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Batman: Gotham Knight

71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Region: All Regions
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005WBYUG2

Reviews

Some of Hollywood's hottest writers lend their talents to this richly animated Batman anthology, featuring entries by David Goyer (BATMAN BEGINS), Josh Olson (A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE), and Alan Burnett (BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES). With six stories in all, GOTHAM KNIGHT offers thrilling interpretations of the Caped Crusader, rendered in a style that recalls the dark and lurid lines of Japanese anime. Together, these interconnecting tales trace Batman from his early days battling evildoers in crime-plagued Gotham, to his later years as the metropolis's trusted defender. Along the way, the Dark Knight has shadowy showdowns with some of his most fearsome enemies, including Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Dead Shot. Chock-full of explosive action sequences and bat gadgets, this continuation of the Batman saga is sure to bowl over both comic book nerds and fans of the feature films.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 July 2008
Format: DVD
It is documented fact that the epitome of Batman animation, from an overall standpoint, is, was and forever will be Batman: The Animated Series. With such acclaimed writing, pioneering, great animation, quality music-score, unmatched voice work and overall cinematic presentation, it defined exactly what a superhero cartoon should be.

And then came various animated Batman films, The New Batman Adventures, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League and the godlike Justice League Unlimited, altogether making the Animated DC Universe, which is overall a thing of greatness. But like all greatness, it has to end sometime. So what do you do after that? Go into other areas.

And this, Batman: Gotham Knight, is one of them. Since Justice League Unlimited (and the whole Animated DC Universe) sadly came to its end back in 2006, Warner Bros. have done series like The Batman, films like Superman: Doomsday and various other direct-to-video releases with no continuity linking them together or anything else.

Gotham Knight is the latest original project from Warner Bros. and also does something a little bit different from before. Basically this is a collection of six short films, all produced by different, independent Japanese Manga studios. The premise of the films is that they take place in-between Batman Begins and its sequel The Dark Knight. While no major events happen, the stories are separate, very enjoyable one-offs with a continuity that nicely links them all together.

Right away, the whole thing screams `Animatrix', and like The Animatrix, it gets a lot of stuff right. First of all, is the fact that they've brought in Kevin Conroy to reprise his role as THE voice of Batman. And it's as though nothing's changed at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Dec. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Gotham Knight consists of six short films rather than one single feature. Although there are links between some of the films, there is no dominant story-arc so can be enjoyed as individual pieces of storytelling.

For those unsure about animated films, the opening scene shows a detailed, night time Gotham, it looks sumptuous and has an almost photographic realism which establishes that this to be taken seriously. The artwork overall has a very Japanese anime/manga feel to it, the main exceptions being "Crossfire" which looks more mainstream, and the first short "Have I got a story for you" which has a fantastic grungy appearance to it which matches the context of the story perfectly. Although many find this first short to be one of the weaker stories, it is my personal favourite and explores the public perception of Batman from the perspective of a group of youths who happen to have stumbled across him recently. Their recollection stretches the truth and crosses the line between actual fact and imagination - it's a great introduction which cements the Batman as part man and part legend.

Although these exist within their own universe, the influence and tie-in to Chris Nolan's recent Batman films is evident, one of the shorts (Field Test) looks visually inspired by the film with Morgan Freeman and Christian Bale's likeness captured well as Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne. Such similarities with those films and the often violent nature of this set of stories makes it clear that this is aimed at a more mature audience and isn't the sort of film to be shown on Saturday morning Kid's TV. This is a pretty grim depiction of Gotham and its inhabitants, we even see a walled off 'prison city' which makes Arkham Asylum look like Butlins.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD
Frankly, I found this one a disappointment.

But first, the good news: The visuals are genuinely amazing. As you're probably already aware, Gotham Knight consists of a series of loosely connected "minisodes" in the life of the Bat. In each one a different visual style is explored. A strong anime influence is apparent in most. The city-scapes throughout are a delight to look upon, and those in the first story in particular possess a level of sheer draftsmanship that I can only compare to the original Ghost in the Shell movie.

The incidental music is also excellent.

Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends.

To call the characters in these stories two dimensional would be to give them one dimension more than they deserve. In fact, I was originally going to title this review "Amazing visuals but zero _emotional_ depth". But that's when it hit me: there's really no depth of any kind. What we've got here are the kind of stories that you'd expect from the superhero genre if you hadn't picked up a comic book since the 1950's. The blood and violence may have been upgraded to adult levels. But everything else is reduced to empty banality.

Long time Bat-fans may be pleased to see that Kevin Conroy reprises his role as both Batman and Bruce Wayne. But really, given the material he has to work with, his talents are entirely wasted. In addition, in the story with the most classically manga-influenced art, Batman is drawn as a character who doesn't really appear to be fully out of his teens. In this context Conroy's otherwise outstanding dark and gravelly Batman-voice simply sounds ridiculous.
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