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Batman: Year One
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Even scum have families."

Author: utgard14 from USA
19 October 2014

Animated version of the classic Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli comic book story about the beginning of Batman's career as a crimefighter and Jim Gordon's career with the Gotham Police Department. It's a pretty faithful adaptation with minimal changes. For the most part I liked it but I did have some problems. For starters, the animation is unremarkable. I applaud them for using comic stories as source material because there's a lot of gold to mine there and Hollywood has shown that, when screenwriters are left to their own devices, they come up with some pretty shitty stuff for these characters. That being said, adapting a comic book into a cartoon brings with it the natural comparison of the art styles. Mazzucchelli's artwork is just amazing so you would think/hope that they would try to add the same level of creativity to the animation. But, no, it's just your basic DCAU cookie cutter 'house style.' It's disappointing if you admired the art in the comics. Also, the voicework is full of face actors not great voice actors. Kevin Conroy and Bob Hastings are missed. Ben McKenzie, who does the voice of Bruce Wayne here (unimpressively), goes on to play Jim Gordon in the similar "Gotham" TV series. Finally, the story seems a bit rushed. The comic story took place over four issues but adapting that into a film you have to take into account the different pacing of the two mediums. The buildup here is kind of limp for such an iconic story. Still, the source material is so good that they could only mess it up so much. It's an enjoyable animated movie. Not as great as it should have been but very watchable.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

True to the source, and done amazingly well!

Author: lukey8922 from england
5 December 2012

I was more reserved than most to see this movie. As a huge fan of Frank Millers comic for a long time i was worried how it would be transferred to the screen, but boy was i wrong. I feel embarrassed it has taken me this long to watch this movie, this was Batman at his animated best.

The main reason i thought the film would struggle to do justice to the comic is, as anyone who has read the comics will know, Its a much darker, grittier version of batman and after recently watching under the red hood, which i enjoyed, it doesn't have that dark edge that i see in Batman. However the same cannot be said for this movie. It was like the pages of the comic were been lifted to the screen and coming to life before my eyes! its the closest adaptation of paper to screen you will ever see.

The animation is done to a high standard, smooth and more colour than i had originally expected. The action sequences are particularly impressive without giving the viewer too much to concentrate on. its a well written script by Tab Murphy, although much of that credit has to go to Frank Miller as a lot of the dialogue is VERY similar to the source.

The only let down for me was the voice casting. Bryan Cranston put in a solid effort as Jim Gordon but unfortunately Ben McKenzie did not do such a good job, he just doesn't have that grittiness i feel batman needed in this film more than any other. Such a shame they didn't use Kevin Conroy as i'm sure most fans will tell you, he is the voice of Batman.

Overall, a really really good effort. Worth spending your hard earned money on, but definitely not one too see with the kids!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An amazing look into the origins of many of the key batman characters.

Author: MildInconvenienceMan from United Kingdom
22 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What I really liked about this film is that it focused on not the origins of batman but really the start, because they are quite different, this film was more about the journey than just dwelling on the past through hundreds of flashbacks that can become quite tedious.

The main thing I liked about this film was that it focused around the idea of the beginnings of Commissioner Gordon which is something that I'd never seen before, which is odd considering how many batman films I had seen, it was a welcome break from the usual just strict batman origins type film. What this film therefore did well was to show how batman and Gordon's destinies became intertwined from an early stage in both of their careers.

The animation was excellent and really helped to show the storyline, it was not over done so that the characters were completing impossible feats that were obviously cartoonish, instead it was really realistic, and what was especially interesting about this batman film is that it did not really rely on any of the 'super' villains instead it was all the corruption of the police, which was again nice to see in amongst all of the other forgettable batman films.

I loved the over monologue to this film, especially from Bryan Cranston who I am a huge fan of anyway, he really helped to carry the film through in his hushed tones. My only real negatives about the film were kind of small things such as why was cat woman in the film, she didn't really fit into the story very well, and the final fight scene was annoying in how Barbara just guessed where they were and turned up and how a whole fight was had with a baby in hand - however these were easily overlooked due to the amazing animation and distinctness of the storyline.

This film essentially shoes the origins in a way of many of the characters other than just batman which is something that is a healthy change from the usual batman film, definitely worth a watch form any fan of the batman franchise.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

great, especially if you're a Batman fan

Author: nick-asaro
25 August 2012

I never read Frank Miller's Year One comic before I saw this movie. nevertheless, I really enjoyed it. I liked how smoothly the narrative progresses. One of its particular strengths is how most of it is told from the perspective of Jim Gordon who has just moved to Gotham and become a cop. another is the detailed scenes of Gotham City and its people and it really emphasizes how much of a corrupt city it is. Batman himself is great. it also introduces Selina Kyle known better as Catwoman. the action is awesome especially in this one scene where the police are pursuing Batman. In my opinion, this is on par with Batman Begins.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Batman: Year One

Author: Bouke v Laarhoven from Netherlands
24 July 2012

Batman: Year One is an excellent interpretation of the cult graphic novel. It feels the same as the comic and you will be interested again in the first year as Batman of the world's greatest detective. Commissioner James Gordon's issues in his first year on the job in Gotham will really grab you by the throat. Bruce Wayne, returning to Gotham after a long exile, is troubled by feelings of responsibility, guilt and grief before he chooses to become Batman. This transformation takes place very organically and Bruce Wayne's trauma's aren't forced- or cheesy-feeling. The movie will also give you a first glimpse of Selina Kyle's transformation into catwoman. The Raw nature of her passages are done really good and you even get a sense of her origin story. (I recommend the graphic novel Catwoman - Her Sister's keeper to those interested in the complete origin story of Catwoman).

I can recommend the flick to everyone that ever read a Batman book or watched a Batman movie - and even if you haven't, this is the perfect place to start.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An excellent adaptation and yet...

Author: DarthBill from United States
12 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ah yes, finally, the long awaited adaptation of fan favorite origin story "Batman: Year One" written by Frank Miller (back when he actually wrote good stories) following his previous work on Batman (The Dark Knight Returns and Dark Knight Strikes) as well as his work on Daredevil (before he started writing Sin City, 300 and then completely degenerated with his sick, sadistic alleged parody 'All-Star Batman & Robin' - the price of a former visionary becoming trapped in one particular voice, in his case the "Look at me I'm a man!" voice). At one point Darren Aronofsky pitched doing this as a live action film to Warner Brothers, with future Harvey Dent/Two-Face actor Aaron Eckhart being his candidate for Jim Gordon, but for whatever reason he lost out to Christopher Nolan's pitch for "Batman Begins" (some bits & pieces of Year One can still be glimpsed in BB).

PLOT: Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham after some years abroad, training and honing himself to become Batman, the Dark Knight who stands against the criminals who ravage his beloved Gotham City. Jim Gordon is the new cop in town trying to hold on to his principles in the midst of a corrupt police force, but even a man as good as Jim Gordon is not without flaws, especially when it comes to fellow detective Sarah Essen. Selina Kyle is the struggling prostitute/thief destined to become Catwoman. And a whole mess of bad guys are lurking in the background...

I have to admit when I heard they were adapting this I wasn't terribly excited, just as I wasn't terribly excited for "Red Hood", another Batman feature, even though it proved to be an excellent feature, just like this one. Batman's been on top for so long that his overexposure in animation and film has taken some of the fun out of reading and/or watching his adventures. Meanwhile, many other DC heroes still have not gotten their due, let alone a fair chance at making it on their own (example: the Flash still hasn't even gotten one solo feature in recent years and continues to be relegated to ensemble pieces, usually as "the funny one").

It's not that this is a bad feature by any means. It's an excellent adaptation of the book, quite probably the most literal translation we'll ever see of any comic book story in any format, even more so than Zack Snyder's ambitious 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore's "Watchmen". The animation captures the look and feel of Miller's original story perfectly and the voice actors are all spot on. Contrary to the what the "Kevin Conroy is the only voice of Batman" supremacists may say, Ben McKenzie gives a strong performance as the younger, less experienced Bruce Wayne finding his way both as Batman and as his public 'disguise' of a free wheeling, loose living billionaire playboy, and he has a great cast backing him, including Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon, Eliza Dushku as Catwoman (who gets a solo showcase feature on the side), and Katee Sackhoff as Sarah Essen, not to mention regular working class voice actors such as Fred Tatasciore as the corrupt Flass (Fred is better known to fan boys for being Marvel's go to guy for the Hulk from various video games and animated features), Grey DeLisle as Mrs. Gordon, and Steve Blum (better known to anime fans for his work as Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Beebop and Marvel's Wolverine in more recent years).

Still, I'd much rather see more features for Green Lantern and solo features for the Flash and Aquaman than another Batman feature. We've been to Gotham plenty of times, we know the back alleys and denizens very well. There's only so much you can do to put a new spin on the old town. Here's hoping that next time another DC hero will get to shine.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This one for the shelf

Author: lagudafuad from Nigeria
12 January 2012

Based on Batman: Year One by Frank Miller, this dark film has all of the requirements that will make all Batman fans crave for more and make new ones wonder what they have been missing, a good one and the Bruce character was well deployed as such deployment is still remaining to be toppled, as the one pulled off by Michael Keaton still remains the best Batman/Bruce Wayne character.

This addition to the series of DC animations sees our hero's first year in the crime fighting life, as we see Bruce emerge from the dark trying to discover himself, to evolve from fighting on the streets to protecting the just, then to hiding under a mask. It also introduces Gordon as he too moves to Gotham from Chicago with his family.

We hardly see movies that depict heroes as humans, although the Bat is human under the mask, his enemies didn't think so. The movie has scenes that include Bat being shut and wounded with blood dripping and he finding it hard to move about, such scenes didn't happen once.

Hey! Who jumps around in a costume, fighting bad guys with guns and expect not to be stabbed, shut and be hit one too many times.

Our Bat was and we get to see him injured. (not taking all the bullets on his chest and still find it hard to deal with a mere human called Lex, just making a point). Both Gordon and Bruce run into one another on different times, with Gordon suspecting Bruce Wayne as the new vigilante named Batman. Side stories are also introduced we see Catwoman character being formed, with people mistaking her to be the Bats sidekick. We also get to see what made Gordon rise in the ranks to be commissioner and the introduction of The Joker although he is not shown.

What makes this movie different from the others before it is the side it takes, which is, THE DARK SIDE.

Meant for mature viewing, Year One has it all from fights, adultery, drinking, corruption, blackmail and all that is required to make a hero stand out in a corrupt society.

The movie is meant to be a prelude to the game Arkham City, which was one of the best games of 2011.

Directed by Animation Director Sam Liu who was also responsible for All-Star Superman, Superman/Batman:Public Enemies, Hulk Vs, Planet Hulk, Thor: Son of Asgard this movie is one I recommend we buy and place on the shelf for further viewing.

The scenes and the animation is a little different from the shading you may be use to, but be prepared for explosive scenes that has action and fights drawing in from all around this is a better movie than Under the Red Hood and as interesting as Public Enemies, but different from both in the all out action and fight scenes that were introduced.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Comic come to life...

Author: mrjmartin from United Kingdom
12 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have owned the original graphic novel this was based on, since 1989. The story is as familiar to me as a member of my own family! (Older than 3 of my own children).

This film had more to live up to, in my opinion than any other original Batman screen-play. (Animated or otherwise!)!

And it does so 'almost' perfectly!

The film is played out brilliantly, almost shot for shot (Or shot for panel). As each scene is set up, with the same perspective as the artwork in the comic! The animation whilst very good, could have had a few more frames, to smooth out the action a tad! The colour palette is muted, as are the colours in the comic. Nice!

The story by Frank Miller is 1st class!!! (Though it always was.)

The voice acting is very good through-out. Bryan Cranston (Dad from Malcolm in the Middle), is superbly measured as Gordon. Whilst the young Ben McKenzie (Like the young Bruce Wayne here) is perfectly cast. Comparisons to Christian Bale's voice in the movies are unavoidable. But I think McKenzie gets it right. Playing Bruce/Batman trying to impress and intimidate, whilst learning to be the Batman we want him to be!

I could only deduct half a point for the music. Whilst being adequate, it just didn't feel dynamic enough. Then just another measly half a point off for being just too familiar! (Here though; The film makers could NOT win!!! Too far away from the comic and we cry like babies. Keep it exactly like the book and....I think you see my dilemma!)

Spoiler ahead....

I would just like to add; I have no idea what Jeditricks was on about as Gordon shoots the motorcyclist!!! It was EXACTLY that way in the book!!! Though he does have a very valid point about the acrobatics from Bruce, in the next scene. In the book, Bruce forcibly takes a bicycle and follows Gordon, etc etc.

Spoiler ends...

SO, fans of the comic WILL love this, fans of BATMAN should love it. And fans that love it straight should embrace it! A very grown-up Batman story...Now if only Hollywood get the next Superman movie right!!!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Solid Adaptation

Author: filmcritickevin from United States
28 October 2012

I'm a huge fan of the Frank Miller graphic novel, and this film did follow the source material almost word for word. The animation was very well executed, presenting some really good action sequences.

My main problem with this much anticipated DC Animation project was Ben McKenzie's miserable performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman. His pathetic attempt at voice acting was one of the worst things I've ever listened to.

Nevertheless, Bryan Cranston was perfect for the role of Jim Gordon, and I hope to see him portray the character again in a live action film.

As far as the construction of Gotham, I did feel they could've done a better job of emphasizing the noir aspect presented by David Mazzuchelli's art. The lighting was much too vibrant for the bleak and eery atmosphere of this dismal society.

All in all, this one is worth watching, but has its flaws nonetheless.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Adaptation or Illustration

Author: itamarscomix from Israel
27 January 2013

Batman: Year One is a remarkably loyal, almost frame-for-frame adaptation of Frank Miller's revolutionary graphic novel of the same name. Admittedly, as a fan of the Batman comics and of Miller's distinctive style, I really enjoyed watching his frames come to life; and it's hard to dismiss the fact that Year One is one of the finest Batman stories ever written, and it deserves the wider recognition that an animated version may give it. Unfortunately, Year One doesn't come close to fulfilling its potential; the frames and dialog are lifted almost directly from the comic, but the pacing is poor which leads to an absence in tension and leaving the viewer completely outside the film. It doesn't help that Ben McKenzie may well be the worst Batman I've heard, reading the lines from the script as if he wants to get it over with as quickly as possible. Bryan Cranston almost saves the day in his amazing performance as James Gordon - and dear lord, how I'd love to see him play that part in a live action adaptation! - but it's not enough to make Year One anything more than an illustration of the novel, one that can never come close to matching its impact and would probably have a hard time finding an audience outside of devoted Batman fans.

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