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X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) - action adventure DVD / science fiction DVD / graphic novel adaptation DVD / comic book superhero DVD / series and sequels DVD review
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION + DIGITAL COPY) Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Durand, Dominic Monaghan
Director: Gavin Hood   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 19 May September 2009   Runtime: 107 minutes (2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 - English; Dolby Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Commentaries (dir. Gavin Hood; producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter), The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein, "Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins," Deleted/alternate scenes, Alternate tag scene: Japan, Anti-Smoking PSA: Bubbles, Digital copy

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the stirring and extremely well done story of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine character from the X-Men franchise. Putting flesh on a character who has always been one of the mutants in Xavier's army of the misunderstood and misrepresented, we get a solid look at Logan's childhood horror, his misguided and vicious brother, Victor (who becomes known as Sabertooth), and the power of love in his life. The only drawback to the movie, in this reviewer's opinion, is the strong focus on the special effects and visuals. Mind you, I am delighted to live in times where CGI and classic comic-book characters come together in such dynamic storytelling, but I would have liked to see more about Wolverine's internal battles against who he is and where he comes from.

Jackman did 98% of his own stunts, and he is remarkable. It is obvious that he took his Wolverine persona seriously; he worked out on the set daily, and his bodybuilding paid off in a strong and intense characterization. Be sure to watch the special features, which include Wolverine Unleashed": The Complete Origins Featurette. Jackman's dedication is fantastic.

There are many "bad guys" in this movie, and the sub-plots sometimes threaten to overtake the basic storyline of Wolverine and his past. However, director Gavin Hood keeps all the strands assuredly in his hands. As the narrative moves to a close, each of the stories concludes in a way that makes sense and drives the overall plot of Wolverine's origins. Jackman brings clever, sarcastic humor to the role as well, providing some much-needed light-hearted moments.

Certainly, with comic-book characters coming to life on the big screen one after another, Wolverine's chronicle provides a solid entry in the genre. Even television is dabbling in the mutant craze with shows like Fringe and Sanctuary, so it is good and right that the standard is being held high by such actors as Hugh Jackman in ongoing movie series like X-Men. Whether they are childhood favorites (Batman, Superman, and Spider Man) or lesser-known works, using comics for movie fodder definitely works. Looking forward to future "Origins" movies!
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reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
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