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Batman: Year One [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
Price:$12.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on October 25, 2011
"Batman: Year One" is an interesting movie covering Batman's humble beginnings as he gradually learns the ropes to become the Dark Knight we all know today. However, the gem of this movie is the exploration of the human side of an otherwise rarely fleshed-out character, Lieutenant (later Commissioner) Jim Gordon, and the beginnings of respect and friendship that Batman and Gordon form in the early stages of their respective crime-fighting careers. Much of the movie focuses on Gordon's return to the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) and all of the stress that entails; Gordon is an honest cop afloat in a sea of corrupted city officials that he must learn to keep his guard up with or face dire consequences for him and his family. The tale is presented (true to its comic lineage) as a gritty, well thought out origin-story replete with appearances from Harvey Dent (Two Face), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Vicki Vale and everyone's favorite butler, Alfred.

Being a huge fan of the title graphic novel , I was pleasantly surprised at how faithful the movie adaptation tracked with the original writing. Sure everything is not 100% the same, like certain scenes being extended (Selina's fight with a disguised Bruce Wayne), some cut short, and some minor dialogue changes - but everything is so close to the graphic novel in its presentation and style - you can tell that the producers truly wanted to honor Frank Miller's vision of Batman's beginnings.

ANIMATION: The animation of the film is very well done. The depictions of scenes on screen are practically taken out of the graphic novel and made a thing of motion. The colors have of course been adapted to be more visually appealing on screen, however the selection of color used allowed them to translate scenes to film without loosing the "feel" of grittiness. We watched the movie in Blu-Ray, and the animation picture quality was very crisp.

Though the animation is done very well, this movie lost some points from me due to the attempted "3-D" input which seems to plague many animated movies today. To explain what I am talking about: when a plane flies, or a car chase scene occurs, the animated pictures assumes more of a 3-D feel to it instead of remaining completely animated. I'm sure some individuals enjoy this, but I do not. To me, it takes me out of the movie and looks "cheap" even though I'm sure it was just an artistic choice by the producers.

ACTORS: I thought that the voice actors for this movie did a good job of portraying their characters, with one glaringly important exception: Ben Mckenzie as Batman/Bruce Wayne. In my opinion (and those that watched the movie with me) McKenzie was just not right for this roll. He did not "sound" like Batman. Granted, Batman is younger in this movie, but the edge to his voice, and the fire of someone that had dedicated his life to avenging his parents' murders was just not there. Additionally, some of the monologue lines presented by McKenzie practically sounded like they were being read instead of acted, it was as if there was no emotion behind them; even if the intent was to present a detached character, it still came across very hollow. Near the last 3/4 of the movie, McKenzie's presentation of BW/BM became a little better, but still left me wishing that they had cast someone more appropriate for the role.

CONCLUSION: "Batman: Year One" is a relatively short movie at just over an hour (64 minutes) but none of that hour is wasted - there is either character building, or plot-driven action during the entire movie - though I still wish it were longer. The production team has gone to great lengths to stay very faithful to the source material, so if you liked the "Batman: Year One" graphic novel, you will probably like this movie if for no other reason than to see the graphic novel brought to life. Why 3.5 stars? The voice acting by McKenzie really brought the movie down for me, and left me with a "meh" feeling that the other recent Batman movies never did; I think with the proper casting for BW/BM, I really would have loved this movie. Bottom line - if you are a Batman fan (like me), and think you would enjoy a cartoon-update depicting a "real world" grittier version of his crime-fighting beginnings, then you will probably enjoy watching this movie. My only recommendation would be to rent it before buying it due to the issues I noted.
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on April 30, 2017
This one is definitely different than most of the other portrayals of Batman in the DC animated movies. This goes back to the beginning. The animation is nice and faithfully represents its comic book source material. But it really felt like this was Jim Gordon's movie with a little Batman thrown in. If you can, I'd suggest checking it out before you purchase.
1 helpful vote
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on March 16, 2016
I am not a Batman devotee, so I can't get too esoteric here, but I can say that I enjoyed this animated flick very much. I will probably go back and watch it many times. Early on, I was thinking that the James Gordon character was too one-dimensional, too much of a straight arrow... "Who wants gum?" he asks some kids he just saved from a criminal goon. I was getting worried, but then, later, the movie, and Gordon, too, gets pretty damn twisted and dark.This story is cool, because it follows Gordon's beginnings in Gotham, along with Bruce Wayne's emergence as Batman. Also, the CatWoman short that is included in this package is completely wonderful, in a PG-13 kind of way (but I wish they had gone R with it). I checked out the credits and watched the included documentary, and then I was amazed to see that Frank Miller (Sin City) had written the story (graphic novel/comic book) for this. Cool. I love Frank Miller; I'd like to get more animated stuff that has this same kind of noir tone to it, so I'd be open to any recommendations, either in the Batman area, or in the general animated noir genre. Hey, I told you I'm not a Batman expert.
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on July 27, 2017
If you are new to Batman comic books, this is a great place to start. It is a must-read and a true classic of the genre.
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on December 22, 2011
Once again the DC animation studio has knocked it out of the park. The animation was really smooth, the movie stayed right along with the source material and the voice acting--as usual was top notch. There were many little things in the movie that I found to be nice touches, things like the slight movement of Lt. Gordon's head would cause the light to reflect off his glasses. You don't really get that in cartoons nowadays. If you read the original comics by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli you will appreciate that the noir atmosphere was perfectly captured. The feel of the original panel art was there as well. I don't want to go to far into anything in case I drop a spoiler accidentally. What I will say is this is a must have for Batman/DC Animation fans.

The Catwoman short that's included on the DVD is also a lot of fun. You could see a Catwoman animated movie coming out of it.
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on June 28, 2016
Entertaining, and a good Batman/Jim Gordon story. As one of the few people Batman considers a friend, Jim Gordon deserves more coverage in the DC universe. The Catwoman story line is weird, with her starting out as a prostitute that somehow learned to fight well enough to be a challenge for Batman, but it's just a small aside to the main plot. The voice work and lines for Bruce Wayne are a let down, but that's the case with most DC features that don't use Kevin Conroy.
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on May 24, 2016
I bought it as a birthday gift and I did not expect what I received. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had ordered the graphic comic as well as the Blue Ray, DVD, and digital copy.The birthday boy was also pleasantly surprised when he received the whole package. Definitely worth the price to receive all four pieces for one price and not have to search for both the multi-media copy of the movie and the graphic novel, not to mention it would cost more as well.
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on April 16, 2017
I really enjoyed the way this show was written, it really felt like classic "detective" batman rather than just fists and batarangs.
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on January 30, 2012
It's almost a word for word copy of the graphic novel. Which I think is good, because the graphic novel was good (I have the graphic novel, it might have originally been in comic book form.)

The animation is super clean, seems likely computer generated, but made to look more like comic book art. I liked it, but I am sure some purists will object (I don't pretend to understand comic book fanatics, but I have seen how seriously they take this stuff.)

If I would change one thing, it would be to have fleshed out a few things a bit more. Like Dent's story, he's hardly covered, yet we find out that he and Batman know each other.

I highly recommend it to casual fans of Batman who don't mind dealing with the many variations in story line the series has. Just enjoy it for what it is...a nice bit of story telling. I can't say what serious fans think of such things, as they can likely quote chapter and verse from their knowledge of the series.
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on September 22, 2017
Bought this for my Boyfriend. He absolutely loved it
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