In the near future, our world will undergo two drastic changes: firstly, mutants will be hunted to near extinction, and secondly, everyone will download movies to watch in Digital HD. The heroes of Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past do their best to prevent that first change from happening, but the excellent audio/visual quality of the film’s digital edition will help to ensure that second change still takes place. Let’s be honest, it’s for the best. Boasting a clear, crisp picture that is indistinguishable from watching a Blu-ray, along with instant access to special features and behind-the-scenes bonuses, it’s quite apparent that Digital HD downloads are the way of the future. Hit the jump for my X-Men: Days of Future Past review in this particularly convenient format.
Our own Matt Goldberg did an excellent job of reviewing X-Men: Days of Future Past when the movie opened earlier this year, so I won’t rehash his words. Instead, I’m here to fill you in on the quality and ease-of-use of the iTunes version of Singer’s film. I’ll be honest, I’m a big fan of Blu-rays for the quality of audio and picture, as well as for the format’s high storage capacity. That being said, it’s still a disc which takes up physical space, is tied to hardware in the form of various players, and is subject to improvements in delivering media in the years to come. I’ve slowly been moving away from the Blu-ray format in favor of a digital library, and X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s Digital HD version may have just cemented that shift for me.
The video quality of the film is fantastic and every bit as good as a Blu-ray version. Perhaps this aspect is most appreciated during the now-famous Quicksilver scene which features Evan Peters racing (in slow motion) through a Pentagon kitchen in order to dispatch a number of guards bent on putting Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and his cohorts down. You can see every detail of this scene, from the sauce Quicksilver samples from a spilling pot, to the headlines on a Washington Post article. This scene alone is worth a repeat watch of the film. If you’re still not convinced, the HD format also gives viewers access to every defined muscle of Hugh Jackman’s hard-earned Wolverine physique, for those of you who are into such things.
Let’s not forget the audio quality, which doesn’t suffer one bit in the downloadable format. John Ottman’s score is still every bit as powerful, the Sentinel attacks come across as viscerally as they did in the theater, and the haunting chant of the gathered masses of the post-credits scene still conjures chills. The Digital HD version is a worthwhile choice if you want this picture in your library ASAP, but there’s more to it than the feature alone.
Okay, so there are some cool bonus items in this version to check out. Some are for the die-hard fans of Singer, who provides some interesting audio commentary on deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes drama. Others are for those who happen to enjoy Gag Reels and Galleries. Let’s take a look at the items available in Digital HD:
- Kitchen Sequence – An interesting sequence involving Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Nicholas Hoult as their characters discuss Mystique’s plans to assassinate Trask, and the havoc it will cause in the future. Singer talks about his vocal difficulties during this scene that caused his actors to continually crack up. It’s easy to see why this scene didn’t work in the final film, but it’s a fun bit of trivia just the same.
- Gag Reel – Some great Wolverine moments, Storm having issues with her cape, and McAvoy battling flies, wheelchairs, and stairs.
- Deleted Scenes – Five scenes that didn’t quite make it into the final film. All of them made it into the feature in an alternate version, but there are some good moments that landed on the cutting room floor.
- Deleted Scenes w/ Audio – These are worth a listen since Singer reveals that the final scene of the movie was not the original one. The original ending is included in the deleted scenes and Singer offers up his explanation for the change.
- Gallery – Three galleries of stills for Mutant Experiments, Blueprints, and Sentinel Construction
X-Men: Days of Future Past is now available on Digital HD and DVD/Blu-ray starting October 14th.