Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Justice League: War: Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy HD Review

Justice League: War is the latest DC Universe animated feature to be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy and like previous animated features, which Warner Brothers and DC Comics has excelled at producing perhaps even more so than even Disney and Marvel's animated counterparts. Definitely more successful than a great deal of Warner Brothers' live action feature films, which have often focused too much on Superman and Batman films, but ironically ignoring the excellent graphic novels published. It is a fact that all too often if one compares an animated DC Universe feature released to tie-in to an upcoming live action DC Comic adaptation, the animated feature will probably be better. Case and point, compare the Green Lantern live action feature to the animated DC Universe counterpart released by Warner Home Video entitled Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, I can assure you the animated feature was better than the live action feature film in that case at least.

Yet this is not always the case. Thankfully Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy actually focused more inspiration drawn from various graphic novels, but still told original stories proved that you can take a superhero film and elevate it to the level of detective crime drama like Michael Mann's classic feature that felt at times like viewing an epic crime novel come to life entitled Heat. I hope Nolan and company and Warner Brothers never succumb to producing a fourth Dark Knight film because good film trilogies are truly quite rare and are often ruined when a sequel is produced solely out of a desire to profit over a passion to tell a good story.

Justice League: War is based on the graphic novel by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee and tells the story of the early formation of what would eventually become the Justice League with first time encounters and uneasy, but still successful collaboration in a unified front against a global threat with Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and even an origin story for Cyborg.  If there is a weakness in the storytelling it is in the fact that the film is too straight forward for it's own good with action sequences that feel at times over extended and no real surprise twists.

At times the animation style looks a little too much like an anime film, which I have nothing against, but I prefer Bruce Timm's animated style when it comes to the animated DC Universe. Presented in a high definition (1.78:1) aspect ratio, the picture quality is as expected, terrific. For both the Blu-ray and standard definition DVD versions feature clear English, French and Spanish Language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Soundtracks along with English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired as well as French and Spanish Language Subtitles are encoded as options.

A featurette examining the process  of adapting a graphic novel into an animated feature with a comparison and contrast between the printed page and memorable sequences from the film. Another short focuses on Artist Jim Lee and his collaboration with Geoff Johns and animatics and pencil tests for the film's finale. A sneak peak at the next DC Universe animated feature Son of Batman and four bonus cartoons from the DC/Warner Brothers Animated Vault wraps up the extra value materials on Blu-ray Disc. A limited time redeemable insert containing an Ultraviolet HD Digital Copy of the animated feature is included within two-disc Blue-ray BD case.

Justice League: War: Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy HD is available now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Warner Home Video.

(C) Copyright 2014 By Mark Rivera
All Rights Reserved.