Click above to purchase "X-Men" at amazon.com
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen,
Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison,
Rebecca Romijn Stamos, Ray Park and Anna Paquin
Screenplay by David Hayter
Story by Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer
Directed by Bryan Singer
Retail Price: $26.98
Features: Deleted Scenes, "The Mutant Watch" Fox
Special, Bryan Singer Interview, Trailers, TV Spots,
Soundtrack Spot, Art Gallery, Animatics, THX Optimode
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround,
English Subtitles, Chapter Search (28 Chapters), THX
I think it's pretty safe to say that when you adapt
anything to the screen, it's generally hard. So many things
have such a rich history, and to fit it into a ninety minute
film, it's difficult to capture origins so fans of the
original source material are pleased while people who were
never into the source material before understand what's
going on. I think comic books are especially tough, since so
many have spawned many issues and spin-offs, and you have to
capture a general feeling to please everyone.
While I was never a big comic book fan, I'm always
interested in how filmmakers pull off a movie based on
something so many enjoy. I know a lot of people had their
doubts about the "X-Men" movie, but audiences really enjoyed
it and so did critics. While I wanted to see the movie and
missed it in theaters, I got my chance on DVD.
"X-Men" follows Rogue and Logan, two outcasts with
mysterious mutant powers. America is not so accepting when
it comes to mutants, especially a leading force in the
government, Senator Kelly. Logan and Rogue soon become
involved with Professor Xavier, who operates a school for
the gifted (and those who have mutant powers) in Westchester
County, New York (where I'm from, woohoo!). While Xavier and
his crew of mutants don't have any intention to harm,
Magneto and his team do. However, late in the film Rogue is
kidnapped by Magneto and it's up to the good mutants to save
"X-Men" starts out good, but I think it suffers toward
the last half-hour. It holds your interest well and is
really entertaining, but as far as the story is constructed,
there's not much of a backbone. Rogue is kidnapped and then
they save her, that's the basic plot. While there is a focus
on the discrimination of mutants, I guess that's focused on
a little too much.
Characters are a toss-up. Some are developed really well,
especially with them and their pasts as well as feelings
(Magneto's take on hate and what he went through is
interesting). However, some are just there and we never get
a good background or sense of history about them. While they
attempt to develop them, it doesn't really work out/
Ironically, McKellan played a Nazi in Singer's "Apt Pupil",
and here we see his Magneto character is not a big fan of
It's not that I didn't enjoy "X-Men", I really did. I
just felt it was flawed. Still, the movie gives a good
introduction to the universe for those who have never read
the comics, and it has some pretty neat special effects
sequences. The film was a huge box office success, and most
of the cast have signed on for a sequel, so that should be
coming out in the future.
"X-Men" is presented in a THX-Certified 2.35:1 anamorphic
widescreen, and the results are gorgeous. The film looks
incredibly sharp, with bold and well saturated colors.
Shadow detail and detail in general is very good. The only
problem is some edge enhancment and that the picture
struggles a little during some of the night time scenes.
This is a beautiful transfer, one of the best I've seen for
a live action film.
Fox originally going to include a DTS track in additional
to the Dolby Digital 5.1, but they said the video quality
was horrible if it was added. My kudos to Fox on that. As
far as the Dolby Digital 5.1, it's very good. Dynamic range
and field directions are excellent, and surrounds are
plentiful. The music uses the channels nicely. This is a top
notch mix, and I'm sure if a DTS was included, it'd probably
be just as good, so it's not much of a loss. English and
French Dolby Surround tracks are also included as well as
As originally reported here first at DVDlaunch (yes, I
right after reading the article that Sunday and made it a
Monday story), there were going to be two edition of
"X-Men". Singer denied that and said his quotes were taken
out of context. While many were disappointed he did not do a
commentary for the film, there's a lot to enjoy here.
First off are the Deleted Scenes/Extended Branching
Version of the movie. Basically, you can make an "X"
appear while watching the movie, and you can click the X to
see a deleted scene in the appropriate spot. There are six
deleted (one is actually an extended scene) scenes. You can
also access each scene individually from the special
features section. You can see why the scenes were cut, but
they are pretty enjoyable. If there is a downside, it's that
they are non-anamorphic and in two channel sound. Basically,
if you watch the extended branching version it won't look
and sound quite right. The video quality is not as good as
the film either. Still, they're here and it's a good
The twenty-two minute featurette The Mutant Watch
was shown on Fox television to promote the movie, and
it's here on the disc. It's sort of promotional as it
features interviews with the cast and clips from the films,
plus a sort of mockumentary with the Senator Kelly
character. A typical featurette.
The Byran Singer Interview features clips of
director Singer talking to Charlie Rose about the film.
They're just clips, and divided into five parts. In total
it's not much, but Singer talks about the challanges he
faced and what brought him to make the film. Singer is
pretty insightful. I'm actually a Charlie Rose fan as he
thinks he's a very good interviewer, and while short, it's a
Hugh Jackman's Screen Test lasts two minutes and
it a good watch, and there are Two Theatrical
Trailers, Three TV Spots and a Soundtrack
Spot for viewing. Plus, there's THX Optimode to
set up your home theater correctly.
The Art Gallery is broken up into "Character
Design" and "Production Design", and features various stills
and concept art (it would have been nice if Fox gave
instructions on how to flip through the pages. Despite it
being obvious, it'd be nice for DVD newbies and whatnot).
Animatics breaks down the Statute of Liberty
sequence and the Train Station sequence in computer
animation, to show the visualization of the scenes before
filming and what they wanted to accomplish.
Also, there are some Easter Eggs that are
enjoyable and not too hard to find, so enjoy those.
While I'm sure most of you would have liked more in the
supplements, what Fox has given us is a nice edition for the
movie. The audio and video are superb, and it's a good
overall deal. If you liked the movie, pick up "X-Men" for
(3.5/5 - NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)