Movie Monday: X-Men: First Class



This weeks Movie Monday is on the 2011 film X-Men: First Class from director Matthew Vaughn.


X-Men: First Class tells the story of how Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) become the people we see in the later movies.

We move from their youth when their powers are beginning to come to the surface, for Xavier it is a scene where he discovers A shapeshifting mutant(Mystique) stealing food from his home whereas Magneto’s introduction is much more brutal. Along with his family he is put into a death camp by the Nazis and his power comes out in an intense moment when he is separated from his parents. he is then forced to try to move a coin by a German scientist by the name of Dr. Klaus Schmidt, played amazingly by Kevin Bacon). Because the young lad cannot move the coin Schmidt shoots his mother, this results in the child having a huge emotional reaction which affects every metal object around him.

We then move to 1962 where Xavier is trying his luck in a pub in Oxford where he is studying and Lensherr is tracking down Schmidt. By this time Schmidt has changed his name to Sebastian Shaw. As Shaw, Schmidt is manipulating people like a chess game to start the World War III between the United States and the Soviet Union. As this is happening Xavier and Lensherr are, along with the help of the C.I.A, recruiting mutants to help track  and take down Schmidt/Shaw. Throughout this time Lensherr and Xavier are revealed to have different philosophies on how they should mature as a species with Xavier believing that humans will be happy to live with mutants and Lensherr believing that humanity will inprison mutants.

The climax of the movie comes with an American fleet and a Soviet Fleet standing off against each other as a Soviet Cargo ship is trying to deliver nuclear weapons to Cuba, The Cuban Missile crises. Lines are drawn here and friendships destroyed.


This is an incredibly well put together movie. I adore the first two X-Men movies and felt a little let down by the third and the Wolverine spin-off was not the movie I thought it was going to be so I was a little worried about this movie, but those worries were erased when I learnt that Bryan Singer was working on the script and was on board as a producer. Singer directed the first two movies which are beautifully sculpted films so that put me at ease a bit. I like Matthew Vaughn’s movies as well. The cast excited me too. Kevin Bacon for me is one of the best, and underrated actors of his generation. I cannot think of a film where he does not put in a solid performance.

I knew of James McAvoy and thought he would be a good choice for Xavier. At the time I was unaware of Michael Fassbender, I had seen him in Inglorious Bastards but I would not have been able to name him. Another actor I was keen to see in the movie was Nicolas Hoult who plays Beast. Hoult along with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique have a good little sub-plot going between them. January Jones plays Emma Frost, Shaw’s right hand mutant and Rose Bryne plays a C.I.A liasion officer called Moira MacTaggert.

There is also a very good support cast to these main characters which includes Oliver Platt and Jason Flemyng. There are also the young mutants that make up the early X-Men.


This could be looked at as a Re-Boot but I don’t think it is. I look at it as a rejuvenation of the franchise. It is not doing the same thing over like the recent Spiderman movie and it’s not a remake. It does contradict the odd little bit in the later movies but nothing of real consequence.

The Strength of this movie lays in the quality of the storyline, of the actors, of the direction. There is nothing in this movie that feels out-of-place and I’m looking forward to next years sequel.

I would just like to note quickly that the two lead characters Xavier and Magneto are excellently played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender respectively. McAvoy is a smart actor and I am yet to see anything in Michael Fassbender that makes me think he will be thought of anything less than one of the greatest actors of his generation. Watch out for both of these actors, especially in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which I believe is due to hit our cinema’s next year.

Looking Back At 2011

Okay so I wanted to give a quick look back at the last year and what has happened to me and what I’ve learnt.  Firstly I hit my 1000 word a week target.  I’ve started writing this on the 12th and I’ve written 77,839 words to this date.  I wont lie I’m quite cuffed about that 😀 Despite failing NaNoWriMo it played a big part in building that word count and taught me a lot about my writing and where I want it to go ( ) click the link to take you to a post where I talk about NaNo and what I learnt.

As for progress of my fiction I am disappointed to say that I have not submitted anything yet.  I have no long fiction even close to being ready for submission but I do have a number of short stories which are very close to being ready to be sent out into the wide world.  Most of those form part of a series of stories that I’m not sure I want to set free just yet.  I have a couple of others that just need a little fine tuning before I search out the best places to submit them.

I do think that a couple of the ideas that I and my writing partner have look to be coming to life a little.  So those in the New Year they will get some serious attention.

I know that I rarely speak of my personal life but here I will, just not in too much detail.  I’ve had a few ups and downs this last year.  Nothing out of  what any one of us may expect to encounter during our lives.  I have had friendships pushed to the limits and have learnt who my real friends are.  I’ve been pushed to my breaking point on more than one occasion which has taught me a lot about myself.


This is quite a tough one for me as I’ve seen a lot of good films this year.

The Kings Speech deserves a mention.  Like many people I didn’t really think it would be my type of film but I absolutely loved it.

X-Men:First Class was better than I was expecting (and I was expecting it to be good) Heres my review

Captain America : The First Avenger did also blow me away,

Thor also impressed me a lot.  I liked how the humour worked in the film (and it has Natalie Portman in it 😀 ) It was fascinating to see the world that Thor comes from and how some of the little sub plots and characters tie into the movie franchise that has been created which is leading up the Avengers movie.

And just for sheer enjoyment purposes Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil This film was daft but very funny with a lot of heart.


This one has to be Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky This book really did blow my mind.  Even now new things about the depth of the book and all within its pages are coming to mind.  Once I’ve cleared more of my ‘To Read’ backlog then I’m going to read it again.  Theres not many books that I can say that about.


This one is Conditional Love by Felicity Shoulders ( which I heard via the Escape Pod Podcast Its one of the few stories that made me actually stop what I was doing and say “Wow!”


This one goes to Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing This podcast has taught me a lot about how to approach some of the aspects of writing and how to go about publishing.  There are some fine interviews with various writers, editors and people within the writing community.  Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen are a fine team and very easy to listen to, although I do miss Sam Wynns.  I especially like the segments with Lou Anders (editor at Pyr ) and Tobias S. Buckell,

Since I’ve started blogging more frequently I’ve met some amazing people through blogging that I’ve got some very good support from and I’ve taken a lot from their own blogs.  It’s such a strong and supportive community which is fantastically insightful as well.  Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for fascinating posts from other bloggers.

Now I am looking forward to next year and what I intend to achieve in the twelve months we are about to go into.  Christmas is upon us and New Years Eve I think will be one to remember, but next year, I want that to be an entire year that I look back on and think ‘2012 was really something special’

X-Men: First Class

I am A big fan of the first two X-Men films, Bryan Singer did A fantastic job of putting these two stories together.  There was A sense of depth in the first two films that made them great for me.  The third film which Brett Ratner directed did not have that same feeling of care that the Singer films did.  It was a good entertaining film but it lacked that depth of character that the first two had which was all that let it down for me.  I didn’t care about the outcome as much as I did for the first two films.  The next film; X-Men Origins: Wolverine was good but like the third film it did not blow me away.  There was lots of action and it told a good story but it was a little predictable and just didn’t blow me away.

Now for X-Men: First Class.  I really was not sure how I would take this film as the last two in the franchise had not wowed me.  Matthew Vaughn is A Director that I have grown to like A lot and I was a little reassured.  Then I found out Bryan Singer was on board as A producer and this gave me an even bigger expectation for the film, which it lived up to.

I knew that James McAvoy was on board to play the young Charles Xavier which I thought was A good bit of casting.  He pulled it off very well.  I was also excited at the prospect of seeing Kevin Bacon in the film.  Bacon is one of my favourite actors and I can’t recall an instance where he has not put in A bad performance in A film.  I was very impressed with Michael Fassbender, who played Magneto.  I had seen him in Inglorious Bastards and was impressed but playing Magneto he really took the character and the film by the scruff of the neck.  Playing someone so angry, but also having to show some control also cannot be easy.  Fassbender and McAvoy seemed to really click on-screen which helped the movie have that depth that is needed but often missed and over looked.  i just want to give Nicolas Hoult A quick mention.  He plays Beast in the film and he was convincing as him.  Hoult is an English actor that I know from the TV series ‘Skins’ In this he played A smug little sod of a character who I will admit I didn’t like but Hoult played him so convincingly that he caught my attention.  Now he seems to be making A name for himself in Hollywood and I hope it keeps getting better for him.

The plot of the film is generally the emerging mutants trying to deal with their abilities and the U.S. government that are trying to make them into something of use.  At the core of it is Xavier and Magneto, or Erik Lensher as he is known during the earlier scenes of the film.  Both have a slightly different view on what the emerging mutants should be trying to achieve.  Xavier is trying to teach the mutants on how to matser their powers but to also live in peace with humanity.  Magneto on the other hand believes that mankind cannot be trusted and that mutants are now the dominate species on earth.  In the middle of all this Kevin Bacon’s villain keeps the story rolling nicely and gives the mutants something to focus on other than their own different views of the world.

There is A fair amount of action throughout the film and the final battle has some epic moments.  A flying submarine is pretty cool.  We see the final split between Magneto and Xavier and how Xavier looses the use of his legs.

This is A well put together film and I really hope that the director, producers and cast come back for another film.