X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-Men: First Class is Matthew Vaughn‘s newest film, written by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Rose Byrne, Oliver Platt, January Jones and Michael Ironside.

Plot:
Erik (Michael Fassbender) survived the Nazi concentration camps, mostly because he has the power to move metal and scientist Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) wanted to study him. After the end of the war, Erik starts continually hunting down Nazis, trying to get at Shaw.
At the same time, Charles (James McAvoy) is a leading scientist in the field of genetic mutation – and himself a telepath. He is approached by CIA agent Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) who saw Shaw with a couple of mutants and tries to figure out what’s going on. Charles and his adoptive sister Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), who can take on the form of other people, start working with the CIA and pretty soon the cross paths with Erik.
Despite their different backgrounds, Erik and Charles start working together to find other mutants – and to get at Shaw.

X-Men: First Class is not a perfect film – but it’s pretty damn close. The performances are mostly amazing, the script is intelligent, the action is wonderful and there is a lot of fodder for discussion.

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Unknown (2011)

Unknown is the newest film by Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, Karl Markovics and Frank Langella.

Plot:
Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) travels with his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) to Germany to attend a conference. While Elizabeth checks into the hotel, Martin ends up in a car accident. Cab driver Gina (Diane Kruger) saves his life, but Martin ends up in the hospital in a coma. When he wakes up after four days, he barely remembers anything. Slowly his memories return, but when Martin tries to find Elizabeth it is only to find himself replaced with another Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) and Elizabeth not knowing him.

Unknown is exactly what it promises to be: a rather mindless action flick with a convoluted story and very mixed performances. It entertains, but not much more. Nothing less, either.

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