X-Men: Apocalypse – Blu-ray Review

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Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Running Time: 144 minutes
Format: Blu-Ray
Number of Disks: 1

Story: 4 / 5

Video Quality: 5 / 5

Audio Quality: 5 / 5

Extras: 4 / 5


The X-Men are back in our homes for the 9th film in the franchise (the 6th if you discount the Wolverine films) – now available on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, 4K UltraHD, standard DVD, and Digital HD via Fox Home Entertainment.

Like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse also found itself losing a few minutes on the editing floor. However, in this case, it wasn’t due to studio interference necessarily. As Bryan Singer explains in the Blu-ray’s deleted scenes section, the first half of the film felt too long. This is sad considering that most of the cut scenes of the film are beautiful homages to the 80s – especially one scene where some of the younger X-Men visit the mall and watch Star Wars. Watching all the extra scenes – neatly packaged here – you have to wonder what an extended edition might have looked like. And it’s those cool deleted scenes that make this a Blu-ray release worth picking up.

Apocalypse: Everything they’ve built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one!

The Story

taken from Evan Saunders’ X-Men Apocalypse Review

Interestingly, this is possibly the 9th installment of the X-Men franchise, which continues to convolute the time frames between each of the films. Some continue directly where previous events ended, while others, as with Day of Future Past, explored the two timelines in the series. Getting your dates and timelines in order isn’t as critical to the story as one would think, especially since X-Men: Apocalypse takes a few moments to touch on events of the previous film, making it easier to pick up and watch as a standalone. But, that won’t necessary help you if you’re not familiar with the X-Men franchise in any form, be it the comics, animated series, or previous films.

X-men Apocalypse - 01

XMA is a long film, but I feel it deserves to be. The story and origin of Apocalypse is as essential as many of the other characters, although it falls short in completing his full potential in the end. But no matter, there’s only so much time to work with before it becomes too detailed and off point. The story picks up in ancient Egypt where Apocalypse is something of a deity. About to undergo a transmutation into a more youthful body with healing powers, his plans are interrupted by a group of rebels bent on ending his rule over the land.

Fast-forward to 1983 and you’re at the present day in the latest series of films, some time after the events of Days of Future Past. After having been reawoken by a rather simple act of sunlight hitting the previous top of one of the ancient pyramids, Apocalypse seeks out his four horsemen, with Storm (Famine), Magneto (War), Archangel (Death) and Psylocke (Pestilence). Apocalypse’s mutant powers are widespread, while at the same time he also enhances other mutant’s powers he encounters. Long before the final battle and end scenes came around I was already thinking of how one would destroy such a powerful mutant able to take on the abilities of others by means of a similar transmutation that went awry in the first scene.

X-men Apocalypse - 03

It would seem that after the events of Days of Future Past, many of the mutants a living in some utopian world away from all the prejudice of humans, as portrayed by both Prof. X and Magneto. While one is leading a school of mutant teens, the other is a married iron-worker in some remote European town. All their plans are turned on its head by the arrival of Apocalypse, who sets off a change of events leading to chaos and violence.

The stories of each of the main X-Men play out nicely, with a few annoyances in between, but still relatively positive. There are a few laughs, gaffs, and even a few references to other movies, including previous X-Men films thrown in for good measure. This light-heartedness is personified by the appearance of Quicksilver, as in the events of Days of Future Past, with is snarky rhetorics and awesomely fun scene saving the kids at The School for the Gifted after a bomb has been set off.

The character development of Jean Grey and Scott Summers plays out well, along with the likes of Mystique, Beast and Nightcrawler. In fact, the film takes an interesting look at female lead roles, with a lot of screen-time and emphasis placed on Jean Grey and Mystique.

Peter Maximoff: You know, for a guy who’s just fast as me, I always seem to be too late.

Video Quality

Screen Format: Widescreen 16:9 (2.40:1)
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Spanish/French

The image quality of X-Men: Apocalypse looks incredible and boasts great detail. Colours pop and the crisp picture allows you to appreciate the wonders of the make-up and CGI even more. You’ll find yourself in awe of the details in the character’s costumes and the fine specs in the actor’s faces. What you get here is a clean picture with hints of color blue and purple color grading tints. There is no noticeable noise. Contrast is consistent and blacks are solid throughout. This is razor sharp presentation.

Apocalypse: Elohim, Pushan, Ra – I’ve been called many names over many lifetimes. I am born of death. I was there to spark and fan the flame of man’s awakening, to spin the wheel of civilization. And when the forest would grow rank and needed clearing for new growth, I was there to set it ablaze.

Audio Quality

Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS 5.1

The Blu-ray release comes with an excellent lossless DTS-HD 7.1 mix. The immersive soundscape offers tons of explosions, sounds, atmospherics and music to give your system a full workout. It fills the channels with noises and sounds from every direction. And yet, even throughout all this, the dialogue remains audible and crystal clear. There are no pops, crackles or any other disturbances. It’s an audio track that matches the flawlessness of it’s video.

x-men-apocalypse-deleted-scene

Charles Xavier: Alex, destroy Cerebro! Wreak havoc!

Extras

Bryan Singer likes to talk. He loves explaining his movies. And that’s what he does here. A lot. If you don’t get enough of his audio commentary, he also offers a ton of behind-the-scenes footage (which even includes a gag reel and a wrap party video). If that’s not enough, the hour long X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed should make you sick of hearing his voice. We get it – you love making these movies.

-Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Introductions by Bryan Singer
-Gag Reel
-Wrap Party Video
-an hour long X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed
-Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg
-Concept Art and Photo Gallery

I would have liked to see a few more exclusives here – like a look at the X-Men animated series, perhaps a one shot, maybe even a video highlighting the timeline in the series this far. Heck, I’ll take some exclusive Wolverine footage too. Overall, however, I loved the deleted scenes.

Erik Lensherr: Whatever you think you saw in me, I buried it with my family.

Conclusion

If you enjoyed the film, then buying the Blu-ray is sort of a no-brainer by now. Geeks, like myself, are relentless in collecting every comic book film out there. Again, there isn’t a better format to own it on available to us yet. Until 4K players become standard, this is your best option. And it’s a really good one.

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