horror and science fiction DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
Blu-ray reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - blu-ray
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Ultimate 2-Disc Edition + Digital Copy) - Blu-ray DVD / action adventure DVD / graphic novel adaptation / science fiction DVD review
Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Featuring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Monaghan, Will.i.am
Director: Gavin Hood Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD release: 15 September 2009 Runtime: 107 min.
(2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Commentaries (dir. Gavin Hood; producers Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter), The Roots of Wolverine: A Conversation with X-Men creators Stan Lee and Len Wein, Wolverine Unleashed: The Complete Origins, Wolverine Weapon X Mutant Files, The Thrill of the Chase: The Helicopter Chase Sequence, X Connect and On Set With Gavin Hood, X-Facts: trivia track, Deleted scenes w/ commentary by dir. Gavin Hood, Alternate Memory Erase sequence, Alternate tag scene: JapanFox Movie Channel Presents: World Premiere, IMDB BD-Live technology, Digital copy

Wolverine has long been a favorite character of comic fans, though I admit I've never seen the appeal. His powers are super-healing ability and razor-sharp knives that come out of his fists. Comic fans know how this came to be, but those who've only enjoyed his belligerent antics in the first three X-Men films would like it spelled out for them.

Wolverine was born James Howlett in the Northwest Territories. He and his stepbrother, Victor (Liev Schreiber) witnessed a pretty nasty domestic altercation at an early age that left two men dead, one of them by James's hands (claws, actually). James ran into the night; Victor ran after him, and the two kept running together, jumping into as many wars as they could - the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam.

They fight side-by-side in a really clever opening sequence that tells us not only of the brothers' bloodlust but also of their longevity (I guess that immortality goes hand-in-hand with extreme healing abilities). Like all the X-Men, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) was born with his powers. This makes him a mutant, unlike Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, who gained their powers through freak accidents.

James and Victor get into some trouble with the military, and their rare abilities help to get them recruited for an elite killing squad. After so many years of bloodshed, a mission in Africa finally brings out the differences between the brothers. Victor jumps right back into killing willy-nilly, whereas James wants to put it behind him.

Wolverine is a popcorn movie, with plenty of whiz-bang special effects that are simply wowing. One sequence in particular in which Wolverine leaps from an exploding truck to take out a helicopter is just a thrill to watch. I went into this movie looking for not much plot and a fair amount of action, and on that level I was not disappointed, but Wolverine doesn't provide much else to endear it. The one major motivating factor for Wolverine's return to bloodlust is later removed from the equation... doubly. We know from the X-Men films that Wolverine is missing most of his past memories, so we go into the film knowing that most of the stuff that happens in Origins will be meaningless at the end of the film. Rather than playing this up as a regrettable tragedy, the narrative whimpers to a stop.

The purely visual aspect of the Blu-ray edition of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, on the other hand, is exemplary. The beautiful scenery (New Zeland for Canada) is crisp and breathtaking. The picture-in-picture director's commentary I so love is also featured here, along with pretty good making-of featurettes and some in-depth character studies of all the majors. Interviews with X- Men creators Stan (The Man) Lee and Len Wein help round out the extras with a flourish. The BD Live features up-to-date looks at the actors' current resumes via IMDB.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home