Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mutant and Proud

I've waited for this moment all year.  The wind in my hair, the sun in my eyes, the freedom in my breath.  SUMMER!  Also usually a season of horribly designed blockbusters, but we won't go there because summer started with the right bang this time around.  Unheard of, right?! A prequel to a pretty large franchise that actually had some artistic merit.  Those words spark for some interesting comments!  So, in order to start out the summer season, I saw X-Men: First Class.  With such an all star cast, how couldn't I?  Jennifer Lawrence, hot off the red Oscar carpet with Winter's Bone, Nicholas Hoult from Skins and last year's A Single Man, James McAvoy, January Jones, a fleet of other well-known actors: Kevin Bacon, Oliver Pratt (Please Give), Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids); an up-and-coming actor Lucas Till; and delightful cameos from Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romjin.  Only the worst of writers (see I Am Number Four, Pirates 2,3) could have ruined this film, and thankfully their fingerprints are clean.

It was very intriguing to have all of my X-Men prequel questions answered throughout the film, the main one being "How do Erik and Charles possibly become arch enemies?"  No doubt it was set up that way, to intrigue the audience until the last shot when the characters and story lines had been returned to their rightful owner.  It leads the audience on a whirlwind of conforming situations that seem to perfectly align with the previously shot X-Men films.  The film also brings together so many important values, highlighting the mutants in a society of almost entirely deadbeat and narrow-minded humans.  It is a world not too different than the one we live in today where minorities are in a constant game of tug-of-war with society.  First Class did a superb job with referencing the injustices in the world without getting political or cheesy; the subtle references were there for those who wanted to read into the film.  Subtle, yet frequent in dialogue, a few cuts that show homosocial depictions and a single African American allusion to slavery.  More obvious values and ideals include: Right vs. Wrong, Good vs. Evil, believing in yourself, never giving up hope, and having the strength and pride to be happy in your own skin.

I mentioned before 'artistic merit'.  With the right shots and a precise intuition, art can be created with bountiful grace through any medium.  I love myself a plate full of symbolism.  What also gets me crazy for movies is an impeccable eye for editing.  (Usually editing and symbolism go hand in hand.)  For example, in the final battle scene, and without spoiling any juicy details, a match cut is used with crosscutting in order to link Charles' pain with whom he is currently 'interacting'.  Yes, that was me clapping with a film critic's approval.  Aside from implicit art is the explicit. The beauty of the wilderness and on location shooting.  To keep the action-adventure genre alive, the X-Men traveled from New York to Argentina to D.C., Oxford, Russia and they even caught a breath in the freezing Arctic waters.
LOVE these two fine young actors: Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence.

"Between rage and serenity" is a place where beauty and the meaning of life rests.  In the palm of your hand lies your destiny.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ice, optional

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