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Superman/Batman - Pubic Enemies - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}DC Comics, through Warner's ‘Premier' direct-to-dvd outfit, have been rather prolific in the last couple of years with their animated movies based on the superheroes of their comic stables. While some brave choices on the company's behalf have been met with mixed results, no one can deny the consistency of quality production and voice talent they continue to draw to these flicks. What still hasn't been established completely is who the hell they are aiming these films at. Allow me to clarify...

Superman Batman‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies', perhaps more than any of the previous films before it, relies greatly on a person having more than just a passing knowledge of the DC characters and the recent storylines in which they star—in other words, comic readers. The film also seems to have problems finding a middle ground in tone, with some of the writing skewering toward the kiddies market (unnecessary talking down) then jutting out of that world with bawdy humour and - at times - graphic violence. While one can always concede the commercial goal for any project would be to appeal to as many demographics as possible, a combination of these elements must gel within the story's context to make it work, and in this case it simply doesn't.

In this story, Lex Luthor has been elected President of the United States (A perfect example of how those with a non-fanboy interest in these characters are gonna be confused as all hell) and is doing his merry best to smear the reputations of Superman and all heroes who refuse to work for the government. As a huge meteor of Kryptonite hurtles toward Earth on a collision course, Superman must enlist the help of Batman to help clear his name of a murder, and reveal Luthor for the still nefarious fella he is... oh, and save us all like Bruce Willis did in Armageddon.

Where does it go right? The character designs are stylish and unseen (in animated form), the musical score is grandiose and befitting of a major live action motion picture, and the voice cast is stellar and includes CCH Pounder (The Shield), Clancy Brown (Highlander), for ‘Smallville' fans, Alison Mack, and the best Batman voice in the biz, Kevin Conroy. There is action aplenty and some effective and varied uses of it throughout. And this above any other animated pairing of DC's top two - the Supes and the Bat - explores their friendship and dichotomies far more effectively and enjoyably than ever before in all too brief moments.
The bad: the story, while not that complicated, is made complicated by the overkill of characters. Moments of levity and pacing are almost non-existent. The action, while definitely a plus in many respects, is so copious it begins to blur into one long action scene with brightly coloured costumes. The amount of characters that are summarily squeezed in there for the sake of a different coloured light beam or means of slamming Superman or Batman not only begins to bore, but is also disrespectful to some great characters. Point being, if you can't use them well, then don't use them. This is something DC is becoming criminally guilty of in the comics world, with their massive crossovers and fifty title interconnected story arcs that seem to confuse more than entertain... but I digress, that is for another forum. By miracle, in this heavy assault of ADD imagery and wafer thin moments of characterization, some heart is poured into the relationship between Superman and Batman. It makes one wish they had canned about 100 cameos and spent more time with their titular heroes.

All in all this feels like a bad soup made of the best possible ingredients. Some focus on who DC want to market these films to is needed, and a return to some basic storytelling through one or two characters without trying to over cram the narrative wouldn't hurt either. If this reviewer was not a reader of some of their titles, then this film would have done what I suspect it will do to many: confuse instead of entertain.
Pretty, but 99% empty.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
1 Star
1 Star
DVD Experience
1 Star

DVD

DVD Details:

2-Disc Special Edition DVD

Screen Formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1; Full Screen 1.33:1

Subtitles: English SDH.

Language and Sound: English: Dolby True HD English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; sneak peek at upcoming DCUniverse titles.

Supplements:

Disc 1

Featurettes

  • Behind the Scenes of Blackest Night, the epic DC Comics Super Hero Event in which the Dead Shall Rise
  • Explore 4 other DC Universe Animated Movies

Disc 2

Featurettes

  • Explore the Dynamics of the Evolving Relationship Between Two Classic Super Heroes in A Test of Minds: Superman and Batman.
  • Dinner with DCU and Special Guest Kevin Conroy - The Voice of Batman Shares a Meal and Talks with a DC Universe Creative Team
  • Exclusive Sneak Peek at DC Universe's Upcoming Justice League Crisi on Two Earth.
  • Animated Shorts
  • Bruce Timm Presents 2 Bonus Cartoons

Number of Discs: 2 with Keepcase Packaging.

{pgomakase}

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