James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne
Canadian rating: PG
Dear Cuban Missile Crisis:
It has come to my attention that you are boring. Get yourself together and come see me when you have a real problem.
I really don’t want to be hard on you, but lately you’ve just been slacking off, so I have no choice but to be honest about this. You’re not doing your part to help out with the kids anymore. I know that being a part of history, you can’t really change, or do anything different, but dude, we’re in 2011. And the new generation expects more now from our historical events.
I watched “13 Days” on a plane once, but I was too cheap to buy the earphones.
I was like heck, this movie is just a bunch of guys walking around in suits.
Ok, just between you and me, and if you tell anyone, I’ll KICK YOUR FACE, but I loved “13 Days” when I watched it in history class a few years later. I saw how beautiful you were…on the inside…and well, I fell in love. I saw that you were that lonely event at the party, hanging out in the corner, checking out what books the host had on his bookshelf. I could tell you were a little nerdy, but also really sweet.
People look at you a little differently because you didn’t kill anyone. But I love that about you. You have such a peaceful nature. I hope that never changes.
I like you. Just the way you are.
Unfortunately, not everyone does. But that might be because they don’t understand you.
For instance, some aspects of your personality need to be explained to people. After seeing X-Men: First Class, I imagined that it would go like this:
If the States were to put nuclear weapons in Turkey during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that may have started a nuclear war.
If the United States had decided to store….NUCLEAR MISSILES….in Turkey, then that may have started World War III.
Ok, let me dumb it down a shade. IF. (are you following me so far?)
OK. IF. THE UNITED STATES.
WERE TO KEEP NUCLEAR MISSILES…
TURKEY. IT’S NEAR RUSSIA. IF THEY PUT MISSILES IN TURKEY IT WOULD BE LIKE RUSSIA WAS AT GUNPOINT.
oh ok. wait. what?
WELL BECAUSE RUSSIA HAD MISSILES IN CUBA.
WHICH IS CLOSE TO THE STATES.
SO THE STATES WAS AT GUNPOINT AS WELL.
I don’t get it.
THEY WERE ON THE BRINK OF WAR.
oh I get it! because of the Cuban cigars.
So I’m not trying to say that people are stupid and they don’t get you, Cuban Missile Crisis. I believe anyone is teachable. But Hollywood is not so idealistic. They don’t want to bother explaining anything, so instead they make up a bunch of stuff about mutants. Oh yeah, and explain the Turkey thing 12 times, with bigger and bigger maps per time.
There are 3 aspects of X-Men: First Class that I didn’t appreciate.
1) Lack of caring about the outcome.
2) Forgetting to make it look like the 60’s
3) Kevin Bacon
1) LACK OF CARING ABOUT THE OUTCOME
One thing I really appreciate in action movies is tension. When I’m watching Taken, I’m thinking, holy heck, is he going to save his daughter from rapists?
When I’m watching Dark Knight, I’m thinking, damn, is he going to cut her mouth?
When I’m watching Fight Club, I’m thinking, frag, is he ever going to get his brain together without turning everyone he knows into a terrorist and alienating the woman he loves?
When I’m watching X-Men: First Class, am I thinking, oh no! Is World War III going to actually happen?
NO, I AM NOT. BECAUSE THERE IS NO WORLD WAR III. WE KNOW THAT ALREADY.
During all the last action sequences, I was completely relaxed because nothing was at risk. I really feel that something you care about should be on the line for these scenes to have any meaning.
Now, if they had pulled a JJ Abrams, and did start WWIII in the 60’s, creating a new alternate reality, I would have been cool with that. Because you would have been relaxed, thinking, of course WWIII isn’t going to start. Then BAM. What? But that’s…not possible! No, that’s not how it happens! Ah, I’m…uncomfortable with this new set of circumstances!
Just like when Vulcan was destroyed in Star Trek!
On a serious note, I was far more tense and worried watching 13 Days, a more accurate depiction of what happened in your time, then watching X-Men: First Class. Often times, the truth can be more interesting, scary and emotionally jarring than fiction. And I really don’t think your story can be beat.
FORGETTING TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THE 60’s
It happened to me once in the movie where I thought, “wait, remind me again why the Russians are a big deal again? OH RIGHT, this is the 60’s. Silly me.”
And it happened briefly again when I thought, “hey, why didn’t they give Rose Byrne the most up-to-date haircut? OH RIGHT, this is 60’s. Silly me.”
But I think instead of shooting for the 60’s, they only went as far back as Drew Barrymore from Duplex.
But most of the haircuts in this movie weren’t even trying. Here are a couple examples and what they should have looked like:
I’m not saying the hair should have been outrageous. Admittedly, it is hard to look at. But when a period piece is done correctly, you get so engrossed in the movie, you don’t even realize they look different anymore.
I feel like this movie was doing this opposite. It was pushing me away, trying not to let me get too close, like it had commitment issues.
3) KEVIN BACON
Kevin did a great job playing Sebastian Shaw at the beginning. The first scene where he tries to anger Baby Magneto to make him use his powers, loved it. I thought, now here is a good villain. But then as soon as that scene was over, I feel like Kevin went from being a good, scary villain, to just some douche that I don’t want to invite to my parties.
Sometimes the guilt from leaving him out all the time makes me feel like I should hang out with him once in awhile. But even then, I usually regret it.
But Kevin does not pass the Darth Vader test because Hollywood did the ol’ “why-don’t-we-just-show-him-shooting-a-lot-of-people” technique.
I am soooo tired of villains who say, “oh you don’t like my opinion on something? kablamo!” “oh you’re not gonna do what I want? bam!” “oh you don’t love me because I’m a horrible person? BAM”
Because villains aren’t babies. Villains have class and style and should be able to manipulate, pull strings and threaten. They can do more than just kablamo.
In a perfect world, eh Cuban Missile Crisis?
Anyway, thanks for listening. I’ve had a rough day, and I’m so glad I can just relax with you and have a beer. You always support me through these tough times, even when you’re the one who needs the comforting!
So how have you been? Started any nuclear wars today? Yes? Wait, WHAT!?