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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • X-Men 2's stellar sequel shines on 4K with superb visuals & engaging story, though extras & sound upgrades lack.

    X2 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • X-Men series on 4K UHD showcases technical upgrades, with varying grain textures and enhanced details, colors, and contrast across the trilogy.

  • Audio
  • Despite lacking upgraded Dolby Atmos or DTS-X, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 tracks deliver rich, immersive audio experiences across the films, with potent bass, crisp dialogue, and dynamic effects.

  • Extra
  • The 4K UHD package strips down extras from the original Blu-ray releases, retaining only select audio commentaries, highlighting a mix of technical insights and production anecdotes across the X-Men films.

  • Movie
  • X2: X-Men United elevates the franchise with a superior sequel, blending bigger action and deeper themes, while the 4K UHD edition revisits the trilogy, offering visual improvements but lacking in new audio enhancements.

    Video: 83

    X2: X-Men United's foray into 4K UHD Blu-ray, courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, presents an intriguing study in the translation of film to the ultra-high definition format. Shot on 35mm film using Panavision Panaflex Millennium, XL, and Aaton 35-III cameras, the movie received a 4K scan for this release. Displayed in a 2160p transfer with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, it employs the HEVC (H.265) encoding for HDR10, showcasing a native 4K resolution. The Region-Free UK release was reviewed on a comprehensive setup featuring a Panasonic 65DX902B Ultra HD 4K TV and Panasonic DMP-UB400 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Despite being a scan from the original film, it exhibited some inconsistency in grain presence and definition, noted especially in snow-laden scenes and several CGI moments, which were slightly more prominent compared to its predecessor.

    The video presentation of X2: X-Men United in 4K brings forth an enhanced detail level that shines through in various textures and landscapes, from close-up facial textures to the intricate weaves of clothing and expansive snowscapes. This detail improvement extends to the depiction of CGI elements, such as the visually captivating mists and cosmic phenomena of the opening narration. Furthermore, the application of HDR and Wider Colour Gamut (WCG) significantly elevates the visual impact, enriching the palette with more vibrant and fuller tones. Notably, metallic surfaces gleam with realism thanks to dazzling specular highlights, while blacks achieve deeper, inkier quality, bolstering shadow detail and frame depth. Despite these positives, some dated CGI effects and fluctuating sharp edges were observed, occasionally detracting from the overall clarity.

    Colors in X2 exhibit both subtlety and depth, with improved contrast levels contributing to a more vivid and engaging picture than its HD SDR counterpart. Whites deliver intensity without overblown highlights, maintaining picture detail even in the brightest areas. The film's visual narrative benefits from this treatment—Magneto's costume flaunts deeper hues of plum and sangria, while the unique tones of characters like Nightcrawler gain distinction. Nonetheless, the transfer is not without its flaws; occasional poorly-resolved sequences and scattered CG issues hint at the limitations of upscaling to 4K. Despite this, the preservation of film grain imbues the image with a cherished cinematic quality, reminding viewers of its celluloid origins.

    Audio: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "X2: X-Men United" carries forward the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that adorned its previous outings on home video formats. While the track doesn’t boast the more recent advancements in home cinema audio such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, it remains undeniably excellent, providing an enveloping experience that makes ample use of the home theater setup. The soundstage is broad and immersive, filling the room with an array of effects that are both precise and expansive. Each scene, from the intense attack on the Oval Office to the dramatic collapse under the dam, is treated with an aural mastery that underpins the on-screen action with a richly detailed mid-range and a robust low-end that adds a thrilling physicality to the viewing experience.

    Dialogue remains crystal clear and natural throughout, effectively directed across the channels to ensure it's never lost amidst the high-octane sequences. The mix masterfully layers the film’s score along with myriad sound effects to utilize the full capability of the 5.1 setup, thereby creating a dynamic audio environment. Notable moments like Storm's thunderous abilities or Jean's powerful stopping of Scott’s blast are rendered with a depth and clarity that fill out the effects sensibly and satisfyingly.

    While audiophiles might find themselves pondering the untapped potential of an updated object-based audio mix, the existing DTS-HD MA 5.1 track does not fail to impress. It provides a thoroughly engaging auditory experience that complements the visual spectacle of "X2." The aural landscape is rich with background activities and atmospherics that are adeptly distributed in a wide and spacious manner, enveloping the viewer in a continuously immersive cinematic experience. Despite the lack of newer audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, the quality and execution of the track ensure that it remains a commendable aspect of the film’s 4K UHD presentation.

    Extra: 76

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of "X2: X-Men United" maintains a meticulous selection of extras primarily sourced from its predecessor Blu-ray editions, with a notable emphasis on audio commentaries that delve into the intricate details of production, character development, and thematic elements. While the transition to 4K includes the prominent audio commentary by Bryan Singer and Tom Sigel, which offers rich, technical insights into the filmmaking process, it regrettably omits the comprehensive second disc of extras that accompanied the original release. This omission results in a somewhat diminished collection that leans heavily on technical discussions provided by the filmmakers. Despite this, the included extras do offer an in-depth look at the creative challenges and decisions behind "X2," albeit from a narrower perspective focused on production and direction. Fans looking for extensive behind-the-scenes materials and broader discussions may find this collection lacking in variety, but it remains a valuable resource for those interested in the filmmaking aspects.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer and Tom Sigel: An engaging discussion focusing on production challenges, character development, and thematic depth of "X2."

    Audio Commentary with Producers and Writers: Offers insight from a different angle, including script challenges and narrative cohesion.

    Theatrical Trailers (HD): High-definition previews of "X2: X-Men United.

    Movie: 83

    In the realm of superhero cinema, "X2: X-Men United" not only solidifies its standing within the X-Men series but, impressively, emerges as a pinnacle of narrative and visual execution that surpasses its predecessor with marked confidence and craft. Directed by Bryan Singer, the sequel leverages the solid foundation laid by the first film, amplifying the stakes and the emotional weight of its narrative, to deliver a story that is as compelling as it is visually arresting. The plot, centered around the manipulative strategies of Col. William Stryker (played with chilling precision by Brian Cox), who aims to exploit mutant abilities to realize his vision of a mutant-free world, resonates with rich thematic layers exploring social injustices—an aspect that Singer intertwines with the action sequences masterfully, making "X2" not just a feast for the senses but also a thought-provoking commentary on the societal fears and prejudices towards the 'other.'

    The film’s production values are significantly enhanced, benefiting from advancements in technology and a larger budget, allowing for more ambitious action set pieces and superior special effects that make full use of the 4K UHD presentation. The 4K UHD Blu-ray edition underscores this with a meticulous transfer that beautifully showcases the heightened detail and refined color palette, although it retains the audio options from previous releases without any new enhancement. Despite this, the visual fidelity offered presents the film with an unparalleled clarity that accentuates both the high-octane action sequences and the subtler emotional moments, further enriching the viewing experience.

    Character development receives particular attention in this sequel, diving deeper into the complexities that define the mutants’ existence, notably through Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) tumultuous journey and Rogue’s (Anna Paquin) poignant struggle with her own abilities. These narratives are interwoven with the broader themes of acceptance and coexistence, elevating "X2" beyond mere spectacle into a resonant exploration of identity and belonging. This installment not only excels in delivering mesmerizing action and a compelling storyline but also in its nuanced handling of character arcs, setting a benchmark for what superhero films can aspire to achieve both technically and narratively.

    Total: 71

    X2: X-Men United," the standout sequel in the X-Men franchise, not only matches but in many instances, surpasses its predecessor with a broader scope, more intricate storytelling, and an evident upgrade in both budget and performance quality. Director Bryan Singer adeptly heightens the film's tension, action, and emotional investment, making it a pivotal installment in the franchise that skillfully sets the stage for future films. On the technical front, the 4K UHD Blu-Ray release from Fox is a considerable improvement over previous editions. The native 4K picture shines with remarkable detail, significantly enhanced by HDR and WCG that make colors more vibrant, blacks deeper, and whites brighter, all while maintaining a classic film-like appearance. However, it retains the original DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, which, despite its high quality in terms of immersion and bass, might leave audiophiles longing for an upgraded audio experience.

    The collection lacks in supplementary content, particularly notable for the absence of the second Blu-ray from the original set which housed most of the extras. Fans will find solace in the inclusion of two audio commentaries that delve into the film's production and thematic layers. This discrepancy highlights a persistent issue in the transition to 4K UHD formats where visual upgrades are not always matched with equivalent enhancements in audio or bonus features. Nevertheless, for enthusiasts and loyal followers of the X-Men series, this release represents a valuable addition to their collection, offering the best visual presentation of "X2" to date.

    In conclusion, while the 4K UHD Blu-Ray of "X2: X-Men United" excels with its stunning visual upgrade that fans will undoubtedly appreciate, it falls somewhat short in offering a complete package, particularly regarding audio enhancement and special features. The film itself remains a high watermark for superhero cinema, blending profound storytelling with spectacular action. This release is recommended for aficionados of the series eager to experience "X2" in unparalleled visual quality, albeit with some reservations about the overall completeness of the package in regards to auditory and supplementary content.