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July 19 2008

Robert Kral scores Batman: Gotham Knight. Kral scores the segments "Field Test" and "Deadshot" in this collection of six anime shorts set in the Nolan movieverse.

[ edited by kpbkwrm on 2008-07-19 00:17 ]

[ edited by kpbkwrm on 2008-07-19 00:18 ]
The score was fine. The animation was often beautiful. Dialogue was good, from what I remember (part of the problem is that this collection of shorts isn't that memorable though. I only saw it two days ago and I'm having trouble recalling much). Some of the stories weren't that great though. Their limited length hurt some of 'em, and some just shouldn't have been made. Should've been replaced with something more interesting.

It's being marketed as a bridge between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but fails at that IMO. You get introductions to a couple new characters who show up in The Dark Knight, but other than that there's absolutely nothing worthwhile if you're a fan of Christopher Nolan's/Christian Bale's slice of the franchise and are looking for more of it.

It would've been nice if Bale and the rest of the actors from the live action films had done the voices (no disrespect to Kevin "the definitive voice of Batman" Conroy from Batman: The Animated Series/Superman/Batman Beyond/Justice League). Apparently Bale was just way to busy to commit to the project though. I guess once they couldn't get him, they figured why bother asking Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and the others. Might as well go with [comparatively] cheaper, professional voice actors.

I liked the one with the assassin lady that Bruce trains with (that coincides with the modern day plot and him ending up in the sewer clutching all the guns) and I liked the Deadshot one (I think it's the last one) for all the action.

Anyway, good for Kral, glad to see him continuing to get high profile jobs.

Oh, and of course I loved The Dark Knight last night.
"In Darkness Dwells" actually had my favourite score, sorry Mr Kral ;). IDD's score teetered on the edge of the OTT Schumacher years but just reined it in (wish Schumacher had).

As i've alluded to before, I don't agree with Kris, they did exactly what they set out to do IMO, fill in a few blanks, tell some nice short stories, provide more than a few memorable images. I loved that the format allowed so many different takes on Batman and since POV episodes are among my favourites, I really enjoyed 'Have I Got a Story for You' (given that the CE comes with "Legends of the Dark Knight", the TAS equivalent of "Have I ...", it's very clearly a deliberate homage to it which in turn was inspired by 'The Batman Nobody Knows' so made of win ;) - it's always when he's at his most vulnerable and human that he's most heroic IMO and in small ways that episode highlighted that. It's also fun to pick out the interconnections and allusions from one segment to the other and where else are we going to see a "Battle of the Planets" Batman ? My favourite segments were probably the abovementioned "Have I Got ...", "Working Through Pain" (with the female yogi - she wasn't an assassin) written by Brian Azzarello (his take is suitably dark and psychologically complex) and "Deadshot" but there was something of value in all of them.

If you're just a fan of the Nolan/Bale films then maybe there isn't much here for you - if you're a Batman fan though, I think you'll dig at least some of it (hell, if you're a Batman fan it doesn't matter what I say, you're gonna be watching it anyway ;).

The only slight complaint i'd have is the running time, i'dve liked it to be a bit longer in general and maybe for them to mix up the lengths a bit (so maybe one at about 20 minutes and others that were only 3 or 4 maybe with an average around 8 ?). And, much as I agree that Conroy is the definitive animated Batman (so far), if they were specifically trying to tie it into the films it might've been better to use the same actors for voices (though everyone - many of whom are Timm/DCAU regulars - did a great job, including David McCallum as Alfred).

(and i'm so glad 'The Dark Knight' is being well received by those that matter i.e. the fans. Out here next week and eagerly anticipating merely begins to cover it ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2008-07-19 10:55 ]
"Working Through Pain" (with the female yogi - she wasn't an assassin)

Ah, y'know what, within the context of the anime you're right...I'm just confusing it with the fact that Lady Shiva is an assassin in the Batman comics. Which doesn't necessarily mean she isn't in the cartoon (especially if her inclusion was a nod to the fans and not some dramatic reinterpretation of her by whoever wrote that segment), but yeah, it wasn't alluded to. My friend told me while we were watching and then I wikipedia'ed her just to get a bit of background. She trains people and then makes them fight her to the death (Bruce has fooled her on numerous occasions though). Clever way to weed out some of the rising competition and remain the top assassin.

I'd never heard of her before, but then I've barely read any Batman comics. Moreso just a fan of the film franchises and the DCAU, I don't have the cash or the willingness to dive into the mainstream DC Universe(s). Even if I was rich and all I did was sit at home and read all day, I think I still wouldn't devote much time to DC superhero reading--I hate almost everything I've heard about their reboots (yes, even when they explain it all and attempt to make sense of the planet/universe-destroying insanity of it all).
Yeah, Lady Shiva is an assassin but that wasn't Lady Shiva (pre or post crisis) or at least only if you stretch interpretation to breaking point IMO. Her name's Cassandra and Lady Shiva's name is Sandra but apart from that, she doesn't have or mention a sister, we don't see her do martial arts, we don't see her train him in martial arts, we see her actively avoid violence when that's - to say the least ;) - not Lady Shiva's way and she seems to be a resident of that small village rather than an international assassin for hire. Other than that though, they have a lot in common ;-).

Re: the DC antipathy, each to their own ;).

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