X-Men Trilogy 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I don’t revisit the first three X-Men films very often. We live in a world of interconnected Marvel superhero films and when I think of the best superhero films, the X-Men films are always an afterthought. They were impressive in their time, but I can’t shake the feeling that if they were to be rebooted today, we’d quickly forget they existed, much like we’ve come to forget about the first three Spider-Man films. But going back and revisiting them so many years later was kind of refreshing and I had forgotten how good of a story the first two films told. They’re not perfect films, but there’s enough in this set to make revisiting it worthwhile.
X-MEN (Video: 4.5/5) – The first film seems to have gotten the biggest improvement and as I was watching it on 4K, I was surprised by how much detail I could make out and how different the colors looked. I had to reference the original Blu-ray release to do a comparison and the 4K offers a significant upgrade. The film has a bit of a blue hue to it that looks more defined on 4K and the subtle uses of color that Bryan Singer uses really stood out, making me more impressed with his directing effort than I was before. If we’re judging the 4K solely by how much of an improvement it is over the Blu-ray, the original X-MEN is easily the best 4K of the set.
X2: X-MEN UNITED (Video: 4/5) – The second film has a lot of the same types of improvements as the original, but the argument can be made that they’re not quite as drastic. The blue hues that Singer used in the first film are still prevalent in the second, giving the film a slick look to it that looks even better on 4K. CGI is a bit of a mixed bag. At times the CGI actually looks better, but then it takes a turn for the worse during the final showdown. Overall though, this is as good as I’ve ever seen the film and fans should be pleased with the slight improvements.
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (Video: 3.5/5) – The improvements in the third film are up for debate. On one hand, the 4K does look better than the Blu-ray, but maybe I’m disappointed it’s not a more drastic improvement. The Blu-ray looked fine and I believe the 4K is an upscale of the 2K master, giving us the standard uptick in closeups and settings. Director Brett Ratner used a slightly different style than Singer and I noticed the bold colors, such as the red in Jean Grey’s long jacket, looked much brighter and bolder than on the Blu-ray. Small improvements like that are rampant in The Last Stand, but overall this is only a slight improvement over the Blu-ray.
Audio: I imagine the audio is where most people will have problems since the 4K discs carry over the same audio tracks used on the accompanying Blu-rays. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the audio tracks, but it is disappointing they didn’t get an upgrade like the video presentations.