x2: x-men united
"X2: X-Men United" was a big hit in theaters, and now
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing an attractive
two-disc DVD version of the film packaged with lots of extras. "X2"
is the sequel to "X-Men" (2000), and all the main stars
return, including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle
Berry, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.
Adapted from a Marvel comic book series, "X-Men"
was based on the premise that certain humans are evolving into
mutants with special powers. These mutants are associated with
Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and are called X-men because
of the first letter in the Professor's last name. Each mutant
has some special power. For example, Storm (Halle Berry) can control
the weather, Cyclops (James Marsden) has an eye that can emit
laser blasts, Mystique (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) is a shapeshifter,
and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has retractable, razor-sharp claws.
"X2" picks up not long after "X-Men"
leaves off, and all the important cast members are back, including
Stewart, Jackman, Berry, Marsden, and Romijn-Stamos, as well as
Ian McKellen as Magneto, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Anna
Paquin as Rogue.
The new film also introduces some new mutants, including the teleporting,
blue Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), who speaks English with a German
The general population of ordinary humans is prejudiced against
mutants and wants to see them persecuted. In "X-Men"
this led to a conflict within the mutant community, with some
seeking to peacefully coexist with humans, while others supported
violent opposition. But in "X2" there's a hate-filled,
high-ranking American military official, William Stryker (Brian
Cox), who wants to kill all mutants. This forces the mutants to
work together against their common foe and justifies the long
version of the sequel's title "X2: X-Men United."
I found "X2" to be a lot of fun, entertaining throughout,
and an especially good-looking and cinematic film. Also, I'd
give this movie high marks for production values, special effects,
and acting. I particularly liked Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
This film is well-paced, and there is just the right mix of action
scenes and character-based story developments. I'd never
mistake "X2" for high art, but it is a thoroughly
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing two different
versions of "X2: X-Men United" on DVD, one containing
the movie in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and the other containing
the movie in pan & scan (1.33:1). Both are two-disc sets and
both provide the same bonus materials: a feature-length audio
commentary track by director Bryan Singer and cinematographer
Tom Sigel; a second feature-length audio commentary track by producers
Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter and screenwriters Michael
Dougherty, Dan Harris, and David Hayter; a making-of documentary;
10 featurettes; 11 deleted scenes; and other bonus materials as
well. I've given a complete list of the special features
Selected Special Features on the DVDs:
Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) or Pan & Scan (1.33:1)
English 5.1 DTS
English 5.1 Dolby Digital
French Dolby Surround
Spanish Dolby Surround
Commentary by Director and Cinematographer
Commentary by Producers (2) and Screenwriters (3)
Making-Of Documentary: The Second Uncanny Issue of X-Men
Featurette: The Secret Origin of X-Men
Featurette: Nightcrawler Reborn
Featurette: Evolution in the Details - Designing X2
Featurette: United Colors of X
Featurette: Wolverine/Deathstrike Fight Rehearsal
Featurette: Introducing the Incredible Nightcrawler
Featurette: Nightcrawler Stunt Rehearsal
Featurette: Nightcrawler Time-Lapse
Featurette: FX2 - Visual Effects
Featurette: Requiem for Mutants - The Score of X2
Nightcrawler Attack: Multi-Angle Scene Study
X2 Global Webcast Highlights
Deleted Scenes (11)
Theatrical Trailers (3)