Saturday, February 9, 2013

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Returns Part's 1 and 2 (Confirmed:Epic, 5 out of 5)

The Dark Knight Returns is DC's best animated film to date!
     DC has produced some pretty well done movies within their animated universe over the past couple of years: Batman Under the Red Hood, Batman Year One, Green Lantern First Flight, and Justice League the New Frontier have been amongest their best.  Many may even argue that first flight was better than the live action Green Lantern film.  As good as those adaptations were, none come close to their version of The Dark Knight Returns.  Now upon hearing the news they were adapting the Frank Miller's classic into a cartoon many were very skeptical.  It just seemed there was no way they could capture the grittiness and political commentary of arguably the best Batman story ever written with an animated film, DC and director Jay Oliva proved the critics very wrong indeed!




Robocop as Batman, does it get any better?
     Not only does this animated adaptation capture all the brutality and griminess of the original comic, it improves on certain elements to it.  A perfect example of this is the voice work that fit this particular Batman story very well.  When Peter Weller was cast to voice Batman in this film their was a bit of a fan outcry, while many thought it the fact the Robocop would be voicing Batman was a pretty Epic concept, most fans wanted Kevin Conroy to return to the mantle of the Bat once again.  Which makes sense probably the most iconic Batman voice for the most iconic Batman story.  As good as Conroy would have been in his familiar role, Weller's voice fit's this Batman just a little better.  You can hear the angst and turmoil he has been through during his lifetime of serving Gotham in every almost every line Weller delivers as both Bruce Wayne and the Batman.  
Michael Emerson voice work as The Joker brings a whole new callous to the character.
     The same goes for Michael Emerson's portrayal of the Joker, who most wanted to be voiced by Mark Hamill in this story, but just like Weller Emerson's voice works fits this Bat tale just a little better.  Emerson gives the withdrawn Joker whose cool, crisp, and callous heart beat only return when he realizes he can finally finish things with Bats Once and for all.  

     Director Jay Oliva is also able to do parts of the story perhaps even more justice than the original comic.  Especially the final fight Between DC's most legendary characters Superman and the Batman.  I won't spoil anything, but he captures every beat of that iconic battle, and then some.

Somethings are just more fun to watch on screen!
     The production quality on this for a direct to blu-ray animated feature is stunning! The picture is as sharp as animated features get, but at the same time you feel that inherit dirtiness within Gotham that is such an important part of this story.  As far as audio goes the DTS-HD track had my speakers blasting to the equivalent of some better live action features.

     Overall director Jay Oliva did something that so many directors have been wanting to do since 1986, he gave us a true feature adaptation of probably the best Batman story ever made, and while nothing will ever compare to the first time you read Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns for the first time the results are still pretty EPIC!

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