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Directed by Yasuhiro Aoki In Darkness Dwells
Futoshi Higashide Crossfire
Toshiyuki Kubooka Working Through Pain
Hiroshi Morioka Field Test
Shoujirou Nishimi Have I Got a Story For You
Starring the voice of Kevin Conroy

Seems everyone has Batman fever these days thanks to the upcoming Dark Knight film.  This movie is made by DC Comics Animation division and is a fresh take on the Batman mythos.  Like The Animatrix, Dark Knight has different stories and interpretations of Batman and each director is clearly inspired by Anime films.  However, the stories themselves come from favorite Batman authors such as: Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka, Alanm Burnett, and David Goyer.  The mixture of Eastern direction and Western comic writing creates an interesting mix. 

The Movie

 

Each different story shows an aspect of Batman.  For example, the first is from the perspective of some street kids.  Believe it or not, the animation is funky and bright.  It really reminded me of graffiti artists doing a Batman story.  Another has a very anime/manga Batman testing a new suit designed to repel bullets.  While I love the animation on the first three tales, the last three really take off for me.  My favorites of the six are the ones about Scarecrow and Deadshot. 

 

If you are not a fan or can not tolerate the anime style this is not the Blu-Ray for you.  This movie takes a bit of liberties with character design.  I didn’t mind this aspect of the film.  Besides, Batman has been seen in numerous incarnations throughout his long history.  On the writing side, I thought Brian Azzarello did a phenomenal job with his take on Bruce Wayne trying to come to terms with his inner nature.

 

My favorite part of this movie is the fact that Kevin Conroy does the voice of Batman.  He has been doing the character since the Emmy award winning Batman: the Animated Series in the 1990s.  Thankfully that voice makes sure the audience knows that no matter how anime influenced the artwork, their hero is still there.

 

The problems I had with this film come from the fact that the stories are too short.  I would much rather have fewer stories and have more time to develop them fully.  It would have been nice to have some more of Batman’s signature villains as well. 

 

Overall, this is an enjoyable take on the Batman, just make sure to open your mind a bit.  If you want pure traditional Batman, please steer clear though.    

 

7/10

 

The Video

 

Blu-Ray really makes the animation stand out.  All of the colors are rich and the dark blacks are not overpowering.  Plus, the fact animation style works nicely with the Blu-Ray technology.

8/10

 

The Audio

 

The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is great, but I would have loved more background music.  It’s a small complaint, but would have made some of the action be more detailed.

7/10

 

The Packaging and Bonus Features

 

The boxart really stands out with Batman punching with a forced perspective.  As for features, there are many featurettes that make the Blu-Ray a much better deal than the 2-Disc DVD version.  For an average of $5.00 you get all of the content on one Blu-Ray disc.  By favorite feature is the sneak peek of the Wonder Woman animated movie.  Great Hera it looks awesome.  (I’m a Wonder Woman fan too.)

9/10

 

Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10

 

The Movie 7/10

The Video 8/10

The Audio 7/10

The Packaging and Bonus Features 9/10

Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10

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