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Yasuhiro Aoki, Futoshi Higashide, Toshiyuki Kubooka, Hiroshi Morioka, Jong-Sik Nam, Shôjirô Nishimi, Yûichirô Hayashi
Kevin Conroy, Jason Marsden, Scott Menville
Writing Credits:
Josh Olson, Greg Rucka, David S. Goyer, Jordan Goldberg, Brian Azzarello, Alan Burnett

A collection of key events mark Bruce Wayne's life as he journeys from beginner to Dark Knight.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby 5.1
Castillian Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 76 min.
Price: $14.97
Release Date: 7/8/2008

• Audio Commentary with DC SVP Gregory Noveck, Former Editor Denny O’Neil and Actor Kevin Conroy
• “A Mirror for the Bat” Featurette
• “Batman and Me” Featurette
Wonder Woman Sneak Peek
• 4 Animated Episodes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Batman: Gotham Knight [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 12, 2020)

One of the earliest of DC’s direct-to-video animated releases, 2008’s Batman: Gotham Knight pursues an unusual path in that it lacks one overriding plot. Instead, it splits into six shorts.

I’ll view each segment one at a time. The ploy synopses come from Wikipedia.

Have I Got a Story For You: “Some teen skaters claim to have seen Batman earlier that day. Batman's (Kevin Conroy) battle with the Man in Black (George Newbern), a high-tech criminal, is told in reverse chronological order with three very different interpretations of Batman's form and abilities.”

Essentially “Story” opts for a Rashomon take on Batman, but it doesn’t seem especially interesting. The skater characters annoy more than they entertain, and the Bat-tale itself seems lackluster. Add to that ugly animation and “Story” becomes a disappointing start to the disc.

Crossfire: “Crispus Allen (Gary Dourdan) and Anna Ramirez (Ana Ortiz) are partners and members of the Major Crimes Unit that have been hand-picked by Lieutenant James Gordon (Jim Meskimen). The two are assigned to take the recently captured Man in Black back to Arkham Asylum. On their way, they argue over whether Batman can be trusted.”

While not exactly heavy on plot, “Crossfire” at least manages some dark drama. Nothing here really impresses but it tops the forgettable “Story”.

Field Test: “An accident involving a new WayneCom satellite's gyroscopic electromagnetic guidance system gives Lucius Fox (Kevin Michael Richardson) an idea to create a device with the satellite's gyro with an advanced sound sensor that will electromagnetically deflect small-arms fire.”

This disc came out right around the time The Dark Knight hit movie screens, and “Test” feels like the segment most closely connected to that film. It also becomes the most interesting of the bunch so far, as it brings a good mix of action and character moments.

In Darkness Dwells: “The police respond to a riot in a cathedral where Cardinal O'Fallon (Brian George) was giving a sermon. According to eyewitness testimony, the Cardinal was abducted by a large monster and taken down into the crypts below the cathedral.”

“Dwells” comes with the ugliest animation since “Story”, and its visual choices can feel off-putting in a negative way. Still, it comes with a better than average story, as it features Killer Croc to become a dramatic, dark effort.

Working Through Pain: “Batman is shot in the stomach by a man hallucinating in the sewers of Gotham. Severely wounded, Batman cauterizes the wound and desperately attempts to get out of the sewers, reflecting on his experiences with managing pain as he does so.”

“Pain” mostly consists of flashbacks to Bruce’s training. Some of this proves compelling, but most of it comes across as superficial and forgettable.

Deadshot: “Bruce Wayne has a flashback to the murder of his parents. In his penthouse, he examines the firearms he took from the underground tunnel's gutter, which he intends to turn in to the police. Wayne admits to Alfred (David McCallum) that even though he vowed never to use them in the memory of his parents, he can still understand the temptation to use one.”

The package concludes with a pretty good episode, one that benefits from the inclusion of its titular villain. Actually, “Deadshot” could use him in a more dynamic manner, but the segment still caps matters fairly well.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

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.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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