Movie of the Day – X-Men
June 2, 2011 Leave a comment
As far as comic book movies go, there have been only 3 movies that I have lost sleep thinking about how amazing it will be to see them on the big screen. The Dark Knight and Watchmen fueled my general love of the genre and while I ended up getting in the mythos and novels later in my teens, I still remember my first comic book that I got into, X-Men. I remember it like it was yesterday, fascinated with the characters that comprised the X-Men, reading about their struggle against Magneto and The Brotherhood. Getting up every morning and watching the animated cartoon series and even going to the local comic book store with my dad and buying the collectible cards as if they were rookie baseball cards. Yes, I am a nerd and geek when it comes to comic books. I still have the collectible cards in their respective binders and sleeves and I still read comic books. So taking the love of X-Men and telling me that there was a live action movie in the works in 2001, I felt I reached Nirvana. That ethereal point in existence where all is good.
So 2000 rolls around and we are there opening day, and it was at that point when the credits rolled that I felt I have witnessed something amazing. Something unexplainable. HOLY SHIT WOLVERINE WITH THE CLAWS AND CYCLOPS PEW PEW AND MAGNETO FUCKING SHIT UP AND PROFESSOR X ROLLING HIS BADASS AROUND THE MANSION. Oh man was that awesome, until we jump to the third abortion of a movie, but I will talk about that later. So X-Men the movie, the singular comic book movie at the time and something that I found great joy in watching fueled my love of the upcoming wave of future comic book movies. So lets dive a little into the story and why this is the movie of the day.
I am going to keep the story line brief since I could easily write out the entire plot and dialogue in this post. So for the sake of my sanity and keeping things succinct here is an IMDB plot summary from one of the user contributions:
“In the near future, when children are being born with a special X-factor in their genes, giving them special powers and making them mutants, the seeds of a new Holocaust are being sown by Senator Robert Kelly. The situation brings into opposition the fellow mutants and former friends, Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto, and Professor Charles Xavier. While Xavier wants a peaceful means of stopping the hatred toward mutants, Magneto seeks to even things out with a machine that would speed up the mutation process in all humans, making everyone equal. To stop Magneto, Xavier brings together a special group of mutants called “X-Men” to stop him. In the meantime, two mysterious mutants emerge: Logan, a powerful and aggressive mutant with no past, no memories, and a young girl named Rogue. Their quests for identities eventually land them in the sights of Xavier and Magneto, but for what purpose?” Written by Justin Clark <LostFallenAngel@aol.com>
So while that was short and sweet, you can be assured that my plot summary would have essentially covered every nuance of the story. But my obsession is a labor of love for this movie as it gave me, a young high school freshman, an opportunity to see the characters I grew up reading about on the big screen and kicking ass. Once all was said and done, I felt this utter sense of excitement with the movie. Getting to see Wolverine unsheathe his claws for the first time and Cyclops using his optic blast in live action was thrilling. Bryan Singer took everything I love about the comic and brought it too life. The story was slow, for most people anyways, since this movie was more about setting up the world in which the X-Men exist. A new Holocaust is on the rise and while some mutants aim to co-exist with humans, you have some that want to prove they are the superior race. So it is forgivable that the movie drags in certain places, but if you read the comics, it is more about the back story of all the characters. What motivates them and what drives their passion in either destroying or helping humanity. Thankfully there are some action scenes that help propel the movie, but it is a story driven movie at heart.
I think the biggest impact that movie had on me was being able to see something I grew up with on a medium that I have a fascination with. Clearly since I have blog about movies, this is a natural marriage of entertainment mediums. Thankfully they got rid of the comic book costumes for a more practical (leather is practical I guess) look and they even poke fun at the yellow and blue spandex that makes an appearance in the comics.
This movie had everything I wanted to see. Perfect casting of Xavier, Magneto, Rogue and Wolverine. Getting to see wolverine kick ass and have him come to life on screen is one of the highlights of the movie. He is, by far, the single best character in the X-Men universe. Bryan Singer made my childhood love of X-Men into an incredible movie and one that I remember fondly every time I watch the movie.
I will more than likely talk about the second and third movie in the coming days. The third movie being the hardest to stomach in terms of where they took the story, but it still has some redeeming qualities. Hell I might even talk about the stand alone Wolverine movie, even with it’s flaws. For now, I am off to see the midnight showing of X-Men First Class. Peace Out!