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Category:    Home > Reviews > Superhero > Action > Adventure > Drama > Science Fiction > Origins > TV > Justice League - War (2014/Warner/DC Comics Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Justice League - War (2014/Warner/DC Comics Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Picture: B-/C+ Sound: B/B- Extras: B Film: B-

As protective and conservative as Warner/DC may have been in the past with their characters, over the past decade they have been increasingly stylistically open to let artists and writers explore the superhero worlds. This is to say that each animated film that is released has a very different style about it. From voice acting to tone, the many ventures into the DC worlds can be night and day; and here with Justice League: War is no different. What does differ is the direction the film takes with continuity within this particular DC Universe.

Whereas we had plenty of one-off presentations in the past, Warner/DC decided (for the better) to take their straight to video, animated films (starting with Justice League: Flash Point Paradox) in a direction that emphasized continuity. Characters will now reflect on the events of the previous films; impacting on who they are and what is currently taking place in that universe.

Justice League: War introduces us to a world in which Superheroes are among us; each with their own agenda. While the non-super powered humans grow skeptical of and protest costumed heroes like Wonder Woman and Superman; the supers don't even speak to each other. That abruptly changes once a demonic force named Darkseid enters the picture. He intended to strip the earth of its natural resources and make humanity his mindless slaves who will help him on his future conquests. The supers quickly realize that no one hero can face and defeat Darkseid on their own; forcing them to join together for the sake of humanity.

The story then rockets off on a fight-fest for about 70 minutes. Battle after battle, we don't get the normal my parents are dead Batman, I'm an Amazon Queen Wonder Woman, or Truth and Justice! Superman. Instead we get an all-out battle between good and evil as our heroes establish The Justice League. If DC holds true to their word, this will be the first of many ventures into the world of the Justice League in this particular universe.

Whereas I don't think this was the best straight to home video animated feature to date; it had heart and was entertaining. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for our heroes.

The technical features here on Blu-ray are not as great as fans would expect. The picture is presented in a 1080p, 1.78 X 1 image that demonstrates solid colors and inky blacks; but concurrently has an inconsistent image that appears soft, while also displaying some banding issues. The sound is somewhat better in its 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track; presenting crisp, clean dialogue and solid use of the surrounds for both panning effects and ambient noises. My gripe (as with other DC releases) is that it lacks that extra umph as it is not nearly as aggressive as it should be for a superhero feature.

The DVD and Digital copies included in this set are merely downgrades of the nice Blu-ray release.

The extras include:

  • Justice League War Act D: From Animatic to Pencil Test

  • A Sneak Peek at future Warner/DC animated films

  • Deconstructing War (featurette)

    • A comparison with the comic books by none other than Jim Lee himself

  • Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee (featurette)

    • A look back at Jim Lee's creative endeavors up to this point

  • From the DC Comics Vault

    • Some standard definition episodes of both Justice League: Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold that relate to Justice League: War

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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