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Friday, January 28, 2022

Batman: The Long Halloween — Part One (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


A gangland killing on Halloween prompts Batman to team up with Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Dent, and Catwoman to bring down The Roman, head of the Falcone crime family, but more killings, each on a holiday, cause the team to realize they have a serial killer on the loose -- but who is it?

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Blu-ray Cover Art (Warner Bros.)In Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Gotham City is gripped by a mysterious killer tagged “the Holiday killer” going after members of the notorious Falcone crime family on the holidays. As Commissioner Gordon (Billy Burke) and DA Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel) rush to find the killer, Batman (Jensen Ackles) is forced to shift from hard hitting crime fighter to detective mode to track down then killer, being aided by Catwoman (the late Naya Rivera). All of their efforts are thwarted by Joker (Troy Baker) who escapes from Arkham Asylum and begins going on his own homicidal tear.

Based on the original graphic novel, this is one of the better DC Universe animated movies and is so because it rebuffs the usual action over story formula for a slow-burn detective mystery set against the eerie, art deco backdrop of Gotham City.

The character designs are incredibly detailed as well allowing the film to go toe-to-toe with the graphic novel, something DC Universe films seem to always fall down on, such as in The Killing Joke, for example, where the cover art for the film was much more compelling than the actual animation work in the film. Here, Joker and Batman really look intimidating.

From the opening scene, this film gets you hooked and tuned in to its key mystery, setting a dark tone but also finds time to weave in a flirty rooftop chase with Batman and Catwoman. Fans will love Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One.

Purchase Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One on Blu-ray at Amazon.com

The Video

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One has a 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray. The digitally animated feature-length film looks gorgeous. This being one of the better animated DC Universe Movies doesn’t hurt either given the amount of detail in the art deco backgrounds or the lines in the character designs. There is also superb contrast and shadow nuance and clean fills with little to no evidence of color banding. There is a 4K Ultra HD w/Dolby Vision HDR version of the film available digitally. It isn’t likely it looks much better than this Blu-ray apart from maybe slightly brighter specular highlights or more vivid colors.

The Audio

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One comes to Blu-ray with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio mix from Warner Bros. Unlike most DC Universe Movie animated releases this isn’t a hyper-aggressive mix. The source material lends itself to a more atmospheric mix and this is done well. The surround channels often carry the sounds of distance traffic or an elevated train, the quiet score dropping and swelling when need be. When there is more action, there’s a lot of headroom to raise the volume. What is missing from this mix is a very deep low end. It’s not there because it is rarely called for given the lack of many explosions and so forth. Not that there aren’t any. When a blast hits, it has some impact, just not quite the big rattling boom these DC releases normally have.

The Supplements

The included DC Showcase: The Losers is a fun World War II fantasy adventure, and the rest of the bonus features are only worth watching if you’re not a completist who doesn’t already own or hasn’t already seen any of the releases they have included. There are no further commentaries or making ofs on the film, which is a bit disappointing.

  • Digital Copy Code
  • DC Showcase: The Losers (1080p; 00:16:04)
  • A Sneak Peek at the Next Animated Movie, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (1080p; 00:09:10)
  • A Preview of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (1080p; 00:12:34)
  • A Preview of Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (1080p; 00:08:28)
  • From the DC Vault: Batman: The Animated Series – “Christmas with the Joker” (1080p; 00:22:22)
  • From the DC Vault: Batman: The Animated Series – “It’s Never Too Late” (1080p; 00:22:24)

The Final Assessment

An excellent first part for this adaptation of this well-loved graphic novel. The animation is awesome and the Blu-ray top notch. Highly recommended.

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Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is out on Blu-ray June 22, 2021 from Warner Bros.

Purchase Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One on Blu-ray on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for violence, bloody images, language and some smoking)
  • Studios & Distributors: DC Comics | Warner Bros. Animation | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Chris Palmer
  • Written By: Jeph Loeb (original story) | Tim Sheridan (screenplay)
  • Run Time: 85 Mins.
  • Street Date: 22 June 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: French DD 5.1 | German DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | German SDH | Dutch | Spanish

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