Justice League Doom Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Justice League Doom
Reviewed by
Edwin Millheim
on
Justice League Doom Blu-ray Review. Justice League: Doom is a great popcorn movie with hidden depth.
Rating:
3.75

Feature 7.0
Video 7.5
Audio 8.0
Special Features 7.5
Total 7.5

Distributor: Warner
Running Time:
Reviewer: Edwin Millheim
Classification
: PG

7.5


Justice League Doom
DC Universe

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download

Warner Home Video sent over their latest for us to check out, and here we go.

Another stellar addition to the DC animated original films. Not without its minor bumps in the blu ray addition, any comic fan will find this a welcome addition to their collection. Sitting and watching the film, even though I went in knowing a bit about what to expect, I more than once smiled, and more than once sat mesmerized at the events taking place.

The film clocks in at 77 minutes and one wonders what they could have delivered with a longer runtime, because you sit wanting more. Not because you feel short changed in the least, just that this is a good tale and presentation of the story and you just do not want it to end. The film goes from event to event, and at times if you do not pay attention you can lose what is going on. The story uses elements from other DC stories, in particular the one that comes to mind is the 2000 comic miniseries my Mark Waid called Tower of Babel. There are enough plot twists and changes that if you’re a fan of the comic and have read that story, you will have plenty of surprises here. If you have not read the story at all, I would suggest coming to the film clean and don’t read the story, it’s that much more enjoyable then with all the surprises and jaw dropping horrific moments perpetrated on some of the characters.

The animated film earns its PG-13 rating, with not only physical torture taking place by someone getting lit on fire, but also deep physiological attacks on the heroes. There is so much press that it is imposable to not know some of the plot to the film and it is a shame, I would rather not have known that the very plans to take out the heroes had been created by Batman himself. Long ago, Batman the ever brooding hero who thinks ahead, considered a contingency plan in case any of the Justice League members turned to the evil side, or became mind controlled….he came up with tactical plans that also used psychological tactics to incapacitate and capture any of the super humans.

Of course our main villain in the film, an apparent immortal Vandal Savage steals these plans with the help of another villain Mirror Master. Taking these blue prints from the Dark Knight, Vandal Savage tweaks the plans to become more deadly and instead of captures, designs them to kill the Justice League. The other villains that Savage recruits all make sense that they are there, all have long running grudges with their opposite numbers.

Story wise it is the standard comic book adventure, with subplots that may escape some viewers if they think too much about it rather than sit back relax and enjoy the show. We don’t really care that the laws of physics are broken when we think of a rocket reaching the sun from the earth, vs. a solar flare reaching earth from the sun and the time is all wrong in reality…. We are talking super heroes with extraordinary powers…all laws of physics are gone pal. Chillax and enjoy the movie because everyone here in the U.S. Impulse Gamer location did. One such subplot or character back story that surfaces….The back story relationship with the villain Star Sapphire and Green Lantern for one, while not knowing the story behind this if you had not read any of the past comics or seen any shows featuring these characters….it’s ok… it is revealed and played so very well…unless you’re as bright as a brick, you get that there was vast inter emotional relationship that did not end well for those two. Everyone brings some emotional depth to the characters and you feel they are real, that they have a past, that they have a future, that they have goals. You do not have to be a hard core fan and know what type of under wear a character wears to enjoy this film.

The voice acting is done so well for this film and it has a rock solid cast too. Tim Daly no if and or buts IS Superman, then THE GREAT Kevin Conroy IS Batman, Susan Eisenberg IS Wonder Woman, Michael Rosenbaum IS The Flash, Carly Lumbly IS Martian Manhunter and interestingly enough he also voiced his evil brother and nemesis Ma'alefa'ak, we also have the man who IS the Green Lantern/Hal Jordan the prolific and cool Nathan Fillion. Also we have Bumper Robinson who plays a believable character as Cyborg. Worth of note on the villains side Claudia Black ("Vala" from STARGATE: ATLANTIS) does exceptional work voicing Cheetah, bringing a predatory menace to the character.

All of the voice actors bring some depth to the role, they are not just stepping up and throwing words out there just because this is an animated show, they deliver a look at the human condition on so many levels with just their voices, and they are incredible. One scene I shant ruin for you is with Hal Jordon/Green Lantern… the event that takes place is relayed with such emotional punch; you can feel the loss that the character feels at the level of his very soul.

The films direction was in good hands, directed by longtime DC Universe pro Lauren Montgomery who also helmed the great Wonder Woman Animated film and Green Lantern: First Flight. They also Co-Directed the spectacular Batman: Year One.

Video quality on the Blu Ray is for the most part rather excellent. Once in a great while there is ever so slight banding and artifacts. Mostly when there is some blue and black in the back ground or highlighting a scene. These are nothing really and most viewers will not even notice unless they are looking for it. Even the supplement and bonus material looks excellent. Much better than past release bonus material and bonus episodes of other animated shows.

Audio Quality is top notch, whoever handled the sound effects and music mixing is aces. Every explosion with subtle debris or dust and sand at the end in the mix all sound spectacular and give the speakers a great work out and immerse the viewer in the action. Every punch has a nice impactful crunch that does this battle proud.
There is some rather well thought out extras. There is a teaser sample for digital comics, with pages from Tower of Babel.

Audio Commentary - Features Geoff Johns (writer and Chief Creative Officer for DC) and Mike Carlin (Creative Director of Animation for DC). The commentary section runs with both in sites and gee whiz fan boy praises. When they speak their mind about characters and motivations it’s nice to hear the deeper thoughts when the do surface.

Featurette: "A League of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story" (also on the DVD) - a well done tribute on the DC writer who adapted the story for this film and unfortunately died last year before its release.

Two random episodes of Justice League ("Wild Cards, Part 1 and 2") Good choices here, The Joker and also the Royal Flush Gang against the Justice League. Also the transfers for these episodes are crisp, much better than past releases with extra bonus episodes that had only been in 480I at best. These look great!

Sneak peak at the next DC animated film - "Superman vs. the Elite" More of comic page glimpses and comments about the concept and story line as well as what may be the audio from the upcoming Animated Film.

The Blu-ray comes with a DVD and a digital copy. “UltraViolet digital copy” and “Digital copy files are not currently available for your iTunes library.” This is a huge disappointment. Pick a digital content management and stick to it or at least make it compatible with iTunes, or at the very least your very own Warner Brothers digital copy manager.

“Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA” Dan DiDio and Eddie Berganza explain the Justice League to us. Things get ideological and political, sort of who watches the watcher?

“Cyborg: His Time Has Come” We get to hear from writers on Cyborg’s origin and how he fits into The Justice League.

I have noticed there are some writers and others who have watched this animated film that in conversations do not like it, and saying there are some weak story short comings or they are bothered by the execution of the tale. I find this not to be one of the stronger titles out there in the DC Animated Film line, but I find it to be engrossing and entertaining. One expects that being a super hero film it strives for the happy ending, and of course The Justice League triumph, but at what cost? The story explores a lot of sub text and character differences, and in the end the basic realization and choices made by those characters ring all too true as it does in real life.

Justice League: Doom is a great popcorn movie with hidden depth.

Have fun, play games, catch a movie.
Edwin Millheim
Impulse Gamer

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