Warner Releasing Animated ‘Batman: Death in the Family’ Interactive Movie Oct. 13

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Oct. 13 will release Blu-ray Disc and digital editions of Batman: Death in the Family, a compilation of animated shorts based on DC Comics characters that includes the studio’s first interactive film presentation.

The centerpiece of the compilation is the extended-length Death in the Family, based on the landmark 1988 Batman comic book storyline in which readers were given a chance to vote via telephone poll about whether or not to kill off the second Robin, Jason Todd.

Produced, directed and written by Brandon Vietti, the interactive Blu-ray presentation allows viewers to guide the storyline through their remote control, with numerous plot twists and several possible endings. Viewers can also choose to allow the story to tell itself, as there is an option to let the Blu-ray decide its own path.

Batman: Death in the Family

Batman: Death in the Family is essentially a comic book come to life,” Vietti said. “We’ve paid homage to the 1988 interactive experience of DC’s ‘A Death in the Family’ comics release by giving fans a unique opportunity to craft their own story through a branching tool that can lead in multiple directions. The viewer gets to choose these characters’ paths, and each choice paves an alternate future for all of the characters and, ultimately, the story.”

The animated Death in the Family short is based not only on the original comic book run, but also Vietti’s 2010 Batman: Under the Red Hood animated movie, which is based on a comic book storyline in which Jason Todd returns.

“From the very first navigation card, we wanted to give the audience an impression of what they’re getting into, but then also give them something unexpected — maybe even something they’ll regret, so they have to think twice about every future choice they make,” Vietti said. “Branched storytelling has to be stronger than just the gimmick of the choices — it has to be rewarding and offer new and worthwhile insights into the characters. It needs to involve you, and keep you searching for the next twist. So we sought to subvert expectations and do something very different.”

‘Batman: Death in the Family’ interactive menu

The digital version of Death in the Family is presented in a non-interactive format pre-assembled under the title Under the Red Hood: Reloaded, and three other non-interactive versions as bonus features: Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge and Red Hood’s Reckoning. Considering the various configurations, the Blu-ray also offers approximately five minutes of story content not included in the digital version.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Death in the Family Blu-ray and digital editions will also include four additional “DC Showcase” animated shorts that were previously released in 2019 and 2020 as bonus material with earlier DC Universe animated movies: Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Death and The Phantom Stranger.

Originally attached to Batman: Hush, Sgt. Rock finds battle-weary Sgt. Rock (Karl Urban) thinking he has seen everything that World War II can dish out. But he is in for the surprise of his life when he is assigned to lead a company consisting of legendary monsters into battle against an unstoppable platoon of Nazi zombies.

Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” Death tells the story of Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons who meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy and eventual death. Death was originally included with Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.

Attached as a bonus feature on the release of Superman: Red Son, The Phantom Stranger finds the enigmatic DC mystery man (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz) simultaneously playing both omniscient narrator and active character in a story of supernatural comeuppance for evil doers set in the 1970s.

Adam Strange, originally released with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, tells the story of a rugged asteroid mining colony where the town drunk turns out to be legendary space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long.

Follow us on Instagram!

The ‘R’-rated Blu-ray Disc will include audio commentaries by “DC Daily” hosts Amy Dallen and Hector Navarro on Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Death and The Phantom Stranger, plus the Under the Red Hood: Reloaded version of Death in the Family.

Warner Slates Animated ‘Superman: Man of Tomorrow’ Movie

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow through digital retailers Aug. 23, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 8.

The latest entry in the DC Universe movie line from Warner Bros. Animation deals with young Daily Planet intern Clark Kent (Darren Criss) in his early days as Superman, as Metropolis is introduced to a new age of heroes. As the budding hero fights for good, he confronts the intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo (Ryan Hurst) and the power-hungry alien Parasite (Brett Dalton).

The cast also includes Zachary Quinto as Lex Luthor, Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane, Ike Amadi as Martian Manhunter, Piotr Michael as Perry White, Neil Flynn as Jonathan Kent and Bellamy Young as Martha Kent, plus Cristina Milizia, Eugene Byrd, April Stewart, Cissy Jones and David Chen.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Blu-ray and digital extras include the featurettes “Lobo: Natural Force of Chaos” and “Martian Manhunter: Lost and Found,” the “Superman: The Animated Series” episodes “The Main Man” parts one and two, and previews of other DC Universe animated movies.

Animated Movie Based on DC Comics’ ‘Deathstroke’ Coming in August

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons through digital retailers Aug. 4, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 18.

The film offers a new take on the DC Comics character Deathstroke, a mercenary and master assassin named Slade Wilson. The film finds him living two lives, one as a relentless killer, the other as a dedicated family man. When his worlds are forced together by the terror group known as H.I.V.E., the killer in Slade must fight to save his loved ones.

The voice cast includes Michael Chiklis as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, Sasha Alexander as Wilson’s wife, Chris Jai Alex as The Jackal, Faye Mata as Jade/H.I.V.E Queen, Griffin Puatu as Joseph/Jericho, Imari Williams as President Nichols, Asher Bishop as Young Joseph, Colin Salmon as William Wintergreen, Delbert Hunt as Bronze Tiger, Panta Mosleh as Lady Shiva, Noshir Dalal as Kapoor, Castulo Guerra as General Suarez, and Minae Noji as the Secretary of State.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The latest entry in the DC Animated Movies line was produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Blue Ribbon Content, Warner’s specialty arm for digital platform programming. Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons was originally presented as a series of animated shorts that appeared on CW Seed. The movie version includes 50 minutes of never-before-seen footage, including the climax.

The Blu-ray combo pack will include a digital copy and the featurette “Deathstroke: One-Man Death Machine.” Bonus material is also offered with the digital edition through select retailers.

Follow us on Instagram!

Indonesian Superhero Feature ‘Gundala’ Coming to Digital and Disc July 28 From Well Go

An Indonesian comic book superhero and his alter ego enter the cinematic universe in the actioner Gundala, debuting on digital, Blu-ray and DVD July 28 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Based on a popular comic book first published in 1969, Gundala is the first film in a proposed eight-film franchise launching a new superhero cinematic universe (in the vein of Marvel). In the origin story, Sancaka (Abimana Aryasatya) is a security guard who was struck by lightning, giving him superhuman powers and turning him into the superhero Gundala. An Indonesian orphan, Sancaka spent his life on the streets trying to attract as little attention as possible, but when greed and violence reach a fever pitch in Jakarta, it soon becomes clear that he is the people’s only hope for peace.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Written and directed by Joko Anwar (Impetigore) and based on the comic by Harya Suraminata, Gundala stars Abimana Aryasatya (12:00 A.M.), Tara Basro (Impetigore), Bront Palarae (Belukar), Ario Bayu (Java Heat) and Lukman Sardi (Abracadabra).

Gundala had its international premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, and the release features an all-new English dub, in addition to its original subtitled soundtrack.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/12/20;
Warner;
Action;
Box Office $84.16 million;
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.
Stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, Chris Messina, Ewan McGregor.

The most significant aspect of the 2016 Suicide Squad movie was undoubtedly the popularity boost it gave to the character of Harley Quinn, as played by Margot Robbie. While she had always been a fan favorite, the film made her a pop culture sensation, as Harley Quinn cosplay dominated the comic book convention circuit more than ever before, and there was little doubt the character would be popping up in her own movie soon enough.

Those plans hit a bit of a snag, however, as the creative direction of the DC Comics shared movie universe began to unravel a bit following the disappointment of 2017’s Justice League. Subsequent projects would put more focus on the individual films while de-emphasizing the potential for interconnected stories.

And with that, Harley Quinn would end up fronting a loose adaptation of the “Birds of Prey” comic book that shined a spotlight on some of the female heroes of Gotham City. Being the girlfriend of the Joker, Harley was usually cast as an antagonist, but her popularity spurt resulted in her being positioned as more of an anti-hero.

As such, the film finds Harley (Robbie) having just broken up with the Joker, a change in relationship status that makes her an open target for every criminal in Gotham City with a bone to pick with her. In her efforts to establish herself as an underworld authority in her own right, and find a quiet moment to enjoy an egg sandwich, Harley finds herself protecting a teenage pickpocket (Ella Jay Basco) who stole a jewel encoded with the account numbers of a vast mafia fortune, attracting the attention of a mob boss nicknamed Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).

Along the way, and with nary a mention of Batman, Harley tussles with a hotshot cop (Rosie Perez) who treats her job like an ’80s action movie; the Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a lounge singer with sonic powers; and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a crossbow-wielding vigilante who seeks vengeance on the crime lords who killed her family.

Follow us on Instagram!

Described by one of the visual effects supervisors in the bonus materials as Pulp Fiction meets Clockwork Orange, the film seems trying to set itself up as something of a girl power version of Deadpool, intersplicing some decent action scenes with broad comedy in service of several story threads connected by narration from Harley that jumps back and forth through time. Also like Deadpool, the film tries to play in the ‘R’-rated playground, but the attempt seems more like an excuse for excess rather than anything intrinsically necessary for the characters, story or humor.

Unfortunately, in an effort to be quirky, the film was saddled with the mouthful of a title Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, which when shortened to the obvious Birds of Prey doesn’t speak much to Harley’s involvement in it. So, after the film’s initial disappointment at the box office (also not helped by limiting the audience with its ‘R’ rating), the studio tried to re-christen it Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey for marketing purposes (a move further made understandable by the fact that they couldn’t get the full name right in their own press release for the home video). They probably just should have called it Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey to begin with.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

With the coronavirus pandemic cutting the film’s box office run short, it made an early debut through digital retailers, which offered a variety of bonus features that also made their way to the Blu-ray edition.

The primary extra is the Birds Eye View Mode, a viewing option that plays the film with a mix of filmmaker commentary, pop-up trivia and picture-in-picture behind-the-scenes footage.

More behind-the-scenes details are offered in six featurettes that run a total of 42 minutes, with some repetition of material between them and with the viewing mode. Most of the emphasis is on the physical look of the film, such as the production design and the costumes. There’s also a significant amount of time devoted to the style of the characters and finding the right actors to play them. One of the more unintentionally funny clips involves Winstead heaping praise upon the talents of McGregor — who reportedly left his wife for her while they were co-starring on the “Fargo” TV show just before signing on for this movie.

Finally, there’s a two-minute gag reel that, while amusing, is hard pressed to make an impact given all the silliness that ended up in the movie.

‘Bloodshot’ on Disc May 5 From Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release the comic book actioner Bloodshot on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 5. The film is available now through digital retailers.

Vin Diesel stars as the title character, a recently killed soldier brought back to life with nanotechnology that makes him an unstoppable force. But the corporation that created him has sway over his mind and memories, leaving Bloodshot unsure about what’s real and what isn’t.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name, Bloodshot earned $10 million during a limited theatrical run that was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Follow us on Instagram

The Blu-ray, DVD, digital and 4K editions will include deleted and extended scenes, including an alternate ending.

The Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions will also include outtakes and a blooper reel; the featurettes “Initiate Sequence: Directing Bloodshot,” in which visual effects and video game artist Dave Wilson takes the reins of his first feature film and reveals all of the passion, creativity, and hard work that he and his team of artists employed in bringing the film to life; and the featurette “Forgotten Soldiers: The Cast of Bloodshot,” in which Vin Diesel takes center stage to unveil the compelling aspects of his approach to the comic book superhero, and Guy Pearce, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan and Lamorne Morris detail all aspects of the film’s ensemble.

The digital version will also include “R.S.T. Hack: Chainsaw,” a series of four animated in-world videos about Bloodshot.

 

Warner Releasing ‘Lego Shazam’ Movie Digitally April 28, on Disc June 16

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the new full-length animated feature film Lego DC: Shazam! — Magic and Monsters through digital retailers April 28, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD June 16.

The latest entry in the direct-to-video line of Lego DC Comics movies features Shazam (Sean Astin) becoming the newest member of the Justice League. But to join, he must reveal his true identity as Billy Batson, a 10-year-old boy granted the power of the gods when he says his name, a gift bestowed upon him by a wizard (Ralph Garman). While fighting off the evil Mr. Mind and Black Adam, Billy learns that he must trust others — and that nothing creates trust like helping those in need.

Follow us on Instagram!

The cast also includes Troy Baker as Batman/Bruce Wayne; Nolan North as Superman and Alfred; Grey Griffin as Wonder Woman and Lois Lane; Christina Milizia as Green Lantern Jessica Cruz; James Arnold Taylor as The Flash and Dummy; Imari Williams as Black Adam and Teth Adam; Fred Tatasciore as Lobo and Oom; Zach Callison as Billy Batson and Jimmy Olsen; Dee Bradley Baker as Jeepers, Dr. Sivana and Crocodile Man; Jennifer Hale as Mary Batson and L.N. Ambassador; Tom Kenny as The Penguin and Perry White; Jonny Rees as Mr. Mind; Erica Lindbeck as a greeter and a farmer; and Josh Keaton as Terrance and an executive.

The Lego Shazam! Blu-ray and DVD will include three cartoons from the Warner Bros. Animation vault: The “Teen Titans Go!” episode “Little Elvis,” and the “Unikitty!” episodes “Spoooooky Game” and “Pool Duel.”

For a limited time, the disc versions of the move will include a Shazam minifigure.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Animated ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ Due in May

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Justice League Dark: Apokolips War through digital retailers May 5, and as Blu-ray/DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo packs May 19.

The latest installment of the DC Universe series finds the heroes of the Justice League, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and others joining forces to save Earth from the devastation of the alien warlord Darkseid. The film is rated ‘R’ for bloody violence, language, and some sexual references.

The cast, many reprising their roles from earlier movies in the series, includes Matt Ryan as Constantine, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Taissa Farmiga as Raven, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Christopher Gorham as The Flash, Rebecca Romijn as Lois Lane, Rainn Wilson as Lex Luthor, Tony Todd as Darkseid, Camilla Luddington as Zatanna, Ray Chase as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross as John Stewart and Swamp Thing, Liam McIntyre as Captain Boomerang, Hynden Walch as Harley Quinn, Stuart Allan as Robin/Damian, Sachie Alessio as Lady Shiva, and John DiMaggio as King Shark.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Home video extras include filmmaker audio commentary;  the featurette “Darkseid: New God/Evil Classic,” a look at the motivations of the character and importance of Deities in classic and modern fiction; the featurette “Look Back: Justice League Dark,” a look at the previous film to feature Constantine and the misfit members of dark version of the Justice League who battle supernatural forces; taking on the malevolent forces that go beyond our plane of existence; “Look Back: Batman and Harley Quinn,” a retrospective at the earlier animated feature film; animated episodes “Zombie King” and “Abate and Switch” from “Justice League Action,” and “Nevermore” from “Teen Titans”; and a preview of the next DC Universe Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow.

Follow us on Instagram!

The home video release will also include the new DC Showcase animated short Adam Strange, featuring Charlie Weber as the title character, a heroic space adventurer whose backstory plays out in flashbacks as he struggles to save an asteroid mining colony from a horde of deadly alien insects.

Animated Elseworlds Adventure ‘Superman: Red Son’ Flying to Home Video in 2020

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the DC Universe animated superhero adventure Superman: Red Son through digital retailers Feb. 25, 2020, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 17.

The film is an adaptation of the 2003 graphic novel Superman: Red Son, part of DC Comics’ “Elseworlds” imprint that provides alternate histories and settings for some of the company’s famous characters. The story takes place in an alternate reality in which the spaceship bearing the last survivor of Krypton crash lands not in America, but in Stalinist Russia, and is raised to defend the ideas of the Soviet Union.

Follow us on Instagram!

The cast includes Jason Isaacs as the Soviet Superman, Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, Amy Acker as Lois Lane, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Phil Morris as James Olsen, Paul Williams as Brainiac, Roger Craig Smith as Batman, Sasha Roiz as Hal Jordan, Phil LaMarr as John Stewart, Jim Meskimen as John F. Kennedy, Travis Willingham as Superior Man, William Salyers as Joseph Stalin, and Winter Ave Zoli as Svetlana.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Blu-ray and digital versions will include the new DC Showcase animated short Phantom Stranger, by Bruce Timm. Set in the 1970s, the short follows young adult Jess as she joins her friends at a party in a dilapidated mansion hosted by the mysterious Seth, when odd things begin to happen. Peter Serafinowicz voices Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum provides the voice of Seth. The voice cast also includes Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.

Other extras include the featurette “Cold Red War,” two episodes from Superman: Red Son – The Motion Comics, and a preview of the next DC Universe movie, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Fox;
Action;
Box Office $65.85 million;
$29.99 DVD, $37.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action including some gunplay, disturbing images, and brief strong language.
Stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jessica Chastain.

With Dark Phoenix, the Fox era of “X-Men” movies comes to an end not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Of course, looking back at the franchise, while it has left its mark on the landscape of superhero cinema, the films have never really been the most consistent in terms of quality. And a lot of that might owe to the filmmakers’ dubious relationship with not just the source material, but the other films in the franchise as well.

Some have been standouts — X2, Days of Future Past, Deadpool and Logan being the biggest highlights on most lists — and some, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, were forgettable enough that even the film that used time travel to reset the timeline ignored it.

Going in, the 12th “X-Men” movie, Dark Phoenix, had a few factors to overcome. It would be following up the disappointing X-Men: Apocalypse with a first-time director, Simon Kinberg, albeit someone who was at least familiar with the franchise having written several of the previous films. And it would be coming out amid Disney’s takeover of the Fox studio, meaning that future “X-Men” movies would likely come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and feature a whole new cast and creative team and have nothing to do with the Fox movies. That lack of a narrative future combined with the release date for Dark Phoenix getting pushed back further and further left an impression that it was more of a remnant of a bygone era than an entry audiences could really care about.

In that regard, at least it made it to theaters. Fox also left over a New Mutants film that still needs a final polish if it is to ever see the light of day.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Even so, the signs are evident within Dark Phoenix of a franchise on its last legs even without the intrigue of inter-studio transition (much of this carrying over from Apocalypse).

For his part, Kinberg wanted a second chance to take on the “Dark Phoenix Saga,” one of the most famous “X-Men” storylines from the comics, and one that was adapted somewhat in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which Kinberg co-wrote. But where it was just one of several storylines serving that muddied third “X-Men” movie, the reboot that came with Days of Future Past would allow Kinberg to spend an entire movie on it.

Dark Phoenix also picks up the tradition begun in 2011’s First Class of setting subsequent “X-Men” movies in a new decade. So the action picks up in 1992, nine years after the events of Apocalypse. Now seen by the world as heroes, the X-Men conduct a mission to rescue a space shuttle crew from a mysterious space cloud, which ends up being absorbed by Jean Grey (Sophie Turner).

The power contained within the cloud ends up unlocking hidden secrets involving Jean, which puts her at odds with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and the rest of the X-Men. As she sets out on her own, she is pursued by an alien leader (Jessica Chastain) who wants the power for herself.

So in that description lies the elements for a big, sprawling epic — space adventure, mysterious superpowers, alien invasions. And yet, instead of going big, Kinberg chooses to go small, trimming the potential for more world-building in favor of focusing on Jean’s personal struggles to deal with her new abilities and what that means to Charles. And the aliens are treated as little more than another nuisance for the mutants to handle, rather than the film realizing that this is the first time these films have had to deal with cosmic matters.

This could have been the Avengers: Endgame of Fox’s “X-Men” franchise, but its scope is so limited it ends up feeling more like a direct-to-video sequel.

According to Kinberg in both the feature-length commentary and several behind-the-scenes featurettes, this was by design, as the constraints of a psychological drama more more appealing to the kind of director he wanted to be. So while it’s very much the film he wanted to make, and any director would still have had his script as a starting point, the question of whether his directorial sensibilities were the right fit will always loom over the final product. (And, to be fair, the question of who else they could have gotten to direct also is fair, especially considering how much of a Hollywood pariah franchise stalwart Bryan Singer turned out to be.)

A couple of other factors contribute to the film’s sense of disconnect from the rest of the franchise. First, despite the time jump from the previous film, there is very little sense of character development in the interim. The team is the same as it was at the end of the previous movie, and any new characters are reduced to little more than fan service cameos (a complaint that could be lodged against a number of the previous movies too). Kinberg in one of the featurettes mentions thinking of this film as more of a reboot with the same cast, rather than a continuation of previously established plot threads. This isn’t the first time this kind of approach seems to have been applied to the “X” movies, as numerous potential story points and character relationships are hinted at only to be ignored later, it does seem more in force with Dark Phoenix, which is a shame.

And while musical consistency has never been a strength of this franchise, the previous “X” movies at least demonstrated a musical progression through the themes that composer John Ottman originally introduced in X2. All of that is abandoned here though in favor of the generic synth tones of Hans Zimmer and his musical score factory. It serves Kinberg’s low-key approach but does nothing for sparking the sense of nostalgia this film could have used to send this particular iteration of the franchise out on a higher note.

Of course, getting pushed to a summer release date didn’t do Dark Phoenix any favors, as it simply invited comparisons to Endgame, which traded heavily on its sense of nostalgia for the characters, especially in how it presented the music for them.

The important lesson here is that in adapting a particular comic book storyline into a long-running series (films or TV), is that the ongoing storylines should be serviced by, not sacrificed to the adaptation. The movie, show or franchise still needs to stand on its own, and the best adaptations are able to appease both longtime fans of the material and new viewers unfamiliar with it, often by adhering to the spirit of the work if not a literal re-creation of it.

That doesn’t mean Dark Phoenix is unwatchable. Just the notion of revisiting the “Dark Phoenix Saga” makes the film a curio, if only to compare it to The Last Stand. And make no mistake, there are quite a few echoes of that previous film here.

In addition, there are plenty of dazzling visual effects when the film bothers with them, and the film looks great, particularly during the shuttle rescue sequence.

And it’s still good to see the cast return, even if the story isn’t quite sure how best to utilize them. Ultimately, the film does provide enough of a sense of closure to the Fox era, particularly the four films of the “First Class” continuity.

The Blu-ray is also fascinating in how the bonus materials demonstrate the clear disconnect between how the film unfolds in the filmmakers’ minds, and what it ended up being.

In addition to Kinberg’s commentary (shared with producer Hutch Parker), the Blu-ray also includes three-and-a-half minutes of deleted scenes that mostly offer redundant information to what’s established in the film, but also provide an alternate ending of sorts.

The centerpiece of the extras is the five-part documentary “Rise of the Phoenix: The Making of Dark Phoenix,” which runs about 81 minutes in total and offers a comprehensive view of the production. Supplementing it is a 13-minute scene-breakdown of the creation of a battle on New York’s 5th Avenue (re-created on a stage in Montreal).

Rounding out the package is a lighthearted two-minute video of Beast (Nicholas Hoult) teaching viewers how to fly the X-Jet.