Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blu-ray Review: "Justice League Dark"


Reflecting on "Justice League Dark," I'm left asking one simple question. "How can you NOT put together a stellar 75-minute movie based upon all these characters with so much source material written about them? What we get here feels like a string of patched-together action scenes starring our favorite heroes. And these sacred icons are made to do battle with a supernatural poop monster? Is this "The Superhero Movie 2?"



When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession – but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege – before it’s too late for all of mankind in "Justice League Dark."


Although there's some disturbing moments in the first part of the movie, I found the R-rating for "Justice League Dark" to be unmerited. We're really not looking at anything more than a PG-13 even with frightening and intense scenes and profanity. I'm hoping that this new fad of R-rated comic book movies will blow over soon.


I was very happy to see the return of Swamp Thing to the screen even if he wasn't in a majority of the film. Voice actor Roger Cross ("The Strain," "Arrow") matched the character and gave him the presence he commands. It was also nice to see him play a pivotal role in the story.


A couple of the characters felt miscast and distracted me throughout my viewing of "Justice League Dark." Both Deadman and Felix Faust didn't match my visions of what those characters would sound like. Of course, this is just my personal preference. However, I expected something a bit more deep and threatening from a muscular deceased apparition and a powerful magician.


Something else to mention is the amount of magical chanting and incantations found in "Justice League Dark." This would go without saying for a movie featuring John Constantine, Zatanna, Felix Faust, and the dark arts. As a Christian, I'm a firm believer in the power of words. I just wanted to lay that out here for others who might share my beliefs.


The Blu-ray edition of "Justice League Dark" contains some great special features. They include a sneak peek at "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract," "The Story of Swamp Thing" featurette, "Did You Know?" featurette, 2016 NY Comic Con Panel featurette, sneak peek at "Justice League: Gods and Monsters," sneak peek at "Justice League: Doom," and "From the DC Vault" we get two bonus episodes – "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," “Dawn of the Dead Man!” as well as "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," “Trials of the Demon!” I found "The Story of Swamp Thing" featurette more entertaining than "Justice League Dark."


"Justice League Dark" was released on February 7, 2017. It was directed by Jay Oliva ("Batman: Bad Blood," "Batman vs. Robin"). The voice cast includes Matt Ryan, Camilla Luddington, Jason O'Mara, Ray Chase, Enrico Colantoni, Roger Cross, Rosario Dawson, and Jerry O'Connell. The running time is 75 minutes.

Rating: 🌟🌟

"Justice League Dark" is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and HD Digital.


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