May 262020
 

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a wonderful conclusion to the New 52 DCAU which had its ups and downs but produced some good features, a few of which rival the live action side.

 

 

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War
(2020)

Genre(s): Animation, Science Fiction, Action, Fantasy
Warner Bros. | R – 90 min. – $39.99 | May 19, 2020

Date Published: 05/27/2020 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Matt Peters and Christina Sotta
Writer(s): Mairghread Scott (story), Mairghread Scott and Ernie Altbacker (teleplay)
Voice Cast: Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Matt Ryan, Rosario Dawson, Tony Todd, Rainn Wilson, Stuart Allen, Christopher Gorham, Taissa Farmiga, Shemar Moore


DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio: (4K/BD) English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.78
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Dynamic Range: HDR10
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.


THE MOVIE — 4.25/5


Plot Synopsis: The Justice League has always been Earth’s first and last defense, but with the imminent arrival of Darkseid (TONY TODD) and his horrors of war that will follow, everything is about to change. With time running out, the Justice League will need all of its members — Superman (JERRY O’CONNELL), Batman (JASON O’MARA), Wonder Woman (ROSARIO DAWSON) and even Lex Luthor (RAINN WILSON) to name a few — and their powers like never before. But even the world’s most powerful Super Heroes, including reluctant member John Constantine (MATT RYAN), may not be able to make a difference against Darkseid’s legions.

Quick Hit Review: The DC Animated Universe of movies (or New 52 continuity), those that are connected and mostly using the same voice cast, has been hit or miss, though for the most part I’ve been entertained by them even when the material wasn’t the strongest (Batman: Hush especially disappointed). Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is the 15th and final film in the DCAU, sort of their Endgame.

And I must say, this one really impressed, almost makes me want to revisit the past entries. And unlike Endgame, more than one member of the League is going to die, might even use the word ‘slaughtered’ as this movie certainly gets the most out of its R rating. The pacing is brisk as the running time is only 100-minutes (less without credits), and in the midst of the many action sequences, we do get some great dramatic elements between these characters. I will say, it is on the bleaker side and really no clear victory for our heroes, the few that are left anyway.

Looking back, the voice casting hasn’t always been my favorite, though I like Jerry O’Connell’s Superman, Shemar Moore as Cyborg and Rosario Dawson’s Wonder Woman; Jason O’Mara early on was a bit iffy, but with each movie, I kind of grew into really liking his Batman voice and Matt Ryan, who previously played Constantine on his own show and in the CW-verse, embodies the character so well, hopefully whatever the future is, there could be some fun stories for him. All that said, still wasn’t sold on Rainn Wilson, although here, while important, doesn’t have as much screen time considering the number of characters this film has to feature (not to mention those seen but no dialogue).

In the end, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a tremendous finale to the New 52 line of animated movies. The previous movies might not always been high quality stories, but the culmination of characters here did make the ride nearly worthwhile. In addition, while this certainly earns its R rating for violence, it somehow never felt forced or trying to be edgy just because (*cough * DC Streaming *cough*). This one gets a high recommendation if you at least enjoyed the other movies in the DCAU.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.75/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary — Executive Producer James Tucker, Directors Matt Peters and Christina Sotta & Co-Writer Ernie Altbacker

DC Showcase: Adam Strange (16:05) — Love that the studio has brought back these animated shorts, this one focusing on the cosmic a cosmic drifter, trapped on a mining colony that gets overrun by alien insects.

Darkseid: New God, Classic Evil (14:57) — Profile on DC’s biggest and baddest villain.

A Sneak Peek at Superman: Man of Tomorrow (8:35) with an intro to the voice cast and animation, which to be honest, not sure about…

 


4K VIDEO — 4.5/5, BD VIDEO — 4.25/5


Warner Brothers releases Justice League Dark: Apokolips War onto both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. These animated movies, traditional ones anyway (vs. CGI), don’t quite benefit on the 4K format yet still does look quite good, nice colors and black levels, that are a bit better versus the Blu-ray. Now, there was some banding that I discerned a time or two which was slightly more noticeable in the Blu-ray. Still, both formats show off very nicely.

AUDIO – 4.75/5


Both the 4K and Blu-ray come with a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This is perhaps the best sounding lossless track from the DCAU line. The action sequences boast some great depth and perpetrate across all five channels with the LFE kicking in for an extra boost.

 


OVERALL – 4.25/5


Overall, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is a wonderful conclusion to the New 52 DCAU which had its ups and downs but produced some good features, a few of which rival the live action side. Honestly, Apokolips War made it worth sitting even through the lows as this features characters I actually cared about in the end.

 

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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