Movie Reviews: X-Men First Class and Super 8
First of all, I saw both of these as an in-flight movie and not on the big screen, so I guess any CGI or SFX that was made to have them look cool in the theater was probably lost in translation. I'll mainly be commenting on the other aspects of the movies than how they look...
X-Men was great, just like everyone said it was. The pacing was fast paced, the plot carried you along with every tide, the fact that you knew who was going to end up on which side didn't detract from the suspense of how things are going to get there.
The plot was... ok, it was pretty standard comic book. Let's not talk too much of plausibility of the bad guys' plan. There are also some other visible plot holes, but they don't detract too much from the movie. The more important plotline of Xavier finding young mutants in need and becoming a mentor to them was nicely done.
The characterization was...wow. They did an awesome job with the two stars – Xavier and Magneto (nobody cares about the villain). I especially like that they managed to give Xavier some depth instead of cardboard xerox of MLK Jr., let him have some flaws that make so much sense on him, and yet still make him the goody two-shoes guy. Magneto was more uneven if looked at overall, but he certainly had quite a few moments that really made the guy shine.
Most of all, there was chemistry between the two of them that just sizzled, arguably even better than frickin' Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen playing off each other in the previous movies. I can certain see where all the slash fics are coming from, because there are so many emotionally heavy scenes between the two of them that just make you go "Oh my god they are so totally doing it behind everyone's back."
The rest of the cast is good too (except the dragonfly-girl which made me go "bwah?"). Mystique is great. Banshee is great. Havok is great (though I wonder how they're going to tie him into continuity with Cyclops). The villains were...not that great, but nobody really cared about them.
Three thumbs up for X-Men First Class.
Next, we have Super 8, which unfortunately did not live up to the hype. I was expecting horror. I was expecting sci-fi. I was expecting more than just 3 frickin' scenes with the alien that the plot is supposed to be centered on.
Instead, we got barely pubescent teen drama, with all the you like her, I like her, she likes you, our parents don't want us to talk to each other... GAH. If I wanted a relationship chick flick I wouldn't be going to something billed as sci-fi/horror!! Who the hell wants to see barely-teen soap operatics in their sci fi?!
Aside from the kids who are pretty much living out of Lady Luck's pocket, everyone else... sucked. The deputy guy who was Romeo's (can't remember the kid's name) dad--nothing made me care about this guy thoughout his angst and dysfunctional relationship with his son and the later turnaround; whatever. I barely got what the hell was going on with the other guy that was Juliet's dad (I can't remember her actual name either). The other kids in support roles were annoying and utterly transparent in their roles for the movie. The alien, as mentioned before, was largely absent. The military – bleh, so annoyingly one dimensional it makes me long to rewatch Stargate instead. And everyone else was pretty much cardboard/fodder.
FYI: Horror is not randomly killing people out of the blue. That's just playing people for the shock value. It is not horror if we don't evey care about 100% of the people killed.
Worst of all, the climax was an utter anti-climax, and then it just skips to the end credits. W. T. F. Who wrote this crap?