Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths(2010)
In a parallel Earth ruled by the Crime Syndicate, the Justice League must fight their evil doppelgangers in a battle that would be dead even, except that their malicious counterparts are willing to do the one thing Batman and Superman never would: kill.
For more about Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray release, see Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on February 18, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Directors: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery
» See full cast & crew
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray Review
A step back from 'Green Lantern: First Flight,' a step above 'Superman: Doomsday'...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, February 18, 2010
Long before DC and Marvel began making billions at the worldwide box office, long before graphic novels became a staple of every bookstore, dastardly doppelgängers, evil twins, and villainous heroes from alternate realities were putting Earth's mightiest to the test. Who better to face a near-invincible demigod like Superman than an equally powerful manifestation of his darkest impulses? Who better to challenge a strategist like Batman than a mentally unstable Dark Knight who believes murder and justice are one in the same? Who better to battle Wonder Woman in hand to hand combat than a cruel, callous Amazonian who chose an entirely different path? Manhunter against Manhunter, Flash racing Flash, Lantern versus Lantern... it's the stuff of fanboy dreams and comic industry gold. Sadly, such stories have lost their edge after countless incarnations. More often than not, they've revealed themselves to be lazy gimmicks; formulaic crossover events designed to boost sales and offer diehards quick-n-easy access to their favorite heroes' carefully guarded psyches. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths owes its very existence to these same stories, and subsequently suffers from many of the same problems.
When Lex Luthor's unexpectedly upstanding double (skillfully voiced by Chris Noth) arrives from a parallel Earth to recruit the Justice League's finest -- Superman (an asleep-at-the-mic Mark Harmon), Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall), the Green Lantern (Nolan North), the Flash (Josh Keaton), Martian Manhunter (Jonathan Adams), and Bats himself (William Baldwin, lumbering his way through lines Kevin Conroy would have brought to life) -- he's greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism. But a heartbeat scan and a peek at a maximum security prison leaves everyone but Batman nodding their heads. Teleporting to Luthor's Earth, a planet where a superpowered crime syndicate has risen to power, Supes and his brightly hued comrades attempt to reinstate some law and order in a world gone mad. Before you can say "holy conveniently truncated plot, Batman," they come face to face with several squint-and-you'll-recognize-em faces: Ultraman (Brian Bloom, channeling the gents of Jersey Shore), Super Woman (Gina Torres), Captain Super (Jim Meskimen), Johnny Quick (James Patrick Stuart), Power Ring (Nolan North), Jimmy Olsen (Richard Green), and a chilly villain's villain dubbed Owlman (James Woods). Meanwhile, Batman stays behind to guard the Justice League's orbital base only to find himself matching wits and fists with an invading force of supers. Quick-dialing a pile of second-tier heroes (among them Aquaman, who might as well be Rocky Balboa for all he can do on a space station), Batman quells the uprising only to be dragged to Luthor's maligned Earth. There, he must stop Owlman from destroying the entire multiverse, all while resisting the urge to tell his fellow Justice League mainstays, "I told you so."
Critical jabs aside, Crisis on Two Earths isn't a mediocre film by any means. Yes, the animation is rough and inconsistent, and yes, the first two acts of the tale are as predictable and conventional as they come. But screenwriter Dwayne McDuffie's generous super-on-super action sequences are hard-hitting, the animators' character designs are slick and striking (minus a handful of laughable alternate-reality costumes by way of Black Lightning, Breakdance, Jimmy Olsen, and their fellow period-inspired criminals), and directors Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery's Batman vs. Owlman endgame is more epic, climactic, and intense than those featured in most other DC animated endeavors. Considering how telegraphed and tiresome the tale is for its first fifty minutes, the last twenty come as a fresh and welcome surprise. The fact that the filmmakers suddenly up the ante significantly certainly helps, mind you, but it's the much-needed burst of character nuance that makes Batman's trip to Earth-Prime so engrossing. While watching the other heroes go toe-to-toe with their misguided doppels is fast and fun in its own right, their fights tend to be brawny affairs that come down to simple tests of strength and resolve. By contrast, the Batman/Owlman tussle is visceral and cerebral, and genuinely takes advantage of the film's PG-13 rating by introducing a few mature themes and some meaty dialogue.
That being said, Crisis on Two Earths isn't as effective or satisfying as Green Lantern: First Flight. Lesser heroes and villains make cameo appearances for the sole purpose of rallying eagle-eyed JLA junkies; the cast's voicework is hit or miss; fourth wall references to invisible jets and Jedi mind tricks are amusing but a bit distracting; a budding romance between Martian Manhunter and the President's daughter (Freddi Rogers) is little more than a left-field tangent (one that slows the film to a crawl time and time again); and the moral absolutism that dominates almost every decision the characters make reeks of Saturday-morning simplicity. Worse, logic -- even as it applies to the exaggerated rules of comicbook reality -- is carelessly jettisoned from the airlock. How is it that Batman, an ordinary human being, can shake off a sucker punch from Super Woman? The same kind of punch that put Superman on the ground not ten minutes before? How can Owlman make a mid-air stand against Wonder Woman but have such trouble besting Bruce Wayne? Why does Superman have so many problems knocking low-level baddies out of commission? Why do the combatants feel the need to take their individual fights to their direct counterparts? Why do the heroes attack so blindly, without evaluating the situation in the slightest? And that's just scratching the surface. I can't tell you how many plot holes I had to ignore to move on; how many times I shook my head and muttered, "wait, what?"
Still, at 75-minutes, is it any wonder that subtleties, cohesive storytelling, and character development have fallen by the wayside? Hopefully the day will come when DC's animated films grow up. It's safe to assume their producers aren't interested in targeting a younger crowd (the PG-13 rating their on-screen violence demands suggests as much), but the writers seem far too hesitant to elevate the content of their scripts and the complexity of the conflicts therein. If Crisis was as intellectually engaging as its action is entertaining, it would warrant more praise. In the future, Warner Bros. Animation would be wise to greenlight feature-length projects in the vein of The Spectre (a sharply written, adult-oriented animated short included on the disc) instead of clinging to the status quo.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fanboys the world over should be well aware of mainstay producer Bruce Timm's less-is-more animation style. His characters are incredibly expressive, but his lineart is sketchy; his color palette is bold, but his worlds are shallow; his designs emphasize movement over form, but lack texture and dimension. Love it or hate it, Warner has preserved its every nick and splotch with yet another cool and capable 1080p/VC-1-encoded presentation. With gorgeous Superman blues and reds, brilliant Martian greens, stalwart Luthor golds, and inky Batman blacks, every frame is brimming with confident, commanding colors. Moreover, detail is sharp to a fault, showcasing the errant line ends, pencil strokes, and unclosed fills that dot the animation. It isn't always an impressive sight -- particularly when close-ups exacerbate these inherent issues -- but the technical transfer is sound. If it weren't for the incessant banding that appears in so many shots, I'd slap a perfect score across the image and call it a day. Alas, even my son, speeding his way through his fifth year on the planet, asked me why the skies were striped. Faint aliasing and artifacting occasionally rear their heads as well, but only the most discerning videophiles among you will spot each instance. All things considered, Warner's transfer offers an above average experience akin to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Wonder Woman.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, Audio Quality
For reasons I can't hope to understand, Warner has decided that Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths doesn't deserve the sort of TrueHD mix it afforded Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman; the sort of lossless monster Lionsgate grants each of its animated Marvel Comics films. Dialogue is crisp and intelligible, but is occasionally a tad hollow. LFE output is decent, but fails to shake the room, even when powers surge, jets roar past, and super-punches find their target. Rear speaker activity is adequate, but rarely sell the rocketing heroes, clinking bombs, or blazing beams that streak across the soundfield. No, the studio's Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track (640kbps) is a flat, front-heavy labor of apathy that doesn't enhance the experience as much as it should, or completely immerse the listener in any of the realities our faithful heroes explore. Even dynamics and directionality, while more able-bodied than their standard definition counterparts, are weaker than need be. Chalk it up to the film's limited sound design if it helps you feel better, but both First Flight and Wonder Woman highlight the difference a good lossless track can make, regardless of how simple the animation or production might be. Perhaps Warner will eventually take a cue from larger production houses like Image Entertainment, Magnolia, Naxos, First Look Studios, in-akustik, Screen Media -- you know, the big boys on the Blu-ray circuit -- and give every film a TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio track. One day... when they have the resources to do so. Sigh. Sarcasm just tastes bitter at this point.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
If you pick up the Blu-ray edition of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, be sure to ignore the slipcover sticker that touts "over four hours of extras." While diehards can certainly spend a sixth of their day digging through everything Warner has crammed onto the disc, only 58-minutes of the "four hour" package is comprised of legitimate special features. The rest? Three "First Look" previews recycled from previous releases, another batch of Bruce Timm-selected "Justice League" episodes, and a pair of DCU live-action television pilots, all of which are presented in standard definition. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't mind the additional material, but without an audio commentary, Picture-in-Picture experience, behind-the-animation documentary, or a single cast or crew member interview, the supplemental package is quite a disappointment.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths isn't the best flick to come out of DC Comics partnership with Warner Bros. Animation, but it certainly isn't the worst. As action-packed and entertaining as it is, I can only imagine how good it all would have been had the sensibilities that dominated its third act seeped into the film's first fifty minutes. Warner's Blu-ray release isn't reliable either. While it boasts a high-quality technical transfer, its standard Dolby Digital audio track is a middling bust and its supplemental package delivers less than an hour of valid special features. Choose wisely.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: Other Editions
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths BD Announced - November 24, 2009
Warner Home Video has set a February 23 Blu-ray release date for 'Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths', a direct-to-video animated movie that takes place in a parallel Earth ruled by the Crime Syndicate, where the Justice League must fight their evil doppelgangers. ...
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
» Show more forum discussions for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.