Let me begin by saying that I almost forgot this is came out this past tuesday, bad geek, bad. I was shopping @ Target and saw the display. I could not help but to grab a copy without comparing the price to Best Buy. Unlike Justice League – New Frontiers, I did not wait. Speaking of New Frontiers, while I enjoyed the dvd, I really missed Kevin Conroy’s voice as Batman but he is back.
**** PREPARE FOR SOME SPOILERS ****
Have I Got a Story for You – This read like the “Almost Got ‘Im” episode from the Animated Series which I loved but why repeat a similar version on the dvd. Some background info on Almost:
Two-Face, Joker, Killer Croc, Penguin, and Poison Ivy all meet at a poker table, each telling a tale of times when they almost got Batman. Source Wikipedia
Here, there are four skateboarders, 3 of which, tell why they were late to join their friends. Each one of them tells a different version of the Batman they encountered. Since I knew there were going to be 6 stories, I was getting worried that this was the format for the rest of the DVD. Thank god that was not the case. Conroy’s Batman says about a line or two but it’s great to hear Conroy once more.
Crossfire – The anime style really heightening the look of Gotham as seen in Blade Runner or Akira’s Neo Tokyo. We get to see perspectives on Batman from Detective Ramirez and Allen. Their trip to the Asylum is eerie as hell. The image of walking through fire near the climax, spectacular, jaw dropping and freakin’ amazing.
Field Test – While I wanted to hear Conroy’s voice, the anime version of Bruce Wayne takes a bit to get used to. This version of Bruce, while properly dressed, has longer and unkempt, spikey hair which to me is a distraction. See my review of the Superman/Doomsday dvd where Superman’s cheekbones were also a problem. However, the style of the Batman suit reminds me a great deal of G-Force’s (Battle of the Planets) Zoltar. A little to pointy overall but not as bad as the hair.
In Darkness Dwells – The most notable bothersome is the audio sync. Like any good Japanese monster movie with poor dubbed English translation, the lips don’t always match the voice. Out of all the stories, this one glitch I don’t understand. I’m not sure if the original animation was synced to an Asian actor and then Kevin came in later in the process, I have to look at the behind the scenes features on the dvd.
Working Through Pain – This will be as close to Batman Begins with showing Batman’s training to become the Dark Knight. This story is told in flashback with Batman struggling to stay alive from a gunshot. He remembers his first meeting with Cassandra and how much he had learned from her. Be prepared for one of the bloodiest stories this dvd has to offer.
Deadshot – This has got to be the best story out of the lot as everything clicks. Conroy’s voice finally has a Bruce/Batman anime style match. The boldness in the streaks in the face and body adds another layer of depth to Conroy’s voice. The showdown with Deadshot and Batman is truly an awesome sight to watch.
Overall, this is a great dvd to watch. I know some fans will hate the Anime style but if you are a fan great animation style and vision, this is a must buy. All I can say is that this is not the Teen Titans anime/manga version that was on the Cartoon Network. While I hated the goofiness the Titans were portrayed it added a great of humor to the series. Cleverly, the producers treated The Batman with more reverence and honor.