X-Men: First Class 4K (Blu-ray)
SRP $39.99 2.35:1 DTS-HD MA 5.1 FOX
 

With the X-MEN series expanding on its own, let alone with the Wolverine Spin-offs, some have been good, some pretty bad(X-Men Origins:Wolverine) and some terrific(X-MEN) and now X-MEN First Class! As much as Brett Ratner almost single-handedly destroyed the franchise with his abysmal X-MEN THE LAST STAND, writer/director Matthew Vaughn has revitalized the series with "X-MEN FIRST CLASS." While it stands on its own, it also is fully integrated and respectful of the series mythology as well!

It helps that Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are perfectly cast as the younger versions of Magneto and Dr. Xavier. These two fine actors make these characters their own. It's truly impossible, upon seeing them here, to imagine anyone else playing these younger versions, better!

As good as these two are, Kevin Bacon gives a hell of a surprise performance here as a villain one will love to hate! Bacon's given many a fine performance(Stir of Echoes,etc) But, he's never given this nuanced kind of performance before and it's truly outstanding!

Sure, Jennifer Lawrence is good(she's always good!)but the three actors mentioned are what make "X-MEN FIRST CLASS" stand and remembered. It was great seeing it in the theater. It was also great to see it during its initial blu-ray release several years ago. But, it was really enjoyable a third time to see it in 4K with the newest presentation from FOX!

Up-converted from 2K, this release offers an improvement, mostly due to HDR. While colors are impressive on the blu-ray, they are much brighter here. The improved range of color is evident in virtually any scene-to-scene comparison, but surprisingly evident even in scenes wherein white is featured heavily as a background. Detail is also improved on the 4K release. Sure, facial pores were evident on the blu-ray, but in 4K, WOW! This is a great release, and well worth the upgrade even if already owning the blu-ray.

The same DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix offered on blu-ray has been carried over for the 4K release. While it's sad it doesn't offer the advantage of an Atmos track, it's still a rousing mix. From beginning to end, there's an effective use of panning effects, as well as more subtle ambient effects. (It still would've been great to hear the overhead channels of Atmos when certain characters literally fall from above) The score, dialogue and layers of effects are perfectly balanced and there wasn't a moment wherein dialogue volume had to be increased. A great mix!

The blu-ray and a Digital HD code are included.