If you haven't seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-3, or Inglorious Basterds, beware, spoilers ahoy.
I'm glad to see this movie in the "Good Movies" section of the forums. 'Cause, honestly, I didn't expect it to end up there. I had low expectations going into it, and was pleasantly surprised but what I came out with. I feel like it got off to a shaky start, with too many independent characters whose backstories needed to be established and whose individual threads needed to be tied in with one another, but I thought once they finally did that it was an EXTREMELY entertaining superhero flick. And I'm soooo glad they made it a Cold War period piece and tied the X-Men origin in with the whole Cuba fiasco. When I saw the first trailer way back whenever it came out, I got kind of giddy, remembering the original first X-Men story written by Stan Lee back in the day, which involved Magneto trying to attack the US with a nuclear missile. I thought, wow, that would make a great tie-in with the Cold War in the movie. Obviously, it wasn't going to be the same story, since Magneto's supposed to be one of the protagonists for at least the bulk of this outing, but I'm glad that what remained of that story managed to make it in. Plus, I just think the Cold War era is just such an interesting era and is perfectly complementary when teamed with a superhero aesthetic. I'd like to see more superhero "period pieces," frankly. This was nowhere near as good as Watchmen, but I liked that recent history period piece aspect that they both shared.
When I first came out of the movie, I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it. I knew I liked it, but how much? Well, I saw it on Monday, and I've been thinking about it on and off all week. I've picked up a lot of my old X-Men comics and I've been in an X-Men mood ever since. I think I can safely say I found X-Men: First Class to be a pretty damn good flick if it's got me this pumped. Honestly, the main reason I wasn't expecting much was because of the Wolverine movie, which I thought was just atrocious. X-3 I didn't actually mind though. I seem to be one of the few who actually liked it, and I'd rather watch X-3 than the first X-Men movie (I'd also rather watch First Class than ANY other X-Men movie, by the way). One of the things I dug about X-3 was its willingness to depart from the comic book mythos in BIG ways. I think, sometimes, when people are disappointed by a film departing too much from the source material, it's become it actually doesn't depart enough. You can either stay verrrrry close and come out with a classic (like with 300, Watchmen, or Sin City) or you can take a LOT of liberties and just do what you want and end up with something all its own that is, if nothing else, entertaining (like with Wanted and the X-Men movies). It's when a movie tries to stay close to the source material, but then takes enough liberties throughout for the sake of updating the material or making it less controversial or making it more sleek and film-friendly and "kewl" for mainstream audiences or convenient to fit into a 93-minute running time, I think that's when it has more potential to really rub fans of the source material the wrong way. Because if you just got off into left field and do your own thing, then the old fans will snort and complain, but they'll recognize "okay, this isn't even trying to replicate the original" and thus feel less like the movie is trying to "replace" what they love, and the people who don't come with baggage will just sit back and be able to enjoy the ride. Whereas if you TRY to stay close, but then make jarring, unpleasant changes, then it's close enough to the original to register with people as being a replication of the source material, but those changes are made all the more jarring by how faithful the rest of the movie, and I think that has more potential to turn people off and leave a bitter taste in their mouth.
At least, that's just what I think.
Anyway, one of the things I liked about X-3 was how it just completely did its own thing and said to hell with the comics for the most part. The fact that they KILLED Professor X in that movie, it might be heresy to some, but I thought it was awesome. I thought it was just as awesome as them killing Hitler in Inglorious Basterds. Both of those things took BALLS, if you ask me. And I respect that.
One of the things I really loved the most now about X-Men: First Class is the way it continued X-3's radical departure (okay, Wolverine did the same... it just didn't do it well... not even close) and completely reconfigured the X-Men story elements into a unique mythos all its own. Continuity diehards can argue that this is all just an alternate reality, if they want. Me? I don't care enough. Sure, the movie still had its flaws, and the continuity flaws WITHIN this already established source material-divergent mythos warrant recognition (for instance, White Queen's existence here in an earlier point in the timeline, being older than she was in Wolverine, is a bit of a snag, ...but I don't think they actually named the character in Wolverine as being Emma Frost, so I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt that that was just a whole 'nother mutant with an extremely similar power set... so THERE!).
Personally, I'm looking forward to a sequel.
And (WARNING: sort-of semi-spoiler, don't read this unless you've seen the movie, ya jerks!), to Rev. Powell, regarding Character A's failure to killer Character B at an early point in the movie... I had a problem with that too, especially when it was happening (I was like "WTF? Whack the goon, ya mook!"), but, after thinking about it later, and thinking about what I actually did see Character A do with his/her powers during that scene, implied that said character's powers were so undeveloped that he/she couldn't really control them in a manner enough to kill. You'll notice that rather than things moving as smoothly as they did later in Character A's life, many things didn't really move at all, just kind of rumbled or collapsed inward. I wager that the unlucky extras that DID die in the resulting mayhem were killed more by the poor luck of wearing what they wearing at the time (you'll notice Character B wasn't really wearing anything that would lend itself to putting him/her in the same predicament as the unlucky extras) than by Character A intentionally focusing his/her powers to do as such.
I tried to be as vague as possible here, but I'm sure anyone with an IQ above 12 will get what I'm saying. So if you didn't see the movie ya better not have read that. I warned ya! Ya jerks.