Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
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DCU Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (DVD)
In an alternate universe, an heroic Lex Luthor battles to save his planet from an evil variation of the Justice League! Now, to save his earth, Luthor enlists the Justice League from his universe's Crime Syndicate, a gang of villains with superpowers evenly matched with those of the Justice League. And in the ultimate battle of good versus evil, not only the fate of two earths hangs in the balance, but also the continuation of all existence!]]>
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Speaking of Batman, his portrayal in this movie does no represent the Batman I have always envisioned. This is largely because William Baldwin has a higher pitched voice and cannot really project the rage or toughness that Batman requires. For me, I for the most part only enjoyed the parts where Batman was fighting or not speaking. On the otherhand, Superman is a commanding force here; Mark Harmon does an excellent job.
All in all, it's a decent movie but Batman was ruined for me so there is no way I can rate this 5 stars.
I recommend the double-disc version of this because of the special features. Check out the pretty amazing short animated movie of a lesser known DC character named the Spectre, voiced by the wonderful Gary Cole. I was surprised how good this short was.
You also get 2 episodes of the Justice League Animated Series that basically have a very similar storyline to "Crisis". "A Better World" parts 1 and 2 almost surpass the movie in terms of quality and intensity.
Again, buy this but only if it is the double-disc package.
My interest is because it was written by the late Dwayne McDuffie, it was originally going to be part of the DCAU, it's story taking place between the "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited " TV series, and bridging those shows. McDuffie was an excellant writer (one of the best in the DCAU's Emmy-winning staff), and the story was inspired by one of the best known of DC Comics' Silver Age stories.
In this film, super-hero Lex Luthor - the last surviving member of his Earth's Justice League - recruits the Justice League to return with him to his world to stop the murderous Crime Syndicate (made up of evil counterparts of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) Unlike past incarnations, this Crime Syndicate operates like a super-powered Mafia, having divided up the world, and each 'godfather' backed by super-powered lieutenants. They haven't taken over the world because this is more profitable.
Now, I would have snapped this up on it's release had it stuck straight to the DCAU framework, but it was altered to fit into the hodge-podge of DC direct videos, abandoning the familiar DCAU voice cast and character designs. To my amazement, though, that appears to be all that was changed.
The movie has an "all-star" prime-time cast, including NCIS star Mark Harmon as Superman, and James Woods as lead villain Owlman.
Voice acting is different from on-screen acting (on-screen, body language does most of the talking; in voice work, you have only that - your voice - to create character as well as deliver dialogue). So Harmon and Woods came across as subdued, and the best performances were by those with voice acting experience (especially Gina Torres of "Suits" as Superwoman, Brian Bloom as Ultraman, and Jonathan Adams as the Martian Manhunter).
Visually, the character designs are in keeping with the DC direct videos, meaning good comic book styling, but only Owlman and Superwoman stand out as memorable.
The final result was a fast paced movie, full of action and good characters, and included a twist (of course), that upped the ante on the final battle.
Had it been made as part of the DCAU, It would easily have been one of the DCAU's best adventures. But the downside is that it's not really DCAU canon, and will probably be lost in the mixed bag which is the DC video releases.
Either way, I'm surprised to say I can recommend this one!
I really would have love to seen how the Crime Syndicate came into being. Perhaps a quick origin story would have helped but I don't think they were ever told in the comic books either. Also, the Shazam family are seen several times in the alternate universe as criminal counterparts, why the heroic Shazam family in our universe never showed up to fight them, I will never know.
Owlman is a bit perplexing as a guy who just doesn't seem to care about anything except destroying all reality. I really enjoyed the mafia setting between the Crime Syndicate during their meetings. I never seen that in the comic books either. Great imagination went into this project which could have turned up as dry material if it wasn't in the right hands. I rate it as excellent.
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