has an average rating of 7.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC-MPEG 4 on a 25gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are somewhat decent…
– 104 minutes
Buy it for $24.95 @ Amazon.com
— Review written by Brendan Surpless
The Movie Itself is directed by Brett Ratner (mostly known for the “Rush Hour” series). When the first “X-Men” film hit theaters in July of 2000, fans raced to the theaters making studios realize that tons of money could be made in these superhero films. We all know that the second “X-Men” made more money than the first mainly because the film had more character development and flowed in a more logical manner. Many saw the third film as a step below the first two, partially due to the direction. When Director Bryan Singer opted out of the third film for another comic film in “Superman Returns“, many saw the series direction go out the door as well. Brett Ratner stepped in (a funny switch as Ratner was suppose to direct “Returns“) and took away all the visually interesting styles that Singer presented in the first two. It’s not that this is a bad film, it’s just that it lacks the overall spark and fun that the first two films had.
The ending of the last film, X2: X-Men United, saw our mutant heroes in quite the fine position. Support for the “Mutant Registration Act” had halted and uber villain William Stryker (Brian Cox) failed to eradicate all the mutants. Everything else was running smoothly (despite Jean Grey dying), surely signaling that the eventually third film in the series would continue on. Well, I’m sad to report that new Director Brett Ratner destroyed everything. “X-Men: The Last Stand” introduces so many new characters, some of who get less than 10 seconds on the screen, that we don’t even catch some of their names (only briefly seeing their powers especially in the last sequence). While this was annoying for myself (I’m the type of movie-goer who loves attention to character detail), I will fully admit that Ratner definitely knows how to film an action scene that audiences will love.
First the bad news of “X-Men: The Last Stand“. The problem I had here is that every little thing that Singer made excellent about the first two films is completely ignored by Ratner. He introduces new character we couldn’t care less about, eliminate characters we do care about, and has the remaining characters involve themselves in sequences they seemingly don’t want to be involved in. Even though Ratner tries to remain in sync with the vision and style that Singer created, it just felt like Ratner purposely tried to not expand the story (or maybe that FOX told him not to). The first two expanded the story in manners we cared about and wanted to see. There was not a moment in in the movie where I cared about what was going on to any of the characters (especially after one particular character dies, I just about was ready to shut the film off).
Like any review, I do have (thankfully!) a few positives to report. I did enjoy, to a certain degree, how Ratner tried (key word tried) to give these characters a more humanistic quality. As we find out in the film, a cure is found to treat mutations drawing lines against the various X-Men. The scenes where each of the X-Men spoke (during the forest sequence) telling their side to the story, gave the film a more ‘let’s feel for these characters’ moment. Unfortunately, where Ratner failed is that these characters you are suppose to believe in, are shortly eliminated or, worst, ignored. Another positive, especially for this Blu-Ray release, is that every action scene is a blast to listen to, but more on that later. If this is the final film of the series, I wouldn’t necessarily rate it is a poor way to end the series, but rather as a lukewarm method. Sure “X-Men: The Last Stand” isn’t the best superhero film, but it’s certainly better than more recent superhero films.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in AVC-MPEG 4 on a BD-25 (25 gigabyte Single-Layered Blu-ray Disc). There is no doubt that this film certainly has that high-definition look to the film, but feels a bit out of place in some areas. The first possible problem might be that FOX decided to use a BD-25 disc instead of the early rumored BD-50. The video quality doesn’t suffer completely though as many sequences looked fine. The use of detail was NEARLY perfect as the facial features on many of the characters (especially Wolverine’s beard) sparked to life. The only poor use of detail was the sequence when Magneto moved the Golden Gate Bridge (many of the smaller details were hard to make out). The Super35 film process that Ratner loves to use in his films, gives the film a grainier look, but that isn’t really a big issue. Dirt or damage wasn’t present on the print. Color usage was great with no real color being over-saturated. “X-Men: The Last Stand” is a winner for FOX, but I just feel that a BD-50 disc would have given FOX the trophy for Blu-Ray disc to beat.
Audio Quality on this release is in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Dynamic Range was excellent with numerous sequences giving crystal clarity via sound effects and the film’s dialogue. Bass was powerful creating a booming effect throughout. Surround usage was aggressive and one that shouldn’t be messed with. Ratner has always loved his action scenes, and that certainly is the case here. Every action scene cries out as a demo material. The final X-Men fight was perfect giving us a full 360 degree sound field that captured all the screams, clashes and grunts of the mutants battling it out. Originally having been able to only hear the Dolby Digital 5.1 track because my original Blu-ray player couldn’t bitstream DTS-HD, my new Blu-ray (Panasonic BD30) allows me to fully hear the audio via my Onkyo 605. WOW.. What an amazing effort by FOX. Some might criticize their price-structure but their audio tracks are typically top-notch and this is no different.