66 of 76 people found the following review helpful
*This does contain some minor spoilers. I tried not to spoil too much.*
Batman: Gotham Knight is advertised as the missing link between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. There are six stories in total. Each story is by different artists, but they all link together and flow together nicely.
The first story is called, "Have I got a story for you," and involves a boy waiting for his friends to arrive. Once they do, each one of them tells a story about what they saw today and they all saw Batman. Each story is farfetched in its own way as this story capitalizes on teenagers stretching the truth and/or having overactive imaginations. It seems their day isn't finished though as the fight they all witnessed makes its way to that very skate park.
"Crossfire" is the story of Chris and Anna being apart of Lieutenant Gordon's MCU (Major Crime Unit). Chris thinks Batman is a vigilante that takes the law into his own hands while Anna is still unsure about him and is just thankful that good cops that know how to do their job are actually being respected now that Batman has shown up. After taking a recent Arkham escapee back to the asylum, they soon realize they're stuck in the middle of a gang war between Sal Maroni and The Russian.
"Field Test" begins with Lucius Fox showing Bruce Wayne some new gadgets. Amongst them is a harness equipped with an electromagnetic pulse strong enough to deflect bullets. Batman decides to test it out with Maroni, The Russian, and his goons. Everything is going Batman's way until a certain...glitch...happens.
"In Darkness Dwells" has everyone looking for a monster. Killer Croc, to be exact. Apparently, he was the former patient of a certain Johnathan Crane. Coincidentally, one of the reasons he was admitted to Dr. Crane was for his fear of bats. Go figure.
Batman is injured on what seems like any other night he puts on his mask in "Working Through Pain." We're basically shown how tenacious he really is as he struggles with his injuries. We're also shown a few flashbacks of his past and soon learn the difference between exterior and interior pain. There's a way to put pain in its place and this is how Bruce Wayne found out how.
"Deadshot" has come back to Gotham and has set his sights on Jim Gordon, but it looks like he has ulterior motives. Bruce Wayne also gives his views on guns.
Gotham Knight is superb. There's really no other way to describe it. I had my doubts about it, but I think those were blown away during the first few minutes of the film. The animation is fantastic. Everything moves crisply and smoothly. It just seems to flow. And let me just say that it's amazing to hear Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman again. It's like a homecoming in so many ways.
The biggest question you may be asking yourself is how can all the stories actually flow together since they're all done by different artists. The truth is that other than the artistic style changing, you don't really notice anything. The voice cast stays the same throughout the entire film and while each individual story has its own story to tell, they're all connected in some way and flow together nicely.
Gotham Knight is a feature that shouldn't be missed by anybody. Whether you're an anime fan, a Batman fan, or you're just looking for something new to catch your eye, I'd recommend Gotham Knight to anyone and everyone. The animation is beautiful and has a real crisp flow to it while the stories are written incredibly well and will keep you interested. The voice cast is also something worth mentioning. Other than seeing Kevin Conroy come back as Batman, the rest of the cast does a great job as well. My one complaint is that it doesn't really bridge the gap between anything. However, it doesn't really seem to bridge the gap between anything and is just an excellent stand alone animated feature.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
With The Dark Knight just around the corner, Warner Bros. and DC has released another more than solid, direct to DVD animated feature with Batman: Gotham Knight. A collection of six interlocking stories featuring various writing and animator talent, Gotham Knight gets off to a bit of a rocky start, but winds up being a thoroughly entertaining ride while it lasts. "Have I Got a Story For You", with a script from A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson, revolves around a group of kids and their stories about encountering Batman in action. The story and animation here aren't really anything special, but thankfully things get better from here on forward. "Crossfire", with a script from acclaimed comic writer Greg Rucka, finds detectives Allen and Ramirez caught in the middle of a gang-war between mob factions, with Batman in the middle as well. "Field Test", with a script from Jordan Goldberg, features a ridiculously young Bruce Wayne putting new gadgets from Lucius Fox to use, while Batman Begins and Blade writer David Goyer contributes the excellent "In Darkness Dwells", where Batman takes on the Scarecrow and Killer Croc. Comic writer Brian Azzarello contributes "Working Through Pain", which is an intriguing look at Bruce's past lessons to overcome physical pain, and the excellent finale entitled "Deadshot" is written by classic animated series writer Alan Burnett and features a bloody face-off between Batman and the gun-toting assassin of the title name. The various animation techniques used throughout may not be everyone's cup of tea (some will certainly thrill you more than others), but as a whole Gotham Knight is a dark (and surprisingly violent) blast. The Two-Disc Special Edition features some spectacular extras that are worth the price of admission alone, including a fascinating documentary going over Batman's rogues gallery, a documentary about Batman creator Bob Kane, and four great episodes from the classic 90's animated series. All in all, Batman: Gotham Knight will tide you over (briefly) during the wait for The Dark Knight, and Batman fans should definitely give it a look. Be warned however if you're a parent: Gotham Knight is a surprisingly mature and violent animated feature that more than likely should not be viewed by young children.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
DC's recent spate of direct-to-DVD videos have been somewhat of a mixed bag. I didn't care for Superman - Doomsday (DC Universe Animated Original Movie), but I was very impressed by Justice League - The New Frontier (Two-Disc Special Edition) and greatly recommend it.
Sadly, this film isn't nearly as good as "...New Frontier", and only slightly better than "Superman - Doomsday".
The idea behind this movie, aside from milking out a few bucks before the release of "The Dark Knight" (can't wait to see it tomorrow!), is to do what the people behind The Animatrix did; get some respected Japanese animation studios and have them make some shorts based on the movie(s).
In principle this isn't a bad idea, and for something like The Matrix series, which so clearly draws inspiration from anime, it might work very well. It works less well, however, for a universe like the one shown in Batman Begins (Two-Disc Special Edition), which is much more grounded in as much reality as any super-hero film can be.
The animation in the movie is decent, but nothing to write home about (of course I'm not some big-time otaku, so take that for what it's worth). The storylines are ok. One where Batman gets a device that keeps him safe from bullets works out ok, as does the one with Killer Croc, but overall none of the stories are that great.
There are some good things, though. It's always great to hear Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne. He really nails it and does a great job with both characters. All the rest of the voice-acting is quite good, too.
But where this set really shines is in the extras. There's a great biography of Bob Kane (and people like me will get a real big laugh out of the "News On Parade" feature at the begining). My favorite extra, however, is the four episodes of the animated Batman series, which includes two of my favorite episodes from the show.
Ultimately I give really only one, maybe two, stars for the movie itself, but with those extras the set gets a boost up to three stars! Still not great, but at least I don't feel ripped-off by it.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2008
To be frank I only liked the second half of the film. The first half constists of nothing but the view of Batman through the eyes of various civilians, and Batman beating up goons.
The second half or the last two stories are far more enjoyable. Working Through Pain was written by one of my favourite comic book writers Brian Azarello (100 Bullets), and he did a good job in annunciating that Bruce really doesn't want to work through the pain of his parents death. He wants to hold on to that pain because it gives him purpose and it drives him. And really if he were to give up that pain--he probably would find his life devoid and meaningless and purposeless. The Deadshot story, I liked because it shows the kind of Alpha male hero who is willing to stand down any threat (yet not a goon) warrior I like to see him portrayed as.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
I will start off by saying it was one of the best animated Batman movies/series I have seen. The animation is what you would expect from anime the stereotypical anime animation but it was still good solid animation, which is a compliment from me because I really don't like anime.
The first story was by far my least favorite. I thought it was kind of boring, it was the usual story of kids exagerating the truth. I don't want to really give the plot of anything away so I will avoid plot details. After watching the first one I was questioning if the movie was worth the money.
After watching the second one I knew it was. The second cartoon was my favorite it had a good story, what I thought was the best animation out of them all and a good amount of action.
I'm not going to go through all six episodes because there isn't a lot to say other then plot details, but all around it was a really good set of short films on one of comics most iconic figures. I haven't really had a chance to go through the special features but on the two disc there is four episodes from one of the animated series (which for me was the selling point for the two disc). It was suposed to sum up what was going on between Batman Begins and Dark Knight, it doesn't tie the two together at all but it gives the viewer a better understanding of the crime and corruption going on in Gotham city. Again I think if you are a really big Batman fan whether it be the movies, comics/graphic novels, or the series I recomend this movie.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
I am surprised at so many one star reviews. I really do not know what to make of it, because at any level, this DVD is not that poor in writing or quality; however, I was both satisfied and in places a little disappointed. The main film involves six stories woven into one narrative that last about hour and ten minutes. The art work is generally good, but Batman is often drawn in an oft-kilted style. So first, the disappointments: Now, I am just an amateur artists, but this style only works in short spurts (like one frame), not in multiple frames (where it starts to wear thin very quickly). In one frame, it can draw the on-looker in, making one appreciate characteristics and points being made; however, in a film, this technique, I assert, begins to distract the viewer.
The stories are in and of themselves, pretty good; but, because they are small vignettes, they are not as good as the "Animated Series" from the early to mid 90s. The story "Working Through Pain" is so esoteric, that its strength fails to deliver with its pretentious ending. With that said, the rest of the DVD is very good and the stories hold up very well and while some stories involve a lot of action, some do not and this adds depth to the character - much like the comic book. The best story is the last and that is true because it is also well told and the best "drawn".
The bio-epic on Bob Kane on disc two is really nice and one gets a good sense about the man and his life and journey. There are some special "animated" series episodes and "The Legends of the Dark Knight" is similar to the first story on disk one, "Do I have a Story to Tell" (both of which are based loosely on "The Batman Nobody Knows" -Batman #250, 1973, Frank Robbins).
This is a very good edition to the Batman genre and mythos, but not a spectacular one.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
Ever since I was 3 I have been a fan of Batman. I started with the Superfriends and the Adam West show all the way to the awesome worlds of Bruce Timm and Christopher Nolan. Now with the most anticipated film of 2008 on the way in 'The Dark Knight' Bruce Timm decided to join his world and Nolans' world with 'Batman: Gotham Knight' This film bridges 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' showing Batman's rise to legendary status as well as keeping an eye out of the other major characters, heroic and villanous.
This film does not bring the viewer the familiar Batman to the screen. It is something completly different that has never been done in the superhero media. Yes there have been many depictions of famous superheroes in the style of Manga and other anime styles, but in print never moving picture. I think that is why many people are giving this movie a very mixed review. The style of anime is a cut above the american traditional 2-D/3-D animation. The animation is original and stories make the characters much more complex. Sometimes the line drawn between good and evil or hero and villian is washed away due to dark heroes and villians with no intentions of mass genocide or world domination. The most familiar thing you see in this film is Kevin Conroy doing what he does best and eventhough it would have been cool to see Christian Bale in this role I was glad that Kevin returned.
I say this movie should be seen because it is so fresh and different. I always enjoy when people move a character out of his or her comfort zone. While this film isn't as good as Mask of the Phantasm or Return of the Joker (the other Bruce Timm Batman Movies), I thought it was well put together and I am eagerly awaiting the next Warner Premire film which is Wonder Woman.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
Contrary to other reviews, I found the first episode "Have I Got a Story For You" to be the highlight of this omnibus project. The story and design offered some very interesting and unusual re-envisioning of the Batman character. The style was inventive and pushed the envelope artistically. The shorts that followed had great moments, amazing action, welcome return of familiar voice actors, but overall relied on attitude over story. I just didn't get pulled into the moments they chose to put us into. The style of the animation also became more predictable, though admittedly, looked very very cool. I would have loved to have seen deeper stories, with equal conflict and action, that spoke more of Batman's emotional character, rather than the somewhat cartoony man-committed-to-fight-crime, one-note approach. I really liked watching this and it's worth checking out if you are a Batman or animation fan. And I wish they'd keep going with more! As past reviews show, there is a little something for everyone in a project like this, and you may find that other segments speak to you as a viewer.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
As a fan of both anime and Batman, I was thrilled to hear about this set months ago, and it did not dissappoint.
Anime fans who are less open minded to American stories will dislike the storytelling, and American fans may be put-off by the animation; but if you are willing to appreciate the melding of different styles, you will like this.
The Bob Kane Bio was interesting, but the villian feature provided no information that Batman fans didn't already know. All Batman the animated Series episodes included are great too. If you haven't picked up the sets of that series then this is worth it simply to get those episodes.
I think most of the negative reviews are from people who had made up thier minds that they would dislike this from the begining (and after "The Batman" this does not surprise me) but if you come into it with an open mind you will like it.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
I was expecting several different animated episodes that would introduce characters and tell complete stories. What I got was several different animated episodes that were snapshots of events that helped shaped the Batman that we will see in the next movie. Not that there isn't a fair amount of action - but I can see where the stories seem "incomplete". It's because they are not meant to be tidy and complete but instead to show more of the psychology of the character. Once you get your mind around that fact, you can potentially enjoy the episodes on the level I think they were intended.
Side Note: When I see things like this I LONG for a good ANIMATED PG-13 or R Batman movie. There are some things that live action/CG just can't do like animation!