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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.
*** 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.
Batman Year One is the latest installment of DC's short animated films
that they release roughly three times a year. Year One is an adaption
of the famous comic series of the same name that rebooted the Batman
story in 1987. Because of the importance of the comic and the obvious
iconic status it holds, DC decides to stick to a very loyal adaption of
the tale. Because of this the movie has many hurdles to jump through as
it it wrestles with itself as a film and an adaption. The story still
holds the story of both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon as they both arrive
in Gotham City at the same time and both attempt to clean up the
streets in their own respective ways. Can this movie work as both a
film and adaption or will it fail to do both while in the process?
Check out the rest of my review: http://wp.me/p1tyJd-6z
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.
*** 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!)
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.
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!!!
Ben Mackenzie is the worst batman I've ever heard. The guy who plays Gordon is good. The film is too comic like....going from scene to scene in an uncinematic way. Selena Kyle shouldn't even be in this its only an hour and her scenes take up an entire 5 minutes and she plays no role in the story. This film is extremely boring. Im being generous giving it a three. I believe the only explanation for this poor voice performance is that Ben Mackenzie was on drugs or something. Listen to the first line in the film and he sounds like someone is forcing him to read the entire oxford dictionary and he's on letter J and getting too tired to care. How someone thought he was a good choice is beyond me. How could you have the guy do such a poor job at times and not even demand that he do it over?
Many credit writers such as Alan Moore and Frank Miller for making comics geared towards adults in the 80s. While I agree with the credit given to Moore, Miller writes an "adult" story from a child's perspective. He just adds violence, gore, and whores. What we have here is almost a direct adaptation of his Year One story. That means it's pretty great, but being a direct adaptation it's exactly the same, warts and all. So the problems I have with this movie are the same as with the comic. Catwoman is here for no specific reason, and yes she's a prostitute. This still confuses me as to why Miller did this, and I have no idea why they kept it for this film. It's unnecessary. In fact, Batman Begins is pretty much an adaptation of Year One, and a much better one. The best scenes in this movie were done in Begins, such as the SWAT team/horde of bats. All the voice work was competent, but very restrained and monotone. McKenzie does well to capture Wayne's fake obnoxiousness. Other areas could have been developed further, such as Gordon cheating on his wife. Decent, certainly, but should have actually handled the material as a separate entity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unfortunately I do love batman.. BUT... It didn't really explain a lot, the Selina Kyle storyline was rushed and had nothing to do with the plot. Gordan was made out like some some awesome killing machine and it's not him to cheat on his wife. He is a man with respect. Gotham might drive you insane but not after 4 months. Also for the previous reviewer his wife is named Barbera. They have a daughter next and name her Barbera also (who then becomes the first batgirl). Which then makes the timing out. Batman is not 50 when she becomes batgirl.. I wasn't a big fan of Bruce waynes voice either but in saying that he is portrayed as a young adult. And what's with the kicking of the tree in half?? These types of blunders (Jims baby at the end, and the leaping onto the buildings) made it too unrealistic for me. The reason I like batman is you can imagine it being real. So 5/10 for me maybe if they stretched it another 25 mins and added more story it could have pushed a 7.. Cheers this is my 1st ever review. Hope it helps...
Not a bad adaptation, but also not great. And here's why . . .
Watching "Batman: Year One" is like watching a glorified motion comic; the dialogue is lifted (very nearly) word for word from the original Frank Miller comic. Which is not necessarily a slam against the movie, but a definite handicap. If I had the choice between watching animation that's liberally peppered with anime touches or gazing on the wonderfully gritty pencil work of Dave Mazzuchelli, I'll go with the comic any day of the week. Anime's just not my thing.
So the reason to watch said project becomes the voice casting (featured here is casting director Andrea Romano, who is top of her class, sincerely). Ben McKenzie does a pretty good job as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Bryan Cranston is terrific as James Gordon. Jon Polito is a surprisingly good choice for Commissioner Loeb, while (also surprisingly) Eliza Dushku lends a very Dana Delanyesque voice for Selina Kyle.
The one nitpick I have about this whole thing is the appearance of Gotham City. A number of the characters make mention of what a nightmare this place is, but it's painted in bright and cheery colors (night sky is safe purple, as opposed to menacing red or black). Also curious as to why Gordon doesn't smoke here. It's PG-13, what's the problem?
What surprised me is how closely the animators adhere to the dating aspects of the comic's time period. The cars are very '80s, and there's even a store sign advertising VHS & BETA RENTALS.
But the gritty, trodden look of Mazzuchelli's art is lost.
"Batman: Year One" is a Batman animated flick I tasked myself with
watching, simply because it had been a while since watching a Batman
animated movie. The last one I watched new was "Batman Beyond: Return
of the Joker". The rest were either reruns or anything I'd already
Batman: Year One presents itself as an adaptation of Frank Miller's mini-series of the same name. It tells the stories of Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham and debut as Batman, as well as Jim Gordon's transfer to Gotham and growing stance against corrupt cops and organized crime. It's a compelling story, but one that's already been told well in Batman Begins in 2005.
This film, in my opinion, is lackluster. It could have been a hell of a lot better, but the constant time jumping made it difficult to follow the story. There wasn't enough action to keep me interested in anything the story had to offer. It was basically the story of Batman's first year as being told by a first grader for an oral report.
I wish I could say I liked this movie, but I only kind of did. It isn't a movie I'd watch again and again, and it's not one I really enjoyed. I liked "Batman Begins" and how it told the story of Batman's first year. This one, while based on Frank Miller's mini-series, was lackluster and should've been a lot better.
Bottom line, it was okay, but I don't really care for it. The mini series is probably better, but Batman Begins told the story the best!
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