“X-men: First Class” vs. “The King’s Speech” – Which has more blue nudity :: An Intense Literary and Cinematic Analysis


A scene from the newest blockbuster action film X-men: First Class. Speaking of class, here, an evil mutant smartly selects a pocket kerchief that matches his skin. Unfortunately, his female evil counterpart shows no class by dressing like a hussy/female tennis player.

This past weekend I watched two movies. One, I watched with 24 high school students – the other with my wife. One was rated PG-13. The other was – to my shock – rated R. Here’s my run-down of the two movies. See which one you think is more appropriate for a teenager.

Gratuitous Nudity

The King’s Speech.
The character Wallis Simpson is shown at a party wearing a halter-top that reveals her bare shoulders.

X-Men: First Class
If the movie’s early scene in an up-scale Vegas club featuring a (literal) parade of women in lingerie traipsing down elegant stairs wasn’t enough scantily clad women for you, don’t worry, the director of X-Men First Class won’t let you down. Every single prominent female character in the cast – without exception – eventually disrobes. And if one visit to a Strip Club’s interior wasn’t enough for you PG-13 watchers – have no fear. The film quickly goes right back to another Strip Club, where Professor X finds the butterfly-esque-mutant-turned-stripper Angel. And the outfits! It’s unclear why all the evil female leads, like Emma Frost, wear such tight-fitting, low-cut pant suits. Perhaps they are hoping that if things don’t work out with Magneto, they can work for whoever is trying to thwart James Bond. Regardless, through it all, we learn two important lessons: 1. apparently, it is easier to engage in air-to-air flying combat wearing a dominatrix outfit and 2. Blue nudity is still nudity.

Big Edge: X-Men: First Class

Side Note: On the bright side, the film X-men: First Class has the most awkwardly hilarious, romantically improbable first kiss scenario in the history of cinema. During one scene Raven and Hank are sitting in some sort of underground tunnel near a giant fan (like you do), and reveal to each other that they each wish their mutations were less visibly obvious so they could be “normal.”

Raven has blue skin (tough to blend in, unless you’re among Smurfs) and Hank has giant monkey Hobbit feet. Hank – who is a brilliant scientist – suggests that if he analyzes Raven’s shape-shifting genes, he can discover an answer or cure. Raven agrees, leans softly forward, rolls up the sleeve of her dress, places her exposed forearm on Hank’s leg and whispers, “Draw my blood.” This *has* to be the most comically seductive line ever penned.

Two things make this scene even funnier. 1. Hank actually has a blood-specimen drawing kit on his person(?!) and 2. Just as they are about to kiss, another character walks by and interrupts. Apparently, out-of-the-way nooks in underground tunnels near giant exhaust fans are highly trafficked walkways, too.

Foul Language

The King’s Speech
This is the main criticism of the movie by English and History teachers across the nation who would love to show this movie to their classes during that week before Christmas, but can’t because of one isolated scene. During that scene, Geoffrey Rush’s character theorizes that if his client (the soon-to-be King of England) gets angry enough, he will stop stuttering, so he has the Duke of York use all the bad words he knows. The Duke, whose speech is measured by decorum and tact, struggles to do this, and in a humorous scene, awkwardly paces around the office, throwing up a string of disassociated invectives, as though he’s a school boy who hasn’t quite learned how to cuss (“You hell damner”). In this scene, the future king drops the f-bomb intentionally 12 times. If you were to remove this 30-second scene, you’d be left with several uses of the word “bloody.” Also “buggers.”

X-Men: First Class
I heard 4 sexual references and 8 mild obscenities. Nothing to write home about. The big surprise was that there was one f-bomb, delivered (with gusto!) by Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in a cameo that absolutely has to break the all-time record for most vulgarity per second of screen-time in the history of cinema. In the cameo, Jackman said two words to Professor X: F*ck Off.

How did that part of the movie evolve?

ASSISTANT:
Mr. Jackman. It’s the studio. They would like you to have a short cameo in the new X-Men movie.

HUGH JACKMAN:
Fine. What’s my line?

ASSISTANT:
F*ck off.

HUGH JACKMAN
What? Do you know who I am? I hosted the Oscars. I’m Australian! Don’t you tell me to…

ASSISTANT:
No. That’s your line. F*ck off.

HUGH JACKMAN:
Really? Just two words?

ASSISTANT:
Yes.

HUGH JACKMAN:
Two words. And one of them is f*ck.

ASSISTANT:
Yes.

HUGH JACKMAN:
So 50 percent of my total lines are the f-word.

ASSISTANT:

Yes.

HUGH JACKMAN:

Well, I am Australian, a nation founded by convicts. I’ll do it.

ASSISTANT:
Do you need help memorizing your line, Mr. Jackman.

HUGH JACKMAN:
F*ck off.

ASSISTANT:
Excellent. This time, perhaps with feeling, sir.

Slight Edge: The King’s Speech

Violence – Graphic and Otherwise
The King’s Speech
King George V is shown dying in his bed. After a long illness, he is shown dead. Also, some men have a heated argument with words.

X-Men First Class
Not exactly a fair fight since X-Men: First Class is an action movie and “The King’s Speech” was produced by the BBC, but hey, a rating is a rating.  Here’s my unofficial violence count:

  1. Several Russian soldiers are attacked with barbed wire that receives its instructions from Magneto (who can control all things metal).  This reminds us that the term “Death by Slinky” would be a fantastic name for a punk band.
  2. Magneto grabs a knife and puts it through the hand of a German who is (surprise!) drinking beer.
  3. Magneto uses his powers over metal to make a Nazi turn his gun and shoot another Nazi.
  4. A crazy mutant who looks very much like Satan – complete with a red forked tail – appears out of mid-air and starts stabbing a host of US Soldiers with his tail.
  5. That same crazy bad guy grabs a bunch of soldiers, then teleports to mid-air, but not before dropping them so the soldiers careen to the ground and hit the pavement like hefty bags filled with vegetable soup.
  6. Some SS Guards temporarily forget that when fighting a mutant who can control metal, it’s best to remove your metal helmet.  This ends badly for their craniums.
  7. During a training session, a good guy named Havok destroys several perfectly good mannequins.
  8. Kevin Bacon causes a giant fireball to spiral up some stairs around a balcony, barbecuing dozens of CIA agents.
  9. Kevin Bacon shoots Magneto’s mom.
  10. Kevin Bacon kills the only Black Good Guy (typical).
  11. Kevin Bacon reminds everyone that dancing is a natural expression of joy, and that God Himself delights in that joy.  Especially when that joy is combined with Kenny Loggins songs.  Wait.  That may have been a different movie.
  12. Professor Xavier – played by James McAvoy, an actual mutant who can change his appearance to look exactly like Zach Braff – is shot in the back and is paralyzed.

Big Edge: X-Men: First Class

It’s Not Just Me
But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at “Kids-in-mind.com“, the online movie ratings website which catalogs movie content to enable adults to determine whether a movie is appropriate for them or their children. Unlike the MPAA, Kids-in-Mind does not assign an inscrutable rating based on age but three objective numerical ratings for SEX/NUDITY + VIOLENCE/GORE + PROFANITY, on a scale of 0 to 10, and then explains in detail why a film rates high or low in a specific category.

So for example, the film Kung-Fu Panda would rate 1.4.2 – meaning a 1 for SEX/NUDITY (obviously absent), a 4 for VIOLENCE/GORE (because of the fighting) and a 2 for PROFANITY (again, absent). Their ratings for these two movies?

The King’s Speech
1.1.6.
X-Men: First Class
5.7.5

*sigh*

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