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</script></div>{/googleAds}Ripping a page from today's headlines, X-Men: The Last Stand writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn show us there's an insurgency within the ranks of the genetic mutants. A battle between good and evil, if you will, that pits the malicious Magneto (Ian McKellen) and his band of fellow rabble rousers against Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who preaches tolerance and acceptance. It seems a "cure" for mutancy - actually a serum that will change a mutant to a human - has been developed, the control of which is at the root of The Last Stand's plot, causing an uprising in the mutant world.

Why should a cure for mutancy cause such a conundrum, you might ask? Well, to borrow even more themes from the real world such as racism, intolerance, and homosexuality, one must first accept the suggestion that having mutant genes is abnormal before saying it needs a cure. As Storm (Halle Berry) puts it "since when did we become a disease?"

Such heady issues are what have always endeared legions of comic book fans. And superhero movies have learned that success depends on tackling these topics head-on. But while X-Men: The Last stand is steeped in such subjects that are both resonant and actually quite interesting, its broth is completely ruined by director Brett Rattner's self-indulgence. Issues like conformity vs. individuality and a mutant civil war of sorts should be front-and-center, but instead they take a back seat to the special effects and other eye candy.

But of course one of the most entertaining aspects of an X-Men movie is watching the characters do their thing. And we're not let down with that respect. Returning are most of the old favs with prominent roles such as Wolverine, Storm, Jean Gray, and of course Magneto and Charles Xavier, but new characters are introduced as well, such as the blue-haired furry Beast (Kelsey Grammer) who's on the President's cabinet as Secretary of Mutant Affairs; the Pegasus-winged Angel (Ben Foster); Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) who can pass through solid matter; and my favorite, Juggernaut (Vinnie Jones) who, once a full head of steam is obtained, is virtually unstoppable. But these new guys don't really add a whole lot to the experience. If we consider the significance of a character to be equivalent to the impact of their dialogue, most of these new guys won't be around when X-Men 4 comes out. Take, for instance, a line issued by Juggernaut when encountered by Kitty Pryde. "Don't you know who I am? I am Juggernaut, bitch!" Lines like this can kill a franchise quicker than Chris O'Donnell.

The clever feel Bryan Singer created with X-Men 1 and X-Men 2 gets lost amid a distracting mélange of visual confusion and cinematic clutter. A conflict within the ranks of the mutants had the potential to pack a truly captivating wallop, but as it is handled, it makes the whole film feel like a Harley-Davidson tricked out with a bulb-horn, handlebar streamers, and cards in the spokes. Sure, it's still a Harley, but we really don't care.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: English; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 Surround; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; Dolby Digital 6.1 EX - English; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; deleted scenes; alternate ending; director's commentary.

* Commentary - Two feature length commentaries
o 1- with director Brett Ratner and writers Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg.
o 2 - with producers Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter.
* Deleted scenes -
o 10 minutes of extended/alternate takes with optional commentary by Ratner, Penn and Kinberg
* Trailers -
o Two X-3 trailers
o "24" trailer
o Three trailers for other Fox Marvel movies
o Two previews of upcoming Fox projects.
o One trailer for A night at the Museum

Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging