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
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
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
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.
BUY HERE AT AMAZON!