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
MisterWhiplash15 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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