X-Men 1.5

With director Bryan Singer’s sequel to 2000’s successful X-Men movie set for release this May, Fox Studios has demonstrated shrewd timing in springing loose this features-crammed, teched-up, double-disc DVD version of the first film right before the release of the new one.

Based on the Marvel Comics characters originally created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the first film followed a mostly youthful group of mutants—humans with extraordinary abilities—super powers, if you wish—that render them suspect to the rest of humanity. In that story, the X-Men (Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Barry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden and Anna Paquin) are pitted against both a McCarthy-like senator (Bruce Davidson) urging mutant registration and a misguided, powerful mutant called Magneto (Ian McKellen), who sees it as his race’s genetic imperative to replace humankind.

What’s good about this release is the viewer has the option of dropping previously deleted scenes back into the story. Also, there are hours of behind-the-scenes stuff, the best of which is a sneak preview of the sets created for the next movie and an extended trailer for that film, as well.

Not for everybody, perhaps, but loads of fun for the rest of us.