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IRON MAN ANIME & X-MEN ANIME arrives on DVD April 24th

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Explode onto DVD April 24th

Each Set Includes 12 Episodes From Each Series and New Bonus Features!

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (March 5, 2012) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Marvel Animation release the IRON MAN ANIME and X-MEN ANIME on DVD April 24th. With 12 episodes and bonus features in each DVD, bring home the action and adventures of Iron Man and the X-Men in the classic anime style. Guided by New York Times best-selling author Warren Ellis (Iron Man: Extremis, Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis) and produced by Madhouse for Marvel Television and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the distributor.

The IRON MAN ANIME stars Adrian Pasdar (Heroes, Castle, Profit) as the voice of Tony Stark. The set contains special bonus features:
·         Re-Imagining Iron Man explores the plot and themes of the anime series.
·         21st Century Hero: The Technology of Iron Man introduces fans to Tony Stark’s high-tech suits and gadgets.
·         Special Cross Talk round table discussion with the creators of the Iron Man and Wolverine anime series.
·         Voicing Tony Stark, an interview with Japanese actor, Keiji Fujiwara.

The X-MEN ANIME features the voice of actor Scott Porter as Cyclops (The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, Caprica). The set includes:
·         Re-Examining The X-Men takes viewers behind-the-scenes of creating X-Men’s mutant tales.
·         X-Men: A Team of Outsiders provides an in-depth exploration of Marvel’s most heroic and infamous mutants.
·         Special Talk Session round table discussion with the creators of Marvel anime’s X-Men and Blade.

IRON MAN ANIME: Tony Stark arrives in Japan to help implement his goal of world peace by building the Arc Reactor, a carbon-neutral power plant, that once operational will be able to provide limitless (thus free) energy to the world. Set to retire his Iron Man persona, and about to mass-produce a line of Iron Man armor known as “Iron Man Dio,” Stark’s plans are derailed by a series of high tech Mech monsters. Zodiac, a top secret organization funded by the terrorist group A.I.M. is out to disrupt the Arc Station, steal the Dio armor and put an end to Iron Man. The Armored Avenger’s fight is only just beginning.

X-MEN ANIME: The X-MEN are reunited following the death of a teammate and are summoned by Charles Xavier to Japan following the abduction of Hisako Ichiki. There, they confront the U-MEN, a lunatic cult that steals and transplants mutant organs to further strengthen its own army, and the battle for justice is on. Discovering a series of bizarre occurrences in the area they X-Men investigate only to be confronted with a terrible truth that will force them to confront long buried secrets.

Broadcast Year: 2011 (G4)

IRON MAN ANIME and X-MEN ANIME are rated NOT RATED.  Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at www.SonyPictures.com.

ABOUT SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; worldwide television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

ABOUT MARVEL
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

G4 PREMIERES NEW MARVEL ORIGINAL ANIME SERIES “X-MEN” FEATURING ACTOR SCOTT PORTER AS THE VOICE OF CYCLOPS ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 21 AT 11 PM ET/PT

September 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“X-Men” Series Premiere Comes on the Heels of Hit Marvel Original Anime Series “Iron Man” and “Wolverine” on G4

LOS ANGELES, September 14, 2011 – This summer, G4 and Marvel teamed up to bring legions of fans their favorite Super Heroes with the original Marvel anime series, “Iron Man” and “Wolverine.” Next up, Marvel’s most popular team of mutants will tear up the small screen when G4 premieres 12 half-hour weekly episodes of the new original anime series “X-Men” this fall, bringing even more action, drama, and high energy anime heroics. Featuring the voice of actor Scott Porter (“The Good Wife,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Caprica”) as Cyclops, “X-Men” premieres Friday October 21st at 11pm ET/PT. The fourth anime series as part of G4 and Marvel’s exclusive partnership, “Blade,” will premiere this winter.
Actor Scott Porter takes on the title role in “X-Men” as the voice of Cyclops, the optic-force blasting deputy leader of the team. In the series, the X-MEN are reunited following the death of a teammate, and are summoned by Charles Xavier to track down Hisako Ichiki, a missing teenage girl in Northern Japan. There, they encounter the fanatical and anti-mutant group, U-MEN, and discover what was important enough for Xavier to bring them back together. The answer is something that could potentially bridge the gap between mutants and humans, or tear the two species apart forever.

Currently airing Fridays from 11PM to Midnight, Marvel original anime series “Iron Man” and “Wolverine” have been ratings successes for G4. The most recent outing on Friday 11PM-12AM delivered the block’s strongest ratings across the board, jumping +50% over the August 2010 time period average with homes and climbing +75% among Total Viewers. The stack also doubled the year-ago mark with Men 18-49 and tripled among Men 18-34. The 11:30PM airing of Wolverine ranked in 9th place among ad supported cable networks with Men 18-34 and more than doubled key Men network competitors such as MTV and ESPN 2.*

Nebraska native Scott Porter first appeared in the off-Broadway production of the musical “Altar Boyz.” He went on to portray wheelchair-bound Jason Street on the popular NBC series, “Friday Night Lights.” In 2008, Porter was featured in Andy and Larry Wachowski’s live-action “Speed Racer” film as Rex Racer. He also was the male lead in the film “Prom Night,” opposite Brittany Snow. He recently had a supporting role on CBS drama, “The Good Wife,” and can be seen in the upcoming CW series, “Hart of Dixie” this fall.
“X-Men” is directed by Fuminori Kizaki, known as the director of the critically acclaimed “Afro Samurai” series. Shigemi Ikeda, Emmy® Award winner in the “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation” category for “Afro Samurai: Resurrection”, teamed up with Kizaki once again as art director. G4 is the exclusive U.S. television home of the four brand-new anime series, guided by New York Times best-selling author Warren Ellis (Iron Man: Extremis, Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis) and produced by Madhouse for Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ). Sony Pictures Television is the distributor. For more information, visit http://www.g4tv.com/marvel

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit http://www.marvel.com/ <http://www.marvel.com/> .

About G4
G4 offers the last word on gaming, technology, animation, interactivity and “geek culture” for the male 18-34 demo. The network has given young guys of today’s digital generation a television home. G4 is the #1 podcasted cable network in America and is available in 59 million cable and satellite homes nationwide. G4tv.com is a top web destination for video game news and information. The network’s popular original programming includes “Attack of the Show!,” “X-Play,” “American Ninja Warrior” and “Campus PD.” G4 also continues to expand its live event coverage at CES, Comic-Con, E3, Tokyo Game Show and more. G4’s Multiplex features content on all possible digital platforms, including G4tv.com, G4 Mobile, G4 Podcasts, G4 on Demand, G4 Video Player, G4 Wii Portal and G4 PS3 Portal. G4 is a network of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

* Source: Nielsen Media Research – Live +SD data. 8/19/11. Impressions (000) or coverage ratings as noted. Time Period Rank based on Coverage

X-MEN Volume 5 – Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

April 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The final volume and the final episodes of the popular 1990’s X-Men animated series is here!  Featuring popular comic book storylines which includes “The Phalanx Covenant” and battles against Magneto,  Omega Red, the Red Skull, Mojo, Mr. Sinister and more!

Images courtesy of © MARVEL, X-MEN and all related characters and their distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used with permission.© Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: X-MEN VOLUME 5 (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)

DURATION: 308 Minutes (14 Episodes)

DVD INFORMATION: English, Dolby 2.0 Stereo, Fullscreen (1:33:1), French and Spanish Language Tracks, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Marvel Entertainment Group/Buena Vista Home Entertainment

RATED: TV Y7 FV

RELEASE DATE: May 4, 2010

Starring:

Cedric Smith as the voice of Professor Charles Xavier

Cal Dodd as the voice of Wolverine/Logan

Norm Spencer as the voice of Cyclops/Scott Summers

Lenore Zann as the voice of Rogue

George Buza as the voice of Beast/Doctor Henry “Hank” McCoy

Catherine Disher as the voice of Jean Grey/Phoenix

Iona Morris (1992) and Alison Sealy-Smith (1992-1997) as the voice of Storm/Ororo Munroe

Alyson Court as the voice of Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Chris Potter as the voice of Gambit/Remy Lebeau

Lawrence Bayne as the voice of Cable, Erik the Redd

Payl Haddad as the voice of Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

Jeremy Ratchford as the voice of Banshee/Sean Cassidy

Lally Cadeau as the voice of Doctor Moira McTaggart

Ron Rubin as the voice of Morph

Marc Strange as the voice of Forge

Philip Akin as the voice of Bishop

David Hemblen as the voice of Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr

John Colicos and James Blendick as the voice of Apocalypse

Don Francks as the voice of Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Puck/Eugene Milton Judd, Shaman

Christopher Britton II as the voice of Mister Sinister/Nathaniel Essex

Rick Bennett as the voices of Juggernaut/Cain Marko and Colossus/Piotr Rasputin

The original tales of Marvel comic books come to life in Volume 5 of the X-men collection. Relive the action of the popular animated series in this collectible compilation of the X-men adventures. The X-men must turn to their arch-nemesis, Magneto, in an effort to save the life of Professor Xavier! Watch the action unfold in the final episode, “Graduation Day, “ and don’t miss a moment of X-men excitement in this 2-disc set, complete with 14 riveting episodes. Complete your X-men collection with this must-own final installment of this great animated series.

The X-Men Escape

Betrayal

Missing Jean Grey

Trouble Brewing

For 46 years, the mutant superhero team known as “X-Men” have been a part of the lives of several generations. I personally grew up with the the X-Men during the latest 70’s and early 80’s but became interested once again during the early 90’s when artist Jim Lee brought a new look and eventually created this incredible synergy amongst the fans. A time when Chris Claremont was ending his run and the storylines would be be infused by more excitement from Fabien Nicieza and Scot Lobdell.

We were greeted with awesome storylines such as the “The X-Tinction Agenda”, “The Muir Island Saga”, “X-Cutioner’s Song”, “Fatal Attractions”, “Phalanx Covenant” and “Age of Apocalypse” from 1990-1995 and in addition to the excitement in the comic books (which would continue on with the action figures from Toy Biz), the animated series was one of those special events that took place in October 1992 on the Fox Network.

I can easily remember how many of my friends and fellow comic book collectors were excited for the series. Although not exactly the same type of storyline from the comic books, the animated series captured the heart and soul of the X-Men and “X-Men: The Animated Series” would continue on through 1998.

Needless to say, the animated series is close to the heart for the diehard X-Men fan but also those who were young when the series came out, are now wanting to share the animated series with their own children. And for me, it’s great to watch this series alongside my six-year-old son and seeing him enjoy the series as well.

“X-MEN VOLUME 5″ comes with the final 15 episodes of the animated series on two DVD’s. It’s important to note that Buena Vista Home Entertainment has the episodes going by how it was aired and not by production episode number. So, I will list the episodes with their episode # on the DVD but also their episode script #.

Here is a brief, spoiler-less synopsis of “X-MEN Volume 5 – Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection”:

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 63 (67) – The Phalanx Covenant (Part 1) - The techno-organic aliens known as the Phalanx attack life on Earth.
  • EPISODE 64 (68) – The Phalanx Covenant (Part 2) - The X-Men vs. the Phalanx.
  • EPISODE 65 (47) – A Deal with the Devil – Wolverine and Storm take on Omega Red.
  • EPISODE 66 (34) – No Mutant is an Island - After the aftermath of “The Phoenix Saga”, Cyclops leaves the X-Men.
  • EPISODE 67 (36) – Longshot – The Inner Circle make their move and Professor X and Emma Frost battle against each other for psychic control of Jean. The Dark Phoenix is born.
  • EPISODE 68 (59) – Bloodlines – Nightcrawler receives a message that his mother is in trouble.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 69 (69) – Storm Front (Part 1) – The alien Arkon asks for Storm to return with him to his planet and proposes to her.
  • EPISODE 70 (70) – Storm Front (Part 2) – Arkon and Storm are to be married but the X-Men find out that Arkon is not exactly on the side of good.
  • EPISODE 71 (72) – Jubilee’s Fairy Tale Theatre - Jubilee leads a tour for several kids in a cave on mansion property but are caught in a cave-in.
  • EPISODE 72 (71) – The Fifth Horseman - Fabian Cortez kidnaps Jubilee.
  • EPISODE 73 (73) – Old Soldiers – A past story of when Wolverine and Captain America worked together back in World War II.
  • EPISODE 74 (75) - Descent - The origin of Mr. Sinister.
  • EPISODE 75 (74) - Hidden Agendas – Professor X takes in Sam Guthrie (Cannonball).
  • EPISODE 76 (76) – Graduation Day – It’s the day of the Mutant/Human Relations Summit but Gyrich intends to make his presence known.

VIDEO:

“X-MEN” the animated series is presented in full screen (1:33:1). One thing that you will notice is that the animation does show its age. Since the animation was created over 15-years ago, a lot of the animation is hand drawn and compared to many of the digital animated series that are show on television today, the animation doesn’t have that digital color vibrancy as newer animations and also, you will notice that the animation does has its share of interlacing and on bigger television screens, viewers will notice edge enhancement as well.

It’s important to note that the final six episodes were animated by a different company.  As the animated series was supposed to end with season four’s “Beyond Good and Evil”, FOX ordered more episodes but the animators in Korea (AKOM) were already working on the second season of “Fantastic Four”, the Philippine Animation Studio was brought in to complete the season.  Although not sure if anyone will be able to tell the difference.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for audio, audio is presented in Dolby 2.0 and is dialogue-driven (a French and Spanish language track is also included). Unfortunately, the soundtrack is front channel driven but for those who have receivers capable of a setting to enable stereo on all channels, I found that to be the best setting to enjoy the series on my home theater system.

As for subtitles, “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ is provided in English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on both DVD’s.

I was among the big X-Men fans who were highly anticipating the series and just loved it! As a collector of the X-Men comic books around that time period, to have a series based on Jim Lee’s character designs and a series with so much potential of showcasing a variety of enemies and characters, it was always a treat to find out who would be introduced in each episode.

In fact, during the hoopla and way before the Internet became part of our natural lives, many of the fans would communicate about the episodes through electronic BBS’s and show our happiness and excitement over the animated series, the action figure line and of course the many multiple X-Men related comic book series that flourished from the early 90’s.

For volume 5, fans who were reading the comic books were also treated with the Phalanx storyline in animated format.  So, as an X-Man fan at the time, it was very cool to see something that was featured in a comic, appear so quickly in the cartoon.

Now, there is one thing that is a big negative that hardcore fans of the animated series may find and that is the choice to feature the episodes via air date and not script #.

For example, the majority of the episodes on this DVD are from season five but because of the production #, episodes from season three such as “No Mutant is an Island” (which is listed as episode #66 but on television it was episode #34) and “Longshot” (which is episode #67 was episode #36 on television) end up on this fifth DVD volume.  So, for continuity sakes, especially with “No Mutant is an Island” which comes after the “Phoenix Saga”, there is continuity disruption which is a bit unfortunate.

Granted, I know there are hardcore fans who really take issue of the episode listing on this DVD series but knowing how long fans have waited for the series and knowing what’s done is done, this is probably the best we are going to get of the series in a long time (unless they remaster and restore it for a Blu-ray release in the future which I don’t know if that will ever happen and because of the quality of the series, I kind of doubt it). So, with that being said, I still recommend the purchase of the series, especially if you have already purchased volume 1 through 4.

Overall, “X-MEN VOLUME 5″ is an entertaining set and if you have started collecting the various volumes, you will definitely want to complete your collection with this fifth volume.

For fans of the “X-MEN” animated series, despite the episode listing which is disconcerting for some, the episodes are still entertaining, nostalgic, action-packed and still enjoyable to watch over 15 years later and yes… for hardcore X-Men fans, still worth owning!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 22, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

“Action-packed and all out entertaining. Hugh Jackman is just incredible as Logan and a film where we get Victor Creed, the Blob and Wade Wilson (pre-Deadpool), that’s just awesome!   ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ looks and sounds spectacular via High Definition on Blu-ray and is loaded with special features.  For X-Men and Wolverine fans… Definitely recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2009 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

DURATION: 107 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DTS, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, AVC $ 22MBPS, Widescreen 2:35:1, Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese

COMPANY:  Twentieth Century Fox

RATED: PG-13 (Intense Sequences of Action and Violence, and some Partial Nudity)

Release Date: September 15, 2009

Directed by Gavin Hood

Screenplay by David Benioff and Skip Woods

Executive Producer: Richard Donner, Stan Lee

Producers: Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter

Co-Producers: Louis G. Freedman, Peter MacDonald

Associate Producer: Whitney Thomas

Music by Harry Gregson-Williams

Cinematography by Donald McAlpine

Editing by Nicolas De Toth and Megan Gill

Casting by Christine King, Debra Zane

Production Design by Barry Robison

Art Direction by Michael Diner, Brian Edmonds, Ian Gracie, Helen Jarvis, Karen Murphy, Mark Robins

Set Decoration by Rebecca Cohen, Sandy Walker

Costume Design by Louise Mingenbach

Starring:

Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine

Victor Creed as Liev Schreiber

William Stryker as Danny Huston

John Wraith as Will.i.Am

Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox

Kevin Durand as Fred Dukes/Blob

Dominic Monaghan as Chris Bradley/Bolt

Taylor Kitsch as Remy LeBeau/Gambit

Daniel Henney as David North/Agent Zero

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool

Tim Pocock as Scott Summers

Julia Blake as Travis Hudson

Troye Sivan as James Howlett

Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier

You’ll go “berserker” for this pulse-pounding action thriller that sinks razor-sharp adamantium claws into the mysterious origins of Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).  Discover his epically violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), his encounters with new, legendary X-Men and the ominous Weapon X program that unleashes his primal fury!

With the X-Men films becoming too expensive to feature all its stars, it has become more logical to focus on the storyline of each of the main characters.  And what best than to feature one of the more popular characters in the Marvel and X-Men universe, Wolverine.

Taking the helm as director is actor, Gavin Hood (“Thug”, “The Storekeeper” and “Stas and Nel Adventures”), with a screenplay by David Bennioff (“The Kite Runner”, “Troy”) and Skip Woods (“Hitman” and “Swordfish”).  Joining the men is composer Harry Gregson-Williams (“Deja Vu”, “Shrek the Third” and “Gone Baby Gone”) and cinematographer Donald McAlpine (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “Peter Pan”, “Anger Management” and “Moulin Rouge!”).

The film focuses on James Logan’s past and how he became to be the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, “X-Men” films, “Australia”, “Deception).  During the 1800’s, two mutant boys – Logan and Victor Creed (Liev Schrieber, “Defiance”, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Taking Woodstock”) have literally grown up with each other, without hardly aging and have a wild ferocity within them, which leads them to be part of many wars during the 1800’s and 1900’s.

Due to Victor’s hot temper, both Victor and Logan are put into prison but are rescued by a government official named William Stryker (Danny Huston, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People”, “30 Days of Night” and “The Kingdom”) who offers them freedom and a job if they join his special team.

The two immediately take the offer and join other mutants such as the mouthy assassin Wayde Wilson (Ryan Reynolds,”Adventureland”, “The Proposal”, “The Nines”), the teleporting John Wraith (played by Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.Am), the very strong Fred Dukes (Kevin Durand, “Lost”, “Winged Creatures”, “3:10 to Yuma”), the electricity controlling human, Chris Bradley (Dominic Monaghan, “Lost”, “Lord of the Rings” films) and the weapons specialist known as Zero (Daniel Henney, “Spring Waltz”, “My Father” and “Seducing Mr. Perfect”).

The team must work together in obtaining a meteor fragment but when going to an African village, Stryker authorizes Logan to kill innocent people which Logan tries to put a stop to. Disgusted with the team, he leaves his brother Victor and begins his new life.

Six years later and Logan lives with his girlfriend Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins, “True Blood”, “Nothing is Private”) in Canada.  The two are very much in love and works as a logger.  Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of Victor going after one of his former teammates and killing him. One day, Stryker and Zero pay Logan a visit at his work-site and tell him that one of their own is hunting them all down and that Stryker needs his help.  Logan has no desire to.

But one day, Logan senses Victor is nearby.  He immediately feels that something terrible must have happened to Kayla.  As Logan rushes to check if she’s OK, he spots their car with deep scratches on the metal.   And then sees Kayla’s bloody body lying on the ground.  He realizes that she is dead and now, Logan wants revenge against Victor and will do all it will take to get his revenge.

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, the Blu-ray Ultimate 2-Disc Edition comes with two discs.  The main disc is the Blu-ray, while the second disc is a digital copy.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is presented in 1080p High Definition with an AVC @ 22MBPS.  The picture quality is quite solid with the skin pores of both Hugh Jackman and Liev Schrieber coming quite nicely on the HD transfer.  The grittiness, the sweat, the grime,  the vibrancy is also well-captured in the film.  Blacks are nice and deep and with the film being shot outdoors, the areas that Logan visit are quite detailed. I didn’t see any compression artifacts or major scratches or dust on the video transfer.

The audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (also English, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and French 5.1 DTS).  The lossless audio track is absolutely awesome.  From Zero’s gunfire, Logan’s adamantium claws making the “snickt” sound, Wade’s swords as it deflects the bullets and Victor’s attacks and his growls, it’s all captured and sounds incredible.  Also, there are plenty of action-scenes that really showcase the surround channels and a good amount of LFE is utilized.  From the explosions to the gunfire, home theater owners should be happy with the Blu-ray lossless soundtrack as some scenes sound quite immersive.

As expected, Twentieth Century Fox has done a great job with the video and audio transfer for “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”.  Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Portuguese.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” comes with the following special features:

  • Commentary by Gavin Hood - Audio Commentary by the director Gavin Hood.  For the most part, Hood does a great job in providing the details to the film.  A very informative audio commentary.
  • Commentary by Producers Laura Schuler Donner and Ralph Winter – There are some interesting details about certain scenes and what went on to create those scenes via the producers perspective.  The only problem is that Donner and Winter have too many silent moments in where they are not talking.  So, it can be a bit distracting.
  • The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with Stan Lee and Len Wien - (16:16) Both Stan Lee and Len Wien discuss the X-Men, Wolverine as a character, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and the history of the character. An informative featurette in regards to the comic books.  For some reason, I felt that Stan Lee was not his jovial self.
  • Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins – (12:02) Interviews with the director, producers, Hugh Jackman in regards to shooting the film, origins of Wolverine, training, making his claws and the set.
  • Weapon X Files – This segment features each talent in character talking about themselves and then we hear from the director/producer about what they wanted to accomplish with their character and special effects that went into the making of that character.  Probably my favorite was the featurette on Kevin Durand’s Blob and what went into making the fat suit.

- Victor Creed/Sabretooth (7:25)

- William Stryker (4:25)

- John Wraith (4:15)

- Kayla Silverfox (3:26)

- Fred Dukes/Blob (7:18)

- Bradley (3:18)

- Remy Lebeau/Gambit (9:08)

- Agent Zero (3:45)

- Wade Wilson/Deadpool (7:10)

- Emma (Kayla’s Sister) (3:25)

  • The Thrill of the Chase: The Helicopter Sequence – (5:53) The making of the helicopter sequence.
  • Ultimate X-Mode – While watching the film, viewers can watch the director, producers and cast talking about the film via picture-in-picture.
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes – (9:30) With optional commentary by director Gavin Hood, Hood introduces four deleted and alternate scenes which include: Young Storm, Victor at the boxing ring, Alternate Memory Erase Sequence and a Japanese Bar Scene.
  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere – (6:20) The “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” debut in Tempe, Arizona (The contest winners of where the red carpet premiere took place).
  • X-Men on Blu-ray: Trailers for X-Men Trilogy and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”.
  • BD-Live Lookup – With a BD-Live enabled Blu-ray player, viewers can access up-to-date information on actor filmographies, information related to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” on imdb (The Internet Movie Database).

I literally grew up with the “X-Men” and “Wolverine” comic books when I was younger.  During the 80’s, you had your American superheroes but Wolverine represented a character that was just exciting, deadly and literally kickass.

Since the release of the three X-Men films, I have no doubt in my mind that Hugh Jackman was the best casting decision made for the character.  He embodies the character completely and the amount of discipline he puts in working out and being Logan is just incredible and it shows in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”.

For the most part, the film is full of action and full of characters.  The excitement is there, the killer instinct of both Logan and Victor are there and of course, we have pre-Deadpool Wade Wilson in the film as well, along with many other characters that makes this film fun and exciting.  And to feature a storyline that revolves around Logan’s origin is not easy.  After all, having followed the comic books for so long, I think even writers had their challenge of how the Weapon X program would be and even today, just seeing how things have evolved with the program is just staggering.  So, before watching the film, I did have my reservations of how muddled the plot could be.

Fortunately, the filmmakers took a different approach and created their own storyline with some aspects of the comic book still part of the storyline.  Keeping things simple and for the most part, for those who are not familiar with the comic books, at least exciting enough to understand where Logan came from and why he and Victor have had this dysfunctional relationship.

For the most part, Jackman is just great as Logan/Wolverine and Liev Schreiber can always play the definitive bad ass.  Danny Huston as Stryker was quite effective and Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox did a great job as well.  As for Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights”) as Remy Lebeau/Gambit, that was quite interesting but for the most part, I felt that Kitsch did a good job albeit the thick French accent that Gambit exhibits in the comic books and people are so used to hearing from the X-Men animated series.  The others have small roles such as “LOST” and “Lord of the Rings” actor Dominic Monaghan as Bradley and Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am also ventures to the acting world, appearing onscreen (instead of voice as he did in “Madagascar 2″).  But one of the exciting parts of this film was seeing the Blob (Kevin Durand) and of course, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds).  It was great to see on the Blu-ray of how they came up with the Blob’s outfit and of course, having Wade Wilson in the film.  It’s important to note that if you are a fan of Wade Wilson, make sure you watch through the ending credits.

With all my gushing about how much I enjoy this film, one must wonder if I have any negatives.  Well, what I didn’t like about the film was the overuse of CG, in which some scenes looked a bit too unrealistic.   Also, the tweaking of the Wade Wilson character was a bit too much for my taste.  I can understand some hardcore fans who may have a problem with the comic book continuity and how the film has quite a few differences but personally, many super hero films has its differences from its comic book counterpart that its not surprising anymore.  As long as the soul of the characters are intact and the storyline is well-presented, it’s good enough for me.

As for the Blu-ray release, the film definitely gets a wonderful HD transfer as picture and audio quality is solid.  A good number of special features are included, as well as a slipcase and a digital copy of the film.

With that being said, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” is a good superhero film with a lot of action.  Was it as deep and entertaining like “The Dark Knight Returns”, my answer is no.  But I definitely enjoyed it more than the third X-Men film and even the “Hulk” related films.  I felt that the storyline focused on Logan/Wolverine, his rivalry with Victor Creed quite well.  If anything, it’s the CG that tends to be overdone at times that bothered me a bit but for the most part, I did enjoy watching the film.

But after watching the awesome Blu-ray version and seeing the film in High Definition and watching the special features, that actually enhanced my perspective towards the film.  A lot went into the making of this film and to see that Hugh Jackman did most of his own stunts, that is incredible.

Overall, if you are a fan of Wolverine and the previous X-Men films, definitely give “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” a try.  Definitely worth recommending!

X-MEN VOLUME 4 – Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Continuing the excitement of the classic X-Men animated series on DVD, Volume 4 includes a lot of cool episodes which include the ‘Proteus’, ‘Sanctuary’ and the ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ storylines.  For those who grew up with the X-Men during the 1990’s, expect to see storylines that are centered around Proteus, Magneto, the Acolytes, Silver Samurai, The Shadow King, Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse and more!”

Images courtesy of © MARVEL, X-MEN and all related characters and their distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used with permission.© Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: X-MEN VOLUME 4 (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)

DURATION: 322 Minutes (14 Episodes)

DVD INFORMATION: English, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, Fullscreen (1:33:1), French and Spanish Language Tracks, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Marvel Entertainment Group/Buena Vista Home Entertainment

RATED: TV Y7 FV

RELEASE DATE:  September 15, 2009

Starring:

Cedric Smith as the voice of Professor Charles Xavier

Cal Dodd as the voice of Wolverine/Logan

Norm Spencer as the voice of Cyclops/Scott Summers

Lenore Zann as the voice of Rogue

George Buza as the voice of Beast/Doctor Henry “Hank” McCoy

Catherine Disher as the voice of Jean Grey/Phoenix

Iona Morris (1992) and Alison Sealy-Smith (1992-1997) as the voice of Storm/Ororo Munroe

Alyson Court as the voice of Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Chris Potter as the voice of Gambit/Remy Lebeau

Lawrence Bayne as the voice of Cable, Erik the Redd

Payl Haddad as the voice of Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

Jeremy Ratchford as the voice of Banshee/Sean Cassidy

Lally Cadeau as the voice of Doctor Moira McTaggart

Ron Rubin as the voice of Morph

Marc Strange as the voice of Forge

Philip Akin as the voice of Bishop

David Hemblen as the voice of Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr

John Colicos and James Blendick as the voice of Apocalypse

Don Francks as the voice of Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Puck/Eugene Milton Judd, Shaman

Christopher Britton II as the voice of Mister Sinister/Nathaniel Essex

Rick Bennett as the voices of Juggernaut/Cain Marko and Colossus/Piotr Rasputin

The action reaches all-new heights in Volume 4 of the landmark X-Men animated series. With adventures adapted directly from the original Marvel® comic books, this collection is a rich piece of the X-Men legacy and a must-have for every X-Men fan. The X-Men must join forces with the heroes of the future when Apocalypse, a mighty mutant, is driven completely mad by his powers! Discover the stunning conclusion to the 4-part epic “Beyond Good And Evil” in this sensational 14-episode set.

The action and adventures continue in another action-packed volume of “X-MEN”.

For 46 years, the mutant superhero team known as “X-Men” have been a part of the lives of several generations.  I personally grew up with the the X-Men during the latest 70’s and early 80’s but became interested once again during the early 90’s when artist Jim Lee brought a new look and eventually created this incredible synergy amongst the fans.   A time when Chris Claremont was ending his run and the storylines would be be infused by more excitement from Fabien Nicieza and Scot Lobdell.

The 1990’s were quite an interesting time as collectors, including myself were overjoyed by anything X-related that came out.  “Uncanny X-Men”, “X-Men”, “X-Factor”, “X-Force”, “Generation X”, “Wolverine”, “Cable”, “X-Man” and various limited series and solo comics that many of us were hooked on at the time.

We were greeted with awesome storylines such as the “The X-Tinction Agenda”, “The Muir Island Saga”, “X-Cutioner’s Song”, “Fatal Attractions”, “Phalanx Covenant” and “Age of Apocalypse” from 1990-1995 and in addition to the excitement in the comic books (which would continue on with the action figures from Toy Biz), the animated series was one of those special events that took place in October 1992 on the Fox Network.

I can easily remember how many of my friends and fellow comic book collectors were excited for the series.  Although not exactly the same type of storyline from the comic books, the animated series captured the heart and soul of the X-Men and “X-Men: The Animated Series” would continue on through 1998.

Needless to say, the animated series is close to the heart for the diehard X-Men fan but also those who were young when the series came out, are now wanting to share the animated series with their own children.  And for me, it’s great to watch this series alongside my six-year-old son and seeing him enjoy the series as well.

On September 15, both “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ and “X-MEN VOLUME 4″ will be released as part of the Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection.

“X-MEN VOLUME 4″ comes with 14 episodes on two discs.  It’s important to note that according to Buena Vista Home Entertainment, “X-MEN VOLUME 4″ is going by how the episodes were aired and not by production episode number.  So, I will list the episodes with their episode # on the DVD but also their episode script #. Included are spoiler-less summaries:

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 49 (56) – Proteus (Part 1) - Moira MacTaggert asks Professor X for his help in finding her song Kevin (aka Proteus) who is missing.
  • EPISODE 50 (47) – Proteus (Part 2) – When Kevin (Proteus) goes to find his father and his father finds out he is a mutant, Kevin doesn’t take it too well.  Will the X-Men be able to prevent him from creating mass destruction.
  • EPISODE 51 (48) – Sanctuary (Part 1) - Magento tries to invite mutants to Asteroid M but Fabian Cortez betrays his leader and accuses the X-Men for Magneto’s disappearance.
  • EPISODE 52 (49) – Sanctuary (Part 2) – Fabian Cortez assumes control of Asteroid M since Magneto is gone.
  • EPISODE 53 (63) – Beyond Good and Evil (Part 1) – Apocalypse steals Cable’s time device.
  • EPISODE 54 (64) – Beyond Good and Evil (Part 2) - Mr. Sinister kidnaps Professor X, Jean Grey and  Psylocke.
  • EPISODE 55 (65) – Beyond Good and Evil (Part 3) – Cable tries to stop Apocalypse who is trying to use the psychics in order to destroy time.
  • EPISODE 56 (66) – Beyond Good and Evil (Part 4) – The X-Men along with Cable, Bishop and Shard try to stop Apocalypse.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 57 (62)  – Have Yourself a Morlock Little Christmas – The X-Men prepare for a merry Christmas until they meet a morlock named Leech.
  • EPISODE 58 (60) – The Lotus and the Steel – Villagers in Japan beg for Wolverine’s help after the Silver Samurai and his bandits attack the village.
  • EPISODE 59 (45) – Love in Vain – An alien spaceship crashes into the deserts of New Mexico and try to possess Wolverine.
  • EPISODE 60 (52) – Secrets.  Not Long Buried – Cyclops takes on the Children of the Shadow, a mutant group that hates humans.
  • EPISODE 61 (50) – Xavier Remembers – The Shadow King tries to possess Professor X, which leads to Jean Grey going against him.
  • EPISODE 62 (58)- Family Ties – The X-Men take on High Evolutionary and his New Men.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“X-MEN” the animated series is presented in full screen (1:33:1).  One thing that you will notice is that the animation does show its age.  Since the animation was created over 17-years ago, a lot of the animation is hand drawn and compared to many of the digital animated series that are show on television today, the animation doesn’t have that digital color vibrancy as newer animations and also, you will notice that the animation does has its share of scratches and dust (that a lot of classic animation have on DVD).

As for audio, audio is presented in Dolby 2.0 and is dialogue-driven (a French and Spanish language track is also included).  Unfortunately, the soundtrack is front channel driven but for those who have receivers capable of a setting to enable stereo on all channels, I found that to be the best setting to enjoy the series on my home theater system.

As for subtitles, “X-MEN VOLUME 4″ is provided in English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on both DVD’s.

I was among the big X-Men fans who were highly anticipating the series and just loved it! Needless to say, I was such a fan that I had to purchase X-related title during the early 90’s including the old school Toy Biz action figures.   So, the “X-Men: The Animated Series” was like the icing on the cake for me.  As a collector of the X-Men comic books around that time period, to have a series based on Jim Lee’s character designs and a series with so much potential of showcasing a variety of enemies and characters, it was always a treat to find out who would be introduced in each episode.

In fact, during the hoopla and way before the Internet became part of our natural lives, many of the fans would communicate about the episodes through electronic BBS’s and show our happiness and excitement over the animated series, the action figure line and of course the many multiple X-Men related comic book series that flourished from the early 90’s.

For volume 4, the first disc contains the sagas “Proteus”, “Sanctuary” and “Beyond Good and Evil” on the first disc.  For the “Proteus” storyline, the Moira McTaggart and Professor X storylines often were deep in the comic books.  It would have been interesting if they had a storyline exploring Legion and Proteus but nevertheless, it was great to see Banshee in the episode.

As for “Sanctuary”, it was cool to see the Acolytes in animated format and to see a storyline that revolved around Fabian Cortez.  And “Beyond Good and Evil”, it was no surprise (especially during the early 90’s) that we would get storylines based on Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister and Cable.  If anything, during this time, I’ve always wanted more Cable and Bishop related storylines and sure enough, these four episodes were it.

For the second disc, a lot of the episodes started to feature on a character as “The Lotus and the Steel” would take on Logan’s Japan roots and have him go against Silver Samurai, “Love and Vain” would be a more Rogue-driven episode, “Secrets, Not Long Buried” primarily focusing on Cyclops and “Xavier Remembers” a more Jean Grey episode.

Now, there is one thing that is a big negative that hardcore fans of the animated series may find and that is the choice to feature the episodes via air date and not script #.  So, an episode such as “Beyond and Good and Evil” which are #63-#66 in script # is #53-#56 on the DVD.  But continuity was more effected in volume 3 than volume 4 by the episode listing.

Granted, I know there are hardcore fans who really take issue of the episode listing on this DVD series but knowing how long fans have waited for the series and knowing what’s done is done, this is probably the best we are going to get of the series in a long time (unless they remaster and restore it for a Blu-ray release in the future which I don’t know if that will ever happen).  So, with that being said, I still recommend the purchase of the series, especially if you have already purchased volume 1 and 2.

Overall, both “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ and “X-MEN VOLUME 4″ are both entertaining season sets covering seasons 3 and 4 and featured a lot of popular characters that were running in the comic books at that time.

For fans of the “X-MEN” animated series, despite the episode listing which is disconcerting for some, the episodes are still entertaining, action-packed and still fun to watch over 15 years later and yes… still worth owning!  “X-MEN: The Animated Series” fans, definitely worth having in your collection!

X-MEN VOLUME 3 – Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“Continuing the excitement of the classic X-Men animated series on DVD, volume 3 includes a lot of cool episodes which include the ‘Savage Land’ and ‘The Dark Phoenix’ sagas but also plenty of action-packed episodes featuring X-Factor, Iceman, the Juggernaut, Nightcrawler, Bishop, Ka-Zar,  Shard and more!”

Images courtesy of © MARVEL, X-MEN and all related characters and their distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used with permission.© Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: X-MEN VOLUME 3 (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)

DURATION: 345 Minutes (15 Episodes)

DVD INFORMATION: English, Dolby Digital Surround Sound, Fullscreen (1:33:1), French and Spanish Language Tracks, French and Spanish Subtitles

COMPANY: Marvel Entertainment Group/Buena Vista Home Entertainment

RATED: TV Y7 FV

RELEASE DATE:  September 15, 2009

Starring:

Cedric Smith as the voice of Professor Charles Xavier

Cal Dodd as the voice of Wolverine/Logan

Norm Spencer as the voice of Cyclops/Scott Summers

Lenore Zann as the voice of Rogue

George Buza as the voice of Beast/Doctor Henry “Hank” McCoy

Catherine Disher as the voice of Jean Grey/Phoenix

Iona Morris (1992) and Alison Sealy-Smith (1992-1997) as the voice of Storm/Ororo Munroe

Alyson Court as the voice of Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Chris Potter as the voice of Gambit/Remy Lebeau

Lawrence Bayne as the voice of Cable, Erik the Redd

Payl Haddad as the voice of Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

Jeremy Ratchford as the voice of Banshee/Sean Cassidy

Lally Cadeau as the voice of Doctor Moira McTaggart

Ron Rubin as the voice of Morph

Marc Strange as the voice of Forge

Philip Akin as the voice of Bishop

David Hemblen as the voice of Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr

John Colicos and James Blendick as the voice of Apocalypse

Don Francks as the voice of Sabretooth/Victor Creed, Puck/Eugene Milton Judd, Shaman

Christopher Britton II as the voice of Mister Sinister/Nathaniel Essex

Rick Bennett as the voices of Juggernaut/Cain Marko and Colossus/Piotr Rasputin

The X-Men are back for more nonstop thrills and excitement in Volume 3 of the definitive animated series. Faithfully created from the pages of the original Marvel® comic books, these classic stories are a must-have for any X-Men fan! When the all-powerful Dark Phoenix inhabits the body of Jean Grey, The X-Men go to battle in order to save one of their own. Get into the action with 15 spine-tingling episodes, including the 4-part “Dark Phoenix” saga, in this collectible 2-disc set!

For 46 years, the mutant superhero team known as “X-Men” have been a part of the lives of several generations.  I personally grew up with the the X-Men during the latest 70’s and early 80’s but became interested once again during the early 90’s when artist Jim Lee brought a new look and eventually created this incredible synergy amongst the fans.   A time when Chris Claremont was ending his run and the storylines would be be infused by more excitement from Fabien Nicieza and Scot Lobdell.

We were greeted with awesome storylines such as the “The X-Tinction Agenda”, “The Muir Island Saga”, “X-Cutioner’s Song”, “Fatal Attractions”, “Phalanx Covenant” and “Age of Apocalypse” from 1990-1995 and in addition to the excitement in the comic books (which would continue on with the action figures from Toy Biz), the animated series was one of those special events that took place in October 1992 on the Fox Network.

I can easily remember how many of my friends and fellow comic book collectors were excited for the series.  Although not exactly the same type of storyline from the comic books, the animated series captured the heart and soul of the X-Men and “X-Men: The Animated Series” would continue on through 1998.

Needless to say, the animated series is close to the heart for the diehard X-Men fan but also those who were young when the series came out, are now wanting to share the animated series with their own children.  And for me, it’s great to watch this series alongside my six-year-old son and seeing him enjoy the series as well.

“X-MEN VOLUME 3″ comes with 15 episodes on two discs.  It’s important to note that according to Buena Vista Home Entertainment, “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ is going by how it was aired and not by production episode number.  So, I will list the episodes with their episode # on the DVD but also their episode script #. Included are spoiler-less summaries:

DISC: 1

  • EPISODE 34 (38) – Savage Land, Strange Heart (Part 1) - Sauron kidnaps Storm in order to feed on her mutant energy.  The X-Men meanwhile team up with Ka-Zar.
  • EPISODE 35 (39) – Savage Land, Strange Heart (Part 2) - With Storm becoming Garokk, Sauron wants to absorb her mutant energy.  the X-Men along with Ka-Zar try to put a stop to both Sauron.
  • EPISODE 36 (35) – Obsession – A former horseman of Apocalypse, the Archangel wants his revenge.  Meanwhile, the X-Men try to help him.
  • EPISODE 37 – The Dark Phoenix (Part 1) - The Phoenix takes over Jean’s body and now the Inner Circle Club want to that power.
  • EPISODE 38 – The Dark Phoenix (Part 2) – The Inner Circle make their move and Professor X and Emma Frost battle against each other for psychic control of Jean. The Dark Phoenix is born.
  • EPISODE 39 – The Dark Phoenix (Part 3) – The X-Men try to save Jean Grey from the Phoenix.
  • EPISODE 40 – The Dark Phoenix (Part 4) – With Lilandra wanting the Phoenix (Jean Grey) dead, the X-Men must do what they can to protect her.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 41 (37) – Cold Comfort – The X-Men find out that Bobby Drake (Iceman) has been breaking into a top-secret government installation.  Has Iceman become evil?  This episode features the X-Men vs. X-Factor.
  • EPISODE 42 (44) – Orphan’s End – Cyclop discovers something important about Corsair.
  • EPISODE 43 (46) – The Juggernaut Returns - Cain Marko (Juggernaut) loses his ruby of Cyttorak and someone else discovers it and becomes as powerful as the Juggernaut in order to impress women.
  • EPISODE 44 (53) – Nightcrawler - Gambit, Rogue and Logan go on a trip to Germany.  But when Logan hears of stories of a demon hiding at a monastery, he goes to find out who this demon is.
  • EPISODE 45 (61) – Weapon X, Lies and Video Tape – When Wolverine receives a postcard, it drives him mad and memories from the past start to consume him.
  • EPISODE 46 (54) - One Man’s Worth (Part 1)- Trevor Fitzroy and Bantam team up with Master Mold and go back in time to kill Professor X.
  • EPISODE 47 (55) - One Man’s Worth (Part 2) – Bishop, Shard team up with a Wolverine and Storm from another time in order to protect Professor X.
  • EPISODE 48 (51) – Courage – Morph returns to the X-Men but is he ready to be part of the team?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“X-MEN” the animated series is presented in full screen (1:33:1).  One thing that you will notice is that the animation does show its age.  Since the animation was created over 17-years ago, a lot of the animation is hand drawn and compared to many of the digital animated series that are show on television today, the animation doesn’t have that digital color vibrancy as newer animations and also, you will notice that the animation does has its share of scratches and dust (that a lot of classic animation have on DVD).

As for audio, audio is presented in Dolby 2.0 and is dialogue-driven (a French and Spanish language track is also included).  Unfortunately, the soundtrack is front channel driven but for those who have receivers capable of a setting to enable stereo on all channels, I found that to be the best setting to enjoy the series on my home theater system.

As for subtitles, “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ is provided in English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

There are no special features included on both DVD’s.

I was among the big X-Men fans who were highly anticipating the series and just loved it!  As a collector of the X-Men comic books around that time period, to have a series based on Jim Lee’s character designs and a series with so much potential of showcasing a variety of enemies and characters, it was always a treat to find out who would be introduced in each episode.

In fact, during the hoopla and way before the Internet became part of our natural lives, many of the fans would communicate about the episodes through electronic BBS’s and show our happiness and excitement over the animated series, the action figure line and of course the many multiple X-Men related comic book series that flourished from the early 90’s.

For volume 3, the first disc contains the “Savage Land” and “The Dark Phoenix”s saga but truthfully, I enjoyed the individual episodes on Disc 2 the best.  In fact, one of my favorite two episodes are the “One Man’s Worth” two-parter which are included in Volume 3.  It may not have a lot of the X-Men in the episode but I felt the storytelling was well done on those two episodes.

The “Dark Phoenix” episodes are episodes that I really wasn’t into back when the animation debuted.  Having read so many Dark Phoenix storylines, I wasn’t a big fan of the Inner Club storyline but I did enjoy the use of the Shi’ar.

Now, there is one thing that is a big negative that hardcore fans of the animated series may find and that is the choice to feature the episodes via air date and not script #.  For example, the episode “Orphan Ends” is about Cyclops and Corsair, an episode that takes place right after part 4 of “The Dark Phoenix Saga”, but on the DVD, the episode takes place after an Ice Man episode “Cold Comfort” and is a bit off.

Granted, I know there are hardcore fans who really take issue of the episode listing on this DVD series but knowing how long fans have waited for the series and knowing what’s done is done, this is probably the best we are going to get of the series in a long time (unless they remaster and restore it for a Blu-ray release in the future which I don’t know if that will ever happen).  So, with that being said, I still recommend the purchase of the series, especially if you have already purchased volume 1 and 2.

Overall, “X-MEN VOLUME 3″ is an entertaining set and with a total of 15-episodes.  This long awaited series ala season 3 and parts of season 4 is now out on DVD via this third volume and features appearances of more heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe!

For fans of the “X-MEN” animated series, despite the episode listing which is disconcerting for some, the episodes are still entertaining, action-packed and still fun to watch over 15 years later and yes… still worth owning!

“X-Men: The Animated Series” fans, another volume on DVD that is worthy of having in your collection!

MARVEL COLLECTOR’S EDITION VOL. 1 – COMIC BOOK LIBRARY (a J!-ENT Digital Comics Review)

August 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

“With GIT Corp. no longer releasing the Marvel comic collections on DVD and Marvel now creating their own digital comics portal online, all the GIT Corp. Marvel DVD collections are becoming highly sought after and prices are going through the roof.  But this certain collection, you can find online under $10 and it’s totally worth it!”

BOOK: MARVEL COLLECTOR’S EDITION VOL. 1 – COMIC BOOK LIBRARY

COMPANY: MARVEL COMICS/GIT CORP

Stan Lee Presents X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, The Hulk.

Before they were movies, they were Marvel.  And now with the Marvel Comic Book Library, you can relive the first 10 adventures of 10 classic Marvel characters on one super-powered CD-Rom.  100 complete comic books with character bios and 3 bonus comics highlight the debut and subsequent storylines of the most famous band of heroes.  Also including The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Avengers, The Sub-Mariner, Iron Man and Silver Surfer.

Their first 10 stories including their debut issue!

Spider-Man (1962), The Incredible Hulk (1962), Daredevil (1964), X-Men (1975), Fantastic Four (1961), Captain America (1964), Avengers (1963), Namor the Sub-Mariner (1962), Iron Man  (1963) and Silver Surfer (1966).

When it was announced that Marvel would create their own digital comics online site (pay a monthly fee), that was the nail in the coffin for GIT Corp’s popular Marvel Complete Collection.

These collections featured the complete collection from issue 1 up to their issues in 2006, including annuals digitally via Lizardtech Software’s DJVU software and Acrobat Reader (in later versions).

And now, these collector’s DVD-Rom’s have skyrocketed in price because GIT Corp. are unable to sell them anymore and with a lot of these films being released in theaters, people have interest in the classics.

Fortunately, “MARVEL COLLECTOR’S EDITION VOL. 1 – COMIC BOOK LIBRARY” is the cheaper of the Marvel releases which people can find online for under $10.

But as a fan of the classic comic book series (and having quite a large collection of comic books that I’ve had since I was a kid up to my college years), to obtain the classics, you would either read them via tradepaperback, re-release issues or what you read from your library when you were much younger.

And if you want to read a lot of these, you would have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars if you were hardcore.  Sure, now you can read them online from Marvel’s website which cost a monthly fee and you read them online.

But with GIT Corp. CD’s, you can read them without having to go online.  Everything was on one DVD and it was so convenient.  I literally just lay back on my bed, grab by laptop and just read these issues.

Around 2003, GIT Corp. released this collection featuring the first 10 issues of major comic book titles from Marvel.

  • Avengers Issues – #1-10
  • Captain America/Tales of Suspense – Issues #59-68
  • Daredevil – Issues #1-10
  • Fantastic Four – Issues #1-10
  • The Incredible Hulk – Issues #1-6 and Tales to Astonish – Issues 60-63
  • The Invincible Iron Man – Tales of Suspense – Issues #39-48
  • Silver Surfer – Issues #1-10
  • The Amazing Spider-Man – Issues #1-9 and Amazing Fantasy – Issue #15
  • Sub Mariner/Tales to Astonish – Issues #70-79
  • X-Men Issues #94-102 and Giant-Size X-Men Issue 1

You get a lot of issues, 100 comics and again, you can find this collection for under $10.  That’s awesome!

To access the DVD on your PC or Mac, you need to install the viewing software included on the DVD.  Then you will  need to have Internet Explorer (sorry, this DVD is older and doesn’t not utilize Safari or Firefox and other browsers).  You will see an HTML of all characters (as shown above) and when you click on the character, you will see the comic book covers.

By clicking on the comic covers, you will then access the software which displays the comic page.  On the left hand side, you can click on the page you want to read or use the arrows above.  Interesting thing is you can read the comics in black or white, see how it looks without the color and then of course, normally.

There are no ads or letter to the editor, Stan’s Soap Box or anything like that in this collection (many people requested for those to be included and they were in later comic collection versions).

The pages do have a Marvel Comics watermark in the bottom corner and if you want to print the pages out, you have that ability.

Now, I had no problems installing and viewing everything on an XP machine.  It worked on  my PC Laptop just fine.  But as for my newer Mac, this is where things got a little problematic.

There is no Internet Explorer for newer Mac’s.  Microsoft stopped making a browser for it years ago and you can’t use Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, etc.   And the software included is dated.  So, I had to go to Lizard Tech’s Website and download the latest viewing software (note: version 4.0 is included on the DVD but the latest version for the Mac is 6.3).

Then I would have to open up the disc via the finder and go to each comic book file folder and right click to open the comic via the software.  So, in other words, I had to open things up manually.

Granted, it’s not difficult but if you are not computer savvy, I can see this being problematic.

But outside of that, everything worked very well.

You really can’t beat this collection.  10 comic books of each major character.  And the fact that “Daredevil” and “Sub-Mariner” will no longer be released as a collection, I highly recommend this collection.

Now granted, fans of the Mighty Thor or Ghost Rider will be wondering what about their characters and why they are not featured.  I felt the same way but still for the price and for what is featured, it’s still worth the money.

My gosh, you can find this collection for $6-$10 online.  The price is just so low these days for it while the other collections are going up in price (Iron Man which was $39.99 is sold for $139.99 these days).

Mac owners (especially with newer systems) may have some problems but again, if you are computer savvy, you shouldn’t have problems but if you’re not, then yeah, it will get frustrating.  PC owners, should have no problems.

As for the free 3 free bonus comics, this is via subscription and I think this deal is way over.  So, no need to even worry about that.

The bios for each character were quite cool to read and glad they included it on this collection.

To conclude the review, if you are a fan of the classic stories or interested in the original stories of these super heroes, this collection is worth it!  Also, for the price, it’s good to check it out and see if it’s for you and if you are willing to shell out and get the other collections available.

100 classic digital comics of the top Marvel heroes for under $10.  Can’t beat that!  Definitely… highly recommended!

BUY THIS DIGITAL COMIC BOOK COLLECTION ON DVD TODAY!

X-MEN (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 27, 2003 by · Leave a Comment 

Netflix, Inc.

BUY THIS DVD

MOVIE COMPANY: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
CAST: Starring Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijin Stamos, Ray Park, Anna Paquin and more.
DIRECTED BY: Bryan Singer
PRODUCED BY: Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter
RATING: Rated PG-13
INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120903
TYPE OF MOVIE: Action, Sci-Fi
DURATION: 104 minutes


Born into a world filled with prejudice are children who possess extraordinary and dangerous powers. The result of unique genetic mutations. Cyclops unleashes bolts of energy from his eyes. Storm can manipulate the weather at will. Rogue absorbs the life force of anyone she touches. But under the tutelage of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), these and other outcasts learn to harness their powers for the good of mankind. Now they must protect those who fear them as the nefarious Magneto (Ian Mckellen) who believes humans and mutants can never co-exist, unveils his sinister plan for the future!

Pulsing with state-of-the-art visual effects and unforgettable characters, X-MEN “delivers it all” (ABC-TV).

DVD EXTRAS:

• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby, HiFi Sound, Surround Sound, Digital Sound, THX
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Deleted scenes
• “The Mutant Watch” featurette
• Excerpts from Bryan Singer interview on “The Charlie Rose Show”
• Hugh Jackman’s screen test
• Still photo gallery
• TV spots
• Widescreen anamorphic format

KNOWN DVD SECRET(S):

Concept art (Special Edition version):
Select the “Art Gallery” option at the special features screen. Highlight the “Main Menu” option at the next screen, then press Up to highlight Wolverine’s dog tags. Press Enter to view concept art for The Beast and The Blob, which were characters that were cut from the production.

Spider-Man (Special Edition version):
Select the “Trailers And TV Spots” option at the main menu. Press Left to highlight the rose in the top left corner of the screen and press Enter to display a hidden screen featuring Spider-Man.

DVD REVIEW:

I am a huge fan of the comic books and when this movie came out on film, I couldn’t help but have a big grin on my face!  I really enjoyed the first movie and I can’t wait to see the next.

The audio and video is beautiful and will give your receiver a good workout.  As a matter of fact, this DVD is getting high nods for the transfer quality for the audio and video.  The only thing is I would of wish to see a DTS track but that would be too picky of me.

As for the DVD, the DVD includes 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage.  You can watch it with the movie or watch it separately.  You also get interviews with Bryan Singer, the FOX special, the Hugh Jackman screen test, trailers and more.

I’ve read that Bryan Singer wanted to put more onto the DVD and there is a chance in the future, a special edition release of this movie.

This DVD is so awesome but I’m a bit biased towards the movie and the X-MEN.

Buy it today!!!

THE MOVIE:  A-
THE DVD EXTRAS:  B
THE DVD OVERALL:  A-

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