X-Men: Dark Phoenix – Blu-ray Review

Dark Phoenix image

When I originally reviewed the film, I initially gave it a bad review. After my second viewing, my initial thoughts on the film remain the same. Frustratingly, for the second time, Hollywood has failed in adapting one of the best X-Men storylines of all time. Long-time X-Men producer, Simon Kinberg, is making his directorial debut with a high-budget superhero film. Needless to say, it shows that he’s a director with no experience. There’s just no sense of pacing, character development, personality, or style to this film. It just feels so generic and so incredibly bland. Not to mention, the actors themselves seem, at times, that they don’t want to be there. Sure, there are some instances where they try but the performances are just lackluster overall.

But the story itself is where most of the issues stem from. The story itself is a complete mess. When you simplify the “Dark Phoenix” comic arc, you realize how easy it is to adapt the storyline. Yet Hollywood seems to find a way to over complicate things to try to be different. Kinberg wanted Dark Phoenix to be a character-driven psychological thriller, but he fails to bring either to the film.

Also, the implementation of the random alien villain is meant to be a plot device to redeem Jean Grey from her past transgressions. However, the problem is that the story doesn’t give Jean Grey enough material to make her a complex character in need of redemption. Her one “evil” deed is the only thing that the film drives itself on to hammer this idea home. The rest of the time she’s sulking around looking for answers. Thus, it’s not enough for us to care about her redemption.

Overall, Dark Phoenix is yet another massive failure in adapting the beloved “Dark Phoenix” storyline. As the saying goes, “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, shame on us. Nevertheless, the third time might be a charm when Marvel Studios is ready to adapt the Dark Phoenix saga into the MCU.

Movie Rating: 1/5 atoms


Dark Phoenix - Jennifer Lawrence and Sophie Turner

X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The picture for the film looks spectacular on Blu-ray. First off, the brightness gives the picture some vibrancy that gives off a pure white. At the same time, there’s a wide spectrum of black that can be found in the picture. They range from a dark gray to a deep black. Unfortunately, there’s some crush in the shadow details.

As gritty and grounded as the film is, there is quite a wide array of colors in the film. There’s a rich saturation of colors and these colors simply jump off the screen. The detail clarity is super clear—especially in the details of the mutant designs. There is also a crispness to the edge details as well. Overall, this is a fantastic video transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Dark Phoenix - James McAvoy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tye Sheridan, and Alexandra Shipp

X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Although the film isn’t playful or dynamic, the audio mix is playful and dynamic. The mix completely immerses you by blanketing you from all sides. Not to mention, you can also hear certain sound effects in areas where there isn’t a speaker. At the same time, the sound effects move across the soundstage seamlessly. With the atmospheric effects, they are distinct and clear. You can hear the atmospherics across all channels. You can especially hear it when Jean Grey has her first incident at the campfire party.

The music makes use of the subwoofer and the instruments across all the channels. The mix playfully layers all the instruments across the soundstage. The dialogue is clear and audible even with the voices going through Jean’s head. Overall, the audio mix is phenomenal.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

X-Men: Dark Phoenix has the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker
    • Edwards Air Force Base
    • Charles Returns Home
    • Mission Prep
    • Beast MIA
    • Charles Says Goodbye
  • Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix
    • Story & Pre-Production
    • The Cast
    • Production Design
    • Special Effects
    • Filming & Editing
  • How to Fly Your Jet to Space with Beast
  • Audio Commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker

Don’t be fooled by the lack of special features in the list above. There is a LOT to go through in this release. First of all, if you watch the optional audio commentary, you’ll consistently hear Kinberg say “we wanted to get to Jean’s story” as a primary reason why they cut out these scenes. Unfortunately, these deleted scenes feature a lot of scenes that would’ve helped the film out. It doesn’t add anything to the storyline but it does add some transition scenes which would’ve helped with the flow of the film.

Now, “Rise of the Phoenix” is where you’ll spend most of your time. During the entire hour and twenty-minute featurette, you get to learn a TON about filmmaking and the filmmaking process. Unfortunately, there are several times where the featurette will feature the cast and crew praising each other and their talents. Yet, there are even more moments where you’ll learn everything about the film. “Rise of the Phoenix” is a must-watch for those who love behind-the-scenes featurettes.

“How to Fly Your Jet” is a hilarious tour of the cockpit of the Blackbird as told by Nicholas Hoult. You don’t realize how funny he is until you see him improvise everything in this short. The audio commentary is essentially a nice companion piece for “Rise of the Phoenix”. It shows you how meticulous and intelligent Kinberg is with the filmmaking process. Unfortunately, listening to Kinberg and Parker is like listening to a boring teacher who’s giving a lesson. To be honest, you’re probably better off watching the featurette than listening to the audio commentary.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is yet another disappointment in the X-Men cinematic franchise. Sadly, the “Dark Phoenix” saga is wasted on a terrible film once again. Help us Marvel Studios, you’re our only hope. The picture quality and audio mix are both fantastic. Lastly, the special features are in-depth and very informative. Although it’s a bit sad when the special features are more entertaining than the film itself.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Fox Home Entertainment.

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