20 June 2011

X-Men: First Class

I have to admit, I was pretty "meh" on the announcement of X-men: First Class.  After The Last Stand and Wolverine I just wasn't interested in the universe anymore.

And then they cast Michael Fassbender as Magneto.

I'm game.

Mediazombie (and her brother) and I hit up a matinee.  The movie is a lot of fun and a good way to re-boot the franchise.  The sixties period styling is nice as is the tie-in with the real-world Cuban Missle crisis (President Kenney's archival footage makes an appearance).  There's a montage sequence during "mutant training" that looks very mod with the boxes bringing in the scene in an out.

I thought Fassbender did an excellent job as Erik/Magneto.  His eyes are so expressive that even when he wears the helmet you can still see the emotion, he doesn't overdo it.  James McAvoy was also good as Charles/Professor X - he even got a few digs in about how the character is bald in the original.  Although it seemed a bit hammy at times, Kevin Bacon does make a nice villain, very slimy (didn't like his henchwoman January Jones much - looked nice but given very little to do).

It was a fun afternoon.

(Forgot to write down the previews, sorry).

01 June 2011

The Other Boleyn Girl (Eric Bana-style)

Just a short note:

I haven't read the Phillippa Gregory novel the movie is based on but I have read a good number of histories of the Tudors as well as Alison Weir's biographies and histories.  I am quite familiar with Henry VIII and his wives and mistresses.

I watched The Other Boleyn Girl because Eric Bana was cast as Henry....  He's a good actor but I was unimpressed that the famous red-haired king, whose younger daughter Elizabeth had the same red hair, was portrayed as having nearly black hair. 

According to historians, Mary Boleyn apparently made the rounds of the men at the French court (most also probably King Francis I) before returning home to marry Sir William Carey, already a well-known courtier (Henry VIII attended their wedding) and her first child was a girl, not a boy.  She was also banished from court for marrying a commoner after the death of her first husband and certainly did not kidnap her niece, Elizabeth, to keep the child from Henry.  So the image of Mary as a sweet, innocent, docile young woman who was forced by her nefarious uncle, Thomas Howard (who was probably up to no good in reality), to become the King's mistress to advance the family standing at Court is a complete fabrication.  In addition, ScarJo really didn't do it for me.

I did quite like Natalie Portman, though.  She even looked a bit like Anne with her dark hair.

Overall, I disliked the movie for its inaccuracies although it did have excellent costumes.