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Monday, October 8, 2012

Blu-ray Review: "The Dark Knight Returns Part 1"

Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" is without a doubt one of the most popular graphic novels of all-time and fans can rejoice because DC Direct has finally adapted it as an animated movie.

"Batman; The Dark Knight Returns Part 1" is another high water mark in the "DC Universe Animated Original Movie Series" and joins "Batman: Year One," "Justice League DOOM," and "Batman: Under The Red Hood" as one of their best.

Fanboys might be disappointed that DC has chosen to release the film in two parts (Part 2 will drop in early 2013) but fear not because "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1" hits the ground running and never lets up.

There is not one wasted frame or word of dialogue in the entire film and praise needs to go out to screenplay writer Bob Goodman and director Jay Oliva for knowing exactly how to pace this 76 minute classic.  The film also incorporates contains many panels from Frank Miller's original comic and the filmmakers picked the perfect place to end the movie.  Part 1 actually has a beginning, middle and end so that viewers aren't left with a total unsatisfying cliffhanger.

Andrea Romano has once again assembled a stellar cast of voice talent including Ariel Winter (Modern Family), David Selby, Wade Williams and making his debut as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Peter Weller (Robocop).

Weller does a fine job as the Caped Crusader but it does take some time to get used to his take on the iconic hero.  Personally, I wish the producers would have considered bringing Batman veteran Kevin Conroy back to the role.  Conroy's take on an aging Bruce Wayne was perfect in the "Batman Beyond" animated series and his interpretation would have been a perfect fit for "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1."

There are rumors circulating that "Part 2" could be the last DC Direct Animated Movie to be produced and if that's true many comic fans, including me, will be disappointed.  Thankfully DC Direct has given us 15 movies over the last five years to keep us company for decades to come.

The Blu-ray contains many special features including:

Her name is Carrie... Her role is Robin Featurette
Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story Featurette
2 bonus cartoons from the DC vault

and a preview of the much anticipated next chapter... "Batman; The Dark Knight Returns Part 2."

Drumroll please... 10 out of 10 bloody mutants!!!

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