Friday, July 15, 2011

Castelar at the Movies: Green Lantern & X-Men First Class

The Green Lantern

(taken from Life & Play)
During the course of the year, there have been two great comic book films, Thor and X-Men: First Class, which gave moviegoers a thrilling ride. It was worth the wait. Unfortunately, the latest comic book film adaptation of the beloved comic book character Green Lantern is not an enjoyable experience. This film is marred with some horrible dialogue and simplistic jokes that are more annoying than funny. Furthermore, this film contains some of the worst special effects I,ve seen in a superhero film as many of the characters look fake and it is a shame that so much money was spent on this movie.

Ryan Reynolds portrays Hal Jordan, who is a cocky bold pilot who is struggling with his inner demons as he lost his father in a tragic accident. However, Reynolds performance in this film is not an admirable one. At first, I thought he could pull it off after seeing him in the film "Buried" where he created a sympathetic character moviegoers care about. However in this movie, he doesn’t have the necessary charisma to portray Hal Jordan. Fortunately, both Blake Lively and Mark Strong give good performances. Lively portrays Carol Ferris, Hal’s boss and love interest while Strong portrays Sinestro,  one of the leaders of the Green Lanterns. The rest of the characters are not interesting enough to warrant your attention. If you want my advice skip this film at the theater and rent it once it arrives on video.

X-Men: First Class 

This film depicts the origins of some of the most famous heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. The film starts off by showing us the events that shaped the lives of two different men who would become two of the most powerful mutants that ever lived. These two mutants are Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr who are polar opposites of each other, but they have a mutual respect for one another.

 First of all, we have Charles Xavier portrayed by James McAvoy who possesses a calm and collected demeanor which he uses to help others like him. Xavier wants to show to the rest of the mutant population that mutants and humans can coexist in a peaceful manner. On the other hand, Eric is a mutant who seeks to avenge someone who was very close to him. His humanity and his compassion were crippled by the suffering which he endured for many years as his heart is guided by bitterness and hatred. Michael Fassbender portrays Eric with a sadistic demeanor and every time that he appears in the film. He is a force to be reckoned with; he has a sadistic edge and a natural charisma that few actors have. In other words, this character is a vindictive maelstrom of destruction whose wrath consumes everyone that gets in his way.

Both of these men share a common enemy and his name is Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is a malicious mutant who wants to eliminate the human race so that mutants can take over the world. In this film, Shaw is portrayed marvelously by Kevin Bacon. Bacon creates a malevolent villain who is dangerous and charming at the same time. This man has gathered some of the most dangerous mutants to serve as his personal band of destruction such as Azazel, Riptide and Emma Frost. Frost is a very powerful telepath who protects Shaw from any harm that might come to him. All of these mutants unite to eradicate those people who may reject them. Eventually, the government finds out about Shaw's plans while learning that mutants really exist and they decide to find someone who can neutralize this dangerous threat. Overall, Shaw, Xavier and Eric are natural born leaders, but they have different ideologies on what mutants should do and how to face the human population.

While most humans either fear or hate the possible threat of the mutant population, there's one human being who befriends Xavier and his team. Moira MacTaggert is a smart, strong and sexy CIA agent who believes the mutant population should be seen as allies instead of enemies. Rose Byrne gives Moira the necessary attributers to create a believable character who fights for what's right. This woman joins Xavier and his team in order to stop Shaw and to prevent a war that will cause an infinite amount of damage. Unlike most humans, Moira decides to embrace reasoning over ignorance in order to work together with the young team of mutants who are willing to help the government. This film has many spectacular special effects along with some astounding action sequences that are a joy to watch. Furthermore, there is a special cameo in this movie which is truly surprising. One of the best parts of this film is the ending because it shows how one character embraces the darkness that dwells in his soul and what he is willing to do to fight for what he believes in.

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