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A view on Blu-ray by Brian Montgomery


Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [Blu-ray]


(Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, 2010)






Review by Brian Montgomery



Theatrical: Warner Home Video

Blu-ray: Warner Home Video



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:15:21.391 

Disc Size: 20,623,785,419 bytes

Feature Size: 9,992,300,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.09 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 23rd, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video



Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none



• DC Showcase: The Spectre (11:51)

• DCU: The New World (33:14)

• A First Look at Batman Under the Red Hood (13:46)

• A First Look at Green Lantern: First Flight (10:12)

• A First Look at Superman/Batman Public Enemies (7:49)

• A First Look at Wonder Woman: Amazon Princess (10:26)

• Bruce Timm Presents Four Episodes of The Justice League Dealing with Alternate Earths

• Wonder Woman Pilot (1:13:52)

• Aquaman Pilot (41:23)



The Film:

There’s something about this new animated feature from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line that feels like slipping on a familiar pair comfortable shoes. There’s a sense of warmth that comes from it. To see the Justice League back in action, in a great world-hopping thriller, is exhilarating. We get the big ones, too. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and so on. In addition, we get to see their twisted counterparts from an alternate earth, criminal overlords who use fear to dominate the populace. As you can probably already guess, the Justice League and their evil counterparts collide and, well, as exciting as this movie manages to make that tired concept seem, it gets much better from there.

Excerpt of review from James Harvey located HERE

Image:    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

As I mentioned in my review of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, each of these direct to video DC animated features have a different animation style. I found the one used here to be to be more enjoyable than the blocky features of the previous release, and it seems to closely resemble the style used in the Justice League television series. I liked it for the most part, but I'll let you be the judge. Unfortunately, despite the relatively strong visuals, I noted a few instance of 'jaggies' (fringed edges). While I did find these to be somewhat distracting, those not looking for them will probably not be bothered. Being digital-to-digital there really isn't much to complain about in regards to the transfer. Overall though, this is a very strong image and one that I can certainly recommend.
















Audio & Music:

The sound here is very clear with the dialogue, sound effects, and music sounding very crisp. While the 5.1 mix is not high definition, it nevertheless goes well beyond being merely adequate. There's no indication of unwanted manipulation or background noise (hisses, pops, etc.). We're given a number of options for subtitles, that are all clear and don't obstruct the picture. My only gripe in the sound department (aside from wanting a HD track), is the change of voice talent. Within the Timmverse (named after the world of DC characters created by producer Bruce Timm starting with "Batman the Animated Series"), there are a number of voice actors that have become inextricably tied to their characters (i.e. Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, etc.). None of these actors reprise their roles here and the film definitely suffers for it. Of the voice actor here, the only real standout is James Woods who delivers Owlman's (not to be confused with either of the characters that bore this name in Alan Moore's "Watchmen") lines with the cool detachment and complete lack of emotion that underlies the character's psychopathy.




Included on this disc are a number of very good extras, and a few that left me a little puzzled. Let's start with the former. Perhaps the most valuable extra is a short film starring The Spectre, one of DC's oldest and most deadly characters. Here this ghost of vengeance takes on the three people responsible for the death of Hollywood producer, and of course, there's a twist ending. The short is every bit as dark as the main feature (perhaps even more so) and is definitely not suitable for younger audiences. Next, there's a feature on what "Crisis" means to the DCU, going back to Marv Wolfman's classic "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and ending with the contemporary events. It's really a fascinating feature as we get to see exactly how a comic book company goes about planning one of their major "event" storylines. Next, there's a lengthy first look at the nexgt entry into this series: "Batman: Under the Red Hood". For those of you who want to go into the film with its central mystery intact, then you'll want to avoid this spoiler-ridden feature. Also included are four Justice League cartoons dealing with alternate Earths. While they're great one and all, for those of us who already own the complete series, they're of negligible value here. Also included are the first look featurettes for a trio of older releases as well as the television pilots for the short lived 2006 "Aquaman" and the 70s camp classic "Wonder Woman". Why they're here, I have no idea.



Bottom line:

Despite the misgivings that I mentioned earlier, this is still another fun film that comes in an impressive package. Although this series of DCU films is no replacement for the brilliant "Justice League Unlimited" that was prematurely canceled back in 2006, its consistently delivered some entertaining adventures. For any fans of DC or superhero films in general, this is an easy recommendation.

Brian Montgomery
March 8th, 2010









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