Feb 042017
 

Justice League Dark is a middle-of-the-road entry into the DC Animated Universe. It’s also a bit inside baseball in that probably die-hard fans of the comics will get something out if it while others will find it crowded and the magical elements even made it harder to follow.

 

 

Justice League Dark
— Limited Edition Gift Set —

(2017)

Genre(s): Animation, Fantasy, Supernatural
Warner Home Video | R – 76 min. – $39.99 | February 7, 2017

Date Published: 02/04/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Jay Oliva
Writer(s): J.M. DeMatteis & Ernie Altbacker (story), Ernie Altbacker (teleplay)
Voice Cast: Matt Ryan, Camilla Luddington, Jason O’Mara, JB Blanc, Ray Chase, Enrico Colantoni, Jeremy Davies, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Jerry O’Connell, Nicholas Turturro
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Disc Size: 31.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


The newest entry in the DC Animated Universe, Justice League Dark was a middle-of-road affair mainly due to numerous new characters, at least to a laymen, and the introduction to magic, it became a bit hard to follow. It was also unusual or odd to see Batman be a secondary character, and sometimes utterly useless, with two others taking the lead.

The plot opens from Washington D.C. to Metropolis and Gotham when ordinary, law-abiding citizens go bizzurke believing they’re seeing monsters and killing innocents, before being nabbed by Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON), Superman (JERRY O’CONNELL) and Batman (JASON O’MARA) respectively.

It’s clear this is beyond the prevue of the Justice League and when Bruce finds the name “Constantine” scribbled on his walls, he visits old friend and magician Zatanna (CAMILLA LUDDINGTON) to make contact with old flame John Constantine (MATT RYAN), and with the insistence of Deadman (NICHOLAS TUTURRO), whom Batman obviously can’t see, she agrees though finding him will be difficult as he roams around in a traveling cloaked house (kind of like Dr. Who’s TARDIS), call the House of Mystery.

Constantine, being a loner, reluctantly agrees to help find the source of the madness that is sweeping the world and, along with Jason Blood and his inner demon Etrigan (RAY CHASE), they must follow the clues to find the culprit: Destiny (ALFRED MOLINA), an ancient demon set to, I guess, rule the planet… or something. Along the way we also get to meet the big green, Swamp Thing who’s not exactly willing to help…

The story behind Justice League Dark is rather simple and not different from any other superhero movie – live action or animated. The appeal, however, is with these characters and a new world which to me was a detriment to the film. The problem I had was not only are they throwing in several characters, many of which never seen before in the DCAU and you have so much going on, it’s tough to follow, or even care about, then you toss in the magical elements, and the rules behind it, and it was difficult to be invested in either the story or characters.

On the plus side, I did enjoy the voice talents of Matt Ryan, reprising his live action role on the TV series (as well as guest appearance on Arrow), and Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) voicing Zatanna while Jason O’Mara is back as Batman and while I’m still not in love with it, he’s bearable this go around being very much a secondary character and a real bat out of the cave concept, though he’s a pretty much superfluous character only there to sell the movie. All of this crammed into a 70-plus minute running time.

Comparing Justice League Dark with the others in the DC Animated Universe films, it’s far and away better than the god-awful Batman: The Killing Joke and probably in line with Justice League vs. Teen Titans, if not a hair better, however it’s nowhere near the likes of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns or Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox; it’s middle-of-the-road but worthy of a viewing especially for fans of DC.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This “Limited Edition Gift Set” comes with a Constantine figurine. The Blu-ray inside the box comes has an embossed slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

A Sneak Peek at Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (11:41; HD) is a look at DC’s next animated film with and the voice acting casting, many from Teen Titans vs. Justice League (including the late Miguel Ferrer as Deathstroke, and has interview footage) and a few newcomers (Gregg Henry, Christina Ricci), and their respective characters.

The Story of Swamp Thing (18:02; HD) – Here we get a primer on the classic character from the comics right and includes interviews with various members from DC as well as the creator himself, Len Wein.

Did You Know? (HD)

  • Constantine Origin (0:40)
  • Color of Magic (1:05)
  • Black Orchid (1:03)
  • Deadman Casting (0:37)

These mini featurettes expound on certain elements of the movie.

Justice League Dark at New York Comic Con 2016 (26:41; HD) – Here we get footage of the panel the Comic Con (including Matt Ryan and Jason O’Mara).

Previous Sneak Peeks:

  • Justice League: Doom (10:17)
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters (11:07)

We also get two more additions from the DC Comics Vault: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Dawn of the Dead Man!” and “Trials of the Demon!”.

PreviewsWonder Woman, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Warner Home Video unleashes Justice League Dark onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture basically looks like the other DC animated movies where colors are generally bright while dark levels are stark. I didn’t notice any major instances of banding that you usually see in transitional shots so it is a clean transfer.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The disc includes a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which shows off clean and clear dialogue mainly coming from the center channel with depth on display during the numerous action-centric sequences, encompassing the front and rear speakers, along with Robert J. Kral’s bombastic score.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Overall, Justice League Dark is a middle-of-the-road entry into the DC Animated Universe. It’s also a bit inside baseball in that probably die-hard fans of the comics will get something out if it while others, like myself, will find it crowded and the magical elements even made it harder to follow. Still, it’s entertaining enough and I did enjoy Matt Ryan reprising his role, this time in animation form, of Constantine. The Blu-ray released by Warner offers good video/audio transfers and an okay selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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