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Sam Liu
Rosario Dawson, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Jerry O'Connell
Writing Credits:
Alan Burnett and Bryan Q. Miller

Robin is sent to work with the Teen Titans after his volatile behavior botches up a Justice League mission. The Titans must then step up to face Trigon after he possesses the League and threatens to conquer the world.

Rated PG-13

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

Runtime: 78 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 4/12/2016

• Sneak Peek at Batman: The Killing Joke
• “Growing Up Titan” Featurette
&bull: “Heroes and Villains: Raven” Featurette
&bull: “Heroes and Villains: Trigon” Featurette
• Two Bonus Cartoons
• Trailers
• DVD Copy
• Robin Action Figure


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Justice League vs. Teen Titans [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 5, 2016)

While Batman and Superman battle in multiplexes, 2016’s direct-to-video animated flick Justice League vs. Teen Titans offers a superhero conflict for the small screen. During a fight between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, Robin (voiced by Stuart Allen) disobeys an order from Batman (Jason O’Mara).

In an attempt to get Robin to become more of a team player, Batman sends him to join the Teen Titans. Robin resists this apparent “demotion” but finds he has no choice, so he goes along with it.

In the meantime, a demonic force called Trigon (Jon Bernthal) possesses the members of the Justice League. It turns out that Trigon is the father of Teen Titan Raven (Taissa Farmiga), and she acts as the key to his potential defeat. A battle among these forces commences.

After a while, at least, as Titans takes its own sweet time before it gets to the promise in its title. Up until that point – which occurs about two-thirds into the movie - Titans mainly feels like a teen drama in which Robin learns how to be a normal kid.

All of that is well and good, I guess, but it makes Titans more than a little trite. The film sticks us with plenty of cliché bonding moments and even gives us a “fun montage” with the Titans at a carnival. Did the flick really give us a corny “dance-off” or did I hallucinate that?

Much of Titans seems to exist to promote the Raven character. It focuses mainly on her and Robin, and it delivers her origin story.

Again, some of this works, but a lot of it feels lackluster. Raven simply isn’t an especially interesting personality, and Robin’s teenage angst gets tiresome, even if the movie does try to soften him as it goes.

One should definitely expect a Titans-heavy experience here, as the Justice League takes a major backseat. They come more to the fore in the last third of the film, but it still really acts as a Titans project with the occasional guest spot from the JLA.

On occasion, Titans turns into a mildly satisfying superhero adventure, but too much of it lacks much creativity. It focuses on lackluster characters and fails to make them especially interesting. These factors leave it as a mediocre tale.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Justice League vs. Teen Titans appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image looked positive.

Only a smidgen of softness appeared, and that was result of the inexpensive source animation. Overall accuracy varied from very good to excellent, with an emphasis on the latter. No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and I saw no edge haloes or noise reduction. Of course, I found no print flaws here.

In terms of colors, Titans went with a stylized look. It tended toward low-key tones and favored a fairly blue or red appearance much of the time. The colors seemed fine, as they represented their intended schemes. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows looked smooth and clear. This wasn’t a great image but it was very good.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Titans, it created a fine sense of action. The movie packed a lot of battles and involving material, and it used the five channels to impart that information in a lively manner. Explosions and fights filled the channels to create a full spectrum, and quieter elements fleshed out the room as well.

Across the board, the material sounded good. Speech remained distinctive and concise, without edginess, and music seemed vivid and full. Effects appeared accurate and tight, with clear highs and some powerful lows. All in all, the mix worked nicely.

As we head to extras, we start with Growing Up Titan. In this 23-minute, 46-second piece, we hear from DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin, New Teen Titans writer Marv Wolfman, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, and producer James Tucker. The show looks at the use of young heroes in comics and the development of the Teen Titans over the decades. “Growing Up” offers a good overview of the franchise’s history.

Two featurettes come under the Heroes and Villains banner. These look at “Raven” (6:05) and “Trigon” (5:17). In these, we find info from Tucker, Wolfman, DiDio, and Carlin. As expected, these pieces give us insights into the Raven and Trigon characters. Both don’t run long, but they cover their subjects reasonably well.

Two animated TV episodes follow. We get “Sidekicks Assemble!” (22:52) from Batman: The Brave and the Bold as well as “The Prophecy” (23:02) from Teen Titans. “Sidekicks” involves Robin and other junior heroes, while “Prophecy” focuses on Raven. The latter leaves me cold, as I don’t care for the Titans series style, but “Sidekicks” delivers a fun romp.

We also locate a Sneak Peak for Batman: The Killing Joke. During the 10-minute, 15-second featurette, we get notes from Carlin, executive producer Bruce Timm, director Sam Liu, and actors Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Ray Wise, and Mark Hamill. The program offers an overview of the upcoming video release. It includes a handful of filmmaking thoughts, but it mostly acts to promote the movie.

The disc includes trailers for Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout, Batman: Bad Blood and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. No promo for Titans shows up here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Titans. It includes the “Sneak Peek” and the trailers but lacks the other extras.

Contrary to its title, Justice League Vs. Teen Titans doesn’t offer a balanced story, as it focuses heavily on its younger participants. That creates a problem, as those characters fail to become especially interesting, and the occasional action scenes don’t redeem the tedious teen bonding. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as a reasonable array of bonus materials. Titans lacks consistency and ends up as nothing more than a minor pleasure at best.

Note that this version of Titans is a “limited edition” that includes a Robin action figure. The same Blu-ray DVD combo is also available on its own without the figure for $5 less.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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