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Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One – Home Media Review

REVIEWS

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: Blu-ray, Digital – June 22, 2021

Synopsis: Atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham send The World’s Greatest Detective into action – confronting both organized crime and a mysterious murderer – in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, the next entry in the popular series of the DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length animated film is accompanied by DC Showcase animated short, The Losers. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack at a later date in 2022 as a combined presentation of the film with Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Special Features
Blu-ray and Digital

DC Showcase – The Losers – The legendary rag-tag team of World War II outcasts – Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, “Mile-a Minute” Jones, rookie Gunner and Sarge – find themselves marooned on an uncharted island in the South Pacific that is completely overrun with dinosaurs! Their would-be ally on this deadly mission, the mysterious and beautiful Fan Long of the Chinese Security Agency, tells them their job is to rescue the scientists that have been sent to study the time/space anomaly. Perhaps… but what is her mission?
-A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie – An advance look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.
-From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “Christmas With The Joker”
-From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “It’s Never Too Late”




Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One Blu-Ray Review
by James Harvey

Undoubtedly due to the Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition coming to 4K physical and digital media in 2022, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has given Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One a scaled-back home media release. Available only on Blu-ray and digital media (including 4K), the studio hands the anticipated DC Universe Movie adaptation a fairly run-of-the-mill presentation, offering a sprinkling of extras and a good-not-great audio/video presentation. Clearly, the hefty bonus content is being saved for the aforementioned 2022 release.

Taking a look at the Blu-ray’s audio and video presentation, it’s a mixed bag that finds the film’s strong visual style lessened by a flawed transfer. The color reproduction and details are great, no question, but the disc’s compression quality noticeably impacts Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One‘s visuals. Banding and blocking pop up pretty regularly throughout the movie, flattening images and sapping color on occasion. It’s not a constant problem, but frequent enough to be distracting from time to time. Thankfully, the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is another story. Dialogue is consistently clear and crisp, and the track makes great use of all channels. The action scenes burst through the speakers, with fisticuffs and explosions sounding suitably robust. It’s an immersive track and arguably one of the stronger mixes overall from the DC Universe Movie line.

As with the video presentation, the Blu-ray’s bonus features are also lacking, but understandably so given the planned Batman: The Long Halloween Deluxe Edition planned for the future. Outside of the included DC Showcase animated short, there’s unfortunately little extra content to keep viewers engaged after the main show.

Looking first at the bonus DC Showcase animated short, the latest installment of the ongoing line spotlights the DC Comics cult-favorite team, The Losers. The 16-minute short – produced by Rick Morales, directed by Milo Neuman, and written by Tim Sheridan – finds the team transporting Special Agent Fan Long to a mysterious research facility. The short’s cast includes Ming-Na Wen as Fan Long, Dean Winters as Storm, Eugene Byrd as Jones, Martin Sensmeier as Cloud, and Dave B. Mitchell as Gunner and Sarge. Naturally, the trip is rife with danger and betrayal as The Losers find themselves thrown into a situation they might not return home from. It’s an enjoyable short that’s maybe a bit too light on story, but makes up for it in some genuine surprises and good character work. Unfortunately, much like Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, The Losers finds itself the victim of underwhelming animation, but the short still remains a worthwhile watch.

Moving on, the Blu-ray release also includes a roughly 9-minute sneak peek at Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, comprised of finished footage, production material and brief interviews with the film’s cast and crew. As with previous previews, it’s a good tease of what’s to come that should whet the appetite of plenty. The disc also includes older preview featurettes for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One and Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (no The Death of Superman?).

The disc is rounded out by two classic Batman: The Animated Series episodes (“Christmas With The Joker” and “It’s Never Too Late”) and a digital copy of the film. A DVD edition is not included, nor are there any trailers.

The home media release of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is pretty sparse in terms of additional content, and that’s understandable given the planned 2022 Deluxe Edition release for Batman: The Long Halloween, but cash-conscious fans might understandably be more apt to wait a year or so for the full experience as opposed to grabbing the separate releases for the two-part animated movie. A brief featurette or two would’ve helped in creating a more attractive overall package, especially given the shifting home media market and growth of video streaming options. That said, the low price-point for Blu-ray releases should help make the decision process a little easier for consumers, as it’s still ultimately worth it, though picking up the digital release would be a suitable alternative option. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is definitely recommended for purchase (or a rental at the very least), but given the two-part format of the movie and the sparse home media bonus content, it’s reasonable that fans opt to hold back (even though they shouldn’t). Recommended!

Please note Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided The World’s Finest with a Blu-ray copy of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One for reviewing purposes.



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