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X-Men: The Last Stand(2006)
Experience the awesome power of The X-Men's epic, final battle. Join well-known mutant heroes and villains, and meet a cadre of all-new warriors — including Angel, Beast, Juggernaut and Colossus — in this thrilling, explosive adventure! After a controversial "cure" is discovered, mutants can choose to retain their superhuman abilities or give up their unique gifts and become "normal." When peaceful mutant leader Charles Xavier clashes with his militant counterpart, Magneto, the battle lines are drawn for the war to end all wars.
For more about X-Men: The Last Stand and the X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray release, see X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 23, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Director: Brett Ratner
Writers: Simon Kinberg, Zak Penn
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin
» See full cast & crew
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray Review
The third installment into the 'X-Men' trilogy can't match the level of excellence of its predecessors.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 23, 2009
They wish to cure us, but I say to you, we are the cure!
The first two films in the X-Men series have withstood the test of time and have nestled among the elites of the comic book-turned-movie-adaptations. Sporting a strong cast, well written stories, thematic significance, plenty of action, and excellent direction courtesy of Bryan Singer (Superman Returns), X-Men and X2: X-Men United are in select company among the best of their genre. However, X-Men: The Last Stand is a film that was the subject of much speculation and controversy when Singer left the project before filming began to instead helm the aforementioned Superman Returns. After a search for a new director that included rumored candidates such as Alex Proyas (I, Robot) and Rob Bowman (Reign of Fire), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 3) was hired to continue on in the tradition of the first two films and round out what many hoped would become the definitive filmed comic book trilogy. While X3 is a good film on its own merits, it is nevertheless the weakest in the series but a decent capstone to the trilogy.
As the struggle between man and mutant continues, a "cure" for mutation is discovered, allowing those with superhuman abilities to rid themselves of their burden and fully integrate into society. The mutant community quickly finds itself a house divided over the issue, with those who choose to retain their abilities -- qualities they believe to define their very essence -- on one side, and those, like X-Men team member Rogue (Anna Paquin, Almost Famous), who long to rid themselves of a power that keeps them from enjoying a normal life on the other. Lurking in the shadows is a group of mutants that see the introduction of the cure as further proof that man and mutant cannot co-exist, despite a pro-mutant President and a mutant in the President's cabinet, Beast (Kelsey Grammer, An American Carol). Led by Magneto (Ian McKellen, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), these mutants prepare for the final confrontation between the species -- and are joined by a surprising character from the past. Meanwhile, Cyclops (James Marsden, Hairspray) mourns a personal loss and searches for answers while Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, The Prestige), Storm (Halle Berry, Die Another Day), and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart, Dune) must confront the growing threat to peace and deal with the transformation of one of their own into an all-powerful being named "Phoenix."
X3: The Last Stand does well to model itself after the previous two outings, but throughout the film, the sense of it being a notch or two below its predecessors is palpable, particularly when viewed in close proximity to X-Men and X2. X3 is marked by some sloppy dialogue, action that is loud and exciting but not quite as tight and cohesive as that found in the first two films, and a story line that continues with the themes of the franchise but doesn't offer a wholly cohesive transition. X3 plays as a sort of piecemeal entity where the emotions and major plot developments seem almost forced and tacked on simply to maintain continuity with the first two films. Whereas this film's predecessors did very well in building the action around important themes and personable and identifiable characters, X3 often plays like the drama is a necessary hindrance between action pieces. The film's attempts at eliciting raw emotion, particularly after the death of a central character, fail to engender much of a response. The Magneto-Xavier relationship, one that goes beyond a basic hero-villain association and serves as, arguably, the defining attribute of the series, seems to stagnate here, and not simply because of the film's shocking midsection. Though the history of the characters is revealed in greater detail, the chemistry and the importance of the relationship seems lessened here. Fortunately, however, X3 ends with a wonderful final shot, one that alone makes the movie worth watching.
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray, Video Quality
X3 once again comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p, 2.40:1-framed transfer. While not offering a heads-and-shoulders better transfer than the previous edition, this one seems to look just a bit more natural and film-like. Film grain makes a more visible appearance here than in the previous two outings in the X-Men series. Colors are sharp as a tack and cover a broad spectrum -- the steely blue interior of X-Men headquarters, the warm and natural look of Jean Gray's childhood home, and the film's many daytime exterior shots where the colors of nature are bold, pleasing, and clear as far as the eye can see. Detail is positively sharp and natural across the board, from the lines and hairs on faces to the rough texture and cracks to be seen on Juggernaut's helmet. The film takes on a marvelous cinematic look and feel, and features the most natural-looking flesh tones and blacks of the trio. X3 looks quite good on Blu-ray.
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Seeing as how both X-Men and X2 both earned the highest of marks for their remarkable lossless soundtracks, X3: The Last Stand comes with high sonic expectations, and the disc's DTS-HD MA 6.1 lossless soundtrack never disappoints. This track is dynamic and incredibly aggressive. The film's opening battle in "the not-too-distant-future" makes for a startling listen, with explosions booming in every corner of the listening area, missiles streaking around the stage, music flowing with pitch-perfect fidelity across the front, and general mayhem heard all about. Chapter 10 delivers what is nothing short of sonic bliss, a sequence delivering a powerful and ear-bursting experience as a house is demolished from the inside. The track also features realistic ambience in many scenes and excellent dialogue reproduction as a rule. It's a fantastic soundtrack -- and is just as expected.
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Like the Blu-ray releases of X-Men and X2, X-Men: The Last Stand features supplements spread over two discs. Disc one is highlighted by two commentary tracks, the first featuring Director Brett Ratner and Writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. This is fairly generic commentary track and, with two writers chiming in, it comes as no surprise that the art of scriptwriting and the process of forming the story plays center stage. On the flip side, Ratner offers plenty of technical details behind the process of the shoot. The track is fairly entertaining, but is best suited for the film's most ardent fans. Track two features Producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuller Donner, and Ralph Winter. This track is significantly slower in pace and lacks substantive information. Bland, marked by some moments of dead air that are just long enough to become a distraction, and the participant's insistence on almost whispering their comments makes this one strictly for fans with nothing better to do with their time. Also included on disc one are a plethora of deleted scenes presented in 1080p high definition and with optional commentary from Ratner, Kinberg, and Penn, as well as 1080p trailers for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men, X2: X-Men United, Daredevil, and Fantastic Four. This disc is also D-Box enabled.
Disc two begins with Brett Ratner's Production Diary (480p, 41:21), a lengthy but fairly interesting up-close-and-personal look at the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes work that went into the making of X3, including shooting schedules, rehearsals, scene preparation, and plenty more. 'X-Men:' Evolution of a Trilogy (480p, 44:58) is a retrospective look back at the entirety of the trilogy, featuring cast and crew analyzing picture production, themes, characters, casts, and more. 'X3:' The Excitement Continues (1080i, 21:16) is a basic behind-the-scenes feature where the cast and crew talk up the movie and one another. 'X-Men' Up Close (480p) allows viewers to learn more about their favorite characters through text-based biographies. Anatomy of a Scene: Golden Gate Bridge (1080i, 12:03) looks at the making of one of the film's most spectacular special effects. Generation X: Comic Book History (480p, 1:08:32) is a fascinating journey through the world of comics, with particular attention paid to the X-Men, that should satisfy both fans and newcomers alike.
Next up is Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School (480p, 26:14), a piece that features Producer Ralph Winter discussing the filmmaking process with a trio of film school students, with special emphasis on the X-Men films. Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session (480p, 10:05) is a piece that features Stan Lee and others discussing the process of assembling the perfect cast. Next up are a series of vignettes presented in 1080i: Prophecies (4:31), 'X-Men' Politics (4:09), Clothing vs. Costume (4:11), Make-Up Chair Confessions (3:04), Weapons of Choice (3:07), On-Set Effects (2:31), and Learning to Fly (5:31). Blogs is, again, a piece divided into several small segments, presented in 1080i: Production Teaser (0:56), Live From the Danger Room (3:14), MARVELous Cameos (3:01), and Editing Magic (7:04). Moving along, Previz Animatics (480p, 25:45) offers fans a chance to witness twenty scenes in a raw, computerized rendition. Next are a pair of still galleries -- Character Stills and Concept Art, Storyboards & Models. Concluding this supplemental package are three trailers for the film (1080p, 1:35, 2:26, and 7:11).
X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Viewed in a vacuum and ignoring the first two films in the series, X3 makes for very good Action movie entertainment. As the conclusion to a trilogy, however, it suffices at best and disappoints at worst. The magic of the first two films -- highlighted by intense drama, important thematic elements, and memorable acting from Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen -- make them classics in the Superhero film genre, but that magic is gone here, replaced by a tedious film that covers all the bases but does so without much enthusiasm. X3 is a fairly decent popcorn movie, make no mistake. It features well-staged action sequences, good-looking sets and locations, great special effects, and the return of all the primary characters. It just doesn't quite match up with the first two outings. On the other hand, 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release of X3 is every bit as good as one might expect. The picture quality is superb, the soundtrack even better, and the supplements lengthy. It's hard to say "no" to the movie as the third film in the series, though, and considering it comes on a top-notch Blu-ray, X3 earns a recommendation.
X-Men: The Last Stand: Other Editions
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X-Men: The Last Stand Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - April 21 - April 21, 2009
Out on Blu-ray today are two films which - at very least - had a part in the beginning to two current Hollywood trends that either have you begging for more, or pleating to stop. 'X-Men' - released today individually or as part of the 'X-Men Trilogy' - is, arguably, ...
• X-Men Blu-ray Trilogy Gets Detailed - February 5, 2009
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of 'X-Men', 'X2: X-Men United', and 'X3: The Last Stand', which are due to hit store shelves on April 21st, both individually and as a 'X-Men ...
• X-Men Films Coming to Blu-ray - January 15, 2009
In an early announcement to retailers, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has revealed that they will bring 'X-Men', 'X2: X-Men United', and 'X-Men: The Last Stand' to Blu-ray on April 21st. All three titles we be delivered as two-disc sets with 1080p AVC video ...
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