X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Several directors on DVD commentaries have mentioned that directors were compelled to produce a movie no longer than a certain length, so that movie theatres could repeat the film several times a day. James Cameron, in his Terminator II commentary, states that the time is usually 140 minutes, and that can be built into the contract. So the Rogue cut is about 17 minutes longer than the original 120 minute movie. It’s worth it.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut relates to the Uncanny X-Men comics #141-142 from the early 1980s. Here, director Bryan Singer uses this as a vehicle to combine the original cast of the first three movies with the new, younger cast that replaced them in X-Men: First Class. The First Class movie line begins in the 1960s and is a “prequel” to the later X-Men events, although the continuity gets a bit mixed up.
The movie opens with an apocalyptic present. The X-Men and all mutants are being hunted down and killed by the Sentinels, created by Bolivar Trask. Actually the Sentinels were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Uncanny X-Men #14-16 in 1965. More then, but still now, it is a tale of both uncontrolled technology and, frankly, Congress not doing their job and letting others do it for them…then complaining. The Wolverine is sent back into the past, to 1973, to try to unite Professor X, Magneto, and Raven to change the events that lead to this war on mutants.
I was young when Uncanny X-Men #14-16 came out and I always thought it was a comment on the Comics Code. You just a few years before this, Congress held hearings on comics. Instead of investigating they allowed one man, Frederik Wertham to dominate, run the show and concluded that comics were hurting America’s youth, creating juvenile delinquents, rapists and gay children. And basically, Congress almost destroyed the entire industry by forcing incredible censorship on the industry, the Comic Code. 25 of the original 28 publishers went out of business in just a few years. Here it is Trask and mutants, but you can see the similarities.
The original X-Men was a fun movie, sometimes very intense, and with little of the humor we see in the Marvel Studios productions. Time travel movies always have little “holes” in them, but this movie was easy follow and fun to enjoy. Patrick Stewart’s Xavier, McKellan’s Magneto, Jackman’s Wolverine) and the new (James McAvoy’s Xavier, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique are really good. And Evan Peters’ Quicksilver actually steals the show in the scenes he is in.
The “Rogue Cut” adds to the theatrical release in several ways. First, Rogue appears in maybe five of the additional minutes. The “new” time adds to the movie by elongating certain scenes and making the plot clearer or more fun. There is certainly more of both Magnetos, helping clarify a point or two for the younger one. Rogue does appear, but does really nothing for the plot of the movie. The overall pacing is improved until you get the new Rogue scenes which slow things down. You can see why she was originally removed. Oh, and Richard Nixon gets to swear which might have changed the rating on the original.
I did want to mention the two extras on the Disc: There is a 50-minute feature where the creators, actors, designers, musicians complement each other and themselves for the great work they have done. There is, perhaps, 20 good minutes of learning about things you didn’t know. But everything they show you is the biggest, the best and the grandest. Of particular interest is the discussion of the Quicksilver scenes. There is also a 30-minute discussion by most of the cast in how much they love each other and how much fun it was to make the movie. If you watch this, see how “managed” it is. The actors keep asking if they were allowed to mention something! Of interest here is how Hugh Jackman was cast.
The Blu-ray comes with both this and the theatrical version on one disc.
The picture is great, on a 1 to 5 scale, it and the 7.1 DTS get a 5.