Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gypsy Goth and Geekery

Hello, and welcome to the first geek installment of Geeky Goth Girl, with bonus outfit post! Today was really fun-I went to church with my mom, to lunch with my cousin, and then to see X-Men: First Class, which really was, pun intended, a first-class film-as I'll discuss in my review. Here's what I wore today for my fun day:
Black peasant blouse-Goodwill
Magenta corset-Canal Boat Trading
Multi-colored patchwork skirt-Mellow Yellow 
Copper ballet flats-Wal-Mart

Here's another pic, that shows the detail of the skirt-ths skirt is so awesome and fun to wear. It's actually a wrap skirt, I just tucked the ends of the ties up into my corset. This outfit is very Ren Faire, I know, but I personally love the Gypsy/medieval-ish feel of the whole thing-I love feeling like a handsome knight is going to come by at any minute and scoop me up on his horse! Speaking of handsome guys:


Oof! These two definitely aren't just pretty faces, but danged if the pretty doesn't help. I wasn't honestly too sure I would like X-Men: First Class for anything except the man-candy; unfortunately, the too-busy X-Men 3 and the beyond-awful X-Men: Origins: Wolverine (or however the hell that was punctuated), had significantly lowered my expectations for X-Men movies. When the combined hotness of Hugh Jackman, Lieve Schrieber, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, and Taylor Kitsch can't distract me from how bad a movie is...that's a bad movie. So I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the series at a return to the height of it's X2 form in Matthew Vaughn's expertly directed, tightly paced, and overall well-acted X-Men: First Class. Spoilers ahoy, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't read!

I must confess, I'm not the hugest X-Men fan in the world; I'm more of a DC girl than a Marvel girl when it comes to comics. With the exception of Joss Whedon's run on Amazing X-Men, I haven't really read many of the comics. Almost all of my non-movie knowledge comes from the animated series and X-Men: Evolution, both of which are excellent (in my opinion, better than some of the movies!), or TV Tropes, so I'm not nearly the stickler for canon in X-Men that I would be for, say, Birds of Prey or Nightwing. That said, I was still a little leery of this particular film-I didn't know if they'd be able to really justify having Mystique, who I always felt came off considerably younger than Charles and Erik, as growing up with them and being the same age, but they did! I'm not going to give a point-for-point recap (I'm not the Agony Booth!), but I will point out what I found to be most satisfying about the film:

*Besides bringing a buttload of hotness, the two leading men also gave really quite wonderful performances. Michael Fassbender actually does bear a striking resemblance to Sir Ian McKellan, but beyond that, he brings the same richness of character to Erik/Magneto as Sir Ian does. Throughout the film, he really shows us all the conflicts that inform Erik as a person-you understand his drive for vengeance, and you kind of want him to win, even as you feel he's going a little too far (or, towards the end, a lot too far.) It's a mark of a great performance, in my mind, that even though Magneto going evil is a foregone conclusion, you keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, he'll stay good. James McAvoy is no slouch either-though the physical resemblance between him and my old-man crush for the ages, Patrick Stewart, is minimal, he has the attitude down pat-a great combination of near-Shakespearean gravitas, combined with a twinkle of wry humor. His Charles Xavier is a slightly arrogant but ultimately idealistic young man poised on the edge of greatness-and a man struggling to save a friend from the abyss. In both roles, McAvoy delivers beautifully

*Jennifer Lawrence as young Mystique-I thought she was great in Winter's Bone, and she certainly doesn't disappoint as Raven/Mystique-she's sweet, vulnerable, and conflicted, and I just loved her. I haven't yet read Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games books, but I want to now because Jennifer Lawrence is going to be in the movies-and from what I've heard about the heroine of those books, I think Lawrence is going to give one heck of a performance.

*Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast. He's always been my 3rd favorite X-Men character, after Rogue and Gambit, and I loved this particular portrayal of him as a kind, brilliant boy who desperately wants to be normal. I never really cared for Nicholas Hoult's character Tony on Skins (I just can't go for assholes, no matter how cute they are), but I loooved him in this role and found him to be completely adorkable in it.

* Short but clever cameos from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Rebecca Romjin as older Mystique. 

*Two really good jokes about going bald from Charles.

Overall, this movie was just fantastic. I've gushed about the acting here, but the direction, design, and editing are all pretty damn amazing too. There's one particularly spectacular bit of editing, in the "training montage" when the good guys are getting ready to fight the bad guys, and they use shifting comic-panel-style lines to transition between segments. I traditionally don't care for training montages, finding they tend to be goofy and over-the-top with strong callbacks to bad '80s sports movies, but this one was really well-done. It was very well-written, and did a good job of fleshing out the characters and driving the plot forward in a very small amount of time-compression storytelling at its finest. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it; and if you have, what did you think? 

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