Reign of the Supermen Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

The world must cope with the loss of Superman – and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title – in the all-new, action-packed Reign of the Supermen, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

85

Details:

Studio and Year: Warner – 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 87 minutes
Genre: Aaction/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC @
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion
Directed by: Sam Liu
Music by: Frederick Wiedmann
Written by: Jim Krieg, Tim Sheridan
Region Code: A

Release Date: January 29, 2019

“Who Will Rise to Take the Place of Superman?”

Synopsis:

As the world mourns the death of the Man of Steel, new heroes emerge, each claiming to be the true Superman reborn. But when a deadly threat uses Superman’s absence to target Earth, their powers are put to the ultimate test.” – Warner Brothers Home Entertainment

My Take:

Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.

I have now reviewed several of the DCU animated titles and I must say that I find them rather enjoyable. As a fan of the man of steel I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t in fact read the comic series that depicts the events featured in this film. From what I gather this film makes some questionable changes to the story arc but, preserve the general narrative flow/outcome. I found the script to be well written, adding enough edginess to make it feel both modern and relevant.

In addition to the emergence of the four “Supermen”, the story focuses on Lois’ challenges with respect to the loss of Clark/Superman and the mysteries surrounding exactly WHO these four “men of steel” are and the behind the scenes string pulling by a foe with greater devious plans. All is finally revealed and we get to see what in fact has become of Superman’s missing body. When the smoke clears, heads begin rolling.

Reign of the Supermen is the second half of a two-part DC Universe Movies experience that began in August 2018 with The Death of Superman – the two films telling a more faithful animated version of “The Death of Superman,” DC’s landmark 1992-93 comic phenomenon. Superman Doomsday, the inaugural film in the DC Universe Movies series, told an abridged version of that comics story, but with a runtime of 75 minutes, the film was only able to focus on a core, singular storyline. The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen restore many of the moments and characters that fans hold dear to their hearts.

At 87 minutes the pacing is decent and the story flows well. There is plenty of action and a surprising level of violence/mayhem which elevates the film above what you would expect to see on regular TV. The voiceovers by the cast are spot on and the production elements are high. The end result is a fairly entertaining animated film that coincides with what we have previously seen from DC Universe releases.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of violence and action.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights: 
  • HDR: Bright Highlights: 
  • HDR: Expanded Color: 
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Reign of the Supermen comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

Reign of the Supermen in Ultra HD is rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. Digital animation tends to look quite good in high definition, however the style of these films from DC aren’t generally lent to bright, glossy, razor sharp images, so I kept expectations in check.

In terms of resolution, the differences are noticeable, as there is a finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the characters, although this isn’t what I would define as eye catching. To a lesser degree this also applied to backgrounds which emphasized depth of field. The image doesn’t employ the use of vibrant color, lending it to a reserved visual aesthetic that stayed within the visual boundaries of the subject matter, in a complimentary way. Whites are gradational, and the monochromatic grays, blues and black that predominate the film are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance. High dynamic range didn’t really come into play until the finale, where it made for an emboldened visual display.

I felt that Reign of the Supermen looked solid in 1080p, but the Ultra HD rendering, while not heads and shoulders above it, enhances its attributes, making for a pleasing and complimentary video presentation.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio presentation renders the source elements with excellent clarity and punchy dynamics. Dialog is delivered with appreciable tonal variation and refinement. The surrounds are active at times and used to good effect for front/rear channel pans and reproduction of music related ambience. The mix isn’t very aggressive but does create a moderately enjoyable listening experience that matches the tone of the film.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Reign of the Supermen comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video.

Animation can sometimes be difficult to thoroughly judge when evaluating its video quality. This video presentation looks quite good and features colors that are reserved in saturation and consisted of tones that were not especially bright but mated well with source material. Resolution is very good with refining clarity as the video had tack like sharpness with crisp edges and no obvious signs of edge enhancement. Contrast is stable which provides plenty of pop to the image during scene transitions that blend light and dark onscreen elements. Blacks don’t have an infinite sense of depth but they are solid black and stand out well when onscreen with mixed content. Dark scenes have excellent contrast with discernible gradational stages and delineated color within backgrounds.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Reign of the Supermen Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Reign of the Supermen Blu-ray
  • A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Justice League vs. The Fatal Five – An entertaining, insightful exciting look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection.
  • From the DC Vault: Superman: The Animated Series, “Heavy Metal”
  • From the DC Vault: Justice League Unlimited, “Panic in the Sky”
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Reign of the Supermen is the second half of a two-part DC Universe Movies experience that began in August 2018 with The Death of Superman – the two films telling a more faithful animated version of “The Death of Superman,” DC’s landmark 1992-93 comic phenomenon. Purists may have issues with the liberties taken with its story but, I found it to be fairly entertaining and consistent with what we have seen from other films from the DCAU. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment in this Ultra HD Combo Pack that features gratifying audio/video quality, and a fair supplemental package that is worth exploring if you’re a fan.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems