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Justice League Vs Teen Titans (Blu-ray Review)

Justice-League-Teen-TitansThe demonic forces of Trigon infiltrate the minds and bodies of the Justice League, turning the veteran super heroes against their youthful counterparts in the all-new DC Universe Original Movie, Justice League vs. Teen Titans. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the film will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on April 12, 2016 on Blu-Ray™ Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and DVD.  The voice cast for Justice League vs. Teen Titans includes several actors reprising their recent Justice League roles – Jason O’Mara (Complications, Terra Nova) as Batman, Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me) as Superman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as Flash. Sean Maher (Firefly/Serenity, Batman: Bad Blood) also returns as Nightwing, as does Stuart Allan (Batman vs. Robin) as Robin/Damian. Making their Teen Titans voiceover debuts are Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story, Wicked City) as Raven, Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place, The Fosters) as Blue Beetle, Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) as Beast Boy and Kari Wahlgren (Phineas and Ferb, Legion of Superheroes) as Starfire. Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Daredevil) takes the villainous center stage as Trigon.

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When Damian’s over-aggressive tendencies almost destroy a Justice League mission, he is sent to learn teamwork by training alongside the Teen Titans. However, adjusting Damian’s attitude turns out to be the least of the Teen Titans’ troubles as Raven’s satanic, world-conquering father Trigon begins an escape from his inter-dimensional prison. To complete his return, Trigon must have Raven’s assistance – and to accomplish his goal, he spreads his demonic forces across the globe, infiltrating the minds and bodies of the Justice League to do his bidding. To save the universe and prevent a literal hell on Earth, the Teen Titans must rescue – or defeat – the Justice League, and intern Trigon for all eternity.

Well, technical the title is correct, but its not what you’d assume.  Its more like the Teen Titans taking on the Justice League who have been possessed and consumed by a satanic-like demon.  There are some good disagreements between the two, but when it comes down to the big boom boom pow, its really like the Teen Titans are squaring off against the monsters of the week.  That’s not a bad thing as the film delivers quite handsomely on its visuals and spectacle in battles.

This is the first of the DCAU movies to introduce the Teen Titans.  And in this film they’ve fit it in with where they are at with the Damian Wayne iteration of Robin (Who has been so for a few years in these movies) being the one who gets dropped off at the Teen Titans to further training.  Being added to the Titans group is a young Blue Beetle, since Cyborg was made a part of the Justice League in War.  Though, at the end I believe the status quo is back when it appears Cyborg is gonna be with them now.  If you’re looking for a ton of DC super heroes young and old, fear not, this film has you loaded.

One of my favorite Titans is Raven, be it from past shows, comics or Teen Titans Go!  While Damian Wayne is our in and has his share of character issues (Boy, is his shit getting a little tired already), this is really Raven’s story as her past comes back to take shape over this film.  She’s voiced by Taissa Farmiga who does a pretty admirable job bringing the character to life and giving her some weight.  We get plenty of face time and information regarding the other Titans, but this is her show through and through.

Justice League Vs Teen Titans is a pretty solid movie, and another one that is more friendly in the vein that Justice League: War was as opposed to something like Son Of Batman.  Even as short as it is, there’s something I can’t put my finger on with the pacing of the film.  While I liked what was going on, I had a hard time keeping fully engaged.  And its shallow of me to not flesh out why, cuz I really don’t know, it just felt that way.  This main storyline of the DCAU is about to hit the brakes and take a rest for a while as the next film will be the adaptation of The Killing Joke, which I don’t think will be in continuity with this story.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  As expected, this animated feature comes to Blu-ray looking pretty terrific.  It feels as if it could have been just a hair better.  This is strong image with full, solid colors that come very strong.

Depth:  Movments are smooth and free.  Background imagery looks quite good.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rich, deep and…well, black.  They do good on shading and also outlining.

Color Reproduction:  Colors come richly and are in a very punchy simple form.  There are some different shades and a good palette on display, they just sorta stick with their normal variation.

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin) 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castillian) 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH

Dynamics:  This is a nice well rounded sounding track that blasts off into your living room.  Foley work here is terrific and captured with good precision.  There is a fullness to it and a terrific balance in this mix with the vocals, music and effects all getting their due and feeling loose.

Low Frequency Extension:  Explosions, blasts of energy and crashes and pows all get the subwoofer going.

Surround Sound Presentation:  There is some good ambiance in the rear channels, as well as some good battle sounds.  The front speakers provide an accurate portrayal of the onscreen action be it movement or placement.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp and clear.  Its loud and always discernible no matter the level of chaos on display.

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Justice League Vs Teen Titans comes with a DVD copy and an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film.  For review, the copy was the Deluxe Gift Set edition that comes with an extra box and a collectible figurine of Robin.

Growing Up Titan (HD, 23:46) – A discussion of the history of sidekicks in the comic book superhero universes along with the popularity of groupings bringing the Teen Titans together. It then gives a history of the Teen Titans.

Heroes and Villains

  • Raven (HD, 6:05) – Background and history on the Teen Titan character of Raven.
  • Trigon (HD, 5:17) – This one is like the Raven one, but covers the villain of the movie.

A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: Batman: The Killing Joke (HD, 10:15) – A look at the hotly anticipated adaptation of one of the grimmest Batman/Joker tales.

From The DC Comics Vault 

  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Sidekicks Assemble! (HD, 22:52) 
  • Teen Titans: The Prophecy (HD, 23:02) 

Trailers – LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout, Batman: Bad Blood, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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While I overall liked this one, I can’t say it kept me super engaged throughout.  They focus on my favorite of the Teen Titans lineup, which is good and the film delivers some big supernatural spectacle with its action.  As is per usual for the DC Animated Universe films, this Blu-ray looks and sounds great and comes with a nice slew of worthwhile extras even if they have begun skimping on them (Moreso how many bonus vault episodes they include) as of late.  Fans, pick it up, but those generally curious should rent first.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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