Animated Movie ‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part Two’ Arrives for Disc and Digital Purchase April 23

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part Two on Blu-ray Disc, as a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook, and through digital retailers starting April 23.

The sequel continues the storyline from Part One, which was released last month that adapts Crisis on Infinite Earths, the legendary DC comic book storyline of the same name from the 1980s.

In Part Two, an endless army of Shadow Demons swarms through all the parallel Earths of the multiverse, but a massive team of superheroes led by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern stands in their way. However, the long-buried secrets of the Monitor and Supergirl could threaten their efforts.

The returning voice cast includes Jensen Ackles as Batman/Bruce Wayne; Darren Criss as Superman & Earth-2 Superman; Meg Donnelly as Supergirl & Harbinger; and Stana Katic as Wonder Woman and Superwoman.

The cast also includes Jonathan Adams as Monitor, Gideon Adlon as Batgirl, Geoffrey Arend as Psycho Pirate/Charles Halstead & Hawkman, Troy Baker as Joker, Zach Callison as Robin, Darin De Paul as Solovar, Ato Essandoh as Mr. Terrific & Anti-Monitor, Keith Ferguson as Dr. Fate & Atomic Knight, Will Friedle as Batman Beyond & Kamandi, Jennifer Hale as Alura & Hippolyta, Aldis Hodge as John Stewart, Jamie Gray Hyder as Hawkgirl, Erika Ishii as Doctor Light/Dr. Hoshi & Huntress, David Kaye as The Question & Satellite, Matt Lanter as Blue Beetle, Liam McIntyre as Aquaman, Lou Diamond Phillips as Spectre, Matt Ryan as Constantine, Keesha Sharp as Vixen, Harry Shum Jr. as Brainiac 5, and Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow.

Extras include the featurettes “Voices in Crisis” and “The Bat-Family of the Multiverse,” and a sneak peek at the  final part of the trilogy, which will be available later in 2024.

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Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part One

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 1/23/24;
Warner;
Animated;
$29.98 Blu-ray, $47.99 UHD Steelbook;
Rated ‘PG’ for action/violence throughout and brief language.
Voices of Matt Bomer, Darren Criss, Stana Katic, Jensen Ackles, Meg Donnelly, Jimmi Simpson, Zachary Quinto, Jonathan Adams, Ike Amadi, Geoffrey Arend, Zack Callison, Alexandra Daddario, Matt Lanter, Aldis Hodge, Nolan North, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ashleigh LaThrop.

The first indication that this newest DC Universe animated adventure strays from the norm comes right off the bat, as Matt Bomer is the only credited cast member in the opening titles.

Bomer plays The Flash in this film and its precursors in the cycle of continuity that began with 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and thus has been dubbed the “Tomorrowverse.”

The opening chapter of what is being presented as a Crisis trilogy is the eighth movie in the Tomorrowverse, and adapts the famed 1985-86 “Crisis on Infinite Earths” comic book crossover published by DC in which pretty much all of its characters battled a universe-destroying force.

Though most of the voice cast from the earlier films also return for this team-up adventure, that Bomer’s is the only one credited up front really speaks to how much this first installment has been crafted as a story centered on The Flash, a character whose fate was also closely intertwined with the plot of the original comics.

The film begins with The Flash, aka Barry Allen, zipping back and forth through time to key moments in his life, from the lab accident that bestowed upon him the powers of super-speed, to forming the Justice League with his fellow heroes, to meeting and marrying Iris West (Ashleigh LaThrop). The reason for his time jumps is tied to an evil force that threatens the multiverse — a wave of anti-matter energy is destroying parallel realities, and The Flash is transported to one where Earth is ruled by evil versions of his superhero pals.

His inability to save that reality gives him greater insight into the bigger threat when he is summoned to a space station where heroes from across the multiverse are being gathered to combat the problem.

Their plan is to build towers on each Earth that will be connected to a central device where The Flash can use his super-speed to vibrate all the Earths fast enough so that the antimatter will pass through them without doing any damage.

While the film is unavoidably loaded with familiar superhero tropes, it keeps viewers guessing with some interesting plot twists that effectively ground the action as essentially a love story between Barry and Iris. In this regard it strays a bit from the source material in order to give The Flash an even more integral role in the plot. The flashbacks also revisit some key moments from the earlier films while answering a few dangling questions about how certain events actually unfolded.

What’s also nice about the structure of the film is that the filmmakers haven’t just made an ambitious four-hour epic split up by the studio into three chunks for distribution. The first Crisis film tells a complete and satisfying story on its own while also laying the groundwork for the direction of the next sequel.

The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs include two featurettes. The first is called “Crisis Prime(r),” a name that suggests it might be about the source material to help give viewers context as to the slew of new characters that arrive. However, the 10-minute video turns out to be just the filmmakers recapping the previous seven movies to point out how they were planned to lead into this one.

A discussion of the source material does occur in the eight-minute “Selfless Speedster,” which delves into how the filmmakers deconstructed the original comic storyline in order to put The Flash front and center in the first of the three “Crisis” movies.

Animated ‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part One’ Available Digitally Jan. 9, on 4K and Blu-ray Jan. 23

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part One through digital retailers Jan. 9, followed by Blu-ray and 4K disc releases Jan. 23.

Disc configurations include a Steelbook with a 4K Ultra HD disc and a digital edition code, and a regular Blu-ray Disc with a digital copy.

The latest entry in the ongoing continuity of animated DC superhero movies that began with 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and following up Justice League: Warworld from earlier this year, Crisis on Infinite Earths is based on the legendary comic book storyline of the same name from the 1980s, and will feature heroes from across the multiverse converging to confront a threat to all existence.

The returning voice cast includes Darren Criss as Superman & Earth-2 Superman; Stana Katic as Wonder Woman and Superwoman; Jensen Ackles as Batman/Bruce Wayne; Matt Bomer as The Flash/Barry Allen; Meg Donnelly as Supergirl & Harbinger; Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow; Ike Amadi as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter, Amazing Man and Ivo; Alastair Duncan as Alfred; Ashleigh LaThrop as Iris West; Geoffrey Arend as Psycho Pirate and Hawkman; Cynthia Hamidi as Dawnstar; Aldis Hodge as John Stewart/Green Lantern and Power Ring; Liam Mcintyre as Aquaman and Johnny Quick; Nolan North as Hal Jordan, Amazo and Homeless Man; Keesha Sharp as Vixen; Harry Shum Jr. as Brainiac 5; Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane; and Zachary Quinto as Lex Luthor.

The cast also includes Jonathan Adams as Monitor, Zack Callison as Dick Grayson/Robin, Matt Lanter as Blue Beetle and Ultraman, Ato Essandoh as Mr Terrific, Erika Ishii as Doctor Light/Dr. Hoshi and Huntress, David Kaye as The Question, and Lou Diamond Phillips as The Spectre and Owlman.

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The physical and digital versions of the film will include the featurettes “Crisis Prime(r),” in which the filmmakers tour the complex storylines they’ve mapped out; and “The Selfless Speedster,” a look at the Flash’s role in the story.

A clip from Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths — Part Two will be available as a digital extra.

Part Two and Part Three of Crisis will be available later in 2024.

 

‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ Slated for 4K Blu-ray Sept. 12

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will release the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Sept. 12.

A spinoff of “Batman: The Animated Series,” the movie finds Batman reflecting on his decision to take up the cause of fighting crime as a mysterious new criminal begins killing Gotham City’s mob bosses.

Released on Christmas Day in 1993, Mask of the Phantasm received almost no publicity and made just $5.6 million at the domestic box office. It has since gone on to become a favorite among Batman fans and is considered one of the best films to feature the character.

Produced by the team behind “Batman: The Animated Series,” the film was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, from a screenplay by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko and Michael Reaves.

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The voice cast includes the late Kevin Conroy as Batman, alongside Dana Delany as Bruce Wayne’s former love interest, Andrea Beaumont. Delany would later go on to voice Lois Lane in “Superman: The Animated Series” from the same production team. The film also features Mark Hamill as the Joker, Stacy Keach as Carl Beaumont, Abe Vigoda as Salvatore Valestra, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred, Hart Bochner as Arthur Reeves, Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon, Robert Costanzo as Detective Bullock, Dick Miller as Chuckie Sol, and John P. Ryan as Buzz Bronski. Additional voices include Pat Musick, Marilu Henner, Neil Ross, Ed Gilbert, Jeff Bennett, Jane Downs, Vernee Watson, Charles Howerton, Thom Pinto and Peter Renaday.

The 4K HDR/SDR remaster of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was sourced from the 1993 original cut camera negative and was scanned at 4K resolution. Digital restoration was applied to the 4K scans to remove dirt, scratches and additional anomalies, but special care was given to not touch the film grain or the animation cel dirt that was part of the original artwork. This is the first time since its theatrical release that it is presented in its 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The original 2.0 mix and the 5.1 tracks were remastered to remove or improve defects such as pops, ticks, dropouts and distortion.

Extras include the new featurette “Kevin Conroy: I Am the Knight,” a remembrance of the actor who played Batman for 30 years across multiple projects. Also included is a bonus episode of “Justice League: Unlimited” that features a Phantasm appearance.

The standalone 4K disc also comes with a redeemable digital copy code.

Justice League: Warworld

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 7/25/23;
Warner;
Animated;
$24.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for some bloody violence.
Voices of Jensen Ackles, Darren Criss, Stana Katic, Ike Amadi, Troy Baker, Matt Bomer, Roger R. Cross, Brett Dalton, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes, Frank Grillo, Rachel Kimsey, Damian O’Hare, Teddy Sears.

The latest DC animated movie strays a bit from the typical superhero formula but should please fans of the classic trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

The film begins with a bit of an Elseworlds vibe, thrusting audiences into a Wild West adventure with Wonder Woman as a mysterious stranger riding into town to take on the unscrupulous Jonah Hex (which at first blush raises the question of if the filmmakers were doing “Warworld” or “Westworld”). Then, we are presented with Batman transformed into a Conan the Barbarian-type of character in the middle of a power struggle in a swords-and-sorcery setting. From there, the story shifts to a black-and-white 1950s-style ‘B’ movie about an alien invasion, with Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and Diana cast as government agents sent to stop it.

The movie seems more invested in these vignettes than whatever story might be suggested by the film’s title. In the comics, War World is an intergalactic gladiatorial arena, a concept that has become something of a cliché in superhero movies by now. The film reimagines War World to suit its needs, but it still takes about an hour before letting the audience in on what might be going on with regards to why these heroes are in the situation they’re in. At nearly 90 minutes, Warworld is still one of the longest standalone movies in the DC animated canon, and it puts that extended time to good use with an action-packed climactic battle. On the other hand, as fun as it is to see many of the characters put into the situations they are in, the film ultimately feels more like a mashup of various ideas the filmmakers were interested in seeing on screen that weren’t a good fit anywhere else, strung together with a plot developed just enough to justify its existence before setting up the next movie with an abrupt cliffhanger ending that literally flies in out of nowhere.

The Blu-ray includes two featurettes that run just under eight minutes each. “Illusions on Warworld” explores the alternate reality scenarios presented in the film, while “The Heroic, the Horrible and the Hideous” focuses on the characters involved.

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Legion of Super-Heroes

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Warner;
Animated;
$29.98 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violence and language.
Voices of Meg Donnelly, Harry Shum Jr., Darren Criss, Matt Bomer, Jensen Ackles, Cynthia Hamidi, Gideon Adlon, Ely Henry, Robbie Daymond, Yuri Lowenthal, Eric Lopez, Darin De Paul, Ben Diskin, Victoria Grace, Jennifer Hale, Daisy Lightfoot, Zeno Robinson.

Though it takes a few narrative shortcuts to set up its premise, Legion of Super-Heroes ultimately turns out to be a fun but offbeat animated adventure.

The film is a continuation of the movie series that began in 2020 with Superman: Man of Tomorrow and includes Justice Society: World War II, Batman: The Long Halloween and Green Lantern: Beware My Power, and thus builds off some elements established in those movies while adding to the canon.

Comic book fans know the Legion of Super-Heroes as an intergalactic team of superheroes serving the United Planets in the 31st century. That said, Legion of Super-Heroes is kind of a misleading title for this movie, as its primary focus is on Supergirl (voiced by Meg Donnelly), Superman’s cousin who lives in the 21st century.

The film begins with a flashback to the destruction of Krypton, and how the teenaged Kara Zor-El was sent watch over her young cousin, Kal-El, who goes on to become Superman. Only her rocket gets knocked off course and, with Kara in a state of suspended animation, takes decades to arrive at Earth, by which time her cousin is now much older than her. (These are the same basic details fleshed out in other portrayals of the Kryptonian characters, from “Smallville” to the CW “Supergirl” series.)

Having grown up in the futuristic Kryptonian culture, Kara has trouble acclimating to life on Earth, so Superman (Darren Criss) decides to send her into the far future to train at the Legion Academy. (The Legion apparently contacted Superman in between movies, explaining why he just happens to have a time machine in his pocket.)

From there, the movie plays out more like a sci-fi version of X-Men: First Class or a “Harry Potter” adventure, as the Academy is threatened by the Dark Circle, a malevolent conspiracy seen in the present-day scenes being investigated by Batman (Jensen Ackles) and other members of the Justice League.

So, Kara must join forces with her fellow cadets to save the Academy and stop the Dark Circle from carrying out its plans for universal domination.

Though some traditional Legion members are among the students, such as Mon-El and Brainiac 5, most of the classic Legionnaires are missing throughout the film as part of the mystery story. So a more accurate title for the film would be something like Supergirl and the Legion Academy. But marketers gotta market.

The futuristic setting and characters lend themselves to animation that is bright and vivid in high-definition and 4K, while costume designs don’t take too many liberties from their look in the comics. Comic book traditionalists should especially appreciate the look of Supergirl, who is thankfully given a version of her classic red skirt outfit, and not one of the politically correct redesigns that have popped up over the years.

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The Blu-ray of Legion of Super-Heroes includes four solid featurettes about the film and its source material. In the 4K combo pack, the Ultra HD disc contains just the film, with the extras found on the included regular Blu-ray.

The five minute “The Legion Behind the Legion” offers interviews with the filmmakers about the making of the movie, while the eight-minute “Down to Earth: The Story of Supergirl” lets the filmmakers expound upon the backstory of Supergirl and why they choose her to anchor the movie. The nine-minute “Meet the Legionnaires” profiles the other characters in the film, and the eight-minute “Brainiac Attack: The Intellect Behind the Super-Villain” looks at the history of the Brainiacs, from the original Superman villain to his ancestor, the heroic Brainiac 5 who became a Legion member.

The Blu-ray also contains the two-part episode “Little Girl Lost” that introduced Supergirl to “Superman: The Animated Series” back in 1998.

Animated ‘Legion of Super-Heroes’ Movie Arriving Feb. 7 on Blu-ray, 4K and Digital

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Legion of Super-Heroes, the latest animated adventure in the DC Universe franchise, for digital purchase and on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 7, 2023.

In the film, Supergirl (voiced by Meg Donnelly) travels to the 31st century to help adjust to life on Earth by attending the Legion Academy, where heroes hone their powers with hopes of joining the Legion of Super-Heroes. Supergirl quickly makes new allies, as the Legion must confront a mysterious group known as the Dark Circle that seeks a powerful weapon stored in the Academy’s vault.

The voice cast also includes Harry Shum Jr. as Brainiac 5, Cynthia Hamidi as Dawnstar, Gideon Adlon as Phantom Girl, Ely Henry as Bouncing Boy, Robbie Daymond as Timber Wolf &and Brainiac 4, Yuri Lowenthal as Mon-El, Eric Lopez as Cosmic Boy and Chemical King, Darin De Paul as Brainiac and Solomon Grundy, Ben Diskin as Arms Fall Off Boy and Brainiac 2, Victoria Grace as Shadow Lass, Jennifer Hale as Alura, Daisy Lightfoot as Triplicate Girl, and Zeno Robinson as Invisible Kid and Brainiac 3.

In addition, Darren Criss, Matt Bomer and Jensen Ackles reprise their roles as Superman, The Flash and Batman, respectively, from previous entries in the ongoing Justice League continuity of movies.

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Extras include the featurettes “The Legion Behind the Legion,” in which the filmmakers discuss the making of the movie; “Meet the Legionnaires,” about the characters; “Brainiac Attack: The Intellect Behind the Super-Villain,” a profile of the lineage of the “Brainiac” character; and “Down to Earth: The Story of Supergirl,” in which the filmmakers discuss why they centered the movie on Superman’s cousin.

Animated ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ Headed to Premium Digital Aug. 23, Disc Oct. 4

The animated action-adventure DC League of Super-Pets arrives for premium digital ownership and rental on Aug. 23. The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 4 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Featuring the DC canon’s unsung heroes, Krypto and Ace, the film is based on characters from DC and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. 

The film features the voices of Dwayne Johnson (the “Jumanji” films, Moana), Kevin Hart (the “Jumanji” and “Secret Life of Pets” films), Kate McKinnon (TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” the “Magic School Bus Rides Again” films), John Krasinski (the “Quiet Place” films, Free Guy), Vanessa Bayer (TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” Office Christmas Party), Natasha Lyonne (“Show Dogs,” “Ballmastrz 9009”), Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Maya and the Three), Marc Maron (Joker, TV’s “GLOW”), Thomas Middleditch (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie), Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog, TV’s “Duck Tales”) and Keanu Reeves (the “Matrix” and “John Wick” films). 

In DC League of Super-Pets, Krypto the Super-Dog (Johnson) and Superman (Krasinski) are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto must convince a rag-tag shelter pack — Ace the hound (Hart), PB the potbellied pig (Bayer), Merton the turtle (Lyonne) and Chip the squirrel (Luna) — to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes.

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Premium digital ownership, the 4K Ultra HD combo pack and the Blu-ray contain the following special features: “How to Draw Krypto”; “Behind the Super Voices”; “Super-Pets Animation 101”; find the Easter eggs; “The World of Super-Pets”; and deleted scenes. The DVD contains “Behind the Super Voices.”

The release includes Filmmaker Mode, a feature that disables all post processing (e.g. motion smoothing), preserves the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates, and enables the TV to display the film as it was intended by the filmmaker. Filmmaker Mode is available on televisions from select manufacturers.

Complete ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ Coming to 4K Disc Sept. 20

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Batman: The Long Halloween — Deluxe Edition Sept. 20 as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack, a standalone Blu-ray and for digital sellthrough. The deluxe edition combines both parts of “Long Halloween” previously released separately on Blu-ray into a single two-hour 48-minute film that makes its 4K debut.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on the 1990s DC Comics storyline written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by the late Tim Sale, Long Halloween begins as atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham City send Batman into action — confronting both organized crime and a unified front of classic DC supervillains — while attempting to stop the mysterious murderer.

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The voice cast includes Jensen Ackles as Batman, the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as Commissioner Gordon, Katee Sackhoff as Poison Ivy, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man and the Penguin, Troy Baker as The Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon and Carla Vitti, Jack Quaid as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy, Alyssa Diaz as Renee Montoya, and Alastair Duncan as Alfred.

The deluxe edition will include the new featurette “Batman: The Long Halloween — Evolution of Evil,” a comprehensive look at Long Halloween with Loeb and the filmmakers.

Animated Movie ‘Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons’ Flying to 4K, Blu-ray and Digital Oct. 18

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the animated movie Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons on Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and for digital purchase Oct. 18.

Warner Bros. Animation’s first all-CG animated feature-length film finds the children of Batman and Superman tasked with saving their famous fathers — and the world.

The ‘PG-13’-rated film based on DC Comics characters begins with Superman’s 11-year-old half-Kryptonian son Jonathan Kent (Jack Dylan Glazer) discovering he has superpowers and being introduced to the complicated world of superheroes and supervillains. When the world is attacked by the malevolent mind-controlling alien force known as Starro, Jonathan must join forces with Batman’s son Damian Wayne (Jack Griffo), the former assassin now serving as Robin.

The voice cast also includes Troy Baker as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Travis Willingham as Superman/Clark Kent, Laura Bailey as Lois Lane, Darin De Paul as Lex Luthor and Starro, Tom Kenny as Green Arrow and Penguin, Zeno Robinson as Jimmy Olsen and Melvin Masters, Nolan North as Jor-El, and Myrna Velasco as Wonder Girl and Lara.

The home release includes the featurette “Rival Sons: Jonathan and Damian.”

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