Tuesday, 31 May 2011

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class
Starring: Rose Byrne, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy
Director: Matthew Vaughn
20th Century Fox

In Cinemas from Wednesday 1st June
Review by Charlotte Barnes

X-Men: First Class charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

Before I even entered the cinema to watch this release I had this burning question: is this a reboot or a prequel? Is it going to be like the new James Bond or Batman series? Is it going to be radically different or is it going to be an extension of the first two movies and the Wolverine spin-off (I refuse to acknowledge the abomination of the third X-Men film as having anything to do with the franchise)? After two hours in the cinema I still could not tell you the answer to the question. There are a lot of call backs to the other films, such as the repeat of the sequence where Magneto discovers his powers for the first time or the cameo of Rebecca Romijn as an older Mystique. There were, however, too many discrepancies for it to be a prequel, such as the orgin of Magneto’s helmet, the invention of Cerebro, a new female version of Angel with butterfly wings (does not exist in the comics) and, last but not least, Michael Fassbender’s emulation of Sir Ian McKellen needs work, especially the accent.

As a standalone film, it is excellent. The casting is fantastic, the acting is outstanding and the special effects are brilliant. There was a fantastic variation in mutant powers, (some I was incredibly jealous of). The addition of Nicholas Hoult was a welcome surprise as he just keeps getting better and better (handsomer and handsomer). Finally, the combination of comics and Kevin Bacon (a lifelong crush of mine and on my “Allowed to Do” list if I ever meet him) made me nearly wet my knickers. You do not need to have seen these films or read the comics to understand what it is about, which makes this a very approachable film to watch. The problem is this is not a standalone film, it is too close to be ever seen as a re-boot but too far away to be considered a prequel.

This is the first time I have come across Michael Fassbender in a film and although I can see he is very talented, to be able to speak several languages with such prowess is commendable. All I have to say is Michael, choose an accent and stick with it, for god sakes. Magneto maybe a German with an English accent, but at no point should he slip from German, English and then into Irish within a sentence.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Fully action packed; some amazing mutant heavy fighting as well as your usual gun based murder.
Sex/Nudity: Some, nothing to write home about...the skirts were fairly short in this movie.
Swearing: None of note.
Summary: An interesting addition to the X-Men franchise, fantastic acting and brilliant special effects (I am really glad it was not made in 3D). However, you have to judge whether you feel it stands up as a reboot or prequel to the series. 7/10


Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale centres on the desperate struggle to defeat the evil Rezlus and his Zhentarim in their attempt to invade and conquer the Dalelands. Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale is an engaging multi-player experience that introduces a riveting narrative and treacherous new characters. Players are charged with the task of restoring order to Nentir Vale by unlocking the secrets of the Mines of Tethyamar, defeating the evil within the treacherous Tower of the Void, leading to the final confrontation with Rezlus himself.

Action-packed RPG gameplay allows for solo and co-op play for up to four players. Gamers use intuitive pick-up-and-play combat combined with a wide assortment of weapons, feats and powers to defeat a wide range of deadly enemies. Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale boasts an array of stunning levels and exploration opportunities set in the richly detailed environments

To celebrate the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale, our friends at Atari have given us two copies of the awesome Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft board game to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name to emotionally14@hotmail.co.uk before midday on Tuesday 7th June, making sure to put "Daggerdale" as the subject. The first two entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy of Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft!

The master of Ravenloft is having guests for dinner—and you are invited!

Evil lurks in the towers and dungeons of Castle Ravenloft, and only heroes of exceptional bravery can survive the horrors within. Designed for 1–5 players, this boardgame features multiple scenarios, challenging quests, and cooperative game play.

Castle Ravenloft includes the following components:
•40 plastic heroes and monsters
•13 sheets of interlocking cardstock dungeon tiles
•200 encounter and treasure cards
•Scenario book

Don't forget to put "Daggerdale" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale is available now on Xbox Live, and will appear on PC and PS3 this summer.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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