Superman: Red Son appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. As expected, this became a satisfying image.
Sharpness excelled. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so don’t expect any signs of softness.
Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Son went with a fairly bright palette that could lean teal, but it also emphasized primary colors. The tones looked solid within those parameters, and the disc’s HDR added some oomph to the hues.
Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. The HDR brought extra brightness and vivacity to the whites and contrast. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Son opened up the comic book material in an appropriate manner. The forward channels brought out the majority of the material, but the entire package added a lot to the movie. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.
These instances mainly occurred during bigger action scenes, but they spread out in quieter scenes as well and even featured some directional dialogue. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues.
Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical, as both sported the same DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.
Visuals showed a mild upgrade with the 4K, as it seemed a hair tighter and more vivid. However, the Blu-ray already looked so good that improvements felt minor.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD disc itself, but on the included Blu-ray copy, we get some materials. There we find DC Showcase: Phantom Stranger, a 15-minute, seven-second animated short that features the title character.
Set in the early 1970s, the mysterious Stranger (Peter Serafinowicz) helps save an innocent woman from a cult. It provides moderate entertainment, though I’m always happy to hear from the talented Serafinowicz.
Via Cold Red War, we find a 16-minute, 57-second featurette that offers notes from director Sam Liu, DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin, artist Dave Johnson, Professor of History Dr. Miriam Neirick, and Professor of American History Dr. Michaela Crawford Reaves.
“Cold” looks at the history that influences Son as well as aspects of the story/characters, and related elements. It becomes a decent overview.
A Motion Comics version of Red Son fills six minutes, three seconds. As implied by the title, this takes the original graphic novel and makes it semi-animated based on the original art.
It’s fun but too short, as it offers only the introduction to the source book. This makes it essentially a tease, though a good one, as it tempts me to get the graphic novel.
A look at a May 2020 release, we find a Sneak Peek for Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. In this 10-minute, 23-second reel, we hear from Carlin, screenwriters Mairghread Scott and Ernie Altbacker, co-directors Christina Sotta and Matt Peters, executive producer James Tucker, voice director Wes Gleason, co-producer Jim Krieg, and actors Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Taissa Farmiga, Matt Ryan, Rainn Wilson and Tony Todd.
As usual, this “Peek” brings a summary of story and characters for War as well as cast/crew. It’s promo material and that’s about it.
For the next “Peek”, we cover The Death of Superman. In this seven-minute, five-second promo, we hear from executive producer James Tucker, co-director Jake Castorena and voice director Wes Gleason.
Like the prior program, this one gives us a general summary of the project. It acts to sell the movie, so don’t expect insights.
The final “Peek” previews Batman: Gotham By Gaslight. It goes for eight minutes, 29 seconds and features DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin, writer James Krieg, and executive producer Bruce Timm.
They tell us about the source comic and aspects of the film’s story and character areas. It’s a promo piece but it’s an effective one.
Under From the DC Comics Vault, we get two episodes of the Justice League animated series: “Better World Part 1” (21:42) and “Better World Part 2” (23:20).
“World” presents another universe in which the fascistic “Justice Lords” run the Earth via intimidation – and they try to get the Justice League to do the same. It’s clever and entertaining;
Trailers provides promos for Batman: Hush and The Death and Return of Superman.
Despite a fun premise, Superman: Red Son doesn’t live up to its potential. The movie seems rushed and superficial, so it fails to explore its themes in a satisfying manner. The 4K UHD boasts excellent visuals as well as very good audio and a reasonable roster of bonus materials. This becomes a nice release for a somewhat disappointing film.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of RED SON