Batman: Gotham Knight (Video 2008) Poster

(2008 Video)

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9/10 for style and whacked-out anime panache; 5-6/10 for stories
Quinoa198415 July 2008
Batman: Gotham Knight is an anthology of shorts that are different from the original WB animated series in that it's not in the usual twenty-minute animated form (1/2 hour for commercials). It's more like a collection of comic books from Batman strung together without any real association aside from it being different interpretations from the Japanese directors. A similar mode went with the Animatrix years ago, in that it's partly a weird and intriguing exploration of the world created, and partly as a cash tie-in for the upcoming new movie (in this case, of course, Dark Knight).

All of the directors, to greater or lessor degrees, have a specific vision to share with us Batman fans, and at best it's a real visual 'trip'; things move past with lightning speed, but so we can see a lot of "things" happening, and every so often, like 'Working Through Pain', the animators don't kid us anymore and show Bruce Wayne going through kung-fu training with a spiritual twist (I chuckled at seeing Bruce as now being an Asian). For the most part, however, the shorts don't have a lot going on in terms of real substance- how can they with such short amounts of time. The first, 'Have I Got a Story for You', relies on Rashomon storytelling from a bunch of skater kids on Batman; this one has some of the most creative twists on just the design of the dark knight. Then there's maybe my favorite of the whole lot, 'In Darkness Dwells', which showcases the Scarecrow and, briefly, Killer Croc (apparently a fan favorite), and has a firm handle on its very dark atmosphere and the harsh story of Crane and the bums.

Other stories like 'Dead-Shot', 'Field-Test', and especially 'Crossfire', are enjoyable on the shallowest levels, and there is only bits and piece of a story going on (Crossfire relies also on a big mob shootout to make up for a paper-thin narrative). While it's great to hear Kevin Conroy back to voice Wayne/Batman, and to see some of the twists the animators take and the distinct styles coming through with a handle on making it fierce and graphic (it'll probably get a TV-14 when finally broadcast), it doesn't come close to the dimensions found in the original 90s animated series. It's a wonderful, absorbing garnish of sorts.
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A well needed batman animated story before the Dark Knight comes out!!
pax0311 July 2008
i knew this wouldn't be anything like the Batman Animated Series BUT all the short stories were well done by some different anime looks and each story was well written and executed. My favorite 2 would have to be the Killer Croc and Scarecrow episode and the last one with the sniper. the music was awesome and I hope the Dark Knight took notice because that score was really catchy and strong. and the animation and storytelling were spot on and the pacing of each one was great. Not too long or too short on any episode. They got Kevin Conroy to voice the batman here and I was really happy with that because I think Conroy is the Voice of Batman in the animated world, no one does it like he does. If you are a batman fan i don't think you will be disappointed if you check it out and see it for yourself. I am and I'm happy I own it now!
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Rejoice as Kevin Conroy returns as Batman once again
theycallmemrglass9 July 2008
This is a collection of 6 animated Batman stories (in Anime style) aimed to fill the gap between Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Each story is directed by different people but unlike Animatrix (WB's first animated filler compilation, done for the Matrix series), the look and feel of every episode is too similar to actually distinguish. The mood is more dark, violent and brooding than any other screen Batman interpretations. The first episode starts of relatively lightweight and is the most humorous. The stories then get edgier and darker. The whole compilation makes for an enjoyable viewing as Batman deals with the wild imagination of kids, spiritual healing, Hinduism!, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and a hit-man called Deadshot. But for me, the real joy of watching Gotham Knights is listening to the definitive Batman/Bruce Wayne voice that is Kevin Conroy, who has been the voice of Batman in every animated form from 1990 to 2006 (I think). Here, he is the voice of several variations of Batman and is pure joy to listen to. I have to admit though that a couple of Bruce Wayne animated interpretations don't really fit with his voice but Conroy's voice acting more than makes up for it. The animation is great but not anywhere near as radical as Animatrix or recent Anime films. The action scenes are quite thrilling. Also, very worthy of mention is the exhilarating soundtrack, particularly in the Scarecrow episode. All in all, this is a great addition to the Batman animated collections.
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Batman and Anime: Yeah!!!!
freemantle_uk18 December 2009
Just before the release of the masterpiece, The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers decided to follow the success of what they did with the AniMatrix, releasing a DVD of short Anime films. I was disappointed by AniMatrix, which was marketed essential viewing before seeing the second two Matrix films. They were a damp squib and only one of the shorts had anything to do with the main films. But luckily I quite enjoyed Batman Gotham Knight.

Batman Gotham Knight is six short film, around 12 minutes long, telling different stories about the Dark Knight. One includes a very interesting one about some skater teenagers saying they saw Batman, and came up with three very different versions of what Batman is. That short was good, and that was the weakest one as well. Other stories include Batman fighting against the Russian and Italian Mafia who are in the middle of a gang war, fighting the sewers against Scarecrow and Killer Croc, testing a new bit of equipment, a flashback story set in India and stopping Deadshot killing Lt. Gordon. My personal favourites out of the shorts are Working Through Pain and Deadshot, both telling good stories, and wonderfully action packed.

Batman Gotham Knight was marketed as a number of shorts set in-different the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. To me it felt more Christopher Nolan's films were more an influence then directly linked. Another influence must have been the great 90s animated series, with Kevin Conroy reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The direction and the art is so wonderful to, I love anime and I like it when American and Japanese ideas are combined together. The storytelling and action is excellent. There are detailed character designs, like in Working Through Pain you got a real scene of India and young Bruce Wayne looked and fought like Bruce Lee. There are top writers and directors working on the shorts, including David S. Goyer, the writer of Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Like the Nolan Batmans, the shorts try to shot a dark, more unpleasant Gotham, in a realistic city. There is corruption, and crime from low level thugs to organised crime leaders. Batman here is a symbol of hope and change for the city. The storytellers also try to take a more grounded view of the villains, even trying to make Killer Croc a little more believable (i.e. not a mutated crocodile).

Unlike the AniMatrix, the stories are interlinked in some way, making the shorts as a whole stronger, more like a good TV series. They are recurring themes like the gang war.

If I had to complain, I would have like to have seen more. I would have liked the shorts to have been longer, like 20 to 30 minutes. I think this level of animation and storytelling could, and should work as a excellent TV series, with a more adult audience because of the themes and violence.

Worth watching if you can get it at a good price.
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A Viewing Imperative
TermlnatriX1 July 2008
Before I get on expressing myself I want to say that seeing Batman: Gotham Knight is simply an imperative. A simple fact that it bridges the gap that occurs between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight alone is why this needs to be viewed as a prelude to The Dark Knight, but it isn't wholly the reason why this must be viewed. Yes, the concept itself is taken from Animatrix which served the same purpose, but that also isn't the sole reason. It's because this is easily a fine piece of work on all grounds. I have never been a fan of anime, but that's merely due to me not being genuinely interested in the medium. What a fine example of execution this truly is. Consisting of six vignettes written by six different writers, such as David S. Goyer and Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and directed by different talents in different styles this has exactly the balance that is required to be fully entertained, mentally stimulated, and visually inspired. I cannot add anything more to it that could not be summarized in those exact three adjectives. This one's a keeper, and should not go amiss.
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Nice original addition to the Batman franchise.
Boba_Fett11381 July 2008
This movie uses the good and original concept of picking 6 different short stories done by different directors and animation style and put them all back to back on one DVD. It's a welcome addition to the still ever growing Batman franchise.

The variation in story and style of course ensures that every short is a special and interesting one in its own way. It doesn't really get distracting that the animation style for each short story changes. Each short can be watch as one separately from the others but it's also good to watch back to back, even though the stories get hardly connected to each other. The movie doesn't have a constant chronological order and each story is about something different and features also different characters.

The first shorts don't really focus on the Batman character himself but more on the other people in Gotham and how they see him and think about him. The others are still purely about Batman though and his fight against evil. There is a nice balance between the first shorts and the later ones.

Of course not all of the shorts are as good as the others and the quality of them variates between great and entertaining to just plain boring. But overall it just purely entertains. Some of the shorts are also really spectacular to watch with its action and violence involved. I wish some of the shorts were a bit longer, since the stories felt like they had even more potential to be developed more.

Because they are shorts, the story and character development remain very restrained. This is obviously the problem with basically every short movie that ever gets made. It's mostly the reason why this is not a classic or a Batman must-see. But nevertheless the fans should be happy with the end result, since it features the Batman character from a lot of different angles and uses different interpretations of the character, which ensures that the character still remains an interesting one, even when basically everybody all over the world already know who Batman is.

Definitely good to watch!

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Two Good Stories Hampered By Four Bad Ones
VincentVega896 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Since these are separate cartoons I will review them individually.

Have I Got A Story For You

Clearly inspired by the classic Legends of the Dark Knight from Batman: The Animated Series, Have I A Story For You tackles the different perspectives one can have while witnessing Batman battle a foe. Unfortunately it lacks the humor from the original and has a very lackluster ending. The art style also proves quite disappointing unless you're enamored of low quality anime toons. 2 out of 10.


An improvement over the previous title, Crossfire is about two officers, one being Crispus Allen, reflecting over the change of Gotham city as a result of Batman's presence. Not bad, just not great. Neither the characters nor the setting of Arkham are properly explored, but the shootout is quite enjoyable. And I for one would have preferred them to use a much more well known supporting character like Harvey Bullock. 6 out of 10

Field Test

The most personally offensive chapter, Field Test has Batman receive a nifty gyroscopic device that can reflect pistol fire. I was very disappointed in this story for the simple reason that Batman is turned into a wuss: He cares not that his attacks can easily injure and possible kill a person, yet he cannot cope with the guilt of a bad guy falling victim to a ricocheting bullet. A properly portrayed Batman would never dispense with perfectly good technology over such an insignificant incident. Also, it's particularly ludicrous that Bruce Wayne is drawn in this cartoon as a young Japanese man, which (while I realize makes a certain amount of sense due to the anime production of these shorts) is a complete distraction given that the other characters are drawn ethnically accurate. 5 out of 10.

In Darkness Dwells

Batman encounters Scarecrow. The second of the best shorts - I fully enjoyed this one. This felt like a very good episode that can easily stand with Batman: The Animated Series. I don't want to spoil it anymore because it is quite good. 8 out of 10

Working Through Pain

Promising in the beginning yet quickly flat lines. Bruce Wayne learns spiritual meditations to subside pain. Overall I think this was well intentioned and perhaps would have made sense as a component of another cartoon, but it just didn't work out on its own. The ending especially confused me - WTF was with all the guns he picked up before getting rescued (ugh) by Alfred? 2 out of 10.

Deadshot Gotham Knights ends on a high note with Deadshot. Deadshot is certainly the best of these shorts artistically speaking, and the simplistic yet satisfying story delivers as well. Batman battles lesser known foe Dead Shot, who has been contracted by mobsters to eliminate their foes in Gotham. I enjoyed the brief reappearance of Allen and his partner, which provided a dose of continuity with the previous short. 9 out of 10.

While I was rather disappointed with this DVD, I would recommend renting it just for In Darkness Dwells and Deadshot. Special props go to voice actor Kevin Conroy who returned to his role as Batman once again. It was also satisfying to see blood shed in a Batman cartoon; unfortunately, the blood was a bit of a double edged sword - at points I felt it was overused and thus lost its effectiveness. If you are excited to see "The Dark Knight" and looked forward to "Gotham Knight," I strongly recommend as an alternative, "Batman: The Animated Series" from the 1990s, which has yet to be rivaled by any other Batman cartoon.
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Batman: Gotham Knight ****.5/*****
Darth_Hoodlife9129 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Batman:Gotham Knight, a tie in Anime direct to DVD feature to bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is a wonderful, well done, excellent piece. One of the best Anime features I have seen. It is slightly better than The Animatrix which is similar to Batman: Gotham Knight. Batman: Gotham Knight features six segments, each written and drawn differently.

Segment One, Have I got a Story For You: A group of youngsters at a Skateboard park tell stories about their encounter with Batman. Each one is different and there is a neat twist at the end. This one featured the best special effects of the Six and its also the lightest but you can't even call it that because the tone of the story is still pretty dark.

Segment Two, Crossfire: Two Gotham detectives, part of the new Major Crimes Unit or MCU which is ran by Lt.Gordon have different view points of Batman but their viewpoints are changed forever when they encounter Batman at a fight between rival mobs ran by Sal Maroni and a new comer, the Russian. The dialog in this one is the weakest but it makes up with awesome action sequences and character development.

Segment Three, Field Test: This story, we get to see and learn more about the gadgets Batman uses and his moral code when it comes to fighting crime and this one features more of the gang war between Maroni and The Russian. This one has probably the best dialog and character development of the six segments.

Segment Four, In Darkness Dwells: Batman hunts Killer Croc who was a victim of Scarecrow's fear toxin and experiments. During the hunt, Batman encounters Scarecrow and his "Cult". This one was probably my favorite despite the fact Killer Croc is not in this but a minute or two.

Segment Five, Working Through Pain: This segment explores Bruce Wanye's training he uses to fight crime and working with a local "witch" Cassandra who teaches him the techniques he will use to fight crime in Gotham City. This one has really good visuals and an interesting story, in fact this one was almost my favorite segment but the blood and gore is a bit of a turn off especially at the beginning.

Segment Six, Deadshot: Batman battles an assassin Deadshot. This one had the best pacing of the six and the final fight with Deadshot was brilliantly animated and fun.

Overall, Batman: Gotham Knight had its flaws but they were minor flaws and I highly recommend this DVD to any die hard Batman fan or to anyone who plans on seeing The Dark Knight.
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Very Mediocre
RudyMac8 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I am so terribly disappointed in this. I'm a devoted Batman fan, own every single DVD with the Dark Knight in it, and I must say that, if I could, I would return this piece of horrific storytelling and art tomorrow.

The only redeeming quality of the entire six episodes was the fact that Kevin Conroy was the voice of Bruce/Batman.

Without offering up any spoilers, here is my breakdown: One: the art, especially in the first story, is poor. The first episode is plain pathetic. Batman is shown to have a fifty inch chest, forty inch waist, and three in upper arms. His legs are about nine or ten inches long. Yes, I know it is Anime, but Anime is not usually synonymous with mediocrity.

Two: There is no new information shared. There is nothing except "what ever happened to Batman?" As compared to the "Clone Wars" cartoon released prior to the final Star Wars episode, in which there were a few tidbits of information that the non Clone Wars people got, this offers absolutely NOTHING! Three: There is one episode of the six, mentioned once or twice in previous reviews, that notes that Batman has been eating quiche and listening to Barry Manilow records. He nearly calls Oprah to appear on her show to cry on her couch about a bad guy getting hit with a ricochet. Are you guys kidding me??????? He's Batman, not Quiche Man. Sure, he'd be slightly bummed, but he would never, ever, go in for the whole "emo" response he has in the cartoon episode. NEVER! Simply put, I want my $16 back. And my hour and a half. I would settle for either. Take my advice, dear reader, either Redbox rent this, or get one of your sucker friends to just loan it to you, if you are seriously interested in seeing this. But be warned, there is an excellent chance that you'll demand your hour and a half of life back.
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A major disappointment for a huge fan of Batman
thebrandomania25 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I had grown up watching the batman TV shows as a kid, to later watching all of the live action batman films. About a year and a half ago i delved into reading almost all of the famous batman comics. I'd been working my way through watching all of the DC Animated Universe films when i came across this one. What a catastrophe this is.

The idea to make an animated film that would show Batman's life in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight was a good idea. This movie had so much potential. Then for some reason they decided to split the film into shorts, all done by different animation companies. All of these companies are awful. Trying to sit through the first short in which there is poor animation, and a story about skating kids dreaming about batman encounters for twenty minutes is torture. However you hope in your heart that it will get better... it does not.

This film does not deserve to have 'Batman' in the title. A dull and boring movie with horrible animation makes for a major disappointment for a huge fan of Batman.
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Someone Stop The Anime Madness, Please!
donjeffries19 July 2008
What is it with the fascination with anime? "Gotham Night" is awful, absolutely dreadful stuff. The anime results in a Gotham City where everyone looks like Speed Racer. In one of the six episodes, Batman is drawn with a huge stomach and spindly legs, kind of like Hank Hill. Why can't the alleged artists of anime draw human beings? I agree that often the backgrounds in anime are wonderful, but the human figures always look the same- just like Astro Boy.

Even getting past the ugly, childish human figures, the stories in "Gotham Night" make no sense. There is no real drama, and the action is too focused on showing blood at every opportunity. And political correctness runs wild throughout; Russian gangs ruling the criminal underground in the city? And their arch enemies are some kind of Irish-1930s-Warner Brothers-type of nondescript (and, needless to say, totally unrealistic) outfit. I expected them to be brawling over bootleg liquor at any given moment. What are these writers thinking? Is there any city in modern America where the criminals look and talk like this? This is par for the course in Hollywood, but it still irks me.

I love Batman, but other than Kevin Conroy's always magnificent voice, this movie has almost nothing to recommend it.
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A rubbish anime cash in.
deftone000007 January 2012
After obtaining this DVD with the Arkham City game, I was optimistically looking forward to watching this series of short cartoons depicting batman between the events of the two most recent films. I was surprised to find the series was actually an anime, not something stated on the cover of the disk.

The animation was so cheap and overstyalised in the first episode it actually made me laugh, but I accepted it in the hope it was a quirk of that one director. Though the presentation improved tepidly through the episodes, I was still shocked at the lack of effort in the animation which they try and masquerade as style. I accept the idea of each artists interpretation of the characters but it doesn't mean I have to like that batman is presenting alternately as a hench potato man and a skinny 20 year old Japanese boy.

I have been a fan of certain anime franchises in the past but more and more I find myself switching off from the overstyalised nonsense which isn't necessarily superior to western animation. I felt like anime had no place in batman, a very western character.

Good for a fan of anime and overstyalised characters, bad for a fan of what we see and know as batman.
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Very Helpful To Watch Before Watching The Dark Knight
ctg072419 July 2008
I saw this before I watched the Dark Knight. It proved to be very much worth my time. I was introduced to characters like the Russian, Sal Maroni, and Officer Ramirez. I learned more about Wayne Enterprises' plans to advance technology.

Another thing that was nice is it continued the character development for Bruce Wayne since the Dark Knight did not really have any room for his character to be more explored.

The illustrations were very impressive. The stories were well-written. My favorite two stories were the first one and "Working Through Pain". I recommend this to all true fans of the new Batman Universe that started with Chis Nolan's Batman Begins.
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Great Animated Movie.
kyle-mcdonald9 July 2008
I heard about this movie around the time when the first Dark Knight trailer was released and I was really excited about seeing it and when I did it did not disappoint at all. Here are the reason why this movie is so good. The movie follows a great storyline and each of the six stories are very well done out and each have a terrific plot. The voice over actors are great such as Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gary Dourdan as Crispus Allen, Corey Burton as Scarcrow, David McCallum as Alfred, George Newbern as Killer Croc, Jim Meskimen as Jim Gordon and deadshot. etc. Also I was really happy that Kevin Conroy was returning to play Batman again. The animation is really well done. The way the characters look in it is really good but they look different in each story because each story is done by different people but all of them are really well done. The way batman himself look in this movie is amazing each story has a different costume and look but are all amazing. Each story has a different style of animation and they are all very well done. The way the villains look in the movie are also just amazing such as scarecrow and killer crock and deadshot. The action in this movie is really good and very intense and very entertaining to watch. so I am sure that you will not be disappointed with Batman: Gotham Knight. So make sure that you rent or buy Batman: Gotham Knight because it is great.

Overall Rating: ******** out of **********

**** out of *****

So now all I am waiting for is The Dark Knight because I know it is going to be one of the greatest movies ever made.
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A Must For Batman Fans!!
gigan-9227 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If you're a Batman fan or are simply in love with the recent films, definitely check this one out. "Gotham Knight" is a unique film to start. Obviously released to fill the gap between "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight", this film does this wonderfully. This direct-to-DVD release lives up to the good old Batman cartoons and movies, like "Subzero" which I so greatly enjoyed as a child and to this day. This however is a much darker incarnation that I for one thoroughly enjoyed. The anime-style animation is beautiful and looks incredible, helping the set the atmosphere in Gotham. The story by David Goyer, Josh Olson, and Alan Burnett is excellent and serves up a more serious world, one I'm thankful for. Kevin Conroy returns to play the voice of the Caped Crusader, YES!!! His performance, obviously, is dope, along with all the other voice actors. My favorite part of these six interlocking stories would definitely be the fact we see a different version of the Bat each time. And each one looks fantastic, plus we see Dead Shot and Scarecrow. Killer Croc was a bit too different from previous incarnations for my taste, but he still gets the job done ( I'd love to see Killer Croc in the next Christopher Nolan film, that is if they plan on making it...). All in all "Gotham Knight" is great and I highly recommend it.
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Simply Put-Phenomenal
GonzoBarbossa1 August 2008
I was extremely excited to get this DVD for several reasons. I've been a huge Batman fan as long as I can remember and have really enjoyed the animated shows that have been inspired by Batman as well as comics such as Year one, Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Hush, The Killing Joke and such. After the first string of Batman films and the original show I never felt a real connection to a Batman not printed on the pages of a book. However, Kevin Conroy remains my favorite Batman of all time. And of course to see what David Goyer and the others have written is phenomenal. Each episode is written and directed by different individuals, but the voice talent remains the same (and I do mean talent). It's really cool to see Batman in so many formats and to see Batman from different perspectives as far as writing, directing, and the p.o.v of the episodes go. If you're not used to anime it might be a little tough to watch Batman in this format. But the pallets are really gorgeous and I have fallen in love with the set of episodes and hope they do more.

Also a plus-you don't actually have to watch Batman Begins or The Dark Knight (but who hasn't?) to get it, but if you have you'll enjoy the little nuances that make it great. It will also be enjoyable for comic books fans, it bring back the old noir feeling of the comics (especially with the arrival of Deathshot, wow). I hope this was helpful. Enjoy!
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Not bad but...
on_the_can19 July 2008
I've never been a fan of anime, and this film didn't really do anything to change my mind. This is a collection of short stories much in the same vein as the Animatrix meant to somewhat bridge the gap between Batman Begins and the Dark Knight.

Each story focuses on one particular aspect of Batman and his mythos. Through the eyes of some kids we so how his presence in Gotham is to many an urban legend. We also see how he learned to deal with pain, we see a sample of the development that goes behind some of his toys, we see the police's attitude towards him and of course we get to see some good old fashion Batman ass kickery. Collectively all these stories are pretty well written and I liked how they managed with the use of subtle details and references to link one story from the next to help bring it a little higher than your typical anthology.

But as I've said I'm not a fan of anime. I find anime directors to be exceptional at conveying mood and atmosphere through the use of brilliant backgrounds and well plotted storyboards, but outside of the science fiction realm of the Batsuit and the monsters I find there character designs lacking in originality. When Batman takes off his mask Bruce Wayne has a remarkable resemblance to almost every other anime character we've ever seen. This can't be said for all anime artists, we do get some variety here and regardless of the style it's always interesting to see different artists' takes on the same character. Another issue I found across the board which I think more than anything detracted from my enjoyment of this and most others of the style is the lack of emotion that goes into the character acting. We're treated to good voice actors here, specifically the return of Kevin Conroy as Batman but the solid performances of the voices are lost behind faces completely devoid of emotion. The heads remains dead during the lion's share of all dialog while the mouth moves up and down (sometimes not even that)until the voice is done delivering the lines. This is no exaggeration either, there is no movement of the eyes or brows or even enough variation on mouth shapes to imply any emotion at all, if they're not throwing a punch the characters are relentlessly static. As an animator myself I may be more critical to such things and I'm not trying to tell of anime creators, I know it has legions of fans, but I won't be joining the ranks personally until they evolve beyond some of these problems.

In the end this is still worth seeing if you're a Batman fan, and despite my ranting against the anime style I did really enjoy seeing the different interpretations of the Batsuit and batmobile along with a couple other elements that carried across the stories.
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Just enough to whet your appetite
JoeB1319 July 2008
Just in time for the premiere of the new movie comes this animated adventure.

Written by the team that gave us the Batman Animated series, the animation in this show is done in the style of Japanese Manga cartoons. It follows the events of Batman Begins, where the Dark Knights crusade against crime is producing results. Batman faces off against Scarecrow, Killer Croc and Deadshot in six interconnected stories.

Don't let the fact that this was done by the animation team fool you, however. Like the recent "Superman: Doomsday", they have a much heavier theme in character and story.

A major bonus. Kevin Conroy reprises his role as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne. I've always felt that is what Batman should sound like, and Conroy's interpretation is better than any live actor whose ever portrayed him. Then again, I've always felt animation is a better medium than live action for any superhero story.

There is a drawback that Bruce Wayne has the spiky hair of an anime character, which was just slightly off-putting. It's a very minor quibble, however.
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dantheman005625 July 2008
I've become a Batman fan ever since Batman Begins rebooted the film franchise 3 years ago. With anticipation building for The Dark Knight Warner Brothers have released Batman : Gotham Knight a set of six anime stories connecting Batman begins and The Dark Knight. However the noble this movies intentions may seem, these stories are disappointing. Each story has a different type of anime style. Most of the anime and artwork are very good except for the first one which is just kind of strange. The stories themselves are lacking the Batman grandeur no mystery, no suspense, and little action. Characters like The Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Dead Shot appear as supernatural villains but unfortunately are poorly used. The overall story adds little to bridge the two movies together. Rent it or watch it online, not worth a buy.
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Something to whet our appetites...
ZenShark29 June 2008
the animation is pretty good, however the art styles, particularly the backgrounds, are starkly different. Kevin Conroy is good as batman, in the animated series kind of way. His voice sounds too 'square chin' for this batman. I would have preferred Bale in the role.

The stories in themselves are interesting, with some good set pieces. Some sight into batman's past is given (as is customary), and is one of the stronger stories. The opening story of how different people see batman is also good fun.

It was also interesting to see the different looks of batman all in one movie.

Overall, 8/10.
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toninobeman29 June 2008
My god this is terrible. If you're a Nolan's Batman fan, you will be, without a doubt, disappointed. So, you have 6 stories, each with a different story telling style and animation, making this anime best describable as an "Animatrix" try in the Batmans world. The only difference is that "Batman - Gothams Knight" does not deliver in a way that we expect. To make a long story short and skip dissecting each segment of the movie, let's just say that Batman gets better (story, and drawing wise) as it progresses, but it starts of so dull and boring that in the end you have a buildup from "Poor" to an "OK".

I give it 3/10 just because of the last segment that is actually quite good.
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Gotham Neve felt so Mundane (Spoilers)
Kareiyasu29 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As we are introduced to this movie, which by the way,has no introduction and or narrative. We are left to assume that this series of movies will guide us through or at least help explain certain aspects of the recent Batman movies featuring Christian Bale.

And while the "episodes" explain a certain aspect of Batman,they end up leaving the audience with even more questions.As this was an all animated feature, I expected a huge ensemble of animated action and quotable one liners that provide us with more reason to follow this particular series.Unfortunately from the very beginning,we are treated to sub par animation and even less dialog.

It's easy to say that the first two "episodes" are an introduction to how the city view's Batman,which I enjoyed for a brief moment.Not because I didn't decide to,but rather that the episodes are so short,that I wasn't given enough time to thoroughly enjoy them.I have a fondness for animated action,and although action was in each episode,not enough was shown and or animated well.

Now I'm sure this will be compared to the Animatrix as each episode in Gotham Knight, begins with a black screen labeled with a one liner or phrase.But for me thats where the comparison's end.I felt more animators and or companies could have been reached for certain episodes.

In conclusion Batman Gotham Knight is a lackluster journey into the world of Batman.Now it isn't all bad,when the movie starts winding down we are introduced to a more darker and more complex Gotham, but by then the movie is asking for a clinging lining of faith,even for a fan.
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It just doesn't fit, no matter how much you force it!
alanrayford16 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I respect what the creative teams behind this lackluster effort were going for. In a perfect world, this would have enabled an American audience to witness Batman, as seen by Asian culture. Unfortunately, despite their lofty intentions, this turkey doesn't fly.

A lot of other reviewers have taken to providing an episode by episode breakdown. I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to get to the meat of the problem with this film.

Batman is a distinctly American creation, not an Asian one. I have no problem with anime and can count several anime titles in my DVD collection. However, as much as I like the style, it doesn't fit the character. Worse, it doesn't fit the voice actor.

Anime is, by nature, hyperkinetic and bombastic. People don't get shot in anime. They blow the f--- up. Bad guys aren't just punched. They go flying through the air and, quite often, through walls on the way to the ground. This style of animation and storytelling can work with some of our comic book characters (I'm thinking the Hulk or the Flash). However, it doesn't work with Batman--especially seeing as how this is supposed to be the hyper realistic Batman Begins version.

The lack of fit between the character and the styles in which he was rendered became even more glaringly obvious when he spoke. Kevin Conroy is the penultimate Batman voice actor, in my opinion. Yet, in this anthology, he was all wrong. This was not his fault, because, according to the commentary track, the animation was already done before he started recording audio. Therefore, a lot of the time, his voice doesn't quite line up with the character's mouth. This is pretty much the same for all the other actors. But, since he's taking on the lead role, it becomes doubly obvious with him. Also his calm, collected, and driving tone, while still the sh--, does not quite flow with the over the top visuals either.

Then there's the art style itself. With respect to the creative teams involved, episodes 1-3 were bad, in both style and writing. On their own, with another property, they more than have merit. But, seeing as how this is a Batman story, they just weren't on track. They made this longstanding pop culture icon appear to be paunchy, then monstrously musclebound, and then, finally, a little less than masculine, with their visuals. With their writing they made him out to be somewhat mentally obtuse, alternately dangerously arrogant, and, once again, a bit less than macho. Thankfully, the latter three episodes were by far better. But, by then, the damage was already done.

A lot of tremendously creative and talented folks invested themselves into this, and I definitely respect their courage for trying something original. But, sometimes, you have to be honest with yourself and admit when things aren't working out. Some things just don't fit, no matter how much you force it.
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Best of Both Worlds
xamtaro23 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Deep engaging stories from the west, rich detailed art and animation from the east. Batman:Gotham Knight is truly a blend of the best from the east and west. 6 different animation directors and writers lend their own vision and creative flair to the legend of batman with highly successful and entertaining results.

First is "Have i got a story For you" written by Josh Olsen("A History of Violence" screenplay), directed by Shojiro Nishimi(who worked on TekkonKinkreet)and animated by Studio 4C(TekkonKinkreet, Spriggan). Most people i know say this is their least favorite of the short films. I find it quite good. It is about a bunch of kids relating their encounters with Batman, each giving a different spin on who the DArk Knight is and what he can do. HE is envisioned as vampire-like specter(no doubt inspired by the "Red rain" elseworld's Batman title), an invincible fighting machine(A hybrid of Gigantor and Iron Man) or like a feral bat-beast(similar to the Man-Bat) by 3 different kids. This segment is a metaphor basically for what the entire movie of Gotham Knight is all about. Different people giving their own different unique spins on Batman. It also speaks about how the legend of Batman in Gotham is fueled mainly by exaggerations made by the public. This first short film's art detail is kept painfully minimal but the character movements are flowing and fluid. THe backgrounds are also the most intricately designed of all the 6 short films.

The second is "Crossfire". Written by Greg Rucka(comic book writer of 52, Ultimate Daredevil and OMAC project) directed by Futoshi Higashide in his directorial debut and animated by Production I.G(Ghost in the Shell, Sky Crawlers). It is more closely tied to the ongoing story arc of batman Begins and Dark Knight in that the police are not so trusting toward Batman. This story is a very straight forward tale of Batman gaining the trust of a skeptical detective after a daring rescue. THe director's inexperience shows in the poorly choreographed fight scenes. Where it falls short in the story and directing department, Crossfire makes up for it with some of the most beautiful character design seen in anime films. Batman's design here is possibly my favorite among all the 6 and the most true to the armored look of batman Begins' design.

THe 3rd short film is "Field test"(and my LEAST favorite among all). Written by Jordan Goldberg(film writing debut) directed by Hiroshi Morioka(Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles) and animated by Bee Train(.Hack). Aside from the moral at the end of the story about batman unwilling to put other's lives in danger for his own sake, this tale has nothing much to speak off. The story is a bore for the most part and the action is uninspired. The character designs are also very out of place. Bruce Wayne is suddenly a bishonen teenager and Batman looks more like "Eagleman" than Batman. THe fantasy-ish designs doesn't fit with the otherwise down to earth serious plot.

THe 4th, "In Darkness Dwells", can be easily seen as the definitive follow-up to Batman Begins. Written by Batman Begins writer himself David S Goyer, directed by Yasuhiro Aoki and animated by Madhouse(Ninja Scroll, Spawn). This story involves Batman going against the scarecrow and killer croc. It is a straight forward crime busting story with whacked out action sequences and a refreshingly stylized look. The character designs, colors and art style all lend to a very haunting and almost scary look to the whole segment. Action packed from start to finish, the fight scenes are truly epic. No so much in the story but since it is only a bridging piece between the Batman Begins and Dark Knight, i do not expect much resolution to the scarecrow plot here.

The 5th short film is my favorite in terms of story. "Working Through Pain" is a direct continuation of In Darkness Dwells, featuring a wounded Batman wandering the sewers in a daze due to loss of blood remembering his training days in India. Written by Brian Azzarello( comic book writer of "Superman: For Tomorrow" and "Batman: Broken City"), directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka(Origin: Spirits Of the Past) and animated by Studio 4C again. There is minimal art detail but extremely smooth an realistic character movements and animation. A nice break from the action heavy stories that came before, this one is a purely character driven tale about a seldom touched on time of Bruce Wayne's life. By the end of the story, we find out it is not so much physical pain that Bruce was looking to be able to bear. But it was in fact his own inner spiritual pain and the pain of the burden he now carries as Batman(reflected in the metaphorical final scene)

The last short film "Deadshot" is my all time favorite. It has an intriguing yet action packed story with a moral, and it has the best animation, choreography and artwork in the entire movie. Ironically, this one is the only one directed by a Korean, Jong Sik Nam(BASTof syndrome, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 2002). Written by animation veteran Alan Burnett and animated by Madhouse(Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust). A very well paced chase story hearkening back some of the best episodes of the 90s Batman animated series. I could not help but realize that the animation, fight choreography and even some character designs seem like a homage to the style of Yoshiaki Kawajiri(Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Ninja Scroll). Slow motion inter-cuts, muscular square jawed protagonist, flowing capes and full motion backgrounds all lend to this short film's awesome look and feel.

All in all, Gotham Knight is truly the blending of the best of both worlds. Most of the best animated movies have always been co-productions and this one is no exception.
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several takes on gotham's hero
DJJOEINC20 January 2009
Batman : Gotham Knight - Can't wait for the latest big screen version of Batman - this is a good stopgap.This is a compilation of 6 stories about Batman by 6 different screenwriters and 5 different directors.Animated in different styles - but consistently dark throughout - we see an iron-clad Batman and we see a realistic confrontation with Deadshot- also we see Batman learn how to master pain and a stylized ultra-creepy version of the infamous Arkham Asylum.If you like your heroes with an edge and dwelling in a darker Gotham City- this is worth at least a Netflix slot.I got the single disc version of this with a 10 minute preview of the upcoming Wonder Woman animated movie and a scholarly commentary track.This sort of felt like Animatrix- different looks at a popular universe by different folks.This compilation has a Gothic surrealistic feel to it and is rated PG-13 with some stylized violence. B+ Jobber Joe Roundtable Enhancement Division -Roundtable Wrestling Radio
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