Quantcast

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

X-Men- Dark Phoenix 4K ReviewDark Phoenix, the end of Fox’s long running X-Men franchise, can’t come and go quick enough in my opinion.  The longevity of Fox’s X-Men pictures produced some outstanding entries like Logan, The Wolverine, Day’s of Future Past, First Class and the very first two releases.  However, it also produced some serious stinkers like the third one (Last Stand), the Wolverine’s origin story and most recently Apocalypse.  I could honestly care less if New Mutants EVER sees the light of day, but we’re not here to talk about that one.  We’re here to chat about Dark Phoenix, a redundant story that I don’t think is worth re-telling, but we’re here again nonetheless this time with the younger class (their final onscreen adventure together).  I know many of you, like my good friend Robert, will consider what I just said as blasphemy, but that’s the power of opinion.  We’re each capable of forming one.  I paid homage to the ones I loved, but I’m ready for this franchise to die and what better way than a fiery death with a character I could care less about, Jean Grey.

Film 

Simon Kinberg, the writer of the last X-Men atrocity, Apocalypse, is back here with not only writing duties, but also directing as well.  In addition to Game of Thrones’ alumni, Sophie Turner, the all-star cast includes the talents of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain.  Make all the fun you want about this last entry, but those cast names are no joking matter.  I don’t believe Sophie is in the same league as the majority of them, but even I would consume a movie any day of the week with those names in it.  So as I mentioned up above, yawn, this one is all about the X-Men character of Jean Grey (Turner) as she evolves into the Dark Phoenix.  Yay!

I do love the way this one is brilliantly marketed with the following verbiage.  “The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own.”  That’s really powerful and with the words alone it packs quite an emotional punch.  So here’s how it all goes down (no spoilers) per what we see in the film’s trailers.  During a space rescue mission the X-men crew undertake Jean is hit by a cosmic energy force that obviously transforms her into the Dark Phoenix and gives her all the power/wrath we see unfold onscreen.  Now let’s dive a bit deeper…

This one obviously takes place after the last round of young X-Men films where we’re left with a world that accepts the mutants as basically superheroes and essential for important missions like the space rescue we embark upon in the beginning.  Jean’s fallout obviously happens after she is struck by the rogue energy in space, but not before we’re treated with a quick origin story of the character.  It’s important to note too that this film’s opening really grounds the story throughout here and for me provides a quite satisfying emotional arc.  However, we won’t dive too deep there as I don’t want to ruin anything.  Yes, that’s right.  I respect y’all.

After all that goes down in the opening we’re greeted pretty much with what you’ve already seen in all the trailers.  Jean Grey is a mess, hellbent on destruction, chaos and fits of rage, which she seemingly has no control over.  Even legendary X-Men villains like Magneto (Fassbender) pop up and try to help her to no avail.  Fret not though!  There’s something the trailers thankfully did not show us in detail.  That all revolves around Chastain’s character and what her and her trope are up too.  That makes things at least semi-interesting and it’s not all boohoo what’s happening to poor ole’ Jean Grey.  There’s a subplot underneath it all!  Even a purpose!  Yahoo!

Now I know this next statement or statements may come as quite a shocker, but brace yourself.  I actually liked Dark Phoenix.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I set my expectations so super low, but whatever it is I came out of this not hating it…even after a second viewing here.  What does that say about my taste in movies?  I don’t know, but this one actually has a semi-decent story and satisfying emotional arc.  The action sequences aren’t half bad either.  Other than that you get what you pay for here.  It’s an X-Men tale not on the atrocity levels of Apocalypse or Last Stand, but also very far from the high bar set by First Class.  For what it’s worth it’s an average entry that’s worth consuming for any X-Men fan.  You get a satisfying ending with equally impressive performances sans some bad wig work.  That’s much more positive than I initially thought this review was going to be.  How’s that for a shocking twist?  I know!  Now let’s take a closer look down below at the amazing Dolby Atmos audio and 4K video presentation here.

Video 

The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Fox’s Dark Phoenix.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 2160p
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: I wish I could just say everything looks amazing here and move on, but alas I cannot.  You’re here reading this section for a purpose so I feel obliged to give you the full experience.  What a nice guy I am!   This presentation is amazingly clear and detailed.  Close-ups reveal nuances like freckles, moles, hair and wrinkles on the actors and fine detail in textures of clothing, material and whatnot.  
  • Depth: There’s actually plenty of depth to be found throughout here.  One of the finest examples of such include the car accident in the beginning.  There’s a sequence where your point of view is looking through the car and the depth seems to go on forever.  There are plenty of other moments of course like on the X-Men mansion grounds, the standoff in front of Jean Grey’s childhood home and more.  
  • Black Levels: The black levels are are all dark and natural with extra inkiness during nighttime sequences.  Nothing really gets lost in the darkness of it all.  It looks perfect.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors throughout are vivid, bold and brilliant.  I can’t say enough good things about this one.  It looks aged when the time period calls for it, but once we’re in the main setting the colors are striking and rich.  Love it!
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural in appearance throughout the presentation.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Everything looks perfect here with no signs of visible noise or artifacts that would hinder your viewing enjoyment of this reference looking presentation.

Audio 

Like I mention up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Dark Phoenix.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Like X-Men: Apocalypse this one is not the finest of the franchise films, but it’s definitely one of the sweetest in the audio and video departments.  The dynamics are off the charts here with some nifty action sequences, careful attention to priority and directionality and an LFE track that makes you feel the gravity of the onscreen situations.  Despite all of this none of the dialogue gets lost in the shuffle and the sweet, tender moments of guilt, love, loss and innocence are all meticulously rendered here.  In other words this Dolby Atmos track sounds amazing.  Let’s dig deeper.  
  • Height: There were some great Atmos moments, but these were the ones I jotted down while watching: glass shattering, the NASA rocket’s liftoff, the countdown for said rocket, explosions, voices in head, rain falling, helicopters and the feet running atop the moving train.  There’s of course more than that, but you get the idea.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer keeps the sound booming throughout from the many crashes, explosions, action sequences, jet boosters, rockets and more.  Whatever the need for heft arises onscreen the LFE perfectly matches those events with deep satisfaction.  
  • Surround Sound Presentation: You can’t tell me you’re not immersed throughout here as the action happens all around you with the utmost of directionality and priority to mimic onscreen events and craziness.  Glass shatters around you, score fills the rears, action sequences keep you engaged, the X-Men’s jet zooms by you and so much more.  
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialog levels are clear and intelligible throughout.  I have no qualms here.

Extras 

The 4K home entertainment release here comes packed with nearly 2 hours of extensive special features and behind-the-scenes insights.  Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker also delve into everything it took to bring X-Men: Dark Phoenix to the big screen in an audio commentary found on both the 4K and 1080p Blu-ray Discs.  Additionally Beast offers a one-on-one “How to Fly Your Jet to Space” lesson in the Special Features section here too.  Ha!  No really he does!  You also get the Digital Copy of the film redeemable in 4K via Movies Anywhere.  So let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll find here housed on the Blu-ray Disc.  

  • Audio Commentary – This audio commentary track is found on both the 4K Disc and Blu-ray and features conversations over the film with Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 8:22) – The deleted scenes here are available with optional audio commentary by Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.  They include the following: Edwards Air Force Base, Charles Returns Home, Mission Prep, Beast MIA and Charles Says Goodbye.  There’s an added Play All option too for ease of functionality.  
  • Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix (HD, 1:20:32) – This extra consists of five segments: Story & Pre-Production, The Cast, Production Design, Special Effects and Film & Editing.  I think the titles of these segments leaves nothing to the imagination of what they are all about.  Like above there’s also a Play All option to cover them all.  Sophie says the main goal of this film was not to make it feel like a superhero movie.  Hmm.  They also go on to say this is the deepest psychological film of the X-Men franchise.  I can’t help but wonder if they have not seen Logan?  It was interesting to learn about Simon Kinberg’s journey into the Director’s chair here.  I applaud this!  All in all though this one is almost 90 minutes in length between the 5 segments.  You really can’t ask for anything more as a fan of this flick.
  • How to Fly Your Jet To Space With Beast (HD, 2:03) – I don’t even know how to explain this one other than a satire or comedy with the Beast complete with flip flops and more.  I give you permission to skip this and keep two minutes of valuable life.  

Summary 

There you go ladies and gentlemen.  I officially did not hate Dark Phoenix.  Couple that with the fact that it’s one hell of an audio and video presentation on the 4K UHD Disc with nearly two hours extras found on the 1080p Blu-ray one and you have a Fox title completely worthy of a Day 1 purchase.  If not for anything else, you know that you need it to complete your X-Men home media collection.  You know who you are completists.  Now all we need is the first two Wolverine films on 4K Disc and we’re set.  I’ll at least take the second one (the first is a turd).  Until the New Mutants comes out and/or Marvel decides upon the direction of the franchise within the MCU Dark Phoenix closes out this younger class of Mutants.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

*

DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.  The images used above within the review are not actual 4K screenshots.  They are for illustrative purposes only.  

*

*

X-Men- Dark Phoenix 4K Review

Share

Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “X-Men: Dark Phoenix (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gerard Iribe

    I think Apocalypse is a better film than this.