Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Animation / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Warner Premiere || PG13 - 67 minutes - $29.99 || September 29, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-20


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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
Writer(s): Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness (graphic novel); Stan Berkowitz (written by)
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Clancy Brown


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 8 Featurettes
  • 6 Bonus Cartoons


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

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.::THE FILM::.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is the latest in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line and as a fan of Batman, I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the others. Based upon the graphic novel by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, Superman/Batman marks the return of voice talents of Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly and Clancy Brown. This is a good, fast-paced story but it is also the shortest of the DC Universe movies clocking in at under 60-minutes (minus credits), so this is almost like two special episodes of “Batman” or “Superman: The Animated Series” than a real feature film.

Plot (from back cover): A desperate solution for a troubled country: Lex Luthor (Brown) for President with the Justice League in the service of the government. Only Batman (Conroy) and Superman (Daly) stand against the new regime – and their disloyalty proves to be exactly what Luthor intended. Using their outcast status to instigate a scandal against Superman — the “murder” of John Corbett aka Metallo —, Luthor finally tastes victory in his vendetta against the Man of Steel. All the while, humanity is at stake as a large chunk of the destroyed Krypton is hurdling towards earth and there is only one duo that can save the planet...

Aside from the extremely short running time (other DC animated movies ranged from 70-80 minutes), Superman/Batman was a decent action-adventure flick. It’s not particularly deep on plot with an evil scheme by Luthor, after his solution to stop the Kryptonite asteroid fails, is lather lame but the team work between the Man of Steel and Caped Crusader was cool to watch as they face off against various foes (good and bad) after Luthor offers up a $1 billion bounty for whoever captures Superman. The movie fun, in a geeky way, seeing the duo taking on the likes of Metallo (John C. McGinley), Captain Marvel, Captain Atom (Xander Berkeley), Hawkman and many guest cameos like Bane and Solomon Grundy.

Also cool for fans of their respective animated series, the return of the definitive voice talents for Batman and Superman was essential and although others have done an admirable job, getting the two back for this short movie is something special. So although once again Lex Luthor gets a big fat FAIL for some master plan, it is the title characters that make this a worthwhile venture, especially for fans. The only downside: no Dana Delany for Lois Lane, in fact we don’t even see Lois until the last frame, and even then she doesn’t speak.

So despite an unusually short running time and a stupid, though aptly insane plotline fitting for Lex Luthor, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, while not rising to the potential it had, is still a good film that fans will enjoy. That said, the movie could’ve used a little more depth with the plot (the appearance of a Japanese genius boy was kind of abrupt).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in 480i/p standard definition.

A Test of Minds: Superman and Batman (19:01) – This featurette is a cool examination of each character, their background and what makes them tick. It includes interviews with people at DC Comics along with experts of psychology and other authors.

Dinner with DCU and Special Guest Kevin Conroy (55:59) – Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), Andrea Romano (Voice/Casting Director), Gregory Noveck (SVP Creative Affairs, DC Comics) and Bruce Timm (Producer) do a “Dinner for Five”-like featurette where they sit around a table at some fancy restaurant talking about the origins of “Batman: The Animated Series” and other projects.

A First Look at Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (11:12) – Here we get a preview of the newest DCU release (set for 2010) and the story behind it along with a glance at the voice talent involved (Billy Baldwin as Batman, Mark Harmon as Superman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor as well as: Gina Torres, James Woods).

We also get the “First Looks” that have been available on previous DVDs/BDs: Blackest Night: Inside the DC Comics Event (8:52), Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (10:26), Batman Gotham Knight: An Anime Evolution (10:09), From Graphic Novel to Original Animated Movie – Justice League: The New Frontier (10:45) and Green Lantern: First Flight Sneak Peek (10:12).

Next are Bruce Timm’s Top Picks, six episodes from his personal selection of animation featuring a Superman/Batman team-up, including a four-episode arc from “Justice League Unlimited” and two favorites from “Superman: The Animated Series”.

Last is a downloadable Digital Copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Superman/Batman is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition. I expect nothing less than perfection when it comes to an animated and movie and this gets the job done. I can’t give it 5 stars as I give far more credence for a live action movie than an animated one (Wall-E is the exception as that is excellent in either format). Anyway, the picture here is sharp and detailed throughout with a good balance of colors between Supes Red and Blue to Bats grays and blacks.

On the disappointing, but not surprising side, is the fact this only comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. While the other DC Universe Original Movies (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) had a superior TrueHD track, this does not. Everything, from the score to the dialogue, just sounded too soft throughout. Even during the action sequences, it just did not have any impact whatsoever, which is a damn shame.



.::OVERALL::.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, despite its shockingly short running time, is actually a pretty good film with a good balance between action and comedy between the unusual duo and best friends. The video looks excellent but the audio falls far short with only a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Fortunately, the features are pretty good (especially the Dinner for Four segment) so fans will no doubt find them as fascinating as I did.