Oct 202016
 

X-Men: Apocalypse was a pretty big disappointment for me following Days of Future Past and while some of the technical parts were well done, the rest had a very stale vibe with similar story elements rehashed from the first X-Men movie way back in 2000.

 

 

X-Men: Apocapypse
(2016)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
Fox | PG13 – 144 min. – $39.99 | October 4, 2016

Date Published: 10/20/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Bryan Singer
Writer(s): Bryan Singer & Simon Kinberg & Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris (story), Simon Kinberg (screenplay)
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Olivia Munn
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Gallery, Theatrical Trailers
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: UHD, BD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (UHD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Audio (BD): English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Video (UHD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 2.75/5


Following the critical, as well as fan and audience, success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the franchise appeared to be on an upswing with a new timeline and young set of characters. Add to the fact the villain is portrayed by an actor with a rising star and the potential was there. Sadly, X-Men: Apocalypse was a significant step down and perhaps the second worst in the franchise just ahead of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Plot Synopsis (from back cover): After thousands of years, Apocalypse (OSCAR ISAAC), the world’s first and most powerful mutant, has awakened to find a world led by humans. Intent on cleansing the Earth of mankind, he recruits a group of mutants — including Magneto (MICHAEL FASSBENDER) reeling from the loss of his family, Angel (BEN HARDY), Storm (ALEXANDRA SHIPP) and Psylocke (OLIVIA MUNN) — to create a new world order. In a desperate race to save humanity, Professor X (JAMES MCAVOY) leads the young X-Men — Mystique (JENNIFER LAWRENCE), Beast (NICHOLAS HOULT), Quicksilver (EVAN PETERS), Jean Grey (SOPHIE TURNER), Nightcrawler (KODI SMIT-MCPHEE) and Cyclops (TYE SHERIDAN) — in an epic showdown, against an unstoppable (yeah right) enemy, that will determine the fate of the world.

Note: This portion contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so readers beware!

Review: I really enjoyed Days of Future Past (both the original and Rogue cuts) and as someone who has never been over the moon with the franchise (though X2: X-Men United is in my top 10 all time best comic book movies) and did have a little intrigue with this latest chapter, the third of the First Class timeline. And honestly, while it’s hardly horrible, the writing has much to be desired as it more or less rehashes the same elements of the first X-Men movie, just replacing McKellen’s Magneto with Isaac’s Apocalypse. The other issue is Apocalypse himself. The pre-release set photos weren’t good however often times the live action tends to look better… and that was not the case here as the most powerful mutant was not only lame but came across as a Power Rangers villain.

The cast generally were fine but I could feel the loss of both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s charms although McAvoy and Fassbender are certainly solid actors and turned in great performances in both First Class and Days of Future Past, but even someone like Fassbender lacked very much charisma outside of a scene involving the death of his wife and daughter. The other new cast from Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (oh how I miss Alan Cumming from X2) and especially Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, they don’t hold a candle to their older counterparts but by the same token, they don’t have much to work with given a thinly plotted screenplay.

Outside of McAvoy and Fassbender, the other returning actors were alright but feel a bit old hat. Jennifer Lawrence clearly seemed to want to move on given her rise in stature and I’m not entirely sure why Rose Byrne’s Moira Mactaggert, now the CIA director, was even necessary and even more so, why Professor X found it necessary to wipe her memories and, beyond that, why she wasn’t pissed when revealed he had done so…

Once again, at the helm of the U.S.S. X-Men is Bryan Singer who co-wrote the story and also served as a producer. Singer is a strange director because when he’s on, he’s really on as demonstrated by the aforementioned X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past, with a good grasp on storytelling but when he’s off (see: Superman Returns), it shows and for Apocalypse, I felt in spite of some impressive CGI and effects, not to mention production and costumes, albeit overly reliant on it, there was a familiarity about the movie, an almost been there, done that kind of vibe. Where Days of Future Past felt innovative and changed the franchise (much like Captain America: Civil War had for the MCU), this one just felt like stale entry with some impressive elements but ultimately and utterly forgettable; throwaway entertainment if you will.

Perhaps fans will appreciate aspects of X-Men: Apocalypse but as an outsider, this was a big step back in the franchise and my only hope is Singer and company (as I doubt he’ll ever step down until the studio forces him to) will put extra effort in what presumably will be a third trilogy as Apocalypse capped off the First Class trilogy.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This 2-disc set comes housed in a black HD slim case and a semi-reflective slip cover. Inside is a code for the Digital HD copy.

DISC 1 (UHD MOVIE+FEATURE):
Audio Commentary
– Producer/Director Bryan Singer & Writer Simon Kinberg provide a light-hearted and informative track giving some anecdotal stories on set, about casting and filming locations.

DISC 2 (BD MOVIE+FEATURES):
Deleted/Extended Scenes (28:11; HD)
– There were 12 scenes either cut down or removed. Nothing extraordinary and per the optional introductions by Singer, they were removed for pacing issues.

Gag Reel (8:20; HD)

Wrap Party Video (4:46; HD) is some behind-the-scenes footage set against the song, ‘Time in a Bottle’.

X-Men: Apocalypse Unearthed (1:03:58; HD) is a multi-part making-of documentary providing more behind-the-scenes footage and on-set interviews with members of the cast and crew on telling the Apocalypse story.

Audio Commentary – Producer/Director Bryan Singer & Writer Simon Kinberg provide a light-hearted and informative track giving some anecdotal stories on set, about casting and filming locations.

Gallery – Concept Art, Unit Photography

Theatrical Trailers (7:15; HD) – Teaser, Theatrical (x2)

 

UHD VIDEO — 5.0/5, BD VIDEO — 5.0/5


X-Men: Apocalypse arises onto Blu-ray presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p ultra high-definition transfer in the newest format’s latest release. And it looks, unsurprisingly, incredible. Not only are details crystal clear and sharp, colors are vibrant and pop off the screen. It’s easily reference quality for the UHD format.

However, the 1080p Blu-ray measures up quite well also. The detail is still sharp and colors are relatively lively throughout. I can tell a slight difference between the two as the UHD is a bit sharper but for anyone without the UHD format, this is still a nice presentation.

UHD AUDIO — 5.0/5, BD AUDIO — 5.0/5


Not to be outdone, the UHD disc comes with a Dolby Atmos track while the Blu-ray, for whatever reason, gets a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. I’m not sure why Fox did this (as it seems it will be customary on future releases as demonstrated with Independence Day 2) but either way, these are incredible tracks with a nice range and depth from the crisp and clear dialogue levels for the few quiet scenes to the bombastic, CGi-fest finale which makes amazing usage of each and every single channel. As with the video (for either the UHD or BD), this is also reference quality material one can show off their home system with.

 

OVERALL – 3.5/5


Overall, X-Men: Apocalypse was a pretty big disappointment for me following Days of Future Past and while some of the technical parts were well done, the rest had a very stale vibe with similar story elements rehashed from the first X-Men movie way back in 2000. As it stands, it might be worth a rental, not much more. The UHD/BD release by Fox offers excellent video/audio transfers and a great selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps (taken from Blu-ray) by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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