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Batman: Year One
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Batman: Year One (V) More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I thought it was awful

3/10
Author: Jim Newhart from United States
20 January 2012

So predictable it was unreal. I've watched many of the more recent comic book cartoon movies that have come out. They have become popular since the animated Matrix. I have have been keeping up to date since then.

In this film, batman is made to be almost super human in both wealth and physic.

Ohhhhh but Batman has money! cry.

True, but the way he enters the film from a plane to super awesome bat costume with utility belt is unreal.

Ohhhhh but Batman is strong because he trained! Boo who im so mad

OK,fair enough that batman trains, but the film opens with him round- housing a tree and knocking it down while training. These abilities are as unrealistic and Adam West climbing a building in the 60's.

In terms of physical strength, all the characters take a beating when needed for the story, but kick ass when the plot needs to move along.

Batman can dodge a machine gun burst when surrounded and tensions are high but gets clipped by a single bullet by some ass with a six shooter. Gorden gets beat up by thugs with baseball bats but looks great the next day and easily destroys a green beret with his fists with no time to recoup.

Super hero animation can supply so much in terms of story and realism. I can't help but feel that Nolan got it right for the first time in years. If only these animators/directors could take a clue.

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2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not Worth Watching As A Batman Movie

Author: ghasl1 from Canada
26 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I watched this movie I was looking forward to it only because it had the voice of Bryan Cranston as Commissioner Gordon. The whole movie itself wasn't about batman if thats what your looking forward to than skip this movie. The only good thing about this movie was Gordon because it shows him fighting police corruption and protecting his family, if you're Breaking Bad fan than you would like this subplot but not as a whole movie.

They shouldn't of focus Gordon's life to commissioner for whole story that felt stretched out but rather as backdrop that supports a main storyline with a villain and batman as the lead. They could of change the title so it doesn't say Batman. Even batman was uncharacteristic like breaking trees down with a kick, working 24hrs on the job and doing acrobatics on bars and jumping on rooftops without gadgets or not hiding his face that would give away who he is. Catwoman served no purpose for the movie other than a cameo there is no reason why she was working with pimps and hookers and personally I hate catwoman that resembles Halle Berry.

The artwork is boring something it lacked was tone and shadow and the movie could of looked better if it was just noir at least it would capture the atmosphere of Gotham and the characters. It lacked character development and voice acting, batman sounded boring.

Any graphic novel that says done by Frank Miller doesn't mean it will be good as a movie or as a good read it might suit other people but doesn't guarantee. This movie was below average I give it 4 stars only because Bryan Cranston's voice was the only one that sounded decent, the rest of the movie you don't gain anything by watching it.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Possible Racism in Film Please read for careful consideration

5/10
Author: Remy S from United States
14 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There was a point in this film that made me question it's entire developmental process, I'm referring to a scene early in the film that depicts Detective Gordan's new partner stopping the car on their way to the precinct and harassing a group of teenage kids he wrongfully accuses of being troublesome. Actually, he singled out the ONE black teenager in particular from an otherwise all-white group kids and began to BEAT HIM MERCILESSLY. I am Black myself, and I've been watching batman since I was in preschool so this isn't a biased or random attack white superheroes or anything like that. However, as a black viewer considering the history of my people in this country with "Whites" in particular I was sorely offended. I've considered writing a letter to the development studios and I would like to know if anyone else noticed this as well.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

You're better off reading the comic instead of watching this.

5/10
Author: kow626
22 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

During a trip to a comic shop a few weeks ago, I was told that B:YO (Batman: Year One) was good and faithful to the comic. I never read the comic and after seeing the movie, if indeed it was as faithful as the comic shop owner said, then I have no desire to read it. I do have Batman: The Long Halloween and I'm still currently reading that. Halfway through with it now. I was told it's like a sequel to B:YO and it definitely comes across that way. It's described as cinematic. I can vouch for that. Nolan and Goyer said they were inspired by it for The Dark Knight movie (and parts of Batman Begins from the looks of things). That's also very highly evident. While The Long Halloween seemingly has more visible influence in media, it never would have happened without B:YO.

The movie is pretty slow and characterizations are flawed. Take Bruce Wayne for instance. They show him punching through a pile of bricks and kicking down a tree. Fast forward to a street fight with Selina Kyle (before she became Catwoman). They gave her a Wonder Woman physique but no one would ever put her in any strength class high enough to kick down a tree. And she went toe-to-toe with Bruce. If his punches are strong enough to smash bricks to pieces, shouldn't he have been able to handle himself with her with just one hit? The real flaw here is overpowering Bruce who has no superpowers. No normal guy anywhere is gonna kick down a tree the way they showed it here unless he wants a compound fracture.

I do like how Selina was portrayed. It's as if it was also her Year One where she was trying to make a name for herself and carve out her own distinct identity apart from Batman. When the news described her as an assistant to Batman, despite her efforts, her reaction was pretty funny considering the tone of the movie. I'd keep that as a running gag for a while. I'd also show her as a sane crazy cat lady if that makes sense and use that for other characters to ridicule her. Being that she is who she is, you know what her reaction would be. And just like Batman can summon bats, I'd make it so she could summon cats. One thing I did get from this is the potential in the Catwoman character that's just never been explored in such a way to my knowledge.

They make Commissioner Gordon a hard character to like because he cheated on his wife. He has all these good intentions, is a cop that's not on the take, incorruptible, and a real stand-up guy devoted to his job and justice but it turns out he's unfaithful and not much better than the criminals he's after. He eventually comes clean to his wife but a cheater is a cheater. Even if she was able to forgive him, as a viewer, for me, the damage was done. I simply don't support infidelity in any way, fictional or not. Other than that, they did a good job showing what type of cop he is without the use of Family Guy flashback.

Other characters in the movie, particularly "The Roman," don't play a very large role here but do play a very significant role in The Long Halloween. If you've read the original Year One comic and saw this movie and liked both, I'd suggest reading that. They should've called it Year Two because that's how it reads. From a purely entertainment perspective, this movie doesn't do much. It's almost like they took panels directly from the comic and used them here. The voice acting wasn't great. Mostly monotone. The colors were dull to fit the mood and tone of the story. The whole thing felt very noirish, just like Year Two. That's not a bad thing because Batman is the type of character you can tell a lot of different stories with but if you've read the comic, you'd be wasting your time watching this movie.

The main problem, besides no Kevin Conroy, is it's an adaptation. I'm sure comics fans love these things but I personally don't. If you're gonna use the animation medium, give me something completely original. Borrow concepts from the source material but don't copy it outright. I want something new. The weekly cartoons are a perfect example of what I'm talking about. These direct-to-video features need to provide original and truly cinematic experiences to justify anyone giving them the time of day if they're gonna pay money for it. The comic is already plotted, drawn, storyboarded, colored, written, and everything else. This may as well have been a motion comic which probably would have been more appropriate.

This movie deals with the introduction of Gordon, Selina, and Batman. Catwoman gets a bit part. Gordon is dealing with a crooked police force. Batman is dealing with a crime-infested city. Everyone is dealing with this new vigilante who's appeared out of nowhere to clean up the streets. This is aptly titled Year One because Bruce does make a lot of mistakes that you know he'd never do now. Remember the bat swarm from Batman Begins? Looks like that came from here. I'm sure the book is a wonderful read but in my opinion, it doesn't translate well on screen in animated form. The live-action movies have done these concepts much better justice because so much was used from the comics. The similarities are very much there, without question. If you choose to watch this or read the comics, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. This just wasn't anywhere near entertaining enough for me. Stick with the original comics or live-action movies to get a better effect.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing version of a classic graphic novel

5/10
Author: drbreakfastmachine from United States
4 December 2011

I love Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's graphic novel Batman: Year One. It retells the origin of Batman, a story mostly untouched since the character's genesis in the 1930s, as a dark and mature adventure that's just as much about hero cop James Gordon as it is about Bruce Wayne and his dangerous night life. When I heard there was to be an animated version, I was extremely excited. DC has had a great track record the last few years with animated features, with masterpieces like Batman: Under the Red Hood and Justice League: the New Frontier, and lesser but still good works like Superman: Doomsday and Batman: Gotham Knight. Unfortunately, Batman: Year One's film adaptation leaves much to be desired. The story is taken almost verbatim from the novel, which is a two-sided blade for the film. While it's nice to see almost every part of the novel in motion exactly the way it originally appeared, it also felt very redundant and unnecessary to watch the film at all. It's a complaint many had of the movie version of Watchmen, but I think that film balanced creativity with faithfulness well. Year One does not. Another issue is that because it uses the comic's fast pacing, in which the story changes perspective every few pages, the film feels very choppy and hard to follow. It just doesn't have time to develop and soak in for the viewer like the novel does. A more concrete problem is a matter of a bad artistic decision: the film's narration, lifted exactly from the book, is presented as the character's "thoughts," and has an echo effect added to it. This gets incredibly distracting, because the narration seems intended to be as if the character is speaking directly to the audience rather than thinking it to themselves. And finally, the thing that really kills the film for me is the voice acting. Eliza Dushku is good as Catwoman, but every other voice actor drops the ball. Everyone sounds bored, tired, confused, and unaware of the meaning of what they're saying. It sounds like an early rehearsal in which the actors are only reading the script for the second time. Worst of all is Ben McKenzie as Batman, who delivers the most mechanical, lifeless performance the Dark Knight has ever suffered. On the plus side, the animation is beautiful and the soundtrack is good, but I can't really recommend the movie based on that. Nolan's Batman Begins is still the best film version of Batman's origin.

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5 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time. Don't watch unless you're under 10.

Author: friedsprats from United States
27 October 2011

This movie was so boring I had trouble staying awake.

What were they thinking?

In this day and age, for an animated Batman movie to come out with such a banal and pedestrian storyline is beyond belief.

Everybody already knows how Batman began, and this movie had nothing even remotely interesting to add.

I guess the target audience is 8 - 10 year olds.

I hope the next animated Batman movie is made for an older target audience.

Do yourself a favor and skip this movie.

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4 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Dull ! and LAME !!

2/10
Author: Emad Nabil from Egypt
30 October 2011

the problem with these recent batman movies is that they started to take batman too seriously !! which sucks the fun right out of it. If you take batman seriously then he's a douche bag wearing a tight leather costume in a city full of criminals.

I'm more of an old school "Tim Burton" take on batman, a crazy psycho scarred kid who seeks revenge upon the darkness of Gotham city, Not this silly detective in a bat uniform !!.

if you are into CRAZY comics and love super hero stuff DON'T WATCH this movie, this one is more for the serious detective crime fighting with no fun.

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21 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Batman Year One mostly faithful, but without any its soul

5/10
Author: JT-Kirk from Los Angeles, CA, USA
2 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Warner Bros held the world premiere for their new animated telling of Batman: Year One. Unfortunately, after the end of the film I was disappointed enough that I walked out on the panel with the major voice cast and directors.

The story is faithful to the comic, to the point where they could have used a little rewriting for fresh air. A few spots felt too anchored to the original page, dialog in a comic explaining an emotion or a type of action doesn't need to be taken literally for a movie. Being too faithful has the film feel like it's lacking any soul or spirit, it's just flatly reading lines, lacking inspiration, simply flipping through pages of the comic to get itself back on track. That is a complaint I had with Zack Snyder's Watchmen as well, just a sense of lifelessness, being stuck on the page treating the original material as cinematic gospel rather than being properly inspired by it. Unlike Watchmen, Year One is a short runtime of an hour, while it doesn't feel rushed, there are a few elements that could have spent a little more time on, most notably Bruce Wayne building up the Batman persona.

Another issue I have with Year One is the art. The style is inspired by Batman The Animated Series' simplicity but not its bold styling, which feels confused - it's not terrible, but it's not quite anything either. Batman in costume looks pretty decent, but Bruce Wayne's character art is like a classic animated Bruce Wayne in his late 30s, it's a tad distracting when he's voiced as a young man and other characters talk about him that way but he looks far more mature. That's perhaps subjective, but the movie's art fails in a second way that's less so: the use of CGI for vehicles - it's abominable, utterly terrible at every glimpse. The drawn artwork is left unsupported by cheap-looking CGI vehicles that move in an entirely robotic and stilted manner. It seems worse than any CGI cartoon TV show from the last 20 years, and every time a car or helicopter is on screen it's a significant distraction.

A smaller flaw in the film is the one big change to the climax of the story. This is the only SPOILER in my review, but it's part of the film's final act: In order to get Gordon more involved than the original, they have changed the events so that Gordon now shoots an unarmed, seemingly-uninvolved motorcyclist and takes his bike to chase after the kidnapper - Gordon shooting a bystander is insanity, well outside of character, turning him essentially into a murderer, whether or not that motorcycle-rider turns out to be secretly wearing armor and eventually gets back up. That chain-reacts into a second problematic change for the climax: Bruce Wayne now no longer has a vehicle to chase the kidnappers, so he takes to the rooftops, without gadgets or costume or even his motorcycle helmet, leaping around like a cheesy cartoon. That comes after an hour of being a grounded, fairly realistic guy - could you imagine the Batman of the Christopher Nolan movies doing that stuff? No, and this story up until the end had played it pretty much the same realistic manner, yet out of the blue Bruce Wayne becomes a super-powered cartoon character.

My final issue is that the voice acting simply does not hold up. Bryan Cranston as Gordon is the center of the movie, he's not a terrible choice, but there's a natural lightness to his reading which doesn't always quite match the depth of what's called for. Batman/Bruce Wayne himself is a big problem, voiced by The OC's Ben McKenzie - Ben has a younger voice without a lot of weight or darkness behind it, so he's directed to try to put on that Batman sound, it doesn't work. He's not experienced with voice acting either, and the combination of those two issues ends up really holding the character back - considering he's the titular character, there should be something believable to the performance, yet McKenzie often struggles with over-pronunciation of his lines, and keeps a "light brooding" going nearly all the time. And Alfred, I'm sorry, I just cannot get behind such a sleepy, disconnected performance - it's a small part in this tale, but I found it very distracting after so many years of great screen Alfreds, from the Nolan films through The Animated Series and going back to the 1960s TV show, only to have... this throwaway work.

What does work: James Gordon being a rounded character, it still plays well, Gordon seems quite adept at carrying these things.

Katee Sackoff brings some fairly convincing voice acting for her character, I've never really entirely been sold on ol' Starbuck there, but she was the lone bright spot that felt like a natural performance.

The movie is a period piece, set in the 1980s, which is an excellent choice, the story exists in a specific era and this movie plays to those strengths, no cellphones or modern conveniences to muck things up. There are even recognizable '80s cars like the first-gen Mazda RX-7.

There are a handful of small moments of humor natural to the story which play pretty well in the film, like Bruce Wayne's sit-down with Gordon and his wife, and Selina Kyle's frustrations with the press.

In the end, this animated version of Batman: Year One just doesn't deliver too well. Uninspired story presentation, middling art, and tepid voice acting work all create a rare animated DC misfire. And because it's such a major story in the modern DC universe, at a time when Batman screen tales are being done well left and right, it disappoints that much more to watch this one fizzle.

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15 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Batman: Year Zero

4/10
Author: rooflivers from United Kingdom
11 October 2011

I was waiting for this release like a glass of water in the middle of the desert. I'm very disappointed to say that it did not worth the wait. I gotta say I simply love what WB does to Batman and I hope we will see more and more cartoons - or shall I say animated comics - in the future. I simply adore the '90s series and "The Batman" is awesome too. But this one even though I really liked the animation simply lacks soul. It is absolutely nothing people. The story is a complete copy of the Miller script, the music is like it's not even there - no trace here of the charisma and power of the Shirley Walker score - and the voices are plain and without any presence,-especially Batman's!- and the feature itself is way too short compared to the original story. You cannot put all these events into 60 minutes. No way. The dates of the events almost come up in every scene. It is ridiculous! It's like you are watching a movie fast forward. But the most important question is: Why did this feature get to be made? There is not one single original idea or input here.... ah, it really hurts. Anyway, if you are a Batman fan watch it but rent it instead of buying it, trust me on this one! And let's pray that the next one will be better!

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5 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

A sin to call this a Batman movie

2/10
Author: adam-penn from United States
14 October 2011

I signed up to IMDb to review this movie because I felt this strongly about it. This was no Batman movie. This was a collection of horrible plot lines and mish moshed writing sullying the Batman universe.

This should have been called Commission Gordon Year One. The movie barely even touches on Bruce Wayne/Batman. It ignores any kind of origins of the character and instead covers Commissioner Gordon's meteoric rise from a rookie cop to the Commissioner of Gotham police in 1 year.

Gordon isn't the worst character, but no one really wants to see a movie about him. The movie also creates beyond stupid plots for Gordon that only hurt how the character is viewed by fans. Gordon is an upstanding cop that someone like Batman trusts because of his integrity, honesty, etc.

SPOILER: This movie decides to have Gordon have an affair with a fellow cop... while his wife (who they decided to name Barbara) is pregnant.

Naming his wife Barbara is even more insulting, as if real fans wouldn't know that Barbara is supposed to be his daughter, and not his pregnant wife.

This movie is a waste of time. It does nothing but insult true fans of Batman, and is a serious black eye for WB Animation. I can't believe this story got green-lighted.

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