Based upon the Marvel Comics series, "X-men" is a ripping and intelligent
yarn about what could happen if mankind were to suddenly experience a
rash of mutations.
According to the script, humanity periodically sees such mutations and,
wouldn't you know, the "right now" of the movie (set in the "near future")
is one of those times.
The mutations are all over the map, leading to a new race of humans that
have a variety of strange super powers.
The majority of the human race don't have these powers, of course, and
are afraid of the mutants. Some are trying to "register" mutants in the
same way misguided liberals want to register firearms, and this causes
severe angst among the mutant community, who rightfully feel themselves
under assault not for something they've done but for who they are.
There are two camps of mutants, the good guys (the "X-Men") who are led
by the intelligent and benign Professor Xavier, and the bad guys led by
a Holocaust survivor who goes by the name "Magneto." The two mutant camps'
conflict occupies most of the film, which in the end is a far more imaginative
and intelligent production than one might expect from its comic book origin.
Production values are great, and the cast turns in very good performances.
Patrick Stewart is terrific as Xavier, and Ian McKellen is appropriately
mean and menacing without having to chew the scenery. The other mutants
include Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James
Marsden), Jean Gray (Famke Janssen), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Mystique (Rebecca
Romijn-Stamos), Toad (Ray Park) and Sabertooth (Tyler Mane). Some of their
powers are awesome, some pretty disgusting, and some are not particularly
Still, it's a neat movie and well worth seeing. Part of the reason may
be the presence behind the scenes of Richard Donner and his wife Lauren.
The THX-approved DVD is presented in widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1
audio and both the picture and sound are terrific. Extras include 6 new
sequences, a "Behind the scenes" documentary, screen tests, director's
interview, conceptual art, animatics, and more. You also get THX Optimode
for tweaking your home theater.
Our copy was a pre-release "screener," so we can't comment on any liner
notes that may be included.
X-Men, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
120 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin
Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter
Written by David Hayter and Directed by Bryan Singer
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