Batman: The Long Halloween: Part One Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Batman: The Long Halloween: Part One is a 2021 animated direct-to-video superhero film directed by Chris Palmer (Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and Voltron: Legendary Defender). It’s based on the 1996 comic book series (13 issues) created by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, it was originally a follow up to Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials. The 4th season of Gotham adapted some elements from it and it was an influence for The Dark Knight movie in 2008. It was written by Tim Sheridan (Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, The Death and Return of Superman, and Reign of the Supermen). It was produced by James Krieg (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Superman: Red Son, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Reign of the Supermen, and The Death and Return of Superman). The sequel Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two comes out in August and it’s Rated R!!!!
In Gotham City on Halloween night, Carmine “The Roman” Falcone’s (played by: Titus Welliver from Bosch, Argo, The Town, Deadwood, and Assault on Precinct 13) nephew Johnny Viti is murdered by a mysterious figure who leaves the murder weapon and a jack-o-lantern behind at the crime scene. Gotham City Police Department Captain James Gordon (played by: Billy Burke from Mafia!, Along came a Spider, Drive Angry, and 24) summons District Attorney Harvey Dent (played by: Josh Duhamel from Jupiter’s Legacy, Buddy Games, Transformers franchise, and Las Vegas), who has been doing his own investigation on the Falcone crime family. While Dent is tasked to investigate the lantern, Batman (played by: Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, Buddy Games, My Bloody Valentine, and Smallville) chases after Catwoman (played by: Naya Rivera from Glee, Frankenhood, At the Devil’s Door, and Step Up: High Water) to the Falcone crime family’s cash stockpile. Dent follows them and suggests to move the money. Based on a coin flip, they decide to burn the money. This prompts Carmine Falcone to hire Mickey Chen to bomb Dent’s home. Both Dent and his wife Gilda (played by: Julie Nathanson from Eden and Beverly Hills 90210) barely survive. Batman chases Chen (played by: Greg Chun from Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Dragon’s Dogma, and Baki) down but runs into the dangerous Solomon Grundy (played by: Fred Tatasciore from Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, Power Rangers, Batman Ninja, and Justice League Dark: Apokolips War). Carmine and Alberto (played by: Jack Quaid from The Boys, Scream, Rampage, Logan Lucky, and Tragedy Girls) have some issues during these problems within the family. Mobsters start getting knocked off one by one by an unknown killer. Gordon and Batman question Calendar Man (played by: David Dastmalchian from Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Teacher, The Suicide Squad, Dune, The Dark Knight, Gotham, and The Flash) in Arkham Asylum after Dent escapes the hospital. The Joker (played by: Troy Baker from Young Justice, Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Justice League Action) threatens Dent and his wife. Various members of Gotham start looking at Sal Maroni (played by: Jim Pirri from Union Square and Valley of the Dolls) and other criminal figures to see who will be next on the psychopath’s list of possible victims. Who is behind all this chaos? Harvey Dent? Calendar Man? The Joker? The Mob? or Someone else????
Batman: The Long Halloween is one of the most under-rated DC Comics adaptations and it’s great to finally see it get it’s own movie after all this time. I’ve always loved the slasher vibes this one has. The script here is a nice start to the series, I just wish that they went with Rated R for both films for this. This one is PG-13 so I feel like it’s a little watered down at times because of it. Batman: The Long Halloween is direct to video and the sequel is R so I don’t really understand why they went this direction for Part One. This one has some quality detective and supense elements to it. It’s definitely different from the last few DC animated features. It has some cameos and special appearances from Penguin, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy here. I am hoping all of those villains have bigger roles in the upcoming follow up to this. Jensen Ackles and Josh Duhamel lead this all star voice cast. The supporting cast is very impressive here which includes Titus Welliver, Billy Burke, Jack Quaid, David Dastmalchian, Fred Tatasciore, and Troy Baker. I love the story, the iconic characters involved, and the overall production value here. If you are a fan of Harvey Dent, you will really dig this one. This could have been a little better if pushed harder and not restricted to a kiddie rating but it’s still a good build up tp the next one, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks fantastic and I love the animation style that they used for this production. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the disc. This one has a nice boost to it especially when it comes to the action in this. All of the dialogue is crystal clear and the music is elevated. It also has English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “DC Showcase Animated Short: The Losers”, this little over 16 minute animated short is brand new and makes it’s debut on this disc. It’s based on the series created by Robert Kanigher in the late 60’s. It was resurrected and relaunched by Vertigo in 2004. Remember they made a live action film of this in 2010? I really enjoyed that one, this one is more based on the original material rather than the reboot like the movie. This was a pretty cool short, I’d love to see a full length animated feature someday based on these comics and characters. “Sneak Peek of Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two” is a little over 9 minutes. This one looks even better than this one and I am very excited that it’s actually Rated R. DC Comics has made some brutal material with that freedom so I am expecting the same here. “A Preview of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part One” is almost 13 minutes. “A Preview of Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” is a little over 8 minutes, you can check out my review for this one here. The almost 45 minute “From the Vault” featuring two episodes from “Batman: The Animated Series” that includes “Christmas With The Joker” and “It’s Never Too Late”. It also includes a slipcover and a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!