X-Men: First Class, the 2011 prequel to the X-Men trilogy, premieres on DVD and Blu-ray September 9th.
X-Men: First Class is the latest installment in the X-Men series and focuses on the origin of the X-Men as well as their enemies, the Brotherhood of Mutants. Written by Brian Singer, the director and writer of the first two X-Men films, the story does not follow the comics of the same name.
The film is set during the 60s and features an X-Men team consisting of Charles “Professor X” Xavier (James McAvoy), Erik “Magneto” Lensherr (Michael Fassbender), Alex “Havok” Summers (Lucas Till), Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), Raven “Mystique” Darkholme (Jennifer Lawrence), Sean “Banshee” Cassidy (Caleb Landry Jones), Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz) and Armando “Darwin” Munoz (Edi Gathegi). The team fight the Hellfire Club, a group led by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) who seeks to start World War III and take over the world for mutants.
After the public disappointment for X-men Origins: Wolverine, fans were a little uneasy about jumping into another X-Men film. However, anyone who did check it out in theatres was pleasantly surprised. The prequel offers a clever story wrapping the X-Men series into history – in this case the Cuban Missile Crisis. We see a young Professor X, Magneto, Beast and Mystique. Not to mention the new mutants introduced in this installment including Scott “Cyclops” Summers’ brother, Alex “Havok” Summers.
Kick-Ass director, Matthew Vaughn, did a great job with X-Men: First Class. Bryan Singer’s story has really melded into it’s own, and now with this prequel it’s growing it’s own roots. Marvel fans and just plain movie fans should be pleased with this one.
20th Century Fox always offers top-notch releases, but with a highly anticipated release like this one – you can expect even more. The Blu-ray comes with their usual 1080p/AVC encoded transfer that looks amazing. With no digital noise or unnecessary edge enhancement, the film comes off as extremely clean and crisp. This is one you can use to show off your Blu-ray player.
The audio is just as good with the Blu-ray offering the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. If you can turn it up, do so, as it’ll make this track sound perfect with each explosion, gunshot, missile and any other mutant-made noise booming through your speakers. The track does lack a bit during the quieter scenes, mainly in the rear channels, with subtle ambience that could have been enhanced. The Blu-ray also includes dubs in French and Spanish, both with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround.
The DVD comes with the satisfying Dolby Digital 5.1 track, plus dubs in French and Spanish with 2.0 Dolby Surround sound.
The Blu-ray comes with a few extra special features not included on the DVD, plus a Digital Copy of the film itself. Here’s the complete list of features:
- Children of the Atom
- X Marks the Spot
- Cerebro: Mutant Tracker
- Composer’s Isolated Score
- Deleted Scenes
- BD-Live Exclusive – “Dogfight” Stunt Test
The 7-part documentary, Children of the Atom, is the only feature included on both the DVD and Blu-ray. The rest are Blu-ray exclusive. Children of the Atom is a lengthy feature offering an in-depth look at the story origin, comic/film differences, visual effects, makeup, sound design, costumes and the future of the X-Men series. Although most viewers might get bored of this feature, which passes the hour mark in length, it is much appreciated in its inclusion.
The rest of the features on the Blu-ray are mostly just for show. The Cerebro: Mutant Tracker is just a Blu-ray interactive feature where you can “track” mutants by clicking on them with your remote which opens a short video montage of the mutant in the films followed by a bio.
X Marks the Spot is a viewing mode you can choose. If you turn this on, mini featurettes will pop up at various times throughout the film. There are only about eight of these, so it’s probably better to just view them separately from the extras menu.
The last few are pretty straightforward; deleted scenes and the Composer’s Isolated Score are exactly what they sound like. The BD-Live Exclusive is some test footage of the aerial fight between the characters Angel and Banshee.
X-Men: First Class should be a breath of fresh air for those who were wary of ever seeing another X-Men film after Wolverine. It’s a great addition to the series and with showcase quality visuals and excellent audio, this home release is perfect. Definitely be sure to check this one out.
Buy X-Men: First Class DVD
Buy X-Men: First Class Blu-ray
Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this column at the top of the page to keep up on all future news, reviews, interviews and giveaways.