Tag Archives: Kevin Bacon

X-Men: First Class (2011) Review

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X-Men First Class

Time: 132 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr/Magneto
Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme/Mystique
January Jones as Emma Frost
Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast
Oliver Platt as Man In Black Suit
Kevin Bacon as Dr. Klaus Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw
Director: Matthew Vaughn

In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a fellow mutant named Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Despite their vastly different backgrounds — Charles grew up with a wealthy family, while Erik lost his parents at Auschwitz — the two become close friends. As the world teeters on the brink of a nuclear war, Charles and Erik with other mutants join forces to save humanity. However, a situation soon tears the friends apart.

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Superhero prequels are often doomed to fail, which is why some people were a little sceptical of this movie actually being good. The fact that it had an entirely new cast and look (not to mention that it came after X Men 3 and X Men Origins Wolverine which were the lowest points of the series), didn’t help. However with Matthew Vaughn as director, he actually ended up creating one of the best X Men movies. The talented cast (many of which played already established characters) did a fantastic job and the story ties into the X Men franchise very well.

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One problem I had with the original X Men trilogy is the lack of proper characterisation, aside from a few characters like Wolverine and Rogue, there were many characters that weren’t that developed. First Class was the first X Men film that fixed that issue, sure there are characters that don’t get fully explored but most of the main characters are established well, and that’s a huge step forward when compared to the previous movies. There definitely are some inconsistencies with the plot when compared to some of the other movies (such as with the flashback in X Men 3) but I was able to overlook that.

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The casting was excellent. James McAvoy as Xavier and Michael Fassbender as Magneto are really in the forefront of the movie and they are terrific. You can really buy their friendship and you can tell how this would carry over into the original trilogy. Jennifer Lawrence was also great as Mystique, I know a lot of people prefer Rebecca Romjin’s Mystique but while she looked the part she wasn’t given any depth whatsoever. Lawrence gets to actually explore the character, and she did a great job. Kevin Bacon actually was good as the main villain, the way his character tied into Magneto’s past was so great. The only casting I had a little bit of a problem with was January Jones as Emma Frost, she didn’t feel very believable and felt a little fake. That was the only miscast of the movie, everyone else was great.

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The action scenes are great (no surprise there) but something felt different, Vaughn’s directed action scenes added something special. This film had some very memorable moments, the last act features many mutant battles and it is glorious to watch. The soundtrack by Henry Jackman was also really good, it feels big, grand and epic.

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X Men First Class was a lot better than what we initially thought it would be. With a very talented cast, a pretty good story and Matthew Vaughn’s direction, this movie was a solid entry in the X Men franchise. I honestly think that it’s better than any of the original trilogy, though not quite better than X-Men Days of Future Past, which I’ll review soon. I’ll just say this though, people claim that it’s X-Men Days of Future Past which brought the X-Men franchise back for good but for me it was First Class that achieved that.

Friday the 13th (1980) Review

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Friday the 13th

Time: 95 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence
Cast:
Adrienne King as Alice Hardy
Harry Crosby as Bill
Laurie Bartram as Brenda
Jeannine Taylor as Marcie Cunningham
Kevin Bacon as Jack Burrel
Mark Nelson as Ned Rubinstein
Robbi Morgan as Annie
Betsy Palmer as Mrs Voorhees
Director: Sean S. Cunningham

In 1957, at Camp Crystal Lake, a young boy named Jason Voorhees drowned. In 1958, two camp counsellors were murdered and in 1962, fires and bad water thwarted the camp’s reopening. Now, in 1979, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) finally reopens Camp Crystal Lake with the help of a few new counsellors. Ignoring the warnings from a crazy old man, the murders start once again while a mysterious stalker prowls the area.

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I don’t watch horror movies as much as others, but I enjoy them most of the time when I watch them. I was curious to check out Friday the 13th, The Friday the 13th movies have been called horror classics, with its creative death scenes and its iconic killer Jason Voorhees. This is just me but after seeing the very first instalment to the franchise, I don’t see how this movie is that good. Granted I thought the movie is okay, it didn’t have my interest the whole way through but there are aspects of the movie that are good. I just don’t think it should be put up with all the horror classics like Halloween.

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The story is fairly basic, there is a killer going around killing people. Nothing really that special. The weakest aspect of this movie is that it isn’t interesting. In most horror movies, most people don’t usually pay attention to the story but I didn’t really care about what was going on. With other slasher movies like Halloween I actually cared about what was going on but not here. Even without caring about the story I didn’t feel interested, except when the killer is involved. There are also quite a bit of moments that I felt could’ve been cut out, it just seemed like padding to make the movie longer. None of the characters are interesting or stand out, so whenever they were getting killed off I never really felt anything, although the scenes themselves were really well done. I will give credit that there is a twist near the end, I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know about it yet.

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The acting wasn’t anything special and no one stood out. None of the characters interested me or stood out either because the characters weren’t really written that well which didn’t help. There was a performance from Betsy Palmer which I thought was good but still, don’t go to this movie for the acting. Most people don’t go to this kind of movie for the acting but it is just worth noting that the acting is not the best.

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The movie’s budget was $550,000 but the filmmakers made well with what they had. Most of the camera shots were okay but the camerawork really shines when it at times takes the first person perspective of the killer. I also liked the soundtrack, even though I was never really scared throughout this movie, the soundtrack does have this creeping vibe throughout. I think that one of the most known things about Friday the 13th are the death scenes. They are pretty creative, at least for its time. I give props to those who did the makeup, it was done very well.

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Friday the 13th isn’t in my opinion a horror classic but I still think it’s okay. The twist was well done, Betsy Palmer’s performance was pretty good, the cinematography was pretty good and the death scenes are pretty creative. If you are a diehard horror fan, I recommend you see this movie. Don’t however expect another Halloween, this doesn’t really have the suspense that the franchise has. I haven’t seen any of the other movies but I can gather the Friday the 13th movies are entertainment. I haven’t seen the other movies but this movie was good enough that I’m open to check them out.

JFK (1991)

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JFK

Time: 189 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Offensive Language
Cast:
Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison
Kevin Bacon as Willie O’Keefe
Tommy Lee Jones as Clay Shaw
Joe Pesci as David Ferrie
Laurie Metcalf as Susie Cox
Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald
Michael Rooker as Bill Broussard
Jay O. Sanders as Lou Ivon
Sissy Spacek as Liz Garrison
Director: Oliver Stone

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) investigates the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22 1963 in Dallas, Texas. After looking deep enough, he suspects that there may be more to the story than the public is being told.

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The assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the biggest events in history and one of the most debated topics, especially when it came to conspiracy theories. I honestly didn’t know that much about the assassination before watching this film but after watching this movie it made me want to learn more about it. One of the things that makes JFK even better is the fact that these ‘characters’ are actually real people investigating what happened. The film isn’t just a documentary about possible scenarios of the president’s assassination; it follows Jim Garrison’s investigation. Whatever your thoughts on what happened with the assassination of John F. Kennedy are, this film is still worth a watch.

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It was fascinating watching these real life people investigate the mystery as they try to piece everything together. If there is one thing you should know about JFK before watching it, it’s that it gets more interesting over time. It first builds up the events before the investigation and during those moments, viewers may feel a bit bored, however it is well worth the wait. This movie is also long – at about 3 hours and 10 minutes. The film also has a lot of details; there may be too much information to process at once; so viewers should keep that in mind before viewing it. People will definitely remember some facts more than others. My favourite part of the movie is the final act; it summarises every theory and discovery Garrison has found over the course of his investigation. I won’t spoil any of the scenes that happen in this movie because if you are like me – someone who didn’t know that much about the assassination, you will find all the scenes to be a great surprise.

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The acting is top notch from everyone. The cast ranges from Kevin Costner to Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman. All the actors in this movie are playing real life people and they definitely manage to feel like them. It may be easy to miss the acting while paying attention to the investigation but it still is really good and they should be applauded for their performances.

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One of the most distinctive and defining things about this movie is the cinematography and the editing. When people make predictions or discover something that happened, it flashes back to the past and is cut in such a way that makes it feel like a documentary. Also, the film sometimes blends archive footage with new scenes with a 60s older look. A good example of great use of it again, is at the end. In the end, the film blends the real life moments recorded on camera in the 60s (such as Kennedy’s assassination) with the possible unseen (filmed for the movie). The soundtrack by John Williams is also great, as all his compositions usually are.

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This movie should be seen, even just for learning about Jim Garrison’s search for the truth. I won’t mention what the scenario of the assassination is true; those are left up to the viewer. JFK can really get people talking about what they thought really happened, and can give people a different perspective on certain events in history. As someone who isn’t usually that interested or into conspiracy theories, I loved this movie and I recommend it to everyone. It is one of Oliver Stone’s best films.