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Batman: The Killing Joke Home Entertainment Release
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 23rd, 2016 - Digital; August 2nd, 2016 - Blu-ray, DVD

Synopsis: What does it take for a person to snap? How much despair for a mind to fracture? These are the twisted questions that The Joker has set out to answer, to show Gotham that even an ordinary man like Commissioner Gordon is only one bad day away from sheer insanity. Based on the acclaimed DC Comics graphic novel, witness a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime. Follow his humble beginnings as a struggling comic to his fateful encounter with the Dark Knight that changed everything. Fueled by the return of Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker, witness the birth of a super villain, the fortitude of a hero and the punch line that will leave you speechless.

Batman: The Killing Joke – Bonus Content:

DVD
• An exclusive sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie.

Blu-ray™ Combo Pack • An exclusive sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie.

• Featurette – “Batman: The Killing Joke – Madness Set To Music” – Jim Gordon must bear witness to the most disturbing images any father could imagine while a maniac entices his break from sanity in song. This documentary looks at the step-by-process of one of the most crucial scenes in Batman: The Killing Joke, including the methodology James Tucker used as he storyboarded Brian Bolland’s stunning work for the screen; Dynamic Music Partners composers/lyricists’ creative merging of original music with the poetic words from the graphic novel to provoke the desired feelings and emotions for this critical scene; and actor Mark Hamill’s physical, devoted performance to capturing the world¹s most notorious Super-Villain in song.

• Featurette – “Many Shades of Joker: The Tale of The Killing Joke” – Brian Bolland’s artwork is instantly recognizable to comic book enthusiasts all over the world. Known for his amazing cover art, it was a rare inclusion into the body of a graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, that helped the perennial story of Batman and The Joker remain a fan favorite for decades to come. Combined with the graphic novel’s original script – which is more than just the telling of a story, but an intricate map explaining every stop along the way to the end of a fantastic journey – this documentary reveals the artistic process behind The Killing Joke’s distinct style. We’ll learn how artists and writers excelled at conveying story and human emotion one panel at a time, mesmerizing readers with unforgettable stories and humanized depictions of heroes and villains. And why after nearly 30 years in print, Batman: The Killing Joke is more thought provoking than ever, as its socio-economic themes are relatable to generation after generation.

• From the DC Comics Vault – Two 22-minute episodes:
1. The New Batman Adventures - "Old Wounds
2. Batman: The Animated Series - "Christmas with The Joker"

Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition
• Exclusive Limited Edition The Joker Figurine

• An exclusive sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie.

• Featurette – “Batman: The Killing Joke – Madness Set To Music” – Jim Gordon must bear witness to the most disturbing images any father could imagine while a maniac entices his break from sanity in song. This documentary looks at the step-by-process of one of the most crucial scenes in Batman: The Killing Joke, including the methodology James Tucker used as he storyboarded Brian Bolland’s stunning work for the screen; Dynamic Music Partners composers/lyricists’ creative merging of original music with the poetic words from the graphic novel to provoke the desired feelings and emotions for this critical scene; and actor Mark Hamill’s physical, devoted performance to capturing the world¹s most notorious Super-Villain in song.

• Featurette – “Many Shades of Joker: The Tale of The Killing Joke” – Brian Bolland’s artwork is instantly recognizable to comic book enthusiasts all over the world. Known for his amazing cover art, it was a rare inclusion into the body of a graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, that helped the perennial story of Batman and The Joker remain a fan favorite for decades to come. Combined with the graphic novel’s original script – which is more than just the telling of a story, but an intricate map explaining every stop along the way to the end of a fantastic journey – this documentary reveals the artistic process behind The Killing Joke’s distinct style. We’ll learn how artists and writers excelled at conveying story and human emotion one panel at a time, mesmerizing readers with unforgettable stories and humanized depictions of heroes and villains. And why after nearly 30 years in print, Batman: The Killing Joke is more thought provoking than ever, as its socio-economic themes are relatable to generation after generation.

• From the DC Comics Vault – Two 22-minute episodes:
1. The New Batman Adventures - "Old Wounds
2. Batman: The Animated Series - "Christmas with The Joker"



Batman: The Killing Joke Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set Review
by James Harvey

For a release of this magnitude, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has given Batman: The Killing Joke a shockingly sparse Blu-ray release. Even with the figurine from the Deluxe Edition factored in, this might be one of the more underwhelming releases from the line in some time.

In terms of video and audio, it falls along the line of previous released in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. Everything looks clean and shart, though there is some banding issues - somewhat of a regular issue that seems to be more due to the animation itself than the disc reproduction. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is excellent, with quiet scenes coming through crystal clear and the action scenes likely able to rattle one's speakers. Everything sounds balanced and works good, with no major issues noticable.

In terms of the bonus content, well, things are a little more sparse than usual. The two main featurettes are excellent but, sadly, too short. "Madness Set to Music," running nearly 12 minutes, looks at the music behind the film, including the unique musical number The Joker performs. It shines the spotlight on the work that went in to scoring Batman: The Killing Joke and is well worth the watch. "Batman: The Killing Joke: The Many Sides of the Joker" looks at underpinnings of the character and the actual Batman: The Killing Joke story, and it's a faiurly interesting watch. Granted, Batman: The Killing Joke didn't really say anything new about the relationship between Batman and The Joker (we know it's not going to end well between them), and it just presents a more mature, nuanced look at what fans have known for decades, but that doesn't stop this featurette from shedding a bit more light on the dynamic between Batman and The Joker, and why this comic is so highly revered among fans. It's an interesting featurette that does delve nicely into the source material and is worth a watch, even if, like the graphic novel itself, doesn't really shine any new light on this decades old dynamic between the Clown Prince and the Dark Knight.

The only additional new material on the Blu-ray set is the preview of the upcoming Justice League Dark animated movie, the next installment in the ongoing DC Universe Animated Original Movie line. The Justice League find themselves facing a magical opponent which requires them to look outside their clubhouse for help, and as a result, recruiting some of the more darker characters from the DC Comics library. Zatanna, Constantine, Deadman, to name a few, with more surprises to be had, I'm sure.

Outside of two bonus Batman: The Animated Series episodes ("Christmas with the Joker," "Old Wound"), the rest of the bonus material consists of trailers and repeated content from previous releases. Sneak peaks of the two-part "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" movies along with "Batman: Assault on Arkham" are included (smart inclusions, I'll admit). And that is it. However, fans who picked up the Deluxe Edition of the Blu-ray also get a cool little Joker figurine.

Considering the stature of Batman: The Killing Joke, the bonus content is disappointing. A commentary or a longer look at the source material would've been a welcome inclusion for the Blu-ray. That said, the content included is solid, but still a shade underwhelming. Regardless, for those who opt to purchase the movie, go snatch up the Blu-ray Deluxe Edition of Batman: The Killing Joke. It's a worthwhile addition to any fan who wants to add the movie to their collection and the Blu-ray is the Recommended way to go.

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