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COVERAGE - HOME VIDEO REVIEW

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two Home Video Release
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: January 29th, 2013 (Two-Disc Special Edition DVD - March 12th, 2013)

Synopsis: The Dark Knight, along with new sidekick Robin, have finally reclaimed Gotham City and allowed a ray of hope to penetrate the reign of terror that The Mutants had cast upon his city. With Batman back in the spotlight, the extended media coverage has awoken a far worse evil at Arkham Asylum, The Joker! Forever destined to be mortal enemies, The Joker has a diabolical scheme that may pull Batman down to the darkest levels of insanity. While on the horizon, a global catastrophe races towards Gotham and with it comes a familiar face, The Man of Steel, though this time he has Batman in his sights. Witness as the aging Dark Knight wages a tireless war against crime while proving that courage and will are indeed timeless.





Blu-ray Bonus Features
• Standard and high definition versions of the feature film
• UltraViolet™ Copy
• Sneak Peek at Superman: Unbound, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie
• Featurette – “The Joker: Laughing in the Face of Death” – An all-new featurette. A fitting tribute to the Joker, giving perspective as to why this engrossing character is the true arch nemesis of Batman.
• Documentary – “Superman vs. Batman: When Heroes Collide” – An all-new documentary. Batman and Superman have a long history of friendship and conflict. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns brought an end to that conflict. This is the story behind that battle.
• Featurette – “From Sketch to Screen” – An all-new featurette. Director Jay Oliva gives a fascinating animatic breakdown of five of his favorite moments from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
• Look Back – Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1
• Two bonus episodes from Batman: The Animated Series and an episode from Batman: The Brave and The Bold, all handpicked by producer Alan Burnett.
• Digital Comic – Excerpt from the graphic novel The Dark Knight Falls by Frank Miller.

Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Bonus Features
• Sneak Peek at Superman: Unbound, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie
• Documentary – “Superman vs. Batman: When Heroes Collide” – An all-new documentary. Batman and Superman have a long history of friendship and conflict. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns brought an end to that conflict. This is the story behind that battle.
• Two bonus episodes from Batman: The Animated Series and an episode from Batman: The Brave and The Bold, all handpicked by producer Alan Burnett.

Single-Disc DVD Bonus Features
• Sneak Peak at Superman: Unbound, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two Blu-ray Review
by James Harvey

This should be no surprise, but Warner Home Video has given Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two a solid presentation, including a surprisingly welcome bundle of bonus content. The Blu-ray Combo packs come with Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolent copies of the movie.

The audio/video presentation is, of course, very excellent. It’s not perfect, but up to the standards of previous DC Universe Animated Original Movie releases. The video is pretty crisp, but there is some color banding that pops in from time to time. Nothing to obtrusive or really distracting. The banding and some macroblocking is really apparent during some of the really dark scenes. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 English track is gets a great workout courtesy thanks to the awesome 1980s-esque score and engrossing action sequences. That climactic battle between Superman and Batman? Awesome. While the audio is center-based, the film will give your complete entertainment system a healthy workout.

Moving on to the bonus content, Warner Home Video has definitely made up for the underwhelming effort from the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One Blu-ray release. Included here a couple great featurettes surrounding the Joker and Superman along with a 45-minute look at the five key scenes from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two - from script to screen. Both the Superman and Joker-centric featurettes run roughly ten minutes each, and lightly touch upon the character’s respective histories with Batman. Nothing groundbreaking or new, but worth a watch, be it for casual fans or the die-hards. Obviously, both are very focused on their The Dark Knight Returns portrayals, but a few other relevant works get shout-outs.

The 45 minute “From Script to Screen” featurette is what fans have been clamoring for – a closer look at the production of these DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two director Jay Oliva breaks down five scenes from the feature, allowing us viewers to get a healthy look at storyboards, character designs, animatics, final products, and loads of tidbits and commentary. It’s in-depth, interesting, and a must-watch for fans of these animated movies. With luck, these types of extras will become standard in all upcoming releases. There’s a healthy amount of content covered here, a lot of behind-the-scenes art and detail, and just great details all around. Check it out.

The disc is wrapped up with three bonus episodes, two from Batman: The Animated Series and one from Batman: The Brave and The Bold, along with a preview for the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie Superman: Unbound, a ‘look back’ at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One, a host of trailers, and an UltraViolet copy.

Overall, it is probably the best DC Universe Animated Original Movie release in some time. Warner Home Video has given Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two a fantastic release overall. A fine main feature and a healthy ose of extras definitely makes this Blu-ray release required viewing. The 45-minute “script to screen” extra is seriously worth picking up the home video release, and avoiding the legal download or OnDemand options. With a great, albeit slightly flawed, main feature and a great collection of bonus material, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part Two comes Highly Recommended on Blu-ray.

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