Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition – Blu-ray Review

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When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice finally released in theaters back in March, the reviews were less than stellar (our review). Rightfully so as the film was both sloppy and poorly edited. However, the director’s cut of the film fixes most of the problems that plagued the film. In other words, the Ultimate Edition simply adds missing pieces to an incomplete puzzle.

First off, Lex’s scheme to frame Superman really is fleshed out better. The intricacies of Lex’s plan to pit the Man of Steel vs. The Dark Knight is much more sophisticated. Things are better explained and certain scenes will begin to make sense. As a result, the editing is much better because the scenes flow better. The Ultimate Edition also gradually raises the tension between Superman and Batman instead of thrusting the two into battle with its original weak setup.

Unfortunately, as much as Lex’s plan is explained in better detail, the film still suffers from an overabundance of storylines. To my count, there are 5 different comics storyline elements that were mashed-up in Dawn of Justice. Among them are “Injustice,” “The Dark Knight Returns,” “Flashpoint Paradox,” “The Death of Superman,” and “The New 52’s Justice League.” It doesn’t matter if you’re Marvel or DC, nothing good comes from a combination of vastly different storylines. This is especially true when the storylines aren’t coherently connected.

The Ultimate Edition also doesn’t fix the terrible casting decision of Jesse Eisenberg as Alexander “Lex” Luthor. Fortunately, the Ultimate Edition doesn’t add more of Eisenberg’s hammy performance. Despite the added Henry Cavill scenes, it’s Ben Affleck that still steals the show here. Affleck’s wearied Batman is incredibly nuanced. He’s able to seamlessly switch between Bruce Wayne and a weary Batman in a drop of a hat. He’s still the standout of the film.

Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition is a big improvement on the original and is able to fix many of the problems of the theatrical cut. It’s able to flow better with the additional scenes and as a result, it feels like a proper film. Unfortunately, Batman v Superman’s storyline is still overstuffed with the various comic book storylines and a hammy villain. Let’s hope that Justice League learns from the mistake of the theatrical cut and is able to let the film breathe like the Ultimate Edition does.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms
NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

Video
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition is presented in a 1080P MPEG-4 AVC encoded video with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The contrast in the film is very strong and very vivid. Much of Zack Snyder’s visuals are stylized, so there isn’t a single hint of flatness in the video. The black levels are inky thus resulting in loss of shadow detail. Considering much of the film takes place at night, this is a bit of a problem. Fortunately, the film is crystal clear with each well-defined texture, skin pores, and costume detail coming through well. The colors are a bit desaturated at times but that is more of a directorial choice than an actual video issue. The skin tones come across naturally even during those desaturated scenes. Overall, this is a very fine transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms
NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

Audio
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition is presented in a Dolby Atmos or a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio mix; if Atmos isn’t available. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix is reviewed here. If you’re watching this film in an apartment complex, then be prepared to warn your neighbors because Batman v Superman is boisterously loud. In this case, it’s a very good thing. A film at this scale must have the necessary audio presentation to match its grandiose visuals. The subwoofer gets much of the attention during the action-packed scenes. The front and rear channels provide atmospheric immersion subtle effects and frenzied mayhem across the soundstage. Not to mention that Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL’s soundtrack is layered beautifully in the presentation which complements the audio presentation well. The dialogue comes in clearly through the center channel. Overall, the audio presentation is expertly balanced and is able to keep up with the Snyder’s grand visuals.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms
NR-5-Atoms-A

Special Features
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition‘s Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile
  • The Warrior, the Myth, the Wonder
  • Uniting the World’s Finest
  • The Empire of Luthor
  • Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants
  • Superman: Complexity & Truth
  • Batman: Austerity & Rage
  • Wonder Woman: Grace & Power
  • Batcave: Legacy of the Lair
  • The Might and the Power of the Punch
  • Save the Bats

There are a lot of special features to be found in the Ultimate Edition release and they’re all very entertaining and insightful. While these featurettes are sure to satisfy fans, it would’ve been nice to see an in-depth making-of documentary and longer featurettes. However, these special features will still satisfy any DC Comics fan with its in-depth look at the history of DC’s Holy Trinity. It’s also nice to see what’s coming up in the DCEU with special sneak peeks at Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B(1)


Overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition improves on the theatrical cut by offering a clearer look at Lex Luthor’s schemes. However, the film is still a muddled mess with a hammy villain and a bloated storyline. The video and audio presentations are excellent and the special features are both entertaining and insightful. Unfortunately, the short featurettes leave much to be desired.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms
NR 4 Atoms - B(1)

About author

Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1365 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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