Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) | 4K Blu-ray Review


They released the Snyder Cut. Now let’s see if it’s any good on 4K UltraHD Blu-ray.

Originally released in theaters in 2017 with the theatrical cut of the film overseen by stand-in director Joss Whedon, there was a strong push by fan’s to see a cut of the film by it’s original director, Zack Snyder. Warner Bros obliged the fanbase and what came out is longer, different, and many argue, a big step up from the theatrical cut in terms of the content of the movie, but is it really worth picking up on physical media. Let’s break it down and find out.


If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Zack Snyder’s Justice League 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray cover

Tech Specs:

Format(s):UltraHD/4K Blu-ray (2x BD-100)
Blu-ray (2x BD-50)
Released By:Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date:September 7th, 2021
Video Format / Codec:4K: H.265 (HEVC)
BR: H.264/MPEG-4 (AVC)
Resolution:4K: 
Native 4K, 2160/24p 
(3280 x 2160 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)

BR: 
Full HD, 1080/24p 
(1920 x 1080 at 23.976 frames/sec, progressive)
Digital Intermediate (DI):4K (from 35mm negatives, select scenes sourced from 8K digital capture in Redcode RAW)
High-Dynamic Range (HDR):HDR10
Aspect Ratio:1.33:1
Audio Format(s):English (4K): Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48 kHz, 24-bit)

English (BR): Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48 kHz, 24-bit)

Additional tracks also release in French, German, Italian, Spanish (Castillian and Latin American), Canadian French, Czech, Polish and Japanese
Subtitles:English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Japanese, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish
Packaging:Dual hub, multi-disc snap case (2 discs per side)


*Slipcover may only be available on initial  pressing
Region Coding:4K: Region-free
BR: Region A

Video Review:

Zack Snyder clearly had a different vision for this film than Whedon’s theatrical cut of the film. He also clearly was given some budget to go back and make his version, both from how the story was framed but in the visual presentation of the film. Additionally given the length of this film, it was nice to see them spend a few extra dollars to make sure it was given a high quality transfer. But as a result, this is presented over two discs, for both the 4K and the standard Blu-ray. So yes you will have to get up to change discs a little over 2 hours into the movie, but given the butt-numbing 4 hour(!) run time, this is a welcome intermission.

Snyder has been well known to enjoy the IMAX aspect ratio of 1.33:1 as shown by his previous re-release of Batman vs Superman which employed shifting aspect ratios for certain scenes. Here he took it up another notch by framing the entire movie in the nearing square aspect ratio. While from a visual standpoint this definitely changes the presentation of the scenes (including footage carried over from the physical release which was framed in the more common 1.78:1 ratio of modern TV’s. What this does mean is that the entirety of the movie will present with black bars to the left and right of the image.

But the image that takes up the middle of your screen is incredibly high quality. There is a ton of detail revealed throughout the movie, from costume details, to scenery. The visual effects are rendered beautifully with no obvious lack of quality compared to the live action elements. The vast majority of this film was captured on 35mm film, and as a result does have a layer of film grain, but it is neither heavy, nor distracting and likely will be tolerable even for the most ardent of grain haters out there. The grain that is visible is well formed and natural looking.

Given Snyder’s preference for muted and moody color palettes, this is not going to be a vibrant movie in terms of colors by any means, and certainly stands in contrast to the color boosted version released to theaters. That said, the colors that are present are handled very well, standing out on the screen when necessary and blending properly with the darker, grittier tone as appropriate. Black levels are very well controlled as well when additional gray tones are visible on the 4K disc(s) that are not visible on the standard Blu-ray(s). There is a little bit of black crush, but this is a nit-pick and largely a factor of the dark/moody grading of the film in general.  Oh, and for the parts that do get bright (looking at you, Barry Allen) are squint-inducing without being completely blown out.

It should be noted that the standard Blu-ray is also excellent, but given the limitation of the technology (resulting in some mild banding, and less inky blacks), the 4K definitely stands above it in overall visual quality.

Video Score (4K): 4.8 / 5

Video Score (BR): 4.6 / 5

Audio Review:

Both the 4K and the standard Blu-ray feature an all new Dolby Atmos mix, which is one to hear and share. It is bold, and bombastic, while maintaining clarity of dialog, immersiveness, and subtlety when appropriate. The mix makes good use of discrete effects, overheads and environment developing to create a truly immersive experience. The musical score (new for this cut of the movie) is clear, lively and engaging.

For LFE-lovers, this mix does deliver with some deep, seat-shaking bass that you will hear and feel. Your subs will definitely get a workout.

Overall the audio presentation is incredibly energetic without being overwhelming or distracting. It sounds just like what an action comic book movie should sound like.

Audio Score (4K/BR): 4.8 / 5

Special Features and Packaging:

After two great reviews of the video and audio, this is where this release comes up short. The packaging is very standard artwork on the slipcover and case, and the 4 discs (2 for each 4K and 1080p versions) inside and unfortunately double stacked on each side of the two hub case. There is no digital code (likely to give more release to sign up for HBO Max).

The special feature (yes one) that is on the discs is a 25 minute discussion with Snyder and members of the cast talking about the director’s cut as well as the other movies in the Snyder trilogy (Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman). It is interesting, but not revolutionary. And that’s it. There’s no commentary by Snyder, no additional featurettes (not even any relevant ones ported from the 2017 release) or anything else related to this release. Given the effort Snyder put in during the original filming (before ultimately having to step away due to a family tragedy) and during the rework of the director’s cut, it just felt lacking.

It also should be noted that the black and white cut of the film (Justice League: Justice is Gray) is also an HBO Max exclusive and unfortunately is unlikely to see a physical media release.

Features Score: 1.8 / 5

Buy/Upgrade-worthiness:

If you like the movie and want a top notch 4K disc with great visuals and audio to match, then you need this in your collection. There’s not much more to it. It is superior to the 2017 edition (but that’s not really even a comparison as this is really a different film). And if you have the ability, the 4K edition is the way to watch it over the Blu-ray.

If you never plan to move to 4K the standard Blu-ray is also very good and you’ll be very happy. But if you think you might upgrade your equipment in the future, buy the 4K/Blu-ray release to make sure you have this on your shelf when you do pull the trigger.


Buy/Upgrade Recommendation: YES!

If after checking out the review, you decide to pick it up, you can find it here*: Amazon

Summary and Overall Scores:

This is the way to see this film. The 2017 version was not a horrible movie, but it also wasn’t that good. Most importantly it was not the film that was set out to be made. It was meant to be a dark, gritty DC movie and ended up being some weird Marvel-ized, Whedon’d (with a bunch of studio involvement I’m sure), hybrid that ended up not being a good DC movie and not being a good “Marvel” movie either.

So I’m glad Snyder got his cut (as excessive as it may be), and I’m very happy at the quality of the audio and video quality of this release. It truly is demo-worthy in many aspects, and should be on any collector’s shelf.

Experience Score**: 4.7 / 5 

** Experience score does not take into account the quality of the film itself, just the technical presentation, packaging and included features.

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