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Batman: Under The Red Hood
BLU-RAY disk
08.10.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Batman:  Under The Red Hood order download
Director:
Brandon Vietti

Actors:
Bruce Greenwood
Jensen Ackles
John Di Maggio

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A new villain, calling himself The Red Mask, has taken Gotham's criminal underworld to their knees forcing their desperate hand. Batman too becomes more than intrigued when this new threat is able to anticipate his every move and worse still, knows his true identity.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This new Batman adventure continues to up the ante for DC and fans of the character. Following Christophe Nolan's lead, these stories are getting darker, grittier and more emotionally fuelled than before (which is a most definitely a good thing). This film follows the comic book storyline, "A death in the Family" which I'd never read but would like to now that I've watched the movie. Batman's guilt over the death of the second Robin slowly eats away at him, making the temptation of crossing the line seem all that much easier. Yes, this film features the boy wonder and yes, I was originally not amused by his presence but let me tell ya, this flick changed my world view on Robin (that said, I'd still rather it just be about Batman but I won't deny that the dynamic duo worked wonderfully here).

Batman will always be one of my favourite heroes as heís one of the easiest to relate to. Batmanís a detective who doesnít work for the police but adheres to the same moral code which keeps him from becoming a full out vigilante. This codeís many weaknesses are thrown in his face here in such a way that visibly challenges Batmanís will. The truly remarkable thing about Batman is the infinite storylines yet to be explored in theatres or the animated front making this character one that we (and DC) will always be able to bank on.

Another pleasant surprise was the added voice talent of Jensen Ackles (my man Dean Winchester from SUPERNATURAL), I couldn't believe it when I saw his name in the opening credits and I must say he did a fantastic job voicing The Red Mask. Bruce Greenwood returns as the voice of the Dark Knight and I was overjoyed to see Ra's Al Ghul and Riddler join the fray but what Batman flick would be complete without some insane Joker action. I loved the storyline here; it was rich with powerful emotion and an intricate blend of darkness and fun. DC dares to dig deeper and push the envelope farther with each new title (Marvel's also been doing equally well on the animated front) and that's just what I want to see. These are no longer "kid's cartoons" and that puts a smile on this guy's face.

BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD was brilliant in its conception and entertaining all around. This is Batman and DC at their best and holding no punches. There's only so far the live movie Batman series can go and with the death of Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace) I'm not so sure we'll see much of the Joker anytime soon and if we do, he just won't be the same. The animated front is where the real magic can happen and the good news is, after years of borderline achievements, the animated front is on fire, kicking ass and taking names. This is the way I want to see animated features and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one.
THE EXTRAS
DC Showcase-Jonah Hex: Iíll admit to not know much about this character (aside from the feature film supposedly sucked balls). This animated short however was very cool and makes me want to see more. It was also cool to see that Thomas Jane got to play Jonah Hex after all.

Behind the Story: Here we delve into the Robin mythos; from what originally got the writers feeling that Batman needed a side kick and what further led to the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. I had no idea that they let the fans decide whether Robin would live or die.

Superman/Batman Apocalypse: This is a sneak peek at one of DCís upcoming animated features with Batman and Superman as they discover the origin of Supergirl. This looks like yet another great one to look forward to.

Bonus Episodes: There are four animated Batman episodes (producer Bruce Timmís top four pics), two from BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (which I know and loved) and two from THE NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES (which I didnít originally watch but werenít too bad).

Previews: There are six trailers for upcoming and past animated features as well as a Digital Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Batman clearly isnít for everyone, nor is the animated format for that matter. That said, these animated flicks have grown up and it shows. So for those of you who love Batman and enjoy these animated features this is one that your collection canít be without.

Extra Tidbit: I know they made a BATMAN VS. DRACULA but what I'd like to see is an animated flick devoted to the RED RAIN graphic novel.
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