In anticipation of Syfy's upcoming Peter Pan prequel 'Neverland'
'X-Men: First Class' (2011)
After the disappointment of "Last Stand" and the even more heinous disappointment of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", it's probably fair to say that fans of the blockbuster superhero franchise were hoping for the best but expecting the worst from director Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class" this summer.
And yet somehow the film managed to breathe new life into the withering franchise by re-introducing the more deliberate and cerebral rhythms of the first two movies and wedding them to an alternate-history storyline that made (mostly) good use of its Cold War-era backdrop. It also didn't hurt to have two genuinely good actors - James McAvoy and especially Fassbender - to ground it in a recognizably human dimension. - CE