Director: Rick Morales
Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar (VOICES)
Release Date: November 1, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
It’s back to the 1960s as Batman and Robin spring into action when Gotham City is threatened by a quartet of Batman’s most fiendish foes –Penguin, The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman.The four Super-Villains have combined their wicked talents to hatch a plot so nefarious that the Dynamic Duo will need to go to outer space (and back) to foil their arch enemies and restore order in Gotham City. It’s a truly fantastic adventure that will pit good against evil, good against good, evil against evil … and feature two words that exponentially raise the stakes for both sides: Replicator Ray. Holy Multiplication Tables!
Reincarnating the ridiculous fun of the beloved Live Action Batman television series from the 60’s, ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ transports fans back to the past as Gotham City’s respectable crime fighters Batman and Robin answer a distress call from Commissioner Gordon and suit up to discover that four of their most dastardly foes are on the loose once again. Now our fearless heroes will have to find a way to stop the villainous foursome of criminals before they can accomplish their fiendish plot , but are the combined talents of Joker, Catwoman, Riddler and Penguin too much for the crime fighting duo? Unfortunately, our heroes are about to discover that capturing these four members of Gotham’s worst is only the beginning of their trouble and soon the whole of Gotham finds itself in jeopardy.
‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ is a zany, action-packed and downright hilarious throwback to the classic live action Batman TV series of the 60’s. Bringing back all of the show’s silly and unnecessary characters we can’t help but love and shake our heads at while giggling, and even taking advantage of this animated film to poke some well deserved fun at some of the memorable foolishness that was both enjoyable and painfully unlike Batman. Not only does this new animated feature manage to nail the tone and traits of the classic series, it even goes so far as to balance things in episodic form as the story expands (notice the TV dinner trap happens to occur right around the 22-23 minute mark where an episode might conclude) and eventually unfolding into an outright ridiculous (in the best way possible) event fans are going to have a great deal of fun with and likely want to watch again promptly. The icing on the cake which really seals the deal and results in this animated treat so accurately capturing its source inspiration is the contributed voice talents of legendary stars Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar who each reprise their respective iconic roles (or at least their voices) of Batman, Robin and Catwoman from the classic series in this new animated feature. Any fan of the classic 60’s series as well as most fellow Batman fanatics in general will all definitely want to make sure and give this one a shot when you have the opportunity to do so; you shouldn’t be the slightest bit disappointed with this hilarious and enjoyable animated ride.
Overall, ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ is a ridiculously enjoyable animated fun-fest that delivers tons of laughs and provides a perfect throwback to the original series which serves as its inspiration. It’s quite the outstanding animated film and accomplishes its goal of capturing the old series’ charm surprisingly well while having a tremendous amount of fun with itself in the process; never hesitating to poke fun at every ridiculous aspect along the way. With the added voice talents of Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar each reprising their respective (voice) roles from the classic series, the result is one absolutely wonderful animated good time that fans won’t dare to miss out on. I can’t recommend ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ highly enough to the fellow Bat-fans, especially those who also enjoyed the infamous 60’s TV show.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a vibrant, colorful and detailed presentation that aside from the few minor instances of noticeable banding and minimal video noise we’ve come to expect from these titles looks great. It holds up admirably even during the fast moving and heavily populated sequences and never causes anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should easily please the majority of fellow Bat-fanatics.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, crisp and fairly active audio presentation from start to finish. Regularly utilizing all five available channels in order to send the music and a few action related auditory effects and more throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that makes an enjoyable addition to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ includes a couple behind the scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and creative team, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Those Dastardly Desperados’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length), and ‘A Classic Cadre of Voices’ (running approximately 10 minutes). The release also includes a couple of older extras released on previous DC Animated titles: ‘A Sneak Peek at ‘Batman vs. Robin’ (running approximately 10 minutes), and ‘A Sneak Peek at Son of Batman’ (approximately 9 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders’; Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD November 1, 2016 & Now Available On Digital HD from from DC Comics & Warner Bros. Entertainment
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