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Batman: Gotham By Gaslight Blu-ray Review

Gotham

“Batman: Gotham By Gaslight” is a puzzling, but entertaining DC animated film.

Note: “Warner Bros. Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.”

For those expecting a faithful adaption of the classic Elseworlds graphic novel by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola, you shouldn’t as the film version deviates from the source material. Yes, the basic story is still set in a Victorian era Gotham City where Batman is investigating the murders of Jack The Ripper, but the graphic novel was more of a character piece primarily revolving around Bruce Wayne and Batman whereas the movie goes a different route.

Now, that doesn’t mean the film is not worthwhile. For the most part, it’s still an engaging adult DC animated feature that cleverly weaves in characters from the Batman universe (such as Hugo Strange and Poison Ivy) into a distinct time period. Additionally, the decision to make the film have more of a mystery element with Batman doing detective work is beneficial to the plot. Where the film version really fumbles is with the reveal of the killer. Obviously, I won’t give away who it is, but it feels like a nonsensical creative decision done to shock audiences.

Going back to the changes from the source material, it does feel a bit baffling. Why tout that DC is adapting “Gotham By Gaslight” when they are, in fact, doing their own thing with it? It feels like a slap in the face to fans. Luckily, like I said, this adaption still has merit aside from the killer reveal and that ridiculous airship crash sequence.

One of the film’s greatest strengths is the inspired casting. Bruce Greenwood excels as Batman and Bruce as does Jennifer Carpenter as Selina Kyle (her scenes with Batman are particularly noteworthy). The real standout here is Anthony Head (of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” fame) as Alfred. Can we get him in this role more often? He absolutely nails the role.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The animation’s shortcomings are more evident with this hi-def transfer but it’s still an impressive transfer nonetheless.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the voice acting to the sound f/x, this is a sharp track.

Extras: DVD copy, Digital copy, trailers and sneak peeks at past titles, the “Trials of the Demon!” episode of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and the “Showdown” episode of “Batman: The Animated Series,” a sneak peek at the forthcoming “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay” DC animated film (the violent grindhouse vibe intrigues me), a featurette on the source material and the film adaption titled “Caped Fear: The First Elseworld” and a dull commentary by Bruce Timm, Jim Krieg and Sam Liu.

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January 30, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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