--Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy
I went to see X-Men: First Class not too long ago and absolutely loved this movie. I had never seen any of the other X-Men movies and this was a prequel to the others, so it worked for me. Why did I decide to see this one? Because of Michael Fassbender. And James McAvoy. How could I go wrong? I didn’t!!
Anyway, the movie was much better than I had expected. Apparently, there are two teams of X-Men (and women: January Jones, Zoe Kravitz) and this movie shows how the teams were formed. Also, one of the young actors grew up in the Dallas area. I didn’t know that until after the movie. He is Caleb Landry Jones. I recommend this movie because of its ensemble cast, story, and action! There are so many great cast members I did not mention (Kevin Bacon). Once again, for a superb review, go HERE to Kristen at I Think, Therefore I Review's in-depth dissection of the movie.
--Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard in Midnight in Paris
Before seeing X-Men, I also viewed Midnight in Paris and Beginners. Of these two movies, Beginners was by far the better movie. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was really like two movies: one a silly Lifetime television movie and the other a really beautiful look back at Paris in the 1920’s (cinematography, costumes, etc.). Marion Cotillard was outstanding as the girl from the 1920’s that Owen Wilson’s character meets at a party after the Fitzgeralds (as in F. Scott and Zelda) pick him up on the street at midnight one night. He keeps going back to that same spot every night at midnight to meet up with the writers and artists of the Lost Generation. Of course, I was most interested to see how Hemingway was portrayed. This Hemingway was very, very handsome and bohemian, but wasn’t nearly as disheveled and boisterous as I pictured him. But it was the manner that this Hemingway spoke that I didn’t appreciate, as if he was reading his own prose and using all his writing clichés. And there was no mention of his first and/or second wives and son, which figured prominently in this part of his life. Also, the Fitzgerald was too concerned about everyone else (Ernest, Zelda) to really be Scott (not enough self-doubt). The actress that portrayed Zelda was spot on. I didn't think Kathy Bates was that good as Gertrude Stein, but really only in her appearance. The Picasso was superb and so were the Dali and Man Ray. There were so many so quickly it was hard to remember them all. I have enjoyed Owen Wilson’s movies since Bottle Rocket, and I liked his character here. However, the modern day scenes in this movie were just not that enchanting. Wilson’s character’s fiancée was bitchy and spoiled, her parents were snotty, and these characters were flat and had no appreciation of the magical Paris, only of the high-dollar shops and restaurants. Maybe that is what Woody Allen intended, but I felt I was watching a not very good TV movie during these scenes. I would see this movie again just for the opening scenes of Paris and for the 1920’s vignettes.
Beginners was definitely the best movie out of the three that I have recently seen. Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Mélanie Laurent were superb. The film was written and directed by Californian Mike Mills. Plummer plays an older gentleman who was married a very, very long time, but after his wife dies, he comes out of the closet. After he meets and lives with a younger man, he finds out he has cancer. His only child, Oliver, is played by McGregor and Laurent plays Oliver's new girlfriend. The film is shown in flashback from Oliver's point of view, and parts seem to be like a documentary. Beginners is about risk and (and in) relationships. I highly recommend this movie before the others. Ewan McGregor is such an intriguing actor. His performances are always superb. Oh, there's also a cute dog in the film.
--Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in Beginners