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X-Men: Dark Phoenix Blu-ray Review

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“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” is a bottom tier X-Men film.

In this send-off to the Fox era of “X-Men” (excluding “The New Mutants” if it ever comes out), writer/director Simon Kinberg tackles the epic Dark Phoenix Saga from the iconic Marvel Comics storyline. This version of the story is set in 1992 (9 years after “X-Men: Apocalypse”) and finds Jean Grey coming into contact with a strange cosmic energy that changes her after a space shuttle rescue mission. Jean Grey not only undergoes a deadly transformation, but also begins to learn more about her past. After Jean Grey murders a fellow mutant, Magneto and company to plot to kill Jean Grey. The X-Men try to stop the murder plot and save Jean Grey if they can. While all of this is going on, the U.S. Government begins to intervene and a mysterious shapeshifting D’Bari alien named Vuk tries to manipulate Jean for her own personal gain.

While watching “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” the word “Why?” kept popping in to mind. Out of all the X-Men stories one could tell, why retread a storyline that was previously done in “X-Men: The Last Stand?” If Simon Kinberg wanted to do the story right, why didn’t he stick to the comic book plot more? Why was fan favorite Quicksilver largely on the sidelines? Why would Beast become a villain of sorts? Why does the big death scene have zero emotional impact? Why aren’t there more scenes between Cyclops and Jean Grey? Why does the movie feel like a rush job after being in production for so long? Why is Vuk such a lifeless villain? Why is a top tier cast largely wasted here? Why, indeed?

As undercooked as “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” can be, the movie is not without its moments. Strangely, the reshot ending on the train is the best part of the entire movie. Between the intense action and the mutant powers fully on display, it’s the type of action sequence X-Men fans long to see. Other highlights include a strong score by Hans Zimmer, impressive visual effects work, an exciting shuttle rescue mission that shows off the X-Men’s teamwork, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler who steals the movie.

Overall Thoughts: Ever since the “X-Men” came out, I’ve been a fan of the Marvel movie series. I still maintain that “X-Men: First Class” and “Logan” are some of the best comic films ever made. “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” may be watchable, but it’s a bummer that the last movie in this universe is such a flat entry in the franchise.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? A perfectly crisp hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Fans will no doubt be pleased by this layered 7.1 track.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* 3 “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” trailers
* 5 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker. Nothing really notable here.
* “Rise Of The Phoenix: The Making Of Dark Phoenix”- A 5 part extra that covers story and pre-production, the cast, production design, special effects, and filming and editing.
* “How To Fly Your Jet To Space With Beast”- A REALLY goofy bonus feature with Beast giving viewers a tour of the jet and its capabilities.
* An insightful commentary by Simon Kinberg and producer Hutch Parker.

September 14, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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