The three Australian cinema releases for Thursday June 2nd are X-Men: First Class, Meek's Cutoff and Los ojos de Julia [Julia's Eyes].
X-Men: First Class - I never thought I'd be saying this, but I'm actually looking forward to First Class. Featuring an awesome cast, headlined by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones and Rose Byrne, and under the direction of Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass), there is enough talent here to transform this into the best blockbuster of the season. Judging by the trailer there are some pretty impressive visuals and a compelling plot too. First Class unveils the epic beginning of the X-Men saga - and a secret history of the Cold War and our world at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. As the first class discovers, harnesses and comes to terms with their formidable powers, alliances are formed that will shape the eternal war between the heroes and villains of the X-Men universe. Judging by its current Rotten Tomatoes score (97%), First Class might actually be good enough to wash away the pungent stench of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Meek's Cutoff - The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon train of three families has hired mountain man Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) to guide them over the cascade mountains. Claiming to know a shortcut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants face the scourges of hunger, thirst and their own lack of faith in one another's instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven unreliable and a man who has always been seen as a natural born enemy. This sounds like it is quite an interesting twist on the Western. It is directed by Kelly Reichardt and also stars Michelle Williams.
Julia's Eyes - Julia (Belen Rueda) and her sister Sara have both inherited a medical condition that is slowly robbing them of their eyesight, with stress severely aggravating the condition. When Julia gets the news that Sara has died, she has a hard time believing the police report that she committed suicide, and she and her husband Isaac (Luis Homar) begin looking into the matter. As Julia becomes convinced that Sara's neighbours are involved in her death, unpleasant events begin happening around her, and as she comes closer to unraveling the knots that have tied up Sara's death, Julia inches closer to total blindness. Produced by Guilermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), the reviews have been solid, and it was a word-of-mouth success on closing night of the recent Spanish Film Festival.
Weekly Recommendation: While each film is worth a look, I'm so convinced that First Class will be the best X-Men film to date that I'm going with that.