Batman: Gotham Knight appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. In general, this became a largely positive presentation.
Actually, an overall rating became tough because each of the six segments came with such different visual choices. For the most part, sharpness looked tight and concise, though the animation styles meant occasional instances of stylized softness.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Outside of some intentional “flaws”, source concerns failed to become a distraction.
Colors varied all over the place, with a mix of stylized choices. Some looked strong, some looked mushy, but they appeared to represent the original projects.
Blacks were mostly deep and dense, while shadows usually appeared fairly smooth. The ups and downs made this a “B” image overall.
Despite all the various action scenes, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Knight lacked consistent pep. While some of the segments used the different speakers in a fairly involving manner, the soundscape tended to feel a little restrained, as the elements didn’t engage as much as expected.
Still, the soundfields usually offered decent involvement and movement. The components blended together in a mostly satisfying way.
The 5.1 mix lost points due to its lossy nature, but quality remained pretty good nonetheless. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Music and effects offered fairly good range and impact, though they could come across as a bit tepid at times. The mix simply lacked the punch I expected. All of this left us with a “B—“ track.
The disc comes with a mix of extras, and we find an audio commentary from DC SVP Gregory Noveck, former editor Denny O’Neil and actor Kevin Conroy. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the movie’s various segments, cast and performances, and aspects of the Batman mythos.
At times, we get insights into Gotham Knight, but the commentary tends more toward general thoughts about the character and legend. Though some of these offer useful notes, the track feels somewhat unfocused and never really kicks into high gear. We get a few interesting thoughts but not a lot to keep us involved.
Two featurettes follow, and A Mirror For the Bat runs 35 minutes, 47 seconds. It includes notes from Noveck, O’Neil, DC President/publisher Paul Levitz, DC Senior VP Dan DiDio, executive producer Michael Uslan, Animated Series writer/producer Paul Dini, writer/historian Andy Mangels, and screenwriters Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka and Josh Olson.
“Mirror” looks at a bunch of Batman’s most famous villains. Given the size of that rogues’ gallery, “Mirror” spreads itself too thin, but it offers a generally good overview.
Batman and Me fills 38 minutes 25 seconds and presents comments from Levitz, Uslan, biographer Tom Andrae, Batman creator Bob Kane, widow Elizabeth Kane, artist Jerry Robinson, photographer/friend Jonathan Exley, friend Dr. Myron Shapiro, and actor Mark Hamill.
“Me” offers a general biography of Bob Kane. While not the deepest examination of his life and career, it presents a decent summary.
The set also provides four episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. We get “Legends of the Dark Knight” (), “Heart of Ice” (22:25), “Over the Edge” (21:34) and “I Am the Night” (22:16).
“Legends” resembles the “Story” segment of Gotham Knight, as it provides different perspectives on views of Batman. Unlike “Story”, though, “Legends” becomes a fun exploration of the impression Batman leaves on others, especially in the way it uses different-than-usual actors.
“Ice” introduced Mr. Freeze to The Animated Series. It presents a concise take on the Freeze character and manages some drama and excitement. Besides, it’s hard to beat Batman with a cold.
“Edge” mixes a variety of “Bat family” characters and more villains than usual. It creates some intrigue and becomes a pretty good episode.
With “Night”, we get a Very Special Batman. A little depth and soul-searching are a good thing, but this episode makes them too heavily the focus. Batman just seems whiny, and the Jazzman is far too bland a villain to warrant such calamity.
We find an ad via Sneak Peek at Wonder Woman. it goes for 10 minutes, 29 seconds and includes Noveck, DC Comics president Paul Levitz, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio, producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, writer Michael Jelenic, Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, and actors Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson and Virginia Madsen.
The show looks at the roots of Wonder Woman and aspects of the movie. It actually has a little more concrete info than its predecessor, but it remains promotional in nature.
With six segments, Batman: Gotham Knight ends up as a hodge-podge. Some fare reasonably well but the whole package fails to create consistent thrills. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a good mix of bonus materials. Even as a Bat-fan, I find Knight to seem mediocre.