| 2 | 3
Digital 5.1, 2.0
Bryan Singer by Charlie Rose
trailers, Three TV spots, and One for the CD Extended
extended or deleted scenes
Special Mutant Watch, Hugh Jackman Screen test, Art Gallery,
Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James
Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijin-Stamos, Ray Bark and
Tom DeSanto & Bryan Singer based upon the Marvel Comic, Screenplay
by David Hayter
||Lauren Shuler Donner,
a movie from a book or other source material, the biggest challenge
is to interpret characters correctly. Fantasy and science fiction
fans, who are usually the most demanding, seem have it the worst,
with faithful movies of comics and popular novels being few
and far between. Just take a look at the last few Batman movies,
Judge Dred, and Steele with Shaquille O'Neil. Few directors
have been able to pull off a comic book movie that the fans,
as well as general audiences, enjoy. Richard Donner's Superman,
Tim Burton's Batman, Kinka Usher's Mystery Men, and now Bryan
Singer's X-Men are among the best comic book movies. With X-Men,
Singer has created an outstanding story that is faithful to
fans of the comic book, but at the same time making it accessible
to people who have never heard of the X-Men. To begin with,
Singer assembled an incredible cast, though I thought Angela
Bassett would have been more appropriate as Storm. Two venerable
stage actors, Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, add much
weight and authority to the production. Only actors of their
ability can pull off much of the dialogue without sounding foolish.
When they first announced that Dougray Scott was slated to play
Wolverine I though he would do a good job. But now with Hugh
Jackman in that crucial role, I can't imagine anyone else. The
rest of the actors portraying the good guy X-Men and the evil
Brotherhood of Mutants do fine jobs. Secondly, Singer has an
interesting story line. It keeps the movie going, and he manages
its large cast superbly. The special effects are fantastic,
and there are several great fight scenes. Luckily for everyone,
Singer and the rest of the cast have all agreed to do a sequel.
Though it will be difficult, I hope they truly outdo themselves
with their second effort.
on this DVD are practically flawless. It is overall a dark movie.
The blacks are all crisp. The bits of color, such as Jean Grey's
red dress and the over-lit laboratory below the school all come
through extremely well. Though the picture is of great quality,
the sound will blow you away. The THX sound transfer lives up
to its label, and immerses you with surround sound. During the
cage fight, you can hear and feel Wolverine's adamantine skeleton
crushing bone with every punch. Even though the sound effects
are important, they never overwhelm the dialogue.
extras on this DVD aren't as great as the early buzz would lead
you to believe, there is definitely enough to whet a fan's appetite.
First, there is the extended branching of the deleted scenes.
When this feature is activated, and the movie watched, a small
X will appear in the corner of the screen and the movie will
pause to show the deleted scene in the context it was filmed.
The quality on the deleted scenes is nowhere near the quality
of the movie, but it is nice to see where the scenes were supposed
to go. You also have the option of watching the deleted scenes
one by one. There is no commentary available so you don't know
why things were changed. If you are anything like me, you avoid
all publicity surrounding a movie you want to watch before you've
seen it. As a result, I missed the Fox special Mutant Watch.
It is great to have it included here on the DVD. The made-for-TV
special features Senator Robert Kelly in his crusade to have
all mutants registered by the government. It is a unique and
interesting way to present the movie. Best of all, there are
no commercials despite the obvious commercial breaks. Next is
an interview with Bryan Singer by Charlie Rose. The interview
is broken down into five segments, each containing one question
and then Singer's answer. Also included is Hugh Jackman's screen
test, featuring him and Anna Paquin, and features a slightly
different scenario between them in Wolverine's truck. There
are also two trailers for the movie, three television spots
and a commercial for the soundtrack. Also worth mentioning is
that on the page where you can select the trailers, on the right,
is an outline of a rose. If you highlight and select the rose
you will be taken to an outtake scene that will be particularly
funny to any comic book fans. Next is the art gallery that features
another hidden surprise. Here there are over 100 character design
drawings and paintings, as well as 65 pieces of production artwork
that cover the sets and props. Below the two main categories,
there is an outline of Wolverine's dog tag. If you select this
there are six character sketches for the Beast and the Blob
who were considered as characters in this movie, but will probably
appear in the sequels. Finally, there are two animatics. One
is for the train station fight and the other is for the final
showdown between Wolverine and Sabertooth on the Statue of Liberty.
Animatics are computer-generated animation that helps in the
staging of the actual sequence. There is no sound, but it is
interesting to watch.
one of the best movies of the summer. Anyone, whether they are
a comic book fan or not, will enjoy this movie. It doesn't feel
like a comic book movie, and yet those who have followed the
characters since the beginning should not feel cheated or slighted.
Hopefully this will revive Marvel's abysmal track record in
the movie department. This DVD package is definitely worth buying,
though if you are short on money, or can wait awhile, there
are rumors of a Special Edition to be released in the summer
time. Hopefully that will have more outtakes as well as a director/cast