Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON TWO EARTHS (Direct-to-Video/2010). Directors: Sam Liu; Lauren Montgomery.

This is an offshoot of the Justice League animated series, but its origins date back to the 1960's and the silver age of comics. The Justice League comic book introduced the concept of parallel worlds that basically resembled each other but had certain differences. In the 29th and 30th issues of their comic the Justice League discovered that on an "Earth-3" there lived an evil counterpart of their league called the Crime Syndicate. These nasty characters reappeared several times over the years, including stories of the modern age. In this feature-length cartoon, Earth-3's benevolent counterpart of the evil Lex Luther comes to the League's Earth to ask their help in defeating the Crime Syndicate, who have essentially taken over the entire world. Earth-2's American president is afraid to fight against them for fear that the Syndicate will retaliate against the populace, leading his daughter to speak out against the evil group herself. One of the syndicate's members, Owl Man, wants to wipe out all of reality with a special bomb he's made. The assorted super-heroes and super-villains are voiced by the likes of William Baldwin, Gina Torres, James Woods, Mark Harmon, Chris Noth and many others. This is colorful fun for super-hero fans of all ages. The movie was written by Dwayne McDuffie, a talented comic book professional who died much too young. NOTE; To read more about the silver age adventures of the Justice League, Earth-3, and the Crime Syndicate see The Silver Age of Comics.

Verdict: You can't keep good heroes -- and villains -- down. ***

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