The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Oliver Platt
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Music by: Henry Jackman
Written by: Matthew Vaughn, Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 9, 2011
"Witness the beginning"
X-Men: First Class is the thrilling, eye-opening chapter you've been waiting for... Witness the beginning of the X-Men Universe. Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their superhuman powers for the first time, working together in a desperate attempt to stop the Hellfire Club and a global nuclear war.
Before they were superheroes, the fate of humanity depended on an extraordinary group of youngsters who went on to become X-Men: First Class. This prequel tells the origins of Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Fassbender) who would become known as Professor X and Magneto, two very different young men who discover, together, that they are part of a large brotherhood unlike the world had seen. Erik is brash, bitter and vengeful while Charles is diplomatic, hopeful and forward thinking. Brought together by fate they are assigned to the CIA's Division X and tasked with locating a group of rogue mutants seeking domination by taking advantage of the U.S./U.S.S.R tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Using the first design of Cerebro they band together the early remnants of what would later evolve into the X-Men. Unfortunately mankind isn't ready to accept such a mutant force
Set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis the story focuses on the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. I saw First Class in the theater and thought it was very well done as it sets the stage for the original X-Men film series. The script is strong and appropriately defines the concepts of what will become the struggle between humankind and mutants while clearly drawing the lines between heroes and villains among mutantkind. I liked the idea of using the Cold War era as the backdrop and thought it was integrated nicely. Character development, especially among the principles, is quite good and the blend of drama and action is spot on which keeps interest high. The film runs for well over two hours and is paced briskly but never glosses over the story's elements. The special effects/action is engaging and the strong performances by the ensemble cast sparkle throughout. As a fan of the X-Men film franchise I appreciated the various aspects of the story that tied into the others (including the unnecessary but apropos cameos for Hugh Jackman/Rebecca Romjin). X-Men First Class turned out to be a better film than anticipated thanks to its excellent production elements, capable direction and solid casting. I wondered how well it would hold up this second time around and am pleased to report that the experience was just as rewarding.
The rating is for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief/partial nudity and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
X-Men First Class comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
X-Men First Class looks great on Blu-ray and features excellent high definition video quality that exhibits high level detail, defining sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera's lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension. Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional description. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and empowers whites without washing away detail. Blacks are rich, gradationally strong and dynamic which makes them pop nicely during sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure in backgrounds. This is a pristine encoding that looks terrific on my big screen.
The DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix is equally impressive and sounds superb. I recently added the Onkyo PR-SC5508 audio/video processor to my review system and thought this would be a great disc to test its abilities. The results were spectacular as this soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialogue and soft music to thunderous, dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. Dialogue rendering is terrific as it holds sway over the front soundstage. Detail is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Dynamics can be demonstrative as the active elements within the surround mix resound with superior authority and powerful deep bass transients. Henry Jackman's music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and is wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving. From the gentle sounds of blowing wind or reverberant echoes to the familiar and enveloping effects of formidable enemies battling heroes, sounds are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. This is an impressive audio/video presentation that essentially mirrored its theatrical one and will make for great demonstration material.
- (HD) X marks the spot: Explore the creation of X-Men First Class in this interactive in movie experience that looks behind the scenes via picture-in-picture vignettes (which can also be viewed separately - see below)
- Erik in Auschwitz
- Charles meets Raven
- Mr. Howlett declines
- Emulsional journey
- Rebecca's return
- Cuban beach: Previz sequence (side by side comparison
- Retro cool
- Composer's isolated score in 5.1 Dolby Digital
- (HD) Cerebro: Mutant tracker - interactive search feature
- (HD) Children of the Atom (seven segments):
- Second Genesis - 10 minutes
- Band of brothers - 12 minutes
- Transformation - 10 minutes
- Suiting up - 8 minutes
- New frontier: A dose of style - 10 minutes
- Pulling off the impossible - 10 minutes
- Sound and fury - 6 minutes
- (HD) 13 Deleted/Extended scenes
- BD-Live: Live Extras - Exclusive Dogfight
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
X-Men First Class is a rewarding and well executed prequel that presents fans with an entertaining action/drama that compliments the X-Men film franchise. It makes its way onto Blu-ray in superb fashion and features top notch audio/video quality along with a gratifying assortment of bonus material that looks behind the scenes at the making of the film. As a fan I am very pleased with this offering from 20th Century Fox and highly recommend that you check it out.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Projectors: Where there's a wall, there's a way.
It took a little longer to load than most discs however that isn't unusual for Fox titles. No issues with playback etc.
Great Review BTW!
Ralph did you or anyone notice Xavier seem to call Magneto "Hank" a few times in the movie rather than "Erik".
Great Review BTW!
I noticed this too and found it odd.
Will definitely be added to my collection.
My Home Theater
Already tried it in my PS3 miester. It loads and plays without a hitch.
My pre/pro is the Anthem MXR300 receiver and emotiva amps to power the JTR Triple 8HT speakers.
Ron (rboster) and no, Ralph Potts is not my superhero identity
Thanks Ralph I appreciate that, I guess I try exchanging it a second time(maybe at a different WalMart) and hope I better luck this time. This is really bumming me out.
I'll have to add it to my Blockbuster Queue
What is the meaning of life?
I found some of the dialogue to be a little "hot" at times. Not to the level of distorting, but in my system lacking in some clarity in the high end. I first noticed it with the introduction of the Hank/Beast character. I even switched out my center and left speaker, but still noticed a slight whispiness to his dialogue (going back and replaying) and other times the different characters voices not to be a little "hot" is the best way to describe it.
My pre/pro is the Anthem MXR300 receiver and emotiva amps to power the speakers.
Interesting......! So your equipment listed in your signature isn't up to date? If that's the case I'd be really interested in seeing what you currently have. Maybe you could update your sig when you have the time.
Thanks Ralph for all you do.
yadfgp, you're more than welcome. Don't confuse Ron's post with mine (our avatar's are similar )
A prequel story that is very well put together and that made sense. Kind of funny that if you've noticed on this movie that the good guys are somewhat "outclassed" when it comes to their power compared to the bad guys.
No issues playing on my PS3 and worked fine.
Same goes for Fassbender in the Magneto/Emma scene at the end.
I want to begin by apologizing for filling this thread with my playback problems but this is really getting on my nerves. The disc I was having problems with(freezing up every couple of minutes) I took over to my nephew place and play it on the same type of PS3 and the same settings both with the current updates to my bitter disappointment played fine on his system. He recommended buying a disc cleaner which I tried a couple of times didn't help either. I tried Thor which I just bought and it played fine so now I'm really confused. It not the disc it seems like my PS3 has a mind of it's and just doesn't play this blu-ray. So I really appreciate anyones thoughts and if they cab steer to somewhere that can correct this problem because I don't this is the area where I should voice mt problems,
To discuss playback issues, there are two areas to seek assitance:
1) The thread dedicated to the title in the software forum:
2) Your player's master/owner's thread in the hardware forum. In the case of the PS3, we have that owner's thread as a sticky (top of the forum) in the Blu Ray hardware section.
My youtube channel: Impulse Audio
I was going to hold off buying this one but changed my mind and ordered it from Amazon earlier this week and received it yesterday. This is certainly a great addition to the X-Men family and a highly enjoyable movie--worthy of multiple viewings. The audio and video are fantastic--and the LFE gave my SVS Ultra a nice workout. Another spot-on review, Ralph--glad I decided to buy this one.
Glad to hear it spritfox!
If Magneto wanted to kill Shaw (besides the coin thing) why didn't he just manipulate (shrink) that helmet he was wearing in the end scene? Was the helmet not made of metal i'm guessing?
BTW, I'd assume these comments should be in spoiler tags. How does one do that anyway?
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