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

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French, German, Spanish (Latino) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish-Latino (Special Features Only)
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Run Time: 76 Mins.
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Frank Miller’s (300; Sin City) The Dark Knight Returns reboot of the Batman comic books is adapted in this animated adventure. The Gotham City vigilante is now older, not quite as quick, and a bit more vulnerable, Commissioner Gordon is being ousted because of his close ties to the caped crusader, and a new group of mutants have been terrorizing the city in the absence of the Batman. When his old colleague and eventual nemesis Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Wade Williams) is released from the asylum after being rehabilitated and begins a new reign of terror, Bruce Wayne (Peter Weller) decides to bring the Batman out of retirement. He discovers that it won’t be as easy as it was in his younger days. He’s also still haunted by his past, and the tragic turn of events concerning his sidekick Robin. But a new Robin emerges to fight by his side, this time a feisty and rebellious young woman, Carrie (Ariel Winter), who idolizes Batman.

This animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns does well to capture some of the grittiness that informed the rebooted Batman franchise, although it doesn’t quite reach the level of Christopher Nolan’s live-action franchise. Still, the animation here is brilliant. It evokes the traditional Batman comics while adding in a twist of originality that makes for an enjoying watch.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 looks great in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Warner. The animation is clean and crisp with superb contrast, vivid color reproduction and no issues with aliasing or compression errors.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Equally as strong is the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48khz/24-bit) soundtrack that really drops you right into the middle of the action with a dynamic and explosive mix that leans heavily on the surrpund channels for discrete sound effects from punches and kicks to tires screeching and gunshots. Panning across the front is just as aggressive while the dialogue is full and clean and everything is supported by a good amount of low frequency extension.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

You get the usual slate of sneak peeks, making-ofs and additional animated adventures from the Warner vault to beef up this release.

The supplements:

  • A Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:53)
  • A Sneak Peek at Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (1.78:1; SD; 00:07:52)
  • Her Name is Carrie…Her Role is Robin (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:23)
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Two-Face Part 1 (1.33:1; SD; 00:22:26)
    • Two-Face Part 1(1.33:1; SD; 00:22:25)
  • Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story (1.33:1; SD; 00:38:26)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Digital Comic
  • Trailers
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

A good bit of action for the Dark Knight, excellent animation, and a strong Blu-ray presentation make this a must-have for all Batman fans.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

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Purchase Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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