2005, Christian Bale plays Batman for the first time in Batman Begins. Critics and audiences are blown away, the film goes on to spawn TWO monsterly successful sequels, and people are convinced the world over that we’ve seen the perfect Batman. Fast forward to 2013, and it’s announced that BEN AFFLECK would be taking up the cape and cowl in the upcoming Superman V Batman (which at the time didn’t have an official title) movie. The internet basically broke. Fanboys V detractors… three years later, Warner Brothers releases what is probably going to be one of, it not THE most divisive comic book movie of the past decade: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Stemming from the initial Affleck backlash and spiraling from there, never before has a comic book movie had SO MUCH hype to live up to, that no matter what ended up happening in the (bloated) 2 and a half hour run time… it was bound to let people down. This past week on Blu Ray, Dawn of Justice dropped with an EVEN LONGER “ultimate cut” which was supposed to ease doubts of the DC cinematic universe and win over some detractors who were underwhelmed, or just completely pissed off at, the theatrical version. Of course I picked it up, and of course I covered it. Check out my review below:
(Note: I’m not reviewing THE MOVIE itself, personally I loved it, and loved the ultimate cut that much more, I’m just covering the tech stuff… if you didn’t like this movie you may not care to read the review, that’s fine... you’re adopted anyway.)
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to Blu Ray courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Video, from director Zack Snyder and his longtime collaborator Larry Fong, who served as cinematographer for the director in the past on his OTHER divisive comic book adaptation, Watchmen. If you’re going into this film looking to rectify what you thought was a “dark” movie in the theatres, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s a dark film, very desaturated, muted colors, hushed tones and scarce lighting are central elements here, and on that, Warner’s transfer gets a great score. Basically, it looks how it’s supposed to look. The CGI (which is basically every fight scene in the movie) looks crisp, and clear; Doomsday never looks out of place or fake during the 3rd act. There’s a few grain issues in some of the faster moving sequences, but nothing that is too distracting to an average viewer. It’s a solid picture across the board.
BvS thunders onto Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack that fully delivers on fans' expectations for an epic superhero showdown. The new version of the Batmobile literally roars every time it’s on screen. Explosions and building collapses are almost painfully real. The collaboration of Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL has produced one hell of a score, with Wonder Woman’s’ and Lex Luthors’ themes being stand outs in an overall impressive soundtrack.
Dawn of Justice comes loaded with a bunch of EPK featurettes, mostly promotional stuff for the vast DC film universe to come, a few focused on the “Trinity” of heroes that appear in this film, peppered with a few technical goodies to satisfy the behind the scenes hounds out there.
They are: Uniting the World's Finest, Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants, Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile, The Warrior, the Myth, the Wonder, Superman: Complexity and Truth, Batman: Austerity and Rage, Wonder Woman: Power & Grace, Batcave: Legacy of the Lair,
The Might and the Power of a Punch, The Empire of Luthor, Save the Bats.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, as I stated above, was DIVISIVE. The extra half hour isn’t really going to change opinions that much; yes, the extra half hour does solve quite a bit of the “pacing problems” audiences seemed to have, and does flesh out major characters QUITE a bit more… but if you hated it in the theatres, chances are you’ll find a reason to hate it at home too. Maybe you rent it to check out the bevy of bonus content for the REST of the DC universe? If you haven’t given up on it completely that is. Personal feelings aside, the movie comes home with a great video transfer and a SUPER audio track…. Technically, it’s worth it.