Action Adaptation

'X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut' Blu-ray Review: Go back to the future past with the extended edition of last summer's mutant megahit

July 14, 2015Ben MK

Last summer's X-Men: Days of Future Past marked director Bryan Singer's return to the big screen mutant franchise. Now, X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut marks the return of another familiar character: Rogue. Ever since it was first teased last fall, fans have been eagerly anticipating this alternate version of the fourth X-Men sequel. Now that it's finally here, does it live up to the hype?

If you know and love Days of Future Past, you'll be glad to know that the new Rogue Cut doesn't alter the movie in any significant manner, as the plot still revolves around the future Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) — or rather, his grizzled consciousness — being projected 50 years back in time to 1973. While there, he must seek the help of a young Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in stopping Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating the man behind the creation of the mutant-hunting killing machines known as the Sentinels, a single act of violence that will have devastation implications, setting into motion a Terminator-like future war that will decimate both the mutant and the human population alike.

The alterations that the Rogue Cut offers are few and far between, often taking the form of small character moments and minor scene extensions, most of which are fairly inconsequential to the overall plot. But mainly what it brings to the table is the restoration of a previously-deleted subplot — one that sees the future Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) embarking on a dangerous side quest to free Rogue (Anna Paquin, who was all but M.I.A. from the theatrical release) from her 10-year-long captivity at the hands of anti-mutant forces.

It's a visually-arresting sequence — serving up a Sentinel assault, a daring breach of a heavily-fortified X-Mansion, and a narrow escape in the X-Jet — that longtime fans of the series will undoubtedly want to watch again and again. But even though it adds some more welcome action to the film, you can also understand why it was ultimately excised from the theatrical edit, as its value to the storyline proper is minimal at best. Still, seeing the footage reintegrated back into the fabric of the movie is a thrill. After all, one of the central aims of Days of Future Past was to unite the casts of X-Men: First Class and the previous three X-Men films. And what would the original X-Men trilogy be without Rogue?

X-Men: Days of Future Past debuted on Blu-ray in October 2014 in not one, but two flavors — a 2D release and a 3D combo pack — both of which boasted an impressive audiovisual presentation. Likewise, the technical presentation of the Rogue Cut earns high marks indeed, thanks to its vibrant color reproduction, impeccable on-screen detail, rich black levels and deep, bold contrast. Whether it's the individual hairs visible in Beast's bright blue fur or the futuristic scenes awash in deep blue tones and complemented by flashes of brilliant purple, orange and red, this is one fantastic looking hi-def image through and through. And it's made even better by the inclusion of yet another fabulous DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack, one in which dialogue and music are always exceptionally well-balanced, even when the soundstage is teeming with such room-shaking audio effects as Sentinel blasts, automatic gunfire and explosions.

Fox's two-disc Blu-ray release includes the original (2D) theatrical cut of the movie, an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy of the Rogue Cut, as well as the following all-new Blu-ray special features:

  • Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer and John Ottman (Rogue Cut Only) - In addition to sharing various anecdotes about the production, director Bryan Singer and composer/editor John Ottman talk about various aspects of the film, including the nods to Terminator 2, the evolution of the score, the editing process, and the changes (both large and small) found in the Rogue Cut.
  • Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg (Theatrical Version Only) - Director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg sit down for another scene-specific commentary, this time touching on such topics as the movie's origins, the expansion of the original comic's storyline, the design of the future Sentinels, the cameos, the actors and their performances, the visual effects, the costume and set design, and the stunt work.
  • Second Screen App - A reminder about the "X-Men Movies Cerebro Second Screen" iOS/Kindle/Android companion app that viewers can download for an enhanced viewing experience.
  • Mutant vs. Machine (52:41) - A nine-part making-of documentary that covers the origins of the movie, the challenges of adapting the "Days of Future Past" comic storyline for the big screen, the key cast and crew, the costume and production design, the cinematography, the score and the editing, the visual effects, and the deleted Rogue subplot, concluding with a sneak peek at the next chapter in the franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • X-Men: Unguarded (30:11) - A casual roundtable discussion between director Bryan Singer, screenwriter Simon Kinberg and cast members Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Shawn Ashmore, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman, as they chat about the franchise, its themes, fan feedback and working together.
  • Gallery - A collection of 954 images in total, divided into three categories: Storyboards ("Paris" and "Climax"), Costumes and Concept Art ("Desert House," "Monastery," "Moscow," "Paris," "Saigon," "Washington D.C.," "Pentagon," "X-Mansion," "X-Jet," "Xavier's Chair," "Sentinels" and "Trask").
  • Fantastic Four Sneak Peek (1:49) - A glimpse at the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, featuring clips from the movie, behind-the-scenes footage, and EPK-style interview snippets with director Josh Trank, writer/producer Simon Kinberg and castmates Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut is available from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as of July 14th, 2015. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio (Theatrical Version Only) and Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Subtitles are presented in English SDH and Spanish. The total runtime is 2 Hrs. 29 Mins. (Rogue Cut) and 2 Hrs. 12 Mins. (Theatrical Version).

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