Batman: Year One
Commemorative Edition 4K
review by Bobby Blakey
Over the years Warner Bros and DC has continued to knock it out of the park with their animated features. In 2011 they brought Batman: Year One to life based on the landmark 1987 DC titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner and Eisner Award Hall of Fame member Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. Now they are bringing this film back to fans in a new Commemorative Edition.
Batman: Year One follows young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed Super Hero. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham City.
The film features the voice talents of Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Katee Sackhoff, Jeff Bennett, Grey Griffin, Robin Atkin Downes, Keith Ferguson, Fred Tatasciore, Stephen Root, Liliana Mumy, Nick Jameson and the late Alex Rocco as the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone and the late Jon Polito as Commissioner Loeb.
I remember seeing this one when it was originally released and to be honest wasn’t a big fan. Getting to revisit it I was hoping maybe seeing it in a new light would improve it and it did, but still doesn’t fully deliver for me. The biggest issue comes in the form of Ben McKenzie’s voice work for Batman. He is fine in the role, but it just never has that intense depth, pain and anger to fully capture this Batman. On the plus side this story is really more of a Gordon story throughout with Cranston offering up a great performance.
The animation is good and does a good job visually bringing this graphic novel to life and the short run time gets it to the point quickly. Even then it
does limp along at some points, but in the end still works for what it is. Comparing it to the more recent features this might be one of the weaker ones, but as it stands for bringing this story to life and the time it was released it holds up well. The new 4K transfer does look stunning making the animation more vibrant and visually stunning.
In addition to the film this release offers up both new and old bonus content including featurettes, commentary, animated Catwoman short and more. Grab your copy of Batman: Year One Commemorative Edition available now on 4K/Blu-ray Combo Pack from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.