Directors: Matt Peters, Milo Neuman
Cast: Matt Ryan, Cameron Monaghan, Ming-Na Wen, Matt Lanter (VOICES)
Release Date: May 3, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating (‘Constantine’ Featured Short): 8/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Synopsis (‘Constantine’ Featured Short):
Matt Ryan (Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his live-action and animated role as the Hellblazer himself in Constantine – The House of Mystery. In the all-new short, John Constantine wakes up in the eerie House of Mystery with no recollection of how he got there. Fortunately, Zatanna and his friends are all there. Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of turning into demons and ripping him to shreds, over and over again!
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The new DC Showcase animated short ‘Constantine: The House of Mystery’ rejoins John Constantine after the events of ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ when his decision to try and set the world back as it was results in him being imprisoned in the House of Mystery. As he tries to understand what is happening, he is brutally murdered by those who he cares for most and every death results in him reawakening only to be ripped apart and slaughtered again and again. Can he find a way out of this everlasting nightmare or will he be doomed to remain here suffering for the rest of his days?
The ‘DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery’ Blu-ray release brings home the newly released title short which basically serves as an epilogue to the DC Animated Movie ‘Justice League Dark: Apokolips War’ and delivers a dark, bloody and thrilling short tale featuring John Constantine (once again voiced by Matt Ryan who continues to do a marvelous job in the role both in live-action and voiceover) and fans of the character as well as the larger DC Animated Movie universe should have quite a bit of fun with this exciting new tale featuring the Hellblazer trying to do the right thing for once and the consequences he suffers as a result. As it is a DC Showcase Animated Short, the title feature is only 26 minutes in length, although it is at least accompanied by the other three recent DC Showcase Animated Shorts which were included as Bonus Content on some of the recent DC Animated Movie releases.
The other three shorts included on the release are ‘Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!’, ‘The Losers’ and ‘Blue Beetle’ which are each drastically different than one another, making for a refreshingly unique batch of tales that each have their own charms and notable elements. While all three are solid enough and fairly enjoyable in their own right, the ‘Blue Beetle’ short is easily the standout of the previously released inclusions. It serves up a goofy and ridiculously fun throwback that channels the more lighthearted take on characters like that of the Adam West led ‘Batman’ series from the 1960’s and it does a magnificent job of capturing the silly fun and excitement with style and some rewarding animation on top of it.
Overall, the ‘DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery’ Blu-ray release offers the new title animated short which finds John Constantine facing a potential lifetime of suffering at the hands of those dearest to him in a dark, bloody and quite entertaining short that fans of the character and Matt Ryan’s portrayal of him should enjoy. The release also includes three other recent DC Showcase Animated Shorts including ‘Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!’, ‘The Losers’ and ‘Blue Beetle’ sporting altogether solid high definition video and audio presentations on each, along with a new Featurette on top of it. If you’re interested in both the new short and the others (which were included on other recent DC Animated Movie releases, although this release does give them an upgrade to 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks) the release is recommended, although if you’re only interested in the title short featuring Constantine than it’ll come down to whether you’re willing to cough up the money primarily for one 26 minute short film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio for the title short and all 3 additional DC Showcase included shorts. The video presentations look pretty great as a whole and provide sharp, smooth and vibrantly colored presentations from start to finish on the new animated short featuring Constantine as well as all three others. Aside from some expected minor imperfections that are common with the DC Animated releases they look great, with nicely detailed animation throughout. Overall, these are solid high definition video presentations that each hold up nicely throughout and should largely satisfy.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for all four included DC Showcase shorts. These multichannel soundtracks deliver clean, crisp and fairly immersive audio presentations on each animated short that utilize all five available channels in order to send gunfire, waves, seagulls and plenty more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. It’s also worth noting that the previously released shorts included within each receive audio upgrades as their previous releases as extras on other DC Animated Movies only included 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks. Overall, these are fully capable 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks that each deliver nicely and the three previously released shorts all sound substantially better here.
The Blu-ray release of ‘DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery’ includes one notable extra, the Featurette ‘DC Showcase: One Story at a Time’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length) which includes interviews/comments with the creative team discussing this latest batch of DC Showcase animated shorts.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating (‘Constantine’ Featured Short): 8/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘DC Showcase – Constantine: The House Of Mystery’ Arrives Home on Blu-ray & Digital May 3, 2022 from DC & Warner Bros. Entertainment
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