X-Men-The Legend of Wolverine

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Released 5-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Who is Chris Claremont?
Audio Commentary-The Power Behind The X
Featurette-Stan Lee's Soapbox
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 75:39
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    X-men: The Legend of Wolverine is a DVD presenting four episodes from the X-men television series that feature Wolverine, the character now made famous by Hugh Jackman in the X-men motion pictures. Only the first two episodes flow into each other, while the remaining two are separate. Together they make a decent, if not complete, story covering Wolverine's past and characteristics.

    Out of the Past, Part 1 - This episode involves the character Deathstrike, who discovers a mysterious alien spacecraft in the underground tunnels. She devises a trap to lure Wolverine to the spacecraft in order for him to gain entrance into the spacecraft using his claws. There is a history between Deathstrike and Wolverine that I will not go into here, but that was probably the most interesting aspect of the episode. In any case, the trap ends up with Wolverine opening the spacecraft and setting loose an alien monster.

    Out of the Past, Part 2 - This episode takes up just as the alien monster is released. This episode involves quite a few more of the X-men, including Professor X, Beast, Cyclops, and Jean. All I can say is that if the costume that Jean wore in this episode found its way into the movie versions, the rating might jump up a notch. In any case, all the X-men pull together to fight the monster and save the day.

    Nightcrawler - This episode has Wolverine and a couple of friends on a skiing holiday, and shows how they get involved with the Nightcrawler. This episode seemed rather religious to me, and I was a little uncomfortable with the preachy nature of the dialogue in some instances. It discusses in depth issues such as loss of faith and prejudice.

    Lotus and The Steel - This episode begins with Wolverine sitting down with Professor X and discussing his psychological issues; rage, previous encounters, and even his love for Jean Gray. To try and find some peace within himself, Wolverine travels back to Japan to find his former master. There he finds peace in living with the monks and helping them build their temple. A gang of bandits rises to attack the village and monks, and Wolverine joins them to fight off the attackers. This episode had a number of flashbacks to previous episodes, so at least made some semblance of bookending the collection of episodes.

    The animation certainly isn't state of the art (Animatrix this is not). But for a television cartoon for kids, I'm sure it'll keep the little ones happy. For everyone else, this is strictly for die-hard fans only.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The episodes are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is to be expected as they were made for television, and are obviously not 16x9 enhanced. The video quality in general is sub-standard for what is expected on DVD these days.

    Sharpness levels throughout the presentation are mediocre at best, with some frames particularly blurry. The opening downward pan at 1:07 and a scene a little further at 1:29 appear visibly out of focus. What is strange is that on some occasions, blurry scenes are following by one or two frames that are quite sharp. Shadow detail really didn't factor too much into the equation during the feature, and black levels were sufficient. There were some dark scenes, but I do not think we are missing anything that the animators drew.

    The episodes certainly are colourful. Right from the opening credits the various colours fill the screen, but sometimes it is excessive and over-saturation is the result. Luckily I could not detect any colour bleeding. I believe most cartoons are far too colourful these days, and it could have been turned down a notch in the transfer.

    Film artefacts abound in the transfer, with a multitude of black and white flecks fairly constantly on display. Kids will most likely not even notice, but to people who are used to viewing nice clean DVD transfers, this will come as quite a distraction. I could not detect any instances of aliasing or edge enhancement.

    English, French, Spanish, and Dutch subtitles are provided along with an English subtitle stream for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kb/s) surround encoded options are provided in English, French, and Spanish. For a kids cartoon made for TV, the audio provided is clear and does its job satisfactorily.

    Dialogue is always clear, with the usual lip synching problems apparent in TV animation.

    The music is quite loud, but that should not come as much of a surprise for a kids action cartoon. Surround activity is limited to supporting the music, with no other real effects coming from the rears.

    The subwoofer is not called into action at all. What with the explosions and fighting in the episodes, some low level activity would have been nice, and could have been used to enhance these scenes (eg. the avalanche scene).

    The pseudo audio commentary is described in the Extras section below.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Who is Chris Claremont? - 15:06

    A TV interview with Chris Claremont, who discusses his involvement in the comics and how he started out at Marvel.

The Power Behind the X

    What appears to first be an audio commentary turns out to be simply Chris Claremont jumping in every five to ten minutes with one or two minutes of discussion regarding the different characters and their characteristics. Personally I had no idea what he was talking about, so am sure this extra is strictly for well-read X-men fans.

Stan Lee's Soapbox - 5:18

    Stan Lee discusses his original concept for the X-men, and how he came up with the idea. He also discusses the development of the storylines and their parallels with events happening in the world today (eg. bigotry, prejudice, and so forth).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 release appears to have missed out on the bonus episode featuring Magneto called The Final Decision. I thought it may have been an Easter Egg, but I could find no evidence of it on the Region 4 DVD. For a DVD with only four episodes, this omission is disappointing.

Summary

    X-men: The Legend of Wolverine is a fairly good combination of episodes from the X-men TV series that feature Wolverine. It would have been nice if the episodes showed a little more of his past, but most kids would simply love this. All-in-all, I think this is a disc for those with kids that are really into the X-men, or for die-hard fans.

    The video quality is mediocre at best, and suffers from a lack of sharpness.

    The audio quality is satisfactory, but some sub-woofer usage would have helped in some scenes.

    The extras are more for die-hard fans that just kids.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Chanh-Khai Ly (My biodegradable bio)
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP500, using Component output
DisplayRK-32HDP81 HDTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD/DD-EX/DTS/DTS-ES matrix and discrete. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600
SpeakersKef KHT 2005 5.1 Home Theatre System

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Comments (Add)
Missing Episode... - Dark Lord (Bio? We don't need no stinkin' bio!)