Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 4K (Blu-ray)
SRP $44.95 2.40:1 Dolby Atmos WARNER BROS

WARNER BROS has released "BATMAN VS SUPERMAN" in a 4K UltraHD release. While the 4K BD-100 disc only includes the "director's cut," the theatrical version is also included on the regular bluray in a 50gb format, also included.

The film opens up dramatically, taking place during the last confrontation scene from "MAN OF STEEL," albeit from an entirely different vantage point. Bruce Wayne is doing his best to save lives as buildings are seen being demolished in the background while we see the effects of Superman, without  seeing him directly. It's a brilliant sequence and it's actually quite moving as well. One really understands how Batman originally comes to view Superman as a threat to humanity. The exploration of Batman's pathos has never been handled so well before on film. There's a whole lot going on in the plot of "BATMAN VS SUPERMAN," some of which gets too convoluted for its own good. Interestingly enough, however, the "ULTIMATE" or "Director's Cut," which is 30 minutes longer than the theatrical version, actually feels more accessible and sensible in terms of narrative. Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, delves into the ruins of the spaceship left behind from "MAN OF STEEL" to create a new evil and threat to Superman. Unfortunately, when the creation that is manifested is ultimately used in the big confrontation featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, it brings the film to a screeching halt as its the most unrealistic looking monster offered on screen in recent memory. The effects during this scene are not just bad, they're monotonous as well, making an exciting film suddenly very, very boring.

While Superman, Batman Wonder Woman(beautiful Gal Gadot) are all well acted, given what they are offered in the script, Jesse Eisenberg's take on Lex Luthor is the only thing that rings untrue here. A great actor(he's likely an Oscar Nominee for his performance in Woody Allen's latest film), he's woefully miscast as Luthor. It's not that he's bad here, it's just that his Lex Luthor feels like it's suited for a comedy rather than the stark, serious tone otherwise offered in "BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE."

The transfer is taken from a 4K DI. In a direct comparison to the blu-ray, 4K always comes out ahead when the actions slows down enough to accurately assess what's on-screen. This is no small feat as director Zack Snyder loves to fill virtually every shot with dizzying movement. However, whether it's a shot of Superman flying with his cape moving with the wind, or a dynamic street chase with the Batmobile, the UHD offers noticeably better detail and contrast. Whereas the blu-ray offers solid color quality in scene after scene, the UHD goes deeper within the color, revealing fine detail. While colors are intentionally desaturated, the darker environment is noticeably superior in the UHD version, with a more film-like grain. Colors are rarely vibrant in either UHD or blu-ray but when they are rich, the UHD offers brighter color quality.

The same Dolby Atmos mix is offered on both UHD and blu-ray. WOW! Right out of the gate, the deep bass proves this is going to be a thunderous presentation.  There are plenty of dynamic explosions, chase scenes and action wherein the specific and broad capabilities of the ATMOS mix will please the most discerning critic.  Even while the bass is often prominent, there are plenty of subtle effects and the dynamic range offered is nothing short of spectacular. The score is appropriately dramatic and well balanced with the dialogue and effects.

In addition to the UHD, a UHD code for Vudu, and blu-ray are also included. Trailers and numerous featurettes are also included.