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6 Degrees Entertainment

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One

(Jensen Ackles, Josh Duhamel, Troy Baker, Naya Rivera, Billy Burke, Frances Callier, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / PG-13 / 2021 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: It is a dark time in Gotham City. Held hostage by the powerful Falcone crime family, the city is rife with crime and corruption. Adding to the chaos is the mysterious Holiday killer, who has been targeting the underworld and leaving a trail of terror...and body bags.

Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent race against the calendar as it advances toward the next ill-fated holiday. Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins a twisted chain of events that will forever change the Dark Knight.

Blu-ray Verdict: Setting the scene a little, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One is the sixth comic-book role for David Dastmalchian after Thomas Schiff in The Dark Knight (2008), Kurt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Dwight Pollard in Gotham (2014), Abra Kadabra in The Flash (2014) and Abner Krill/Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad (2021).

And this time with Jensen Ackles lending his voice to a Batman story for the second time - he voiced Jason Todd, also known as Red Hood, in Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010), and with Naya Rivera having recorded her dialogue as Catwoman before her untimely death in 2020 - I can confirm that having now watched it twice, Batman: The Long Halloween Part One is a quite brilliant addition to the animated Batman world.

The centerpiece of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One revolves around the triumvirate of crimefighters – Batman/Bruce Wayne, Police Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent – as they try to solve the mystery of the Holiday Killer.

Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gothams young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the citys only two uncorrupt lawmen – Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent – in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family.

But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that instead of ordinary gang violence, they are also dealing with a serial killer – the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern.

Few cases have ever tested the wits of the Worlds Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer.

Batman normally operates alone, but he finds allies on both sides of the law in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One. While Police Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent act as his crime-fighting colleagues, the Dark Knight finds an unlikely partner in Catwoman.

Voiced by the late Naya Rivera (in her final acting performance), Catwoman/Selina Kyle assists, romances and even comes to the rescue of Batman as the two-part film unfolds.

And so, in my humble opinion, Part One is one of the best of the straight-to-home entertainment (animated) Batman films from Warner Bros./DC to date and writer Tim Sheridan does a fantastic job of evoking the spirit of the graphic novel while delivering something new.

What further solidifies that opinion is that the film itself looks oh-so lusciously beautiful, so major props to all the graphic artists that were involved.

The backgrounds are especially well done and give off a dark, damp, and yes, of course, suitably noir vibe and there is also something a little different, but rather cool, about the actual characters themselves.

The black outline around each gives it a bit of a comic book/motion comic feel, which I thought made the characters jump out a bit more than usual in these sort of animated movies. Anyway, buy this for yourselves and you decide if I am right or wrong!

Special Features:
DC Showcase Short: The Losers
A Sneak Peak at the next Animated DC Universe Movie: Batman - The Long Halloween, Part Two
From the DC Vault: 2 Bonus Cartoons

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One arrives on Digital & Blu-ray on June 22, 2021.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One | Alfred & Bruce | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One | Car Chase | Warner Bros. Entertainment