Blu-ray Review “Batman: Assault on Arkham”

batman-arkhamStarring: Kevin Conroy, Matthew Gray Gubler, Neal McDonough, Troy Baker, CCH Pounder, Hynden Walch
Director: Jay Oliva
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 75 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

DCU Animated has been really stepping up their game and delivering some great titles in the last year or so. The latest focuses on the caped crusader and is based on the popular Arkham videogame series. It is definitely one of the best Batman direct-to-video adaptations. It has a solid story and a great cast of characters. If you are a fan of a video game series, I mean who isn’t, this is a must see.  I hope that they are planning on continuing this with more Arkham animated films. At least, this should hold you over until “Batman: Arkham Knight” is released sometime next year. I am curious to see what DCU Animated has planned next for “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis”. Keep them coming guys!

Official Premise: When the government assembles a group of supervillains — code named The Suicide Squad — and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to acquire top secret information the Riddler has stolen, Batman becomes involved. But things go from bad to worse when one of the Squad, Harley Quinn, frees the Joker, who has the means to not only blow up the asylum, but most of Gotham City as well. Batman must use his super hero wits and strength to thwart the wicked plans of the Joker and the Suicide Squad.

“Batman: Assault on Arkham” features the voice talents of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Troy Baker as Joker, Eliza Dushku as Killer Frost, Hynden Walch as Harley Quinn, Neal McDonough as Deadshot, Matthew Gray Gubler as The Riddler and CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller. Troy Baker does an epic job of the Joker, which is not an easy role to nail. Kevin Conroy is amazing, as usual, as Batman. Eliza Dushku is perfect as Killer Frost and Hynden Walch, known for her work in “Adventure Time”, is spot on with her take of Harley Quinn.

Warner is giving this release the works with a combo pack including a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy. Recently DCU Animated films have been getting known getting some high quality Blu-ray release, even though the productions are direct-to-video, the animated is extremely polished and look great. They also come with stunning DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks. Nothing is different for this release, it has a strong sound and works well with the score and the action and a solid video presentation.

In terms of special features, fans are given the goods as well. There is a solid audio commentary track from DC Comics Animation creative director Mike Carlin, Assault on Arkham writer Heath Corson and executive producer James Tucker, they go super in-depth into the film and it’s production and it is a must-listen. “The Joker’s Queen: Harley Quinn” looks into the character. “Arkham Analyzed: The Secrets Behind the Asylum” talks about the history of the facility.  “From the DC Comics Vault” consists three episodes including “Task Force X” from Justice League Unlimited, “Infiltrator” from Young Justice, “Emperor Joker” from The Brave and the Bold and “Two of a Kind” from The Batman. Lastly there is a sneak peak of “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis”, the sequel to “Justice League: War”.

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