Batman: Gotham Knight (review)

If you still need more Batman after your tenth viewing of The Dark Knight, check out this direct-to-DVD movie, a meaty morsel of Gotham mythos that will satisfy fans and may even captivate newcomers to the modern retellings of the superhero’s tale. This feature-worthy collection of six interconnected stories from six different directors and six different feature-film screenwriters — including David Goyer (Batman Begins) and Josh Olson (A History of Violence) — bridges the events between 2005’s Batman Begins and the new Dark Knight, but it all works as background material to both films, too, exploring the morality of Batman as a man and of vigilantism on the whole, and examining the popular image of Batman to the citizens of Gotham. (The opening segment, “Have I Got a Story for You,” takes particular advantage of the film’s splendidly stylized animation as it deconstructs the idea of Batman as an icon in the public eye, a figure at once paradoxically shadowy and sylphlike and monstrous yet always intriguing.) Kevin Conroy, renowned for his performance as the Dark Knight in Batman: The Animated Series, returns as the voice of Bruce Wayne, but you don’t have to have seen any of the other recent animated Batman projects to find this one fascinating. Bonus materials on the two-disc version of the set include audio commentary by DC Comics exec Gregory Noveck, Batman editor Dennis O’Neil, and Conroy; a documentary on Batman creator Bob Kane; a featurette on the evil denizens of Gotham City; and four bonus episodes of Animated Series.

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