Justice League – The
Flashpoint Paradox (2013/Warner/DC Blu-ray
Picture: B/B- Sound: B/B- Extras: C Film: B-
Whereas in the past it seemed fans had to
wait YEARS between direct to home video DC Comics releases, today we seem to
get one a month. This is not necessarily
a good thing.
Justice League – The Flash
Point Paradox is the newest release from
Warner/DC and it continues down the same path of other recent home video
ventures; adequate. Whereas we did wait
years in between in the past, what was delivered was (mostly) stellar
entertainment. The releases we receive
now are nicely animated, with a solid voice cast; but lack the flow and heart
the previous releases had.
This adaptation focuses on Barry Allen
(The Flash) as he battles his past and an altered future. While Barry laments his mother’s death (who
had died on his birthday as a child), chaos breaks out at the Flash Museum when
villain Eobard Thawne busts in to cause havoc.
Flash nearly falls victim to Thawne (A.K.A. Professor Zoom or Reverse
Flash), but the arrival of his hero brethren saves his life.
The story suddenly shifts as we find The
Flash (still distraught about his past) in an alternate universe. His mother is alive, Batman is a vigilante (a
violent one this time!), Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war with one another,
and Superman is oddly absent. With the
Justice League in shambles and the world flipped upside down The Flash is lost,
but is convinced it is Thawne is involved.
So as described above the premise sounds
promising! Sadly, it falls apart from here; as is the case with most DC home
video releases. The source material is a
short comic series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Andy Kubert that was very
well received. But as is the trend with
these releases, what worked well in paper form seems to get lost in translation
for home video.
The nuances and referential indications
of how time could be altered are lost here; even if you go back and rewatch the
film (I did) it makes no sense. How
could the world be so altered by what Thawne did? Sure some elements work, but after a
promising setup the film feels rushed and nonsensical; at least nonsensical by
the rules of superheroes.
The technical features of this release
are also adequate. For a brand new
animated Blu-ray I am expecting perfection, but in the end the quality is
(again) merely adequate. The picture is
a digital High Definition, 1.78 X 1, 1080p, AVC Encoded, MPEG-4. The colors and black levels are vibrant and
deep; being the most appealing image feature.
There are banding issues throughout as well as a muted clarity,
crispness that are due to subpar artistic choices. The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (MA)
lossless mix that gets the job done (crisp and clear) but far from dynamic
enough for a superhero film. The POP
just wasn’t there.
If the pop wasn’t there on Blu-ray, the
DVD is full out muted. The picture and
sound presentation are lacking throughout.
Extras include the following:
From the Vault
A couple of Flash (related)
cartoons from Batman Brave and the Bold as well as Justice League
Justice League: War
A Flash in Time: Time Travel
in the Flash Universe
A 22 minute featurette that
has The Flash Point Paradox creative team discussing the ins and outs of
The Flash, his abilities, and the specifics of time travel. You can tell they are really into this…
- Michael P. Dougherty II