The Dark Knight is back in this all-new feature-length thriller featuring the voices of
Kelly Ripa (Live! With Regis and Kelly), Kyra Sedgwick (Born on the Fourth of July) and Hector
Elizondo (The Princess Diaries).
The Penguin and Rupert Thorn are criminal cohorts with a scheme to sell illegal weapons. But there's a new super
hero in Gotham City who has other plans for the evil entrepreneurs - Batwoman! With high-tech gadgets and powerful
punches, Batwoman proves to be a formidable crimefighter - the only problem is that the Dark Knight
has no clue who she is! And when Batwoman crosses the criminal line, Batman must identify whether or
not this new player is really an ally! Join the world's greatest detective in this exciting new adventure
that will keep you guessing until the mask is pulled off!
After sitting on the shelves for nearly two years, Warner Home Video has finally released Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman on to Blu-ray. This light-hearted animated Batman adventure looks pretty spectacular in Blu-ray, but was it worth the wait? Please note a review of the Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman animated feature can be found here.
To jump right into it, the audio and video for this release is simply awesome. The audio gets the full DTS-HD 5.1 treatment and it is mighty impressive. The climactic battle on the ocean-liner sounds absolutely amazing. The terrible pop-song tacked on to the movie? It’s never sounded better (sadly). The explosions? Never louder. The audio quality here is a dramatic step-up from the previous DVD release, and the same can be said for the video. Released in 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman looks stunning, which works both for and against the movie. It works for it in terms of clarity and a wide palette. The full widescreen transfer gives the movie’s framing some space to breathe and, for the most part, it looks great. The odd occurrence of all the action happening in the center of the screen still happens, but the wider space allows for a larger overall scope feeling to the adventure. There’s also a teeny bit of macroblocking and colorbanding, but nothing major. However, the great transfer also works against it quite substantially. The feature’s small budget is very apparent, for example. The weak background paintings, choppy movement, and animation mistakes become very visible and (at times) distracting. In short, all of the film's audio and visual weaknesses are pushed into the forefront, overbearingly at times, occasionally fighting for the spotlight with its strengths.
The extras from the original DVD release, save for the trailers and DVD-Rom game, are all ported over to the Batman: Mystery of the Batman Blu-ray release. Extras include the six-minute short “Chase Me,” featuring Batman and Catwoman, “Behind the Mystery”, a sort of HBO-Style run-down of the movie, “Batman: P.O.V.”, a feature where the creators talk about making the movie and “The Making of a Scene”, shows off story boards, voice actors in the studio and general layout of how, obviously, a scene is made. The Bat-Profiles and Bat-Gadgets videos/text screens are also included. All bonus content is in standard definition. Please note the "Chase Me" animated short is in the 1.33:1 full-screen standard definition format.
It's also worth noting that the unexplained delay in releasing this Blu-ray is extremely apparent. Not only is the new DC Entertainment branding missing, but the promotional material found on the disc is nearly two years out of date. As soon as the disc starts, we’re quickly met with outdated trailers. Trailers on the Blu-ray include Batman: Year One, Green Lantern: The Animated Series “coming soon to Cartoon Network,” the Young Justice – Season One, Volume One DVD, among others. While this may technically be a “new release,” this Blu-ray was obviously completed nearly two years ago and was ready to sell (hence the reports of its original late 2011/early 2012 release dates).
Overall, it’s simple. If you want to own Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman on Blu-ray, then you are in for a fantastic buy right here from Warner Home Video. The audio and video is top-notch and the extras from the original release, save for a couple understandable exceptions, are all included. It’s a solid upgrade from the original DVD presentation. The animated movie looks amazing (it’s also might brighter and sharper than the DVD release...staggeringly so at times) and the price tag is small enough to justify the upgrade. If you’re a fan of the movie or Batman: The Animated Series, given this light little romp a spin.