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 ... more »and Superman never would: kill.« less
The Justice League gets a visit from the Lex Luthor of an alternate Earth...and on his planet, he happens to be the only surviving member of their Justice League. He enlists the J.L. to come to his Earth to help him fight back against a syndicate of evil superbeings bent on not only ruling their planet, but taking over the entire Multiverse as well. VERY cool stuff here, it's loads of fun watching "our" heroes fighting bad guys who are their "evil opposites." Another winner from the DC Animated Universe.
Gardner Fox won't be rolling over in his grave...
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 02/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Parallel earths, an evil Justice League, and Batman being badasss... JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS gives the people what they want, and that this flick touts a PG-13 rating is yet one more treat. I've missed the Justice League since the series went off the air, and the solo adventures of Bats and Superman, Wonder Woman and GL are great, but I miss all the interaction.
The plot could've been convoluted, but the clear storytelling makes things easy to follow. It starts with a bare-nekkid Lex Luthor seeking help from the Justice League. Luthor claims to be from an alternate universe, one in which that version of the Justice League calls itself the "Crime Syndicate," and not because someone was trying to be ironic. The Justice League agrees to cross over to put a stop to their crooked doppelgangers, even though everyone's pretty suspicious, especially Superman (because it's still friggin' Luthor) and Batman, who decides to stay behind. I think I'll stop right there with the plot breakdown, other than to mention that, as it falls out, the stakes are much, much higher than mere world domination. The main bad guy spits at world domination.
The pace really moves. The story's good, and it's big in scope. I'm a sucker for mirror universes. But the highlights are the action sequences, thanks to some sharp animation and a pretty good voice cast (although, I miss Kevin Conroy's iconic timbre and I'm still not sure about Mark Harmon as Supes). There are several awesome battle royales, pitting the League against folks who can match and sometimes surpass them in power. Three pick of the pack moments for me: Aquaman actually not being a sissy; Wonder Woman demonstrating crunching warrior skills in her scuffle with Superwoman; and Batman's extended contest of brawn and wits with Owlman. Owl Man, by the way, is about as dangerously unbalanced as they come and in him, Batman finally meets someone who not only can outfight him but is even more detached than he is. James Woods is superb as Owlman. I mentioned earlier that I love that the Dark Knight comes across as a bad mofo here, clearly the underdog in his tussle with Superwoman and then with Owlman, until he applies the underhanded technique of trickeration on them. And - maybe a SPOILER alert here for the rest of this sentence - for someone who doesn't believe in killing, Batman sure has no qualms about offing off two of the more noticeable villains.
It's fun, also, to see how familiar faces are presented in this alternate reality, and can you identify each side character? That's not a Barsoomian; that's an alternate J'onn J'onzz with four arms. On the other side of that coin, I like that they've put the "real" Martian Manhunter in his more updated, much cooler threads. But poor Harley Quin...
Other than the absence of Kevin Conroy and perhaps the presence of Mark Harmon, the only other beefs I have - and they're very minor - concern Ultra Man speaking like a two-bit thug. I dunno, maybe I expected more gravitas coming from the most powerful despot on the planet. And I don't know that the unlikely romance which surfaces halfway thru the film doesn't feel like a filler.
Also on this DVD is the first in a series of animated shorts which will hopefully go on to feature the more obscure DC superheroes. DC SHOWCASE, in its debut, presents the Specter. This 12-minute-long short reeks of that film noir vibe, bolstered by a first person narrative and a funky 1970s-type opening score. Set in Los Angeles, police detective Jim Corrigan investigates the murder of a film producer. If you're not familiar with the Specter and his gristly brand of justice, then you're in for a treat and for a great reveal at the end. Even if you're already down with the supernatural, pasty-skinned Spirit of Vengeance, this short is still very well done, with excellent near-anime and sometimes purposely scratchy visuals and outstanding voice work done by Gary Cole and Alyssa Milano, who plays a femme fatale role.
What I've got is the two disc set. Disc 1 has the feature film, the Specter short; an exclusive first look at the next direct-to-DVD film from DCAU, BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD, and previously released first looks at three other DC Universe Animated Original Movies: GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT; SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES, and WONDER WOMAN: THE AMAZON PRINCESS. There are also trailers for HALO LEGENDS and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: THE MOVIE. Disc 2 has: "DCU: THE NEW WORLD" - a 26-minute-long segment in which several of DC's creative forces discuss the evolution of the modern-age superhero and the relevance of a shared superhero universe, from when Superman first appeared with Batman & Robin on the same cover in 1940 to ALL-STAR COMICS #3 and the JSA's debut, from CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS to IDENTITY CRISIS and onwards. Also here are two bonus episodes from the JUSTICE LEAGUE television series, the pivotal classic two-parter "A Better World," a parallel Earth story in which Superman finally frags Luthor and what happens after that."
The Strongest Movie yet
DC_Fan_52 | Texas | 02/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having bought the other six movies and enjoyed them to varying degrees, this latest entry into DC's Direct-to-DVD Library is the strongest entry so far. The plot is very strong, characterization spot-on, and the voice-work is close to perfect.
Now, I say close to perfect, because as you may be able to predict, Billy Baldwin is a weak Batman. His voice just sounds wrong coming out of the Dark Knight. Thankfully, Batman doesn't talk much. And the characterization is so perfect. Superman is leader-ish. Wonder Woman has the right kind of spunk. Martian Manhunter is reserved. Flash is playful. And Hal Jordan just blends into the background. Just like in the comic books!
I'm just ribbing you GL fans.
Like all Crisis stories, this is a visual treat. I love spotting all the alternate versions of characters we know. Evil Elongated Man, Evil Vixen, Evil Black Canary, Evil Jimmy Olsen, and "Superwoman's Three Made Men." they make me smile. And the Crime Syndicate is a good set of villains. Owlman and Superwoman steal the show, but Ultraman has his moments. Johnny Quick, too. Power Ring, eh, not much. But, its a great plot, with great pacing for the action, and it's funny! I love it.
I should mention that this is NOT an adaptation of Grant Morrison's "JLA: Earth-2." Other than a good Lex Luthor asking the JLA for help, and Owlman and Superwoman being an item, this DVD and that book are nothing alike. It's apples and oranges. Maybe because it's not an adaptation that this DVD is so strong. When you have to adapt from another medium, you have to sacrifice something along the way, to the detriment of the piece. Having this written specifically for a movie dodges the "Oh, you have to read the Graphic Novel," excuse that some of the other DTVs suffered.
EXTRAS on this Bluray are pilots for the Linda Carder - Wonder Woman TV series, and the Aquaman TV pilot, that spun-off from Smallville, this is exclusive to the Bluray edition.
Four episodes of Justice League: A Better World, parts 1&2 (AKA the Justice Lords episodes). And Exclusive to the Bluray: Twilight, parts 1&2 (AKA, when Superman fights Brainiac and Darkseid).
What is the first in a series of animated shorts, DC Showcase Presents - The Spectre, a 10 minute cartoon. It's good to see obscure characters given a spotlight. Nice and simple. Can't complain.
A documentary, DCU: The New World. It looks at the creation of Identity Crisis going into Infinite Crisis. As a person who has read all of what they're trying to describe, I found this Doc to be very "airy" - lots of big words, without actually telling me anything. Something about how 9/11 changed everything, BAM - Identity Crisis. Very disappointing. JL: The New Frontier still has the best extras.
And a First Look at DC's next Animated Project - Batman: Under the Red Hood. Which, in my opinion, is looking great.
Plus "Looks" into GL: First Flight, Wonder Woman, and S/B: Public Enemies, pad-out the rest of the disk.
A really good feature. Some decent extras. The only thing I miss are the commentary tracks. I found the bluray for the same price as the 2-Disk Edition, so it was a no-brainer which to pick: I get the the Wonder Woman and Aquaman pilots, plus Twilight 1&2 in the bluray. Enjoy, and I'll see you at Batman: Under the Read Hood."
DC is Winning the Direct-to-Video War (v. Marvel)
D. Glassner | West Hollywood, CA United States | 03/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although both Warner/DC and Marvel/Lion's Gate have had their missteps, DC is definitely winning the direct-to-video war in terms of quality. The feature here is full of beautifully orchestrated and designed fight scenes (even if perhaps at the sake of plot) reminiscent of the best moments of the Justice League series. The new character designs look great and classic, although some of the original voices are to be missed. WB is very smart to be staying very close to Bruce Timm's established DC Animated Universe with their releases ("Gotham Knights" not withstanding). It automatically lends anything done in this style a deserved sense of pedigree.
For once, some of the "Added Value" material actually ADDS value.
Pros: Great story/feature Bonus "Spectre" short is nothing short of amazing and wonderfully original. (A+++++) Four great episodes of the original Justice League. (Two 2-Parters.) Pilot of live-action 70's "Wonder Woman" has apparently been remastered for HD. Looks very nice. Great A-List Voice talent.
Cons: No Kevin Conroy, et al. Encode/video quality of the Justice League episodes is sub-par and WORSE than standard definition DVD. (All black ink outlines are terribly blurred & jagged.) Some added value already released on previous WB/DC animated releases. "
A Fun Romp Through Dimensions.
Underground Reborn | ny | 03/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Justice League has done it all in the DCAU. Saved the world from alien attacks, saved other worlds in need of help and even saved themselves from the people they have sworn to protect. Now, they face something new. What would you say if you suddenly visited by your arch enemy claming he is from another dimension, and in his world he is a good guy?! Well, in Bruce Timms newest DCAU film, `Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths' Superman, Batman and the other JL members will find out.
The whole `Crisis' Story line has a grand history in the world of DC comics. From the Silver Age all the way to the mid 1980s there was a great deal of confusion around the story arcs of the heroes we have grown to love. DC had a great answer, let's bring all these arcs together, say they are all from different Earths in different dimension and kill as many characters as we can. The `Crisis' story in this film is actually one of the very first that has been re-visited a few times in the past 25 years, and for a 78 minute movie it is also one of the simplest to follow. That is a big plus for fans of the DCAU who might not be knowledgeable on the Crisis Lore. So the JL are visited by a good Lex Luthor who tells them about a world where the super powered men and women just happen to be the bad guys and what is worse, they like to kill. They are pretty much the JL through a broken mirror and Lex has no choice but to bring the good guys from another world to his to win the day.
I have been a fan of the DCAU for a while and so far I have enjoyed all the Warner Premiere films they have given us. Crisis was a fun movie to watch. While the character development was nowhere in sight it was a blast. I think that this film was made more for the comic fan. You know your characters you know the Crisis lore, just sit back and enjoy. What character development they did show in this film was done very well. Martian Manhunter had a great role to play, while he was not part of a great deal of the action. The voice acting was top notch. It was a little discomforting at first to hear Batman with a slightly higher pitch than normal, but the Batman persona was still there and at times he even made me laugh. Mark Harmon was great as Superman and Gina Torres was deliciously evil as Superwoman. Still, by far the best acting came from James Woods. Owlman was a villain that kept everything low pitched and emotionless. That is the kind of villain that becomes very frightening because the mystery leads to extreme unpredictability.
DC fans are gonna love this film, especially with all the surprises that are thrown in. You are going to see a few additional familiar faces and a few new faces that are going to make love it even more. This one made me very happy because it was taken from a story I wanted to see brought to the DCAU and the next film, is based upon the aftermath of `Death In The Family', another story I wanted to see. Take the time to see this movie, and make sure you see the two disc addition so you are able to see the DC Showcase short of `The Spectre'
Crisis Averted! The Best DC Animated Feature Yet
B. Daniel | Upstate New York, USA | 02/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So first things first, a little history and clarification on this project. This film started life as a script written by Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League/JLU) to bridge the gap between "Justice League" and what was initially pitched as a spin-off show but became "Justice League Unlimited." When JLU became a continuation of the JL the film was scrapped, but the idea eventually became the episode "A Better World" featuring the "Justice Lords," totalitarian versions of the Justice League. The original script titled "Justice League: Worlds Collide," which borrowed ideas from an old Gardner Fox "Crisis" storyline that first introduced the "Crime Syndicate", and Grant Morrison's "Earth 2," which reintroduced the group into modern day, was shelved but remained a plausible idea for DC's then upcoming series of direct to DVD films. Years later with a few tweaks to make it follow a continuity not connected to the JL/JLU universe, but still great if you were a fan of the show.
With an art style that is reminiscent of "Wonder Woman," "Crisis on Two Earths," (from here on to be referred to simply as "Crisis") comes out the corner swinging. The story: a good Lex Luthor from a parallel dimension travels to the Justice League Earth to recruit help to stop the powerful being on his planet that rule with an iron fist. Simple enough, and in some cases could be very predictable. And yet it still feels fresh. Sure there are clichés, like the villains being the heroes and the heroes being the villains, reversed organs and the obligatory slugfests, but that's the stuff we look for in stories like this. What was fresh and new was the take on the Crime Syndicate. Instead of just being morally ambiguous or just dark versions of our heroes, we get villains. Crooks. Killers. VILLAINS! The Crime Syndicate is portrayed as just that, a super powered mob that runs the world, complete with families of criminals under each member. I loved this take on the characters. Seeing some of the B-list or second tier heroes (villains) show up early was a blast too. We get looks at evil versions of Black Lightning, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Gypsy, and Elongated Man just to name a few. But it wouldn't be fair if the villains stole the show so we get some B-listers fighting on the side of the angels on regular Earth too.
The one thing I was disappointed with Morrison's "Earth 2" was there wasn't enough action, as in that story the teams had to switch Earths and really didn't fight. That isn't the case here. This film has more fights than all the other DC/Warner Premier films to date. I mean it. It's action packed and crazily done. There were times someone would be hit and their head would drag across the ceiling completely wrecking it. Everyone fights, and not everyone you think would win does. Okay I'm just gonna say it. Batman gets owned. Sorry. I'm a Batman fan. Hardcore! But he actually should be getting owned to a point. In most cases he holds his own but there are two fights in particular where he's just overpowered. And he should be. He may be peak human condition, but he's still ONLY human, and when he's going up against people who can lift cars with one hand, run at the speed of sound, or whatever eventually he's gonna run out of luck, but that won't stop him from getting up, and THAT is a true testament to the man.
As usual the voice talent for the film is phenomenal. Andrea Romano has done it again. William Baldwin does a surprisingly good Batman. Not as perfect as Kevin Conroy, but still rather good. Mark Harmon was pretty good as Superman as well, though sometimes he sounded a little off. Vanessa Marshal voices Wonder Woman, and was apparently up for the role in JL, but they went with a different choice. Chris Noth was a great Luthor. I firmly believe that Clancy Brown is THE voice for Luthor, just as Conroy is THE voice for Batman, however I don't know if he would've worked as Noth's voice has a heroic and noble quality, while Brown's Luthor, I don't think I could ever use the word "Heroic" when speaking of his voice. Even when played benevolent, he sounds untrustworthy. But the real runaway voice talent has to be Gina Torres as Superwoman, and James Woods as Owlman. EVIL PERSONIFIED!!!! Woods has all the calculatedness, with none of the attachment. He's just cold and too the point, and quite psycho. Torres is just as bad, except she exudes sensuality and entertainment. She enjoys violence and killing, and you can see it when she fights. She's always smiling as she puts someone through a wall or something. It's great stuff. "I'm a murdering psychopath. It's part of my charm."
All and all its DC's best effort since "Wonder Woman" and the debated "Green Lantern: First Flight." Some liked it (I loved it!), some hated it, but everyone thought WW was great. This is definitely in that same line of work. A co-directorial effort from Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery both of who have directed a DC film, this film is definitely great fun. Great action, great dialogue, great film. Extra features include DC's standard look at some of the goings on in the comics world that prompted the film to be made, as well as Bruce Timm's picks of Justice League cartoon episodes, and sneak peeks at other DC animated films including the newest, "Batman: Under the Red Hood." On the two disc set the first of DC's Showcase shorts is included. A 12 minute short about DC's avenging spirit, "The Spectre." This alone is worth the extra cash for the 2-disc set. If the next one (about Green Arrow) is as good then my complaints about not getting behind the scenes featurettes and making ofs will be a moot point. More animated goodness please. "