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Gotham Season 4 Blu-ray Review

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The fourth season of “Gotham” is all over the place.

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

Season 4 has everything but the kitchen sink. Among the stories fans can expect to see in the 22 episodes are Penguin in charge of the criminal underworld, Scarecrow, Bruce Wayne becoming a teen vigilante, Barbara, Selina and Tabitha’s arms business, Ra’s al Guhl’s resurrection, the Gotham City Police Department’s struggle to contain crime, Solomon Grundy, Professor Pyg, Edward Nygma struggling with dual personalities, Falcone and his daughter Sofia, backstabbing, revenge, murder, Ivy’s mutation and turn to darkness, Arkham Asylum, Jerome and Penguin teaming up, Jervis Tetch, Barbara’s League of Shadows faction, Jerome’s brother, the Legion of Horribles, weapons, alliances, Wayne Enterprises projects, constant kidnappings and Hugo Strange.

“Gotham” is a colossal mess of a series. What started out as a Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock series has instead become heavily focused on villains and Bruce Wayne. Why the series wasn’t more of an adaptation of the “Gotham Central” comic book series instead, I have no idea. Now, you’re just left wondering why this wasn’t just a Batman origin series because that is what it is becoming more and more. Anyway, this fourth season, as mentioned above, crams in as much as possible. There’s more subplots than one series can handle and each episode is filled with far too many villains. Moreover, the writing is consistently lazy and clumsy. There are contradictions, ridiculous conveniences, forced character inclusions and team-ups, cartoony drama that sometimes feels very Joel Schumacher esque, and an insane amount of plot devices in which the villains seemingly get away with anything with such ease.

Through all the many flaws, however, the season is weirdly entertaining even though it really shouldn’t be. I think I just admire at how ambitious it is. A normal season of a series (especially a comic book series) has a set amount of storylines and one overarching story that is often drug out. “Gotham” does not do that. There’s so much going on at a quick pace and there’s so much to absorb that you can’t help but find yourself sucked in to the events on screen.

In terms of the actual content, the back half of the season is clearly the best. Everything with Jerome and Jeremiah (played by the scene stealing Cameron Monaghan) will have fans glued to their screens. I was also impressed by just how many Batman Universe references are in his show. The Batman 66 theme is played at one point, the end of the season is both an homage to “The Dark Knight Rises” and the “No Mans Land” comic book storyline, and there’s also a villainous plot that feels very much like an ode to “Batman” 1989. The fantastic production values also make the show look bigger and more expensive than it is. It really does feel like Gotham City despite all of the flaws.

Speaking of flaws, it’s a bummer that the cast is so deeply uneven. The show’s two biggest players (Ben McKenzie’s Jim and David Mazouz’s Bruce) are the most bland and sometimes wooden characters in the show. Expect to see a lot of overacting among supporting cast members at times as well. On the plus side, Cameron Monaghan (as mentioned) is fantastic in numerous roles, Donal Logue continues to impress as Harvey Bullock, Camren Bicondova is an intriguing Selina/Catwoman, and Robin Lord Taylor has really made the Penguin his own.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The dark and atmospheric show shines in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A very layered track (especially for a TV series).

Extras: * Digital copy * Deleted scenes from episodes 3, 4, 6 and 11. * ‘Solomon Grundy: Born On A Monday”- A featurette on the character * “The Sirens Take Gotham”- A featurette on the Barbara, Selina and Tabitha trio * Nearly an hour of footage from various DC TV show panels from San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

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August 19, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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