In this 6-story anthology collection, Batman faces new villains and old ones in a time-line after Batman Begins. In "Have I Got A Story For You", 3 kids tell wildly different stories about Batman during a fight through Gotham. "Crossfire" focuses on two policemen who end up getting in the middle of a crime battle. "Field Test" has Lucius Fox creating a new technology for Batman, but is it too powerful? "In Darkness Dwells" features Killer Croc and Scarecrow, who have kidnapped a priest. "Working Through Pain" goes through flashbacks of Bruce Wayne's training while Batman finds his way through the sewers. Finally, "Deadshot" focuses on the titular sniper, who has a new target in Gotham.Written by
On DVD commentary, D.C. Comics' Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs, Gregory Noveck said that the reason they chose Deadshot as one of the villains was to show a direct contrast. While Batman took a vow never to use guns, Deadshot enjoys using guns. See more »
The final segment "Deadshot" shows Bruce Wayne and Alfred living in the manor. This movie takes place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, during the period when Wayne Manor is being rebuilt. However the producers have acknowledged that the movie isn't necessarily meant to be canon to Christopher Nolan's trilogy and that any of the six segments could easily fall into almost any Batman continuity. See more »
I've never been a fan of anime, and this film didn't really do anything to change my mind. This is a collection of short stories much in the same vein as the Animatrix meant to somewhat bridge the gap between Batman Begins and the Dark Knight.
Each story focuses on one particular aspect of Batman and his mythos. Through the eyes of some kids we so how his presence in Gotham is to many an urban legend. We also see how he learned to deal with pain, we see a sample of the development that goes behind some of his toys, we see the police's attitude towards him and of course we get to see some good old fashion Batman ass kickery. Collectively all these stories are pretty well written and I liked how they managed with the use of subtle details and references to link one story from the next to help bring it a little higher than your typical anthology.
But as I've said I'm not a fan of anime. I find anime directors to be exceptional at conveying mood and atmosphere through the use of brilliant backgrounds and well plotted storyboards, but outside of the science fiction realm of the Batsuit and the monsters I find there character designs lacking in originality. When Batman takes off his mask Bruce Wayne has a remarkable resemblance to almost every other anime character we've ever seen. This can't be said for all anime artists, we do get some variety here and regardless of the style it's always interesting to see different artists' takes on the same character. Another issue I found across the board which I think more than anything detracted from my enjoyment of this and most others of the style is the lack of emotion that goes into the character acting. We're treated to good voice actors here, specifically the return of Kevin Conroy as Batman but the solid performances of the voices are lost behind faces completely devoid of emotion. The heads remains dead during the lion's share of all dialog while the mouth moves up and down (sometimes not even that)until the voice is done delivering the lines. This is no exaggeration either, there is no movement of the eyes or brows or even enough variation on mouth shapes to imply any emotion at all, if they're not throwing a punch the characters are relentlessly static. As an animator myself I may be more critical to such things and I'm not trying to tell of anime creators, I know it has legions of fans, but I won't be joining the ranks personally until they evolve beyond some of these problems.
In the end this is still worth seeing if you're a Batman fan, and despite my ranting against the anime style I did really enjoy seeing the different interpretations of the Batsuit and batmobile along with a couple other elements that carried across the stories.
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