Apr 132017
 

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is a thoroughly entertaining addition to the DC Animated line-up and a step forward from some of their recent lackluster titles, a leap above The Killing Joke and compared with the DC Animated Universe ones, this is probably top five (without looking at my rankings).

 

 

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
— Limited Edition Gift Set —

(2017)

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.

 

Genre(s): Animation, Action, Fantasy
Warner Home Video | PG13 – 84 min. – $39.99 | April 18, 2017

Date Published: 04/13/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Sam Liu
Writer(s): Marv Wolfman & George Perez (comic book), Arnold Drake (Beast Boy created by), Bob Rozakis and Jose Delbo (Bumblebee created by), Marv Wolfman and George Perez (Raven, Starfire, Nightwing, Terra, Brother Blood, Deathstroke and Mother Mayhem created by); Ernie Altbacker (written by)
Voice Cast: Stuart Allen, Jake T. Austin, Taissa Farmiga, Sean Maher, Christina Ricci, Brandon Soo Hoo, Kari Wahlgren, Miguel Ferrer, Gregg Henry
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurettes, Bonus Cartoons
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, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 24.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


I’ve been a fan of the DC Animated Universe (and I’m one of a very few of their live action efforts) for many years but their past few entries haven’t exactly enthralled me. Batman: The Killing Joke was atrocious; Justice League Dark was entertaining enough but hardly great; Justice League vs. Teen Titans was an incredibly misleading title and as a whole was okay; and Batman: Bad Blood, like JLvTT had its moments but nothing incredible, the anticipation levels for their animated lineup has been waning (Justice League: Gods and Monsters might’ve been their last great effort and it was an else-worlds story).

So now the latest is Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and to the studio’s credit, they didn’t shove in the “Justice League” into the title or the story merely referencing them and actually solely focusing on the team combined with a pretty good story, an amazing, and classic Teen Titans villain and some fine voice casting with a few newcomers and holdovers in the connect animated universe (I think this makes the seventh entry).

The story opens five years in the past where that crop of Teen Titans — consisting of Dick Grayson/Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Raven and Bumblebee — come upon the scene of Princess Starfire as she battles Tamaranian(?) minions sent through a portal by her evil sister, Blackfire. They manage to close the portal but being stranded on Earth, the Titans offer Starfire a home. And in an early funny scene, we learn she learns the native language via a kiss, which she gets from Robin…

Present day, the new Teen Titans which is led by Starfire and includes Damien Wayne/Robin (STUART ALLEN), Beast Boy (BRANDON SOO HOO), Raven (TAISSA FARMIGA), Blue Beetle (JAKE T. AUSTIN) and now Terra (CHRISTINA RICCI), and joining in is Dick Grayson/Nightwing (SEAN MAHER), who, as we discover, is in a serious relationship with Starfire. The team is in the midst of investigating Brother Blood (CLARK GREGG) and his terrorist cult who has employed assassin Deathstroke (MIGUEL FERRER) to capture the Titans for use on a device to harness their individual powers.

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, as I said, is one of the better movies in the DC Animated Universe, especially of late, and the reason why is it features a solid storyline, fantastic villain (more so on Deathstroke than Brother Blood), and a built-in back story with some of these characters (Terra is the newcomer who appeared in a mid-credit sequence in Justice League vs. Teen Titans) even when those movies might not have been the best. On the other hand, the Damien Wayne Robin is snot bastard whose death couldn’t come soon enough; he makes Jason Todd look like an angel. But I digress.

Having not read “The Judas Contract” comic story arc, I don’t know what changes were made but I found this animated adaptation to be tighter more streamlined compared to the last DCAU release, Justice League Dark, even though this has just as many characters, but each felt necessary to the plot whereas in JLD, it seemed Batman was tagged on to help sell titles.

The voice cast is once again well done. The late and great Miguel Ferrer is the latest to voice the character (Ron Perlman did the role in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Thomas Gibson in Son of Batman), and while Perlman and Gibson were fine, Ferrer’s iconic gravelly voice was perfect for this weary, and older, Deathstroke. Christina Ricci voices Terra, a character that dates back to 1982 (created by Wolfman and Perez) and she’s really the heart to the film and I actually felt for her plight.

In the end, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is one of the better releases from the DC animated line and I can only hope to see this group as promised with the tease of a “wonder”-ful new member. The next one up is Batman & Harley Quinn, fingers crossed they learned from the blunder that was The Killing Joke

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5


This “Limited-Edition Gift Set” comes in a box and with a Blue Beetle figurine. Inside is the regular Blu-ray, shrink-wrapped, and inside that case is a DVD Copy and redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Titanic Minds: Reuniting Wolfman and Perez (27:35; HD) – The writers of the “Judas Contract” story come together and reminisce about working together. This is easily the best feature.

Villain Rising: Deathstroke (9:00; HD) looks at the history behind the Titans’ primary baddie.

Batman & Harley Quinn Sneak Peek (9:08; HD) takes a look at the next movie in the DC Animated Universe.

Also included are the Sneak Peeks for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox; and Two Bonus Cartoons, Teen Titans, “Terra” and “Titan Rising”.

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Warner Home Video unleashes Teen Titans: The Judas Contract onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). Being this is animated, obviously even with a fairly dark tone that involves kidnapping, death and other more thematic elements, colors are still relatively bright and transition scenes appear smooth with no real noticeable instances of banding. This more or less looks similar to the other DC Animated feature films.

AUDIO – 3.5/5


The movie comes with a standard but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It’s not exactly a robust track or anything as the action-centric scenes (like explosions or the Titans utilizing their powers) lacked a bit of depth, but dialogue levels were crisp and clear.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is a thoroughly entertaining addition to the DC Animated line-up and a step forward from some of their recent lackluster titles, a leap above The Killing Joke and compared with the DC Animated Universe ones, this is probably top five (without looking at my rankings). This Limited Edition Gift Set offers good video/audio transfers and at least one worthwhile featurette for comic fans.

 

 

 

 

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

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