Ultra HD: Recommended
4 Stars out of 5
Sale Price $29.96
List Price $59.99
Buy
3rd Pary $23.97
Usually ships in 24 hours
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Movie Release Year: 2000
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

X-Men: 3-Film Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Review Date October 2nd, 2018 by
Overview -

Over a decade later, Bryan Singer's original X-Men and X-Men United remain just as entertaining as ever, with the sequel being the best of the bunch. But Brett Ratner's The Last Stand is a scatter-brained, uninteresting entry that frankly overshoots its welcome. All three films are brought to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with great-looking 4K HDR10 presentations, previously-released DTS-HD MA audio options, and the same set of supplements as before. Overall, the 4K Trilogy package is Recommended for series fans.

OVERALL
Recommended
Leave A Comment
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Six-Disc UHD Combo Pack, 3 UHD-66 Dual-Layer Discs / 3 BD-50 Dual-Layer Discs, Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR10
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.40:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH, Spanish, French
    Special Features:
    Audio Commentaries
    Featurettes
    Deleted Scenes
    Still Galleries
    Trailers
    Digital HD Copies
    Blu-ray Copies

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4 Stars out of 5

Since discovering Marvel Comics as a kid, the X-Men series has always enjoyed a special place in my heart and imagination. Unlike other superheroes where they gain their powers from special circumstances, these heroes are born with unnatural abilities due to some extreme evolutionary anomaly. Their struggles are not as black-and-white, where they must defeat a megalomaniac supervillain, but deeply personal, complex and traumatizing to each character with stories reflecting various cultural anxieties and topically distressing issues. Because they're born with a variety of mutations — some physically visible, others hidden but nonetheless part of a personality — the characters must also combat the harsh, discriminatory judgments of society, treated as defects, freaks, deformed and, of course, mutants. As the feared, hated, and unwanted, their struggles really captured my childhood fascination because their choice to save a society that despised them made it more special and remarkable, raising huge philosophical questions on ethics and free will. 

And so, it pretty much goes without saying, I was especially excited to see X-Men finally adapted for the big screen back in 2000. I remember enjoying the movie and instantly loving the performances, especially Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Patrick Stewart's Professor X, and Ian McKellen's Magneto. However, the production was far from perfect, or at least, the way I envisioned an X-Men movie. Introducing Wolverine and Rogue (Anna Paquin) as drifters accidentally stumbling into the middle of an ongoing war between two different mutant factions is a great way of easing audiences unfamiliar with the comics into this alternate fantasy. Having Magneto and his group's animosity with society as the result of being denied their humanity, refusing mutants equality and survivor's guilt makes for a great plot, but the execution ultimately feels pedestrian and uninspiring, focusing more on the action and visuals, which are great by the way, than on expanding the central conceit into an engaging story. It doesn't help that Toad (Ray Park) and Sabretooth (Tyler Mane) are terrible. 

Nevertheless, the first live-action adaptation of a personal favorite comic series remains satisfying and fun enough for this fan. 

X2: X-Men United not only surpasses all expectations as a sequel but is shockingly superior to its predecessor. Bryan Singer returns to direct better action sequences, as well as tell a more meaningful and occasionally provocative story about the social injustices we face going into the 21st Century. Here, audiences are introduced to the quietly diabolical Col. William Stryker (Brian Cox) and his frightening fixation of eradicating the planet of all mutants. What makes the film incredibly fascinating — and arguably, one of the best superhero movies ever — are scenes and dialogue which seem interestingly inspired by political discussions that were being debated at the time, namely equal rights for the LGBTQ community. It's no surprise that, in the comics, Stryker is a religious fanatic convinced mutant genocide as God's mission. It's a fantastic film that embraces the plot's deeper issues while also being action-packed and fun.

Sadly, the same can't be said of the third and final installment, X-Men: The Last Stand. Brett Ratner takes over the reins as director and, working from a script by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn, he does what he can to make a rather bland story visually exciting and action-packed. Like its predecessors, the plot feels inspired by cultural concerns, revolving around the idea of a medical cure for mutants, tempting a few characters with the desire for a "normal" — meaning average and socially acceptable — life. For poor Rogue, who can't touch or kiss her boyfriend Bobby without potentially killing him, the possibility of curing herself of what she feels is a curse rather than a gift is much too enticing. And, when all is said and done, this aspect of the plot is also the most interesting, as the frustration and resentment of society's endless intolerance reaches a boiling point and turns into a war. But, frankly, the rise of Phoenix feels more like a distracting, carelessly tacked-on subplot than a genuine storyline for Jackman's Wolverine to display his dramatic chops. 

X-Men — 3.5 stars

X2: X-Men United — 4.5 stars

X-Men: The Last Stand — 3 stars

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings the X-Men trilogy to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a six-disc combo pack, dubbed the "3-Film Collection," with a flyer for Digital HD Copies of all three movies in one code. When redeeming said code via FoxDigitalMovies.com or Movie Anywhere, the movies are only available in HD SDR with Dolby Digital audio through the various streaming services. The three dual-layered UHD66 discs sit opposite their Region A, BD50 counterparts with four of those discs on two center spindles. The Blu-rays are the same discs previously released, featuring the artwork as before. All six discs are housed inside a slightly-thicker than normal black, eco-elite keepcase with a glossy, side-sliding slipcover. At startup, the UHDs go straight to the main menu screen with full-motion clips, the usual options along the bottom and music playing in the background.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Six-Disc UHD Combo Pack, 3 UHD-66 Dual-Layer Discs / 3 BD-50 Dual-Layer Discs, Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR10
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.40:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH, Spanish, French
    Special Features:
    Audio Commentaries
    Featurettes
    Deleted Scenes
    Still Galleries
    Trailers
    Digital HD Copies
    Blu-ray Copies

Video Review

4 Stars out of 5

X-Men

Mutants fight injustice with a great-looking HEVC H.265 encode, offering several notable improvements over its Blu-ray counterpart. Originally shot on 35mm film, the 2160p transfer comes with an appreciable uptick in definition, but it's not a leaps and bounds difference. Still, fine lines in the costumes, hair, and the X-Mansion architecture are detailed for a majority of the runtime with a fair share of softer, more poorly-resolved sequences. 

A brighter contrast delivers crisper, more resplendent whites, and dazzling specular highlights give metallic surfaces a glistening, realistic sparkle while the brightest sections maintain excellent clarity. Black levels are also a bit richer and opulent with darker, inkier shadows and outstanding gradational details. Colors, on the other hand, don't reveal as much of a dramatic change, which is not to say that primaries don't benefit when, in fact, they are a tad fuller and vivid. Toad now has more of a sickly pickle or crocodile green tone, Magneto's costumes show a mix of plum and sangria along with his signature magenta colors, and facial complexions are slightly rosier and lifelike. Awash in a fine layer of grain, providing the 2.40:1 image a lovely film-like quality, the overall 4K presentation is a welcomed upgrade. (Video Rating: 74/100)

X2: X-Men United

The best of the trilogy combats bigotry and intolerance equipped with an excellent HEVC-encoded transfer, delivering strong, sharp lines in the various costumes and clothing. Viewers can plainly make out the stitching and fabric quality of Magneto's cape, every corner and wire inside the X-Jet is exposed, and individual stones of the X-Mansion can practically be counted. Also, a very fine layer of grain throughout provides the 2.40:1 image with a lovely film-like quality fans will appreciate.

The best aspect is the improved contrast levels, making for a noticeably brighter and more vibrant 4K presentation than its HD SDR counterpart. Whites are resplendent and intense, beaming with brilliance throughout without blooming or ruining the picture, and specular highlights radiate with sparkling luminosity that make metallic surfaces shine with realism, such as Lady Deathstrike's claws, while the hottest areas maintain great clarity. Black levels are also spot-on and inkier with good gradational differences between the various shades while dark, midnight shadows penetrate deep into the screen with excellent visibility within the murkiest corners. Similar to the first film, colors don't show as dramatic an improvement, but primaries nonetheless have a slightly deeper and fuller tone. Secondary hues are more nuanced with a tad more variation, such as the distinct reds, oranges and yellows of Pyro's fireballs. Magneto's helmet is now a glossy, deep plum color and his cape has a cherry red underlining, and Nightcrawler's skin looks more dark indigo blue.

However, the 2160p video is not always consistent, as there are a few scattered less-than-satisfying, poorly-resolved scenes. Dated CG effects are rarely well-defined. And sharp edges tend to fluctuate and show a bit of aliasing at times. Still, despite a few flaws, it's overall a very nice picture. (Video Rating: 80/100)

X-Men: The Last Stand

The war between humans and mutants erupts on Ultra HD with the best looking HEVC encode of the trilogy. Definition and clarity are top-notch, revealing every nook and cranny in the mansion, unveiling the most trivial object in the background and exposing the tiniest imperfection in the woodwork, stones and along the walls of various other buildings. Every leaf, the rough, jagged bark of trees and the thick cables of the Golden Gate bridge are distinct from a distance. Wrinkles, pores and negligible blemishes are plainly visible, especially during close-up and even during the flashback sequence where the digital work on Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen looks good. In fact, a majority of the CG still holds up and remains pretty detailed. A tad of aliasing rears its ugly head, but thankfully, it doesn't happen often enough to distract. With a nice layer of natural grain to boot, the 4K presentation has a welcomed, attractive film-like quality. 

Contrast definitely runs hotter than its HD SDR counterpart and on occasion, can appear to bloom just enough to engulf the finer details, such as when Professor X pleads with Phoenix and the sun shines on Stewart's head too intensely. However, for a majority of the movie, whites are crisp and glowing with outstanding luminous while specular highlights radiate with a tight, narrow brilliance that reveals plenty of detailing within the brightest spots, providing several metallic surfaces with a realistic glisten and Magneto's plum sangria helmets shows a cool glossy finish. Black levels are rich and inky with superb gradational differences, such as Magneto's cape, the skimpy outfits of Callisto and her crew, and the X-Men. Stygian, velvety shadows penetrate deep into the background, providing the 2.40:1 image with a welcomed three-dimensional appeal in a few scenes. The palette benefits most with richly-saturated primaries and a colorful, varied selection of secondary hues. Most attractive is the mix of orangey, fiery red in Phoenix's hair while her outfit is a combination of dark wine and currant, each clearly distinguishable from the other, making this 2160p video a nice upgrade. (Video Rating: 84/100)

Audio Review

5 Stars out of 5

All three movies join the fight on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks heard on their respective Blu-ray counterparts. Although they would have arguably benefited from an object-based audio option, each track continues to deliver an awesome aural experience sure to give anyone's home theater system a nice workout, with The Last Stand being the strongest and best of the bunch. In either case, they all fill the room with a variety of background activity, generating a wide and spacious soundstage, while surrounds envelop listeners with a splendid array of action and atmospherics. The mid-range is always crisp and detailed while maintaining precise, intelligible dialogue in the center, and each movie comes with a vigorously potent and robust low-end that provides a commanding presence to the visuals. Many of the action-packed sequences burst to life when applying the receivers' Dolby Surround or DTS: Neural:X up-mixing functionality, effortlessly spreading many of the aforementioned atmospherics into the overheads. (Audio Rating: 96/100)

You can read more on each lossless track by clicking on the links provided above. 

Special Features

4 Stars out of 5

The same set of supplements for each movie are also ported over and can be enjoyed on the accompanying Blu-rays. However, each movie was originally released as a two-disc package where the second Blu-ray disc contained more bonus material. Those second discs are not included in this package. The audio commentaries are the only supplement shared between the two formats.  

X-Men

  • Audio Commentary - With Bryan Singer and Brian Peck. Fans of the comic shouldn’t expect a track wealthy with mutant information, as Singer announces early he’s not a comic reader. Singer provides some fairly interesting anecdotes, such as having Indiana Jones’ favorite sidekick Short Round on set, but for the most part, this track is about how fans reacted to the film, anticipation towards the second film (which was being filmed at the time of the recording of this track), and some discussion of effects and costuming. Despite being fairly fast and active, there is really nothing to be learned from this somewhat pointless track. 
  • Enhanced Viewing Mode (SD) - This feature can be viewed as a prompted extra track in the film, or as independent features. The extended/deleted scenes and behind the scenes extras for this feature are in standard definition, and look terrible when mixed in with the rest of the film (and may cause a delay in your television if it takes a moment to change from SD to HD), and also have a clunky pause before and after their insertions, which is not due to the resolution change. This feature may have been cutting edge back in the days of DVD, but it is an albatross on this release, as features known as “seamless branching” and “picture in picture” both would have made this a solid feature. 
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes (SD, 11 min) - Six deleted/alternate scenes from the film, with optional commentary by Bryan Singer and Brian Peck. These scenes are the same as those that can be added to the film in the Enhanced Viewing Mode. They add nothing to the story, and slow down the film tremendously. 
  • Fox Special: “The Mutant Watch” (SD, 22 min) - Part mock TV news show, taking place in the world that ‘X-Men’ takes place, and part commercial for the film, “The Mutant Watch” stars Davison in his Senator Kelly character. This feature would have been truly great, had it not been full of more clips than unique footage of the Senate hearing; instead, it’s heavily EPK, and loaded with some awful late ’90’s techno beats.
  • Bryan Singer Interview (SD, 6 min) - An interview with the director, broken into six sections for those not interested in the whole shebang. Singer presents the film intelligently with Charlie Rose, though there isn’t any real interesting information to be found here. 
  • Animatics (SD, 2 min) - The fight between Wolverine and Sabretooth, and the train station fight between the X-Men and the Brotherhood are shown in their raw stage used for planning out the shots. 
  • Art Gallery - There are two galleries, one for character design, the other, production design. The pictures of Kelly’s transformation are absolutely awesome! There were over 100 images in the character design area, and over 60 production shots in these immersive compilations. 
  • TV Spots (SD, 1 min) - Three TV spots for the film. They don’t overlap that much, a rarity for these shorts, but they are far from enticing.
  • Music Promo (SD, 1 min) - A commercial for the score for the film. I highly doubt this would be readily be found in stores at this point.
  • Trailers (HD).

X2: X-Men United

  • Audio Commentaries - The fun begins with two tracks, the first with Bryan Singer and director of photography Tom Sigel, the second with producers Lauren Schuller-Donner and Ralph Winte and the writing team of Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (plus a few spare comments from early draft writer David Hayter spliced in). Both are very good tracks, but I enjoyed the writer and producer commentary more. Singer and Sigel get technical, and rather dry, focusing almost exclusively on specific sequences and production challenges. More interesting were the script challenges, and following up a hit movie filled with so many characters and subplots that required cohesive narrative. Sure, there there is some pretention in discussing the depth of the story (this is still a comic book movie, isn't it?), but it's offset by many amusing production antecdents and a few jabs at Singer's now-famous high-strung directing style. Casual fans may want to just skip these and go for all the documentaries and featurettes, but hardcore X-fans should at least give the writer and producer track a listen.
  • Theatrical Trailers (HD).

X-Men: The Last Stand

  • Audio Commentaries - The "highlights" are the two audio commentaries, the first with director Brett Ratner and screenwriters Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg, and the second with producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter. Shocking to me is how banal and inconsequential both are. Ratner seems not so much dismissive as indifferent -- he and his screenwriter pals joke and goof around to the point where we get little more that surface-level insight into the mutant characters we already know so well, and such fascinating tidbits as how CGI can actually render objects that weren't even on the set! The Kinsberg guy also doesn't even seem to know anything about the X-universe at all, so I wonder how he got such a plum screenwriting job?

    Unfortunately, the producer track doesn't fare much better, with lots of back-patting and high-fives about how great the movie is, the stellar cast, and Ratner's "energized" direction. I must say, these were two of the more disappointing commentaries I've heard on a Blu-ray.
  • Deleted Scenes (SD) - Up next are ten deleted scenes and three alternate endings. Most are mere scene extensions, and inspire a fair amount of interest. Some stuff is dull, like a gratuitous spat between a guard and Mystique during the president impersonation scene and an alternate opening voiceover for Professor X, while a different introduction for Beast and Logan and an extended version of the battle at Jean Grey's house are a bit more exciting. Likewise, the alternate endings are all over the map. The "Next Year at School" coda is totally cheesy, while the two other endings offer more fleshed-out resolutions for Logan and Rogue; indeed, the film's theatrical ending was the best choice.

Final Thoughts

As a lifelong fan of the original comic series, the X-Men adaptations will always have a special place in my heart, flawed as the first and last movie may be. Bryan Singer's sequel, on the other hand, has earned a great deal of respect and admiration, appreciated as one of the best and thoughtful superhero movies ever made. All three films are collected for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a six-disc combo pack, and each features a great-looking 4K HDR10 presentation accompanied by the same DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Along with porting over some of the same supplements as their Blu-ray counterparts, the overall UHD package comes Recommended for both fans of the series and those who didn't purchase the previous individual HD SDR releases.

Sale Price $29.96
List Price $59.99
Buy
3rd Pary $23.97
Usually ships in 24 hours
See what people are saying about this story or others
See Comments in Forum
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Six-Disc UHD Combo Pack, 3 UHD-66 Dual-Layer Discs / 3 BD-50 Dual-Layer Discs, Region Free
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR10
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.40:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH, Spanish, French
    Special Features:
    Audio Commentaries
    Featurettes
    Deleted Scenes
    Still Galleries
    Trailers
    Digital HD Copies
    Blu-ray Copies