This DVD pickup was a no-brainer for me. Loved the source material, LOVE the fact that they went with the original voice actors, and love the fact that they decided to stick with the Ed McGuinness art style. This one didn't disappoint.
THE GOOD -The aforementioned art style. Ed McGuinness's art looks gorgeous on the small screen. -Kevin Conroy picking up where he left off as the quintessential Batman. While it sounded a bit weird to hear Tim Daly coming out of an Ed McGuinness-style Superman, Conroy's Batman is always welcome. Ditto for Clancy Brown's Lex Luthor. -Changes were minimal, but the parts of Jeph Loeb's original story that didn't make sense or sounded just plain stupid (i.e. Metallo being floated around as the REAL gunman who murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne) were mercifully CUT. -The action scenes were plentiful and satisfying. The parts with Superman and Batman facing off against the DCU villains, Captain Marvel and Hawkman, and the climactic fight with Lex were all executed well.
THE BAD -With such rich source material, the movie translation felt rushed. The awesome fight between Superman/Batman and Captain Marvel/Hawkman felt WAY too short and could have used more time. -The original story helped give a lot of exposure to Captain Atom. The movie reduced his role significantly to the point that he's nothing more than a minor character. And speaking of minor characters, thanks for showing up, Levar Burton. One or two lines of dialogue has to be his easiest paycheck to date.
THE UGLY -Why was Green Lantern John Stewart's role cut completely?
THE SPECIAL FEATURES -Sorely lacking. A lot of stuff that's been seen before, including the look at the Blackest Night that was in the previous Green Lantern DVD and trailers for previous DC releases. -A "Sherlock Holmes" trailer plays as soon as the DVD loads up, which was interesting to me, since I hadn't seen it. -A sneak preview of the next DC Animated DVD release, "Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths". This features the debut of the Crime Syndicate and is loosely based on an old Dwayne McDuffie script that would have been used as the fourth season of Justice League Unlimited (!), which made me bang my head against the table that much more over its cancellation. Cast includes Mark Harmon as Superman, William Baldwin as Batman, Chris Noth as Lex Luthor, and James Woods (!) as Owlman. Woods alone makes this cast a winner.
The DC Animated DVD's have been hit or miss for the most part. But this one not only seems like it's worth it, but fans will probably view it more than once. A major thumbs up from me.
I borrowed and read the Public Enemies story arc a couple of years ago from my buddy, though I didn't think much of it then (because I don't think much of Loeb in general), and I mainly read through it to get to Loeb's Supergirl story arc, which is what I was really reading Superman/Batman for. Overall, the DVD movie is as I figured - I didn't like it any more than I did the comic.
There were a bunch of little moments that I liked. Allison Mack as Power Girl was a winner with me, and it was good to hear the Brown/Conroy/Daley trio (one last time?) as Luthor, Batman and Superman.
It actually started out promising with a pre-credits explanation of how a global financial crisis led America to turn to business genius Lex Luthor as President, but then it blew its credibility when Luthor, in his inaugural address, had Katana (and others) on the steps of the Capitol with him as examples of heroes who were going to be working for him. Really? Lex Luthor decided to share the spotlight on the most important day of his life with Katana? Really?
The movie very quickly devolved into Superman and Batman versus the DCU. Some fun moments there. Then it got absurd, with Luthor and his Kryptonite serum and green and purple armor along with Toyman's Superman/Batman giant robot. Plus, I'm not a fan of Ed McGuinness' art style so the hyper-muscled character design on ALL of the characters was just ludicrous. Apparently every ounce of fat in this version of the DCU is on Amanda Waller's ass.
I say the same thing about Public Enemies that I say about Superman/Doomsday and Green Lantern: First Flight - If I were 12 years old, I would have loved it. But I'm not 12 anymore. The only DC Universe DVD that I really liked so far was Justice League: The New Frontier. The New Frontier is also the best source material adapted so far, and great source material is slim pickings. I feel like The New Frontier is the only DC DVD that worked for both the 12 year old in me and the adult me concurrently.
I haven't seen Wonder Woman yet and of course, I'm interested in Crisis of Two-Earths. My dream is an action/comedy DVD movie adaptation of Keith Giffen's JLI, but I know that'll never happen.
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