X-Men come out(side)

By Elise Gallant 


Saturday, Cleveland Beach will transform into an outdoor movie theater. Grinnell Films Committee will project “X-Men: First Class” as their first event of the year at 9 p.m.

This fast-paced comic saga acts as a prelude to the last three X-Men movies. Set in the 1960s after the Cuban Missile Crisis, First Class capitalizes on the themes of xenophobia and cultural revolution common at the time.

The story follows the friendship and eventual falling-out between Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy, and Erik Lehnsherr (later, Magneto) played by Michael Fassbender.

The script introduces a fresh cast of characters which X-Men buffs and newbies alike will exalt, including Emma Frost, played by Mad Men’s January Jones; Azazel, a transporting mutant and father of Nightcrawler, and Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon, who can absorb kinetic energy. Shaw is the leader of the Hellfire Club, and has set a plan in motion to destroy the world.

One interesting choice was to include Havoc, or Alex Summers, played by Lucas Till, in lieu of his younger brother Cyclops. Havoc fills a similar role as his younger brother, as a mutant who can’t control his dangerous power; however, the spinning electric shocks which erupt from his body offer stronger visuals than Cyclops’s red optic beams.

Amidst dramatic fights and stunning special effects, X-Men: First Class propagates the message: Say it loud, I’m mutant and I’m proud. Characters like Beast and Mystique introduce identity issues into the plot which parallel the Gay Rights Movement and fit into the Stonewall-era setting of the film.

First Class offers a more refined message than some of the previous X-Men movies while still including all the key points of a good action flick—heavy punches, large explosions, and great mutant on mutant free-for-alls.

“This X-Men movie caught me off guard,” Paul Dampier, Films Chair, said. “If you’ve already seen it you’ll enjoy it again and those who haven’t will be surprised.”

X-Men: First Class is a digital film and marks Grinnell Film’s transition from 35 mm film to newer technology.

The Films Committee will soon begin showing Blu-Ray films in Harris Cinema and ARH 302. Dampier encourages anyone to suggest films that they want to see. Simply e-mail your choice to films@grinnell.edu with “suggestion” in the subject line.

Films Committee will also be introducing some new events this year. Be sure to look out for Midnight Movies, which will be shown at midnight on certain weekends.

“Expect anything intense and crazy,” Dampier said.

In the meantime, enjoy the outdoor showing of X-Men First Class tomorrow.