One of four major superhero movies released this past summer, Days of Future Past had a lot riding on it prior to its release. The Director Bryan Singer faced some serious accusations, this is the seventh film in the series and it dealt with a tricky time-travel plot that might’ve fallen apart in the wrong hands. The good news is that it’s a very worthy film, and one of the better installments in this long-running franchise. These films have been fairly consistent, but the first misguided Wolverine solo entry left a lot of fans doubtful that this series could continue much more. 2011’s First Class was a small step in the right direction and it tried to offer a fresh spin on things. Last year’s The Wolverine got a few things right, but I am glad to see this film put more emphasis on the other mutants as well as Wolverine. It’s also great to have Singer back as the director. The film was a huge hit with both audiences and critics this past summer. I am more than ready for the next installment.
I admit that I was one of the biggest skeptics going into this film. It’s just something about the time travel element that hardly sits well with me. In truth: The plot is a bit more complicated on paper than it plays out. It’s a surprisingly involving film that’s aided by a strong cast and Singer’s steady direction. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to the early 70’s to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from murdering Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage). He has created machines known as the Sentinels. Their goal is to eliminate all mutants and the humans hoping to help them as well. Mystique did in fact murder Trask, but the goal of sending Wolverine back in time is in hopes of stopping her. After the assassination, Mystique was captured and her DNA was used by Trask’s company. Clearly, this isn’t something the mutants want happening. Once again James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return as Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, respectively. There are many surprises in the film, and those are best left to the viewer to see. One of the highlights is a prison break scene where Wolverine and a few pals break Erik out of prison with the help of Quicksilver (Evan Peters). The climax involving Erik moving a football stadium is nothing short of amazing.
After two viewings, Days of Future Past holds up very well. It’s easy to see why Singer wanted to use the time travel element. It gives him the options to pretty much do anything since he can manipulate virtually any element at this point. There’s a lot to love about this film; they successfully recreate the 1970’s, the plot is involving and the pace moves along quickly for a film that’s over 2 hours. With so many positives, I can’t really find anything negative to report. This should please all X-men fans as well as the more casual fans. It’s not just a fun blockbuster film, but also one that’s smarter than most as well. You might be getting superhero fatigue lately, but this one is well worth checking out if you haven’t seen it yet. Highly Recommended.
Video: How’s it look?
There wasn’t a lot to complain about with the previous version(s) of this film on Blu-ray. The 2.40:1 Ultra HD/4K transfer is certainly an uptick in terms of depth, color saturation and an overall improvement to the picture, though. It should be noted, however, that most of these differences can really only be seen with a side by side comparison (which is why in stores like Best Buy, they have such a display so they can sell you a new television and/or player). That said, this is up there with some of the better 4K titles I’ve had the chance to view. The minute details in the sentinels, each individual in some of the crowd scenes and the ending scene in the baseball field are just a few of the examples that really make this a standout. Again, you have to ask yourself – is it worth upgrading if you’ve already got the Blu-ray in your collection?
Audio: How’s it sound?
The same DTS 7.1 track has been included and why Fox doesn’t include Dolby Atmos mixes on their Ultra HD titles is beyond me. Even if you don’t have the best system out there, chances are you will still be more than satisfied. All channels stayed active consistently and vocals were clear and concise throughout. The track is top notch and will please. I can’t find anything else to say here. Like the transfer, this track will satisfy fans and put your system to good use.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This Ultra HD/4K version contains all of the supplements found on the original Blu-ray disc and adds a commentary track found on the Rogue Cut (though the rest of the extras on that set are not included).
Audio Commentary – Director Bryan Singer and the Producer/Writer Simon Winberg give their thoughts on the film and this was taken from the Rogue Cut. It’s an nice inclusion on this disc and an unexpected surprise!
Deleted Scenes – Nothing major here, mostly just extended bits. Singer provides optional commentary for these. Some of these aren’tfinished as green screen can be seen at times.
Kitchen Sequence – This is a nifty little feature that shows how the Quicksilver scene was accomplished.
Double Take: Xavier and Magneto – This discusses bringing together the older cast with the newer cast. Singer talks about the fun of using time travel as an element in the film. We get some clips from the other X-Men films as well. It’s worth checking out.
X-Men: Reunited – This shows how the idea came about and how they wanted to combine the cast from all of the X-Menfilms for one film. We learn how the cast always clicked (among other things). It’s reasonably interesting.
Classification: M – This looks at some of the mutants used in the film. We learn how they chose particular mutants to be used in the film as well as bringing them all together. Singer wanted the mutants used in the film to serve the story, to serve a purpose.
Sentinels: For a Secure Future – This shows the sentinels used in the film and gives a brief look about them and what they do. It also discusses how they wanted to stay true to the origins of the sentinels as well.
Gallery: Trask Industries – This is broken into three sections (Mutant Experiments, Blueprints, Sentinel Construction). If you’re a fan of these types of galleries then this should be of interest.
Theatrical Trailers – This includes three from the film. I always enjoy having this option. It’s fun to check these out sometimes.
Second Screen App – I never bother with these features, but it’s here nonetheless.
Sneak Peak – This includes a teaser for Exodus: Gods and Kingsas well as a brief behind the scenes.
Fan Art – This is tucked inside the case. It’s a small booklet of Fan Art from the film. It’s fun to look at, but nothing essential. Still, it’s nice to have.
The Bottom Line
Those who are starting to build an Ultra HD/4K collection shouldn’t think twice about adding this one to their collection. Like most other Ultra HD films, this isn’t a night and day improvement in video quality, but it contains all of the extras from the original Blu-ray plus a commentary track from the Rogue Cut, making it a fairly easy choice.