Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010) - Digital Copy Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Animation / Science Fiction
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 75 minutes - $29.99 || February 23, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-02-11


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
Writer(s): Dwayne McDuffie (written by)
Cast: William Baldwin, Mark Harmon, Chris Noth, Gina Torres, James Woods


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 5 Featurettes
  • 4 Bonus Episodes
  • 2 Pilot Episodes
  • Short Film


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths isn’t the best of the DC Universe Animated line, but of course I’ve never been a huge fan of the Justice League stories, but for what it is, I was fairly impressed... with one big exception (more later).

Plot: In a parallel universe, the line-survivor of Earth’s Justice League – Lex Luthor (voiced by CHRIS NOTH) – travels through other world dimensions to join forces with Superman (MARK HARMON), Batman (WILLIAM BALDWIN), Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash and J’onn J’onzz to save his world and its people. But the villainous Crime Syndicate controlled by Ultraman, Owlman (JAMES WOODS) and Superwoman will stop at nothing to maintain their domination. It will take wits, might and a sacrifice to defeat these unforgiving enemies. -- From the BD back cover.

The story, written by longtime “Justice League” scribe Dwayne McDuffie, doesn’t have the most compelling plotline but the biggest draw, I would imagine, for fans of the League is to see these superheroes battle their evil counterparts one-on-one and in regards to the fight sequences, Crisis on Two Earths delivers.

I will say, normally the voice talents Andrea Romano puts together is normally top notch. Obviously when you don’t have the classic voices of Kevin Conroy as Batman or Tim Daly as Superman it is a process to put together something special, but this didn’t even reach many heights with me. First, Mark Harmon (“NCIS”) is acceptable, yet unremarkable, as The Man of Steel; Chris Noth (“Law & Order: CI”) actually did alright as the good Lex Luthor; James Woods does his best as Owlman, the primary antagonist as the ‘bad’ Batman; and the other supporting members from Gina Torres (Serenity) as Superwoman to Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman all seemed perfectly suitable in their parts.

Did you notice I left someone out? Ah yes, Batman. I don’t expect anyone to try and match the awesomeness or intensity that Kevin Conroy brought to the role time and again, over the course of what seems like 20 different series or animated movies. However, I do not know what went through their heads when they hired William Baldwin to voice the Caped Crusader. When Batman first speaks, it was almost laughable. There seemed to be none of that angry gruffness that would strike fear in the hearts and minds of the criminal element, I’ll tell you that much.

Outside of that *minor* quibble, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths features some fun action scenes and, as always, great character designs. I don’t consider it the best DCU Animated as released, but it is right up there. Since never was a big fan of the Justice League in general, I don’t know how well it will play amongst fans, but I found it to be enjoyable.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

DCU: The New World (33:14) – From “Identity Crisis” forward, DC Comics raised the stakes with talented writers, editors and artiss pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a modern/day super hero. This is an extensive look at the use of ‘Identity Crisis’ (and origins of the DCU) for the superheroes. The featurette has interviews with various members within DC Comics including Geoff Johns who worked on ‘Infinite Crisis’ amongst others.

DC Showcase: The Spectre (11:51) – I hope these DC Showcase animated shorts become the norm as they offer a way to get to see some of the lesser known DC comic book characters their due. This one about The Spectre features Gary Cole and Alyssa Milano.

A First Look at Batman: Under the Red Hood (13:46) is just a short featurette (or primer) on the next DC Universe Animated movie that’s next on their slate. They basically go into the basic plotline and introduce us to the voice talent (Bruce Greenwood is voicing Batman).

Then we have A First Look at Green Lantern: First Flight (10:12), Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (7:49) and Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (10:26) which have been available on previous DCU Animated releases.

And as with the other DCU Animated Blu-rays and DVDs, we also get a few bonus episodes picked by Bruce Timm. Since I already own the Justice League complete series, these are kind of pointless, but I guess others might enjoy them. FYI: Episodes include: ‘A Better World, Parts 1 & 2’ and ‘Twilight, Parts 1 & 2’.

They’ve also (oddly) included the pilot episodes for “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” (which never came to be). Although the Aquaman one can be seen online, it’s nice to finally see it on my TV screen. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Last is a code to download the digital copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Since the other DCU Animated movies also looked good in high-definition, I wasn’t surprised that Crisis on Two Earths (presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio) looked great. Colors are vivid, without bleeding over, yet at times while toned down during other scenes. Everything looks crisp and outside of banding issues during the opening, I thought this was another great transfer.

Unfortunately, just like the other DCU Animated releases, this does not have lossless audio. Once again there is only the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 which is fine, but sounded flat throughout. Now, the dialogue is clear and the subwoofer managed to make some rumblings, but overall it never has the dynamic range needed to make a great track.



.::OVERALL::.

Although Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths isn’t my favorite of the DCU Animated movies that have come out to date, it’s still one hell of a sci-fi action movie. The voice talents are mostly acceptable – save for Baldwin’s wimpy Batman gruff – and the animation style, like in previous movies, is top notch. The Blu-ray has some OK features starting with the 30-minute featurette on the “Crisis” comic book storyline, but I wish they had a good featurette focusing exclusively on the movie itself.