Batman: Gotham by Gaslight 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is a 2018 animated film directed by Sam Liu (Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Batman and Harley Quinn, Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, & All-Star Superman). Batman: Gotham by Gaslight was originally published in 1989. It’s considered to be DC Comics first Elseworlds story. “Elseworlds” featured stories where heroes were put in different settings & times compared to their usual environment. This is the third DC Comics Animated Original Movie to receive an R rating. This is the third DC animated project that actor Bruce Greenwood has voiced Bruce Wayne / Batman. It had it’s world premier during the “DC in D.C.” event on January 12, 2018. It made $3,469,151 during it’s first few weeks after it’s Blu Ray & DVD debut.
In Victorian era Gotham City, Bruce Wayne (played by: Bruce Greenwood from Young Justice, Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Resident, & Star Trek/Into Darkness) is protecting his community as the masked vigilante Batman. He is feared by everyone including the innocent. He runs into orphans Dickie (played by: Lincoln Melcher from Ouija: Origin of Evil & Bunk’D), Jason (played by: Grey Griffin from DC Super Hero Girls, Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, & Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash), & Timmy (played by: Tara Strong from Batman Ninja, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, & Batman: The Killing Joke) which leads him to criminal Big Bill Dust (played by: John DiMaggio from DC Super Hero Girls, Justice League Action, & Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants). Serial killer Jack the Ripper is going around & murdering numerous women. Commissioner James Gordon (played by: Scott Patterson from Justice League Unlimited, Saw IV, Saw V, & Little Big League) & Chief Harvey Bullock (played by: John DiMaggio from Batman and Harley Quinn, Batman: The Killing Joke, & Batman: Bad Blood) are trying to calm down the madness with all this crime happening at the same time.
Citizens of Gotham are claiming Jack the Ripper & Batman might be the same man until he rescues Selina Kyle (played by: Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter, White Chicks, Quarantine, & The Exorcism of Emily Rose) from the real life monster. At the theater with his friend Harvey Dent (played by: Yuri Lowenthal from Batman Unlimited, Batman Ninja, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, & Young Justice), Bruce ends up connecting with Selina there. Bruce plays detective & realizes the victims are all linked to Sister Leslie (played by: Grey Griffin from Batman Ninja, Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain, DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games, & Justice League: Gods and Monsters). Mr. Wayne gets clues from Hugo Strange (played by: William Salyers from Batman vs. Two-Face, Justice League Action, & Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) & Marlene Mahone (played by: Tara Strong from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, New Teen Titans, Beware the Batman, & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) about the mysterious psychopath. Alfred Pennyworth (played by: Anthony Head from Repo! The Genetic Opera, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, & Dominion) helps out his master. Batman gets into a huge mess that causes him to be a suspect again & he gets blamed for all the past events caused by the unknown murderer. He must clear his name & find the real killer before it’s too late!!!!
Batman vs. Jack the Ripper? That alone should sell you on this animated feature. When it comes to animated productions DC Comics dominates everyone else. I love the risks they take with these original films. It doesn’t have to be watered down like the live action movies that are produced for the masses. I always feel like those are very restricted & hold back too much to please everyone. That’s why it’s good to have this option when it comes to the Gotham universe. Bruce Greenwood has a great presence as Bruce Wayne/Batman, he definitely fits the darker approach of the roles. Gotham by Gaslight features cameos from familiar faces like Poison Ivy, Cyrus Gold, & Barbara Gordon (played by: Kari Wuhrer from Swamp Thing TV Series, Higher Learning, Thinner, & Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths). It’s gives you more Bruce Wayne than usual & it has some nice twists to add to the suspense. It’s a good mix of action & horror in this, this would have been a CRAZY live action feature! Maybe someday it will happen when the world is a little more open minded when it comes to superhero movies but this was a good placeholder & it does the source material justice.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation! The 2160p (1.78:1) transfer looks stunning in 4K! Everything is in great detail, the animation really comes to life on this. The 4K disc offers 3 different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1! You get 6 different audio options on the Blu Ray disc which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0, & Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1! Frederik Wiedmann’s (Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Son of Batman, & Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) score is the true highlight when it comes to the audio on this. The music sounds fantastic & adds more depth to every scene it’s featured in. The subtitles on the 4K disc include English SDH, French, & Spanish. The subtitles on the Blu Ray disc include English SDH, French, German SDH, Japanese, Portuguese, & Spanish.
Let’s discuss the special features on the Blu Ray disc, none are included on the 4K. Audio Commentary with Director Sam Liu, Screenwriter Jim Krieg, & Executive Producer Bruce Tim. They chat about various things on the production. They mention how the original source material was extended to make this feature. They talk about how they added some familiar characters that weren’t in the graphic novel. They had to create everything from scratch because of the unique setting. They bring up that they never actually met Jennifer Carpenter on this & that she recorded her vocals at home. They mention the influence of Sherlock Holmes for this film. They bring up that they like the fact there’s more Bruce Wayne in this than Batman. All 3 come off like they had the time of their life making this. They have great chemistry & there’s never a dull moment on this commentary. “A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie” is a 8 minute inside look into the film that was released after this project. I did a review for that same film & release on this page. Check it out!
“Caped Fear: The First Elseworld” is an almost 21 minute making of featurette for Gotham by Gaslight. It covers the history of Elseworld which put heroes in a unfamiliar situation & gave it a different spin compared to your typical stories from DC Comics. It also goes into how they adapted Gotham into a different environment to fit the times this was based in. “A Sneak Peek at Justice League Dark” is a 8 minute inside look into this feature. I really enjoyed it & it was great to see Swamp Thing back in the DC universe! “A Sneak Peek at Batman: Bad Blood” is a 12 minute teaser for this animated movie. I personally haven’t seen this one yet but after viewing this it’s on my list because it looks like lots of fun. “From the DC Comics Vault: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Trials of the Demon!” is an almost 23 minute episode from the TV series. “From the DC Comics Vault: Batman: The Animated Series, Showdown” is a 21 minute episode from the TV series. As always, DC Comics & Warner Bros always stack up their releases with lots of bonus material to keep you entertained after the movie. Gotham by Gaslight & this release come highly recommended from me! If you want to see The Dark Knight in a different scenario than usual then you will love this. It’s cool to see Jack the Ripper in a DC movie.