DVD Review #9: X-Men 1.5 (2000)

February 4, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Posted in Based on a Comic, DVD Reviews, Franchise Film | Leave a comment

“Oh, sorry. I thought you were Halle Berry.”

Movie:
X-Men is generally considered the movie that launched the comic book movie craze. Prior to this, only Batman and Superman had franchises, a few years apart. Some smaller properties popped up now and then, frequently not in the superhero genre. Once X-Men was a hit, it got Spider-Man the greenlight, and Daredevil followed, Batman began again, and DC decided it was time their long-attempted Superman project got off the ground.

(Cont.)

Of the films of this period, I would say X-Men is still among the best. I think it still holds up. A movie like Iron Man is exciting the first time, but then on further viewings, you realize you have to watch the pointless flashback, and then Robert Downey stuck in a cave for more than half an hour. That can get a bit tedious, especially with so few characters. X-Men is done with style and respect, and was only really topped by its sequels with the amount of effects in X-Men 3.

As far as the “1.5” version of the DVD, the branching version of the movie is nothing to write home about, except to explain why you’re away from home watching DVDs. The deleted scenes certainly don’t branch seamlessly. In fact some duplicate footage already seen. It barely constitutes an extended version of the movie, and doesn’t add anything of particular value. Having to watch the scenes through the enhanced viewing mode is tedious, as are much of the scenes themselves.

Commentary:
The commentary here is from Bryan Singer and some “friend” who isn’t really properly identified except by his cameo in the movie. It’s standard for a director’s commentary, made a little less boring due to the guest.

Extras:
The extra on the main disc seems almost like an afterthought. Several featurettes are accessible through the enhanced viewing mode by selecting a pop-up icon. For some reason, unlike the bonus disc, you can’t access the features separately. So you’ll probably never bother watching them again. Likewise, I’m not going to bother reviewing them!

The bonus disc starts with an apology from Singer for having a second version of the DVD come out. Yeah.

From the same video, there’s an extra where Singer shows off some of the X2 sets. Then a typical HBO behind-the-scenes teaser reel plays.

Then there’s a whole slew of features, which all have branching OTHER features, and all of them can be played in a row. I would suggest just playing each feature and the other extras separately, so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything.

The production documentary “scrapbook” itself is an hour long. There’s a feature about the characters and actors that’s 24 minutes. A 23-minute feature shows off the makeup and costumes. 17 minutes go through the special effects of the movie. There’s seven minutes of “reflections” about the film, footage from two premieres, trailers, galleries, and all the various extra bits like multi-angle comparisons, pre-vis, behind-the-scenes, fight scene training, etc. It’s so loaded with extras, it’ll make you puke!

Film Connections:
DVD Review #10: X2: X-Men United
DVD Review #15: X-Men: The Last Stand

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