Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Batman - The Complete Third Season |
DC Comics Kids Collection
Actors: Rino Romano, Alastair Duncan, Evan Sabara, Danielle Judovits, Kevin Michael Richardson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Season 3 introduces a young Barbara Gordon, who becomes Batgirl and plays a major role along with her father, James Gordon. In these 13 action-packed episodes from the hit TV series more villains are added to the series, s... more »
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Give it a chance
Brattain | Florida | 03/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know the rules state that as a male in my mid 30's I'm required to dislike any animated Batman outside the Timm/Dini universe. I held up my part of the agreement at first. I gladly purchased every DVD from the first episode featuring Manbat all the way to the Batman Beyond S2 and Justice League "S2" sets that came out recently. I'm already planning on getting the fantastic last season of JLU as well. I am as absolute a fan of the Timm/Dini universe as any other fan I've met. But, I broke the rules and began to like The Batman series. It isn't only fantastic, it sets a new kind of standard in animation quality for a serialized show. The Batman's animation is consistently and reliably stunning. The style of the animation helps create a DVD picture quality that is so good, it is what I often use to demonstrate my home system to friends. But, there is more than just great production values to the show. They have clearly been very thoughtful in coming up with fresh designs for many characters, while remaining faithful to the critical elements. Batman's cape and cowl, along with the rest of his costume looks fantastic. Rino Romano does a great job as the voice (and I'm a diehard Kevin Conroy fan). Commissioner Gordon is also perfect both in form and voice. The new Joker is refreshingly different while keeping the same level of insanity that makes him The Batman's ultimate foe. Above all this, there are the stories themselves. For cryin' out loud, they got Paul Dini to write the show's introduction to Harley Quinn. Their episode with a new villain, Ragdoll was clever and ended with one of the best comedic-timed three-way fight I've seen. What I also like about the show is how they took some of the newer concepts introduced in the last show and made them their own. I don't know how many people liked the Gotham Knights use of Batman and Batgirl working together more, but I loved it. They did the same here and with nice original elements, even introducing her well before Robin (and they could have kept it that way as long as they wanted as far as I'm concerned). Their version of Clayface has a fantastic overall story. The relationships between Batman and Alfred, Batgirl, and Gordon all hit the right tone. The third season showed a continued increase in story quality, which was already good in season 2. If they keep this up, I'll be watching to the end. Obviously, I highly recommend the show."
A step in the wrong direction
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 05/01/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, last night I finally completed my tour of The Batman by finishing Season 3 (directly after having finished 2 and 1). As others have stated, Season 3 pales in comparison to Season 2 but not for reasons expected. The writing actually matures a little bit over the past two volumes. We are treated to a more in depth look at the relationship between Bruce and Alfred as well as Batman and Catwoman's love/hate thing. Unfortunately that is where the pluses end- The first flaw is a total overuse of Joker. With a rogue gallery as deep as Batman's, there is really no excuse for reusing an enemy over and over like this. Granted, he has his humorous moments, the fact is Joker brings too much chaos and unpredictability to the formula for me. He is interesting in small dosage but The Batman starts to feel like a broken record with how many times the Joker's ridiculous schemes get squashed.
Next up is the made-up villains. Prepare to witness a fair share of either made up rogues or very generic ones brought into the light in Season 3: Krank, Prank, and Gearhead all make appearances before staples such as Ras, Two Face, and Scarecrow.
However, none of these problems compare to the glaring annoyance of Batgirl. As others have said in their reviews, season 3 introduces Batgirl as a self-appointed sidekick (oddly enough, before Robin). While the voice work is nice and the setup with Barb Gordon's ties to Poison Ivy are interesting enough, it doesn't take long to develop a deep hatred for the whole Batgirl character. This happens mainly because suddenly the show's writers switch into a mode where Batman finds himself in sticky situations where only a sidekick can save the day. What's worse is that Batgirl is given far too much credit (she even has her own getting-dressed into costume animation sequence) only to end up requiring Batman to save her from certain doom. Also as a result, all traces of both detective Yen and Chief Rohas are vanquished for Barbara and her commissioner father. Gordon is very well done but believe me when I say that Batgirl will be pushed down the viewer's throat almost continuously throughout this entire season.
The tragedy is that the few episodes of this season that are on track (and don't throw Batgirl at us) are fairly brilliant, maybe even better then the best offerings of season 2 (such as Fistful of Felt and The Icy Depths). Unfortunately these are the minority to endless Joker nonsense and Batgirl saving/ ruining the day.
William D. Loeffler | Frederick, Maryland United States | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am going to give The Batman, Season 3, a rating of 4 stars, based primarily on the continuing improvement seen in seasons one and two with respect to certain aspects of the original Batman-The Animated Series, but downgraded from the five star seasons one and two, due to increasing reliance on Robin and Batgirl.
Because of the obvious confusion in the series titles, I will refer to the Batman animated series from the 1990's as Batman-The Animated Series and I will refer to the current one as The Batman.
I own and have viewed all four editions of the original 1990's animated classic, Batman--The Animated Series and like many, at first I was somewhat put off by The Batman's new animation style.
Batman-The Animated Series was groundbreaking in many ways and had an original look and feel. Nevertheless, this new version grows on you and there is much of value here, indeed, some things here are even superior to Batman-The Animated Series.
The animation style here has overtones of the Japanese anime style but nowhere near as much as has been incorporated into the Cartoon Network's Teen Titans, whose look I detest. In fact, given the tragedies of the look of the Teen Titans and the recent computer animations done of the Fantastic Four on the Cartoon Network, and Spider-man on MTV, The Batman looks traditional and sensational by comparison.
Furthermore, for me, the Batman in Batman-The Animated Series was drawn too much with a brawny Space Ghost/Gothic look, inspired by Frank Miller and the first Batman movie from 1989. The costume in Batman-The Animated Series returned to the original Batman costume with all dark tones, from the 1940's.
If you are in your 30's or 40's as I am, this is not what the Batman that we grew up with looked like. The 1970's Batman generally was leaner and more athletic looking, and had the costume that I prefer, with the round yellow bat insignia. The Batman retains this classic 1970's look.
The premise of The Batman is that this is the Batman in his early years of crimefighting, and accounting for his youth, I believe that the overall look here is more consistent with the way Batman was drawn in the 70's by Adams, Giordano, Rogers and others, perhaps in order to fit more with the new Batman of the movie, Batman Begins.
At least in the first two seasons of The Batman, this Batman is both a loner who works by himself, and a vigilante sought by the police. I find this more realistic than having, as in Batman-The Animated Series, the Police essentially deputize Batman and having Batman fight crime with child sidekicks--although Robin and Batgirl are to come in this series as well.
The other thing that I am beginning to really like about this series is the fresh look at many of the villains that it is taking. The Joker is still recognizably the Joker--I asked my three-year-old sons to verify this--but he has a different and bizarre look. The same is truth for many of the other stalwarts: the Riddler, the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, etc.
Like its predecessor, The Batman continues with the annoying trait of far too many Joker episodes--really, can't they improve security at Arkham Asylum at all?--as well as too many of the other before-mentioned villains who are beginning to become a bit tired. I would prefer to see more of the lesser-used villains like Ras and the Scarecrow.
It does, however, have some excellent episodes involving Killer Croc, Man-Bat, and Solomon Grundy and another involving the Bane defeat of Batman. Hopefully, we will continue to see more of these lesser known but more interesting opponents.
One thing that I have never really understood about DC is their general refusal to use famous comic book story arcs in their movies and cartoons. When it is done, as with the Ras story from Batman-The Animated Series, the results can be excellent. Marvel does this much more often, to great success but DC seems to almost always try new and inferior stories.
Overall, I find The Batman less stilted and more in line with the classic DC Comics Batman of the 70's, in terms of tone, darkness and style, compared with the more self-important, taciturn and somewhat bland Batman in Batman-The Animated Series.
The reason that I only give it 4 stars instead of 5, is that the creators are currently going down the same road as their predecessors at the Animated Series and that means that the episodes are incorporating more and more Robin, which is arguable on the merits, and more and more of Batgirl, which is not arguable on the merits and is apt to ruin the series. Batgirl was never an essential part of the Batman comic, unlike Robin and her inclusion here is lamentable.
I have heard the DC creative talent say that anytime you do a Batman show, that you get two years to do it right and then the suits at Warner Brothers come over and start asking, "where's Robin?--where's Batgirl?--we need the youth market."
The first two years I would give 5 stars to each. Time will tell where this series goes from here. In my opinion, the first two seasons of The Batman were the best comic book adaptation currently going, with the possible exception of the Justice League, which is now out of production.
I am hoping that the future of The Batman has some more famous comic book story arcs involving Ras, Scarecrow, or Man-Bat, but I fear that lots of the Joker, Penguin and Batgirl are in the offing. Time will tell. If you are a traditional Batman fan, I wholeheartedly recommend seasons one and two and the third season, somewhat less."
"Aw, dude! You just broke the superhero secret identity code
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 08/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In his 5th year of crimefighting, Gotham's grim loner at last gets a superhero sidekick. And it's not Robin. There's a definite infusion of girl power as Season 3's first two episodes unveil the origin of the plucky but extremely raw Batgirl. The rest of the season lays out her journey from undesired, unproven nuisance to Batman's well-regarded, in-the-loop sidekick. With the departure of Detective Ellen Yin, Batman's former hush hush ally in the Gotham constabulary, we get to see more of Batgirl's dad, Commissioner James Gordon, who, in Season 2, made his debut and reached an accomodation with the Dark Knight. Here, we see the Batwing, as well as the new, fairly awesome Batmobile. We say goodbye to the eerie theme song of the first two seasons and hello to the more upbeat and guitar-strummy new theme music, although I do lament the loss of the fun and freaky "Baaatmaaan" which can be heard at the end of the original theme.
Producer/Art Director Jeff Matsuda's distinct style again shines clear and strong. Quite a bit of the animation reminds me of his old Jackie Chan cartoon, which threw me off for a moment. Then I got used to it and I like it now. Another positive for the series is the humor. There's always been some comedy to this series, but, thanks to the quippy and infectious Batgirl, there's an even more pronounced lighthearted tone, which, by the way, serves as a nice counterpoint to Batman's brooding.
This season wouldn't be complete without Batman's roster of oddball villainy (Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, etc.). Poison Ivy is re-imagined here as a contemporary of Batgirl's. The nanotech-manipulating Gearhead debuts and wreaks havoc with Bats and his wheels, while Maximillian Zeus still has his god complex intact. However, it's the final episode which presents Batman with his deadliest adversary as embodied in the creation of the unctuous Professor Hugo Strange. And, for fans of the live action '60s Batman series, Adam West has been a recurring guest actor as the voice of the Gotham mayor. My favorite episodes here are "Batgirl Begins, Parts 1 & 2," "RPM" (that Gearhead is a lot of fun), "Thunder" (Batgirl is growing more and more disenchanted with Batman keeping her out of the loop, and Zeus looks darn impressive), and "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind" (a worthy duo of villains).
Yup, it's a bit disconcerting having Batgirl come in before Robin, as it does change up the team dynamics, and especially when Robin finally does appear in Season 4. But guess what? For me, Season 3 became the turning point of the series, when I began to regularly try to catch it on TV. The biggest reason is Batgirl. I truly enjoy this series's take on Barbara Gordon and her alter ego. She's brave but insecure, athletic but klutzy, resourceful but with an aptitude for occasionally bollocksing it up. But she doesn't waver, whether in a tussle or in trying to convince Batman to accept her as a crime-fighting partner. And she's funny and has no qualms about ribbing the mega-serious Caped Crusader. Safe to say Batgirl won me over pretty quickly. Which is a good thing, as she's in a ton of episodes. As for the Batman, well, the dude remains a dark and righteous superhero. Wouldn't have him any other way.
Season 3's 13 episodes are:
Episodes 1 & 2 - "Batgirl Begins (Parts 1 & 2) - Barbara Gordon, teen Olympic hopeful and the police commish's willful daughter, dons the cowl and cape of Batgirl for the first time. Meanwhile, Barbara's buddy, Pamela Isley, becomes the demented Poison Ivy. That friendship's probably over.
Episode 3 - "A Dark Knight to Remember" - Bruce Wayne suffers a head trauma after a run-in with the Penguin and loses all memory of being the Darknight Detective. This sucks for the kidnapped Batgirl as she's about to be put to death by the Penguin at the stroke of midnight.
Episode 4 - "A Fistful of Felt" - Heaps of bent psychology here. Professor Hugo Strange pronounces the Ventriloquist cured and releases him from Arkham. The Ventriloquist gets a new gig performing at kids' birthday parties. But what happens when his old, malevolent puppet Scarface reappears?
Episode 5 - "RPM" - Nanotech-powered racer Gearhead comes to Gotham to seek thrills and loot cash, and Bruce builds an all-new and improved Batmobile. Meanwhile, Barbara goes to driving school.
Episode 6 - "Brawn" - The Joker has made off with Bane's power infusion module and is now all muscly and super-strong. Is Batman still in his weight class?
Episode 7 - "The Laughing Cats" - Joker absconds with a pair of endangered Siberian leopards, intending to sell them to a hunter of very rare beasts. Catwoman, she doesn't approve.
Episode 8 - "Fleurs Du Mal" - Even as the mayor initiates an environmental "Green Up Gotham" program, the Penguin schemes to make it rain, Alfred gets hay fever, and Batman is arrested for killing a plant. Can you guess the villain?
Episode 9 - "Cash for Toys" - After Wayne Industries shuts down the dangerous toy-making company Krank Co., its owner Cosmo Krank seeks out vengeance with his arsenal of lethal playthings. This is a fairly amusing episode if you're a fan of Patrick Warburton, who voices the brash Cash Tankenson as he provides police protection and "wingman" duties for Bruce.
Episode 10 - "The Apprentice" - After Bats and Batgirl foil another one of his schemes, Joker decides to get his own sidekick ("I want my own Mini Me."). So he starts hanging out at the comedy club Ha-Ha-Hacienda and discovers Prank.
Episode 11 - "Thunder" - The corrupt but semi-majestic billionaire Maximillian Zeus, after having lost the mayoral election, makes up his mind to rule Gotham anyway. And, he's got a flying warship to back up his ambition.
Episode 12 - "The Icy Depths" - Mr. Freeze and the Penguin vie for a jewel-encrusted umbrella, which hides a clue to sunken treasure. Meanwhile, a sneaky, old chum of Alfred's comes a-calling.
Episode 13 - "Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind" - The ever-oily Professor Hugo Strange demonstrates his Digitally Advanced Villain Emulator (or D.A.V.E.), the most up-to-date criminal-capture technology and powered by artificial intelligence. But you just know D.A.V.E.'s gonna rebel...To save the day, Bats just may have to pull out a ploy from Captain Kirk's bag of tricks.
Note: Disc 1 provides the first seven episodes, Disc 2 has the final six. For a special feature, there's only the 8-minute-long "The Batman: Season 3 Unmasked" featurette.
Three and a half stars for this one? Yeah, why not. And, for those who enjoy Season 3, Season 4 is even better. However, I'm still not that fond of the first two seasons."