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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Animation > Action > Adventure > Comedy > Drama > DC SuperHero Girls: Legends Of Atlantis (2018/Warner DVD)/PJ Masks: Mighty Moon Problem (2014, 2018/Fox DVD)/X-Men 3-Film Collection Trilogy (2000, 2003, 2006/Marvel Comics/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/B

DC SuperHero Girls: Legends Of Atlantis (2018/Warner DVD)/PJ Masks: Mighty Moon Problem (2014, 2018/Fox DVD)/X-Men 3-Film Collection Trilogy (2000, 2003, 2006/Marvel Comics/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray Set)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A/A-/A- Picture: C+/C+/B+ Sound: C+/C+/B+ Extras: C+/D/B Main Programs: C+/C+/A B+ C-

Next up are three new releases of superhero teams, two newer animated series and the Ultra High Definition upgrade of a trilogy with two directors whose careers have met with extreme scandal...

First, we'll look at two continuing series of child-aimed superhero animated TV shows and their latest installments, beginning with one of the better ones, DC SuperHero Girls: Legends Of Atlantis (2018) which is as good an entry as it gives young Mera a chance to get developed more The humor is about the same (they are all a little more insecure than they've ever been in any other incarnation and even get joined by Teen Titans members) but this is a short telefilm and not episodes compilation.

Thus, I was struck that we get an extra TV special in Super Hero High, NOT to be confused with the separate Super-Villain High DVD (actually a LEGO installment) we reviewed at this link...


That makes this as good a DVD in the non-LEGO series to get so far. The energy and tone of this show is a plus.

The other DVD, PJ Masks: Mighty Moon Problem (2018), is a 6-episode compilation of the reasonably comical antics of Owletta, Catboy and Geeko that is not going to shock anyone or be highly memorable, but is child-friendly enough that I am surprised this is not a bigger hit having been around for a few years. However, it might be with that age group, so what do us adults know?

There are no extras here, but there is just enough here to justify what ewe get, though the misassumption is children have a limited attention span, so only put so much on the discs. That's wrong, but that's ultimately for the fans to decide.

As for playback, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both DVDs, as well as the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on SuperHero and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Masks are just fine and play passably well. Hard to believe either have not hit Blu-ray yet.

Now for the live action set...

Director Bryan Singer has been met with his fair share of controversy and critics over his hit and miss career but his first two X-Men films (and the ghastly third installment) get the 4K UHD upgrade in this new release from Fox. While the extras aren't anything new, the transfers do look noticeably better here which will make hardcore fans want to upgrade to the X-Men 3-Film Collection Trilogy (2000, 2003, 2006) 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Set.

When the first X-Men film came out in 2000, there wasn't a Marvel Studios yet or the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy even, so in this regard these films definitely paved the way for what was to come. The sequels of X2: X-Men United (2003) and X3: The Last Stand came in the years to follow and certainly helped launch many of the star's careers into superstardom (namely Hugh Jackman).

X-Men (2000) - In my opinion, still the strongest entry in the whole X-Men series, there was a lot of style and inspiration behind this film as is evident when you watch it again today. Michael Kamen's unforgettable score was never matched in later installments and its organic and wild originality helped give the film a stronger backbone than the other installments. The effects, even with this 4K Ultra HD upgrade, have surprisingly aged well as there are only a few moments where you can tell they could be better done now.

The cast is simply phenomenal with Jackman as Wolverine for the first time, Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, Halley Berry as Storm, James Marsden as Cyclops, Anna Paquin as Rogue, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique, Ray Park as Toad, Tyler Mane as Sabertooth and Sir. Ian McKellen as Magento.

Mutants are now becoming more prevalent in modern society and the government has started to take notice. As Magneto conjures up a plan to even the battlefield, Professor X rallies together a team of mutants known affectionally as 'the X-Men.' Once assembled, the group squares off against Magneto and his allies before they alter mankind with a sinister scheme.

X-Men 2: X-Men United aka 'X2' (2003) - Taking place shortly after the first film, the sequel buries up Wolverine's troubled past with William Stryker (Bryan Cox) who was responsible for the Weapon X program. Meanwhile, gypsy teleporter Nightcrawler (Alan Cummings) is introduced to the group, the X-Mansion is attacked, and Jean Grey further develops her unique abilities and her destiny as the Dark Phoenix.

X2 has many great and well executed sequences including the opening White House fight with Nightcrawler, the X-Mansion getting attacked, Magneto escaping the prison, and many great moments with the Wolverine character. While further installments (namely the Wolverine trilogy) complicated some things with the timeline, the film still holds up and is one of the better X-Men films to this day.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006) - As good as the first two films in the series were, the third installment is a hideous mess of a film. Brett Ratner makes the mutant condition into some sort of disease that finds a cure. While it brings back the original cast members (and kills off a few of them in absurd ways), the film feels like watching your good friends in a car crash. The CGI has not aged well in this rushed installment either... as this is likely the worst film in the series after X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It's funny looking back on it now as Bryan Singer basically wiped many of the events that take place in this film clean with his prequel/ sequel Days of Future Past (2014).

The films have been upgraded to 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and with their original 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratios and the same English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes (sadly not upgraded to DTS: X or Dolby Atmos) which are the same as the previous Blu-ray releases. As a whole, the first film looks the best on 4K with more detail seen on characters and the colors a bit more vibrant. The second and third movies still look better than the also included 1080p high definition Blu-ray versions but have a little more noise in some scenes than was evident in the first film's remaster here. Digital copies are also included for all three films.

Looking at Fox's X-Men franchise now after three trilogies of films, not counting its association with the two Deadpool films and the upcoming Dark Phoenix (2019), it's been a mixed bag. This trilogy will always be fun to look back on at the simpler and less competitive time in the era of comic book movies but as time marches on (and the Disney/Fox merger becomes a reality) these will likely feel even more dated in a decade. The X-Men prequel trilogy is a little more consistent with its first and third installments being a bit weaker than these first two X films. While Hugh Jackman's Wolverine Trilogy started out bad and ended on a strong note with the R-rated Logan (2016; these films have been reviewed elsewhere on this site).

Special Features include...

Audio Commentaries

Behind the Scenes Featurettes

Deleted/ Extended Scenes

The Mutant Watch/ Animatics

and Character and Production Design Stills

These extras are just carted over from the original Blu-ray releases.

The X-Men will continue to grace the big and small screen for many years to come. These films will always be remembered as the first interesting live action adaptations of the characters much like Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy (also out in 4K now) will be remembered for similar reasons. While many improvements can be made to the franchise in the years to come, this is fine popcorn-munching entertainment and a testament of the time in which they were made.

You can read more about the later sequels X-Men: First Class 4K and X-Men: Apocalypse 4K at this link...


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (X-Men)



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