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|Category||Action||Trailer (Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0)|
(Not 110 Minutes as per packaging)
Universal Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The episodes contained on this disc are:
Dark Shroud (21:18)
Our heroes land on Earth, where Phoenix has absorbed the identity of Jean Grey, while a similar force to that which warned Professor X of the danger aboard the Eagle One space station uses his mind to project threatening visions at the X-Men. Meanwhile, Erik The Red watches the proceedings from his spaceship and decides to pay Earth a visit. Lilandra, meanwhile, visits Professor X and explains to him that she is the sister of D'Ken, as well as the fact that she has stolen the crystal of M'Kraan to prevent her brother's nefarious scheme for galaxy-destroying power from coming to fruition.
Cry Of The Banshee (21:17)
This episode picks up where the last left off, and it is interestingly proclaimed to be Part 2 of the saga by the opening credits. In this episode, Lilandra is taken from Professor X to the Cassidy castle by Juggernaut and Black Tom, and it is up to the X-Men to rescue her before Erik The Red can arrive and take her to D'Ken.
The X-Men are transported magically by Phoenix to a spaceship that is carrying the crystal of M'Kraan, which is attacked by a group of space pirates. The ensuing battle results in the loss of the crystal and the kidnapping of Cyclops by a pirate who has a score to settle with D'Ken. Together, the X-Men and the pirates battle to stop D'Ken from making use of the crystal.
Child Of Light (21:22)
As luck would have it, D'Ken succeeds in using the crystal, creating his own universe within it while everything in the normal universe is slowly sucked into it. The X-Men and some of the space pirates from the previous episode battle against D'Ken while the world's weather patterns go berserk. I'm pretty sure that you can guess how this one ends without needing to see it.
It is presented Full Frame and naturally is not 16x9 Enhanced. The sharpness of this transfer is good, but this is definitely not the best example of animation on DVD that you can find. The shadow detail of this transfer is adequate, but only really called for once in all five episodes. There is no low-level noise to spoil the image.
The colour saturation is everything that I've come to expect from animation: collections of overly bright hues with little or no gradations between them. This is probably the biggest reason why I prefer live-action films of my favourite comic book characters, the better qualities of the plots aside.
MPEG artefacts were not a problem for this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts, on the other hand, are an extreme problem for this transfer, which has clearly been taken from interlaced source material. The problem that this causes is that the image shown on the screen updates one half at a time, which can clearly be seen whenever the programme is played back at anything other than normal speed. In a word, this artefact looks ugly, and its presence on this disc is a good reminder of the reason why digital television is progressive. Adding to the fun is the presence of telecine wobble in Episode 2, at 02:14. A combined telecine wobble and interlaced picture is quite seriously enough to make your eyes water when it is rendered at DVD's resolution. Aliasing is a real problem for this transfer, too, with most every shot in the entire programme affected by aliasing, which only became distracting after a while because of its prevalence. Composite artefacts, such as dot crawl around the edges of objects, was also present throughout the credits and at 15:14 in Episode 4. Film artefacts consisted of some white marks across the picture that were noticeable, but forgivable because they were not especially frequent.
This disc is Dual Layered, but the layer change appears to have been sensibly placed between episodes.
In reality, there are five soundtracks on this DVD: the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, a French dub in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, a German dub in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, an Italian dub in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, and a Spanish dub in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. All of these soundtracks have been allocated a bitrate of 192 kilobits per second, which seems perfectly adequate given that these episodes were definitely produced with analogue television in mind. The dialogue is always clear and easy to make out, all the better for you to laugh or cringe at. Where they find script-writers for these cartoon series, I honestly don't know. There are no perceptible problems with audio sync.
The score music in these episodes is credited to Shuki Levy, but I am hard-pressed to remember anything about it now that I have finished listening to it. In that sense, it is little different to all of the music I have heard from other animated television shows.
Being that this is a straight stereo soundtrack, the surround channels were not used at all. During the second episode, I briefly engaged the Pro-Logic mode of my amplifier and found that it didn't do the quality of the soundtrack any real favours. Similarly, the subwoofer was not specifically used by this soundtrack.
The video quality is acceptable.
The audio quality is acceptable.
The extras are minimal.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|