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DC Showcase Shorts: Constantine – The House of Mystery (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A collection of shorts featuring some lesser known DC characters headlined by occult detective John Constantine also features The Losers, Kamandi, and Blue Beetle.

This DC Showcase spotlights four animated shorts, with the main ‘feature’ being Constantine: The House of Mystery, the newest entry in the four shorts from DC Showcase for this year.

This short picks up after Apokolips War and in the devastating aftermath, John Constantine has used magic to rewrite time and prevent the war from ever happening. Because of his misuse of magic, he finds himself imprisoned in The House of Mystery facing a horrifying loop with the people he loves, including Zatanna, which he doesn’t even understand to its fullest.

This short brings together two lesser-known properties from the DC canon. The House of Mystery being a classic horror anthology comic book franchise and Constantine also one of those lesser known but well-loved characters that has gained in popularity in recent years through being in movies and on several of the DC television series. This combination works superbly given the darker tone of the Constantine character to begin with.

The collection also features three other shorts that have appeared elsewhere so far: The Losers, Blue Beetle, and Kamandi. All of these are out of the mainstream of DC content, but these shorts are absolutely great. I enjoy the distinct styles of each short, from the classic 1970s sort of style The Losers brings in their military expedition to the retro-1950s futurism of Blue Beetle. My favorite short is Kamandi because it has a world that could be expanded and explored.

The Video

The digital animations for Constantine: The House of Mystery and the other three shorts all come in 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodements on Blu-ray. They look strong with vibrant colors, nuanced shadows, and nice bit of dynamic range. The one issue is some mild color banding that sometimes shows up in the flat background fills. I can also spot some mild hints of stair stepping around some of the line art, but it is very subtle.

The Audio

All the shorts come with lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes. I usually enjoy the sound mixes for these DC original animated releases, but there’s something a little odd sounding about the mixes on here. It’s not that it’s out of balance, but it just sounds a bit over compressed to my ears, so the dynamic range sounds tight. Even with this, these mixes still place some good solid effects and ambience in the surrounds and have a good bit of low end.

The Supplements

There isn’t much included with this release depending on how you count the bonus features. If you look at this as a collection of shorts with the Constantine short as the featured short, then there is nothing beyond one featurette. If you consider it a release of the Constantine short with three bonus shorts included, then you have a lot here.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • DC Showcase: One Story at a Time (1080p; 00:16:02)
  • Three more DC Showcase Animated Shorts: Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, Blue Beetle, and The Losers

The Final Assessment

These shorts are all fun, quick, and wonderfully animated adventures that offer access to some of the lesser-known DC characters and unique animation styles. Recommended.

DC Showcase Animated Shorts: Constantine — The House of Mystery is out on Blu-ray May 3, 2022 from Warner Bros.


  • Rating Certificate: R (some bloody violence)
  • Studios & Distributors: Warner Bros. Animation | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Matt Peters
  • Written By: Ernie Altbacker
  • Run Time: 76 Mins.
  • Street Date: 3 May 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: French DD 5.1 | German DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | German SDH | Dutch | Spanish
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A collection of shorts featuring some lesser known DC characters headlined by occult detective John Constantine also features The Losers, Kamandi, and Blue Beetle. DC Showcase Shorts: Constantine - The House of Mystery (Blu-ray Review)
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