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Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Blu-ray Review

“Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One” is off to a good start.

In the first part of “Batman: The Long Halloween” (part two is due out August 10, 2021), Batman, Captain Jim Gordon and DA Harvey Dent are working together to clean up the streets of Gotham City which have run rampant with crime (namely by the Carmine Falcone family). The three soon have yet another problem to deal with when someone begins murdering gangsters on holidays. Batman tries to use his detective skills to find the culprit before he strikes again, but will he be able to stop the killer? 

“Batman: The Long Halloween” is easily one of the best graphic novels in Batman history and it has long been requested by fans to be adapted into an animated feature. At long last, that dream has been realized as director Chris Palmer and writer Tim Sheridan have adapted the epic story into two animated films. Unlike movies like “The Killing Joke” which deviated from the source material, ‘Halloween’ is thankfully a very faithful adaptation. The visual style does differ from the graphic novel, but that’s not an issue here as the animation leans on the film noir vibe which works for the movie tonally. Anyway, for those that aren’t aware of this tale, it’s a very nuanced, dark, grounded noir/murder mystery in which Batman uses his detective skills (which doesn’t happen as much as one would like in many stories). Yes, there’s action and plenty of familiar faces pop up (including Joker), but this is very much a real world esque Batman story that unsurprisingly was a huge inspiration for the Dark Knight trilogy. Of course, we’re only getting half the story so we’ll see how part two stacks up as both an adaptation and as a movie compared to part one. So far though, Batman fans should be pleased by the results.

The voice acting here is first rate. Jensen Ackles steps into the role of Batman with ease. You can tell the actor was thrilled to be taking on the role here. David Dastmalchian (who is everywhere in the comic book movie and TV world lately) is fantastic as the Hannibel Lecter esque Calendar Man. Looking forward to seeing more of him in part two. The late Naya Rivera does great work as Catwoman whose relationship with Batman is one of several subplots here. Josh Duhamel brings a lot of layers to Harvey Dent’s character arc. Billy Burke shines as Jim Gordon while Titus Welliver brings a real intensity to Carmine Falcone.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The animation here is far better than it has been in many of the recent DC animated features and the Blu-ray transfer is nice and crisp.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The voice acting, music and sound effects all sounded sharp to this reviewer.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* A sneak peek at the forthcoming “Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.”
* Trailers for “Gotham By Gaslight,” “The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1”
* 2 “Batman: The Animated Series” episodes “Christmas With The Joker” and “It’s Never Too Late.”
* A brand new DC Showcase for “The Losers.” This is not to be confused with the more modern DC “The Losers.” This one is based on the war comic/team mission comic. The short (which involves a mysterious island) isn’t one of the better DC Showcase installments, but fans of this comic may be happy to see it back in the limelight.

June 20, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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