Director: Chris Palmer
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Naya Rivera (VOICES)
Release Date: June 22, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
It’s a dark time in Gotham City. Held hostage by the powerful Falcone crime family, the city is rife with misdeeds and corruption. Adding to the chaos is the mysterious Holiday killer, who has been targeting the underworld and leaving a trail of terror…and body bags. Batman, Captain James Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent race against the calendar as it advances toward the next ill-fated holiday. Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One begins a twisted chain of events that will forever change the Dark Knight.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel, ‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ accompanies Batman at the earlier stages of his crime fighting career as he joins forces with Captain Jim Gordon and dedicated District Attorney Harvey Dent in the hopes of finally turning things around for the better in the increasingly dangerous Gotham City. But when a mysterious new baddie dubbed the Holiday Killer begins taking out elite members of Gotham’s underground on each big Holiday, the trio of do-gooders soon find their backs against the wall as they must dig deep and give their all to uncover the identity of this new killer and stop them before they lose everything, all while each tackling their own personal demons along the way.
‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ is a tense, gloomy and intriguing adaptation of the infamous graphic novel’s first half. While strangely enough I haven’t ever had the pleasure of reading the source material in its entirety, based on the film alone it’s beautifully done. Carving out a dark yet curious mystery and ending the first installment with a perfectly placed cliffhanger to leave us anxious for the conclusion. Even while the animation style may be reflective of other recent DC Universe animated movies, the style, tone and approach are far more akin to such unforgettable classics as ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and even with a few small humorous quips (though more often of a pitch black nature and provided by the Joker) it maintains a perfectly bleak tone with some heart and hope that feels splendidly fitting for a great Batman tale. I would thoroughly encourage DC Comics and Batman fans to go out of your way to check out the first installment in the animated film adaptation of ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ whenever possible. Albeit only the first part of the story, it still manages to be one of the best Batman animated features in recent memory and one that fans surely won’t want to overlook.
Overall, ‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ is a dark and engulfing Batman mystery based upon one of the more beloved graphic novels showcasing the hero and the film itself is a wonderful treat for Batman fans that will likely have you as excited for Part Two as I am by the time it concludes (and don’t forget to keep watching after the credits either). It’s a great first half of the story that builds up what is almost certain to be a rewarding conclusion in Part Two. ‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ is highly recommended, especially for DC fans in general, and perhaps even more so for the dedicated Batman fans out there. Those who love the graphic novel that it’s based upon as well as those who aren’t familiar with the overall story should both find a lot to appreciate within.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty solid in most respects and provides a generally clean and smooth presentation throughout, although it does suffer from a bit more noise and banding than a few of the recent DC Universe animated films. Fortunately, it holds up competently in nearly every other way, providing vibrantly colored and richly detailed animation as a whole, merely with a few small hiccups at times. Overall, this is a pretty nice high definition video presentation that should easily please the majority of fans and shouldn’t upset the pickiest ones too greatly either.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a crisp, clean and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout that nicely compliments the film’s tension and excitement every step of the way. It repeatedly sends characters, vehicle activity, action and weather elements, along with some bits of dialogue and more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers without issue from start to finish and should not disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ includes a few fun extras that fans should enjoy. Included on the release is the new ‘DC Showcase’ Animated Short “The Losers” (running approximately 16 minutes in length), along with ‘A Sneak Peek at the Next DC Universe Movie, “Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two” (running approximately 9 minutes). We are also treated to 2 Bonus Cartoons ‘From The DC Vault’, both of which are episodes of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ this time around: “Christmas with the Joker” (approximately 22 minutes) and “It’s Never Too Late” (22 minutes). The release also includes 2 previously released ‘Previews’ or ‘Sneak Peeks’ of previous DC Animated Films ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part One’ (12 minutes) and ‘Batman: Gotham by Gaslight’ (8 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally 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: 7.5/10
‘Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One’ Arrives Home on Blu-ray & Digital June 22, 2021 from DC Entertainment & Warner Bros. Entertainment
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