Entertainment » Movies

Justice League

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Mar 13, 2018
Justice League

The time to unite the league is now!

There's been no movie more widely anticipated than "Justice League," now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. After too many false hopes and just as many false starts, when the film that would finally deliver the most popular heroes in the DC Comics pantheon of characters to the big screen went to lens, the production itself had just as many challenges to face as its colorful cast. When Batman (Ben Affleck) met Superman (Henry Cavill), it was only the beginning!

Director Zack Snyder may be credited with launching the DC Comics cinematic universe with his 2016 blockbuster "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," which also introduced Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), but it was Joss Whedon, of Marvel Studios "Avengers" fame (the direct competition) who was recruited to wrangle much of the film before its theatrical release. Warner Bros., the studio behind the franchise, wanted to land on their feet, especially after delivering on the box-office success with "Wonder Woman."

That film was one tough act to follow, but the returning star lineup, which features Gadot and Affleck, was a good place to start. The two stars brought with them an energetic appeal that transfers into "Justice League," although the addition of the second string lineup - it is a team film, after all - muddies things. Jason Mamoa's Aquaman is startling interesting, but most of his underwater scenes are murky, and Ray Fisher and Ezra Miller as the fresh recruits Cyborg and The Flash don't exactly much up, with The Flash becoming a punch line tripping all over his own feet.

The major treat here for fans will be the return of Superman, which finally has given actor Henry Cavill the breadth to truly inhabit all that is the mighty Man of Steel. He's bluer, bigger and bulgier and standing side by side with Batman and Wonder Woman, you can't help but feel inspired. The film's 4k Ultra HD presentation also raises the stakes and enhances the spectacular scope of the film, helping to blend the largely CGI graphic backgrounds and realize the elaborate fight scenes of this high-def comic book world!

Included with the Bu-ray release are several bonus features that will certainly enthrall the biggest diehard fan, including special featurettes detailing the pop-culture history of the DC Comics title that leads us right into the narrative adapted for the film, the significance of the premiere trinity of heroes at the center of the team and how Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman inspire the core of these legendary powerhouses, and a look at the new heroes - Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash - making their big-screen debut.

The package also includes "bonus scenes" not seen in the theaters (that may be integrated into a "Director's Cut" if we ask nicely) and "scene studies" that dive deeper into the mechanics of creating some of the movie's more complex moments, from the league's battle underground Gotham City to their first confrontation with the Man of Steel and the exciting return to the Island of the Amazons. "Justice League" packs a powerful punch, and with the Digital HD included in the price, you can take the movie with you on the go.

For all of its imperfections - under-developed characters, holes in the plot, sometimes cheesy banter - "Justice League" is a riotous good enough time to spend in front of the flatscreen with a bowl of popcorn and the soundbar turned up. It's a blockbuster in the greatest sense of the word and the reason that superhero movies have become a "thing." Perhaps now that the original story of how the team came together is out of the way, the next installment will deliver on some density and dexterity for these heroes who hold a special place in popular culture.

"Justice League"
4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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