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Josh Boone
Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton
Writing Credits:
Josh Boone, Knate Lee

Just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, five young mutants fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

Box Office:
$67 million.
Opening Weekend
$7,037,017 on 2412 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date:11/17/2020

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Josh Boone and Comics Artist Bill Sienkiewicz
• Extended/Deleted Scenes
• “Origins and Influences” Featurette
• “Meet the New Mutants” Featurette
• Trailers


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The New Mutants [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 18, 2021)

Although Unhinged became the first movie to receive wide theatrical release after the shutdowns that stemmed from COVID-19, 2020’s The New Mutants offered the first wide release that boasted real box office potential. No offense to Russell Crowe and all those involved with Unhinged, but an “R”-rated thriller about a road rage-fueled maniac never seemed likely to rake in the big bucks.

On the other hand, Mutants provides an extension of the Marvel/X-Men universe. These factors made broad success more possible for Mutants than for Unhinged.

At least in theory, but in reality, Mutants didn’t sell many more tickets. While Unhinged earned $20 million US/$42 million worldwide, Mutants only got $23 million US/$46 million worldwide.

Obviously COVID damaged the movie’s financial prospects, but given the fact it barely beat a cheap “R”-rated thriller, the outlook didn’t look promising.

When a mysterious force destroys her reservation, Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt) winds up as the only survivor – and a curiously unharmed one at that, as she bears not a scratch. Danielle soon finds herself in a medical facility under the treatment of Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga).

Except this turns out to be no normal hospital, as instead, Dr. Reyes runs a facility in which young mutants receive treatment – or imprisonment, as the “pupils” can’t leave and Dr. Reyes’ motives seem unclear. While in this location, Danielle meets fellow mutants Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams), Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam Guthrie (Charlie Heaton) and Roberto da Costa (Henry Zaga).

As Danielle gets to know the others, she starts to focus on the mystery of their treatment/imprisonment. As various dangers threaten, Danielle and the others need to learn to bond if they want to overcome these concerns.

Because I’m old, I remember when New Mutants debuted as a comic in 1982. Chris Claremont co-created it, and given that he acted as a strong reason that the X-Men became that era’s dominant franchise, we fans went into it with high expectations.

If I recall correctly, Mutants didn’t live up to those hopes. I don’t think fans disliked it, but I don’t remember that it turned into the powerhouse we anticipated.

The same could be said for Mutants the movie – minus those expectations, that is, as the film’s troubled production meant viewers went into it without many beliefs it’d achieve greatness. That works well, as Mutants provides a decent superhero experience but not anything especially memorable.

At least it uses the series’ original quintet – mostly. We get four of the five original Mutants from the comics, with Illyana substituted for Xi'an Coy Manh.

I want to believe racial issues weren’t the reason for this decision, though it becomes tough to think ethnicity didn’t play a part. After all, American audiences seem likely to embrace a sexy blonde over a Vietnamese character, especially since Taylor-Joy offers the closest thing to a star in the cast.

Anyway, I appreciate the fact the movie remains largely true to the comics’ first five, though it branches off in other ways. In the comics, the New Mutants acted as young pupils of X-Men’s Professor X, whereas here, we find no formal connection between the two.

Perhaps a sequel will expand these horizons – if one occurs. Mutants went through a problematic path to the screen, one so fraught that it barely found theaters at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney cuts bait and leaves this as a franchise with only one entry.

If Mutants winds up as the sole film with these characters, I’ll not find myself bereft. Though probably better than its troubled production would imply, the movie seems curiously flat and monochromatic.

Granted, some of this comes by design, as Mutants comes with a claustrophobic setting that leans toward the horror genre more than usual for comic book flicks. Virtually the entire story takes place in Dr. Reyes’ hospital, a choice that can feel motivated by purse strings – fewer locations means less money – but that also adds to a sense of dread and oppression.

In addition, for all intents and purposes the movie’s cast comprises just the six actors already named. Yes, we occasionally see others – mainly via flashbacks/nightmares – but the enormous majority of the film concentrates on Dr. Reyes and the five mutants.

This also smells a wee bit of cost-cutting, but it pays some narrative dividends. Because we get so few participants, the impression that the mutants really find themselves trapped and cut off from the world escalates.

These domains feel like positive aspects of the film, but Mutants can’t do much with them, as it usually seems more like a teen melodrama than a mystery/horror/superhero tale. It devotes a lot of time to conflicts among the mutants, and these don’t allow them to develop especially well as interesting characters.

In particular, the movie sets up Illyana’s perplexing hatred for Dani. I guess this pays off when they inevitably bond and fight, but these character moments and others feel forced and not especially organic. We get the sense the roles follow their paths for contrived purposes that pay off less well than they should.

Mutants also takes forever to get where it needs to go, especially because it comes with a pretty simple plot. While it develops the overriding threat, it doesn’t need as much time as it uses, so the story can stagnate.

If it expanded the characters better, this would seem fine, but since it tends to leave the five leads as sketchy, it doesn’t utilize its cinematic real estate especially well. I get that origin stories like this tend to skimp on the big action moments, but since Mutants doesn’t explore the participants in a satisfying manner, we encounter problems.

At least the actors do reasonably well with their underwritten parts. Taylor-Joy has turned into a reliable talent, and she offers the best performance of the bunch, as she almost manages to find a real character in the underbaked script.

As for the others, they seem less effective, but none disappoint. Handed sketchy roles, they do their best.

To some degree, Mutants benefits from its relative brief running time, as it goes by too quickly for us to ever lose interest. That said, I can’t help but think a longer movie with better developed characters might seem more engaging, but then again, perhaps a two-hour Mutants would’ve become bogged down with dreary melodrama.

Whatever the case, the end result seems like a mediocre superhero movie. Nothing about Mutants turns it into a poor movie, but it lacks the spark and excitement to allow it to become better than just meh.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

The New Mutants appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image offered the expected high quality affair.

Overall sharpness appeared solid. A few slightly soft shots materialized along the way, but they stayed minor and negligible.

The image lacked shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to mar the presentation. I also didn’t see any print flaws.

Mutants emphasized the modern orange and teal palette, and the results seemed fine. The colors didn’t overcome their stylistic restrictions, but they appeared appropriate, and the movie’s semi-dingy feel meant they didn’t come across as overwhelming.

Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. The movie gave us a strong transfer.

I also felt pleased with the often immersive DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Mutants, as the audio seemed to accentuate the visuals well. It mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and “assault moments” from the rear.

In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the rear, aggressive violent components added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more involving.

Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display.

Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.

Effects always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. The mix lacked the consistent ambition to reach “A” level, but it earned a solid “B+” as a fine soundtrack.

When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from writer/director Josh Boone and comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz. Both sit together for this unusual commentary.

Rather than deliver a standard screen-specific look at the film, instead, Boone interviews Sienkiewicz about his life and career. We go over how he got into comics as well as aspects of his work.

This becomes a decent chat that gives us a reasonable overview, but I must admit I’d prefer a blend that gets into the film as well as Sienkiewicz’s career. At the very least, I’d like a stronger emphasis on Sienkiewicz’s New Mutants stint, as the chat spends surprisingly little time on that topic

Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, 52 seconds. Most of this involves minor character beats, though a little additional plot material arrives as well. None of it seems especially important.

In addition to two trailers, we get a pair of featurettes. Origins and Influences goes for seven minutes, 27 seconds and involves Boone, Sienkiewicz, screenwriter Knate Lee, and actors Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, and Charlie Heaton.

As implied, “Influences” looks at the source comics and their adaptation to the screen. This becomes a decent overview, though it doesn’t last long enough to provide much substance.

Meet the New Mutants runs seven minutes, 16 seconds and involves Taylor-Joy, Boone, Heaton, Hunt, and actors Maisie Williams and Henry Zaga.

“Meet” examines cast, characters and performances. Like “Influences”, it provides a moderately useful discussion but not anything deep.

As a continuation of the X-Men universe, The New Mutants feels like a minor misfire. While it remains perfectly watchable, it doesn’t bring a particularly compelling or exciting tale. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Mutants seems like a mediocre comic book flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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