Batman: The Long Halloween Part One appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie showed nice visuals.
Sharpness excelled. The movie always came across as tight and well-defined, so don’t expect any signs of softness.
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, Halloween went with a dark palette that favored moody 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 Halloween 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 shift to extras, we find a DC Showcase short called The Losers. It runs 16 minutes, four seconds and follows a misfit band of WWII veterans as they deal with dinosaurs on a hidden South Pacific Island.
General audiences probably know this comic series from the flop 2010 movie of the same name. I didn’t think that was a bad film, but it seemed mediocre at best.
With a fun concept and lively execution, “Showcase” proves more effective. It turns into a brisk little short.
Unsurprisingly, we get a Sneak Peek at Long Halloween, Part Two. It goes for nine minutes, 10 seconds and provides comments from writer Tim Sheridan, supervising producer Butch Lukic, producer Jim Krieg, and actors Josh Duhamel, Jensen Ackles, Billy Burke, Titus Welliver, and Julie Nathanson.
Here we find hints about where Part Two will go. It just acts as a promo/tease – and one with some potential spoilers, so fans should probably skip it.
Two more Sneak Peeks follow, as we find promos for The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (12:34) and Gotham By Gaslight (8:29). In the former, we hear from executive producer Bruce Timm, casting director Romano, director Jay Oliva, screenwriter Bob Goodman, co-producer Alan Burnett, DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin, and actors Michael Emerson and Mark Valley.
We get notes about story and characters as well as cast and performances. It’s basic advertisement and not much more.
As for “Gaslight”, it features DC Entertainment Animation Creative Director Mike Carlin, writer James Krieg, 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.
Finally, we get two Bonus Cartoons. From Batman: The Animated Series, we find “Christmas With the Joker” (22:22) and “It’s Never Too Late” (22:24).
Although “Joker” offers a simplistic plot, it makes up for this with clever antics. The show nicely combines action and intrigue, and Batman and Robin need to use their vaunted detective skills to get through the events.
In addition, Joker gets good usage. Overall, the episode seems strong.
Expect less from “Late”. Sign that we have a dull episode: I fixate on the animation.
Stromwell offers a bland, generic crime boss with little to make him distinctive, and the story provides little more than modified soap opera content.
This is why I noticed just how much “arm acting” we get in Batman. The characters gesticulate awfully broadly, which occasionally looks ridiculous. Chalk up “Late” as a less than effective show.
Because it provides only half of a longer project, I find it hard to fairly judge Batman: The Long Halloween Part One. This segment leaves me less than enthused, though, as it seems scattered and without much to make it a great Batman adventure. The Blu-ray boasts strong picture and audio along with a mediocre set of supplements. Perhaps the second chapter will redeem this tale, but Part One does little for me.