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The X-Men Trilogy

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Oct 9, 2018
The X-Men Trilogy

Still astonishing and very uncanny in 4K!

When visionary director Bryan Singer brought the X-Men to the big screen, Marvel Comics' best-selling mutants faced fewer competition from superhero adaptations that would inevitably begin to dominate the summer blockbuster season. The Marvel Films hadn't yet introduced an expanded cinematic narrative, or attracted big name stars. The genre hadn't really taken off in the mainstream, and only generated excitement among its closest devotees. That was nearly two decades ago; a lot has evolved since then.

With the release of the "X-Men 3-Film Collection," now on 4K Ultra HD, all three films in the original "X-Men" trilogy can be experienced in high dynamic range of 4K resolution, which enhances the picture to four times sharper than HD alone, and the wider color spectrum makes the experience appear a lot more life-like and profoundly clearer. Dusting off the edges gives these classic films a whole new life, and helps to have them sit in context with the "reboot" trilogy that followed, and proved that comic book adaptations can benefit from real world interpretations.

Singer's first two "X-Men" features centered on the lone wolf Wolverine and turned Hugh Jackman into an overnight sensation. He's the only actor in recent history to have portrayed the wild man on screen throughout the iteration of the "X-Men" film franchises (his character was also spun off into his own solo series). Through Wolverine's experience the world of the X-Men comes to life and the world was introduced to mutants — individuals born with special "gifts" that set them apart from the human race, who perceive this next human evolution as a threat to homo sapiens.

From Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) trains his young charges to live in harmony with their powers and protect the vulnerable, but even his graduates including Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James Marsden) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) are powerless when a crazed zealot launches a war against mutant-kind in "X2: X-Men United." Even Xavier's longtime adversary Magneto (Ian McKellen) is powerless, until he finds a way of turning the tide to his advantage - though in the end it costs the X-Men greatly.

By the time filmmaker Brett Ratner was brought in to conclude the saga with the 2006 release of "X-Men: The Last Stand," all bets were off and Ratner was ready to shake up the world of our core heroes. Taking broader strokes and widening the color palette, this installment trades the intimacy of its predecessors, and benefits from opening the world of the mighty mutants. The war between Professor Xavier's gifted students and Magneto takes on a more public arena when a cure is developed and the X-Men must stop Magneto's brotherhood from turning the tide.

"The Last Stand" proved a powerful final chapter, though it was received with mixed reactions in theaters and by critics alike; there's no hiding that Ratner took full of advantage of his bigger budget and super-powered this superhero adventure, which looks by far the best in its 4K presentation delivering the ultimate in Marvel movie magic. For fans of the mythology, "The Last Stand" dared to realize its version of the "Dark Phoenix Saga," when Jean Grey is resurrected after sacrificing herself in the conclusion of "X-Men United."

Though the follow-up features retcon plenty of the established narrative in this premiere trilogy, the "X-Men 3-Film Collection" should be credited with starting it all, including the teaser "stingers" hidden in the film's credits, which hint at what's to come and have become a signature of all the Marvel Films.

Relive the "X-Men" film trilogy as it was meant to be in 4K and see it as if for the first time in truly evolved for a new generation high-definition and sound that brings home all of the cinematic magnificence to your living room.

"X-Men 3-Film Collection"
4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital HD
$29.99
www.foxmovies.com

The 4K disc features 4 times sharper the resolution of HD and also sports audio commentary from the filmmakers. The Blu-ray discs include behind-the-scenes footage and deleted/extended scenes and production stills.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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