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X-Men: Days of Future Past (3D Blu-ray Review)

17 Oct, 2014 By: John Latchem

Box Office $233.92 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $49.99 3D Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of intense sci-fi violence and action, some suggestive material, nudity and language.
Stars Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart.

After seven movies, keeping track of the “X-Men” movie timeline is pretty much impossible. The sheer number of characters involved and their disparate backstories paved the way for a wide number of inconsistencies from film to film, which probably shouldn’t be too surprising given there hasn’t been an overarching plan for the “X-Men” movies on the level of their “Avengers” counterparts. Luckily, the man who started it all decided to come back to hit a big reset button on the whole thing.

Bryan Singer directed the first two “X-Men” movies back in 2000 and 2003, but stepped away from the third movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, which was subsequently widely panned by fans. After X-Men Origins: Wolverine fared even worse, Singer returned to write and produce the prequel X-Men: First Class, acknowledged as a step up for the franchise. He also added a tag to the end of last year’s The Wolverine to tie into this seventh installment, which effectively serves as a sequel to not only that movie, but also Last Stand and First Class. Singer has essentially thrown all the "X-Men" movies into a blender and poured out a delicious smoothie.

So we get the classic cast, headed by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor X and Magneto, fighting a war in a dystopian future against an army of robot Sentinels that track and kill mutants. Their plan is to go full Terminator by zipping the consciousness of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973, where he can track down their younger selves (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from setting off a chain of events that leads to the war. And both timelines coexist until one resolves the other so we get a lot of parallel action as events play out (particularly in the finale).

The film is a joy to behold simply because it embraces the craziness of it all. It doesn’t matter how much it actually aligns with the earlier films, it just feels right. Singer isn’t so much trying to fix any of the timeline problems as he is blowing them up, using the time travel plot to re-write the entire history of the franchise in one fell swoop, paving the way for future stories with the First Class cast while giving fans of the earlier films a heck of a valentine, and perhaps something of an apology for abandoning the franchise to begin with.

The Blu-ray has a few good nuggets in the bonus materials, but it’s depressingly light on extras for a film of this caliber. There are a couple of interesting deleted scenes, the most significant of which hints at a future romance between Wolverine and Storm (Halle Berry). But other scenes known to exist have been held back for an upcoming extended cut of the film.

There are also about 43 minutes of production featurettes that focus mostly on the merging of the casts from the franchise’s two eras. One profiles the new mutants introduced in the film and another examines the bad guys. There’s also a gag reel and a gallery of pictures and blueprints seen as props in the movie.

Finally, the Blu-ray contains a preview of the upcoming Moses film Exodus: Gods and Kings, which is surprisingly only a couple of minutes given that this particular extras is actually hyped by a sticker on the cover on many copies of the disc.

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