HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Justice League: War
HTS Overall Score:77
Marvel has been dominating the live action super hero genre for quite some time now and DC is playing catch up with “Man of Steel” and the new “Superman and Batman” film to make way for ITS inevitable “Justice League” movie, albeit with some heavy criticism by its fan. On animated front, DC has been playing the reverse by absolutely CRUSHING Marvel with its fantastic animated super hero films. While the Marvel animated films have been pretty fun, DC takes it up quite a few notches and gives us a much more mature and intricate set of films to enjoy. Whether it be the Justice League, or Batman or Superman alone they have created quite a following for those of you who like drawn art. Most of these films are one or two offs with no continuity, it looks like “Justice League: War” is going to lead into another film (and thank goodness Aquaman will be there) and starts brining in a new flavor to the superheroes as they are taken from the 52 reboot universe.
It seems that monsters are infiltrating the major cities, putting devices in play that seem to be alien in origin. Batman (Jason O’mara) and Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) have been tracking one such monster in Gotham city only to step on each other’s toes trying to capture the monster. Capturing one such device they realize that it’s a bit out of their league and head to Metropolis to track down the mysterious alien known as “Superman” (Alan Tudyk) to see if he can shed some light on their plight. Butting heads with the near, all powerful blue and red caped super hero they grudgingly come to the conclusion that it’s un known to all three.
Across town scientist Silas Stone is trying to decode another such device, given to them by Flash (Christopher Gorham). Unbeknownst to our heroes the device is actually a portal created by the evil entity known as Darkseid, bent on taking over our world as he’s done with countless others. Upon activating his devices, Darkseid unknowingly creates one more super hero in the form of Victor Stone, Silas’ son, who is embedded with Darkseids technology as well as human created nanites to form Cyborg (Shemar Moore), a half human, half super computer with the ability to morph his exoskeleton into weapons of awesome proportions.
Now these unique super heroes, in conjunction with a boy who some unique powers of his own, must combine to defeat an enemy that is beyond powerful, even to Superman and Wonder woman combined. To save humanity, they must actually learn to work together as a team and form bonds that will create a fighting force so powerful that entire galaxies will be shaken by its impact.
I have some mixed feelings with this latest entry into the animated DC universe. I have LOOOOOOOOOOOVED, pretty much every installment due to the intricacy and detail put into every character and situation they are put into. Here we have a lot less character development and a LOT more battle time. In some ways I can see why they did it, turning “War” into more of an introduction piece that sets up the next entry into the franchise, but that ended up leaving it one of the weaker films of the series due to the lack of development. We are meant to feel for the characters based on our being familiar with the characters backstories from years of comics, but it’s hard to connect with these newer renditions penned from the 52 reboot comics after decades of seeing them in a different light without SOME exposition. Darkseid himself seems wasted as the villain since he’s supposed to be as powerful as Ultron or Galactus etc, and our team beats him in half an hour. I almost wish they had an extra half an hour to deal with him since he was just a bit tooooooooo easy for a legendary villain, but it’s hard to cram the meeting of ALL our heroes AND the defeat of a major super villain in an hour and a half.
On the plus side, the battles were phenomenal, with death, destruction and mayhem supreme. Add into the mix an absolutely stunning and aggressive audio track and I couldn’t be happier to watch it unfold. While the story itself is just “good”, and not great it really whets the appetite for the next Justice League story when we get to see the 52 reboot characters together as the legendary fighting force we all know and love. I have a few issues with the new characters (especially Superman), but it looks like they have tempered them enough in the animated films to create some awesome battles.
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14324[/img]“Justice League: War” is presented in its original 1.78:1 ratio and put on a BD-25, like its predecessors. Warner has always done a GOOD job with its animated films, but unfortunately rarely ever done a GREAT job on them. The omnipresent banding shows its ugly head throughout and there is even a bit of haloing and a few jaggies on some of the heroes (Flash in particular). However the colors are bright and cheerful with plenty of boost in the primaries. The reds and blues of superman and wonder woman look incredibly impressive and Green Lantern’s neon green hues blast through the dark and dreary landscape. Detail is impressive and shows a ton of hidden flaws in the animation, albeit a few of the heroes look a bit rushed in the animation department at times. Black levels are satisfactory and only have a little bit of crush going on. A very solid presentation with a few compression flaws that are commonly found on Warner’s animated films gives this spot a solid thumbs up from me.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=14325[/img]Now the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is much MORE than solid with its explosive presentation. It’s one of those tracks that grabs you by the hair and punches you full in the face and keeps beating on you whole saying “YEAH!, who’s your daddy”!? I honestly felt like my chest was caving in with the sonic bombardment. The LFE channel was pretty much active the whole time and ripping it up with some serious mid bass. The lower numbers on the frequency chart will a little less prevalent, but that midbass was there in spades, sometimes it felt even a little TOO much. The dialogue was crisp and clean with and very well balanced with the rest of the sound effects, only once or twice feeling a little muted. The action was fast and furious on screen and in the surrounds as well, with a constant enveloping effect that made you feel as if you were in the middle of a maelstrom. An impressive track to be sure and one that will make the super hero geek in all of his grin in that sort of “Hulk SMASH!” sort of way.
• Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee
• "Justice League: War" Act D - From Animatic to Pencil Test
• From the DC Comics Vault - 4 Vintage Cartoons
• Deconstructing War with Jay Oliva and Jim Lee
• Sneak Peak for "Son of Batman
“Justice League: War” is one of the lower character driven films of the bunch, with near non-stop action that doesn’t let up enough to bond the characters together more. While I understand its purpose was just to introduce the characters and set itself up for the next one, it tended to feel a bit chaotic at times. This still doesn’t take away from the fact that the movie was still a LOT of fun and had me grinning the whole time. Now I’m salivating at the chance to see the Justice League fully come together with Aquaman in the next installment. Fans of the DC animated films will want to add this to their collection without a doubt, and its demo worthy audio alone is worth checking out. Definitely recommend.
Starring: Sean Astin, Christopher Gorham, Zach Callison, Alan Tudyck
Directed by: Jay Oliva
Written by: Heath Corson
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Blu-Ray Release Date: January 4th, 2014
Buy Justice League: War Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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