X-Men: The Last Stand appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the movie offered a strong transfer.
Sharpness was quite good. Only a smidgen of softness ever crept into wider shots, but even that was minor; overall, the movie looked crisp and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws also remained absent.
Stand stayed with a subdued palette. Bright colors rarely cropped up, as it preferred a low-key setting. Within those parameters, the tones seemed accurate and well-delineated. Blacks were deep and firm, and low-light shots came across as clear and easy to discern. Overall, this was a solid presentation.
I felt even more impressed by the excellent DTS-HD MA 6.1 audio of X-Men: The Last Stand. The soundfield was consistently terrific. As expected, the movie’s many action scenes created the greatest impact. From flying objects to Storm’s weather manipulations to explosions and blasts, the soundfield used all five channels to excellent effect. The elements swarmed all around us and firmly placed us in the action.
Quieter scenes also worked well. These formed a nice sense of atmosphere, though they also produced some involving effects. For example, telepathic elements cropped up from all around the room. At all times, the mix used the different speakers to their full advantage.
Never did the quality of the audio disappoint. Effects remained concise and robust. They presented great dynamics and lacked any distortion or other problems. The score occasionally threatened to get buried under the onslaught of action effects, but the music managed to stay lively and bright nonetheless. Speech was crisp and distinctive and bass response seemed terrific. Really, I found a lot to like and virtually nothing to criticize from this superb soundtrack.
How do the picture and sound quality of this Blu-ray Disc compare with those of the prior DVD release? I think the audio is similar for both, especially since the DVD already offers an excellent DTS track; the lossless DTS-HD audio might be a wee bit stronger, but they’re very much alike.
I would guess that the Blu-ray simply ports over the same transfer created for the 2006 DVD. And that’s fine, as the image holds up well. Though the old release looks very good for a DVD, the Blu-ray adds a bit more definition and clarity to the package.
A few extras round out Stand, all of which already appeared on the DVD. We open with two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from director Brett Ratner and writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They talk a lot about the characters and story issues. We hear about the integration of all the different mutants and related concerns along with other plot and script topics. In addition, we get some info about sets and locations, various effects and stunts, comic book allusions, and a few other production topics.
The three participants manage to make this a fairly entertaining track, if not one of the most informative discussions I’ve heard. A lot of joking occurs – probably too much, as it sometimes becomes tough to tell factual statements from comedic exaggerations. There’s also more praise than I’d like. Nonetheless, we get a decent amount of information in this genial and generally likable piece.
For the second commentary, we hear from producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter. All three sit together for their own running, screen-specific chat. They discover production basics like sets and locations, effects and visual concerns, cast and characters, and a mix of technical issues. All of these act as a satisfactory look at the flick, but none of them stand out as particularly memorable. Inevitably, some information repeats from the first commentary. However, since that one focused more on the story and script, the amount of duplication never becomes extreme. Ultimately, the producer track is acceptable but without much spark.
In addition to the commentaries, we find a trivia track. This offers the standard mix of factoids about the production and the comics. It proves reasonably satisfying.
12 Deleted/Alternate Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 13 seconds. As you can guess, none of them last very long; the one-minute and 40-second “Extended Fight Sequence at Jean Grey’s House” is the lengthiest clip. It’s also arguably the most interesting, as it adds some fun battle elements.
Of the three alternate endings, one with Rogue offers the most provocative change. We also get a tease in which Wolverine returns to Canada. Most of the other scenes offer very minor changes or extensions, so don’t expect much from them. Heck, two of them are the same sequence; they only differ in that Magneto sports a beard in one but is clean-shaven in the other.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Ratner, Penn and Kinberg. They give us basic notes about the scenes and usually let us know why they cut the sequences. The commentary fills out matters well.
Promotional elements comprise the rest of the disc’s supplements. We get trailers for Stand as well as Fantastic Four, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the 2001 Planet of the Apes.
I think X-Men: The Last Stand offers the weakest of the three films in the series, and it suffers from some unnecessary flaws. That said, it still packs enough of a comic book bunch to entertain. It’s not a great movie, but it keeps us interested despite its misfires. The Blu-ray provides solid picture and audio as well as some decent extras highlighted by a pair of reasonably useful audio commentaries. This is the worst of the three X-Men movies but it has enough going for it to warrant a recommendation for the fans.
To rate this film, visit the original review of X-MEN: THE LAST STAND