LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout (Blu-ray)

The Film:

DC’s cinematic universe is at present in the middle of a, uh, dark period. Debates have come up over Superman’s willingness to kill due to the fact of happenings in Man of Steel, an extended cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned an R-rating, and the Suicide Squad — the group of villains whose heads are blown up if they act out of line — recently got their personal standalone movie. This type of violence and gloom aren’t new to movie adaptations of DC’s characters, particularly Batman, of course, but there is a noticeable difference in the tone and intent this time about, and it really is even less welcoming for the young, impressionable audience members — and their parents — out there. With this younger audience in mind, DC Animation have been creating deliberately playful and humorous options to their prime universe’s gloominess that involve numerous of the same characters, such as a series of LEGO-themed stories related to the line of videogames and the awesomeness of The LEGO Film. Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is the most current of these goofy adventures, yet this one’s as well more than-the-leading to appreciate beyond its absurd twists on the Batman universe.

To be perfectly sincere, “Mr. Wayne’s Vacation” would’ve worked equally as well, if not much more so, as the title for this animated feature. Soon after an extended period of fighting crime on the streets of Gotham, the Bat-family members and Justice League decide that Batman (Troy Baker) really wants a trip … and they know he’s going to resist the idea. With a tiny trickery and guilt-tripping, Batgirl (Sarah Hyland) and Nightwing (Will Friedle) manage to drag Batman away for a reflective journey by means of his past, taking him far away from Gotham to the locations exactly where his abilities of fighting crime originate. Naturally, difficulty seems to stick to Batman wherever he goes, pitting him against longstanding rival Deathstroke (John Dimaggio) along his travels. Back home at Gotham, Superman (Nolan North) requires more than crime-fighting duties for the Caped Crusader, only to discover that the scheming of Joker (Jason Spisak) and the other inmates of Arkham Asylum can be a bit trickier than he anticipated, leading him to get in touch with in the may of the Justice League for their assistance.

Like the preceding entries in the LEGO DC direct-to-video universe, Gotham City Breakout is not to be taken at all seriously. From the premise of Batman reluctantly going on vacation to Superman getting difficulty containing the powerless villains of Gotham City, the premise exists to be one thing of an amplified spoof of the superheroes’ traits, even outright misrepresenting them to get laughs because they are misrepresented. Situational gags and 1-liners come collectively into what plays like a hybrid of Joel Schumacher’s Batman films and the classic Adam West television series, or, for those familiar, like a string of cutscenes from one of the LEGO videogames. And it never misses a beat in terms of cornball jokes, whether it’s about Batman’s brooding, Robin’s youthful responsibilities, or how the Man of Steel struggles against the scheming of Joker and his … uh, all-important spoon. The humor occasionally hits the mark, like whenever Sarah Hyland’s surprisingly solid efficiency as a bubbly Batgirl responds to her odd surroundings, but most of it ends up also exaggerated to appreciate beyond the target audience.

Genuinely, it all depends on what you are hoping to get out of Gotham City Breakout: a vibrant and humorous distraction solely for the kids, or a viewing knowledge that the loved ones can repeatedly get pleasure from. Despite the vibrant visual style and the cutely charismatic voice function continued from preceding installments, the story itself becomes much more ridiculous as it goes along, but not in the compelling, comic-logic adventure sort of way from Cosmic Clash or Attack of the Legion of Doom. Magic mind-probing for details, martial-arts sorcery launched as little 1×1 LEGO pieces, and spear-wielding primitives that appear like Frankenstein occupy Batman’s energy in one place whilst the Justice League scrambles to regain control of Gotham from nearly the complete breadth of Batman’s rogues gallery, yet, surprisingly, not considerably really happens to maintain the action moving forward alongside those issues. Every little thing feels strung along and secondary to the pure zaniness emphasized in the cartoon, generating it even tougher to hold one’s attention all through the inevitable happenings of Gotham City Breakout.

Video and Audio:

It really is challenging not to enjoy the visual style of these LEGO direct-to-video films, which have a slick degree of tangibility about the textures and movements of the figures within an atmosphere created up of LEGO blocks all through. The transfer from WB and DC Animation isn’t a digital heavyweight, mainly running reduce than 20mbps in its 1.78:1 1080p AVC, but the general look of the animation stuns in high-definition. Subtle surface grains on the characters arms and the sharpness of the blocks’ angles are discernible and sport no distracting problems throughout, even though stronger textures of cape fabric and stone walls are appropriately pronounced. The colour palette impresses equally as much: the bold colors of the characters’ appearances remaining effectively-saturated and stable, as do the darker components of Gotham City’s orange-and-brown aesthetic and the Bat-family’s dark-blue, purple, and black clothes. Action and the quickly-moving blocks clocking together stay steady, whilst the faked depth-of-field blurring in backgrounds does not run into any overt problems.

There is lots of novel, vigorous activity in the DTS-HD Master Audio track for Gotham City Breakout to dig into what the high-definition presentation can offer. A couple of explosions have sufficient mid-variety pop to them, even though the clicking with each other of the LEGO blocks and the expulsion of energy rays supply enjoyable higher-end clarity without having any troubles. Dialogue ends up being a lot more dominant than 1 may anticipate, although, and the robust cast’s performances are in tip-leading shape throughout, no matter whether it is Troy Baker’s vaguely Will Arnett-esque performance as Batman, the higher-pitched cackles of Tara Strong’s Harley Quinn, and everyone else in amongst. Rear-channel activity is not frequent and there is not a lot in the way of an immersive surround stage, but the bass levels are responsive enough to give every thing a organic tempo, and the energetic music sounds wonderful.

Unique Attributes:

Beyond a Trailer for LEGO Scooby Doo: Haunted Hollywood (1:55, 16×9), a DVD Copy of the film and a Digital Copy, Gotham City Breakout only arrives with a tangible extra: a LEGO figurine of Nightwing. Strangely, he’s sporting his “standard” costume with a blue symbol and batons rather of the red that he’s wearing in the animated film (his appearance from the New 52), but, hey.

Final Thoughts:

LEGO DC Superheroes: Gotham City Breakout marks the subsequent in a line of kid-centered releases featuring Batman and the Justice League, supplying a vibrant and deliberately lighthearted option to the heavy, violent state of DC’s existing cinematic universe. This one particular, nonetheless, takes on that mission a little much more actually than others in the LEGO comic-book universe, confronting Batman with the perils of a vacation gone awry and making a situation exactly where Superman and the rest of the Justice League can’t manage to include the largely powerless villains of Gotham City for a evening. It’s humorous and cute, the voice-acting is charming, and the visual style brilliantly maintains the illusion that these are all LEGO blocks, but the degree of silliness going on right here drastically overburdens the storytelling that’d make it just as enjoyable for all ages. Rent It.

Thomas Spurlin, Staff Reviewer — DVDTalk Critiques | Private Blog/Internet site

What Do You Believe?

Blu-Ray Evaluations

Justice League vs. Teen Titans (Blu-ray)

&#13 &#13 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice League vs Teen Titans!&#13

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&#13 If you shambled out of Batman v Superman feeling sullen and depressed, do not make the mistake of assuming that Justice League vs. Teen Titans is more of the very same. In reality, the title of DC’s most current animated release means nothing at all. This is a Teen Titans movie, the Justice League play a pretty small function, and that titular “versus” is really short-lived. …and you could extremely simply argue that it wasn’t genuinely the Justice League anyway, but I will get into that entire factor in a minute. Whereas Batman v Superman is the handiwork of men and women who fundamentally do not recognize or appreciate these characters, Justice League vs. Teen Titans has been crafted by Bryan Q. Miller (whose Batgirl run created for some of my all-time favorite comics), longtime DCAU caretaker Alan Burnett, and Sam Liu, the greatest director in DC’s arsenal.&#13

Tired of being sidelined but once again, Robin swoops in to save the day! In any other flick opening with this sort of battle royale (hey, it’s the Super Friends versus the Legion of Doom!), Damian would fail miserably, be admonished by the Justice League for disregarding their orders, and find out a worthwhile life lesson. Frustratingly enough for this impetuous ten year old, that is not at all the case here. He is single-handedly responsible for stopping dead in its tracks some supernatural force that brought even Superman quaking to his knees. Were it not for his intervention, the Justice League may be no a lot more, and untold millions could have fallen in this sinister entity’s wake. Damian’s reward…? Becoming shipped out of Gotham to be babysat by the Teen Titans.&#13

The Justice League has turned to the Titans not because of what Damian did, specifically, but due to the fact of the life he’s been forced to lead. Regardless of nevertheless being a child himself, he’s in no way had what anyone could rightly contact a childhood. His ten years of life have been devoted practically entirely to rigorous education, surrounded each waking moment by assassins or decidedly adult costumed heroes. He’s a living weapon with no idea of how to function as element of a team. Camaraderie and friendship are completely alien to him. For their element, the Teen Titans — Raven, Changeling, Starfire, and Blue Beetle — take Robin in with open arms. United by far more than just their youth and superpowers, this is a makeshift family members borne of loss and isolation. …and, naturally, Damian resents it. A trip to the county fair, of all items, marks the turning point. Cotton candy, games on the midway, a faux-Dance Dance Revolution-off, a triad of unstoppable, hellspawned warriors: y’know, the usual. Family is at the core of Justice League vs. Teen Titans, and Raven’s burden to bear is being the daughter of the demonic Trigon. She once summoned the strength to imprison her father in an extradimensional hell, and these walls are at extended last beginning to crumble. Even worse, Trigon has possessed the Justice League to additional his escape. The Teen Titans not only have to somehow stave off Hell on Earth, but they have to take down their mentors — Superman among them! — along the way.&#13

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Justice League vs. Teen Titans might have gotten really a few mixed evaluations so far, but for what ever my vote is worth, I feel it really is phenomenal. None of DC’s New 52-inspired animated films have even come close to what they’ve delivered here, and fairly a bit of that comes down to striking the correct balances. For one particular, it’s not an origin story. The Teen Titans are already an established team prior to the film opens, and only one particular of the characters newly-introduced to this continuity has a flashback delving into her previous. Simply because Justice League vs. Teen Titans isn’t distracted by repeatedly setting up a single character soon after one more, it is far better capable to concentrate on characterization and action…to preserve marching forward. The New 52 got off on the wrong foot by being so dark and dour, peppered with death and dismemberment while oriented about aggressively unsympathetic, unlikeable incarnations of the heroes we when loved. Justice League vs. Teen Titans wields a different set of tactics. It’s not afraid to be vibrant-eyed, optimistic, and exciting, and yet the stakes nevertheless feel devastatingly genuine when it counts. In a lesser movie, the shift from two youngsters getting a K-pop dance-off towards hacking apart a demonic strikeforce would’ve been tonal whiplash, but Justice League vs. Teen Titans tends to make it perform without missing a beat.&#13

This is a horror movie, a teen comedy, a coming-of-age flick, and a superhero spectacle all in a single. Its sense of humor pretty significantly often scores a laugh. The action is regularly spectacular, from the Flash bounding up a stream of hail towards the Climate Wizard all the way to a kaiju-sized Trigon leveling an entire city. I love how imaginative and inspired the imagery so typically is, such as the innumerable diverse shapes taken on by the Blue Beetle’s armor and the way Changeling strings collectively combo attacks by rapidly shifting amongst animal forms. It’s appreciated that the Justice League and Teen Titans regard every single other as folks, not just an array of costumes and superpowers. If you pay interest, you’ll notice that quite couple of codenames get tossed about. Heck, I do not even know if this Garfield Logan prefers “Beast Boy” or “Changeling” if he’s named by anything other than his very first name here, I must’ve missed it. There’s no shortage of actually terrific character moments, specifically these revolving around Raven and Robin. Given the bleak tone adopted by so a lot of of these films, it is a welcomed change of pace that there are no on-screen deaths — even the flashback to the fall of Azarath — even though blood and dismemberment are similarly kept to a minimum. Only demons shed any limbs right here, and they respawn almost quickly. There are also some unexpected and awe-inspiring appearances — stick through the finish credits for one of them — and the introduction of the Hall of Justice to this continuity gives me all sorts of hope for what is soon to come. Also, thanks for permitting me to really like Superman once again after he was so aggressively dickish in War and Throne of Atlantis.&#13

Astonishingly small about Justice League vs. Teen Titans doesn’t perform for me. Some of the voice acting is not up to snuff, particularly Taissa Farmiga as Raven. Even even though this is a character that’s been forced to repress her feelings, the functionality doesn’t sound organic or convincing sufficient to my ears. I nonetheless extremely significantly appreciate that the Titans are created and voiced as barely-teenagers, of course. There’s a lengthy emo song in the state fair sequence that’s a bit also on-the-nose. I know a lot of people will grouse and groan about the ’80s Saturday morning cartoon transformation sequence as the Titans get into uniform for battle, but I sort of loved it. It’s also fair to criticize that Damian’s not evolving all that a lot as a character across these movies, settling into some of the same familiar arcs time and once again. Justice League vs. Teen Titans‘s take on Robin definitely outclasses the previous couple of entries, even though.&#13

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&#13 I get that some men and women want these movies to be visceral, epochal, universe-redefining events, and that is not what Justice League vs. Teen Titans is aiming for here. What this most current installment accomplishes is precisely what the DC Animated Film Universe needs appropriate now. It really is breezy fun, it really is an adrenaline rush, it is a lot more emotionally resonant than I ever would’ve guessed, and it leaves me more excited about the prospect of a followup (in this continuity, anyway) than I’ve been in a couple of years. Extremely Advisable.&#13


&#13 For the most portion, Justice League vs. Teen Titans is a knockout in high-def, with a striking use of color and remarkably nicely-defined linework. There is sufficient of a diffused glow to lend the movie a cinematic sheen, but not adequate that it ever comes across as soft. The only glaring flaw in this presentation is extreme banding. As chronic an problem as this has been all through so many of DC’s animated releases, it really is heavier and more distracting right here than in possibly any other of these movies to date. As long as you can appear past that, although, Justice League vs. Teen Titans leaves quite little room for complaint.&#13

Justice League vs. Teen Titans arrives on a single-layer Blu-ray disc at its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1.&#13


&#13 The 24-bit lossless soundtrack on Justice League vs. Teen Titans goes straight for the jugular. Within the initial couple of minutes alone, you have Cheetah leaping from a single rear channel to the next, Luthor in his power armor soaring towards the front mains, Toymaster’s barrages of missiles scattering in each and every conceivable direction, and Solomon Grundy’s thunderous punches (and Climate Wizard’s thunderous..err, lightning) rattling every single square inch of the area. This six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack impresses each and every bit as significantly throughout the movie’s a lot of other slugfests. No matter how chaotic the action can get, each and every last element in the mix is rendered cleanly and distinctly, with the startling clarity of its voice acting by no means finding itself overwhelmed in the mix. Outstanding.&#13

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&#13 Also incorporated are Dolby Digital five.1 dubs (640kbps) in French, German, and Spanish, although a Castilian Spanish dub is delivered in stereo. The list of subtitles addresses each one particular of these languages as well, along with an English (SDH) stream.&#13


Justice League vs. Teen Titans is storming onto Blu-ray in a slew of different editions. There is the traditional release, of course, Target is providing an exclusive steelbook, and a numbered limited edition contains a really good seeking Damian figurine:&#13

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&#13 There’s no audio commentary this time around, the same as Undesirable Blood just before it, but DC’s piled on adequate extras to make positive you nonetheless get your money’s worth.&#13

  • Developing Up Titan (23 min. HD): Far and away the highlight of the disc’s extras is this lengthy Teen Titans retrospective. “Increasing Up Titan” charts the team’s evolution from the Silver Age all the way to its existing post-Flashpoint-soon-to-be-Rebirthed incarnation, touching on several seminal storylines along the way: The Judas Contract, the Trigon-triggered ’80s lineup, and Roy Harper’s addiction to heroin. It is far more than just a journey through history, though, exploring the effect of ’60s counterculture on a group of teenage superheroes, the contrast drawn amongst the Teen Titans and their mentors in the Justice League, and even how ancient mythology influenced Marv Wolfman and George Perez’ revival in the early ’80s. This was 1 of my preferred superhero books developing up, so it is particularly a blast to see Wolfman featured front and center here. Effectively-worth a look.
  • &#13

  • Heroes and Villains (11 min. HD): Raven and Trigon each score their own devoted featurettes, delving into their interwoven pasts, seemingly endless abilities, and what drives them. A single is ensnared in an endless struggle with the darkness inside, while the other embraces that evil as a ravager of worlds.
  • &#13

  • From the DC Comics Vault (46 min. HD): “Sidekicks Assemble!”, from The Brave and the Bold‘s second season, functions its own version of the Teen Titans: Aqualad, Robin, and Speedy. Even much more of a perfect match for the film, the Teen Titans ep “The Prophecy” revolves about Raven’s dark previous.
  • &#13

  • Sneak Peek (ten min. HD): Far more than just an early look at the upcoming adaptation of The Killing Joke, this is a genuinely thorough and compelling producing-of piece. I particularly appreciate the emphasis on translating Brian Bolland’s distinctive artwork to the screen, complete with a slew of panel-to-polished-animation comparisons. Amongst the other highlights are footage of the reunited original Batman: The Animated Series cast at perform as effectively as specifics on how the graphic novel has been respectfully expanded to attain a feature-length runtime.
  • &#13

Justice League vs. Teen Titans also serves up a DVD and a digital copy. I am pretty confident that the standard release consists of a slipcover as nicely, even though that does not make the reduce in the restricted edition.&#13

The Final Word&#13

&#13 I hope that Justice League vs. Teen Titans has set the template that DC’s animated motion pictures adhere to from here on out. It strikes the best balance amongst charming and harrowing…in between thoughtful characterization and the adrenaline rush of superheroic spectacle. Even with a bit of less-than-spectacular voice acting and an overly on-the-nose emo quantity in the soundtrack, this is undoubtedly my favorite of DC’s animated motion pictures in this New 52 continuity and comes quite Extremely Advisable.&#13 &#13 &#13 &#13

What Do You Believe?&#13

Blu-Ray Critiques

LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash (Blu-ray)

Judge Patrick Naugle is the Maxwell Lord of DVD Verdict.

A menacing robot…a rift in time…sounds like a job for the Justice League!

LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash requires DC Comics’ most well-known superheroes and plants them down into the globe of LEGOs. For this story the walking, talking super-personal computer known as Brainiac (voiced by Phil LaMarr) is trolling the universe in search of complete worlds to add to his collection. Brainiac comes across Earth and decides it’d make a ideal addition to his collection…until he finds himself coming face-to-face with the earth’s mightiest heroes: the Justice League! Thwarting Brainiac’s advances are Batman (Troy Baker), Wonder Lady (Grey Griffin), The Flash (James Arnold Taylor), Green Lantern (Josh Keaton), and Cyborg (Kharu Payton). Comedic action ensues when Wonder Woman, Superman, and Green Lantern are thrown across the time-space continuum, whilst Batman, Cyborg, and The Flash have to produce a “Cosmic Treadmill” to bring them all residence secure and sound.

Apparently, although I wasn’t hunting, the LEGO brand became one particular of the biggest toy properties on the planet (maybe the galaxy, I am not sure). Aside of youngsters purchasing little plastic bricks their parents step on at four AM for ungodly sums of money, the LEGO brand has also become a hit movie (The LEGO Film, natch) and a series of straight-to-DVD films primarily based on DC Comics superheroes. Due to the fact these are toys we’re talking about, the feature films tend to be light in nature with an often flippant comedic tone. Nothing is taken really seriously, and like Warner Bros’ Looney Tunes cartoons, the laws of nature often never apply to any LEGO characters wandering the movies.

Cosmic Clash is an entertaining enough film that’s clearly aimed a lot more at little ones than actual comic book fans. The animation is properly completed (since it is mostly LEGOs this is not a super detailed film) and the voice talent offers every character their personal personalities and sense of humor. Even though a lot of the superheroes nonetheless retain their classic traits—Batman is pretty serious, Superman is like a boy scout—most of the film is set up for as a lot of gags and jokes as the filmmakers can stuff in. There are some cute moments in the film’s scant run time (about an hour and fifteen minutes), specifically when Brainiac has strange, off-the-wall discussions with other Brainiac clones, or when the Justice League plays a game of hide-and-seek in the Hall of Justice (Superman finds a frustrated Green Lantern quickly due to the fact “that is the only piece of glowing green furnishings in the hall”).

The story for LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash isn’t all that important the amusing jokes come first and the plot line—about stopping Brainiac’s world conquering plan—is a distant second. When the heroes are thrown across the time line they encounter pirates, dinosaurs, cave males, and other historical events that are only there to be fodder of the comedy mill. Some of the gags land, some of them do not. Fortunately, the filmmakers added some amusing jokes that will almost certainly go over kids’ heads, so at least there’s some entertainment value for the parents.

LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash (Blu-ray) is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen in 1080p higher definition. Not surprisingly, this is a amazing looking transfer with vibrant, bold colors throughout. No defects or imperfections have been noticed in the transfer overall this is a strong work by Warner Brothers. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround in English, an aggressive enjoyable mix with all sorts of directional effects. Also incorporated on this disc are Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes in English and French, as nicely as English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Bonus functions contain a brief gag reel (“The Justice League: Caught on Camera”), a few theatrical trailers, a DVD copy, and a digital copy.

LEGO Justice League: Cosmic Clash will entertain children and, at occasions, parents, as well. I suppose you can’t ask for considerably much more than that in a film aimed at folks who have not hit puberty however.

DVD Verdict

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