|X-Men: First Class movie poster, property of Twentieth Century Fox.|
Jane Eyre movie poster, property of Focus Features.
So I stayed after work today to watch the new X-Men movie and I was surprised to see Michael Fassbender was in it. Somehow I hadn’t noticed it was him in the previews. And since I never got around to reviewing Jane Eyre—which he’s also in—I thought I would review them both together!
X-Men: First Class ADMIRABLE
It’s about time somebody breathed some new life into the X-Men franchise! Anybody remember that horrible X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie? Thankfully X-Men: First Class was ten times better and very enjoyable to watch.
The film is the back story of enemies Magneto and Xavier, who were once good friends. They are played respectively by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, who both infuse the movie with a lot of humanity and depth. Their relationship is at the center of the film, and watching Magneto slowly turn over to “the dark side” so to speak is fascinating to watch. I honestly don’t think I would have liked this movie as much as I did if these two hadn’t been cast. Seriously, Fassbender and McAvoy are terrific actors.
As far as the plot goes, Xavier brings together a group of young mutants and starts his academy where he teaches them to embrace their unique gifts and channel them into something useful. These students include Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till), and Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones) amongst others. Together they must defeat Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and his minions Azazel (Jason Flemyng) and Emma Frost (January Jones). Set in the early 60’s, Shaw’s plan is to pit the Soviets against the Americans resulting in a nuclear war. From the rubble, the mutants will rise up and form their own nation. I bet you didn’t know The Cuban Missle Crisis was linked to mutants did you?
Jane Eyre AWESOME!
I wasn’t a huge fan of last year’s Alice in Wonderland, but I have to thank Tim Burton for bringing to light Mia Wasikowska. She was very good in The Kids Are All Right and boy was she spectacular in Jane Eyre. She is quite the breakthrough talent.
The story is of a plain, poor girl named Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) who was raised by a cruel aunt who sent her to an awful boarding school. Once grown, she is hired by Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender) to be the governess of his young French ward. In a big dark house full of secrets, ghosts, and unspoken sexual tension she finds herself falling in love with Rochester, which seems only to lead to more heartache and grief. Wasikowska and Fassbender have some very powerful scenes together, and both characters grow and mature by the film’s end. I was completely engrossed in this story from the beginning, and it’s largely to do with Wasikowska’s controlled intensity in her role.
The film by director Cary Fukunaga is far from the first movie adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë gothic novel, but he paints it with such a clear visual style that’s so mysterious and brooding when it’s not utterly beautiful. The cinematography and sheer artistry of the film is what I found to be most striking, even with the astonishingly talented cast including Judi Dench and Jamie Bell.
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