Batman: Bad Blood (Blu-ray review)

The tandem of Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics have churned out one animated feature after another. We have seen a number of titles featuring some of DC’s most popular characters such as the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman features. There have even been a few featuring the Justice League in one capacity or another. I’m not sure of sales figures, but these things have to be successful or else they wouldn’t keep putting such strong efforts toward them. With their latest release, we look at Batman: Bad Blood, a new suspenseful 72-minute adventure and one that’s not meant for the kiddies.

That’s right folks.  Don’t make the mistake that just because it’s a cartoon, your 8-year old son can watch it.  The language takes it up another level so this one is geared for a more mature audience.  So, down to the film.  I shouldn’t compare this to other animated features in the DC library, but I can’t help think of Throne of Atlantis or Batman: Under the Red Hood.  Specifically with Throne of Atlantis, DC did such a marvelous job of bringing Aquaman into the fray and delivering a strong story, that I view it as one of the benchmark Blu-rays from DC and Warner Bros. Animation.  But rest assured, this writer can separate the two when he needs to, so let’s get down and dirty with some Bad Blood.


Film   Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0

Without giving a whole lot away, early on we see everyone’s favorite Gotham-billionaire-vigilante in action, only to seemingly disappear after an explosion brings down the scene of a crime he was responding to.  With only Batwoman (not to be confused with Batgirl) there to witness it, the city’s vigilante’s hunker down and do some detective work of their own to find the caped crusader.  Uniting Nightwing, Damian as Robin, Batwoman and Batwing, we get to see a crew of Gotham’s finest…err…dysfunctional…come together.  Overall, the film was entertaining but I felt so disconnected from it.

I can’t place my finger on why exactly, but this definitely was not my favorite attempt from the DC/WB collaboration.  Part of it may be from Damian’s constant brooding.  I get it, he’s on the verge of being a teenager with a lot of angst.  The only problem is that theme has been overcooked in my honest opinion.  I mean how much longer is he going to be this annoying pain in the arse?  Bigger than that, however, was the case of the villains.  They just didn’t seem interesting, and while there were plenty of them in this story, they just felt like empty personalities.

To me, Nightwing stole the show driving a lot of the story and I liked the introduction of Batwing as well.  Granted, it’s a departure from the Batwing I know from The New 52, but he rocked it out nevertheless.  Batwoman was given a proper backstory that added depth to her character, but as a whole, the team just lacked chemistry on the screen.  That was probably the biggest hiccup.  As for the rest, the action didn’t miss a beat and there is destruction galore.  If you are a big fan of the Batman universe, then Batman: Bad Blood will be right up your alley.  If you are more of a casual visitor to Gotham’s inhabitants, then this is one animated film you may not be over the moon about.


Video  Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

Batman: Bad Blood comes to us in beautiful 1080p with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The fight scenes are so wonderfully displayed in this film and the technical attributes that make up this films visuals only help that which is already rather brilliant to watch.  As this is Gotham, you will find the city shrouded in darkness so a muted palette is commonplace at times and is something that fits the mood and the environment.  There are also those moments where vivid red hues from Batwoman’s costume and the Batmobile’s windshield provide lush, strong accents to the other wise flat tones.  Make no mistake, the flat tones are not a knock but an accurate representation of the characters’ surroundings.  It all comes together for something rather attractive.  The video does lose half a mark, however, for very brief moments of stuttered animation.  In particular, there is one scene when Batwing is flying and his turn just isn’t that fluid.  These examples are minimal but exist and keep it from getting a perfect score in this category.


Audio  Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1

Because of all the nearly non-stop action, those rear channels really get a workout with all the explosions, thrown punches and roundhouses.  Dialogue is clearly brought to us through the front speakers as expected and the full lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation is exactly what I was hoping for.  There is not really a whole lot to say here.  You’ve got a short action film and it truly delivers everything you could ask for in a jaw-breaking, blow-it-up Blu-ray.


Extras   Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

These guys and gals did not skimp in the extras department.  We have well over an hour of additional contentas described below plus a dvd and digital HD copy which are included:

  • From the DC comics Vault (two cartoon episodes)
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Knights of Tomorrow (23:07)
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Criss Cross Conspiracy! (22:49)
  • Putting the Fight in Gotham The evolution of choreographing fight scenes for an animated Batman (26:26)
  • Expanding the Batman Family – Bringing together the Bat’s allies (13:46)
  • Trailers
    • A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie: Justice League vs. Teen Titans (11:31)
    • Suicide Squad The live action film coming out later this year (3:08)


Summary  Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

All in all, the film itself is rather ho-hum.  It’s the tech aspects that really carry the weight of this disc.  Would I watch it again?  With so many other better DC short animated films out there, this definitely wouldn’t be near the top of my list, but the possibility to have a repeat viewing is there.  Let’s be honest; the summary score is all things taken into account rating the Blu-ray as a whole.  With that being said I’m not going to watch a Blu-ray just for the visuals or the audio.  If the film itself isn’t my cup of tea, then why dust it off?  Batman: Bad Blood doesn’t necessarily fall into that realm of “toss it aside,” but it was driven by a story that just wasn’t all that engrossing.





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