After two movies away from the helm, Bryan Singer returned to the director's chair for the triumphant blockbuster Days of Future Past, which blends the two iterations of the franchise into one continuity.
Based on the landmark issues X-Men #141 and #142 by Chris Claremont and John Bryne, Days of Future Past finds humanity on the brink of extinction after a robot force known as the Sentinels intended to wipe out mutants comes to the realization that humans are the source of mutations. Mankind's only hope is Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) going back in time to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Sentinel inventor Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), which was the catalyst for the Sentinel program being enacted.
In the modern era, the last remaining X-Men are struggling to stay free from the Sentinels. Their final plan is to send Wolverine's consciousness back into his body in 1973. While in the past, he must unite former allies Xavier (James McAvoy), who is addicted to a drug that gives him the ability to walk while it strips his telepathic powers, and Magneto, who is imprisoned under the Pentagon, to assist him is stopping Mystique's assassination plans. The task is compounded because the men's relationship is fractured, as seen previously in First Class, over their differeing methods in advancing the cause of mutantkind and their feelings for Mystique.
Writer Simon Kinberg wrote a very good script filled with well-rounded characters behaving in believable ways brought to life by a talented cast. While the stakes of humanity's end are obviously great, the personal interactions between the characters are what make the story most compelling.
When the movie needed to be a shorter length, the subplot featuring Rogue (Anna Paquin) was cut. Its re-insertion reveals alterations to the storylines of a few characters, but doesn't change anything of major signicance. Another scene added takes place between Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique. It's understandable why it was cut, but offers a tender moment between the characters.
The video has been given a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC displayed at an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The wide range of colors pop, and the blacks are inky. There's fine textures on display, most notably when Quicksliver executes their escape in the kitchen. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 immerses the viewer within the movie by surrounding them in effects and music. Dialogue is clear and the subwoofer is booming.
The first disc comes with two commentary tracks. Singer and composer/editor John Ottman talk during the Rogue Cut about the differences between the two cuts and great insight about what went into the decisions regarding what was removed/changed. The best tidbit is the revelation that because some jackass tweeted that he was at a test screening, they cancelled it, blaming it on technical difficulties. Singer and Kinberg talk during the Theatrical Cut about the creation of the film.
Disc Two is solely comprised of features. Mutant vs. Machine (HD, 53 min) is a wide-ranging behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film that covers a variety of subjects. X-Men Unguarded (HD, 30 min) gathers the director, writer, and several cast members for a fun roundtable interview. There are galleries covering storyboards, costumes, concept art, and a Fantastic Four Sneak Peek (HD, 2 min) that did less than fantastic at the box office.
For those looking to spend more time with the X-Men, The Rogue Cut will satisfy, but with the lack of major changes to the main story, the casual viewer should stick with the Theatrical Cut of Days of Future Past. Either way, the Blu-ray offers a great high-def presentation.