Batman: Bad Blood (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 24-Feb-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Bonus Episode-From the DC Comics Vault
Featurette-Putting the Fight in Gotham
Featurette-Expanding the Batman Family
Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 72:41
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jay Oliva
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jason OíMara
Yvonne Strahovski
Stuart Allan
Sean Maher
Morena Baccarin
Steve Blum
Gaius Charles
John DiMaggio
Robin Atkin Downes
James Garrett
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $24.95 Music Frederik Wiedmann


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Batman: Bad Blood is the third instalment in the new interconnected animated series of Batman features, following Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin. Continuing the arc which concerns Batmanís extended network of friends and family, this effort reunites veteran animation director Jay Oliva and screenwriter J.M. DeMatteis, who previously collaborated for Batman vs. Robin, and the result is every bit as middle-of-the-road as their last picture. Although Bad Blood combines enough action, humour and comic book fan service (especially with the introduction of two characters never before explored in a movie), it never quite comes together as well as it should, with so-so storytelling and pedestrian dialogue.

††† Batman (Jason OíMara) has gone missing, with neither Alfred Pennyworth (James Garrett) nor Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) able to locate him. Word begins to spread throughout Gotham City that the Caped Crusader may be dead, and criminals seek to take advantage of his absence. With the weeks continuing to pass, Grayson takes up the cape and cowl, hitting the streets as Batman to maintain the illusion that the Dark Knight is still alive. Meanwhile, Damian Wayne (Stuart Allen) returns to Gotham to help search for his father, teaming up with Grayson to get to the bottom of the mystery. Also joining the fight are Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) and Batwing (Gaius Charles)

††† The issue with Bad Blood is that the story is not altogether interesting. Introducing the ďBatman FamilyĒ may be a nice concept in theory, but Batman being absent for the majority of the story doesnít work here, denying us the kind of pleasures we come to expect from a Batman movie. Of course, minimising his presence is the point of this particular tale, but itís a major problem that the supporting players are not nearly as interesting as the Caped Crusader. Plus, there are fans who tune in specifically to see the titular superhero kick some butt. Ultimately, with its brisk 72-minute runtime, Bad Blood feels like itís in a hurry to establish Team Batman in order to set the scene for upcoming movies, but denies us the chance to actually care about them. Bad Blood is the first motion picture (live-action or otherwise) to feature Batwoman and Batwing, and although itís commendable that more characters from the comics are being explored, neither of them receive the meaty development that they should be allotted, especially given that film-goers who donít read comic books will not know who they are.

††† In keeping with the low-budget nature of these animated offerings, the visuals here are basic at best, with not much in the way of fine detail, but it still works, especially with the impressive CGI backgrounds and a number of fluid, exciting fight scenes. Although Bad Blood may be overstuffed in terms of characters (there are too many bad guys to count, too), it does deliver if taken merely as an action-packed showcase of the talents of these respective comic book heroes and villains, which is a given at this point considering the previous experience of director Jay Oliva (The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: War). Other aspects of the movie are acceptable if not outstanding; Frederik Wiedmannís score is effective though slightly generic, while the voice acting is overly workmanlike. OíMara is a serviceable Bruce Wayne/Batman, but heís still no Kevin Conroy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Luckily, Bad Blood is a noted improvement over Roadshowís last animated DC release, Justice League: War, which was riddled with unsightly banding, macroblocking and aliasing. Although this latest addition to the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series is not perfect from a visual standpoint, this 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray transfer is perfectly sufficient, with only a few shortcomings that hold back the presentation from perfection.

††† Bad Blood is framed in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and frequently looks gorgeous, with top-notch clarity and a rich colour palette that stays true to the animating style. Itís always easy to see whatís happening, and blacks look wonderfully inky, never falling victim to crush. Detail and sharpness are also perfectly sufficient considering the rather basic animation, and there is a nice amount of depth to the visuals.

††† As with all the titles in this series, Bad Blood does fall victim to artefacts that may trace back to the source, and the way that the animation is created. Indeed, this production cannot escape the inevitable banding issue, which is noticeable from time to time. Furthermore, some shots do look unusually rough, with appalling aliasing. However, these flaws are not frequent enough to cause any major bother. Additionally, I did not detect any macroblocking, nor are there any other deal-breaking compression anomalies to worry about.

††† In spite of its shortcomings, Bad Blood is one of the better-looking titles in the animated DC canon, and is certainly an above-average presentation compared to many of its predecessors. This disc also contains a meagre selection of subtitle options.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† Batman: Bad Bloodís video presentation may have its issues, but the audio is d*** near immaculate. Roadshow endow the movie with a bombastic DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, which provides crystal clear audio right across the board, and plenty of noticeable surround activity to create an immersive aural experience. Itís not exactly a subtle track, but it is impressive and above all loud, and it leaves very little to be desired.

††† Dialogue is clean throughout, with no comprehensibility issues, and thereís plenty of oomph to the boisterous action sequences. Every single punch, explosion and gunshot has impact, and there is some impressive channel panning, particularly during scenes involving the Batmobile. Best of all, even through the noisy set-pieces and majestic music, thereís no muffling or distortion; itís smooth sailing right across the board. This is a magnificent track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† A few supplements of decent quality.

From the DC Comics Vault (HD)

††† Two select episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold are available to view here, for anyone interested. They are in high definition and do look quite good.

Putting the Fight in Gotham (HD; 26:26)

††† Rather than a standard-order making-of featurette, this particular extra is solely concerned with the fight choreography of Bad Blood, and the DC Universe Animated Original Movies in general. Director Jay Oliva gets most of the airtime here, talking about his inspirations, how he thinks when he approaches a fight scene, and his various choices throughout the series, with special attention being paid to The Dark Knight Returns. Storyboard comparisons are also seen, while other interviewees chime in to talk about the choreography process or their thoughts on Olivaís fight scenes.

Expanding the Batman Family (HD; 13:46)

††† As the title implies, this extra is concerned with the movieís sizeable ensemble, with Bad Blood bringing in multiple new characters to join the Batman family.

Trailers (HD)

††† Two segments to choose from here.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † Supplemental content looks identical worldwide, though it seems the local release is the only disc with the Suicide Squad trailer. Draw.

Summary

††† With its banal plot, clunky storytelling, and inherent narrative shallowness, Batman: Bad Blood is a middling addition to the animated DC series. Despite a few fun action scenes, itís not essential viewing, and will probably play best only for the die-hard fans.

††† Roadshow's Blu-ray is perfectly acceptable, with a strong presentation and a handful of good quality special features. I'd call this a rental, but fans of the movie should be pleased with this disc. And it's a no-brainer for completists.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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