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Blu-Ray Review: HD ‘X-Men Trilogy’ Primes Fans For First Big Summer Movie

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – With ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ opening this Friday, fans can catch up on where Hugh Jackman’s legendary character earned a following big enough to warrant a summer tentpole release date in the Blu-Ray release of the “X-Men Trilogy” including the two films by Bryan Singer (“X-Men” and “X2: X-Men United”) and the three-quel by Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand”). With nine discs, HD video/audio transfers, and dozens of special features, this is the Blu-Ray release of the season for the comic movie nut in your circle of friends and family.

Very few franchises have been robust enough to support four films in the new millennium. With “X-Men,” “X2: X-Men United,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and this week’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” this has been easily one of the most successful franchises of the ’00s (only Harry Potter, “Saw,” and “Fast & Furious” have had as many theatrical releases.) The three films in this set have made over $1.1 billion worldwide.

X-Men Trilogy was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
X-Men Trilogy was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox

Knowing the rabid fan base of the franchise, Twentieth Century Fox has released a very complete set. Want special features? There are hours of them. Digital copies? There’s one for each film. And each film is presented in HD for the first time (the first and third film are presented in 2.40:1 with the middle film in 2.35:1). All three films are accompanied by 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio English tracks and 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Sadly, Fox continues to underwhelm in the technical departments. “X-Men” looks older than it should with the picture often coming across much flatter than an average Blu-Ray. The picture simply doesn’t pop like it should, something I’ve noted far-too-often with recent Fox releases (although, to be fair, not all of them). Ultimately, “X-Men Trilogy” should look amazing and it looks (and sounds) merely average.

What is amazing is the collection of special features for all three films. They’re as informative and exhaustive as a fan could possibly ask for. There’s clearly no more material left on the cutting room floor and until the cast and crew gets together in decades for an anniversary edition, there are no more interviews or behind-the-scenes details to provide.

X-Men Trilogy was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
X-Men Trilogy was released on Blu-Ray on April 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox

The first disc of special features on “X-Men” - Commentary by Bryan Singer and Brian Peck, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Bryan Singer and Brian Peck, Fox Special: “The Mutant Watch,” Bryan Singer Interview, Animatics, Art Gallery, Three TV Spots, Music Promo, BD-Live: Wolverine Exclusive, and HD Marvel Universe Trailers.

The second disc of special features on “X-Men” - Disc Intro by Bryan Singer, The Uncanny Suspects, X-Factor: The Look of the X-Men, Image Gallery, Production Documentary Scrapbook, The Special Effects of the X-Men, Reflection of the X-Men, Marketing the X-Men, TV Spots, and Internet Interstitials.

The first disc of special features on “X2: X-Men United” - Commentary by Bryan Singer and Tom Sigel, Commentary by Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris and David Hayter, Generation X: Comic Book History, BD-Live: Wolverine Exclusive, and HD Marvel Universe Trailers.

The second disc of special features on “X2: X-Men United” - History of the X-Men, Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, Deleted Scenes, Galleries, Locations and Sets, On-Camera Graphics, The Unseen X2, and Three HD Trailers.

The first disc of special features on “X-Men: The Last Stand” - Director and Writer Commentary by Brett Ratner, Zack Penn and Simon Kinberg, Producer Commentary by Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, HD Deleted Scenes (Optional Director and Writer Commentary by Brett Ratner, Zack Penn and Simon Kinberg), HD Easter Eggs, BD-Live: Wolverine Exclusive, and HD Marvel Universe Trailers.

The second disc of special features fon “X-Men: The Last Stand” - Brett Ratner’s Production Diary, X-Men: Evolution of a Trilogy, X-Men Up Close - Interactive gallery with stills and video, Generation X: Comic Book History, Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School, Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session, X3: The Excitement Continues in HD, Anatomy of a Scene: Golden Gate Bridge in HD, HD Vignettes, HD Blogs, Previz Animatics, Galleries, Easter Egg, and Three HD Trailers.

‘X-Men Trilogy’ is released by Twentieth Century Fox and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Alan Cumming, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn, Bruce Davison, Brian Cox, Kelsey Grammer, and Vinnie Jones. “X-Men” was written by David Hayter and directed by Bryan Singer. “X2: X-Men United” was written by Zak Penn and Hayter & Singer and directed by Singer. “X-Men: The Last Stand” was written by Simon Kinberg & Penn and directed by Brett Ratner. “X-Men Trilogy” was released on April 21st, 2009. All three films are rated PG-13.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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