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COVERAGE - "COMMEMORATIVE EDITION" REVIEW

Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition Home Video Release
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Press Release: Click here

Synopsis:
Originally released on Blu-ray and DVD in 2011, Batman: Year One is based on the landmark 1987 DC titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner and Eisner Award Hall of Fame member Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed Super Hero. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham City.

Batman: Year One - Special Features
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital
-Featurette - Reinventing Gordon (New) - An examination of the history of James Gordon through comics, animation, and feature films.
-Featurette - Conversations with DC Comics - The Batman creative team at DC discusses the personal influence of Batman: Year One on their careers. Batman producer Michael Uslan leads the chat amongst well-known writers, editors, and artists of Batman lore, focusing on the darker, realistic interpretation of Batman's origins by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.
-Audio Commentary - Featuring co-producer Alan Burnett, co-director Sam Liu, DC creative director Mike Carlin and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano.
-Featurette - Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots -The Dark Knight Returns provided the denouement of Batman's life. Frank Miller's next seminal work would provide his near-mythic origin in Batman: Year One. This documentary spotlights the contemporary genius of Miller and the audience that was poised to appreciate the depths of his work.
-DC Showcase - Catwoman (2011 Animated Short) - The felonious feline's adventure takes her through the seedy streets of Gotham City. Eliza Dushku reprises her Batman: Year One role as the voice of Catwoman. The short is directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One) from a script by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series).
-DC Universe Movies Flashbacks
---Batman: Soul of the Dragon
---Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
---Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two

Batman: Year One 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack Review
by James Harvey

Marking the 10th anniversary of the excellent animated adaptation, Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition brings the DC Universe Movie title to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for the first time. Based on the acclaimed Batman comic story-line of the same name, directors Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery bring all the action and emotion of Tab Murphy's script to life in this stirring, brisk tale which has never looked better in this new release and its 2160p HD transfer.

Quickly, for a closer look at the Batman: Year One animated feature, check out that review right here.

For the Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition release, the audio and video quality is an immediately noticeable step-up from the original Blu-ray, released in 2011. Looking at the 4K Ultra HD video, colors are exceptionally brighter and blacks are deep and full. Details are definitely boosted, too. In fact, this new transfer, with its brighter colors and deeper blacks, end up giving the movie a bolder look that leans a little closer to the source material. It's another strong showing by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment when it comes to their 4K works. While not a direct one-to-one, the 4K digital edition is also a clear improvement over the Blu-ray. To note, the included Blu-ray is the same transfer from the 2011 original. And speaking of, the included 4K and Blu-ray discs include the same DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix as the 2011 Blu-ray.

Moving on, the bonus content for Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition is a mixed bag of both new material and features from the original 2011 release. Outside of a new menu interface for the Blu-ray, the only new additional bonus extra is the "Reinventing Gordon" 22-minute featurette. Unsurprisingly, it's a great look at Batman's best friend. Plenty of creators chime in on the history of the character in both comics and in the media. Jim Lee, James Tynion IV, among others, offer their thoughts on the character, intermixed with comic stills and video clips.'

Also "new" are three previously-released "first look" featurettes for Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.

In terms of content ported over from the 2011 original release, it's an incomplete but still pretty-packed package. The Commemorative Edition includes the previously-available audio commentary, "Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots" featurette, the "Conversations with DC Comics: Featuring the 2011 Batman Creative Team" and the slick DC Showcase: Catwoman animated short (review here). Missing are the two bonus Batman: The Animated Series episodes, the "first look" previews for Justice League: Doom, All-Star Superman and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, and the trailers. Honestly, not really a loss.

Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition is a great release to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the acclaimed DC Universe Movie. It's a worthwhile upgrade from the Blu-ray for those who already own, and a solid purchase. Batman: Year One has never looked better, and that even accounts for the digital edition. The new transfer is great, with the fuller colors and deeper blacks really giving the film a visual boost. The new bonus extra is also an enjoyable watch that fans will enjoy. Whether watching for the first time or upgrading from Blu-ray or DVD, the Batman: Year One - Commemorative Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack is unquestionably the way to go. Highly Recommended!

The World's Finest received a copy of this product from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment for the purposes of this review.

Click here to check out the original 2011 Batman: Year One review


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