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Batman: Year One [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Gotham City is in desperate need of heroes, two men take a stand for justice…but on opposite sides. Bruce Wayne returns home after years abroad to become a crimefighter, just as honest cop Lt. James Gordon moves to Gotham and finds corruption at every level. When Bruce becomes the masked vigilante Batman, the city explodes as his new nemesis Catwoman, the mob and Gordon all close in! Don’t miss this thrilling DC Universe Animated Original Movie based on the groundbreaking story by Frank Miller and featuring Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Katee Sackhoff, Eliza Dushku, Alex Rocco and Jon Polito in its stellar voice cast. Experience a bold and dynamic vision of the Dark Knight’s first year in action and the start of his enduring friendship with Jim Gordon.

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DC Universe's original animated movie takes on one of the most acclaimed texts among Batman fans: Frank Miller's Year One, which retold the Dark Knight's origins as a crime fighter from a decidedly hard-boiled point of view. The feature follows Miller's story arc faithfully, with young Bruce Wayne (voiced by Benjamin McKenzie of Southland) arriving in a vice-ridden Gotham with a decade's worth of martial arts training and a head full of vengeance over his parents' murder. At the same time, new police transfer Jim Gordon (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad) settles into his job, where he discovers that the police are often worse than the criminals. What follows is an inversion of the traditional superhero story, with both men, ostensibly on the side of law and order, taking the business of saving Gotham into their own hands, with Gordon untangling the web of corruption around the city while Wayne, as Batman, adopts a more hands-on (read: violent pummeling) approach. The feature, codirected by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu (who previously shared helming duties on Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths), captures the visceral grit of Miller's take, but not the depth of character and story, which made the source material so rich. Exposition is delivered through cumbersome voice-over, while the plentiful action threatens to overwhelm the scant characterizations afforded by Tab Murphy's script. Casting is another mixed bag, with Cranston delivering Gordon's frustration and fury with skill, but McKenzie and Katee Sackhoff (as Sarah Essen, Gordon's lover and future wife) not quite striking the same balance. Striking the right combination of Miller's literary leanings in the original text with the visual elements required to keep an animated feature interesting is a formidable challenge, and one that the makers of Batman: Year One got only partially right.

Extras on the Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy set are typically plentiful, with featurettes and interviews giving an in-depth look into the origins and making of the film. Chief among these is the original short Catwoman, which pits the whip-wielding feline fatale (voiced by Eliza Dushku, who has a cameo in Year One) against a dangerous smuggler. As with its accompanying feature, the action is fast and frenetic, though scenes in a strip club make this definitely PG-13 material. Batman producer Michael Uslan is front and center for Conversations with DC Comics, which features the DC Entertainment team's thoughts on the Batman: Year One text and its long-reaching influences, while Heart of Vengeance looks at Miller's work and its impact on the comic marketplace. Liu, producer Alan Burnett, DC writer/editor Mike Carlin, and voice casting director Andrea Romano are featured on an info-heavy commentary track, while two episodes from Batman: The Animated Series, previews for previous releases, and a sneak peek at Justice League: Doom, the next feature from DCU, round out the sizable set. --Paul Gaita


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Eliza Dushku, Bryan Cranston, Katee Sackhoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058YPN4G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,509 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman: Year One [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
So I am aware that posting reviews on these DC Warner Premiere titles is risky or precarious at best. The fans are quite knowledgeable and while some don't want a fluff review others are full of adoration for their favorite characters and want reviews that only say positive things. Having had the privelege to obtain and view the film a week before its planned release I am going to attempt to review the actual overall quality for those who are uncertain about making this purchase. While all opinions are obviously subjective I will try to state facts and point out any statements that are based more on my opinion to allow each individual to decide for themself.

Adaptation/Story: Overall this is an excellent adaptation, 10/10. The film follows the exact plot of the original Frank Miller graphic novel, and as has been stated in interviews with Bruce Timm and others, it doesn't leave any scenes out but some are added/very slightly rearranged. The added scenes, in my opinion, don't feel out of place. They are in tone with the original material and are also kept few and far between. Certain monologues/inner dialogues have been slightly changed or shortened but the essence of each is kept true to the source material.The story, needless to say, is fantastic and establishes Batman in a dark gritty world of realism, pure genius on the part of Frank Miller.

Note: Only a rewording of Bruce Wayne's opening monologue felt pointless to me, rather than saying he should've taken the train to be closer to the enemy he says from the plane he can't see the enemy. I feel his desire to be near the enemy was better felt with the original line. Sorry to nitpick.

Animation: Stunning 9/10.
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Format: DVD
Along with The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One has generally been considered one of the finest achievements in comic book writing of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Warner Brothers has produced an extremely faithful animated adaptation of the comic book. For those who enjoyed the comic book or who are interested in a sophisticated Batman story, Batman: Year One will definitely be worth watching.

As I've already said, this is a VERY faithful adaptation of the classic comic book story. It is different from other recent adaptations such as Marvel's Planet Hulk or even DC's Justice League: The New Frontier, which changed some aspects of the original storylines and added a lot of dialogue. In Batman: Year One much of the dialogue from the comic book was imported more or less wholesale into the animated film.

The story may come as a bit of a surprise to those who are not familiar with it. Many have said that it should really be called Commissioner Gordon: Year One because the story focuses so heavily on the commissioner and how he reacted to the sudden appearance of the Dark Knight. It is therefore quite different from the more Bruce Wayne centered perspective taken in the movies and elsewhere. The approach to Batman taken in this film is among the more realistic. He has a few gadgets but nothing like the high-tech stuff that he totes around in most recent comic books and films. He gets bruised in his battles with everyday hoodlums and can't take out twenty guys at once the way he can in other storylines. The Dark Knight also makes mistakes both in his judgments and his relationships. He doesn't seem to know everything and be able to track every situation as he does in many Justice League stories.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
- Bruce Wayne, pre-Batman: "I'm not ready. I have the means... the skill... But something's missing. I have to wait."

In 1987 Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli launched the "Year One" craze with their BATMAN: YEAR ONE arc, a gripping look back at the earliest days of Gotham City's most driven and pointy-eared vigilante. For my money and most everyone else's, this arc is near as monumental as Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. It's certainly more noirish, more real, told on a more intimate stage. In the wake of BATMAN: YEAR ONE, DC soon churned out BATGIRL: YEAR ONE, JUSTICE LEAGUE: YEAR ONE, TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE... You get the picture. Even Dynamite Entertainment's jumped on the bandwagon with its SHERLOCK HOLMES: YEAR ONE volume. Point being, BATMAN: YEAR ONE is so influential that it absolutely deserves an animated feature adaptation.

After living abroad for twelve years, 25-year-old Bruce Wayne, Gotham City's richest, most eligible bachelor, has come home to begin his crimefighting career and to kick off his perceived life of hedonism. No need to go into Bruce's childhood past. We know what happened and how it influenced the course of his life. But it's fascinating to eyeball Bruce Wayne as a rank amateur, still finding his legs, still bumbling about. His first sortie out in the crime-infested streets doesn't go well.

Except that I think of this arc as Jim Gordon: Year One even more so than Batman: Year One. It's a pure revelation meeting a young and badass Lieutenant Gordon, newly arrived to Gotham and living down a rep in Chicago as a badge what ratted out his fellow cops. He gazes around his new city and his bleak mood grows bleaker as he soaks in the city's widespread corruption. If ever a town needed cleaning up...
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