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Zack Snyder
Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
Writing Credits:
Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

Box Office:
$250 million.
Opening Weekend
$166,007,347 on 4242 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1/1.43:1 (Varying)
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Castillian Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 182 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 3/23/2021

• Intro by Director Zack Snyder
• Audio Commentary with Director Zack Snyder


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2021 Remaster) [4K UHD] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 18, 2023)

When Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit screens in 2016, I found it to offer a definite disappointment. That 152-minute cut showed occasional glimmers of promise but it faltered too much of the time.

When Dawn made it to home video, director Zack Snyder got to expand it to a 183-minute “Ultimate Edition”. Although prior Blu-ray/4K UHD releases of Dawn included both versions of the movie, this remastered 2021 4K only features the UE.

For full thoughts about the 152-minute edition – and a full plot synopsis - please click here. I’ll stick solely to a look at the UE in this review.

How do the two differ? The biggest change – and improvement – relates to the UE’s depiction of Lex Luthor.

He often stays in the background during the Theatrical Cut, but Lex plays a significantly more prominent role in the UE, especially in terms of the ways he manipulates other characters.

In addition, the UE better explains Batman’s current status and his push toward rougher/more violent methods. We see more clearly how the “Bat Brand” impacts criminals, and we also better understand Clark’s obsession with him.

Both factors help patch up a lot of question marks from the Theatrical Cut. Other additions/expositional bits occur as well but these elements dominate and allow the UE to provide a substantially stronger version of Dawn.

Do the additions “fix” Dawn? No – I still think the movie comes with some of the negatives I mentioned in my prior review, mainly because the characters still lack the level of emotional heft I’d expect. But the UE does manage a more powerful punch – I won’t call it moving, but it gets closer to that sentiment than the flat Theatrical.

Most importantly, the UE simply makes more sense. Character motivations seem clearer – especially connected to Luthor – and the entire narrative fits together more cleanly.

Again, these changes don’t turn Dawn into a great movie, but unlike the Theatrical Cut, it’s one I can watch and enjoy – and recommend.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio A-/ Bonus C+

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc - usually. About 27 minutes of the film got shot on “real IMAX” cameras with a 1.43:1 aspect ratio.

On other home video releases like Tenet or Dunkirk, the film changed the 1.43:1 scenes to 1.78:1. Though this obviously altered the original IMAX photography, at least it opened up the image better than the standard 2.39:1 did.

For this 4K release of Dawn, though, the disc replicated the IMAX scenes in their actual 1.43:1 ratio. This meant black bars on the sides of the image.

I always liked the 1.78:1 “compromise” with those other IMAX-reflective releases, so I feared the shift from 2.39:1 to 1.43:1 would flop. While it lacked the same impact of the expansion on top/bottom of those prior images, it still conveyed the material well and became a surprisingly effective method.

Whichever ratio the movie featured, the end product looked great. The movie offered an excellent visual presentation.

Sharpness worked very well. Any instances of softness remained confined to a handful of interiors and seemed negligible, as overall definition appeared excellent.

No signs of jaggies or moiré effects occurred. I witnessed no edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, the movie often went with Hollywood Standard Teal and Orange. Predictable as that might be, the tones appeared well-reproduced within their stylistic constraints. HDR added range and impact to the hues.

Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows looked smooth and clear. HDR brought extra power to whites and contrast. The image satisfied.

I also liked the dynamic Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Dawn. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, it gave us an exciting presentation.

With so much action on display, the soundscape boasted many opportunities to shine, and it took advantage of them. Via the reprise of the Man of Steel climax, the movie kicked off with a bang.

The elements used the various channels in an active, dynamic manner. Add to that nice stereo music and some directional dialogue to end up with an engrossing soundfield.

Audio quality also pleased. Music was peppy and full, while speech seemed natural and concise.

Effects appeared dynamic and accurate, with solid low-end response. The soundtrack kicked into high gear often enough to earn an “A-“.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the original 2016 Blu-ray? Both came with the same Atmos audio.

A true 4K master, this UHD disc offered notable visual improvements. In addition to the full IMAX ratio at times, the 4K looked tighter and more dynamic than the Blu-ray. Expect a solid step up in quality.

Back in 2016, a 4K UHD release of Dawn hit shelves, but I never saw it. Apparently that one came with color grading that differed from the Blu-ray I did watch.

Director Zack Snyder decided to throw some weight around and get this corrected presentation, one that came with the IMAX aspect ratio when appropriate. Because I didn’t view the 2016 4K, I can’t directly discuss the differences, but I have to imagine the 2021 remaster worked better.

Note that one can also purchase a 3D Blu-ray of Dawn. It only offered the Theatrical cut, so we can see no 3D version of the UE.

I felt fairly unimpressed by the 3D Dawn anyway. Without question, I’d take the 4K over the 3D, especially since the 3D doesn’t present the movie’s superior longer cut.

The 2021 4K includes none of the 2016 set’s extras, but we do find a 31-second Introduction by Director Zack Snyder. He tells us about changes in the picture quality – colors, IMAX framing – and hopes we enjoy the movie. This becomes a waste of time.

More substantially, we find an audio commentary with director Zack Snyder. In this running, screen-specific piece, Snyder discusses story/characters and connections to the comics, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, costumes, various effects, music, editing, and related topics.

While Snyder offers a perfectly decent view of the film, the end result seems underwhelming. Although the director never goes silent for long, we do find plenty of empty spots, and those mean that Snyder really never builds a head of steam.

Snyder’s remarks tend to seem somewhat superficial, and he rarely digs deep into the topics. To my disappointment, he never discusses changes he made to the longer cut, and even though he recorded this track after he got taken off 2017’s Justice League, he doesn’t touch on any of those issues.

As such, Snyder delivers a competent commentary but not anything better. It deserves a listen but it doesn’t turn into an especially fascinating piece.

Though it never becomes a great film, the longer version of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice offers an improvement over the iffy theatrical cut. It may not fully satisfy but it works reasonably well in its own right. The 4K UHD boasts excellent picture and audio along with a spotty audio commentary. In its Ultimate Edition incarnation, Dawn becomes a good movie, and this remastered 4K becomes the best way to see it.

To rate this film visit the prior review of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

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