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Batman Versus Robin Home Entertainment Release
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 7th, 2015 - Digital; April 14th, 2015 - Blu-ray, DVD

Synopsis: When Batman finds himself under attack by his own son, Damian (Robin), he at first suspects the hand of Ra's Al Ghul behind the treachery, but then comes to see that the boy may be controlled by a mysterious and murderous society known as the Court of Owls.

Blu-ray Bonus Features
-Gotham's City Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls - The Court of Owls is the secret society that directly connects the past of Gotham to the current city. Are they silent guardians that are the noble benefactors or are they the malevolent force that manipulates a city toward their grand design?
-Talons of the Owl - If the Owls are the masterminds, their instruments of destruction are their assassins. Appropriately called The Talons, these warriors are designed to carry out the will of the Owls.
-Batman Vs. Robin Audio Commentary
-A Sneak Peak at Justice League: Gods & Monsters - An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
-Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault
-Includes UltraViolet so you can enjoy the film on many different compatible devices.

Single-Disc DVD Bonus Features
-A Sneak Peak at Justice League: Gods & Monsters - An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.


Batman Versus Robin Blu-ray Review
by James Harvey

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has done something a little different for the home video release of Batman Versus Robin, something that could be the start of a new potential incentive for fans. Outside of the usual DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack, along with the now standard Digital Download edition, the studio has also released a Deluxe Edition of the Blu-ray Combo Pack, which includes a small Batman figurine. It’s a neat idea which we’ll dive into further down in the review.

Touching upon video and audio first, it's another good presentation in line with previous installments of the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. The image is sharp and clear, with the animation looking nice and crisp. Perhaps it's the darker palette, but noise artifacts appear to be not as prominent as usual. In terms of audio, Batman Versus Robin gets a pretty awesome 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. The explosions have real weight to them, and the audio itself is gives a nice workout to the system. Punches and voices come at you from all angles, everything sounding crystal clear. The action, though usually front-centered, does have some nice range to it. Much like the video, it's a really robust transfer.

Moving on to the extras, what we get here is good. Not great, but still pretty enjoyable. The highlight is, no surprise, the commentary. Producer James Tucker, director Jay Oliva and DC's Creative Director of Animation Mike Carlin sound off on the film. They run the gamut, discussing last year's Son of Batman, the evolution of the characters since that movie, and pretty much every other aspect of the film. The script, voice casting, the characters, the animation and fight choreography...you name it, they talk about it. It's a well-rounded and interesting commentary, and makes up for the lack of bonus content looking at the film's production.

Up next are the two main featurettes of the Blu-ray set (and digital release) - the thirty-minute "Gotham City's Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls," and the 15-minute "The Talons of the Owl." Both explore the fictional mythos of The Court of Owls and their real-life inspirations. Batman writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo provide a look at how they brought these characters to the four-color page, while Tucker discusses adapting, with author Phil Cousineau and editor Bob Harras providing additional insight into both the comic creations and their real-word starting points. While "Gotham City's Secret" provides a broader overview of the fictional characters, the shorter "Talon"-focused featurette looks at the assassins who do the bidding of the Court. Topics include the mythology of similar characters, their comic history, character designs, and how they were adapted for the film. Overall, for fans of this film, and especially fans of Snyder's epic run on Batman (some of the best Batman stories in quite some time), I highly recommend these featurettes.

The disc is wrapped up with the usual additional features. We get a preview of the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie, a Bruce Timm-produced alternate universe murder mystery called Justice League: Gods & Monsters (more details on that feature can be found here), along with a selection of classic cartoons (Batman: The Brave & The Bold "The Color Of Revenge!", Batman: The Animated Series "Old Wounds", Superman: The Animated Series "Obsession" and Young Justice "Auld Acquaintance"), an out-of-place vintage Bugs Bunny "Super-Rabbit" cartoon, and trailers for an assortment of titles (Son of Batman, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League Vs Bizarro League, The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown). A nice wrapper for the disc content, though some of the included cartoons are a bit of a stretch, thematically.

The package also includes a DVD and Digital version of Batman Versus Robin. along with a little Batman figurine, found in the Deluxe Edition of the Blu-ray release. It's a cool little figurine, one that looks nice on the shelf. I'm glad to see Warner Bros. Home Entertainment expanding the bonus figurines outside the Best Buy retail chain. These aren't the fanciest looking toys, but they do make a nice addition to the shelf and add to the collectability to these animated DC Comics films. Given how digital downloads are slowly replacing physical media, something I'm not thrilled about, I applaud Warner's efforts to draw attention to these sets by giving us a little more than what those downloads have to offer. Keep it up, Warner!

In terms of the Blu-ray release, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has put together a nice package for Batman Versus Robin. The quality is good, which should be no surprise to regular viewers of these films. The audio and video quality is fantastic, maybe even an improvement over previous releases, though the bonus features remain about par (maybe even a bit below the work put into the Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Blu-ray title). The addition of a collectible toy is a smart move by Warner, one I hope they make a regular inclusion for the line going forward. I encourage fans to pick up the Blu-ray Deluxe Edition of Batman Versus Robin and show some support for these great animated adventures. Featuring an excellent main feature, some nice bonus content and a cool collectible figure, it's really the best version of the film to snatch up. I'm all for emphasizing the collectability of these titles, and it's great to see the studio throwing support behind the physical release of one of their titles. Highly Recommended!

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