Friday, February 12, 2010

DVD Review: Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths (Warner)

On February 23rd, Warner Home Video along with DC Comics Animated will release their latest direct to DVD movie, Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths. Pendragon's Post was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy.
A desperate Lex Luthor from an alternative Earth, comes to our Earth to ask the Justice League for help. On Luthor's world, the Earth is ruled with an iron fist by the Crime Syndicate, whose members are evil versions of the Justice League. The League agrees to help Luthor. But the questions will they be able to free his world without sacrificing themselves? Meanwhile, Batman's evil counterpart, Owlman, has his own agenda that just may destroy both worlds.

This original movie was written by veteran comic writer and former writer/producer of the Justice League cartoon, Dwayne McDuffie. It appears to be an adaptation of the graphic novel JLA: Earth-2. McDuffie is really at the top of his game once again. In this ensemble piece, McDuffie is able to give each character his own unique voice. The story just flows at a great pace, with the right balance of action and drama. Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery do a brilliant job directing this story and bringing it to life.

As usual, voice director Andrea Romano shows why she's the master of her craft. The characters are amazingly cast as usual. William Baldwin as Batman, Mark Harmon as Superman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor, James Woods as Owlman, and Gina Torres as Superwoman headline the cast. Though not as well-known, Nolan North as Green Lantern, Josh Keaton as the Flash, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, and Jonathan Adams as Martian Manhunter all do a great job rounding out the Justice League.

Like all the DC Universe animated features the animation style has it's own unique style, but it seem similar to the Wonder Woman DVD. The style really works for this story.

Without giving anything away, there are some great supporting roles by other members of the Justice League, and evil versions of characters in the Crime Syndicate. I really felt like a kid in a candy store watching this movie. As great as the Justice League TV show was, this was the League I always wanted to see. This is a story that I will watch over and over again.

Also included was the animated short DC Showcase: The Spectre.

Gary Cole provides the voice of Jim Corrigan & the Spectre. While I wasn't thrilled with the overall story, I did love the fact it was a great homage to the Spectre comics from 1974 by Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo. Also a great touch to the short was the "grindhouse" feel to it and the picture was intentionally made to look grainy and old, like an old hardboiled detective story.

Extras on the DVD included the short documentary DCU: The New World. Writers and artists including Brad Meltzer, Geoff Johns, and Rags Morales, talking about the DC Universe and how it fits into these troubled times today.

Included are two bonus episodes of the Justice League cartoon show, handpicked by Bruce Timm.

And finally, an exclusive first look at DC Universe Animated's next project: Batman Under the Red Hood. It's based on Under The Hood by Judd Winick, which told the story of the return of Jason Todd as the new Red Hood. It stars Jensen Ackles as the Red Hood, Bruce Greenwood as Batman, and Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing.

Bottom line if you're a DC Comics fan, a Justice League fan, or just a plain action fan, go out and get this DVD.

Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths will be available on DVD, Special Edition DVD, and Blu-Ray on February 23rd.

Brian Isaacs
Executive Editor/Owner

1 comment:

Brian said...

Obviously at this point, I haven't seen the DVD yet, so I can't yet critique the story itself, but based on the clips I've seen so far, I had a couple of questions:

What's your take on the (mostly) new looks for the Crime Syndicate (3rd revision, if my math is correct, since their original debut - first revamped in JLA - Earth 2 and then later their Earth-3 counterparts in Countdown, and now this)?

The other question I had was, since these are supposed to be the evil versions of the Justice League, shouldn't the same actors be voicing the counterpart characters (giving the actors a chance to stretch with the same role essentially)? Not that I have a problem with the voice actors, but Mark Harmon can drip venom when he wants to, and that would've been interesting for him to do that as Ultraman while at the same time being the sunnier "boy scout" of Superman. Just a thought...