- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

Director Bryan Singer’s cinematic chronicle of Marvel Comics’ popular mutants returns to the Blu-ray format with a pair of versions of his 2014 blockbuster in X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Rated PG-13, $29.99).

Besides the well-known theatrical cut clocking in at 2 hours and 11 minutes, we get an alternate cut of the film, adding 17 minutes and devoted to the impact of Rogue on the story, at least as the title on the packaging would suggest.

Alas, that latter tweaking is a slight misnomer as obvious additions to the movie are just as focused on other X-Men as with the famed power-absorbing mutant.

Specifically, we do get an intense scene of Rogue being rescued from a research facility to help Kitty Pryde and an equally fun scene exploring the attraction between Mystique and Beast. Many more alterations play out over the movie, less obvious, but fans will appreciate seeing the fate of Sentinel creator Bolivar Trask in the ending credits.

That reported, it’s still worth enjoying the changes or even comparing each cut. In both instances, die-hard fans get to again appreciate a fantastic movie about the near-extinction of Homo Superior by the powerful robotic Sentinels with Wolverine time traveling back to 1973 to, hopefully, save the X-Men.

With an impressive ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Halle Berry to back up the dynamite action, it is easily the best X-Men movie ever made.

The digital transfer on both cuts are wonderfully consistent with plenty of fine detail to appreciate the astounding effects such as a show stopper starring Quicksilver and Magneto causing massive mayhem at the White House.

Now, two definitive versions of the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” might convince fans to take the purchasing plunge but the extras absolutely solidify the deal.

Let’s start with a second disk that offers new extras including a roughly 1-hour, 9-part documentary on the making of the film and a 30-minute roundtable with most of the cast.

Mr. Singer and screenplay writer Simon Kinberg talk to the actors, who are sitting on couches, and it is more entertaining than enlightening as Mr. Jackman, Mr. Fassbender, Mr. Stewart, Mr. McKellen and Mr. McAvoy really enjoy ribbing one another.

Next, director Bryan Singer does an optional commentary track on both cuts of the film. The theatrical cut track co-stars writer Simon Kinberg while the “Rogue” track co-stars John Ottman (editor and composer on the film).

The theatrical commentary focuses on the origins of the movie and its execution with plenty of great information about the story, scene specifics, cast and effects.

Better yet, the “Rogue Cut” commentary gives Mr. Singer and Mr. Ottman the chance to explain all of the new additions with plenty of discussion on each of the changes and why they did not appear in the theater version.

If that’s not enough, 20th Century Fox also throws in the return of the Second Screen app that allows a viewer to use a computer tablet as a multimedia encyclopedia while concurrently watching the movie.

He can look at the smaller screen in his lap to peruse additional multimedia nuggets tied to the film (easily over 400 in all) such as concept art, storyboards, effects sequences, video interviews and even an impressive mutant manifest database.


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