‘Batman v Superman’ Blu-ray review

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is already available on Digital HD, but on Tuesday, July 19th, the Blu-ray will be available. It comes with the three hour Ultimate Edition of the movie, which fans and critics alike agree is the better version of the movie. The Blu-ray features superior image and audio quality over the Digital HD version, as well as over two hours of special features. I’m going to talk about them all in my review to give you an idea of what to expect.

Video and Audio

The picture quality of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is fantastic. Everything looks crisp and detailed on my 1080p TV. I will say the one disappointing aspect is that the scenes that were shot in IMAX do not fill your screen to give you more of the picture. I watched The Dark Knight Rises recently, and Christopher Nolan’s choice to include the big IMAX shots really set the bar high for picture quality.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a great movie to show off your surround sound system to your friends. I have a 5.1 setup, but a 7.1 track is included. You really feel like you’re at the movies in terms of sound here. It’s great!

Special Features

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice features an impressive selection of special features. Everything from the heroes to the villains, to the new Batmobile are covered here. There’s lots of behind-the-scenes footage as well, though it would have been nice to see things like the music or special effects get their own segments as well. Read on to learn more about each of the special features that you can look forward to.

Uniting the World’s Finest

This segment focuses on the Trinity, and bringing together Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on the big screen for the very first time. As well as the Justice League. We get to see some cool behind-the-scenes footage of the three together filming their big Doomsday battle together, as well as all the cameos of the rest of the Justice League like Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. All three actors sounded really excited while talking about their roles, but Ezra Miller really stood out to me. He completely geeks out and you can tell he’s fallen in love with the role and done a ton of research.

We hear from director Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns, and even Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. There’s some footage from Wonder Woman here too, but it’s what we saw on the CW special earlier this year.

Of course with all of these heroes coming together, there needs to be some villains. This segment closes with a feature about Suicide Squad, with director David Ayer, the producers, and even actors like Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie. There’s some brief, but cool behind-the-scenes footage that focuses mostly on The Joker and Harley Quinn.

Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants

This segment focuses on the two characters in the title of the movie — Batman and Superman. It starts out with the history of the characters in the comics, and why they have a conflict with each other.

My favorite part is seeing some behind-the-scenes footage of the big Batman/Superman fight scene. At one point Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill just burst out laughing in the middle of a serious stare down. It’s amazing to see how different this scene is before all the special effects were added. They’re just in a room surrounded by a giant green screen. It goes to show how good the CGI was.

This segment ends with one of the more controversial aspects of the movie — the “Martha” scene. Hearing everyone talk about it has definitely changed my perspective on it, but I’m still not a huge fan of how it was executed in the actual movie.

The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder

This segment focuses on the history of Wonder Woman, and we start off talking about William Moulton Marston, the creator of the strong female character. We learn why he created the character and how she has evolved over the years.

The focus then turns to the 1970s show starring Lynda Carter. Suicide Squad’s Viola Davis was a big fan of the show and talked about it, as did Diane Lane.

There’s a lot talk about feminism in this segment too, and we even hear from Margot Robbie. We don’t hear from Gal Gadot until the very end, when the focus shifts to everyone seeing her in the role for the first time. There’s some new, but brief footage from the new Wonder Woman movie here too.

Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile

This is one of the longest and best produced segments on the Blu-ray. We get to meet the team of designers and engineers that built the new Batmobile. We see how the design evolved, from a sketch on a napkin, to 3D models, to a full-sized driveable vehicle. Before modifications, a single tire on the Batmobile weighed 500lbs! The entire car weight 8,500lbs. We get to see Batmobile tests before the full body was built, to the first test with the actual car that we see in the movie. They were able to build the first Batmobile in just 4 months.

After seeing the Batmobile perform on a race track, we get a great interview with director Zack Snyder talking about his new toy. We then get some awesome behind-the-scenes footage of the big Batmobile chase scene in the movie, which Zack Snyder talking through each big moment.

Superman: Complexity & Truth

This segment is all about Superman. It focuses on Henry Cavill and the Superman that exists in this DC movie universe. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson talks about the costumes he made for both Clark Kent and Superman. Cavill explained that the suit wasn’t designed to get wet, so he had a bit of trouble during the big fight with Batman in the rain. There’s lots of cool behind-the-scenes footage of the big fight here, featuring Cavill and his stunt doubles.

Batman: Austerity & Rage

This segment is all about Ben Affleck and Batman. We get to see all of Batman’s gadgets, and weapons that he uses in the movie, and the prop master describes each one. There’s also amazing behind-the-scenes footage of the big warehouse fight here.

We get to see the designing of the new Batsuits, both the regular suit and the armored suit. There’s more behind-the-scenes footage of Batman’s big fight with Superman here too.

Wonder Woman: Grace & Power

This segment focuses on Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. We get to see footage of Gadot training for the role with swords and her shield. We also see her working out and lifting weights. Gadot says she worked out every day for 7 months to get in shape for the role. She said that her experience with dancing helped her with all of the fight choreography.

We get to see Gadot go through all of her Wonder Woman costume tests, including a costume that never made the movie that featured a large hooded cape. There’s also some brief behind-the-scenes footage of her big Doomsday fight.

Batcave: Legacy of the Lair

In this segment we get to see how the new Batcave was created. They actually built the Batcave that we see in the movie from scratch, and it’s really cool to see how much work went into a set that only got a few minutes of screen time. We get to see each room of the Batcave, from the armory to Bruce Wayne’s lab.

All of the images on Batman’s computers were real, there wasn’t any CGI, so Ben Affleck was able to see exactly what the audience was seeing.

Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos said that the Batcave was 98% practical, only very small portions of it were enhanced with CGI. The laser that Bruce Wayne uses to cut his kyrptonite weighed 800lbs!

The Might and the Power of a Punch

This segment focuses on the big Batman vs. Superman fight. We get a closer look at all the weapons and traps that Batman uses against Superman. This whole segment is very scientific with lots of stats and facts about what goes on during the fight. For example, when Superman pushes Batman, we learn that he went back 60 feet at a rate of 45 miles per hour. When Superman pushes Batman through the first building, he travels at 100 miles per hour. A narrator literally breaks down every big moment like that. This is a short, but pretty interesting clip.

The Empire of Luthor

This segment focuses on Lex Luthor. We get a bit of history of the character from Geoff Johns and other DC writers, before the focus shifts to Jesse Eisenberg’s take on the vilain. Producer Charles Roven compares the character to all the big tech CEOs except for Mark Zuckerberg… which is pretty ironic since Einsenberg received an Oscar nomination for playing Zuckerberg in The Social Network, and it was probably the performance that helped get him this role!

We get to see some behind-the-scenes footage here of Eisenberg’s Luthor in action. From the Lex Luthor party scene with Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, to the birth of Doomsday, to the end where he gets his head shaved. They actually shaved Eisenberg’s head, so they only had one shot at that scene.

This segment also talks about Doomsday.

Save the Bats

In October 2014 during National Save The Bats Week, a video promoting the cause featuring director Zack Snyder and the cast of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released. This video expands on that one a bit, and explains what the cause is and why it’s so important to save the bats.

Wrap Up

Most of you probably already bought the Digital HD version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in order to watch it at home a few weeks before the release of the Blu-ray. I would still recommend you pick up a physical copy as well. You’ll get better video and audio quality, and over two hours of very entertaining specials features filled with lots of never-before-seen footage.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be released on Tuesday, July 19th. Warner Bros. provided me with an early copy for this review.