Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice was not the grand slam that either DC Comics or their fans were hoping from the second chapter in DC’s cinematic universe. But for those who did enjoy the movie, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD) is, for the most part, a good way to experience it again, as it not only includes tons of extras, but also has both the original and an interesting longer cut of the movie.
For those who missed it in theaters, Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice picks up where Man Of Steel ended: with Superman and General Zod brutally fighting it out in Metropolis, a battle that left considerable death and destruction in its wake. It also left a lot of people wondering if Superman is a good guy or a potential threat, including Batman. Which, obviously, not only leads to the titular brawl, but it also brings out Wonder Woman, and sets the stage for a whole series of upcoming DC Comics movies, including her 2017’s Wonder Woman and Justice League films, 2018’s Flash and Aquaman movies, 2019’s Shazam and Justice League sequel, and 2020’s Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps films. Whew.
Regardless of how much you did or did not enjoy the movie, though, it’s clear (pun intended) that the Blu-rays of the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition are the best way to watch it. Not only is the picture quality first rate, but the sound quality is as well, especially if you have a good surround sound system. Even better, it seems the latter has been reconfigured for home viewing, as it doesn’t have wild spikes in volume like so many movie Blu-rays that use the original theatrical surround sound track.
As for how the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition differs from the theatrical cut, it adds thirty minutes to the story, most of which is spent expanding existing scenes. But while some of these additions will only be obvious to those who’ve memorized the theatrical cut, quite a few of them are illuminating. Along with parts that better explain why Superman doesn’t like Batman, there are others that do the same for Lex Luthor’s larger plan.
Though the best thing that the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition adds is a rather funny bit with John Stewart talking about Superman that recalls the kerfuffle that ensued after the scene in Superman Return when Perry White said, “Truth, justice, and…all that stuff” instead of “Truth, justice, and the American way,” upsetting people who mistook this joke as a slight on the U.S.A.
Unfortunately, the additions in the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition don’t fix any of the problems that plagued the theatrical cut. Lex Luthor is silly in how unhinged and Heath Ledger/Joker-like he acts, some of the dream sequences feel just as out of place now as they did before (well, unless you know they’re dreams), some of the religious symbolism is still heavy-handed, and [SPOILER ALERT…sort of] Bats and Supes becoming BFFs at the movie’s conclusion still happens way too quickly.
Most egregiously, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition doesn’t correct a glaring error in which some poor sound design renders [SPOILER ALERT] The Flash’s dialog unintelligible. Though at least with the Blu-ray or DVD, you can turn on the subtitles to see what he’s saying.
All of which is ultimately why the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition is basically like almost every other director’s cut, save for Blade Runner. Though it is slightly different, it’s not radically so, nor is any better — or any worse, for that matter — than the original.
Along with the two versions of the movie, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition Blu-rays and DVD have a nice selection of informative making-of featurettes. Though what’s interesting is that unlike so many superhero movie Blu-rays and DVDs, these go far deeper into the film’s comic book roots than the featurettes on such Marvel Comics movie Blu-rays as Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Deadpool, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
To start, “Uniting The World’s Finest” has the cast and crew explaining the significance of bringing these comic book characters together, and what it means for the DC Comics cinematic universe, with looks at both the upcoming Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman movies, as well as discussions of the other comic characters who cameo in Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice.
Similarly, “God And Men: A Meeting Of Giants” explores the comic history of Batman and Superman competing and collaborating, and how their co-op comics informed Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice in more than just the script.
This is followed on the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition by “The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder,” a deep and rather interesting dive on Wonder Woman that covers her history, including looks at both her fictional and real-world origins. There are also short but similar featurettes on Superman (“Superman: Complexity & Truth”), Batman (“Austerity & Rage”), and Lex Luthor (“The Empire Of Luthor”), as well as looks at the movie’s new take on The Caped Crusader’s man cave (“Batcave: Legacy Of The Lair”) and his sweet, sweet ride (“Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile”). All of which are illuminating, especially if you’re not as familiar with their comic book roots.
Next, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition Blu-rays and DVD have a short but fun bit called “The Might And The Power Of A Punch,” in which the fight between Batman and Superman is analyzed scientifically. And yes, they did the math. Though it does make me wish they made it longer to include when Wonder Woman joined in the fracas.
Finally, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition has “Save The Bats,” a short video about a disease that is threatening to wipe out a kind of bat, and how members of the movie’s production team and a bunch of kids spent the day decorating bat houses that were made out of the movie’s sets. You can learn more by visiting savebats.org and using the hashtag #SaveTheBats.
The thing is, while the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition Blu-rays and DVD have plenty of extras, it’s missing some key ones. For starters, there’s oddly nothing that goes into the making of the movie as a whole. There’s also no explanation for why there’s two versions of the film and why certain scenes were removed for the theatrical cut, nor is there a commentary track for either version. This collection also omits the film’s original trailers (though it does have ones for Suicide Squad and the upcoming Batman: The Killing Joke animated movie), and has nothing about the upcoming Injustice 2 fighting game that has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other DC Comics characters going mano a mano. Or mano a womano, as the case may be.
While these omissions are rather glaring, especially the lack of a comprehensive making-of featurette and the trailers, the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition Blu-rays and DVD are still a good way to experience this movie. Er, movies.