Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into an appealing presentation.
Sharpness worked fine. A little stylistic softness emerged, but the movie offered good delineation and accuracy as a whole.
Jaggies and moiré effects also remained absent, and the image lacked edge haloes or artifacts. In addition, print flaws were a non-factor and didn’t appear at any point.
In terms of colors, Doom went with a subdued palette that favored moody greys, greens, reds and ambers. The tones looked solid, as they showed positive richness and vivacity.
Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. Across the board, the image worked well.
I thought the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Doom opened up the comic book material well. The forward channels brought out the majority of the audio, but the entire package added a lot to the movie. Music presented strong stereo imaging, while effects cropped up in logical spots and blended well.
The surrounds also contributed good information. For the most part, these reinforced the forward channels, but they also contributed a fair amount of unique material.
These instances mainly occurred during bigger action scenes. The back speakers brought out a nice sense of space and environment.
Audio quality always satisfied. Speech was warm and natural, without edginess or other issues.
Music sounded lively and full, while effects displayed good definition. Those elements seemed accurate and dynamic. All of this led to a positive presentation that deserved a “B+”.
As we head to extras, we open with an audio commentary from co-director Sam Liu, writer Jase Ricci, DC Creative Director Mike Carlin and producer Jim Krieg. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the source and its move to the screen, visual design, influences, music, casy and performances, and related domains.
In general, the commentaries for DC direct-to-video animated movies tend to feel mediocre, and this one follows that pattern. On the positive side, the participants remain active, engaged and lively throughout the chat.
However, they simply don’t give us a lot of strong information about the movie, as they mostly praise it. While we get occasional insights, the end result frustrates more than it educates.
Shadows of Gotham runs 13 minutes, 12 seconds. It brings remarks from Liu, Ricci, clinical psychologist Dr. Drea Letamendi, and voice director Wes Gleason.
“Shadows” examines the source comic, story/characters, visual design, themes and influences. A few insights emerge but the featurette lacks a lot of good information.
Two Previews appear, the first of which covers Gotham By Gaslight. It features Krieg, DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin, and executive producer Bruce Timm.
They tell us about the source comic and aspects of the film’s story and character areas. It’s a promo piece but it’s an effective one.
We also find a look at Superman: Red Son that spans 11 minutes, 21 seconds. It involves Timm, Krieg, Gleason, DC Entertainment VP Ames Kirshen, and actors Diedrich Bader, Amy Acker, Paul Williams, Sasha Roiz, and Jason Isaacs.
This preview details the same sort of territory heard in the promo for Gaslight. Expect another ad on steroids.
Under From the DC Vault, we get two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. Here we find Part One (22:18) and Part Two (22:14) of “The Demon’s Quest”.
Here an adult Robin (voiced by Loren Lester) gets abducted by the same party that kidnaps Talia Al Ghul (Helen Slater) so Batman (Kevin Conroy) must team up with foe Ra’s Al Ghul (David Warner).
Back when I read the comics regularly, I always thought Ra’s was a lackluster, unexciting villain. That attitude hasn’t changed with Ra’s as a character in the animated series. He lacks the panache or glamour of the better Bat baddies, and that factor makes this two-part episode average.
Note that these two episodes just appeared on the Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons release a few months before Doom hit the shelves. With hundreds of animated shows out there, can’t DC avoid recycled shows on the home video packages?
Although I hoped the 1920s setting of Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham would act as something more than a gimmick, I found disappointment. The film comes with a limp story and feels like little more than an excuse to trot out DC characters in a different era. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials. This turns into a lackluster adventure.