Nerd Alert: I Love X-Men

4 Jun

I am a nerd. I’ve been a nerd since I can remember. When I was a kid I didn’t play with Polly Pocket but rather opted for the Star Wars themed version shaped like Darth Vader’s Helmet.  It was a Death Star miniature play set complete with Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca figurines – and I loved it with all of my 10 year old being.  I had Yoda on my birthday cake that year.

I grew up like any geeky boy – I loved Star Wars, wanted to be Luke Skywalker,  I loved all the super hero movies (even the bad ones) and I hated the color pink. While my distaste for pink remains in tact I have somewhat grown out of my manish ways and have embraced my femininity – I still can’t walk in heels but we’re working on that. While I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to transform into something that resembles the likes  of a woman,  just yesterday, in a two hour span, I regressed about 14 years.  After entering the Union Square Regal Cinema for a 2:30 showing of X-Men: First Class, I was sucked into a time warp and emerged from the film, not my current 24 year old, graduate student self but my former 10 year old, mannish, unibrowed self. The same self that indulged in repeat viewing of Star Wars and Sidekicks all summer long. The same self that bought an R2D2 phone at a flea market. The same self that took softball way too seriously and got kicked out of a game for throwing the bat. I was back!

The thing about me is that while I have these geeky tendencies, I am above all things, lazy. This means I have never read a comic book in my life. I’ve never looked at, held or read or any of the Star Wars cannon novels. I don’t pay money or stand in line to go to comic-con or conventions. I simply enjoy stupid boy movies. I love crazy action scenes chock full of explosions, intricate deaths and winged creatures of all sorts. I do not, however, like movies that require me to think. This would include all of the Lord of the Rings films and similar “intelligent” sci-fi films. Those require far too much effort on my part. I like good, old fashioned fantastical fun. Telepaths? Yes. Shape shifters? Yes. Hot Jews who can move and mold metal object? Hell to the yes. I was so into Spider-Man in High School that I actually snuck in to see it again that same day – that’s right, I watched Spider-Man in the theater, twice.  In one day. X-Men is no different. I know nothing of the comics, and while I indulged in several hours of the X-Men stand-up arcade game courtesy of Fudruckers (World’s Greatest Hamburgers), my general knowledge of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto come straight from the mind of Bryan Singer and the abs of Hugh Jackman. And that’s just how I like it.

When I think about it, I really should have seen this coming. While the trailer and previews for the film didn’t exactly get me going, as opening day drew closer I knew something was happening. I felt… stirrings. The nerd within was drawing me to this film and I simply could not deny my inner child the pleasures of  sci-fi action and fun. I had to see this movie. I played it cool, though, never letting on just how badly I wanted to see it, making neutral statements like “Oh, I guess if we’re desperate for a movie we can see X-Men” or “well, if there’s nothing else out we can always see X-Men” all the while carefully calculating details to ensure the final film selection circumstances was in my favor.  I, of course, got my way and was first in line for a 2:30 showing with my fellow nerds trailing behind me.

I was actually slightly concerned about just how excited this film made me. I couldn’t stop talking about it. During a post-movie lunch all I could think about was what the coolest scene was or whose mutation I would want. I replayed the scenes over and over, thinking about all the jokes and references to the other films implanted in the script. It was pretty weird. But then I realized what I was experiencing was totally normal. This is what they wanted me to do because the marketing geniuses behind X-Men carefully crafted this film to be a nerdy lady’s dream. Just think about it. It has hot, charming dudes (Helloooo James McAvoy), fun 60s clothing and just enough action and violence to get you hyped before crossing the line and becoming a total Jason Statham movie. It has a gentle sprinkling of Romance and emotion to fill up your Rom-Com quota for the week, and for a big chunk of the film it’s just cool mutants showing off their powers. Who doesn’t love that? Sure Mystique’s makeup looked a little low budge when compared to the other films and January Jones almost put me to sleep but overall, it’s totally worth the overpriced movie ticket – maybe even a few overpriced movie tickets. And a bootleg DVD from Chinatown.

Watching X-Men: First Class has awakened the nerd which has been dormant inside of me for some time. I almost forgot how much I love attractive mutant creatures philosophizing about the world, and that perfectly crafted level of just-enough violence in films – it gets the job done but doesn’t make you sick. I blame the lack of good sci-fi films as of late. Spider-Man turned out to be a huge let down and Batman doesn’t even count because those are like real movies. I honestly started to believe that these movies weren’t “my thing” and I cannot believe I almost forgot my true self. X-Men, thank you for bringing me back to my senses!


One Response to “Nerd Alert: I Love X-Men”

  1. Valeria June 8, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    This is why we’re friends. I too could not stay awake through Lord of The Rings — I will take vapid mutant super hero movies over epic elves any time of day.

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