Dr. Venkman DVD Review: Batman: Gotham Knight!

by Joey Paur

I gotta say It was nice to see Warner Brothers Animation finally after all these years step outside the box and do something different for a change. Superman and Doomsday wasn't that good and the Justin league movie they made was just awful! The animation was ok but the story was all over the place and ridiculous. I was just sick and tired of seeing Bruce Timm's early 90's animation style carry on into the 21st century, sure its gone though different variations but its still the same. I understand his style is his animation signature but lets see something different for cryin out loud! Lets explore some new territory!

Batman: Gotham Knight is definitely new territory. I was surprised Bruce Timm was an executive producer on it. Looks like he finally put on a new pair of pants. Batman: Gotham Knight is six short animated films. Each film has a different story and animation style to it, each style was done by some of Japans most talented visionaries. The following is a list of each short film who worked on it and what its about:

In "Have I Got a Story for You," Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Josh Olson ("A History of Violence") tells the story of how chance encounters with Batman by a group of youngsters leave each kid with a very different impression of the Dark Knight.

This one was cool because I liked how each kid in the story had a different take on Batman, how he looked and fought crime. They saw him more as a creature instead of a man in a bat costume.

In "Crossfire," acclaimed novelist/comics writer Greg Rucka tells the story of Gotham City police having to get over their distrust of Batman - while under fire from the mob.

This is the chapter that 5 minutes of was released online. This film showed that Gotham had barricaded part of Gotham City where they kept all the crazy criminals, and two cops ended up in the middle of a mob deal gone bad. The action in this one was pretty cool.

In "Field Test," writer Jordan Goldberg showcases the incredible high-tech arsenal Batman commands and reveals that there are some things even Batman won't do in his pursuit of justice.

I liked the concept for this one and how Lucius Fox created a force field for the Batsuit that deflected bullets.

"In Darkness Dwells" takes Batman into the Gotham sewers to face "Killer Croc," a deformed thug who seems even more monstrous after the Scarecrow, and his fear toxin, makes a resurgence, in a story by David S. Goyer, co-screenwriter of "Batman Begins."

This chapter was pretty cool. You got to see this crazy Killer Croc design that looked great, different from anything I had seen on him before. The action was very cool. There is a point where Batman gets bit on the shoulder by Killer Croc real bad. So bad in fact that his shoulder was squirting out blood through the rest of the chapter! This also had some great action shots in it.

Award-winning comics writer Brian Azzarello explores an early chapter of Bruce Wayne's training in "Working Through Pain," showing how a mysterious and exotic Indian woman named Cassandra introduced Batman to techniques that would help him to conquer the physical and spiritual consequences of what he does.

This chapter was interesting. I loved the animation style and the Batman design in this one but it was more of a flash back story, while Batman is crawling through a sewer. The back story was ok, there was one action sequence in the back story that I liked but that was about it.

Finally, in "Deadshot," four-time Emmy Award-winning writer Alan Burnett ties together threads from all the Batman Gotham Knight chapters, as Batman must thwart an unerring assassin whose love of guns and disregard for human life lets him cross lines that even a Dark Knight shies away from.

Out of all of the chapters this last one was my favorite. The story, the animation everything was right on with this one. I also loved the villain in this one; he had that ‘Wanted' sniper thing going for him. It has a great action sequence that takes place on top of a train.

There is something to like from each of these short animated Batman films. This was a fun movie to watch. And incase you are wondering if it is ok for kids. It depends on what kind of movies you let them watch. ‘Batman: Gotham Knight' is full of violence and blood. This is a great contribution to the Batman legacy for us fanboys out there. So buy it or rent, you won't be disappointed.

I would like to see Warner Bros. Animation continue to play with new animation styles and just fianlly break away from this Bruce Timm style standard that has been set over at their animation studio. They could learn a thing or two from Marvel Animation. Every animated movie they have put out has its own feel and style, they don't stick with just one. The original 'Batman: The Animated Series' is amazing and still holds strong today. Let that animation style stay with it.

‘Batman: Gotham Knight' is everything a Batman fan wants to see.

- Dr. Venkman

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