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Posts Tagged ‘michael fassbender’

Update (9/28/11): September and October DVD releases offer a plethora of film goodness between X-Men, Thor, Tree of Life, and Captain America. Be sure to read my full reviews of each. Remember: don’t simply veg out but watch to be stirred to worship the One whose story is the only one that ultimately matters.

X-Men: First Class (September 9)

X-Men-First-Class-Quad-Poster

Apart from Tree of Life, this was easily my favorite movie of the summer. James McAvoy is tremendous as Charles and Michael Fassbender plays a very good Erik. This movie works because of those two and the man that Charles is and becomes. Read the rest of my thoughts here. This was definitely the X-Men movie I’ve thought this series could be. It’s not a perfect movie but the character of Charles is worth the watch.

Thor (September 13)

MANHATTAN

Cheesy at times and predictable, this movie actually works because of the charisma and humor of Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and the genuineness of Tim Hiddleston as Loki. By the way, while writing this I just realized that Hemsworth also played Captain Kirk’s dad in that powerful scene at the beginning of the latest Star Trek. Read more of my thoughts on Loki here.

Update (9/17/11)

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon (September 30)

This film was a complete waste other than the incredible special effects. The slow motion transformation sequences, the destruction of the skyscraper, and the battle sequences were phenomenal. That’s about all the good I can say. The flaws are comical. Megatron gets seduced by the token girlfriend. The Decepticons lay siege to Chicago and lock down the city. Then they somehow forget what cars the Autobots are, who very easily sneak into the city. The film attempts to make the humans more important and is laughable. You can only threaten to destroy the whole world so many times and be taken seriously. Would we really believe that the Autobots would leave? That Bumblebee would die? Also, if less than 10 or so Autobots can take on over 200 Decepticons, how did they lose the battle of Cybertron? Seriously, Optimus Prime probably waxes 50 Decepticons by himself! On top of all that comedy, the movie is absurdly long.

Update (8/31/11)

Tree of Life (October 11)

This is without question my favorite movie of the summer and 2011 [update: Warrior beats it out slightly…], for that matter. It’s such a profound movie experience that you have to just immerse yourself in and then engage with the world and imagery Terrence Malick presents. Grace versus the Law. Our deeply flawed sinful nature. Our loneliness. Eternity. Beauty. Many people have hated this film because it’s so different and non-escapist but I hope this type of film is the direction of movies, it’s a work of art that will move you if you let it. You can check out more of my thoughts here: the experience and sin & family.

Update (9/28/11)

Captain America: The First Avenger (October 25)

captain-america-movie-bucky

This movie was better than I expected, especially the first half of the film. The set up to the transformation and then to the initial battle is simply fantastic. I love how Steve Rogers emulates Jonathan of 1Samuel in his humility and friendship. Read my original thoughts here: Captain America: Steve Rogers is the Jonathan of the OT

A few other intriguing movies coming out:

Hanna (September 6): The dangers of homeschool? Training children to be assassins!

Fast Five (October 5): The dangers of 1000 foot cliff diving? None!

Update (9/28/11)

Winnie the Pooh (October 25): The dangers of honey? Obesity!

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    A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

I did not have high expectations for this latest X-Men film. The previous 3 movies have been pretty bland focusing on too many characters and special effects and just trying to be pleasing to the eye. No doubt this movie does some of the same, but James McAvoy (Charles – Professor X) and Michael Fassbender (Erik – Magneto) take it to another level and left me emotionally affected by this film, haunted by Charles’ selflessness and compassion and Erik’s inability to escape his past. McAvoy is simply stunning. These actors took this movie seriously and in doing so elevated it for me.

The 2 Paths

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. (Matthew 5:38-40 ESV)

It’s a similar running theme with the X-Men comics and movies. Do they join and unite with the humans or band against them? There is good reason to team against them – the mutants are feared and hated by the very people they would seek to protect and live with. That theme is in First Class as well but I felt it more than the other films. In the previous movies, the characterization is poor and the characters are set and surface level established. In First Class, you see the choices clearly laid before them that will shape their destiny, their struggles and wrestling. You know (if you’ve seen the other films or read the comics) what is going to become of these men and women but I still had this hope that maybe it would be different. McAvoy and Fassbender bring this struggle to life.

This is the first part of how Charles (McAvoy) struck me. He knows the choice – risk his life for those who would kill him the first chance they get or use his power for merely the mutants and choose his own path. How can someone lay down his life for his enemies? Yet that is precisely the choice he makes, even at the cost of everything.

We Need a Friend Like Charles

This is what hit me the most about this film: the compassion, love, and friendship of Charles (McAvoy). The way he empowers those under his leadership is tremendous. His shear selflessness is infecting. His genuine love for Erik (Magneto) moved me deeply. His gift is to read minds but he uses it mostly to empathize and encourage those who most need it. My first thought was how much I wanted to be like that, to disciple and pour into others like that. He fights for people. He takes joy in seeing these teens become men. He believes in them. Erik attempts to have the same effect, for good even, but has not the love that Charles has. Erik can’t get past the brokenness he has. He would have control and safety but not freedom. I want to be like Charles.

But you know what I thought about as the credits rolled and I walked out of the film? I thought about how much I need a Charles and how blessed I am to have certain men like that in my life. I am thankful for the men who encourage and build me up and believe in me even though I’ve given them a multitude of reasons not to. But primarily I am thankful for a friend who is better and more empowering than Charles. A friend who knows me better than I know myself, who not merely seeks to heal and give me hope, but one who truly loves perfectly with no flaws and who ultimately laid down his life for me.

The Best X-Men Film by Far

I truly loved and enjoyed X-Men:First Class. McAvoy and Fassbender are tremendous. I was stirred and convicted by my lack of love. I was moved to gratitude to know I have friends like Charles and a God who is better. I am sobered by the choice before me daily that these X-Men face. Lay down my life out of a love for God and thereby others or choose the self-focused self-righteous safe and loveless path that my flesh so easily veers toward? I want to be Charles but have to accept daily that I am Erik – unable in and of myself to break free from the things that enslave me. I daily need a friend a billion times greater than Charles in order to walk in freedom.

    His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:3-7 ESV)

A heads up: There are far too many scenes in this film with women shown with suggestive or very little clothing. Definitely a downer in how the female characters are portrayed and used. Be aware, men – that part is no different than the previous X-Men movies. 

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