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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence, Cinematic
Part 2 steps it up, From brutal rendetions Batman's crushing punches, Jokers an omnisexual, truly homicidal killing nightmare to Superman's immense power yet patriotic imbecilic servitude this is the finest adult animation DC has ever produced . Be warned this is violent and bloody with the Joker scenes being painted red with chilling death scenes. The Superman Batman...
Published 18 months ago by BondJamesBond

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after the long wait
I wanted to like this and the previous Part 1. Really, I did. I've been re-reading the graphic novel every few years since it came out in 1986, and I hear the dialogue in my head as I get to each panel. When DC released the direct-to-video version, I had high hopes for how they'd translate it to the screen, and looked forward to seeing it animated.

It's not...
Published 17 months ago by Bill Mackiewicz


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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence, Cinematic, January 8, 2013
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Part 2 steps it up, From brutal rendetions Batman's crushing punches, Jokers an omnisexual, truly homicidal killing nightmare to Superman's immense power yet patriotic imbecilic servitude this is the finest adult animation DC has ever produced . Be warned this is violent and bloody with the Joker scenes being painted red with chilling death scenes. The Superman Batman throw down is truly epic and cinematic with a movie quality score. Peter Weller does a fantastic job capturing the hyper intelligent, brooding, serious and pragmatic older man Batman who's burning rage cannot be quenched from his traumatic childhood scarrring.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb work by Oliva and company, January 9, 2013
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Olivia has crafted a masterpiece with the second half of this epic. While never forgetting that he was in service to the story, Oliva clarified muddy plot points and streamlined Miller's work while remaining true to the sequence of the story STEP FOR STEP. The voice acting was superb, with Weller's weary, resonant baritone serving well in the place of iconic Kevin Conroy.

This two-part feature has become my benchmark for animated interpretation of graphic novels, and has my highest recommendation.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, January 12, 2013
I really enjoyed part 2. I couldn't wait to check it out when I saw the initial trailer for it. Hopefully others will enjoy this as much as I did. This will definitely have you wanting more. I will pick up the best buy release when it hit the stores for the joker figurine that comes with it. Very dark, the way batman should be seen. Loved it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after the long wait, February 2, 2013
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I wanted to like this and the previous Part 1. Really, I did. I've been re-reading the graphic novel every few years since it came out in 1986, and I hear the dialogue in my head as I get to each panel. When DC released the direct-to-video version, I had high hopes for how they'd translate it to the screen, and looked forward to seeing it animated.

It's not bad, certainly. They did a fair job, but there were two gaping holes in my opinion. First, the creators of the movies did away with the internal monologue that was the real treat. What set TDKR apart from the rest of the comics at the time was the inside look at what's going on in Bruce Wayne/Batman's head. You followed along with his thought process as he looked at the world as it had become, and it was the combination of the story being told (which was fairly well represented in the movie) with the monologue that provided the glue that held it together. His running internal commentary as he chases the Joker through the Tunnel of Love. His internal commentary as he beat the snot out of Superman. The creators have taken some of that internal monologue and turned it into dialogue, but it's just not the same. I expected to hear the monologue as part of the soundtrack to the action, and the lack of that monologue reduced the film to merely an animated version of the action on the panels, not what the story was about.

Secondly, I'm afraid I've been spoiled by other voice actors. Ever since Batman: TAS came out, I hear Kevin Conroy's voice in my head when I read something thought or said by the character. It was certainly interesting to hear Peter Weller's voice bring some Robocop-like nuances to the role, but Weller's voice fell short. This was especially apparent in the scenes where Batman rode into Gotham during the blackout to restore order. I expected a deep, resonant, commanding voice to issue forth and captivate the Sons of the Batman...and instead Weller's voice couldn't provide that, and sounded high and flat. He might have coasted when delivering conversational dialogue, but not when it needed weight, strength, and command for that scene. To add insult to injury, Batman is supposed to be about 55, right? Kevin Conroy would have been 56 when this was recorded. Think about how great that could have sounded. I don't hold the creators to blame, as I'm sure they have to diversify the voice talent across the direct-to-video releases, but someone should have earmarked Conroy for this story.

Two nits. First, the pacing seemed off. Perhaps it's because I read it the graphic novel for years at my own pace, and inserted my own sense of timing, but I felt that Part 2, in particular, was rushed. Some scenes felt like they were picking up too quickly without the sense that enough time had passed. I might have been able to write this complaint off if the movie was released as a single disc, but if you're going to ask me to pay twice for two movies, the least you can do is pace it. Not that I'm bitter.

The second nit: the death of the Joker.....they changed how it happened, and again, missed out on representing an important part of the Batman character, still not able to take a life at the very end. It was a wasted opportunity, and I don't see why they couldn't include that. It's as if the subtlety was lost on the writer....although this point wasn't that subtle.

I'll give the creators some credit, though. The design and animation was fairly respectful to the original graphic novel art, with some updates, so I felt like I was watching a fair adaptation of the graphic novel. Also, getting Conan O'Brien to voice the talk show host David Endochrine? Amusing, appropriate, and ironic, all at the same time. Well done.

In the end, I'll give it only 3 stars. I was happy to see them include it in their slate of direct-to-DVD movies, and it was an interesting movie to watch, but I think I'll get more enjoyment out of the TAS episodes they bundled with the package than a repeat watching of the movie. Fortunately, I still have the original graphic novel to re-read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, February 2, 2013
I loved part one but part two is even better, I didn't think it would even be possible but this film pulled it off. I've read the source material several times and always wished I could see the biggest fight of all played out on the screen. This film doesn't disappoint in the slightest, Peter Weller once again nails it as batman. The comic book was written in the 80s and this shows in key scenes, Reagan is president and the soviets are still around terrorizing the rest of the world, so keep that in mind as you watch this. The dark knight returns is the comic book that's responsible for the batman we have today, it brings a gritty and angry batman to the forefront. The fight is actually better than I always imagined it would be, and as far as I'm concerned the question of who would win was answered with this movie. I've watched both parts multiple times now and it never stops being cool, definitely worth checking out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force! True to the original graphic novel, February 1, 2013
** This review has many spoilers **
These 2 movies are a terrific adaptation that are true to Frank Miller/Klaus Janson's 1986 landmark story which along with the Watchmen invented the concept of comic book graphic novel. The Dark Knight Returns remains one of the greatest graphic novels of all time and I still remember picking up the 4 issues of the story back in 1986, not realizing the significance of what I was reading. So the makers of these movies had a lot to live up to when they decided to adapt the graphic novel into a movie. Firstly it was a very wise decision to split the story into 2 parts, too much story to cram into a single movie. The animation is first rate, clean lines, colours that capture the dark mood of a Gotham descended into a cesspool of crime and violence. The nuclear winter environment was really well drawn. And I'm glad the violence wasn't overly sanitized, there's lots of blood letting and brutality which did not feel gratuitous at all. Joker's murderous rampage from the methodically planned talk show audience massacare to his indiscriminate murdering at the fair grounds - how awesome was it to see him politely apologizing to the people in his path through the Tunnel of Love as he executed them one by one. And those creepy flying Bobbie and Mary poison gas spewing exploding robot dolls were sublime. And I was pleased they didn't overly sanitize the brutal fem-nazi Bruno character over allowing her to be topless with the memorable swastikas painted over her breasts (Although no view of her naked asscheeks like in the graphic novel).

The pacing was excellent. The dialog crisp. The score was perfect, fitting and not overwhelming.

The voice acting I'm split over. Having watched/listened to Kevin Conroy portray Batman for 2 decades it's hard to imagine anyone else who could do the voice of Batman. Similarly Mark Hamill did such a fantastic job as Joker for years I found the Mark Emerson's voice of Joker in this movie a bit too smooth and not maniacal enough. On the other hand I thought Mark Valley's voice of Superman/Clark's voice was a good fit right up there with George Newbury and Tim Daly who have done most of the voice of Superman in recent times. Ariel Winter was very good as Robin. Nice to see Justice League regular Maria Canals (Hawkgirl) with a prominent role. And always cool to see how producer Bruce Timm inserts himself into a minor character role and last but not least Michael McKean (remember Lenny and Squiggy?) as Dr Wolper and Conan O'Brien as Dave Endrochine were nice touches.

And nice touches re-creating several iconic images from the graphic novel: The silhouette of Batman in mid air with the lightning bolt backdrop. Clark standing in the grassy field with the open shirt and one foot on a rock. A stabbed and bleeding Batman sitting next to a smiling, neck snapped dead Joker in the tunnel of love. Superman emaciated in the middle of the nuclear blast with the lightning bolt through his body. Superman plastered on the nose top of the huge Soviet nuclear missle in mid flight. Bruce pulling the drapes aside finding a beaten, bound Selina Kyle hog tied wearing a Wonder Woman costume.

Kudos to Bruce Timm and director Jay Oliva for this fantastic product and hopefully more of these DC Animated Universe movies to come. Just sticking to Batman alone there's so much material ... Long Halloween, Hush, Knightfall to name a few.

Now that I've watched this film adaptation it's time to re-read the graphic novel again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deep, Dark, Bizzare, March 4, 2013
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WOP_Drive (Highlands Ranch, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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My 12 year old and I watched both Part 1 and Part 2. While I think this was good overall, Part 2 was most bizarre. . . Amazon Nazi, zombie-like Ronald Reagan, cold-blooded killings, and the after-effects of a nuclear blast on Superman. I wasn't quite ready for this weirdness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent conclusion, February 5, 2013
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A great story like Dark Knight Returns gets a two-part treatment, and just like Part 1, Part 2 is just as great to watch, even with some parts that got cut out of the adaptation (like Joker's "kiss of death" with the Dr. Ruth Westeinheimer expy). Again Peter Weller voices the older Batman, and I'm surprised to notice Justice League's Maria Canals voicing his pursuant Commissioner Ellen Yindel, who at first sees Batman as a menace but then realizes her predecessor Jim Gordon's words, that he's just "too big". Superman comes into the picture to try reining Batman back into silent compliance with the government, but that doesn't go over too well for a man who best works in the shadows and tries to avoid being front-page news even as the press still continues to report his activities. And of course, the Joker comes out of retirement for one last go-round with the Dark Knight, seeing how far he will push his nemesis to ultimately killing him.

As with Part 1, the animation and artwork is excellent, as a sort of mix between the original comic book style and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. It's definitely worth a purchase if you're into Batman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully they move forth with a part 3, February 1, 2013
After watching the first part, I was captivated and fortunately enough I saw that feature the night of Part 2's release, not knowing that part 2 was out as of that day. I immediately watched the second installment and here are my thoughts:

Pros:

-It truly is a spectacle to see Frank Miller's work come to life and hold so true.

-The voice acting is some of the best that I have heard for DC/Batman animated works and Bruce's voice felt right given his older stature.

-Really blown away by the Joker's animation and shocked (in a good manner) that the animated film did not hold back on how violent his persona is and how Frank Miller portrayed him.

-If you have not read Miller's work, you don't need to in order to enjoy these films to a high extent.

-I believe this work is one of the best since Mask of the Phantasm meaning that I could definitely see myself re-watching this over and over again in both the near and distant future. That sort of plays into solidifying Batman into [more of] a legend [than before].

Cons:

-Not for the faint of heart. This animated feature will become violent and there are scenes that highlight this in particular so I advise not watching this with kids.

[note: this film was not necessarily made to appeal to a younger audience]

-Juxtaposing the film with Part 1, it felt less grounded in a more realistic world, sort of a Nolan-esque type of world for the Dark Knight live action films. However, this should not be held as a deterrent for those wondering if they should watch it. Simply put, you should take the time to watch it.

Overall, I recommend watching this film as well as looking to Miller's work. I must note that in his works that there is a subsequent series that ties in perfectly into the events of this Part 2 film that would lead you to believe that they will move forth with a Part 3.

Cheers!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another D.C. Triumph, January 30, 2013
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WOW... DKR2 is a comic lover's fantasy with super-heroes and super-villains in spades, all set within an ever-so-subtle alternate reality (best for fantasy of this type). Be aware, this isn't the lithe batman we're used to; he's big, bulky, over-the-hill and moreover Robin is a feisty, teenage girl. Also, the events in Gotham play out as rather minor in the context of international war and there's a cataclysmic point (which I won't disclose) when things get absolutely epic, the final battle is unexpected and exciting and by the end I was truly amazed.

DC Entertainment in conjunction with Warner Bros. Animation Studios has developed (in my opinion) a completely unique look artistically, wholly independent from any Japanese animation studios and head-and-shoulders above anything Marvel is cranking out while stylistically they seem to have sort of a film-noir feel to them. Also, I believe their stories typically have a slightly more intellectual appeal; for example this film has an underlying subtext of exploring hero/villain archetypes such as Batman as an incarnation of violent justice in contrast to the psychopathic Joker who views humanity as a whole with contempt and probably only finds meaning via his arch-nemesis. The Dark Knight Returns 2 demonstrates again just how phenomenal W.B. Animation Studios is and takes the potential of traditional animation entertainment to a new level. :o)
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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 by Jay Oliva (DVD - 2013)
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