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X-Men
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Genre:SciFi
Year:2000
Rating:R
Length:1h 44mins
Cast:Bryan Singer, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen

From uncanny in the comics to action blockbuster at the box office, the mutant superhero group the X-Men serve their audience well in this live-action adaptation directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects). Highly anticipated by fans for years -- the comics date back to the 1960s -- the film intelligently tackles the comics' common themes of racism, immigration, and identity, with the aid of a crackerjack ensemble cast. Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, and adorable Anna Paquin are regarded as outsiders both by humans and by their own mutant race. Chronicling the beginnings of professor Xavier's super-powered X-students (who flaunt super costumes to match), the battle focuses on sinister primary foe Magneto (Ian McKellen), with his mutant minions, played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Ray Park (a.k.a. Darth Maul) at his side. A George Wallace-like senator (Bruce Davison) launching a campaign against mutantkind only complicates things for our heroes, but provides for some good character drama, a tactic that has always made the X-Men comics as super as they are. Singer's stylish direction handles the action well and with a bit less silliness than other recent comic-book adaptations, while X-Men creator and all-around comic legend Stan Lee cuts the mustard in a fine cameo as a hot-dog vendor. The X-ceptional 1.5 DVD features an Enhanced Viewing Mode, incorporating more than 60 extra minutes of behind-the -scenes footage and previously deleted material. Tony Nigro

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