X-Men: First Class

On Sunday, my wife and I saw X-Men: First Class at the Pacific Theaters Glendale 18 in Glendale, CA. It was the first film presentation I've seen in a while, and I was a bit surprised that this movie is not being offered in 3D. And you know what? I didn't miss it at all.

I'm a big fan of the X-Men movies, and this one is a worthy prequel. Set mostly in 1962 before and during the Cuban missile crisis, it tells the tale of how Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), and other "good" mutants got their start working together to defeat the evil Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and his band of "bad" mutants as they try to foment World War III. We also see how Xavier's triumphant team splits up as Mystique and a few others end up following Magneto, setting up the stories from X-Men, X2, and X-Men: Last Stand. (On a side note, look for a cameo by Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine.)

I was surprised at how little I noticed that the presentation was film, not digital. Of course, I did see the reel-change markers—once you've seen them, you can't not see them—but the print was very good shape, so there weren't a lot of scratches, and I saw very little gate judder, indicating a good film projector. And as I mentioned, I didn't miss 3D at all, even though there were plenty of shots that would be quite effective in 3D.

The sound levels were high, but not overly so—at least, not while I had my earplugs in. The average level over the entire movie plus trailers was 79.8dBA, the highest 1-minute maximum was 93.0dBA, and the level exceeded 84.0dBA 10 percent of the time, 77.0dBA 33 percent of the time, 72.5dBA 50 percent of the time, and 60.0dBA 90 percent of the time.

I really enjoyed this installment of the X-Men franchise, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for adventure, gorgeous shape-shifting women, and/or handsome men with magnetic personalities.