BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series (1999 - 2001) - Blu-ray Review

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Batman Beyond

The Golem's not headed your way, Willie.  The Golem has arrived!

A beloved animated project - with some fans still clamoring for a live action movie version - is back on store shelves!  Batman Beyond, containing all three seasons of the cult classic and its movie finale, has landed on blu-ray with new (and compact!!) packaging.  Fans of The Bat and of saving shelf space will certainly be pleased with this release from Warner Bros Animation, although tracking it down might be a superheroic job in and of itself.

"developed a rather devoted (if not rabid) cult following that, to this day, long for a live action version of this show"


 

Developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett and produced by Warner Bros. Animation in collaboration with DC Comics, Batman Beyond continues the animated Caped Crusader legacy established by voice actor Kevin Conroy when he first started voicing Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Unsurprisingly, he continues to voice the character to this day, adding his voice talents to video games and a live-action Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  

But Bruce Wayne is not the main character in this show; he’s - due to a heart attack in 2019 dealing with a handful of thugs which he nearly used a gun on - in the role of mentor here.  It’s due to newcomer Terry McGinnis (voiced by Will Friedle), a 16-year-old teenager, who decides by episode number two to take on the new breed of criminals in New-Gotham.  He just needs a suit and some training. 

The year is 2039 and, after a number of silent decades from Batman, this futuristic metropolis, now full of flying cars and even higher-climbing buildings than previously seen in Gotham City, is in need of a new type of crime fighter.  Enter a re-emerging and re-energized Batman.  His suit is black and red and, without a cape, the un-caped crusader tackles a whole new gallery of rogues.  As most of Batman’s friends and foes are dead, it makes sense that Terry - acting as Bruce Wayne’s go-to hire - would get a tougher breed of villains to fight.  

These villains are intense and as the “freaks and monsters” add up, it’s up to Terry to do the fighting and Bruce Wayne to do the investigating.  With new technology and new Blade Runner-esque city vistas, the animated territory of Warner Bros’ Batman is, at once, darker and a bit more brooding.  Terry is a teenager, after all.  He’s also just lost his father and the villains, including the radiation-emitting Blight, corporate shapeshifter Inque, hypnotist the Spellbinder, sound-assaulting Shriek, assassin Curaré, eco-terrorist Mad Stan, big game hunter the Stalker, the nerd Willie Watt, and a new version of the Royal Flush Gang.  Fans of the animated Batman won’t be disappointed, though.  This Batman also face, improbable as it is, The Joker, who once again is voiced by Mark Hamil.  Batman Beyond

With wild and darker themes comes a rejuvenation in the look of the animation, as well.  It is immediately noticeable that the panels here are deep, darker, and a bit more bold.  That’s why this series immediately turned heads.  While criticized at the start for being more concerned with cyberpunk themes, the series has - rightfully so - developed a rather devoted (if not rabid) cult following that, to this day, long for a live-action version of this show.

And I can’t blame them.  

Batman Beyond: The Complete Series is now available on blu-ray.

5/5 stars

Batman Beyond

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros
Available on Blu-ray
- Dec 31, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French: Dolby Digital 2.0; German: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0; Swedish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; six-disc set; Digital copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Warner Bros Animation has outdone itself with this release.  There are so many NEW supplementals about the making of the show that it really gets hard to pinpoint ONE reason why you need to purchase this release.  From the handling of the transfer to the sound of each punch, Batman Beyond is an incredible release for an incredible (And very deserving) show.

Video:

The aesthetics of the series are served well with this release from Warner Bros Television Animation.  Colors are bold and unwavering.  Black levels are strong throughout and the colors, while defined, are unflinching, preserving the notoriously breathtaking looks and shades of the graphic novel the film is based on.  The 1080p/VC-1 release amps up the resolution and provides viewers with a very detailed look at the animation. The newly minted version supports the original 16×9 aspect ratio (1.78:1).

Audio:

All episodes come with a very dynamic sounding DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 for each and every episode, including the movie.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for complete breakdowns of individual discs.

Special Features:

With a total of six discs, Batman Beyond exceeds expectations when it comes to its supplemental offerings.  The breakdown of each individual disc is as follows:

Disc One:

  • Audio Commentary on "Rebirth" featuring producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and director Curt Geda.
  • Audio Commentary on "Shriek" with producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, director Curt Geda, and screenwriter Stan Berkowitz.
  • Music of the Knight
  • Inside Batman Beyond: Meet the Series Creators
  • Trailers 

Disc Two:

  • Audio Commentary on "Splicers" by producers Bruce Timm & Glenn Murakami, storyboard artist James Tucker, iconic voice-director Andrea Romano, and Terry McGinnis (aka "Batman Beyond") voice-actor Will Friedle.

Disc Three:

  • Audio Commentary on "The Eggbaby" by producer Bruce Timm, director James Tucker, producer Glen Murakami, voice-director Andrea Romano, and voice-actor Will Friedle.
  • Inside Batman Beyond: The Panel

Disc Four:

  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Close-Up On... 
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Out of the Past
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call 
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: The Call – Part 2 
  • Inside Batman Beyond Season 3: Curse of the Kobra

Disc Five:

  • Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering 
  • Knight Immortal 
  • Tomorrow Knight: Batman Reborn 
  • Gotham: City of the Future 
  • The High Tech Hero 
  • Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics
  • Disc Six:
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: The Movie - Director’s Cut

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

5/5 stars

Batman Beyond

MPAA Rating: TV-Y7.
Runtime:
23 min episodes
Creators
: Bob Kane, Bill Finger
Writer:
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
Cast:
Will Friedle, Kevin Conroy, Lauren Tom
Genre
: Comedy | Animation
Tagline:
A New Hero For A New Era.
Memorable Movie Quote: "'Terry, today was beach day, remember? Where were you?' Oh, nowhere, Mom, just out saving the world."
 Distributor:
Warner Bros
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 10, 1999
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 31, 2019.
Synopsis: At least forty years after the "current" adventures of Batman and twenty years after Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) retired from the role, his secret is discovered by troubled teen Terry McGinnis (Will Friedle). After McGinnis' father is murdered by the man who took over Bruce Wayne's company, McGinnis dons a high-tech Bat suit that Wayne last used, creating a new hero for a future Gotham..

Batman Beyond

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