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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Animated > Graphic Novel > Justice League – The Flashpoint Paradox (2013/Warner/DC Blu-ray w/DVD)

Justice League – The Flashpoint Paradox (2013/Warner/DC Blu-ray w/DVD)

 

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

o        A couple of Flash (related) cartoons from Batman Brave and the Bold as well as Justice League

·         Trailers

·         Sneak Peaks

o        Justice League: War

·         A Flash in Time: Time Travel in the Flash Universe

o        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


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