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Having no familiarity with the source material upon which SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES ($30) is based, I can only judge this Warner Premiere direct-to-video release on its own merits. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES certainly entertains, and is action packed, but I think it could have used a few more character development moments to balance the story. The premise of SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES finds that Lex Luthor has been elected President of the United States, and on the surface, he seems to be doing a bang-up job. Under Lex Luthor, America is prosperous and the crime rate is way down, so much so, that many Superheroes are now on the government payroll. Of course, neither Superman nor Batman has joined Team Luthor, and the two Superheroes continue to suspect that the President is up to something.

Then comes the news that a planet-killing meteor of pure Kryptonite is hurtling towards Earth. While one would expect that this looks like a job for SupermanÖor some other Superhero, President Luthorís monumental ego, wonít allow for their intervention. In fact, he has come up with a plan for destroying the meteor, for which he can take credit. However, when President Luthorís plan to eradicate the meteor goes awry, he sets up a very public private meeting with The Man Of Steel to ask for his help. However, the meeting turns out to be a set up, one which leaves Superman a wanted fugitive with a billion dollar bounty on his head. With Batman at his side, Superman sets out to clear his name, but not before facing off an army of Super-villains determined to collect the bounty. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES features the vocal talents of Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Clancy Brown, C. C. H. Pounder, Allison Mack, John C. McGinley, Xander Berkeley, Ricardo Chavira, LeVar Burton, Corey Burton, Andrea Romano, Michael Gough, Calvin Tran, Mark Jonathan Davis, Brian George, Rachael MacFarlane, Alan Oppenheimer, Jennifer Hale and Bruce Timm.

Warner Home Video has made SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that have been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES features a striking 1080p presentation that makes a convincing argument for all animated programs to come to high definition. The image is so crisp on Blu-ray that the beauty of this comic book styled 2D animation leaves one dazzled. Colors are bold and vibrant, with the picture producing rock solid primary and secondary hues throughout. Blacks are inky and the whites are crisp and stable. Contrast is truly excellent, or as excellent as this type of animation will allow. SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES wasnít produced on film, and therefore, is free from grain and print flaws associated with the medium.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtrack. I am kind of surprised that there is only a lossy soundtrack provided on this release, as this generally garners distain from reviewers and the most vocal hi-def fans. Still, the lossy soundtrack is more than serviceable, but given the action heavy content, I think SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES would have been much improved by a lossless encode. As it stands, the sound works, but never seems as punchy as it should be. Sound effects are given a nice spread into the outer channels and the track is lively for a direct-to-video release. The bass channel has respectable depth, but some more ground shaking would have certainly helped. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and always easy to understand, plus the voices maintain a good sense of character. No other language tracks have been provided, but English and French subtitles are present.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Dinner With DCU And Special Guest Kevin Conroy (fifty six minutes), A Test Of Minds: Superman And Batman (nineteen minutes), A First Look At Justice League: A Crisis On Two Earths (eleven minutes), Blackest Night (nine minutes). Next up are some bonus Superman Batman Themed TV Episodes: From JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED comes these four episodes Question Authority, Flash Point, Panic In The Sky and Divided We Fall. From SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES come these two episodes: Demon Reborn and Knight Time. DC Animation Project Previews close out the standard supplements. A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

I found SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES to be an action heavy, but fun, direct-to-video offering. The Blu-ray looks fantastic, but the sound is slightly less than it should be. Still, if the title interests you, Blu-ray is definitely the way to go.



Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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