DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Man of Steel, Blu-ray3D+Blu-ray2D+DVD+UV Digital Copy (2013)

An entertaining superhero action movie in 3D.

Published on December 2, 2013

Man of Steel, Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD+UV Digital Copy (2013)

 Cast: Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Studio: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment  [11/12/13]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p 3D
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; French, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Extras: (2D Main Feature Blu-ray): five featurettes (“StrongCharacters, Legendary Roles”, “All Out Action”, “75th Anniversary Short”, “Krypton Decoded”, and “New Zealand: Home to Middle Earth”); “Pacific Rim” theatrical trailer; standard DVD copy; UltraViolet digital copy(2D Special Features Blu-ray): “Journey of Discovery: Creating the Man of Steel” video commentary; “Planet Krypton” featurette 
Length: 143 minutes
Movie Rating: ****½     3D Video Rating: ****
2D Video Rating: *****   Audio: *****   D-BOX: ***** 

Man of Steel is a reboot of the Superman movie franchise.  It is an origin story that tells where Superman came from and how he grew up on Earth.  The movie opens on the planet Krypton and finds that world on the brink of destruction.  Krypton’s foremost scientist, Jor-El, (Russell Crowe) sends his infant son, Kal-El, to Earth via an escape pod.  Meanwhile, Krypton’s military leader, General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his officers are thwarted in their coup attempt and are banished to the phantom zone.  Krypton explodes almost immediately thereafter.  Now on Earth, Kal-El grows up as small town farm boy, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), son to his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane).  Flashing forward, as an adult Clark tries to fit in on this planet, General Zod and his crew arrive on Earth having escaped their confinement in the phantom zone.  Zod threatens to annihilate Earth unless Kal-El is surrendered to him. Zod has ulterior motives beyond Kal-El’s capture, and it will be up to Kal-El to discover his destiny as Superman in order to save his adopted planet.  Man of Steel has a more serious tone than the previous Superman movies that starred Christopher Reeve or Brandon Routh.  As Christopher Nolan, director of the recent Batman Dark Knight trilogy, is a producer of Man of Steel, it is no surprise to me that this film has a darker feel to it.  While I personally like a little humor in superhero movies, I nonetheless enjoyed this picture a great deal.  There is plenty of action and Cavill makes for a fine Superman (I look forward to the next film that is supposed to star Cavill’s Superman along side of Ben Affleck’s Batman).  Highly recommended!

The overall high-definition video quality of the 2D Blu-ray presentation is excellent.  Images are razor sharp with superb detail.  Black levels are velvety-dark throughout the movie.  Colors are stylized depending on where the scene is taking place (Krypton favors orangey-brown tones while Metropolis is more steely-blue), but all are striking and vivid with appropriately-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is well done with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The 3D video is of the post-conversion variety.  Colors and black levels are on the same level as the excellent 2D version.  Separation, dimensionality and depth of the 3D image are superb.  There are no pop-out effects that I recall seeing, as the 3D focuses on inward-looking effects.

The overall audio quality is also excellent with the English DTS HD-MA 7.1 track.  The soundtrack is dynamic, powerful and makes full use of all discrete channels.  Dialogue is natural sounding, intelligible and properly positioned among the forward soundstage.  The surround channels are actively employed for the sound effects and Hans Zimmer music score, plus include multiple split rear effects and directional pans.  The low frequency effects channel is deep and has plenty of rumble.

Man of Steel is compatible with the D-BOX Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  This is a wonderful D-BOX movie.  Motion and vibration effects are consistently present throughout the film, and there is a wide variety of effects to be experienced.  My particular favorite D-BOX moments are: (1) the subtle road vibration of the Kents’ truck just prior to the arrival of the tornado; (2) the up, down and side-to-side motion as Superman takes off on his initial flight; and (3) all of the powerful impacts that are felt from the explosions and battle between Superman and General Zod in the film’s climax.  Man of Steel is a reference-quality D-BOX movie.

—Calvin Harding Jr.




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