Sep 152019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is by no means terrible but it certainly is a weak ending to a franchise and the main issue with this movie is lacked any real emotion, even though the technical aspects weren’t bad.



X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama
Fox | PG13 – 115 min. – $45.99 | September 17, 2019

Date Published: 09/16/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Simon Kinberg
Writer(s): Simon Kinberg (written by)
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jessica Chastain

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailers
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.38
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.38
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 2.75/5

Plot Synopsis: The X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe when one of their own, Jean Grey (SOPHIE TURNER), starts to spiral out of control. During a rescue mission in outer space, Jean is nearly killed when she’s hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable.

The X-Men — including Charles Xavier (JAMES MCAVOY), Raven (JENNIFER LAWRENCE), Beast (NICHOLAS HOULT), Cyclops (TYE SHERIDAN), Storm (ALEXANDRA SHIPP), Nightcrawler (KODI SMIT-MCPHEE) and Quicksilver (EVAN PETERS) — must now band together, along with off-and-on foe Magneto (MICHAEL FASSBENDER), to save her soul and battle aliens, led by Vuk (JESSICA CHASTAIN), that want to use Grey’s new abilities to rule the galaxy.

Review: There’s little doubt that the X-Men franchise has been rather messy (btw, I don’t count Deadpool). After starting off well enough with the first X-Men and excelling with X2: X-Men United, it did falter a bit with the rushed Phoenix storyline on X-Men: The Last Stand, not to mention the Wolverine spin-offs where there’s not much of an argument that Logan was the best of the bunch.

The series underwent a reboot of sorts that began on X-Men: First Class and merging the two timelines in X-Men: Days of Future Past which I immensely enjoyed, and the “Rogue Cut” was a fun experience as well. However, X-Men: Apocalypse took the series a step back with a weak storyline and a rather lame villain — who seemed to come straight out of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers — despite being played by the wonderful Oscar Isaac. But with the impending Fox-Disney merger and whisperings of production problems, I didn’t have much anticipation for Dark Phoenix (adding “X-Men” in later advertisements) and the end result was… well, not as bad as I expected, but this certainly not very good either; at the very least it’s not at the bottom in the franchise, so win?

Dark Phoenix features some okay, if not also inconsistent, performances. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender had strange accents that went in and out depending on the scene (one in particular where they were yelling at one another stood out); Alexandra Shipp’s accent especially was especially dreadful and rather distracting. I will say, Sophie Turner was alright in essentially the lead role, though her hand movements as Jean Grey utilizes her mind control powers, and this was for a few of the others as well, was almost comical; can’t place too much blame since they are controlling non-existent objects that will be CGI’d in later. It’s like the most expensive game of charades…

On the plus side, I did like Hans Zimmer’s restrained score with an angelic voice under the music and seemed to resist using the big drumbeats that he’s been known for. It’s really solid where it not only sounded nice, didn’t become merely background noise (see most of the MCU films) but also wasn’t distracting or took away from the scene.

Simon Kinberg, who had his hand in writing three in the franchise (The Last Stand, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) and producing a few others (First Class, DOFP, Apocalypse, Logan), has stepped into the director’s chair following Bryan Singer, and honestly while there’s nothing especially noteworthy about this style, kind of looks like many other VFX-heavy movies, and at least I was able to tell what was going on.

Kinberg also worked on the script and although it’s not the strongest stories, or villain for that matter, I did feel it was good enough to keep my attention. Having said that, the writing itself tends to be awful, the dialogue was especially atrocious, even laughable at times, where I could predict certain lines before were spoken. Pretty clear, someone else should’ve been brought onboard to punch it up, although in fairness, not sure it would’ve helped all that much.



This “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” release (matching the Disney 4Ks) comes with a glossy slip cover and Digital HD redemption code.

Audio Commentary – Writer-Producer-Director Simon Kinberg and Producer Hutch Parker. This track is fairly interesting as the pair seem to have a good friendly relationship and they break down certain scenes. (Also available on the 4K UHD)

Deleted Scenes (8:22) – There are five scenes that got the axe and most of them for pacing issues. Includes an optional commentary with Kinberg and Parker.

Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix (1:20:32) is an expansive five-part featurette/documentary :covering the pre-production, casting, production design, special effects and filming & editing. Contains interviews with the major players including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner, Simon Kinberg, Nicholas Hoult and many others.

How to Fly Your Jet to Space with Beast (2:03) is a funny little featurette with Nicholas Hoult in Beast makeup showing the audience how to fly the X-Jet.

Theatrical Trailers (6:27):

  • Teaser Trailer (2:04)
  • Official Trailer (2:25)
  • Final Trailer (1:57)


4K UHD VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5

Fox releases Dark Phoenix shown with a 2.38 widescreen aspect ratio and presented with a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfer on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray respectively. The picture quality looks incredible on either format, but doing a comparison on a couple of scenes back to back, the 4K is noticeable sharper while colors are a tad brighter, thanks in some part to the HDR. But the Blu-ray is no slouch and looks good in its own right.

4K UHD AUDIO – 5.0/5, BD AUDIO – 5.0/5

As usual, for whatever reason, the 4K UHD disc includes a Dolby Atmos track while the Blu-ray is equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, both of which do sound amazing. Dialogue levels are crisp and deep via the center channel, though I did discern some background noise, but where these tracks come to life is with the action sequences, the first one early on with a car crash and another following the title card as the space shuttle lifts off with an amazing burst that engulfs the entire room. As with the picture, I compared these two short scenes and discerned a slight uptick with the Atmos track, however the DTS-HD MA 7.1 one is not bad at all.


OVERALL – 3.25/5

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is by no means terrible but it certainly is a weak ending to a franchise that seemed to have more downs than ups, but did have its share of entertaining flicks. The main issue with this movie is lacked any real emotion, even though the technical aspects weren’t bad. This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack comes with excellent video and audio transfers and a great selection of bonus material.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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