Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice 4K UltraHD

Featured In Issue 211, November 2016

WSR Score2
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sexuality.
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Zack Snyder
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Dolby Atmos
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In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Batman is fed up with the mayhem Superman has brought to Earth from being relentlessly pursued by technologically advanced Kryptonians bent on eliminating Superman. The just-as-powerful-as-Superman aliens bring massive death and destruction to locations where they engage Superman in epic battles. Lex Luthor puts the full-court press on, trying to eliminate Superman, and potentially the entire human race, at the same time Batman is trying to rid the world of Superman and the plague of death and destruction he is attracting by his mere presence on earth. (Doug Blackburn)

Special features include 11 featurettes: Uniting The World’s Finest (HD 15:05); Gods And Men: A Meeting Of Giants (HD 12:28); The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder (HD 21:16); Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile (HD 22:46); Superman: Complexity & Truth (HD 07:08); Batman: Austerity & Rage (HD 08:15); Wonder Woman: Grace & Power (HD 06:48); Batcave: Legacy Of The Lair (HD 07:12); The Mighty And The Power Of A Punch (HD 05:15); The Empire Of Luthor (HD 12:33); and Save The Bats (HD 04:37); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The range of the image sources used to create Batman v Superman is remarkably varied: Super 16 mm film, Super 35 mm film, 65 mm film (IMAX), 3.4K Arriraw digital, and even GoPro HD digital images. The digital intermediate is 4K, but the images lack the fine detail typically seen when full 4K resolution (or higher) sources are used to create a 4K digital intermediate. The images are grainy at times, most likely they were the scenes shot on 16 mm film. Color is manipulated to produce desaturated images with ugly and depressing greenish and/or orange-y tints. The images look as morose as the story and performances make you feel. Unlike most movies that have some scenes shot in the IMAX format, the widescreen mask is not opened up to full-screen during the IMAX sequences. This is a visually unpleasant movie. (Doug Blackburn)

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic sounding throughout, with heavy sonic presence. Atmospherics and sound effects are effectively produced, which nicely enhances spatial dimensionality. Sound effects are powerful with all sorts of explosive blasts, gunfire, machine guns, canons, building destructions, debris, vehicle crashes, rockets, etc., all enhanced with powerful .1 LFE energy that often extends to sub-25 Hz frequencies. At times all eight channels are excitingly engaged. Throughout, the Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL orchestral/choral music score is broodingly bass heavy and occupies a wide and deep soundstage that extends aggressively to the four surrounds. The score really heightens the mysterious storytelling, Dialogue is always intelligible with decent spatial integration. Effects’ dialogue extends to every channel for effect. This is an excellent holosonic® soundtrack with a powerful dynamic character, deep bass extension, and aggressive surround envelopment that is reference quality. (Gary Reber) The soundtrack is everything you expect from action epics; big, bold, dynamic, room-shaking bass, and well recorded. Plenty of demonstration-grade sound in scenes you won’t want to use because the images are so unpleasant looking. The soundtrack ranges from “neutral” emotionally in the combat scenes to intentionally depressing and morose in scenes that move the plot forward. With the sound, story, performances, and images all doing their best to depress you, the multiple levels of moroseness make this movie a chore to get through. The interminable 151-minute version was bad enough, it’s difficult to understand why the 31-minute-longer “ultimate” version seemed like a good idea to anybody. (Doug Blackburn)