X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut, while not as strong or tightly paced as the theatrical version is still well worth checking out especially for fans. The Blu-ray released by Fox is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, the audio and video are incredible, there’s a fine selection of bonus material but I’m not sure why they didn’t port over the features from the first release.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
— The Rogue Cut —
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Fox | PG13/Unrated – 131 min. / 148 min. – $29.99 | July 14, 2015
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
On the surface, X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut might merely be a cash grab, and to a certain extent I’m sure Fox and company isn’t exactly releasing out of charity, but I found it to be a interesting alternate cut, though the theatrical version, which I saw a while ago, was a bit tighter whereas this one, where Rogue has a bigger role, seemed to be shoehorned in and shows perhaps why Bryan Singer went the other direction. That being said, X-Men: DOFP: TRC (how about that acronym?) is still solidly entertaining from beginning to end.
For those in the dark, X-Men: Days of Future Past cunningly brings together, in different timelines, the young and old mutants, primarily Charles and Erik, and in dueling stories, one relying on the other. It also serves as a reset putting to the close the older versions and allows for the young guns, taking place in the 70s and 80s, to have all-new storylines.
In any case, we open in a nearly hopeless future where robots known as Sentinels have been programmed to detect and hunt down mutants and those mutants are fighting a losing battle. When the film opens, we get several who fight valiantly and utilizing their powers but the Sentinels are so powerful and can adapt to the mutants’ powers that one by one they are taken out. However, utilizing Kitty Pryde’s (ELLEN PAGE) ability to send one’s conciseness back in time, they are able to go back and regroup in the hopes of holding back the invading Sentinels.
When X-Men veterans Charles Xavier (PATRICK STEWART), Storm (HALLE BERRY), Magneto (IAN MCKELLEN) and Wolverine (HUGH JACKMAN) arrive, Charles has an idea to have Kitty send someone back to 1973 as it was then where a young Raven/Mystique (JENNIFER LAWRENCE) kills the Sentinel program’s creator, Dr. Bolivar Trask (PETER DINKLAGE), which was the turning point for the program to go active and lead us to the deadly future and the mutant’s certain extinction. However, there is a limitation to Kitty’s powers as she can only send someone back for a brief period otherwise the mind of that person will tear apart. Well, Wolverine and his abilities to quickly heal, volunteering to go back, into his younger body, track down the young Charles (JAMES MCAVOY) and convince him to track down and stop Raven before she kills for the first time and alters her own life as a result.
Traveling back to 1973, Logan eventually convinces Charles – whose powers are gone due to taking a drug to give him his legs back – to help and with the aid of Hank McCoy aka Beast (NICHOLAS HOULT), who has been taking care of Charles, and Peter/Quicksilver (EVAN PETERS), Logan and Charles help break Erik out of a ulta-secure facility, for the assassination of Kennedy, held miles below the surface within the Pentagon as they need his help in their endeavor, though the feud between he and Charles is still raw.
Where this “Rogue Cut” primarily deviates from the original theatrical version, with some odds and ends inclusions as outlined by Singer in his commentary track, is Rogue (ANNA PAQUIN) enters visa vi a subplot where upon Charles and Erik must break into the old X-Mansion, now under enemy control, who have Rogue locked in the Cerebral under sedation and running tests. It’s an interesting diversion and fun seeing the older Charles and Erik working together, and yet it is a fairly jarring departure from the main plot and really doesn’t add much to the movie as a whole outside of satisfying fans seeing Rogue again.
The performances aren’t bad with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender taking the leads while others, like Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page and now Anna Paquin, mainly making appearances out of appreciate for their characters more than anything. There are also some new characters who don’t get nearly enough screen time for me to care about and as someone who never read an “X-Men” comic, I haven’t the foggiest clue who any of them were. The one exception is Quicksilver played by Evan Peters who, in his comparatively limited appearance, was a hoot and hope to see his role expanded in X-Men: Apocalypse.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is one heck of a ride. Is it perfect? Absolutely not and doesn’t hold a candle compared with X2: X-Men United or others in the upper echelon of comic book movies, but it’s entertaining and at times pretty damn clever and deserving of the praise bestowed by both the critics and fans alike. And having Bryan Singer back behind the camera following a detour that involved Superman Returns and Valkyrie, is also a big plus.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5
This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover with a fold-out on the front with more pics of the cast. Inside there is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Unfortunately none of the features from the initial release were included so you will need to hold on to your copy…
Audio Commentaries – There are two commentary tracks, one with Director Bryan Singer and Producer/Writer Simon Kinberg (Theatrical Version only) and the other with Singer and Composer/Editor John Ottman (Rogue Cut only). Both tracks are entertaining yet also informative providing insights into the stories, characters, editing (obviously), score (obviously) and other tid-bits.
Second Screen App allows viewers to sync the movie with their smart phone or tablet where upon you can view concept art, storyboards, costume designs and more.
Mutants vs. Machines (52:41; HD) – This 9-part documentary intricately details just about every aspect of Days of Future Past from the screenplay/origins, casting and bringing together the new and old cast members.
X-Men Unguarded (30:11; HD) is a well done roundtable discussion with Director Bryan Singer and cast members Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page and a few others as they discuss the franchise, characters, etc.
Gallery – Storyboards, Costumes, Concept Art
Fantastic Four Sneak Peek (1:49; HD) – Here we get brief BTS footage and on-set interviews with the cast and crew.
VIDEO – 4.75/5
X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut arrives on Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (AVC codec). No different from the first release, this one has excellent detail levels and while some of the film is dark and gritty, the sequences taking place in the ‘70s showcase brilliant colors. There didn’t appear to be any major instances of banding, aliasing or artifacting making for a wonderful transfer that’s nearly reference quality.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
The movie comes with a robust and resilient 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track providing for excellent dialogue levels while ambient noises make good use of the front and rear channels but it’s with the numerous action scenes where this lossless track comes to life and is as close to the theater experience as one could have at home.
OVERALL – 4.5/5
Overall, X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut, while not as strong or tightly paced as the theatrical version is still well worth checking out especially for fans. The Blu-ray released by Fox is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, the audio and video are incredible, there’s a fine selection of bonus material but I’m not sure why they didn’t port over the features from the first release; as a completists, I now am obligated to hang on to that copy… Seriously though, this is a good purchase worthy of the relatively low SRP.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.