“Constantine: The House of Mystery” Review by Suzanne 4/30/22
Although John Constantine and his story are in the title and cover of this DVD, it’s really four, short animated specials from DC Showcase (a comic book and DVD series). You’ll notice that at the very top of the DVD, in tiny letters, it says “DC Showcase Animated Shorts.” I would buy it, anyway, just for the great Constantine story. I love this character and his portrayer, Matt Ryan. They probably focused on the Constantine story because the character is more well known that the others.
This is a good story that takes place after the animated movie, “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.” I haven’t seen that one, but now I’m going to have to watch it. That one ends on a sad note, apparently, and “House of Mystery” begins with Constantine telling us about how he tried to reverse what happened, using magic, and with the help of The Flash. The Spectre then sends him to the house, where he’s tortured. It’s a very good story. Unfortunately, it also has a sad ending, but it’s also not a very satisfying ending. I hope they make a sequel, so we can find out what really happened. This story is a bit dark; I would not let a child watch it because it might be too scary for them. Teens should enjoy it, though.
The second short is about Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth. I used to read that comic back in the 70’s, so I’m happy to watch this short. It has a really cool ending that I loved, too. Kamandi and his tiger friend Prince Tuftan are captured by a gorilla cult and forced to undergo a series of dangerous trials to determine if any of them is The Mighty One. It’s better than it sounds! Cameron Monaghan (“Gotham”) plays Kamandi. Each of these shorts is done in a different style. The story here has a sort of Tarzan-meets-Planet-of-the-Apes vibe. It’s safe for kids, too.
The third short stars the WWII soldiers group called “The Losers.” I may have read some of their comics growing up. They sound vaguely familiar. This cartoon is very violent. Many people and beasts are murdered. The ending is horrible. I can’t imagine why anyone would like it. The Losers and some Chinese soldiers crash on a mysterious island with dinosaurs. The best thing about this is the cast: Dean Winters plays Captain Storm; Ming-Na Wen plays Fan Long; and Eugene Byrd plays Henry ‘Mile a Minute’ Jones. I recognized WInters’ voice right away. I’ve interviewed both him and Byrd before, and Wen is always terrific. This fine cast is wasted, but at least the animation was done very well.
The last one is the most fun. “Blue Beetle” was made in a campy 60’s style that will remind you of cartoons you watched on Saturday morning, as well as shows like the original “Batman.” I really laughed out loud with this one. Blue Beetle is accompanied by a character called The Question. I don’t recall if I ever read Blue Beetle comics or not. He was around in the 30’s (long before my time) and then was in Charlton Comics in the 60’s, which I may or may not have read. This is the best of the four shorts. The Blue Beetle tries to apprehend some villains who stole a large diamond. The Question aids him in tracking it down. They deduce that Doctor Spectro is controlling the other bad guys and have to defeat him to save the world from his mind control.
There’s also a special feature that tells about the shorts and how they made them. It’s very interesting. You should check out this DVD as it’s worth having for any fan of comics or animation – especially DC fans.
CONSTANTINE – THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY
ANCHORS NEW COLLECTION OF
DC SHOWCASE ANIMATED SHORTS
COMPILATION SPOTLIGHTS KAMANDI, THE LOSERS & BLUE BEETLE;
COMING TO BLU-RAY™ AND DIGITAL ON 5/3/22
Warner Bros. Animation continues to glean beloved characters from DC’s robust library for the popular DC Showcase line of animated shorts, this time opting to elevate Constantine, Kamandi, The Losers, and Blue Beetle in the 2021-2022 compilation release, DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery. The R-rated shorts collection will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray (USA $24.99 SRP; Canada $29.99 SRP) and in 4K on Digital starting May 3, 2022.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and inspired by characters and stories from the iconic DC Universe, the all-new quartet of DC Showcase shorts are produced by Rick Morales (Mortal Kombat Legends franchise, Injustice). Jim Krieg is producer, and Sam Register is executive producer.
While Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!, The Losers and Blue Beetle have all appeared as enhanced content on past DC Universe Movies, the extended-length Constantine – The House of Mystery makes its public debut as the anchor for this dynamic shorts compilation.
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! Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Ray Chase (Licorice Pizza) reprise their roles from Justice League Dark: Apokolips War as Zatanna and Jason Blood/Etrigan, respectively, while Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain) and Damian O’Hare (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) reprise their roles from Constantine: City of Demons as Negral and Chas, respectively. In addition, Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo franchise) and Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Longmire, Young Guns) join the cast of the short, which is directed by Matt Peters (Injustice) from a script by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush).
Also included in the animated shorts collection are:
KAMANDI: THE LAST BOY ON EARTH!
Directed by Matt Peters (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War) from a script written by Paul Giacoppo (Young Justice, Star Wars: Resistance), Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! was initially released as a bonus feature on Justice Society: World War II in Spring 2021. Jack Kirby’s beloved DC comic creation features the last civilized teenage boy on a post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by talking animals. In this short, Kamandi and his friends Prince Tuftan of the Tiger Kingdom and humanoid mutant Ben Boxer are kidnapped by a gorilla cult dedicated to finding the reincarnation of their god, The Mighty One. Golgan, the cult’s leader, puts Kamandi’s team through a series of deadly tests to find if any of them know the secret of The Mighty One. The thriller features the voices of Cameron Monaghan (Gotham, Shameless) as Kamandi, Steve Blum (Star Wars: Rebels, Cowboy Bebop, Naruto franchise) as Golgan & Tuftan, Adam Gifford (Masters of the Universe: Revelation) as Zuma, and Armen Taylor (Justice Society: World War II) as Ben Boxer.
The legendary rag-tag team of World War II outcasts – Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, “Mile-a-Minute” Jones, rookie Gunner and Sarge – find themselves marooned on an uncharted island in the South Pacific that is completely overrun with dinosaurs! Their would-be ally on this deadly mission, the mysterious and beautiful Fan Long of the Chinese Security Agency, tells them their job is to rescue the scientists that have been sent to study a time/space anomaly. Perhaps… but what is her mission? Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Book of Boba Fett) leads the cast as the mysterious Fan. Along for the journey is Dean Winters (John Wick, 30 Rock) as Captain Storm, Dave B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms) as Gunner & Sarge, Eugene Byrd (Bones, Arrow) as Mile-a-Minute Jones, and Martin Sensmeier (Westworld, The Magnificent Seven) as Johnny Cloud. Initially included as a bonus feature on Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, The Losers is directed by Milo Neuman (LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash) from a script by Tim Sheridan (Batman: The Long Halloween).
Sufferin’ Scarabs! Silver Age Blue Beetle is back! And had he ever starred in a 1960s Saturday-morning limited-animation cartoon with its own jazzy earworm of a theme song, it would have been just like this short! Welcome to the adventures of Ted Kord, alias the Blue Beetle, as he teams up with fellow Super Heroes Captain Atom, The Question and Nightshade to battle that nefarious finagler of feelings, Doctor Spectro. Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) stars as Blue Beetle alongside Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo, Curious George) as Captain Atom & Pops, Ashly Burch (The Ghost and Molly McGee) as Nightshade, David Kaye (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) as The Question, and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Dr. Spectro. Originally attached to Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, Blue Beetle is directed by Milo Neuman (Freedom Fighters: The Ray) from a screenplay by Jennifer Keene (Phineas and Ferb) based on a story by Jeremy Adams (Mortal Kombat Legends franchise).
Launched in 2010, DC Showcase was originally comprised of four animated shorts: The Spectre (2/23/2010), Jonah Hex (7/27/2010), Green Arrow (9/28/2010) and Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (11/9/2010). An additional short, Catwoman (10/18/2011), was attached the following year to the release of Batman: Year One. For 2019-2020, DC Showcase returned with five shorts: Sgt. Rock (8/6/2019) Death (10/22/2019), The Phantom Stranger (3/17/2020), Adam Strange (5/19/2020), and the interactive Batman: Death in the Family (10/13/2020).
DC Showcase: Constantine – The House of Mystery – Special Features
Blu-ray and Digital
• DC Showcase: One Story at a Time (New Featurette) – Since the 1993 debut of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Warner Bros. Animation has revolutionized and mastered the feature film world with their critically successful DC Universe Movies and DC Animated Movies. In 2010, the creative team hit upon the idea of presenting some of the more under-utilized DC characters in shorter stories – and thus, the DC Showcase was born. The shorts program has provided a fertile venue for creators and animators to explore the vast array of DC’s diverse heroes, worlds and universes, and gives audiences a taste of their infinite possibilities. Featuring some big names as well as the deeper cuts, these short films reflect different styles and sensibilities, and are inspired by renown creators like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Alan Moore. This documentary takes a look at the roots of DC Showcase – from Catwoman and Sgt. Rock to Death and Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam, as well as the current quartet of shorts. Included are interviews with producer Rick Morales and directors Matt Peters & Milo Neuman as they explore the featured heroes and villains, the comics that inspired them, and these adventures’ place in the bigger picture of the DC animated universe.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s physical and digital distribution businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
DC, a WarnerMedia Company, creates iconic characters, enduring stories, and immersive experiences that inspire and entertain audiences of every generation around the world and is one of the world’s largest publishers of comics and graphic novels. As a creative division, DC is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE digital subscription service and community engagement portal. For more information visit dccomics.com and dcuniverseinfinite.com.
CONSTANTINE and all related characters and elements are TM and © DC. © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
About Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. WBA’s current series include Animaniacs for Hulu, Green Eggs and Ham and Wings of Fire for Netflix, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Batman: Caped Crusader, Batwheels, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Harley Quinn, Jellystone!, Little Ellen, Looney Tunes Cartoons, My Adventures with Superman, Tiny Toons Looniversity, Tom and Jerry in New York, Velma and Young Justice for HBO Max, DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go!, ThunderCats Roar for Cartoon Network, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?, The Tom and Jerry Show and Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! for Boomerang. WBA is also in production on a series of animated longform movie specials for ACME Night, WarnerMedia Kids & Family’s family programming block on Cartoon Network and HBO Max. Programs include Did I Do that to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story, Merry Little Batman and an Untitled Looney Tunes Cartoons movie. The studio is currently in production with New Line Cinema on the upcoming original anime feature film, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. WBA’s full-length theatrical film, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, was released in summer 2018. As home to the iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 40 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA Children’s Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 21 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands, including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).
Proofread and Edited by Brenda
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