on July 26, 2004
There are times when mainstream animated series outdo themselves. The Simpson's softball episode, the X-Men's Phoenix saga, and the Mr. Hanky episodes of South Park are great examples of this. 'Star Crossed' is on that level.
This episode is really intended for fans 'The Justice League' animated series, and makes a number of references to past events and relationships. If you're in that category, know this: this episode brings the heat from the first few minutes through the dramatic (and somewhat unexpected) conclusion.
The plot and dialogue are tight, and the animation strong. This is a phenomenal jumping off point for the upcoming 'Justice League: Unlimited' series as well.
I don't want to spoil the story with too many details, but the plot is actually somewhat reminiscent of the series pilot, and brings each of the heroes' personalities into clearer perspective. And for those of you who only watch for the fight scenes, this episode ought to satisfy you as well.
One of the toughest aspects of writing stories for a team like the Justice League is that some characters render others redundant. For example, if you have Superman and the Green Lantern, what do you do with the Flash and Hawkgirl? In order to make for a truly interesting story, then, you have to introduce a conflict that will really tax ALL of the characters. This does--trust me.
I give it 4 stars instead of 5 because new viewers would likely miss the significance of many of the character interactions. With that in mind, I would say people who have no familiarity with the Justice League series should at least watch the pilot, 'Secret Origins' before viewing this. I'd also recommend the episodes 'Paradise Lost', and 'In Darkest Night' if you can find them. But the bottom line is that this is the best DC animated episode to come along since "World's Finest". 'Nuff said!
on May 4, 2004
I guess the Amazon.com editorial reviewer keeps tabs on Justice League news across the internet, because the three episodes on this DVD that make up "Starcrossed" do indeed drastically shake the status quo, and set the stage for the show to return as "Justice League Unlimited" for season 3. However, Starcrossed will not be broadcast first in the United States; while these episodes have already aired around the world, Cartoon Network USA has decided to make this DVD the official US premiere of Justice League: Starcrossed.
In Starcrossed, Hawkgirl's people come to Earth to help the Justice League repel an alien invasion. As their ulterior motives are slowly revealed, Hawkgirl is torn between her relationship with Green Lantern and her loyalty towards her commanding officer, whom she is actually engaged to. That's as much as I can reveal without spoiling things, because there is definitely a lot to spoil. Screenshots and episode summaries can be found online, but there's so much Justice League goodness in this episode that if you haven't looked at them already, I'd strongly advise you not to. Those who've complained about the blandness of season 1 have seen the improvement of season 2, and Starcrossed is the culmination of all the best things about this season. Despite all the budgetary constraints that have hindered the series, this is as epic as you can get in animated programming these days.
Some other good news is that the disc will contain both fullscreen and widescreen versions, and that there will be some probably quick but juicy bonus interviews. It's kinda sneaky for WB to get fans to buy these three episodes instead of just airing them, but Justice League: Starcrossed is the kind of program worth shelling out money for.
This DVD serves two purposes: it concludes the television series, as fans know it, and sets the stage for the new incarnation known as "Justice League Unlimited". The movie is a fitting end to a show that has more winners than losers.
"Star Crossed" features the same exemplary voiceover work from Kevin Conroy (the voice of "Batman" since 1992), Carl Lumbly ("Martian Manhunter"), Phil LaMarr ("Green Lantern"), Maria Canals ("Hawkgirl"), Susan Eisenberg ("Wonder Woman"), George Newburn ("Superman") and "Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum as the fun-loving "Flash". Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. reprises his "Alfred" role from "Batman" and Hector Elizondo and Victor Rivers add their respective talents to the production.
The action is swift and the story line benefits from moments of character interaction, especially the romantic triangle among Hawkgirl, Katar Hol, and Green Lantern.
While the animation is not as stylized as that featured in "Batman: The Animated Series", it still has the contemporary blend of traditional and computer animation.
This is a film for the comic fan in all of us!
on August 1, 2004
I haven't watched much of the Justice League series (probably only three or four episodes), so I didn't come to this story with knowledge of character histories and events other than what I know from comics and other shows. Still I throughly enjoyed this DVD. More than enjoyed, my mouth was hanging open in shock and amazement through most of the movie.
Every aspect of this movie is terrific. The scoring is very exciting and moving, the voice actors do a phenominal job, the writting is top-notch giving everyone a chance to shine while staying focused and believable, the animation was beathtaking and hallelujah, it's offered in both widescreen and full screen! The bonus material is OK, with the Hawkman featurette being the highlight.
Story wise, I was surprised over and over again by new revelations about characters. This is a character dirven plot which is a refreshing break from all the senseless "let's just get our heroes to the next battle" sensibilities of many other shows. Not to imply that there is little action in this story (quite the opposite in fact), but all the action evoles from character motivations and personalities. It's obvious that the creators of this movie care for the characters they are representing. No fan of these characters should miss out on this powerful story.
The biggest complement I can give this DVD is that it's convinced me to begin watching the series on a regular basis. If this level of sophistication and excitement is the norm for this series, we're all in for one amazing ride!
on September 14, 2004
For those like myself who have enjoyed Cartoon Network's fine series, The Justice League, you may have felt like something was missing, namely Hawkman. Peanut butter and jelly, Hawkman and Hawkgirl. They go together. I had always hoped he would make an eventual appearance, and in Starcrossed, he does in a big way. In the movie, the sky over Earth is filled with Hawkmen, pleasantly reminiscent of Buck Rogers.
Although cool and formidable, Hro is a villian in this movie. Voiced perfectly by the talented Victor Rivers, Hro comes off as a Spartan warrior bent on saving his home world of Thanagar at any cost. Hawkgirl is shockingly revealed as a spy, and pays a terrible price for her deceit.
So what is stopping you from seeing this? Romance between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl; you see Hawkgirl without her mask, Batman takes his mask off to reveal his face and his identity to the shocked League; all take refuge in the Batcave; Alfred is there. The DVD has great extras including a tour of the Watchtower, character bios of the seven League members with clips of each one in action, very good deleted scenes including storyboard line animation, and a special "Hawkman: From Comic to Cartoon."
on February 22, 2006
On June 20 Justice League the complete second season will be availible on DVD. It will include the three episodes on this disc in anamorphic widescreen plus 23 more all at 5x the price value. While these episodes are great I can't possibly recommend this when we will be able to buy full season sets in such a short period of time. While this disc is the best of Warners single disc Justice League sets it contains some extras and a widescreen version (somethings the creaters have been fighting for) it can't possibly compare to real boxed sets of the whole season.
on July 14, 2004
The Timm/Dini/Burnett/Murakami style DC animation stuff is one of my guilty pleasures. These guys understand the characters, respect them, mix it up enough to keep it new, but remain true to the core spirit that has made them enduringly popular. The series and this "movie" make the old Superfriends series look like a bingo mixer at the rest home.
This is a collection of 3 episodes which constitute the final story arc of season 2 of the "Justice League" cartoon. The show will be taking a slightly different turn next season as the standard stable of 7 heroes is expanded to bring in many more of the DC universe characters. "Star Crossed" does a pretty good job of book-ending what has gone before, and makes way for the new.
There are some very in-character moments in the movie, like how Batman who is very protective of his secrets, immediately gives up a big one when it's needed to save the rest of the team. There is a lot of on-screen action as well. Swarms (or flocks) of aliens and their equipment fill the sky and multiple combats occur simultaneously, and are for the most part well thought out.
It's kind of foolish to discuss inconsistencies in this genre, but things like ordinary humans taking a punch in the face from superstrong aliens about as well as they'd handle one from a teamster stands out as kind of glaring. It seems action-ey, but it undermines the vulnerability of the characters which is what makes them sympathetic. Inexcusable too when a few moments of extra thought could've written around it seemlessly.
As for DVD presentation, the JL cartoon has been airing some of it's episodes in "Letterbox", and it's an option here as well. Unfortunately they aren't adding extra material at the sides, they simply crop the normal TV picture, blocking out the bottom and the top. Kind of disengenuous. The tour of the watchtower is simply a collection of quick clips with annoying narration. The deleted scenes were interesting, they showed 3 or so extra or extended scenes in various stages of completion; educational if nothing else.
Now, if they'd just release complete series DVD sets and a few more Batman BTNAS style DVD's, I'd be a happy guy.
on June 2, 2004
Actually, Cartoon Network aired the episodes this Memorial Day weekend, but it was thought that episodes wouldn't air until after the DVD. These episodes were definitely worth the wait, because it's easily one of the most epic stories you'll find in superhero cartoons. While there's a lot of great fights scenes all over the three episodes, there's also a ton of wonderful character interaction, including a few scenes that totally change the status quo of the group forever.
The other reviewers have already given you a very good idea of the plot, where Hawkgirl's fellow Thanagarian soldiers arrive to help Earth against an alien invasion. I'm also going to add that Wonder Woman fans will want to check this one out, because the Amazing Amazon really shines here more than she normally does. The ending isn't really overhyped, because it definitely sets up the new Justice League Unlimited series quite nicely.
It was great on TV and I'm sure that it'll be great on DVD, espeically with all of the reported extras that are said to be added!
on October 21, 2004
Well... not so. As I can give 'Savage Time', 'Maid of Honor' and several other JL titles five stars. But that just because WB haven;t released the complete titles!!! (See!!! How many of us want the COMPLETE season 1 and 2 so much!!!)
Anyway, the story is great. Conflicts handled delicately. Love it when Batman tried to steer the Watchtower (my Batman... my watchtower), tho it meant sacrificing his own life. DVD features are great. Love the tour of the watchtower, especially. Also the other features of Hawkman and character bios. And the music! Man... Can't WB make a special JL screen saver with music on it? It's got to be awesome!
I'm a bit sad that Hawkgirl is leaving the league. But as many said, it is so hard to accept her again (soon, at least) after her double-cross. She's been my fave character, in addition to Wonder Woman, Batman and Jonn Jonz. Anyway... nice little touch in the end with GL.
And WW-Batman too! Or rather, Diana-Bruce; cause I couldn;t breath to see them 'pretend' kissing each other. I do hope that WB is not going to end their potential love story like GL and Hawkgirl (or like in JLA comic - sob!). Okay, I know kids watch the show as well... but a bit of love is ok, no? Especially after Shayera leaving GL, we have no other pair but Bruce-Diana (and the least told Superman-Lois).
Not a waste of money at all.
And so here we are again; the fans, waiting for other DVD collections of JL, hopefully the complete ones this time...
on September 28, 2005
With the huge critical and ratings success of Warner Brothers' "Batman: The Animated Series" and "Superman: The Animated Series", it seemed time for a new animated series of DC heroes to be made to fill the void of the recently ended aforementioned series'. So Warner Brothers approached Bruce Timm and company about a new cartoon series, and what Warner Brothers got was a series featuring not only one or two heroes as the main character, but an entire team, and so the "Justice League" was born. After running for 2 seasons on Cartoon Network, the producers of the series wanted to take the series in a new direction and add more heroes to the team's roster, however to do this required an event that would really shake things up. So, the show's creators got together with Warner Brothers to create a Direct-to-DVD movie that would bridge the gap between the original "Justice League" series and the new series that would begin the shows 3rd season, "Justice League Unlimited", and that movie is "Justice League: Starcrossed".
"Justice League: Starcrossed" takes place as I said between the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the animated series. During a international summit, the Justice League has been called in to provide security for the event, when out of nowhere a fleet of alien warships appear in the sky over the summit, as the Justice League scramble to defend Earth against this alien invasion, a different fleet enters the fray, destroying the invaders. This of course leaves the League confused, all except for one member that is, Hawkgirl. The fleet of warships that assisted the Justice League is comprised of Thannagarians, Hawkgirl's race. The Thannagarians inform the Justice League of an impending alien invasion that Earth will need their help in surviving. The League accepts the offer of help, due to Hawkgirl's persuasiveness, but the League begins to not trust the Thannagarians when they become oppressive and attempt to take over as rulers of Earth, all the while claiming to help.
"Justice League: Starcrossed" provided an excellent stopping point for the previous "Justice League" animated series, and set events into motion that would propel the relaunch of the series under the new name of "Justice League Unlimited". The story is very well done, and fairly mature for an animated movie, but it's fitting since the animated series' of "Justice League", "Batman", and "Superman" have all been aimed at not only kids and teenagers, but adults as well. The voice acting continues to be top-notch, featuring the likes of Kevin Conroy, Elisabeth Pena, Michael Rosenbaum, Hector Elizondo, and Carl Lumbly. The action is relentlessly paced, barely letting you catch your breath before something else happens, but even with all of this action the story never gets overshadowed or weak.
If you have enjoyed the "Justice League", "Batman" or "Superman" the animated series' or if you have only watched "Justice League Unlimited", then this movie is a must-see! Even if you have never seen any of the series' but are still interested, I believe you will still enjoy this movie.
"Justice League: Starcrossed" is not rated, and is safe for viewers of all ages.