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X-MEN: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is the teacher and leader of strangely gifted children with a twist to their genetic code - the X-Men - that enables them to perform extraordinary feats with extraordinary powers. Cyclops’ (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Storm (Halle Berry). Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) stumble into this secret enclave while a political storm erupts as US Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison), decries all mutants as a pestilence to be feared. At the same time, these X-Men find themselves locked in a physical and philosophical battle with the Professor’s former friend, Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Ian McKellen). One of the most powerful of mutants, Magneto has turned his back on society, believing that humans and mutants can never coexist, and that mutants are the rightful heirs to the future. He and his evil Brotherhood – the mammoth Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), the metamorph Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) and the near-sighted, far-jumping Toad (Ray Park) – will stop at nothing to ensure that future, even if it threatens the very existence of mankind ... or mutantkind.

Let’s assume you’ve seen the film already on the big screen, and you’re settling down for a teaser before the main attraction on this DVD, exploring its extras. You’ll find a very cool menu design with sound effects, but if you’re like me, you’ll start with the Hugh Jackman screen test, and you’ll be rewarded. It’s only a couple of minutes, and it’s worth the time; his co-star in the screener is Anna Paquin.

For a bit more behind the scenes fun, whip into animatics: animated story boards. Two big stunt scenes are included and they might seem strange on your DVD player: they play silent.

Next, the Fox TV special, Mutant Watch. From the Senate hearings into the mutant danger to interviews with cast and crew, the feature is a tongue in cheek mockumentary based on X-Men concepts. A bonus for fans.

In the X Men featurette, interviews and clips provide an overview – like a very long trailer with cast interviews. The odd on-set footage is interesting and should be expanded, but as usual, the inclusion of too many clips spoils it as a feature specific to the DVD. It’s produced as a selling tool, best aired on tv, not as a DVD feature. Fans will quickly tire of the repetition.

The Bryan Singer interview (with a guy called Charlie Rose) is presented in six short topic-driven chapters, and is all right as far as it goes, but is visually dull, especially compared to the rest of the disc.

In the art gallery, however, there are dozens of stills from character and production design that are worth a peep, after you’ve exhausted the moving pictures on the Special Edition – not forgetting the film itself. In summary, some of the extra features are worthwhile, others are disappointing, but the film retains its comic-book-on-screen appeal.

For those who don’t know: Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) is the teacher and leader of strangely gifted children with a twist to their genetic code - the X-Men - that enables them to perform extraordinary feats with extraordinary powers. Cyclops’ (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Storm (Halle Berry). Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) stumble into this secret enclave while a political storm erupts as US Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison), decries all mutants as a pestilence to be feared. At the same time, these X-Men find themselves locked in a physical and philosophical battle with the Professor’s former friend, Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Ian McKellen). One of the most powerful of mutants, Magneto has turned his back on society, believing that humans and mutants can never coexist, and that mutants are the rightful heirs to the future. He and his evil Brotherhood – the mammoth Sabretooth (Tyler Mane), the metamorph Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) and the near-sighted, far-jumping Toad (Ray Park) – will stop at nothing to ensure that future, even if it threatens the very existence of mankind ... or mutantkind.

Like the cartoons in the daily papers, comics have often reflected the social and political climate of their time. (This was created in the 60s.) Like cartoons and their film equivalent, animation, or like live cabaret, comics are a form of entertainment with potential for something to sayrelevant in the case of the Xignore reviews Patrick Stewart are hardly teen role modelsthe world . This is -Men adaptation because while it will attract existing X-Men comic fans (obsessive, some of them) who will generally (including this one) its astute and commendable casting may even tempt a few non-fans who like to explore. Ian McKellen and . Indeed, even Hugh Jackman was not cast in this role for his neon-lit global fame among the youth of - although he earns a place in the starry firmament of cinema with this well judged performance.
Andrew L. Urban

Published July 12, 2001



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FEATURE

X-MEN (M)
(US)

CAST: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian Mckellen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Tyler Mane, Ray Park, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: July 4, 2001

SPECIAL EDITION (Metal case, X embossed)
LIMITED EDITION (Presentation box)

SPECIAL FEATURES
Extended Branching Version (includes 6 deleted or alternative scenes within the movie); separate menu for deleted/altered scenes independent of the movie; Bryan Singer interview, trailers and tv spots; soundtrack promo; The Mutant Watch, Fox Special; X-Men featurette; Hugh Jackman’s screen test; animatics; art gallery.







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