Thursday, February 8, 2018

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

The latest DC animated feature adapts the first Elseworld story in which DC characters are reintroduced in other times and places. Taking several liberties with the source material, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight still takes place in Gotham of the late 19th Century where the new vigilante Batman (Bruce Greenwood) will match wits with the serial killer Jack the Ripper butchering women in the streets.

There are quite a few changes to the story in that the character revealed to be the killer in the graphic novel doesn't even appear in the film, more of Bruce Wayne's supporting cast is included, and Selina Kyle (Jennifer Carpenter), who wasn't a part of the source material, is given a major supporting role as a friend to both Bruce Wayne and the Batman. The movie goes a bit out of its way to earn it's R-rating (including an unfortunate take on Poison Ivy), but the setting and design, the mystery itself (including some nice misdirection), and fight sequences all make for a memorable (if flawed) feature.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD, extras include sneak peaks at Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Batman: Bad Blood, and Justice League Dark. The Blu-ray also includes audio commentary from Bruce Timm, Jim Krieg, and Sam Liu, a pair of animated shorts, and a featurette on the movie and its source material.

[Warner Bros., Blu-ray $24.98 / DVD $14.99]

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