June 8, 2011

The Uncanny X-Piles XLIV.I: “X-Men: First Class” Review Podcast

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Written by: Jeff
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Welcome to this special edition of The Uncanny X-Piles, where X-ophiles Andy and Jeff look at each week’s world of X-Men comics. This week, we’re doing something even more X-citing than usual, and break out our first podcast! This is a special .1 edition (see what we did there?) as we look at the latest in the X-film franchise–X-Men: First Class!

What did we like? What didn’t we like? Listen in as we nit-pick the movie and rate all 5 of the X-movies to date!

The Uncanny X-Piles: X-Men First Class Movie Review

You can click the link to listen to the podcast or right click “save link as” to download it.

Stop playing chess and listen to the podcast!

Also, check out Andrew Hudson’s review of the film in his weekly column Movie Mondays! For more mutant goodness, check out The Uncanny X-Piles archive, and this interview with the story editors of the 90s X-Men cartoon!

Andy Liegl

Jeff Jackson



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  2. @Andy- You thought Xavier has TK? What kind of X-Men fan are you? No wonder why you loved this movie so much.
    Instead of going on about all the things I hated about this movie, I will just list the things that I liked.
    1. Xavier and Magneto were great and well cast.
    2. The scenes where they are recruiting/training the X-Men.
    3. The fact that Magneto blamed Moria for crippling Xavier.
    4. The effort they put into linking the movie with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    That’s it.
    As for my ranking of all the X-Men movies from worst to best:
    X3 and X-Men First Class (tie)
    Wolverine movie
    X-Men 1

  3. Hey- Jean has TK. Cable has TK. Psylocke has TK. I just grouped Xavier in there. He totally had TK in the cartoon…right?

  4. Jeff Jackson

    I’m wondering what you didn’t like about this movie, Nick.

  5. @Andy- Psylocke barely got TK as her secondary mutation or from that weird power swap thing with Jean and no Xavier never had TK in the cartoon. The only place I think he might have had it was in the Ultimate Universe. Right? Actually, besides Psylocke, the only mutants with both TK and telepathy are the ones that are in some way related to Jean Grey (Cable, Stryfe, X-Man, Rachel, Madelyne Pryor)

  6. @Jeff- You really want to know? Well the continuity was a nightmare, there was some poor casting & the special effects were hit or miss. Was Shaw an X-Men Villain or a James Bond one? I don’t even like Emma in the comics, but they totally wasted everything that is cool about her. If the reason for not having the actual original X-Men was to match it up with the other movies, they still failed at that with Emma & Xavier in the Wolverine movie and Moria in X3. Not to mention that Mystique tries to kill Xavier in the first movie, but in this one they are best buds. Also, the whole thing with the CIA creating the X-Men and Beast creating Cerebro was dumb and took away from Xavier’s importance to the X-Men and mutantkind. And if you are going to have the Hellfire Club in the movie, have the Hellfire club and not just Shaw and some random mutants. Oh, and why did Xavier let Magneto kill Shaw? He could have released Shaw or controled him enough to protect him from Magneto. I can go on and on but i won’t.

  7. Jeff Jackson

    I actually agree with you about Shaw and Emma, Nick. They were the worst parts of the movie.

    I noticed some special effects stuff that I didn’t like either. The shot of the Blackbird crashing onto the island looked especially bad. I forgot to mention that in the podcast. I think I did mention that Emma’s diamond form looked silly.

    However, if you just take this movie and don’t add the other X-Men films to it, then this movie works really well. Sure, there were major continuity issues between FC and the other films, but that’s because when they made the first X-Men films, they didn’t know that someday they would create a prequel. But standing alone, this movie was the best of the franchise. It’s only when you pair it with the other films that there are major problems. I too was puzzled by the Xavier/Mystique relationship, but in this movie alone, it worked because it meant that Xavier lost someone to Magneto. The only reason that concept stinks is because of XM1 and the fact they didn’t mention the relationship. But standing alone in this film, it worked.

    Also, in terms of the CIA stuff, if you go back and read the original X-Men series, Xavier had major ties to the CIA. I thought by making that overt in the film made much more sense than the comics. Why would a professor of a private school have weapons and vehicles and training rooms? Tying to the CIA made good sense to me. Kinda like Batman Begins where Bruce gets all his toys from government weapons.

    Xavier not building Cerebro didn’t bother me. Again, having it tied to the CIA made more sense.

    Finally, Xavier couldn’t stop Magneto from killing Shaw. Magneto was using the helmet and the room they were in was also psi-protected. So there was nothing Xavier could have done.

    Overall, I wish this movie hadn’t been tied to the continuity of the other movies, because that’s what folks are complaining about. But if this was a reboot, no one would have had those issues. Also if they had rebooted it, they could have used the actual original X-Men would could have been really cool.

    I see your points, Nick, but I saw things differently.

  8. You make some good points. My main point is that I shouldn’t have to not compare this movie to the others or the comics for it to be good. I agree that it would have been better if they would have just completely started over, but they didn’t.

    Oh, and about the Magneto killing Shaw thing, Xavier could have stopped it. The reason Shaw was frozen was because Xavier my psychically holding him, so if he would have released him, it would have at least given Shaw a fighting chance. So Xavier and Magneto killed Shaw together, if you really think about it.

    Nice debating with you. Maybe there will be someday be a forum on this site so everyone can more easily get in on the debate. 😉

  9. I know a lot of people are saying that if you’re not a comics fan you’ll enjoy the movie more but some friends of mine that have only seen the movies and don’t read the comics were really confused. Some liked it and some didn’t. All in all it was a decent movie but I laugh every time I hear it being called “the best comic movie of all time!”. Considering that it’s been used for several other comic movies.

    I assumed that since Darwin was in the movie that he would die first. Boy, was I right! His death could have been prevented but lazy storytelling had to have him go out the way he did. Predictable and so very, very cliche.

    Other than that, Emma wasn’t much to look at and I mean as far as her character portrayal along with her physical appearence. Again, another cliche portrayal of a woman and her presence was sooo watered down. Both of you are right and she could and should have been a stronger presence onscreen.

    Beast’s enlarged feed give him superhuman speed now? And Shaw was a combination of a poor man’s Bishop mixed with a bit of Gambit. I do think that Bacon’s portrayal was better during the concentration camp scenes than when he was re-introduced in the 60s. Riptide was pretty cool along with Azazel who wins the award for cool ass pimped out henchman.

    The concentration camp scene is almost shot for shot from the first X-Men movie. I’m also thinking that some of what came after could have been from the Magneto movie that was supposed to come out a few years ago.

    Jeff you are sooo wrong for not stopping Andy during his TK rant regarding Xavier lol
    I was also thinking “Dune” when Shaw was killed too Andy!

  10. Jeff Jackson

    I was disappointed about Darwin too. The two non-white characters either died or betrayed the team. You would have thought they would have done something about that. Good point, ‘Speech.

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