A few weeks back I watched X-Men: First Class, mostly in preparation for seeing Days of Future Past.
Though I quite enjoyed X-Men and X2, The Last Stand was pretty awful (“I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!”), and X-Men Oranges: Tangerine Origins: Wolverine was probably worse. I haven’t seen The Wolverine, but since I’m not a raging Japanophile (no offence to any raging Japanophiles reading this) it probably wouldn’t have set my world alight.
Marvel’s cinematic universe has raised the bar, and whilst I wasn’t blown away by First Class it certainly had the ongoing potential to do some exciting prequel work. So bringing it all back to not only the original film cast but putting it into the future is a little on the brave side.
You do have to feel sorry for Leonardo DiCaprio, don’t you? Every year seems to be the one when he’ll finally win that elusive Oscar, and then something comes along and pips him to it.
And on that note, we have 12 Years a Slave, an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s account of slave life in the mid-nineteenth century American south. It’s almost hard-wired to be a hit, given the combination of subject, cast and director. But the buzz surrounding it has been something truly special. Put simply, I haven’t heard a negative word about it.
Northrup’s book is an unknown to me, so I can’t make any comparisons to the source material. What you see here will be a judgement of the film on its own merits. Which is how it should be