(aka 'X-Men 3' or X3')

Directed by Brett Ratner
USA 2006

 It's hard to convey the joy that loyal fans are experiencing seeing Marvels best comic books come to life on the screen. 25 years ago I was reading these little graphic wonders that the X-Men films are based upon.... from X-Men #94, the incarnation of what was known as 'The New X-Men' my buddies and I were enthralled. I still recall how dramatically the prices of these books rose in comparison to other titles. They were the most desirable comic books ever created - and like a good film - the strength was in the narrative. Even today I can't let go - I have no comic books anymore... except The X-Men from #94 - 145 safely sealed in mylar bags - the value 1000% more than what I paid. Only as you mature can you come to appreciate what we were reading way back then. These stories were so far beyond anything else, including the comparatively silly Superman or Batman that it could be considered a renaissance in the comic industry. Soon, just the spin-offs of the Marvel's X-men mutant titles were outselling the entire catalogue of their nearest competitor - DC comics.

Although the new film has drastically diverged from the original plot, the premise is the same. Each story has an underlying current of, what debatably could be, the most important issue in the world today - tolerance. As opposed to mutant genes, the dialogue could easily be replaced by a topical conversation of race, religion, color or sexual orientation.

With director Bryan Singer having moved on to Superman Returns, I wasn't overly disappointed in the new gun - Brett Ratner (Rush Hour). His best efforts are in the extensive action sequences. The film is a notch less than it could have been, but I doubt there would ever be a way to fulfill the promise that these comic books held unless one made a 6 - 8 hour film (on the Phoenix saga alone). Performances here are great (Xavier, Storm, Logan and Magneto are outstanding), special effects are state-of-the-art, the story, even fragmented from its origins, still holds keys for a fulfilling ride. Perhaps not quite the film that X-Men 2 was, The Last Stand holds its own. As a fan, whose childhood memory of The Uncanny X-Men cannot whither, I'm grateful for the attempt. It allowed past enjoyment to come flooding back - I was able to recall the innocent thrills of those days. Thank you Stan Lee, Fox and all who put forth effort into creating this ultra-fantasy with social relevance. This will live on.
out of   

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 22nd 2006 - Cannes Film Festival

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20th Century Fox "Collector's Edition" -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox -  Region 'A' - Blu-ray

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC 20th Century Fox  Region 'A' - Blu-ray
X2: X-Men United Blu-ray is also available in a Trilogy Blu-ray Boxset which includes X-Men / X2: X-Men United / X-Men: The Last Stand. It is available HERE:

              

Runtime 1:44:00  1:44:05.239
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 22,331,344,896 bytes

Disc Size:  27,971,654,228 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 28.61 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (DTS 6.1 ES), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 4738 kbps 6.1 / 48 kHz / 4738 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 448 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Commentaries: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Chinese (Traditional and simplified) French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Brett Ratner and writers Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg
• Commentary by producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter
• Deletes scenes with optional commentary
• 3 alternate endings with optional commentary
• Non-anamorphic Trailers (2 for the film and one for 24 Hours)
• Special Collector's Edition also features an exclusive original mini-comic written by Stan Lee

Preview of The Simpsons Movie and Night At the Museum 

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2006

Keep Case inside fancy cardboard case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 22,331,344,896 bytes

Disc Size:  27,971,654,228 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 28.61 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Brett Ratner and writers Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg
• Commentary by producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter
• Deletes scenes with optional commentary

Enhanced D-Box Motion Control Systems

2nd disc

• Brett Ratner's production Diaries (41;21)

• X-men Evolution of a Trilogy Documentary (44:57)

• X3: the Excitement Continues Featurette (21;16)

X-Men Close Up (Choose character - see brief clips from film - fight sequences - text information (Powers, galleries) etc.

• Anatomy of a Scene "Golden Gate Bridge" Featurette (12:03)

• Generation X: Comic Book History (1:08:32)

• Fox Movie Channel presents Life After Film School

• Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session (10:04)

• Three High-def Vignettes (27:05) and Blogs (14;16)

• Previz Anaimatics (25:44)

• Behind the Scenes Stills Gallery (Characters and Conceptual Art)

• Three Theatrical trailers in High-def

Disc 3

• Digital Copy for portable media players


Blu-ray Release Date: April 21st, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
 
Chapters: 24

 

Comments:
NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Region 'A' Blu-ray - April 09': Fox came out with a so-called "Collector's Edition" Blu-ray HERE in 2006. Fans denounced it for being only one disc and containing a lack of new supplements. While I can't be positive that this isn't the same feature transfer - there is a significant second Blu-ray disc (taking up 24.5 Gig) with many extras.

The image on this X-Men 3 Blu-ray looks pretty sweet to me - I appreciate the textures that are more apparent than on the others entries in the series. It's slightly grittier and less glossy. It may appear to take from the detail (it may be noisier too in backgrounds) a bit but this grainer look seems to have more character. Colors are a shade more vibrant - but not intensely so - more is notable in skin tones looks more flesh-colored and less orange. Unlike X2 it doesn't show significantly more information in the frame than its SD-DVD counterpart. I liked the way this Blu-ray looked but some may see it as less of an improvement over the DVD than X2. If you can appreciate the rougher hone appearance than you will definitely like these hi-def visuals. As I stated it may be the exact same transfer as the original Blu-ray although it does have 09 dates on the files.

The DTS-HD Master 6.1 at 4738 kbps could be reference. It packs a huge wallop with the generous effects sounds coming out of all corners and the occasionally aggressive track rumbling and rattling along your floorboards. If there is a detraction - it can be so intense that it may tend to drown out dialogue at times. There is also an EX 5.1 and some foreign language DUBs. Commentaries remain in 2.0 channel and there are optional subtitles in English (SDH), French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Portuguese.

NOTE: On my Momitsu BDP-899 I was able to identify that this is indeed region-locked to 'A' and only playable on those Blu-ray machines (or a region free player.)

Extras include the same commentaries and deleted scenes as the DVD and beyond that add a slew of material on a 2nd Blu-ray disc. The most notable of these might be the 1 hour 8-minute Generation X: Comic Book History documentary focusing on many aspect of the X-Men franchise including a fair bit on the history. There is plenty of production and animation material for fans with at least another 2 hours worth of featurette information.

This is certainly good enough to endorse the entire Blu-ray Trilogy package.      

***


 

ON THE 2006 DVD:

The Stan Lee Collector's Edition is very impressive, if a bit glitzy. The progressive, anamorphic image quality is as good as any recent Fox releases of modern films. I expect this is probably SD accurate (colors, detail etc.) to a theatrical screening.  Audio is intense and pure (I listened to the 5.1), subtitles are flawless - overall the package for the feature film representation is about as perfect as one could hope.

There are two commentaries offered - director Ratner and the writers (Penn and Kinberg) give a great overview of the reasons behind the deviations from the origins and some production details, expanded upon in the 2nd commentary with Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ralph Winter. There are 13 deleted scenes of which there are three alternate endings with optional commentary - fans you couldn't get enough will eat this up. You also get a little comic book for your trouble.

I don't know what else fans could ask for - this stacked DVD package, for me, was worth far more than the price. I loved watching the film and the supplements. The menus are also very entertaining.   

Gary W. Tooze

 

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(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

 


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DVD Box Cover

Distribution Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC 20th Century Fox  Region 'A' - Blu-ray
X2: X-Men United Blu-ray is also available in a Trilogy Blu-ray Boxset which includes X-Men / X2: X-Men United / X-Men: The Last Stand. It is available HERE:

              




 

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