Fox announces details of X-Men on Blu-ray disc

Let's face it: Twentieth Century Fox has some great movies you'd want to see in high-def in its archive. On Thursday the company's home entertainment division announced that its first salvo of Blu-ray Disc movies will include X-Men: The Last Stand. The studio is unabashed in noting its shrewd timing: It's offering the third installment in the X-Men trilogy in high-definition on November 14--three days before the Sony's Blu-ray Disc-enabled PlayStation 3 ships. Granted, it may not be Star Wars, but nonetheless X-Men will immediately rank as one of only a handful of current Blu-ray Disc releases that has immediate appeal to the PlayStation 3 crowd.

Most interesting to me, though, is how Fox appears to have paid a lot of attention to this film's release in high-def. According to the press release, X-Men: The Last Stand will have 100 percent HD content, for both the film and the bonus features. Fox says it authored the disc in BDMV; encoded the video using MPEG-4 AVC; and encoded the audio in 6.1 DTS ES HD Lossless Master Audio.

I've been intrigued by what Fox might have up its sleeve for X-Men after glimpsing hints of the future on a Blu-ray demo disc shown to me recent meetings. I look forward to evaluating the actual release and its extras in the context of the recent standard definition version.

While it's good news for the Blu-ray camp and for consumers to see Fox bring titles to the Blu-ray table, one negative is the price tag Fox has assigned to these discs: The suggested retail price of X-Men is US$39.98. I'll be interested to see how low that goes when it's on Wal-mart and Best Buy shelves.

Would you pay that much for a movie? And what kind of interactivity and extras are you most looking forward to seeing on your high-def movie disc?

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