Batman: The Long Halloween has the Dark Knight investigating a serial killer on the loose in Gotham over the course of a year. Based on the classic Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale series, the favorite villains and characters show up in this very dark and brooding three-hour film that has a necessary R-rating. The 4K picture with HDR looks fantastic and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track sounds wonderful. The bonus features are worth watching too for fans of comic books. Recommended!
One of the best stories in comic book history and certainly a fan favorite is set in Gotham City in the DC Universe. In the mid-'90s, the comic book power duo of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale embarked on a horrifying journey with the iconic Batman and co. Through their dark and stylized penmanship and artwork, they both created Batman: The Long Halloween, which featured the caped crusader investigating a serial killer in Gotham over the span of a year. Warner Bros. and DC have taken that impressive body of work and translated that into an epic 168-minute animated feature film that hits all of those moody notes that made the comic book so popular. With an impressive voice cast, some great art direction, and a thrilling-rated R script, Batman: The Long Halloween is still one of the better comic book properties and animated movies to this day.
Originally set in a 13-issue comic book limited run and now on the screen as a 168-minute film, Batman: The Long Halloween takes its cues from the best serial killer stories and movies that have inspired a noir-like investigation amongst Gotham's top heroes and villains. As both sides try and figure out who the killer is, most of their personal relationships dive into jeopardy which adds a bit more conflict and emotion to the story. As someone turns up murdered on Halloween, Batman, Captain Gordon, and D.A. Harvey Dent work together and try and solve the case. It's a big case too since the victim is related to one of the big crime families in Gotham, which sets in motion a ton of theories of who could be behind the killing.
Sooner than later, a victim turns up dead each month on a major holiday as Batman and others try a figure out this puzzle. It's all dead ends, even with Joker escaping from Arkham and other iconic villains out loose in the city. Just like a page out of Silence of The Lambs, Batman enlists the help of somebody who is incarcerated to solve this series of crimes. Meanwhile, Wayne and Selina Kyle's relationship is on the rocks, along with Dent and Gordon's personal lives being drenched in turmoil. And as the Falcone and Maroni crime families become entangled and secrets are aired out, more violence is set on top of Gotham unless Batman can stop it all.
Batman: The Long Halloween navigates these complicated mazes with grace and ferocity. The R-rating allows for some good violence amongst the action sequences that count and some vulgar language that creates a realistic edge to the story, even though it's a comic book. Voice performances from Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Billy Burke, and others are all amazing and raw. The animation keeps things simple while giving that investigative noir quality to it. Originally set in two parts, this almost three-hour film is the ultimate way to watch it unfold on the screen and is still a fantastic story with some of the world's greatest characters. It's so good, that Netflix should do a faux serial killer doc series on the story. Now there's a million-dollar idea.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Batman: The Long Halloween investigates its way to 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code via Warner Bros. The discs are housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. There is an insert for a digital code inside. The artwork features a great illustration of the five main characters of the film, which is worthy of a poster.
Batman: The Long Halloween comes with a great 2160p UHD 4K transfer with HDR enhancements. Warner Bros. has a unique and simple style to its animation. It's not flashy or dazzling like any Pixar film would be.
Instead, it relies on the basic color palettes and black outlines for shapes in characters that bring back that nostalgic animated style that was ever so popular a couple of decades ago. Colors are nuanced and bolder in this 4K image with HDR. Those darker shades of black and even brighter neon pops have a crisper color to them in this new transfer. The distinguishable greys, blacks, and browns in the background paints do stand out as well. Batman's suit and cowl look rich and the enemies in the darkened city look exquisite.
The big overall upgrade is how much bolder the darker colors are here this time around, which accentuates those brighter elements in a big way. The animation is fairly smooth, but still has that choppiness that comes with any DC animated movie. The detail in the animation buildings, and characters look great here as well. This is the best this animated movie has looked thus far and stands above the 1080p version. There aren't any problems with big banding or aliasing here.
This release comes with a great DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix that has some booming effects. The sound effects are robust and loud when the action kicks into gear. It's not on par with a big-budget Michael Bay film, but it gets the job done. Explosions, gunshots, fight choreography, and vehicle chases all pack the necessary punch on all speakers. The low end of bass has a great rumble to it without crossing into rocky terrain. Ambient noises of people talking, screaming, and cheering, along with bat grappling sounds with his tools all sound fantastic.
The natural reverb of large caves, ballrooms, and more intimate settings all come with the punctual echos and ambiance that are required. Sound effects are fluid when transitioning from speaker to speaker as well. The score always adds to the suspense and noir quality of the picture, and the dialogue is clean, clear, and free of any problems.
There is 127 minutes worth of bonus material here, but only 25 minutes of that are new and related to the film. The other extras are episodes from the Animated series and trailers. Unfortunately, the previous extras that were included on the separate Blu-ray discs a year or so ago are nowhere to be found.
Batman: The Long Halloween is one of the best comic book stories ever told and Warner Bros. has done a fantastic job bringing it all to the screen with an R rating, amazing voice actors, and some solid animation. The 4K with HDR image looks the best it ever has and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix sounds very good. The extras are worth watching as well for fans of Batman and other DC properties but it's unfortunate that not all of the bonus materials from the previous two-part sets made it over. Recommended!