on February 24, 2010
Having bought the other six movies and enjoyed them to varying degrees, this latest entry into DC's Direct-to-DVD Library is the strongest entry so far. The plot is very strong, characterization spot-on, and the voice-work is close to perfect.
Now, I say close to perfect, because as you may be able to predict, Billy Baldwin is a weak Batman. His voice just sounds wrong coming out of the Dark Knight. Thankfully, Batman doesn't talk much. And the characterization is so perfect. Superman is leader-ish. Wonder Woman has the right kind of spunk. Martian Manhunter is reserved. Flash is playful. And Hal Jordan just blends into the background. Just like in the comic books!
I'm just ribbing you GL fans.
Like all Crisis stories, this is a visual treat. I love spotting all the alternate versions of characters we know. Evil Elongated Man, Evil Vixen, Evil Black Canary, Evil Jimmy Olsen, and "Superwoman's Three Made Men." they make me smile. And the Crime Syndicate is a good set of villains. Owlman and Superwoman steal the show, but Ultraman has his moments. Johnny Quick, too. Power Ring, eh, not much. But, its a great plot, with great pacing for the action, and it's funny! I love it.
I should mention that this is NOT an adaptation of Grant Morrison's "JLA: Earth-2." Other than a good Lex Luthor asking the JLA for help, and Owlman and Superwoman being an item, this DVD and that book are nothing alike. It's apples and oranges. Maybe because it's not an adaptation that this DVD is so strong. When you have to adapt from another medium, you have to sacrifice something along the way, to the detriment of the piece. Having this written specifically for a movie dodges the "Oh, you have to read the Graphic Novel," excuse that some of the other DTVs suffered.
EXTRAS on this Bluray are pilots for the Linda Carder - Wonder Woman TV series, and the Aquaman TV pilot, that spun-off from Smallville, this is exclusive to the Bluray edition.
Four episodes of Justice League: A Better World, parts 1&2 (AKA the Justice Lords episodes). And Exclusive to the Bluray: Twilight, parts 1&2 (AKA, when Superman fights Brainiac and Darkseid).
What is the first in a series of animated shorts, DC Showcase Presents - The Spectre, a 10 minute cartoon. It's good to see obscure characters given a spotlight. Nice and simple. Can't complain.
A documentary, DCU: The New World. It looks at the creation of Identity Crisis going into Infinite Crisis. As a person who has read all of what they're trying to describe, I found this Doc to be very "airy" - lots of big words, without actually telling me anything. Something about how 9/11 changed everything, BAM - Identity Crisis. Very disappointing. JL: The New Frontier still has the best extras.
And a First Look at DC's next Animated Project - Batman: Under the Red Hood. Which, in my opinion, is looking great.
Plus "Looks" into GL: First Flight, Wonder Woman, and S/B: Public Enemies, pad-out the rest of the disk.
A really good feature. Some decent extras. The only thing I miss are the commentary tracks. I found the bluray for the same price as the 2-Disk Edition, so it was a no-brainer which to pick: I get the the Wonder Woman and Aquaman pilots, plus Twilight 1&2 in the bluray. Enjoy, and I'll see you at Batman: Under the Read Hood.