Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
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Index 58 reviews in total 

85 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

You don't get it son. This is an Operating table and I am the surgeon...

10/10
Author: Daniel Cumba from United States
12 September 2012

A wonderful translation of the Frank Miller Novel brought to life on the Screen. Animation was excellent, the Tone was perfect and when watching this Animated Movie, I felt completely drawn in to the world that Frank Miller had created back in 1986. The movie was amazing and I cannot wait until Part two comes out. The second half of part 1 really set the tone for part two and it really leaves the viewer in anticipation - with a big smile...

At first, I was a little disappointing when I didn't hear Kevin Convoy's voice as Batman. But it didn't take long for me to get used to the choice they made to play Batman (Peter Weller). With an aging Bruce Wayne/Batman; he set just the right tone to the character. You can hear the struggle he goes through before finally deciding to don the cowl of the caped crusader once more - and when he does - he is back with a vengeance. A seasoned veteran with the knowledge and courage to take on crime... I loved it!

Congratulations to the team that brought us this great adaptation and I hope that this is just the first of many that can be brought to the screen...

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55 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Amazing! (spoiler free)

10/10
Author: behy7000 from Croatia
13 September 2012

I'll be short. I'm an 90-ties kid (now 21) and I watched a lot of batman cartoons and movies, and even read the comic on which this movie is based on. The movie shocked me how good it was made, the animation, the acting (even though batman isn't voiced by Kevin Conroy), even the sound is simply great.

If you are a batman fan, and watched the cartoon series, and movies, and even better if you read the comics you are absolutely going to LOVE this movie.

It's definitely worth watching it in theaters / or blue ray.

A+

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30 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

The fan-favorite classic: Expanded, elaborated and faithfully replicated

9/10
Author: xamtaro from http://thexamtaroshowvault.blogspot.sg
19 October 2012

One of the most beloved Batman tales finally gets the animation treatment. So influential was Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" that it inspired Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan when they were crafting their live action Batman movies, as well as the 1990s Batman animated series (which gave birth to an entire universe of DC animated shows). Warner decided to split the tale, originally spread over 4 issues, into 2 movies. Turns out that it was an excellent decision which not only successfully adapted the first half of Frank Miller's epic, but added layers to the story and characters that the limited page count of the graphic novel could not leave in.

Rarely does an adaptation surpass the original source material. But Dark Knight Returns part 1 is just such an example of an animated movie that is not only true to its source material, but expands upon it. The original was great; the animated adaptation makes it better. The story will sound familiar to anyone who watched Christopher Nolan's "The dark Knight Rises". It has been years since Batman went into retirement. Billionaire Bruce Wayne now drifts from day to day hoping that the people of Gotham can take care of themselves. But now, a new threat emerges: The Mutants. A vast gang of street thugs led by their grotesque but incredibly strong and savage leader. Despite his age, Bruce is forced to become Batman once again to save his city. But can the aging crime fighter stand up to a threat that is faster, stronger and more powerful than he has ever been? And what happens when Batman comes face to face with his old nemesis Two-Face? Beyond the narrative lies a thorough deconstruction of the Batman character, especially when played opposite the two main villains, Two Face and the Mutant Leader. Both villains serve as a dark reflection of Batman himself. Like Two Face, Bruce Wayne and Batman are presented as two separate personalities fighting for control. But is Batman truly just a mask Bruce wears? Or is it the other way around? And as for the mutant leader, both he and Batman operate as a symbol to inspire others to action. One a symbol of chaos and crime, the other a symbol of hope and justice. But if the mutant leader's extreme acts can rouse Batman to return to vigilantism, so too can Batman's actions rouse criminals to return to their old ways (as one character claims in the story).

The characters are brought to life by a fine voice cast who nail their roles perfectly. Peter Weller of Robocop fame takes the role of Batman; a role that may comes across as a monotone baritone at first. But Weller infuses Batman's voice with nuance and subtlety which fits the character well. The only downside is that despite wanting to show a dichotomy between Batman and Bruce Wayne, Weller uses the same tone of voice throughout the whole movie; Compared to previous voice actors, like Kevin Conroy, who used different speech patterns and tones for Wayne and Batman.

A lot of deep themes about the nature of heroism vs vigilantism abound in this tale, all of which were in the original comic but just expanded upon in the animation medium. On that note, the animation presented here is the perfect balance of fluidity and art detail. Iconic frames, memorable battles and atmospheric scenes are replicated faithfully. Movie goers will be able to see many scenes that Nolan's Batman trilogy lifted from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, including a fight scene illuminated intermittently by a gun's muzzle flash. Its only downside is that Warner decided to use its generic color palate rather than replicate the muted tones and heavy grays colored by Lynn Varley in the original artwork.

Fans would be pleased at how true to the original this is and how it expands on the original, smoothening out the rough edges while adding a whole new dimension to the characters. The action is intense and beautifully animated, accompanied by an epic score by Christopher Drake. This is a true ADAPTATION that does not translate the comic wholesale but translates the comic while making full use of the animated movie medium.

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35 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

a slice of brilliance

10/10
Author: GeorgeMaxTrummler from South Africa
15 September 2012

There has been a few really good straight to DVD Batman animations, but this one takes the cake. Having watched the last installment of Christpher Nolans Batman on the big screen, this little piece just keeps the fire burning. Im so impressed by the attention to detail and story line that i wont even begin to give you the low-down/plot, you just need to see it for yourself. Any fans out there will be glad to know this is part one of a series and when you watch it, you'll see how the story drives you straight into the cliff hanger , all the elements are there ,even as we get to understand that Batman/Bruce Wayne has aged significantly it doesn't slow down the action, after all "Old Heroes never die , they just get Darker". i cant wait for part II . Well done and Respect to the Director and his crew for putting this together so well.

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Excellent adaptation of the graphic novel!

8/10
Author: DarthPaul85 from Maine
26 September 2012

After seeing Batman Year One, I was nervous about this one, but I was pleasantly surprised! The story is faithfully recreated here, with very little censorship of the violence, and most of the (included) dialogue straight from the pages of the comic, albeit with some forgivable changes. The pacing is excellent, and really captures that sense of "awesome" that the graphic novel had. The visual style is "close enough" to Millar's work to give you flashbacks, but of course it lacks the detailed nuances of the comic. And lastly, the music fits everything perfectly.

Some complaints, though. First and foremost, the acting lacks passion. Virtually all the main characters play "middle of the road" emotions well, but any extreme was unconvincing to me. It's almost like there was a "no shouting!" rule for the actors. Nobody gets really angry, or forceful, or upset. Even so, it's nowhere near as disappointing as the acting in Batman Year One.

Also missing is Batman's inner monologue- which I guess can be forgiven since movies are a visual medium, but ultimately we lose some of the comic's best lines because of it. Though they do try to force some of batman's narration into the movie as dialogue, it doesn't work that well at all.

One change I'm not sure about is the PG-13 censorship to the script. They maintain the political dichotomy that existed in the comics, but it's way toned down. They seem to want to avoid alienating people on either side of the political spectrum (perhaps wisely). Some of the humor is still there, but again, it's got kid gloves on.

In the end, though, this is a wonderful execution of a great story. I eagerly look forward to Part 2!!

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012)

8/10
Author: SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain from United Kingdom
15 September 2012

The Dark Knight Returns, is for me, the best Batman film of the year. The animation is superb, especially when the action kicks off. It sees Bruce Wayne return to crime fighting after a 10 year absence. Unlike his Nolan counterpart however, he was Batman for a damn sight longer than just a year. His return is depicted as an obsession that finally grabs control and pulls him in. He barely even notices it when he shaves off his mustache as it just becomes a natural part of the process. A new threat, called The Mutants, rises in Gotham, and Batman has to sort them out. His age becomes his weakness as he must go up against the leader of The Mutants. he film is littered with cuts to TV shows and newscasts discussing whether or not Batman is a help or a hindrance. Peter Weller does a great job as the voice of Batman, and it's nice to see a Batman with a dark and dangerous sense of humour. As an adaptation it remains fairly close to the source material, but manages to capture the ferocity of the violence without being too graphic. Gotham looked and felt exactly how I remember it when I was growing up. This is great stuff, and is a huge tease for Part 2, where we will see The Joker once again.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1" is simply amazing, I give it a 10 out of 10.

10/10
Author: LiquidLuke93 from Canada
30 September 2012

"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1" is by far the best DC animated film since "Batman: Under the Red Hood", the storyline stays true to the Frank Miller comic book limited series. It follows a dark & gritty telling of a 55 year old Bruce Wayne coming out of a 10 year retirement from being Batman, because Gotham City's crime rate is worse than ever, criminals now run free & the city is constantly under attack by a massive gang known as the mutants. You get to view an older Bruce Wayne who is way past his prime & struggling to see if he still has what it takes to be the Batman. The voice acting in this film is top notch, the animation is very detailed & the action scenes are superb. This film was very well done & I highly recommend it to any fan of Batman.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

You're Never Finished With Me

8/10
Author: rhiron from United Kingdom
17 December 2013

Before I watched this animated feature and its second part, 'The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2', I had considered animated features based on the 'Batman' mythos to be quite a cosy way of filling an otherwise empty evening. They had their own level of violence that, at times, could be a little too graphic, but they were still a guilty pleasure of mine.

'The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1' changed quite a bit of that. As a 'Batman' feature, it is quite intense, in a similar vein to the 2011 adaptation of Frank Miller's 'Batman: Year One' -- only more so.

From the beginning, it is clear that we are in a different time, sat in with a Bruce Wayne and a Gotham City that are not quite right. Make no mistake, they are still the characters made familiar to us over time but, as they say, 'this is not your father's Batman'.

Parents should be warned that most of the DC Animated Original Films are not aimed at young children (even adults may find them a little distasteful in parts), and this one is no exception. Blood, gore, suicide pacts and 'surgery' in a mud pool ensue. This is a very violent, post-modern Gotham, not too unlike Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Trilogy', and younger children are better directed towards either Adam West or, if animated, then 'Batman: The Animated Series' and its successors.

With that aside, this is a very engaging animated film that shares a lot in common with Frank Miller's original source illustrated novel. Some scenes are switched around, redacted or, in some cases, even enhanced, making this quite an interesting watch for general Batman fans and fans of this specific comic book. As an aside, the comic book behind this feature was part of the inspiration behind Tim Burton's original 'Batman' film in 1989.

Peter 'Robocop' Weller provides the voice of a very beleaguered Batman/Bruce Wayne, whilst Michael Jackson (not to be confused with the late Prince of Pop) provides the voice of his faithful, yet ageing valet, Alfred Pennyworth. Screen stalwart, David Selby also lends his voice to the similarly past-his-prime Commissioner Gordon, whilst Wade Williams (who previously voiced Black Mask in the 2010 feature, 'Batman: Under The Red Hood') provides a fresh and surprising look at Harvey 'Two-Face' Dent. But the major scene-stealing performances here are from Ariel Winter as Carrie Kelley, who those unfamiliar with the story may be shocked to find allying herself with Batman, and from Gary Anthony Williams as The Mutant Leader - a more dangerous Killer Croc-style villain who is the mastermind behind many of the events at this stage of the story.

Christopher Drake who, by this time, had provided the musical score (either in whole or in part) to several Batman features since the 2008 release of 'Batman: Gotham Knight', infuses the proceedings with an incredibly edge-of-the-seat and sometimes moving and haunting series of compositions. A word to the wise, however: even though some commentators have accused Drake of lifting some of Hans Zimmer's ideas for his score to 'The Dark Knight Rises' (2012), this is, in fact, 1980s-style music. It holds a retrospective quality that, perhaps, Mr. Zimmer also wanted to infuse in his score owing to the fact that that film's inspiration was drawn heavily from Frank Miller's comic book 'The Dark Knight Returns'. At the end of the day, Batman is not exactly synonymous with 1980s-style music, so both composers reached a satisfactory quality in their respective scores without allowing their work to sound like a who's-who of artists of the 1980s.

Many of the same creative talents behind 'Batman: The Animated Series', such as Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano, return to adapt a tale that helps to put the 'dark' in 'Dark Knight', making The Batman an incredibly scary and disturbing character once again!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The bad guys better skip town when the bat is around...

8/10
Author: lagudafuad from Nigeria
12 October 2012

No one does it better than the Bat at any age he is still the same, too smart for those who what to get on his bad side.

This part1 is so good I can't wait to see the rest; I hope veterans like the joker will be there to make it all crazy like.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is a two-part animated superhero film, an adaptation of the four-issue story arc The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, printed in 1986.

This animation is nowhere near the movies (i.e. story wise), and it focuses on the future, wrong choice of words it is about the future, Bruce Wayne is 55 and the bat has not been seen for 10 years.

The story arc curved around the bat after retirement. Gotham now seemed to be overrun by a group called Mutants. The Mutants weren't just any gang they were absolutely ruthless and in a way useless.

Also in this flick we get to see Harvey Dent/Two face after he has undergone plastic surgery to fix his face. Harvey now looked normal but he was so paranoid and out of it that he went back to his old ways.

Things weren't changing in Gotham and with the ongoing nightmares and Bruce sleep walking and sleep doing things in the night; it was obvious he could no longer cage the bat any more.

Bruce carved to the urges. In the dark is the "billionairelly" in sane Batman, is seen jumping over roof tops and doing things other billionaires could only dream that their bodyguards could do (because no sane billionaire jumps around in the dark. Imagine one day you look out the window only to see Bill Gates in his underwear and a cape on your roof…would you say Bill still got all his screws nicely tight?) I don't know what I liked better is it watching Bat being Bat again in his old age, or the bad guys not knowing in time to skip town when they found out he was out of retirement (you can't blame them though, some didn't know who he was).

Well, the directing of this wonderful flick was done by Jay Oliva, who worked as a storyboard artist on Man of Steel, Batman: Year One and Batman: Under the Red Hood.

The animation was well drawn, far better… sorry, far far far better than what we saw in Superman vs. the Elite.

The only downside to this wonderful movie is the news casting; it was boring and looked too much like child's play I hope you are not still reading this, because I expect by now that you have hit the stores to go grab your copy of The Dark Knight Returns Part 1.

www.lagsreviews.com

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Adaptation That Falls Just Short of Epic

8/10
Author: Sean Lamberger from Bradenton, FL
27 September 2012

An impressively loyal adaptation of one of comics' most important stories, complete with social commentary, nods at dark chapters of the character's history and a glut of wanton brutality. Despite being ripped violently into two pieces, the story still functions very well and reaches a natural climax in time for the credits to roll after a drawn-out 75 minutes. I fear the end result may be a less-dense arching plot line, especially as most of the political commentary was removed from this chapter (presumably as it won't be relevant until the second) but there's still more than enough pulp to go around. While the storyline is doggedly faithful (indeed, most of the dialog is copied verbatim from the source), the artwork is both influenced by and notably distanced from Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's amazing work on the printed page. And, while that does rob the story of some of its character, the result is suitable enough; fresh but also familiar. Peter Weller turns in some decent work as the voice of Bruce Wayne, but I couldn't help but daydream about how Kevin Conroy would have approached the material. Very good, if not perfect.

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