Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

Genre(s): Action / Animation
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 76 minutes - $19.98 || July 8, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Various
Writer(s): Bob Kane (characters); Brian Azzarello, Alan Burnett, Jordan Goldberg, David S. Goyer, Josh Olson, Greg Rucka
Cast: Kevin Conroy, Gary Dourdan, David McCallum


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Wonder Woman Animated Movie Preview


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital Stereo), Portuguese (Dolby Digital Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, Japanese

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Batman: Gotham Knight comes out a few weeks before The Dark Knight hits theaters... but is it worth it?

I went into Batman: Gotham Knight with a lot of hope that it would resemble that of the great “Batman: The Animated Series” cartoon. Well, I was wrong. I personally dislike the anime-like style they chose to use with the film. At times I found it to be distracting and several times takes away from the plot.

Batman: Gotham Knight is split into 6 different segments that all tend to mesh into each other. So while it’s a complete film, they chose to make it feel more like 6 different episodes being sliced and diced into a movie. While this works well for some of the segments, others seem out of place and take us away from the action and story.

Each segment runs anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes.

Have I Got A Story For You - The very first segment is easily the worst. It stars four kids each telling a story of how they met Batman, most of them being heavily embellished from what they may have seen. A robot Batman? C'mon.

Crossfire - The second segment finally has a bit of action involved, but unfortunately takes too much time setting up the characters for the one minute ending.

Field Test - Batman gets a new device that creates a force field around him to protect him from bullets. Slow start but a pretty good ending.

In Darkness Dwells - Now this is the best segment of the film, nestled directly in the middle. Finally we get to see some recognizable villains from the Batman Universe (Scarecrow and Killer Croc) and has a pretty amazing ending.

Working Through Pain - Another dud. Batman stumbles through the sewers as he recollects how he attempted to learn to ignore pain. I did actually enjoy the story, but it seems very out of place nestled between two action oriented segments.

Deadshot - Almost as good as “In The Darkness”, but falls a bit short towards the middle. It also lacks any real conclusion to the movie in general. This segment visually looks the best to me.

Since each story has a different writer, director and illustrator it does make it a bit tough to follow. At one point Bruce is a skinny haired guy with anime-stlye hair, and in the next segment he looks more like he did in “Batman Beyond”. A little continuity would have been nice.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Feature Commentary (DC Comics Senior V.P./Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck, Former Batman Editor Dennis O'Neil and Voice of Batman Kevin Conroy) - A pretty good commentary where they discuss the film and general experiences working on it. I did find it to be a bit dull and several times they tend to get a bit too quiet for my tastes. Worth a listen if you enjoyed the film.

Wonder Women Animated Movie Preview (~10 Minutes) - This is actually a really great feature that provides a ton of background information about Wonder Women from the comics. While most of it discusses the character and history in comics, it does shine a light on what the future direct-to-video Wonder Women movie will be about.

A very poor outing for this 1 disc version. Why anyone would buy this over the loaded 2 Disc Version is beyond me.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Batman: Gotham Knight is presented in 16:9. The DVD provides a great picture and since the film is animated, it suffers from no grain or any other unfortunate issues. Colors can be a little off every once and a while and appear a little dull. It’s hard to really judge this due to the different styles each segment has.

Warner has included English, Japanese and Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks as well as Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Surround Stereo tracks. For an animated film I was actually pretty impressed with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I heard more from my rear speakers in this film then I did in the fast few DVDs I have reviewed. Dialog is also very clean.



.::OVERALL::.

While I only enjoyed a few of the segments, it’s still a welcome addition to the Batman library and is definitely worth a watch before going to see The Dark Knight in theaters. I do, however, recommend purchasing the 2 Disc DVD version (or the similarly equipped Blu-ray release) as it includes an extensive documentary as well as four amazing episodes from “Batman: The Animated Series”.