The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
If you remember, back in 2000, Bryan Singer took on a big budget comic book movie with the first ‘X-Men‘ film, and the studios were waiting to see if it was going to do enough business. Made on what seems to be a modest budget of only $75 million, the first X-Men film made $300 million domestically, and that’s before 3D and all of the IMAX screens. Well, the rest is history, as we have had tons of comic book films come out since then. But it feels great to be back with the one that started it all.
First off, this ‘X-Men‘ film is superbly shot and told. It deals with time travel, and not every director and writer in the business can tell a good time travel story without some people getting thrown off course. But here, it is done exceptionally well and is easy to follow. If the title ‘Days of Future Past‘ confuses you, don’t worry, I’ll explain it. The title refers to a story arc of the X-Men comic books and focused on a desolate Earth where these large and highly adaptable robots called Sentinels destroyed everyone and everything. You might remember the Sentinels as the giant purple robot bad guys from the comics. It’s as if the worst possible outcome of a ‘Terminator‘ were to come true, only with no Arnold Schwarzenegger to handle things and save the day.
These Sentinels are zeroing in on the X-Men, as it seems they are the last of the mutants left on Earth. In an amazing opening scene, we see Magneto (Ian McKellen), Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Bishop (Omar Sy), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Sunspot, Warpath, and Colossus, Halle Berry returning as Storm and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine trying to fight off these Sentinels. Singer must be a huge ‘Portal‘ fan, because there is a lot of portal opening going on here in the style of the game. And it’s so much fun to watch. Pryde is able to take somebody’s mind and soul and send it back in time, which Xavier and Magneto want to do to stop this Sentinel war from starting. But the ability to go back in time to the early 70s would rip apart anyone’s brain.
But since Wolverine can regenerate immediately, he is sent back in time to find the young Prof. Xavier (Jame McAvoy) and the young prisoner Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to help stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Dr, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), who is responsible for creating the sentinels and selling them to anyone who wants to buy them. We find out that Mystique killing Trask is the one event that sets in motion the destruction of the future that we see in the first scene.
The bulk of the film is running around with Wolverine and the younger versions of Magneto, Xavier, and Beast (Nicholas Hoult) as they try to fix the past so that the world is not destroyed and they can keep their lives. It literally is a race against time. One of the coolest scenes involved Quicksilver (perfectly played by Evan Peters), when he broke Magneto out of prison. I could watch that scene on loop for hours. If you can believe it, Wolverine plays the level-headed man through the entire film this time around and focuses more on the young Xavier coming to terms with his handicap and dealing with his super power and McAvoy shows his struggle flawlessly.
Fassbender is cool as ice as Magneto again and Peter Dinklage is as good as ever as the evil Dr. Trask. One of the only complaints is the lack of a big epic climactic fight scene at the end. Sure, there is a big climax, but it offers very little fighting. But that’s nit-picking. And of course, stay till the end of the credits for a great scene of what’s to come. The acting, filming, and special effects were all top notch here and I want Quick Silver spin off movie for sure. This is the BEST ‘X-Men‘ movie to date and is well worth one-hundred viewings.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' comes with an UHD 4K Blu-ray Disc as well as standard 50GB Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for the digital download code. The discs are housed in a hard black plastic case.
Coming in with this first new wave of releases under the UHD format is 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'. I didn't know quite what to expect with this UHD version in regards of how much the image is upgraded since the previous standard Blu-ray version was quite good, but I'm here to say that there is definitely a great upgraded image here that boasts detail and color even more than you thought.
The first scene in the old temple shows just how good this video presentation is. As the spotlights scour the buildings and temple, the different textures and shadows are greatly improved on as every object and mutant's outline is detailed in the shadow and light. It's quite fascinating. The multiple grays, blacks, and greens look magnificent and give the image a ton of new depth.
The natural light used as well throughout the film looks incredible too. That famous scene with Quicksilver in the kitchen, where he uses his power to take out all the guards looks simply outstanding. Every droplet of water is clearly defined, and not only that, the light reflecting off the explosions of the bullets and lighting in the room, clearly show on every water droplet as the light passes though. It's breathtaking in way. Colors look incredible as well, especially when Logan travels back to the 70s, where all of the retro primaries stick out quite boldly.
The blue and red costumes shine bright with the varying degrees of shading, which gives each character and costume a very realistic look. The darker scenes show the deepest black levels as well. This new image really makes the film pop right off screen with everything getting a good dose of upgraded detail and color, making each sequence seem more lifelike in this unlikely realm.
This UHD release does NOT come with a Dolby Atmos option, nor a Dolby TrueHD option, but rather our old friend - the lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix, which sounds great. This action-packed superhero film has a lot of range and dynamics to deal with and this DTS-HD track handles it all well. The sound effects here are loud and well layered, giving every bit of detail to each sentinel part or specialized weapon it's own unique noise that sounds very realistic.
Each sound is perfectly balanced as it needs to be in each scene, never drowning out any other part of the film. Towards the end of the film when Magneto levitates the entire sport's stadium, you can hear the far off pieces of earth and cement fall to the ground, while closer debris and people screaming are truly louder. It's a great effect and fully immerses you in the moment. The gun blasts and explosions provide some excellent directionality as well, never missing the mark.
The bass kicks into high gear during the bigger action sequences and never crosses into rocky territory. The dialogue is always crystal clear and is perfectly situated on the front end of things. The surrounds and rear speakers also get a great workout with the various other ambient noises settling in. The range and flow of the sound, including the score, make this audio presentation literally jump right out in front of you.
There are NO new extras on the UHD disc, but all of the previous extras are imported here from the past release, sans the Rogue Cut edition, since this UHD version does NOT include that cut. The Audio commentary is the only supplement included here on the UHD disc, while the rest is on the standard Blu-ray version.
Audio Commentary - Director Bryan Singer and writer Simon Kinberg discuss the themes of the film as well as trying to explain all the time travel angles and developing the entire plot. There is also some cool trivia with the characters.
Deleted scenes (HD, 6 Mins.) - There are five deleted scenes in total with unfinished effects and a kiss with Wolverine. All of which are worth watching.
Gag Reel (HD, 6 Mins.) - A decent sized blooper reel where the cast is having fun with their missed cues, flubbed lines, and tons of laughter.
Kitchen Sequence (HD, 6 Mins.) - This is a hilarious look at the kitchen sequence where director Bryan Singer had a problem with his voice that made him high pitch that caused the cast to laugh every time he gave direction.
Classification: M (HD, 12 Mins.) - The cast a crew talk about the new mutants in the film as well as how the visual effects and sound design were used to achieve the character.
X-Men: Reunited (HD, 10 Mins.) - Here we have the cast talking about the time travel with the same characters in both timelines and coming together as one.
Double Take: Xavier & Magneto (HD, 12 Mins.) - The actors discuss their roles in the different time lines.
Sentinels: For A Secure Future (HD, 9 Mins.) - The Sentinels are given an in depth look here at their origins and design.
Gallery: Trask Industies - Images from the movie.
Second Screen App - On your X-Men movie app on your mobile device, you can sync up the movie with tons of trivia, art, and featurettes.
Theatrical Trailers (HD, 7 Mins.) - There are a few trailers here for the film.
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' was a great addition to the 'X-Men' franchise and sets up the upcoming 'Apocalypse' film. The story is fluid, fun, entertaining, and well told. With this UHD version, the uptick in 4K shows even more detail, shading, and color to the film and its characters, making everything much more realistic and lifelike. There are no new extras, but if you're a fan of the film, this upgrade in video quality is well worth the purchase. Highly recommended!