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The New Mutants - 4K Blu-ray Review

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The New Mutants

Well, this one had a pained and storied journey to the big screen. Filmed in 2017 after three years of developed, and falling prey to 20th Century Fox indecision, this Josh Boone directed X-Men spin-off production went through several re-workings before, during and after (in fact LONG after) production. Because the gestation of this project spanned nearly four years, post principle photography, it befell many changes of personnel and even a change of owner, with Disney buying out Fox in 2019.

"its competent performers and (albeit hindered) attempts at something different make it watchable if not memorable"


Based on the Marvel comic of the same name, The New Mutants offered a chance, after nearly 2 decades of this universe on the big screen, to present a different kind of film for the fictional mutants of the Marvel world. Boone pitched and was intent on making this a horror film, as opposed to yet another superhero flick. It would, as in the comics, focus on a group of characters not yet connected to Professor Xavier and his X-Men.

Dani, a young Native American on a reservation, is attacked by some mysterious and powerful force and is knocked unconscious while trying to flee. When she awakes shackled in some old hospital, she finds herself at the whim of an elusive doctor and confined to the borders of the facility by some mystical shield. The facility appears to be some kind of confined treatment centre for troubled teens, with Dani joining four others with equally mysterious pasts and… abilities. Turns out these kids are mutants, with their powers only beginning to manifest. But just as their own understanding of themselves and each other is wrought with unanswered questions, so too is their perception of their ‘caretaker’ and what her true agenda really is. Well, it turns out that Dani’s mysterious abilities come to bear on all of them (quite literally) and it will take all their strength to survive the ensuing revelations.The New Mutants

The initial intention of this one was to present something completely different with Mutants. The intentions of making this a haunted house/creepy mystery are obvious… and unfortunately unsuccessful. Trying its best to lean heavily into the structures of A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 and films of that ilk are stymied quickly by the YA style restrictions, neutering these aspirations with old school TV-rated limitation. It really feels more like a pilot for a TV show than a movie. Nothing about the writing, or the characters, ever elevates it beyond done before and done better. They had a chance—especially with this level of actors—to avail themselves of something more weighty, (could have gone more psychological, ie: Nurse Ratchett/One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) but chose to present something their rating can’t deliver.

What The New Mutants benefited from right off the cuff was a stacked with talent cast, with G.O.T. alumni Maisie Williams, Alice Braga, Anya Taylor-Joy to name a few. Newcomer Blu Hunt (in her feature film debut) is an excellent lead. In lesser hands these characters could have been an absolute bore, and as clichéd as they are, they are performed very well.

Effects range from impressive to downright ropey. The score is forgettable (it’s only been a couple of hours and I’ve forgotten it already, such was its impact on me). Sound design was a standout, as was the cinematography by Peter Deming.

Maybe this film was just another product of too many cooks? Who knows? What I do know is that I did enjoy it more than the abysmal Dark Phoenix entry. It lacks any originality, but its competent performers and (albeit hindered) attempts at something different make it watchable if not memorable. It’s a shame the story about it getting made is probably more interesting than the film itself.

3/5 stars

The New Mutants

Blu-ray

4K Details:

Home Video Distributor: Disney/Buena Vista
Available on Blu-ray
- November 17, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, German, Spanish
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1; German: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray DiscTwo-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

VIDEO

Pretty close to perfect. This is a darkly lit film, by and large, and the native digital 4K presentation is reflected beautifully in the rendered HDR10 disc. Shadows are immersive and clean, highlights really pop on the characters and the rim lighting. The effects also leap off the display in spots, and (unfortunately) show some of the seldom shortcuts made to finish off things, like the demon bear and CGI artifacts.

AUDIO

Dolby ATMOS 7.1 reference quality all the way here, folks. It’s an absolutely breathtaking mix that is the highlight of the product. It has flawless and busy directionality, especially in the overhead channels. LFE is stellar and dialogue is crisp as a chip and centered beautifully.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature commentary audio track with Josh Boone and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Special Features:

4K disc = NONE.

Included blu-ray disc possesses 3 sub 10 minute fluff pieces, deleted scenes totaling just over 10 minutes, and a director’s commentary. US set gives you a digital copy code as well (not 4K). Pretty bland offerings.

  • Dolby Atmos Audio Track
  • Origins & Influences – Legendary comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz and the filmmakers explore the origins and influences behind "The New Mutants."
  • Meet the New Mutants – Cast members share their experiences while filming and reveal how they bonded as a family, much like the characters in the film.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Optional English SDH, Spanish, French, and German subtitles for the main feature

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

The New Mutants

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violent content, some disturbing/bloody images, some strong language, thematic elements and suggestive material.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Josh Boone
Writer:
Josh Boone, Knate Lee
Cast:
Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
There is something new to fear.
Memorable Movie Quote: "This isn't a hospital, Pocahontas. It's a cage."
Theatrical Distributor:
Disney/Buena Vista
Official Site: https://www.20thcenturystudios.com/movies/the-new-mutants
Release Date:
August 28, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 17, 2020.
Synopsis: In this action-filled film, five young people who demonstrate special powers are forced to undergo treatment at a secret institution – allegedly to cure them of the dangers of their powers. But it's soon clear that their containment is part of a much bigger battle between the forces of good and evil!

The New Mutants

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