‘Justice League’ Blu-ray review: As close to the “Snyder cut” as we may get

JL BluRay - 2D Art

Justice League is already available on Digital HD, but on Tuesday, March 13th the Blu-ray will be available. The big selling point is that it includes two deleted Superman scenes. The Blu-ray features superior image and audio quality over the Digital HD version, as well as over an hour 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 Justice League is fantastic. Director Zack Snyder decided to shoot the movie using a larger aspect ratio, so it will fill up your 16:9 TV. There aren’t any black bars here. I watched the Digital HD version last month and one of the benefits of buying the Blu-ray is for the better picture quality. Digital is convenient, but nothing beats the quality of a physical disc.

Justice League sounds great as well. I have a 5.1 surround sound system, but the Blu-ray supports Dolby Atmos if you have the right equipment to take advantage of it.

Special Features

The Return of Superman

The big selling point of the Blu-ray is that it includes two deleted Superman scenes. These were directed by Zack Snyder and feature Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel score, which immediately make them feel special.

The first scene shows Clark Kent walking through the Kryptonian ship looking for his Superman costume. He passes by a black one before we see him stare at another one off camera. The next shot is him walking out of the ship, fully suited up in his classic red and blue costume.

The second deleted Superman scene is one that was teased in the Comic-Con trailer. We see Alfred working on Bruce Wayne’s Aston Martin at the lakehouse and Superman shows up. “I’m assuming you’re Alfred,” Superman says. “Master Kent. He said you’d come. Now let’s hope you’re not too late,” Alfred replies.

Road to Justice

In this segment we hear from Geoff Johns and other prominent figures from DC Comics and learn all about the history of the Justice League in the comic books and the various animated series, like the one from Bruce Timm.

At the end we hear from the people responsible for the Justice League movie, like producers Deborah Snyder and Charles Roven, and the cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller. But best of all, there’s behind-the-scenes footage of Zack Snyder and brief looks at scenes that didn’t make the theatrical cut.

Heart of Justice

This segment focuses on the Trinity: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. We hear from Geoff Johns, Deborah Snyder, Charles Roven, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, and J.K. Simmons, among others. They talk about what these characters mean to them, how they’ve changed from when we first saw them in Batman v Superman, and how they’ve evolved in Justice League.

But once again the best part is seeing behind-the-scenes footage sprinkled in on top of the dialogue of Zack Snyder hard at work on some scenes that didn’t make the final cut. There’s even footage of Snyder with Cavill in his Superman costume from the final battle with Steppenwolf.

Technology of the Justice League

As a big fan of technology, this was one of my favorite segments. It starts off with a focus on Batman and all of his vehicles and gadgets. We hear from production designer Patrick Tatopoulos about how he designed The Flying Fox aircraft carrier.

We then learn about the Nightcrawler, the spider-like vehicle that Batman uses in the tunnel scene. Only the cockpit was real, the rest of the vehicle was created with CGI.

The segment then shifts its focus to Barry Allen and his Flash suit and Cyborg’s technology as well. And once again, there’s some behind-the-scenes footage of Zack Snyder on set as well.

Justice League: The New Heroes

This is a fun segment hosted by Cyborg actor Ray Fisher that focuses on the history of Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg from the comics.

There’s also lots of behind-the-scenes footage of the superhero actors on set and interviews with Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher talking about making the movie.

Steppenwolf the Conqueror

This segment focuses on Justice League villain Steppenwolf, who is played by Ciarán Hinds. We hear from Geoff Johns and others from DC about the history of Steppenwolf from the comics. We even hear from Hinds himself about Steppenwolf and the Mother Boxes.

Scene Studies

In this section we get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest scenes in the movie: the Amazon’s on Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s bomb scene, the Justice League vs. Superman, and the underground tunnel fight.

This is my favorite kind of bonus content to watch and I just wish each segment was longer. They run from 3-5 minutes each, for a total of around 15 minutes. We get to see storyboards in relation to the actual scenes from the movie, as well as concept footage. Zack Snyder is heavily featured too, directing the actors in each scene.

Suit Up: The Look of the League

In this segment costume designer Michael Wilkinson talks about the costumes he created for the movie. There’s tons of behind-the-scenes footage here, and we even get to see Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume wearing Ben Affleck’s Batman cowl.

We see meetings with the concept artists, people actually sewing and creating the costumes. There’s even footage of the actors suiting up and being put into their costumes.

Wrap Up

I know there are a lot of fans who are boycotting the Justice League Blu-ray, holding out hope that Warner Bros. will release a “Snyder cut”. Given the amount of money it would take to finish and release an alternate cut, I think it’s very unlikely to happen.

If you want to see behind-the-scenes footage of Zack Snyder working on scenes that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut, I think the Justice League Blu-ray is your best bet. That extra footage combined with two deleted Zack Snyder Superman scenes may be as close as we ever get to a “Snyder cut”.

Justice League is available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be released on Tuesday, March 13th. Warner Bros. provided me with an early copy for this review.

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