(released in the UK on 7thApril 2003)

Hmmm. I don’t think I really approve of DVD Special Editions ?particularly ones like THE X MEN 1.5 which has all the commentaries, behind-the-scenes features and documentaries which could have and should have appeared on the first version of the disc. But hey-ho, here it is anyway, cleverly released a few weeks before the eagerly-anticipated X2 sequel arrives in May. What’s a reviewer to do? Stand on his soapbox and rage impotently about the exploitative nature of Hollywood and its relationship with DVD? Ah, what’s the point. 1.5 is a damned fine release, ‘the definitive X-Men DVD’ and it’s a two-disc set you’ll want in your collection ?even if you’ve got the first one.

To be fair, this new disc complements the first. There are features on the first which aren’t repeated here and, of course, all that juicy production stuff we wanted first time. The film itself you know well. Bryan Singer takes critically-applauded but relatively-obscure comic book and turns it into a massive cash cow. The story of THE X MEN is the stuff of great film, not just great comic-book-turned film. The movie is brilliantly cast, wonderfully-directed, blessed with a reverent yet witty script, and full of charged-up action sequences which, it appears, the sequel is well on target to surpass. Despite my disapproval at the ‘Special Edition’ treatment, this is well nigh essential.

THE DISCS: We all know how good DVD is by now. Major releases like THE X MEN offer up just about the best picture and sound quality you’ll find. Cinema-sound enthusiasts won’t be disappointed. The extras ?well, I’ve pretty much covered them already. It’s all here with some nice branching features giving access to all sorts of other bits and bobs. Over five hours of quality stuff, in fact ?and an engaging and revealing Bryan Singer commentary too. Go buy, you hear me?

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