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Doug Murphy
Matt Ryna, Damian O'Hare, Laura Bailey.
Writing Credits:
JM DeMatteis

When an old friend's daughter's soul gets captured by a demon, John Constantine uses his skills as a master of the dark arts to save her.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian Spanish Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Castillian Spanish
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Castillian Spanish
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 10/9/2018

• “The Sorcerer’s Occultist” Featurette
• “WonderCon Panel 2018”
• Previews


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Constantine: City of Demons [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 14, 2018)

Introduced into the world of DC animated films via 2017’s Justice League Dark, occult investigator John Constantine gets his own spotlight movie with 2018’s City of Demons. Chas Chandler’s (voiced by Damian O’Hare) daughter Trish (Laura Bailey) finds herself in a coma caused by supernatural forces.

Chandler turns to Constantine (Matt Ryan) for assistance in her salvation. Along with additional support, they battle the demon Beroul (Jim Meskiman) to rescue Trish’s soul.

When I avidly read comics as a teen, I never cared for mystical/occult offerings such as Doctor Strange. My active days of comic reading ended a short time before Constantine debuted in 1984, which is a shame, as he might’ve changed his mind.

Or maybe not, as I don’t know how closely the Constantine that we get here matches the character from the 1980s. Nonetheless, City works very well and becomes a rare occult comic book tale that engrossed me.

While most DC animated films go with “PG-13” ratings, City opts for “R” – and boy, does it! The film contains extremely graphic violence that stretches well beyond the standards usually seen in this sort of fare.

City doesn’t pack a punch because of its gore, though. Instead, the movie excels because it delivers such a strong sense of darkness and intensity.

This means City doesn’t spare anyone its misery. Geez, the plot revolves around a child whose soul has been taken by a grotesque monster, and it also features the torture and damnation of another young girl.

Not what you’d call Saturday morning fare, and City doesn’t stop there. One scene shows a “party” Beroul throws, and it does so in a vivid, graphic manner that conveys the event in all its horrifying glory.

In other words, City pulls no punches, and that relates to its conclusion as well. I don’t want to spoil the finale, of course, but I will say the movie avoids the traditional happy ending, and it openly subverts audience expectations.

Throw in some good action scenes – and even humor at times – and City of Demons turns into a highly satisfying tale. Just don’t show it to the kids!

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Constantine: City of Demons appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a solid presentation.

Sharpness worked well, with only a smidgen of softness in some wider shots. The vast majority of the film boasted accurate, tight visuals.

I saw no jagged edges, but I noted a tad of shimmering in a couple quick shots of buildings. These were very brief and not a notable distraction. Edge haloes remained absent, as did source flaws.

Colors emphasized reds, with additional signs of blues, ambers and purples. These looked pretty bright and dynamic.

Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows appeared clear and well-depicted. The image satisfied.

I also felt pleased with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it used the spectrum in a lively manner. Given all the film’s magical action, it came with plenty of room for excitement, and it utilized those opportunities well.

In particular, demonic battles spread around the domain in a way that engulfed the listener. Music broadened across the speakers well, and general atmosphere acted to add to the movie’s impact.

Audio quality seemed positive, with speech that felt concise and distinctive. Music appeared rich and full, with bold tones.

Effects boasted a nice punch, as those elements brought accurate, dynamic material that delivered deep low-end. I thought the soundtrack suited the film well.

Only a few extras appear here, and we open with The Sorcerer’s Occultist, a 13-minute, 38-second featurette. It provides info from director Doug Murphy, executive producer David S. Goyer, occult expert Jason Louv and producer Butch Lukic.

“Sorcerer” discusses “real magic” as well as aspects of Constantine’s character and universe. This becomes a reasonably interesting piece, though I find it a little disturbing that Louv really appears to believe in the sort of magic seen in the film.

We also get a 20-minute, 50-second 2018 WonderCon Panel that features writer JM DeMatteis, EVP of Blue Ribbon Content Peter Girardi, and actor Matt Ryan. They discuss the source and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, and a few connected topics.

Though a three-participant panel seems oddly limited, DeMatteis, Girardi and Ryan cover the time well. This exists as a promo appearance but it comes with enough substance to make it worth a look.

Under trailers, we get ads for Batman Ninja and Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay. No promo for Demons appears here.

Basically the Se7en of DC animated films, Constantine: City of Demons offers a dark, gruesome tale. It uses its themes well and becomes an unusually thoughtful, morally ambiguous effort that turns into a satisfying effort. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with minor supplements. Not something to watch with the family, City should definitely satisfy its target audience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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