Before Marvel dominated the box office with their cinematic universe it seemed that we were never going to get very many cohesive superhero flicks. Outside of films like Blade, Superman, and Batman there were just a lot of hits and misses. In 2000 that all changed when director Bryan Singer brought the iconic X-Men to the big screen for the first time and it all changed. Now after numerous films in the franchise 20th Century Fox is taking you back to the original trilogy bringing it to 4K Ultra HD for the first time.
The original X-Men follows a world where both Mutants and Humans fear each other. Marie, better known as Rogue, runs away from home and hitches a ride with another mutant, known as Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine. Charles Xavier, who owns a school for young mutants, sends Storm and Cyclops to bring them back before it is too late. Magneto, who believes a war is approaching, has an evil plan in mind, and needs young Rogue to help him. This film fully captured the essence of not only the X-Men but offered up the first real successful team film like we had never seen. The casting here is perfect across the board and truly felt like the characters jumped right off the page and onto the screen. Despite all of the amazing Marvel moves that have come since this one still holds up great and one of my favorites. I would have never thought after that first outing of Jackman as Wolverine the journey that character would take, but I am glad this film kicked it off in such a great way.
In 2003s X2: X-Men United, several months have passed since The X-Men defeated Magneto and imprisoned him in a seemingly impregnable plastic chamber. One day, a mutant by the name of Nightcrawler infiltrates the White House and attempts to assassinate the president, setting off a chain reaction of anti-mutant measures by the government. Meanwhile, Logan is trying to discover his past. As scientist named William Stryker discovers Professor X's secret school and Cerebro, Magneto's partner, Mystique, is planning to break her leader out of prison. But when Professor X's school is attacked by Stryker's forces, Logan, Rogue, Iceman and a few are lucky to escape. Those who remain meet in Boston, where they form an uneasy alliance with Magneto to stop Stryker and rescue Professor X. It continues to amaze me how this film took things to the next level and in most ways surpassed the original. The inclusion of Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler was something I never thought I would see. They not only took the story and film deeper into the X-Universe they brought along some great mutants as well to expand the world.
The final chapter of this group of mutants came in 2006s X-Men: The Last Stand. In the film a cure is created, which apparently can turn any mutant into a normal human being, there is outrage amongst the mutant community. Whilst some mutants do like the idea of a cure, including Rogue, many mutants find that there shouldn't be a cure. Magneto, who still believes a war is coming, recruits a large team of mutants to take down Warren Worthington II and his cure. Might seem easy for the X-Men to stop, but Magneto has a big advantage, which Wolverine doesn't have. Jean Grey has returned, and joined with Magneto. The Phoenix has woken within her, which has the ability to destroy anything in her way, even if that 'anything' is a X-Men. This last chapter didn’t quite have the impact as the previous two, but still had some great moments including getting to see Wolverine and Colossus execute the iconic fastball maneuver from the comics. For all of its issues I still enjoy this film for what it is. Getting to see Beast in full form, the hairy blue one no less was something I just didn’t think would work, but Kelsey Grammer knocked it out of the park.
These new 4K scans of the trilogy is a thing of beauty taking it to the next level of viewing. Films like these with a lot of effects and big visuals are so much better in this format and is all the better when they are this awesome to boot. In addition to all 3 original films in the franchise this collection features bonus content including Audio Commentaries, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Deleted/Extended Scenes, The Mutant Watch, Animatics, Character and Production Design Stills. Join the mutant fight with the X-Men 3-Film Collection when it hits 4K Ultra from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Review by Bobby Blakey - Bobby reviews way more movies on his own website than the genre-specific ones I post here. Check out Bobby's awesome website and his live show he co-hosts with his wife, Drusilla, at Hollywood Matrimony.