'X-Men: First Class'
(James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (2011 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Witness the beginning of the X-Men Universe. Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their superhuman powers for the first time, working together in a desperate attempt to stop the Hellfire Club and a global nuclear war.
DVD Verdict: Overall, I've enjoyed all the X-Men movies, truth be told. Doesn't matter who's directed what. That's not to say that every one has been the best comic book movie ever but, for the most part, I've enjoyed them.
X-Men: First Class was a pleasant surprise to me in that it tells how the X-Men came to be. While the acting was pretty good and the CGI scenes were top-notch, something about this installment felt weak to me. It could've been the fact the story was set during the Cold War era or the fact that all the characters(save for Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Mystique and Beast) were new to me, moviewise. At any rate, it just felt that way with me.
I love this youger Xavier and the fact that his youthful flaws are fully on display. Charles is caught up in himself as most people are in their youth. He is proud and confident young man, and he's ceratinly not the selfless person that we saw in the X-Men trilogy. I love the fact that the writers were smart enough to convey these elements and show a young man in need of growth. They easily could've made him a "mini me" version of Patrick Stewart's Xavier. Instead they went much deeper and the result is much more interesting.
Charles' relationship with Raven/Mystique is facinating especially when you compare both character to what they will become later. She's an assistant to him and he cares for her, but his ego causes unintended consequences. At times, Charles gives off a condescending, big-brother attitude and that fits so well to the growth the character needs to undertake. You see it in the way he treats the others. In the trilogy, he's exorcised that from his personality. Here, his ego is on a par with Magneto and that makes for an interesting dynamic.
Would I consider it to be 2011's Summer Blockbuster? No. For what it is, X-Men: First Class is a competent comic-book movie that will provide plenty of entertainment to those who watch it, and provide enough for X-Men fans to appease. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Children of the Atom