutants, of course, but any chief executive would have kept this aspect under wraps.

I’ve been waiting for months to see Jennifer Lawrence‘s full-blue Mystique appearance in X-Men: First Class, which I’ve been presuming all along would bear some resemblance to Rebecca Romijn’s in the last X-Men series. And yet the Fox guys keep not including her in the trailers. Now it appears that Lawrence’s Mystique has a different, more modest sartorial idea in mind — i.e., a yellow-and-blue leather bomber jacket.

In other words, X-Men: First Class is starting to look like a LexG letdown.

  • tmurry

    I’d say they are doing it because X-Men #1 came out in 1963, and used a missile crisis as the backdrop of the plot. This is back to the basics X-Men. The 60’s chic may be why the idea was accepted, but it originated in the original comic, which has had a struggles of the 60’s vibe throughout its history (civil rights struggle, nuclear paranoia, teenagers changing the world, etc.).

  • JLC

    I have no idea whether this will be any good, but I think it’s kind of nifty that they’re going back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The formative years of Marvel comics were square in the middle of the cold war. Lots of early villains were products of the International Communist Conspiracy. The Hulk was created when a commie spy refused to stop the gamma bomb countdown when Banner went to save a kid from ground zero. Tony Stark built the original Iron Man armor when he was blown up by a mine in Vietnam. And so on.

    As to LexG, there’s a very fleeting shot in the trailer of January Jones in her very skimpy Emma Frost costume. That should keep him happy for a bit.

  • DiscoNap

    Just spotted Michael Ironside under a helmet about halfway in. Sold.

  • dino velvet

    Yeah I was just gonna say, Ray Wise AND Michael Ironside? At least someone involved in this is a fan of 80s B movies.

  • Hamm Slamwich

    Lawrence isn’t quite as lithe as Romijn, and, she doesn’t look so great with that blue skin and red hair. Romijn, albeit in an odd way, still looked kinda fierce under the facepaint.

  • twicks

    I’m rooting for Matt Vaughn.

    Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass. Nice little resume so far.

  • arispil

    The problem with all this is (and I say problem bc, let’s face it, if you’re posting about this topic at all you probably should consider it to be one), is that this first class doesn’t represent the original x-men.

    Cyclops, Jean Grey, Best, Iceman and Angel were the first class. End of story.

    So if they’re going to do a period piece, and re-invent this entire thing, what’s the point of deviating from the source material? Oh right – bc 95% of the target audience won’t care, so no one’s the wiser. But still, I’m curious why Fox did this? Was there a downside to having a few of the same characters from the original films in this one? (even with new actors?) Will Second Class introduce the real first class? How’s that for canon? I’m happy Banshee is in there at the least. And Mystique? Uh she wasn’t created until about 15 years after the Xmen were.

    Fucking retarded executives. (No offense to the retards who post here)

  • Abbey Normal

    Hope for this thing definitely lies in the casting, with two talented and hot up-and-comers (Fassbinder and Lawrence); a stalled-career-wise-but-very-talented lead (McAvoy); smoking babes (Jones and Lawrence); and a trio of great character actor veterans (Platt, Bacon, Wise).

    I would also argue the presence of Vaughn is a huge plus, but not everybody loved Kick-Ass as much as I did (but then, there’s also Layer Cake! and Lock, Stock, Barrels!)…

    OK, I’ve talked myself into it: I’m excited.

  • Abbey Normal

    Fassbender. Typo.

  • LexG

    Cheesy Fox Superhero Backwoods Sheen Alert in effect!

    They really NEVER do make a blockbuster that doesn’t have that bargain-basement, shot in a forest, Canadian/Australian budget-skimping style-less look– Elektra, Daredevil, the F4s, the X-Men, Wolverine, Babylon AD, Day the Earth Stood Still. Their “big” movies always always have a hint of Golan-Globus about them. Big stars then filter-less blunt shooting styles and murky, cold production design. Feels so by committee.

    McAvoy has a lot more “popcorn” charisma than Fassbender. Not to rehash this for the billionth time, but McAvoy is energetic and Cruisean; I know everyone here loves MF, but he’s so dry and ramrod-straight, like Clive Owen on downers meets a less humorous Timothy Dalton, which is fine for Jane Eyre… but makes him look awfully goofy in that silly costume.

    Hey, when military dudes do that jump out of the bottom of a plane, as seen in this trailer, doesn’t the plane catch up and hit them smack in the face and kill them? You jump into a hole of a plane going 500 FUCKING MILES PER HOUR, how does it not keep zooming and cut you in half as you leap nancily into the air to go out the chute? Am I just not understanding some property of physics?

  • Krillian

    I know Kevin Bacon’s the “villain” but he still only has one brief glimpse in the whole trailer. Curious.

  • Breedlove

    Strongly disagree with fans of STARDUST and KICK-ASS. both terrible. Vaughn shows every sign of being a total hack. Not particularly excited for this.

  • Tristan Eldritch2

    Not sure how this will pan out. Elements of it look promising, but I think Jeff is right: it seems to be following the style of the Singer movies to closely, and not embracing the stylistic possibilities offered by the retro setting enough. I like Singer’s movies (particularly the second one) a lot, but in fairness, they didn’t win hearts and minds with jaw-dropping style. They worked largely on the strength of the cast, and because they brought a degree of intelligence and strong characterisation to bear after the Schumacher era of superhero flicks. Singer’s movies handled the character beats quite well, but they do look slightly quaint and dated now. I think the new version needed to develop a distinct identity of its own, and maybe a more stylish, sexier approach to the mutants – so far it doesn’t look like it has. But we’ll wait and see, I guess.

  • Mark

    I don’t know the appropriate comps for Lawrence (maybe some sort of love child of all the girls in Empire Records), but she still has a ton to prove as far as whether she is a movie star. Can she do romance, action, comedy? Is she comfortable being sexy? Current GQ spread suggests not. All we know at the moment is that she’s young, the camera likes her face, and she can ask whether you’ve seen Jessop.

  • Ray DeRousse

    Excellent trailer. However, all of the action beats seem to come from the Cuban Missile Crisis part of the film. Is that the only major action piece? If so, I doubt if the kiddies at the mall will be too pleased with this film.

  • Markj74

    Could go either way. Will see it for Fassbender, not a fan of Vaughn.

  • LexG

    “Will see it for Fassbender…”

    Again, utterly amazing this relatively obscure, stone-serious, visually undefinable actor from some very niche movies has become THE ONE ACTOR IN RECENT HISTORY that every guy on every message board is ALL IN for.

    Did I miss something where FISH TANK or HUNGER were some crowd-pleasing smash successes that everyone talked up back in the day? Especially FISH TANK, I don’t EVEN remember it EVER coming out or being reviewed ANYWHERE. Most of his roles are him shuffling in the background of some movie where you can’t remember him (Basterds, 300) or stuff where he got out-acted by everyone around him…

    He was good in Jane Eyre, but it’s not like any geeks bum-rushed the Laemmle’s to see THAT, so why does this guy have your panties all wet, but you guys LITERALLY HATE EVERY NEW ACTOR WHO COMES ALONG because they’re a threat to your manhood?

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    It’s because the movies have become so fucking pro-Magneto that you see him barking the McKellan-esque “By Any Means Necessary” fuck-the-humans chatter and you think, who is this sexy motherfucker, and how is he rocking that turtleneck so well? It was bad enough when McKellan’s Magneto outshone Patrick Stewart, but the girlish James McAvoy is supposed to go toe to toe with the obviously more physically intimidating, handsome Fassbender? You see him, you know Magneto, and you get the soundbites, and it totally sells, ok, this is young, badass Magneto, he doesn’t fuck around. I think this movie will make Fassbender a star.

    That being said, I don’t get Matthew Vaughn, and I will probably never see this.

  • twicks

    I don’t understand “Kick-Ass” haters. It had heart, humor, and totally likeable characters. Even the villains, really.

    And the big action set piece, where Hit Girl tries to rescue a kidnapped Nic Cage? After he’s already been set ON FIRE and is screaming instructions and encouragement to his daughter? Thrilling as hell.

  • dino velvet

    Lex, you gotta let the Fass thing go! Doesn’t the fact that Tarantino, R.Scott, Cronenberg, and Soderbergh all booked him kind of suggest that just maybe he’s got the right stuff? It’s not like we’re talking about the I am number four/Beastly guy here.

  • markj

    Could go either way. Will see it for Fassbender, not a fan of Vaughn.

  • The Mean Freaks

    Vaughan is terrible. Stardust was just, tone-wise, an utter disaster. The pacing was weird, it was joyless, awkward, boring, everything. I wanted to stab him for making DeNiro look like such a dick.

  • LexG

    Is there a worse writer on the internet than Gabe Toro?

    At the very least it’s a CAGE MATCH between Gabe and Jen “Margaret Cho” Yamato.

    I will never believe we’re in a DOWN ECONOMY when two such INSANELY UNINTELLIGENT PEOPLE make money from writing.

    Oh, and Todd Gilchrist, who’s about as boring as trying to fuck oatmeal.

  • Dan Revill

    This’ll be the best of the superhero films this summer. At least, that’s what I say without any real horse in the race. So I guess this is my horse.

  • Gnome de Guerre

    LexG, regarding jumping out of planes at 500mph, you’re still moving forward fast enough when you exit the aircraft to clear it. You do start at the same velocity as the plane to begin with, when you’re on board, and it only takes 10-15 vertical feet to clear the craft once you’re outside, if that. So that’s why you don’t get chopped unless something goes wrong.

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