Batman: The Long Halloween
Batman: The Long Halloween – Deluxe Edition collects last year's two-part animated adaptation of iconic 1990s comic book series from DC by Jeph Loeb and the late Tim Sale. In the Deluxe Edition, the story is presented as one movie that clocks in at 168 minutes. The Deluxe Edition works far better in terms of pacing than as single movies and logically feels like a complete story. What felt like slow paced world building in Part One now feels like the roller coaster creaking up to the top for the dramatic fast winding finale that was Part Two.
A great majority of the movie version is not changed. But it noticeable that the Part One section has more blood and violence now that the entire movie is rated R whereas the Part One release was PG-13. The trained eye will some minute differences like the death of Vitti, the battle in Chinatown, or the murder of Alberto Falcone. And naturally, the opening and end credits do differ from the Part One and Two releases. The Deluxe Edition is also the only version offered in the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format which is very noticeable with the background art for example, a bit more detailed and sharp. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix seemed to be a bit better with this release as well.
The only new bonus feature is 24 minute, 56 second featurette, "Batman: The Long Halloween – Evolution Of Evil." Comic writer Jeph Loeb, movie producer Butch Lukic and Jim Krieg, movie writer Tim Sheridan, and clinical psychologist Dr. Drea Letamendi discuss the different themes and characters of The Long Halloween. It begins with Loeb commenting on the influence of infamous serial killers at the time like the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam in crafting the Holiday Killer as bridge between control of Gotham City shifting from organized crime to supervillains. Loeb and Lukic talk about the modern storytelling and film noir influences such as the story centering on the perspective of the villain. Dr. Letamendi comments on the theme of loss and formation of family like with Batman making an alliance with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent. The discussion shifts to the various relationships that build up or break apart through the course of the story ending on the emergence of a hero. While the featurette does delve into the background of the comic, it sadly does not discuss much of the making of the movie versions.
The rest of the special features are the digital copy and the four DC Vault bonus episodes from the Part One and Part Two are ported over to the special features section of the Deluxe Edition: "Christmas with the Joker," "It's Never Too Late," "Two-Face, Part One," and "Two-Face, Part Two" along with sneak peeks of past releases like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part One and Part Two, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight and Batman: Hush. Sadly, we are a third time denied a commentary track for a Long Halloween release. There is also no preview of the next movie release, Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons though it is on a different direct to video line, it would still seem prudent to start advertising its October release.
The movie version included in the Deluxe Edition still warrants this purchase from a collector's perspective as it is unique from the Part One release with the changes in content due to the R rating. If you prefer the 4K format, this is a definite purchase as the single Part releases are only in the regular Blu-ray format. Or simply, those who hate double dipping will be glad their patience paid off and they can watch The Long Halloween for the first time. Batman: The Long Halloween – Deluxe Edition releases on September 20, 2022 and is a recommended purchase.
Main Feature: 4 out of 5
Special Features: 2 out of 5
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5