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on 4 December 2015
Ok, so its not the first Batman animated movie I would choose but I was entertained as Batman fan. This movie is a collection of different animations about Batman. Please bare this in mind when watching. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 83% but I would personally give it more like 60-70%. I wasn't blown away by this the same as I was other animated Batman films. I much preferred the more recent movies including "Son of Batman". As a big fan of most Batman comics I was hoping this would be a great collection. I have watched it a few times and just seem to drift off a lot of the time and come back to it. At a great price it makes a good gift or just an addition to the Bat collection. Not a winner for me though in a sea of great Bat content.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 January 2009
an animated batman movie. It runs for seventy three minutes, and features six story segments, each of which run about twelve minutes approx. this is supposedly set in between the movies batman begins and the dark knight, and purports to channel 'batman's journey to becoming the dark knight.' But whilst it does rather loosely fit into that continuity the look of the characters and the setting doesn't bear more than a superficial resemblance to the movies, and the original actors from it don't provide voices for it either, so the connection isn't a strong one. and you don't need to see either film to get into this. or vice versa.

this is an even darker and more grown up take on the character than the dark knight. hence the 15 certificate. so it's another batman movie that's not really for the kids.

and there's not much connection between the six segments either, aside from part five leading on from the end of part four.

the animation is highly stylised, and like nothing we're ever seen in a batman cartoon before. the style changes between each segment, which can lead to some jarring visual continuity at times, but that's a minor complaint. it looks vaguely like a japanese anime movie a lot of the time, but really it's not much like one and has a style all of it's own. at points there are some beautiful use of colours and style leading to some fantastic sequences. so if you're into animation there are moments here that will strongly appeal.

and one great thing about the voice cast: it sees the welcome return to the role of batman of kevin conroy, who voiced the character through several cartoon series in the past fifteen years, and who always nailed the character perfectly, with spot on tones for both bruce wayne and batman.

looking at each segment individually:

have I got a story for you: four teenagers meet up, and three of them have a story to tell. of how they've just seen batman. like any urban legend, their interpretations of what he looks and acts like are different each time. this draws the idea from a few old stories in the comics that did similar, showing how the public view the caped crusader. and it plays a clever narrative trick as well, before a clever final scene that means the fourth teenager doesnt miss out on a bat encounter. a decent and enjoyable little tale.

crossfire: this sees detective crispus allen [a character taken from recent batman comics, but not seen in movies] and detective ramirez [seen in movies. she actually bears a lot of resemblance to a character called montoya who partnered allen in batman comics, but it's not montoya. anyone who has seen the dark knight will have worked out why they wouldnt them use montoya] working together to collect and transfer a prisoner. both have a different reaction to the fact that it's on the orders of lt gordon at the instigation of the batman, and this leads to conflict between them. should the police of the city accept the aid of a vigilante? and then they're caught up in a gang war, so they have no choice.

again some beautiful animation, an appearance from sal maroni looking nothing like he does in the dark knight, and some food for thought. a slightly abrupt ending, though.

in field test bruce wayne's desire to improve batman's body armour leads to him getting his hands on some powerful new technology. but there may be too high a price to pay.

the fact that bruce looks rather young in this one shouldn't put you off, as it's an engrossing tale with a good moral lesson at it's heart.

In darkness dwells sees batman venture into the sewers of gotham city on the trail of a kidnap victim. and encountering a new foe and an old foe. the style of the animation in this one does take a little getting used to, but there are some powerful images when batman inhales a dangerous gas. and one great bit of dialogue between him and lt gordon. it also does fill in a bit of continuity from between the two films. and has a good final moment that's well in character for batman.

working through pain, as mentioned, follows on from the above, with batman suffering from the effects of his time in the sewers, and flashing back to an experience during his time wandering the world training. he learnt a few lessons about dealing with pain as a result of the memories we see here. a rather slowly paced but thoughtful tale, which can take a while to sink in. it does have a great and powerful and very subtle final image.

the final segment, deadshot, sees an incredibly skilled assassin - an sbsolutely amazing sequence at the start shows how good he is - hired to kill jim gordon, and batman try to track the killer down. the conflict between a man who loves guns and a man who hates them is the heart of this one, and it leads to some spectacular action. the segment wraps itself and the whole thing up with a decent little coda.

so it's batman like we've never seen him before. and it's probably not to everyone's taste. but it's a bold experiment, and whilst it's not likely to convert any new fans to the character, if you like him then it's well worth a look.

the only extra on the dvd is a commentary from a dc comics executive, kevin conroy, and denny o'neill, who used to write and edit batman comics for dc for a long time. this commentary is a little slow to start and the dc executive does have to lead it and get the other two talking, but there are some thought provoking discussions in it. and kevin conroy tells a wonderful anecdote about how his association with the role helped bring people together after september 11th 2001, which just has to be heard. the whole commentary is something you'll probably get more out of if you're a fan of the comics, but it's not bad at all. and that anecdote is great.

the dvd comes with the following language tracks:

english. hungarian. castilian. german. italian. polish.

and the following subtitles:

english castilian danish dutch finnish hungarian italian norwegian polish swedish

as we've seen down the years, from the adam west series to the tim burton movies to the 1990's cartoons to batman begins and the dark knight, batman is a versatile character who can be reinterpreted in a lot of different ways. and this is another take on him. and it's definitely worth a look
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on 1 August 2016
On the positive side - this has Kevin Conroy in it. Sadly, that's about all there is.

Batman is turned in to a bland, simplistic Japanese animation that has no good story to tell and is borderline painful to watch. After being pleasantly surprised by Batman: Assault on Arkham and The Dark Knight Returns this is a massive let down. It actually makes The Flashpoint Paradox look vaguely competent in comparison.
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on 8 August 2016
I normally love DC animated movies, especially the Batman movies. However, I've no idea how this gets such good reviews? One of the stories was OK and the last one was excellent (hence the 2 stars), the rest were just awful. The awful ones suffered from terrible plots, awful animation and were simply boring. I'm pleased I only paid £3.99 for this. The best thing about this blu ray is the last story and the couple of episodes of Batman the animated series.
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on 4 November 2008
First time through and, I think, the opening story put me in the wrong mood for the rest. The animation is pretty stylised and the story odd... this is Batman as seen through the eyes of Gotham's children.
The other stories seemed OK but the damage was done.
A few weeks later and I decided to give it another shot... glad I did.
Something clicked with the first story. Of course, this is a follow-on from Batman Begins so nobody is sure of who or what The Batman is.
"Crossfire" shows the acceptance of a vigilante to an ally for the police.
"Field Test" highlights, however dark, that Batman has certain morals and lines he won't cross. It also provides an explanation why he isn't 100% gadget driven.
"In Darkness Dwells" is a more traditional Batman Animated type episode showing his sleuthing and combat skills.
"Working Through Pain" give a bit more to the training and drive.
"Deadshot" brings it all together in another 'traditional' episode.
A common theme is that each episode conveys the awe and power people meeting Batman feel
I see now how each episode brings the character together and fills gaps between 'Begins' and 'Dark Knight'. Using 6 different animators might not have been necessary but is interesting. As a filler it works for me.
Even viewing them strictly as stories they're very good (even if you need to skip the first one).
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on 25 November 2013
This DVD has been compared to the Animatrix shorts that accompanied the Matrix trilogy in that it fits in between the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and while I am not sure how much of the action here will make it into the Batman films, I do feel that any and all is good enough to be used. Any Batman fan should consider this a must watch and it would also be of interest to fans of anime as well.
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on 1 May 2016
My boyfriend is obsessed with Batman and collects all things related. I bought him this Bluray to add to his collection. It was great to watch.
So glad that they are making these in Bluray as that is all he collects. It was packaged well and delivered very quickly.
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on 4 April 2017
Not too keen on the animation, kinda ruins it a bit. It looks like one of them messed up cartoons and is very cheesy
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on 31 August 2014
For a popular, cheap film i didnt expect it be to be how it was at all. Its almost Manga, but that doesnt take away how good it is. Great film, great dialogue and a dark batman. Not as good as the big films (doom,War etc) but still a must watch for Batman fans
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on 4 April 2017
A must see for any comic book fan!
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