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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable animated adventure; plus a bonus short film
"Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman" is the first new straight-to-DVD Batman animated project since "Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker." It was worth the wait. Even if it doesn't match the manic, violent heights of "The Return of the Joker," it's a welcome, more lightweight adventure that's full of action and drama and also a very enjoyable mystery. There's a slew...
Published on March 25, 2004 by Claude Avary

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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Betcha never thought we'd get this far
Mystery of the Batwoman has made quite a bad reputation for itself since its release a decade ago. I'm not really sure why, or if it deserves the fanboy hate, but one thing is for sure - it killed the Bruce Timm/Alan Burnett Batman continuity that began with the TV series back in 1992. Kevin Conroy has returned as Batman in a few video games but there has been no proper...
Published on November 8, 2003 by Inspector Gadget


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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable animated adventure; plus a bonus short film, March 25, 2004
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"Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman" is the first new straight-to-DVD Batman animated project since "Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker." It was worth the wait. Even if it doesn't match the manic, violent heights of "The Return of the Joker," it's a welcome, more lightweight adventure that's full of action and drama and also a very enjoyable mystery. There's a slew of villains: The Penguin, Bane, and gangser Rupert Thorne. And there's the fascinating new character of Batwoman herself, with her unique abilities and unusual arsenal of gadgets. It's also quite a sexy, steamy Batman story (but don't worry, parents, not THAT steamy), with a strong romantic subplot that gives Bruce Wayne plenty to do when he's not hunting through the night as Batman. Like all of the animated D.C. Comics projects to come out of Warner Bros. since the early 90s, it's enjoyable, smart entertainment for both children and adults. If it doesn't quite attain the level of some of the previous Batman animated adventures, it nonetheless delivers a fun, exciting time in Gotham city.
Directed by Kurt Geda (who also directed "Return of the Joker") and Tim Maltby, and written by frequent writers of the various D.C. TV shows, Michael Reaves and Alan Burnett, the movie takes us back to the days of "The New Batman Adventures" (which means the look and style of the movie matches the more stylized look of the last few seasons of the show). Batman and Robin (the younger Tim Drake version of Robin) are still together fighting crime, but Batgirl has left Gotham City to go to college (no mention is made of Nightwing, the former Robin). But a new vigilante has suddenly appeared in Gotham: Batwoman (voice of Kyra Sedgewick), who wields bizarre technology and seems to have a grudge against the Penguin and Rupert Thorne's weapons-dealing operation. Batman sets out to find out the truth behind Batwoman and also stop the Penguin, Thorne, and their cronies.
There are plenty of suspects who could be beneath Batwoman's mask: scientist Roxanne "Roxy" Ballantine (voice of Kelly Ripa), mobster Carlton Duquesne's beautiful daughter Kathy (voice of Kimberly Brooks, although the character is clearly modeled on Halle Berry), and police detective Sonia Alcana (voice of Elisa Pensler-Gabrielli). Each one, Batman discovers, has a reason for revenge against the Penguin or Rupert Thorne. Things become more complicated when Bruce Wayne becomes romantically involved with Kathy Duquesne.
The animation is, as usual, fantastic. It's limited by budget, but nonetheless is far ahead of most of what appears on television, and the animators use the minimalist, art-deco look to great advantage. The set-pieces are stunning: Penguin's icy-night club, the truck chase action opening, Batwoman's hyper-kinetic fight with Penguin's female goons, the cruise boat slam-bang finale, and a beautiful sunset romance scene. It's sequences like these that make me wish Warner Bros. would give the animated Batman another shot at the movie theaters. (Only "Mask of the Phantasm" has shown up on movie screens.) The voice work is impeccable: Kevin Conroy is always a terrific Batman, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is still the perfect Alfred, and Hector Elizondo has fun with villain Bane. All the various female actresses mentioned above do great jobs with their characters. The only disconcerting casting choice is David Ogden-Stiers (a frequent voice-over artist) as the Penguin. He gives a good performance, but it's hard to better Paul Williams in the role, who had played the character throughout the TV series. The jazz-oriented score is also a nice change and adds to the steamier and mysterious aspects of the story.
The DVD contains a number of extras, but the best is a short animated film called "Chase Me." It is done completely in pantomime -- no dialogue -- as Batman chases Catwoman across Gotham City after she robs a jewelry safe at a ritzy party. It's a stunning piece of animation, and if it had been released in theaters would probably have easily snatched up the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It's one of the best explorations of the strange Batman-Catwoman-Bruce Wayne-Selina Kyle relationship, and the jazz score is hypnotic. It's a great bonus feature to have along with this extremely enjoyable Batman film. Buy this DVD! It will encourage more animated Batman features in the future, and maybe, just maybe, get one of them released to the theaters!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Betcha never thought we'd get this far, November 8, 2003
Mystery of the Batwoman has made quite a bad reputation for itself since its release a decade ago. I'm not really sure why, or if it deserves the fanboy hate, but one thing is for sure - it killed the Bruce Timm/Alan Burnett Batman continuity that began with the TV series back in 1992. Kevin Conroy has returned as Batman in a few video games but there has been no proper Batman animated movie since this one (unless you count Public Enemies, where he shares half of the screen time with Superman).

The Penguin is in the midst of setting up an arms deal with Carton Duquesne, Rupert Thorne, and Bane when the sudden appearance of a new crime-fighter in the shape of Batwoman causes them all sorts of grief. Not taking kindly to his image being tainted by an unaffiliated vigilante Batman sets out to discover who she really is.

It's a decent plot, but never feels moody or atmospheric. The gothic pathos of the animated Batman entries that fans are familiar with is strangely absent/muted. However there are some good action scenes and a nice twist half-way through that might seem a little redundant on repeat viewings. The animosity it has gathered since 2003 is a little hard to justify, it's still better than Sub-Zero.

The Blu-ray is a marginal disappointment. It IS a great improvement over the DVD, featuring the movie in the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio instead of 1.33:1. The picture balance looks much better and the colors frequently pop, but there is a very strange blurriness to a number shots which feature fuzzy, jagged black outlines. It is very odd, like they zoomed-in on the original print and lost resolution as a result. It might be a fault of the animation and not the Blu-ray transfer, though if you are annoyed by such things it will lessen the overall quality of the Blu-ray for you. The 1080p transfer would otherwise be impressive if it were not marred by this unusual anomaly. The DTS HD-MA audio fares much better and sounds great. The extras have been simply ported from the old DVD and dumped with no re-mastering. Even the ads, trailers, and 'Chase Me' short are in nasty standard definition.

Warner could have improved the presentation a bit, and with this exception of the aforementioned picture deficiencies it is a good upgrade on the DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely watch it, but buy only if you LOVE Batman, November 21, 2003
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Mystery of the Batwoman is a decidedly average Batman story. It doesn't come close to the writing triumphs of some of the Batman TAS episodes or even the preceding feature-length ones. The jazzy, laid-back music is completely inappropriate and takes a good deal away from many scenes. The art is clean, crisp, and fluid, but not anything like Sub-Zero's top-of-the-line pre-TNBA art (which honestly is the best Batman has ever looked). Of course, the greatest strength (and saving grace) of the film is the awesome voice acting. Kevin Conroy is still a completely believable Batman, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.'s Alfred is as witty as ever.
This film strays from the dark, moody feel of the Batman cartoon, which is a BAD thing, but it does make up for it a bit with a good deal of humor. There is a "Batman breaking-and-entering to investigate" scene that is absolutely hilarious if you understand it.
Finally, I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that there is a villain in the movie that we all love and is worth watching the film for. I won't say who it is.
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good ... for a Batman flick, November 3, 2003
By 
Ben (Calgary, AB) - See all my reviews
First of all, I think it's unfair to compare this animated movie to the works of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. They are long gone on other series and this was an attempt to take a new turn of the head in the series. And it succeeds. Certainly, don't want to discourage WB from making more of these movies because I love them a lot.
From a story point of view the plot is obvious. Who is Batwoman? The answer will astound you. I can't say I saw it coming or thought it was the most original thing to do but it was executed perfectly nonetheless. I'm not sure if I'm too fond of the new animation style however, it seems to lack detail where detail is called for and there is an abscence of shadows which gives Batman its dark feel - but as I said they're trying to take a new direction.
Probably the thing I hate the MOST has to do nothing with the movie but with the franchise itself. You'd think that they'd actually have Batwoman stay once the mystery is solved but instead she is gone like all the other new characters - in short, nothings changed AT ALL and it slowly degrades itself because of its reptitiveness. They should introduce some permanent change that encourages fans to stay interested in the series.
So why 5 stars? Well, the special features were great but watch them last or there won't be any mystery. Also I do like the fact that they are trying to show a lighter side of Bruce and the simple fact that they did make another moive. The script is good, the acting even better. To me it was certainly better than Sub Zero for here the viewer is actually drawn into a mystery rather than an adventure.
Bottom line, its a worthy buy. I recommend anyone to buy it or at least see it for its entertainment value. And a note to WB executives if they happen to read this: make the next movie longer than 75 min.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoothest animation out of the whole continuity, March 17, 2008
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Bryan S. Sampsel (Colorado Springs, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (DVD)
WB didn't really promote this movie much, but I finally bought it and it was worth every penny.

While it didn't have the 3d-renders of Justice League Unlimited, the Mystery of the Batwoman had smooth, consistent, high quality animation, an awesome voice cast, and a solid storyline. This was one of the best things I'd seen out of this continuity of Batman in a looong time.

Don't get me wrong, I loved JL and JLU, as well as Batman Beyond, Batman:TAS, etc. However, this was the best production to date.

I wish it could have saved us from "The Batman" and "Braniac Attacks." Those were utter crap.

Waaaaaait. I know, it wasn't being driven by Bruce Timm. In the interviews on JL and JLU, I got the idea that he'd abandoned the people who made Batman Beyond and Batman TAS such good projects in favor of his whiny ego.

Perhaps this movie can give someone else the ammo to keep Kevin Conroy as Batman. His voice is the single best one I've ever heard for Batman and if someone ever resurrects Batman Beyond, I'd love to see him play the elder Batman, whether live action, CGI, animation, whatever.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not on par with TAS, but worth the watch, May 5, 2005
True Batman TAS fans will immediately recognize a lot of boo-boos with this one. The voice director was obviously new to TAS, most evident in Bruce Wayne sharing Batman's voice (as opposed to Kevin Conroy using a deeper voice for Batman, and a more laidback voice for Bruce). Penguin, while voiced by a good actor (notably J'onn J'onzz among other voices), it's not the penguin we know and love. The animation is more in style with Beyond than TAS (likely painted on white paper instead of black, thus it doesn't have the dark feel of the original). The animation is at the same time softer and more choppy. Its also set in a much more modern environ, without the nostalgic styling of TAS.

Even ignoring all the stylistic differences, the movie definitely isn't on par with what we're used to seeing. Every 25 minute episode of the original series feels like a two hour movie. The scope of each individual episode is so epic, its easy to get lost in it all. Mask of the Phantasm was the same way- I couldn't believe I'd only been sitting there for an hour. Mystery of the Batwoman feels like every other cartoon movie.

All that being said, it's still an animated Batman movie, and it's definitely worth the watch. The fight scenes are good and several of the characters are more true to their personality than one might expect (all except Batman/Bruce, who seems out of character all too often). Several of the sets seem a little too "breakable." The comedy shots definetly do their job. I'm just not sure whether or not I'll be adding it to my collection.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Subzero, November 3, 2003
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C. Reyer (St Paul, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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Mask of the Phantasm rules as full-length Batman features go. However, this one isn't so bad on it's own.
I've always prefered the older original designs myself, but the trimmed down sleeker versions aren't ugly. The animation shows it's overseas production roots a bit as characters make Japanese gestures or verge a little too much into the anime style. One such moment being when Kathy Duquesne pulls slightly on her lower eye-lid -a uniquely Japanese teasing gesture. But Mask of the Phantasm had it's awkward moments in animation as well.
While the "Mystery" isn't particularily difficult to figure out, it's still entertaining, especially with the always excellent voice acting.
The score isn't quite Shirley Walkeresque. But it does have its interesting jazzy sound. More of a feminine touch contrasted to the brassy batman theme.
The dialogueless short "Chase Me" included in the extras is an artist experiement that is pulled off nicely. Batman has always been about mood and ambiance anyway. You can really never go wrong with something thought up by Paul Dini.
This is an overall lighter Batman story that may go over better with the kids it will be inevitably bought for than Phantasm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing the true Batman/Gotham atmosphere, February 16, 2014
By 
NF (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (DVD)
This is, I think, the third in the Batman animated movies, following "Mask of the Phantasm" and "SubZero." This movie was first done for television, so it has a 4:3 aspect ratio, not widescreen. The movie opens with a shipment of illicit high-tech weapons being transported along the highways of Gotham City. All is peaceful until the figure of a bat flies overhead but this bat isn't what the criminals expect, as the lithe figure of a Batwoman drops down and starts destroying the weapons, breaking up the shipment. Batman and Robin (Tim Drake) arrive in the Batplane but are too late to do more than look as the new Batwoman flies off on a jet glider. Batman is, of course, concerned, because, "The last thing Gotham City needs is a vigilante running amuck." Of course, as Alfred replies, "As they say on the streets, 'I ain't touchin' that one.'"

The scene shifts to Penguin's legit knick-knack factory, where Penguin, Rupert Thorne, and Carlton Duquesne meet in the real factory in the sub-basement, where an assembly line of high-tech weapons is in full operation. We find that they have already been paid half a billion dollars for the arms, money which they've already spent. Duquesne is responsible for the security of the shipments and his compatriots are not happy, "You're supposed to be our muscle, Mr. Duquesne; start flexing."

Back in Duquesne's residence, we meet Duquesne's daughter, Kathy (Kimberly Brooks), back from an afternoon of shopping. Her father is unhappy that she's been out without telling him and he gives her the brushoff about who he's on the phone with and how his day has gone. She exits in grand style, "I guess I should be going then; we're getting dangerously close to a conversation."

In the next scene, we meet Dr. Roxanne (Rocky) Ballantine (voiced by Kelly Ripa), who is somewhat clumsily giving a presentation on a malleable metal to the WayneTech board of directors. After a rough start, she manages to impress the CEO enough that he takes her out to dinner. Their meal is interrupted by the bat-signal lighting up the sky.

When Batman arrives, he meets Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock, and a new arrival, Detective Sonia Alcana (Elisa Gabrielli), who are there to discuss the analysis of what remains of the weapons that Batwoman destroyed. The weapons themselves don't suggest anything to Batman but a keychain found on the driver does and his next move is to Penguin's factory, from inside which he hears a gunshot and we see the Batwoman surrounded by Penguin's goons. In the ensuing melee, Batwoman reveals that she's set a charge to blow in a few seconds, and blow it does, destroying the factory. As she flies off, Batman follows her with a pair of binoculars and sees her heading in the direction of Duquesne's penthouse.

Batman decides to investigate Duquesne's daughter, so he follows her the next day in his Bruce Wayne persona. She surprises him in a department store by asking him to help her evade her bodyguards and they run off together for a quiet afternoon on the shore and Bruce finds himself attracted to her. In the meantime, Penguin and Thorne have decided that Duquesne is over his head and they need a specialist to help with the Batwoman and Batman, so they call in .... well, that would be telling....

So which of our suspects is the mysterious Batwoman? Is it Kathy Duquesne, resentful of her father because she thinks that he was indirectly responsible for her mother's death? Is it Rocky Ballantine, whose boyfriend has been wrongfully imprisoned with evidence planted by Penguin? Is it Sonia Alcana, whose parents' shop was torched by arsonists working for Rupert Thorne? You'll have to watch the movie to find out, although I have to confess that the ending wasn't particularly a surprise.

The movie heats up as the final shipment of arms is readied, this time on a cruise ship in the harbor. All of the players show up for a final confrontation where all secrets are revealed and a few surprises await.

The animation is up to the studio's usual standards of the time (more than ten years ago) and the voice acting is very good, with Kevin Conroy up to his usual standards as Batman. The story isn't bad but, as I said, the big reveal wasn't much of a surprise and what was missing from this movie was the moodiness and the dark atmosphere that makes Batman unique. This was more of a conventional gangster/action movie. On the other hand, the final action sequence as everything comes to a head is good, if a bit cliched in spots. I'd give it just a bit more than 3 stars, overall.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, July 12, 2013
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I was already a fan of the animated series, I loved the dark themes of every episode, the musical score, what's not to like. It was so different from cartoons from the past where all the characters got along and were smiling, it was just so unrealistic but i guess necessary for the youth to be exposed to. But this film doesn't disappoint. It delivers on the darkness, the mystery, everything involved with the animated series is in this movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, March 7, 2013
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The climax and eventual end of the original series ends with this movie. Watching the cartoon series chronologically, this one should be watched last. It's a good story but I'm sad to see it end on this movie. They could have gone so much farther than by stopping here. Still a great movie however.
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Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman by Curt Geda (DVD - 2003)
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