This review originally appeared on KTKA-TV and KSNT-TV, Kansas First News.
The prequel of sorts “X-Men: First Class” was a return to form for the superhero series, exploring the origin of Magneto and Professor X’s friendship and putting that against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are terrific in the lead roles, and although its hard keeping track of all the other mutants, the themes of the story and its quick pace help it remain highly entertaining throughout. There’s no commentary track on the disc, but an hour-long documentary and 13 deleted and extended scenes make up for it.
For more on “X-Men: First Class,” click here.
Two of Stanley Kubrick’s early movies are new out on Criterion Blu-ray, both packaged under the disc for “The Killing.” Although this is early work from the man who would eventually give us assured masterpieces like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Killing” is a brisk, satisfying film noir starring Sterling Hayden that features all the details of a racetrack heist gone wrong — even if the timeline is all shuffled out of order. Working from a script he co-adapted with hard boiled pulp novelist Jim Thompson, Kubrick’s film is thick with atmosphere and razor-sharp dialogue.
“Killer’s Kiss,” another noir from one year earlier, was shot on location in New York and with a more naturalistic style than the notoriously fussy director has ever produced. Kubrick and noir fans will be quite pleased with this new Blu-ray.