Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One

Movie: :3stars:
4K Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:

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The change over from the heavily serialized DCAU to the Tomorrowverse has been a weird transition for DC, and at times I wonder if the powers that be have an actual plan for it. The DCAU was an extremely long running list of DC animated films that carried a strong continuity throughout, finalizing with the destruction of the universe with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, only to be reborn into the Tomorrowverse with one single member of the old world surviving. Since then DC has created a set of loosely tied together movies that are more self contained than the previous generation (although they’re pulling from Warworld and Constantine House of Mystery a bit for this one). And now DC is pretty much wrapping up the Tomorrowverse with one of the biggest and most done comic story lines of all time…..Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Originally crafted from the 1985-1986 comic run by Marv Wolfman and George Perez (who only recently died in 2022), Crisis on Infinite Earths only loosely resembles the original comic book run. We’re introduced to Barry Allen (Matt Bomer) as he’s experiencing time slips after his stealing of the speed force from Earth 3. His entire life is now plagued by slipping out of his reality and into one of the other earths in multiverse, only to come back again. This time slippage has gotten worse though, and Barry is being forced by a mysterious old man (a pretty obvious character if you’ve watched the previous films in the Tomorrowverse) to continue towards some unknown goal.

His journeys see the formation of the Justice League, his own wedding to Iris West, and the accumulation of seemingly unrelated villains and devices that will come in handy once The Monitor yanks Barry out of time and explains to everyone of the accumulated heroes about the impending doom of a universe destroying anti-matter wave.

If you’ve seen the previous films that have tackled the whole Crisis on Infinite Earths saga then you’re in for a surprise. The first film out of a 3 film arc (the 2nd part out later in 2024) bears little resemblance to the 1985-86 comic run, let alone the other animated films that have done this arc. The Monitor is there, the wave is there, but the entire story seems to be taken from Barry’s point of view and then heavily altered. And while I really do appreciate the fact that this is not just a tired old rehash of the same plot points, the flick is heavily stymied by a pacing issues and what seems like unnecessary padding. The jumps through time can get confusing and convoluted, and even when enough is revealed to figure out the jumps, the movie just opens up more questions than it does answers. Honestly, it feels like intentional padding to stretch out a story into a 3 film “epic event” just because 3 is bigger than a 2 parter. Much like The Hobbit movies, this could have been put into one 2.5 hour film and left at that, but (at least the first film out of the three) this feels like too much setup and not enough payoff, 2 more films in the work aside.

Warner is obviously using this as the big finale to the Tomorrowverse, and the packaging shows it. The 4K UHD sports a classy steelbook with some fantastic art, and the fanfare behind this release in the press was pretty large (comic and film press, don’t worry, CNN didn’t cover this). On the flip side the extras re really anemic, and I’m still mildly frustrated that Warner continues their habit doing away with combo packs. It’s a fun romp, but the confusing story jumps and the obvious setup for something we have to wait months/years to complete is just a bit off putting.


Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language.

4K Video: :4stars: Video:
Following their recent pattern on not including the Blu-ray in 4K releases, the 2160p UHD disc looks really nice. The animation style is consistent with the rest of the Tomorrowverse, with good enough detail levels to be impressive, but not enough to really wow viewers. The disc itself sports nice warm primaries (mainly blue, red, green) and some very nice looking line work. Every once in a while I noticed what seemed to be minor haloing and a GLIMPSE of banding, but overall the disc is fairly compression free. The big limiting factors is the more simplistic style of animation that doesn’t give mind bending amounts of detail. The HDR application appears to be really nice for once (DC animated 4K discs can be hit or miss in that department) adding some great depth to shadows and REALLY deep colors at times.

Audio: :4stars:
Similarly, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the 4K disc (a direct clone of the Blu-ray by all appearances) is good, but never amazing. The dialog and vocals are firmly placed in the center of the room, complimented by the robust surround usage that super beings utilize to full aplomb. However, it is a bit light in the LFE department, with minimal rumbles throughout the experience, and no “shock and awe” moment like you would expect with the anti-matter wave. Basically it’s a “this is good enough” type of track that doesn’t have a whole lot of budget to work with, but still comes out sounding good enough on all fronts.

Extras: :1.5stars:
• Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One: Crisis Prime(r)
• The Selfless Speedster

Final Score: :3stars:

Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One tries to start off as something big. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t. But this final first part entry to the Tomorrowerse is sometimes hard to get through. It wanders over the place, and by the end it feels like background filler info for the REAL story coming up. Personally I’ll wait to finish the trilogy before I make up my mind for good, but as of right now the first entry is simply “decent”. The 4K UHD looks and sounds good, but the extras are a tad on the light side. Ok Watch for DC fans.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Matt Bomer, Jensen Ackles, Darren Criss, Meg Donnelly, Stana Katic, Jimmi Simpson, Zachary Quinto, Alexandra Daddario, Aldis Hodge
Directed by: Jeff Wamester
Written by: James Krieg, George Perez, Marv Wolfman
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 HEVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Sugtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Norwegian
Studio: Warner
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 93 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 23rd, 2024

Recommendation: OK Watch

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