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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1

4.3 out of 5 stars 742 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

Based on Frank Miller's acclaimed graphic novel, this intense and visually inventive two-part animated film tells the story of a nalternate future for Batman. Although the Dark Knight is retired from crime fighting, Gotham City still needs its hero. In part I, after the death of his protégé Jason Todd, billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne was forced to retire from his Batman persona. Now, ten years later,Gotham City is overrun with crime and terrorized by a gang known as the Mutants. When the 55-year-old Wayne finds out that former district attorney Harvey Dent, also known as the villainous Two-Face, has gone into hiding, he is driven to don the cape and cowl again to battle the crime epidemic. After Batman rescues her, 13-year-old Carrie Kelley dresses as Robin and helps the aging Batman prevail in a violent conflict with Dent and the Mutants.

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Frank Miller's groundbreaking Dark Knight Returns story arc is capably translated to a two-part, feature-length animated film, with the first installment serving as introduction to Miller's brooding, violent take on the venerable comic book hero. Actor Peter Weller (RoboCop) does a fine job as the aged Bruce Wayne, lured out of retirement to take on the Mutants, a vicious gang of criminals waging a terror campaign in Gotham City. Their brutal methods inspire the Batman to take an equally hard-nosed approach to crime fighting, which draws criticism from the powers that be and praise from the general public, especially 13-year-old Carrie Kelly (Ariel Winter of Modern Family), who becomes the new Robin. Director Jay Oliva and writer Bob Goodman ably condense the first two issues of the Dark Knight story arc into a 76-minute feature that preserves much of Miller's tone; the cast also provides the proper degree of vocal grit, with standout turns from Michael McKean, Gary Anthony Williams, and Michael Emerson in a brief but memorable bit as one of Batman's longest-running foes. Extras are limited to a preview of the second installment of The Dark Knight Returns, which when combined with the quality of the first part, should bring viewers back for the final go-round. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, David Selby, Wade Williams
  • Directors: Jay Oliva
  • Writers: Bob Goodman
  • Producers: Benjamin Melniker, Bruce Timm, Sam Register, Alan Burnett, Michael E. Uslan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (742 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008RV5K4U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,989 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Warner Premiere and DC Comics have topped themselves with the Blu-ray / DVD release of "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1." After the release of "Batman: Year One," the only logical choice for the Caped Crusader's next solo animated feature was evident. It was time for Frank Miller's other beloved and critically acclaimed graphic novel to be adapted for the screen.

Frank Miller's "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" not only had an effect on the entire comic book industry, it influenced director Tim Burton to make a serious film adaptation based on the super hero that turned into a multi-billion dollar franchise. Many fans and historians would say it is responsible for the popularity of comic book movies today.

It's been ten years since Batman's last appearance in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne has retired the cape and cowl for a life of tedium and drinking. He meets occasionally with Commissioner Gordon for drinks and to talk about the state of the world. Gordon knows Wayne's secret and is one of his only confidants.

Bruce begins having horrible nightmares about his parents' deaths and witnesses Gotham City digress even further into the depths of depravity at the hands of a new criminal syndicate calling themselves the Mutants. He's driven to suit up once again to take on the homicidal maniacs and show the citizens of Gotham City that they need not live in fear any longer.

"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1" is the best animated feature film DC and Warner Premiere have released. There's no other way of putting it. It feels epic and holds a cinematic flare that the other entries in the DC animated super hero movie franchise haven't accomplished. That's not to say they aren't good or worthy of praise.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First off, wasn't going to write a review but was INFURIATED by Amazon customers that rented/bought this and gave it 1 Star. Most if not the majority of them were customers that thought this was the Nolan movie version. This Batman Dark Knight Animated film is suffering from low to bad reviews due to IDIOTS that lost the ability to read the "Product Description" portion which clearly states "Format: ANIMATED". Amazon needs to adopt some way to Vote off reviews that are NOT related to the product itself due to the INCOMPETENCE of some "reviewers" ability to read and inform themselves of what exactly they're purchasing.

Now on to the Animated movie. AMAZING!!! Having read the Novel I was excited to see this come out as the original Batman Animated series from the 90's did tease us with small clips here and there and gave us a taste of what it would be like to see the Novel animated. Now backed with outstanding performances from Peter Weller (RoboCop movies) who plays an aged Bruce Wayne/Batman and an almost exact frame to frame shot sequences from the comic books, it gave me chills. Whether you are a Batman, comic book fan or not, if you consider yourself a fan of good quality story telling and well done animation this is a great buy. Keeping this short and simple, lots of memorable moments that really stick out. Hearing Peter Weller's voice rumbling through my surround sound set up with one of my all time favorite quotes from the movie gave me goosebumps: "You don't get it son, this isn't a Mud-Hole, it's an operating table...and I'm the surgeon."

Already waiting to pre-order Part 2.
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Format: Blu-ray
I own this blu-ray. Not sure how I got it delivered early from another company but I did and I can tell you that this is the finest Batman film ever made. It is up there with Batman Mast Of The Phantasm.

As a life long fan of Frank Millers Graphic Novel I was excited to see this following Batman Year One which also served the source proud.

There are a few differences from the source. Most notably, Millers trademark voice over narrative of Batman is gone. In the comic we really got into Bruce's head and Batman's. The good news is that I did not really notice this until I got my novel out after viewing. This does not detract from the great story. Another difference is the scene with the general who supplies the Mutants with weapons. There is an additional scene where Batman confronts the general rather than finding him dead.

The film finishes in a perfect place with the fight with the mutant with the incredible line "...this is an operating table and I'm the surgeon."

The voice talent is top notch. I'm a Kevin Conroy fan but Peter 'Robocop' Weller does a great job and its good to hear and see Batman and he truly belongs in the animated universe. The problem with Nolan's live action films is that they are great crime dramas but everytime Batman is on the screen it is embarrassing. It is a man in a suit with a stupid voice. It never worked for me.

This animation however, is a great experience and I cannot wait for part 2.

Extras on the blu-ray include a sneak peek at part 2, a couple of episodes from the animated series (Two Face) and a series of trailers.

Buy it now.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Really thought this was outstanding. The Dark Night Returns is the basis for the Batman that we know today. Frank Miller changed the perception of Batman forever with this graphic novel (which I have in plastic bags tucked safely away in the basement) from the smiley happy Super Friends version to the dark tortured soul that we see today. This animated feature does deviate a bit from Miller's vision, but excellent story, excellent voice acting, animation, even the music. This is definitely worth your time and money. In fact, after I rented it, I went out and bought the DVD. Only bummer is that we have to wait a year for Part 2, but this really needed to be longer than the typical 70-80 minute standard format allows for. Hope they keep up the quality in Part 2. Can't wait to see Superman in this story.
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