Summer movies: X-Men: First Class

Last weekend we saw X-Men:  First Class, the fifth in that franchise, which gives the origin tale.   I was surprised how good the thing was.  It’s certainly the best of the X-Men and it has to be one of the best of the comic books flicks.  There’s Batman:  The Dark Knight, the first Spider Man, the first Superman, and this one is in this company.   It’s kind of dark and disturbing, while still managing to be fun.  It has an alternative history version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought back fond memories, a plot that is both intriguing and character-driven plot, spectacular special effects that serve the story rather than just being time-killing fireworks, and Kevin Bacon!  Technically, the movie was well-done also, with ambitious camera work and skillful editing that added greatly to the dynamic feel of the film.  I’m realizing that it’s possible to take a conventional, even silly, genre and, if it’s done by a talented director, as Matthew Vaughn evidently is, the final work can be strangely satisfying.

So, a good summer movie!  The only other one we have seen so far is Thor, which was OK, but not this good.

What other summer movies would you recommend?  Is the new Pirates of the Caribbean any good?  How about Super 8?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://seeingbeauty.wordpress.com Noelle Garnier

    POTC “On Stranger Tides” lacked the charm, and on some levels, the wit of the first three films. Bloom and Knightley were a noticeable absence. The humor was remarkably un-memorable, the plot was confusing, and the ending(s) were baffling. But at the same time, Jack remains ever-charming (and rum-sodden), even if a bit misplaced amongst his castmates.

    The film I am eagerly awaiting at the moment is Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.” It looks like a thing of beauty.

  • http://seeingbeauty.wordpress.com Noelle Garnier

    POTC “On Stranger Tides” lacked the charm, and on some levels, the wit of the first three films. Bloom and Knightley were a noticeable absence. The humor was remarkably un-memorable, the plot was confusing, and the ending(s) were baffling. But at the same time, Jack remains ever-charming (and rum-sodden), even if a bit misplaced amongst his castmates.

    The film I am eagerly awaiting at the moment is Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.” It looks like a thing of beauty.

  • Michael Z.

    POC for the first time sees Jack challenged by a woman who you aren’t upset that he is romancing. (throughout the previous 3 I just wanted to shoot him every time he got near Elizabeth) It also has a very positive portrayal of a consistent Christian.

    Super 8 was fun and interesting, but had a weird, almost Deus-ex-machina ending. I came away with the feel that it was a good classic early ————–spoiler censored—————– genre movie that handled the challenges of friendship and family pretty well. :-)

  • Michael Z.

    POC for the first time sees Jack challenged by a woman who you aren’t upset that he is romancing. (throughout the previous 3 I just wanted to shoot him every time he got near Elizabeth) It also has a very positive portrayal of a consistent Christian.

    Super 8 was fun and interesting, but had a weird, almost Deus-ex-machina ending. I came away with the feel that it was a good classic early ————–spoiler censored—————– genre movie that handled the challenges of friendship and family pretty well. :-)

  • http://www.themundanemuse.blogspot.com/ Jeremy Larson
  • http://www.themundanemuse.blogspot.com/ Jeremy Larson
  • Tom Hering

    J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 is an homage to early Spielberg, so there’s nothing new about it. In this case, however, that’s a good thing, because Super 8 is all about “going home again” – for the writer/director, the two main characters, the alien creature, and the target audience.

    I suppose if you were around 9 or 10 years old when you first saw E.T. or Close Encounters, and are now in your 40s (the time of life when nostalgia kicks in), Super 8 will prove especially pleasing. But anyone, of any age, who wants to recapture the magic of seeing those early Spielbergs for the first time will be pleased. Abrams’ movie delivers on its promises – except for the creature, which oddly doesn’t make much of an impact. Regardless, the child actors are the focus of Super 8, and their performances are absolutely worth the ticket price.

    (Don’t leave before the end credits roll, or you’ll miss the main feature.)

  • Tom Hering

    J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 is an homage to early Spielberg, so there’s nothing new about it. In this case, however, that’s a good thing, because Super 8 is all about “going home again” – for the writer/director, the two main characters, the alien creature, and the target audience.

    I suppose if you were around 9 or 10 years old when you first saw E.T. or Close Encounters, and are now in your 40s (the time of life when nostalgia kicks in), Super 8 will prove especially pleasing. But anyone, of any age, who wants to recapture the magic of seeing those early Spielbergs for the first time will be pleased. Abrams’ movie delivers on its promises – except for the creature, which oddly doesn’t make much of an impact. Regardless, the child actors are the focus of Super 8, and their performances are absolutely worth the ticket price.

    (Don’t leave before the end credits roll, or you’ll miss the main feature.)

  • Rose

    POTC was a yawn.

  • Rose

    POTC was a yawn.

  • Joe

    Man, I am out of the loop. I had to google POTC.

  • Joe

    Man, I am out of the loop. I had to google POTC.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Sit on it, POTC!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Sit on it, POTC!”

  • DonS

    I think Cars 2 comes out next weekend, for the younger set as well as those who enjoy a good Pixar flick.

  • DonS

    I think Cars 2 comes out next weekend, for the younger set as well as those who enjoy a good Pixar flick.


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