Director: Sam Liu
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Jennifer Carpenter, Chris Cox (VOICES)
Release Date: February 6, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Batman: Gotham By Gaslight takes place at the turn of the century as America’s continued industrial revolution is to be showcased at a World’s Fair hosted by Gotham City. But while the world prepares to witness the glittery glory of Gotham’s technological advances, there is a killer loose in the city’s darkest shadows. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is as precise as he is cruel. As Police Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens regarding the butcher called Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman enacts his own detective work – with the help of confident, capable Selina Kyle – to stop the Ripper’s murderous spree. Witness a world in flames as the notorious serial killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight.
The latest animated installment in the ever expanding DC Universe Movie lineup; ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ takes viewers back to Gotham City at the turn of the century in a time lacking any technological marvels and protected by an iteration of Batman unlike any other. When the brutal murderer known as Jack the Ripper starts accumulating bodies in this breathtaking and unique Gotham City of old, the killer quickly attracts the attention of the Dark Knight who unlike so many of the other prominent male members of Gotham’s elite refuses to sit back and let these women of the night merely die. Unaware of the surprising talents and control the killer possesses, Batman soon finds himself forced to dig deeper into his community if he hopes to uncover the sadistic mastermind’s true identity and stop him once and for all.
‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ is a tense, dark and engrossing animated film complimented by stunning animation and scenery along with some fairly shocking twists and revelations that really help it to form into something truly special that isn’t likely to be forgotten anytime soon. Courtesy of its historical time placement, this version of Batman/Bruce Wayne is naturally absent of any fancy technical enhancements or gadgets which allows ample opportunity for some true detective work and other prominent traits of the character often largely overlooked to truly shine through in this Elseworld tale that impresses around each solid turn. Frequent DC Animated Movie director Sam Liu does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ guiding along this moody and unsettling tale which also features the voice talents of Bruce Greenwood as Batman (no stranger to the role having provided the voice of Batman in ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’ and TV’s ‘Young Justice’) along with the voice talents of Jennifer Carpenter, Chris Cox, John DiMaggio, Grey DeLisle, Anthony Head and more. Any fellow DC and/or Batman fanatics that tend to enjoy these animated features half as much as me will surely want to make a point of giving ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ a whirl whenever you have the opportunity to do so, it’s a beautifully crafted animated film that fans won’t want to even consider missing out on.
Overall, ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ makes a fantastic addition to the growing library of DC Universe Animated Movies and introduces viewers to a gorgeous and unique take on Gotham City, Batman and plenty more like you’ve never experienced; set at the turn of the century and pitting the Dark Knight against Jack the Ripper. Featuring an enthralling and at times somewhat unsettling tale and sporting some breathtaking animation that captures the era with a constant beauty around each gloomy corner. ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ is definitely highly recommended for fellow DC Comics and Batman fans, it’s a gorgeous, tense and original take on Batman and his surrounding world that should have no trouble proving well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ 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 provides a sharp, detailed and clean presentation from start to finish. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that fellow long-time fans of the animated DC movies should be quite pleased with.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the music, along with some creaking, nature elements and crowd chatter along with more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a wonderful 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds consistently great and contributes nicely to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ includes some solid extras that the fellow DC fans should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Bruce Timm, Writer Tim Krieg and Director Sam Liu’, in addition to ‘A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay”’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length). We are also treated to a behind the scenes Featurette ‘Caped Fear: The First Elseworld’ (running approximately 21 minutes) which includes the filmmakers discussing the process of bringing the infamous Graphic Novel to life. Also included are 2 older ‘Sneak Peek’s’ at previously released DC Animated movies: ‘Justice League Dark’ (running approximately 8 minutes) and ‘Batman: Bad Blood’ (approximately 12 minutes), along with 2 Bonus Cartoons ‘From the DC Comics Vault’: ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold – “Trials of the Demon’” (approximately 23 minutes) and ‘Batman: The Animated Series – “Showdown”’ (21 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.