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X-Men: The Last Stand (DVD Review)

24 Sep, 2006 By: John Latchem


Street 10/3/06
Box Office $234.3 million
$29.98 DVD/UMD, $39.98 gift set w/comic book
Rated ‘PG-13' for intense sequences of action violence, some sexual content and language.
Stars Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Stewart.

While the third “X-Men” movie was one of the most anticipated titles of the year, and its DVD is sure to sell equally well, one can't help but get the impression the slick packaging is mostly smoke and mirrors.

The DVD is rather light on extras for such a blockbuster, especially compared to the DVDs for the first two movies.

Viewers can expect three trailers upon startup, and then are given the choice of “good” or “evil” menu themes. Selecting one or the other doesn't appear to unlock any unique features.

Then, the main menu presents the option for two more movie previews — for The Simpsons Movie and Night at the Museum.

The “billboard” approach continues with five more trailers in the special features section, three of them for previous Fox movies based on Marvel Comics characters.

A lot was made in the press leading up to the film about Brett Ratner taking over as director following the departure of Bryan Singer to helm Superman Returns.

While not as strong as the first two films, Last Stand is still solid entertainment. The metaphor of the first two films has been pushed to the background in exchange for more action and a straightforward storyline about a “cure” for the genetic mutation that gives the X-Men and other mutants their powers.

The deleted and alternate scenes might lead one to conclude, if one didn't know better, that the filmmakers were shooting random footage hoping to find a combination of takes that worked.

The commentaries are actually rather informative, despite the occasional lapse into sarcasm.Ratner joins writers Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg in analyzing a lot of the story elements and hidden details lifted from the comic book. It's a nice guide for fans and really fleshes out the storyline.

A second commentary from producers Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter and Marvel's Avi Arad focuses more on behind-the-scenes aspects.

However, the commentators sometimes mention a deleted scene or screen test that “will be on the DVD” that is actually nowhere to be found. It's annoying and probably means there's another potential X3 DVD in our future, or maybe an “X-Men” trilogy megaset.

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