Action Adventure

'The LEGO Batman Movie' Blu-ray Review: Always bet on black and yellow

June 16, 2017Ben MK

For nearly 80 years, Batman has defended Gotham City, and during that time, he's taken on many forms. He's been a cartoon Caped Crusader and a brooding, big screen brawler, but it's arguably Adam West's portrayal of a not-so-dark knight in the campy 1960s television show that has had the biggest impact on pop culture.

Of course, with West's recent passing, the time is about right to nominate a successor — someone who can don the mantle of the Batman to kick a little supervillain butt, but also have a little fun while doing it. Needless to say, you don't have to be the World's Greatest Detective to figure out where we're going with this, because Will Arnett's portrayal of the LEGO minifig version of Batman — a role he first played to snarling, sarcastic perfection in 2014's The LEGO Movie — is definitely something that fans of Batman's more humorous adventures can get behind.

Directed by Chris McKay (best known for his work on Robot Chicken) and also starring Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes, The LEGO Batman Movie shines the spotlight on Arnett's tongue-in-cheek take on the character, pitting him head-to-head with his arch-nemesis, the Joker (Galifianakis). There's just one problem, though, as Batman refuses to acknowledge that the Joker is in fact his greatest enemy, leading the Clown Prince of Crime to hatch a dastardly plan to teach Batman the folly of his ways. And it involves the Phantom Zone and crossovers with other famous franchises like Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Gremlins.

In case it isn't already glaringly obvious, The LEGO Batman Movie is unlike any other Batman incarnation put to film. Irreverent in tone and style but at the same time reverential to the source material, it paints Batman and his Rogues Gallery in a humorous light that would feel very familiar for fans of The LEGO Movie. But for fans of Christopher Nolan's or Zach Snyder's darker characterizations, it not only makes for a refreshing change of pace; it also feels like the perfect antidote for the gloom and doom we're all faced with when we turn on the nightly news.

The LEGO Batman Movie's colorful interpretation of Gotham City comes across beautifully on Blu-ray, as the movie boasts a ridiculous palette of rainbow-flavored hues, all of which are rendered with the utmost brilliancy. Generally speaking, however, this direct-from-digital 1080p image is flawless, and if you freeze-frame any scene you can easily see the plethora of tiny details the animators have sneaked into the film, from the cloth texture of Commissioner Gordon's trench coat, to the subtle imperfections on the various LEGO bricks. As for the pair of Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mixes that accompany the visuals, they're far from imperfect, whether it's Batman's heavy metal rapping, the "baps," "bams" and "kapows" of the animated fisticuffs, or the "pew pew" of gunfire.

Warner's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Animated Shorts (7:30) - Four shorts ("Dark Hoser," "Batman is Just Not That Into You," "Cooking with Alfred" and "Movie Sound Effects: How Do They Do That?").
  • The Master: A LEGO Ninjago Short (5:23) - A LEGO short in which Master Wu faces off against a plucky chicken.
  • Deleted Scenes (7:00) - Four scenes ("Batcave Studio," "Lollipop," "Batman & Mayor Swap" and "Clayface").
  • One Brick at a Time: Making The LEGO Batman Movie (16:10) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie, from the collaboration among the filmmakers and the creative process, to the visuals, the animation, the sound design and the music.
  • Rebrick Contest Winners (2:47) - Will Arnett presents the top three winners of the ReBrick Contest ("Frosted Pie," "Two Face Chase" and "Harley Quinn Robs a Gotham Bank").
  • Inside Wayne Manor (2:36) - Batman and his "roommate" Bruce Wayne give viewers a tour of their mansion.
  • Brick By Brick: Making of The LEGO Batman Movie (3:50) - Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes talk about making the movie.
  • Behind the Brick (4:13) - The characters talk about the movie and their roles.
  • Me and My Minifig (00:56) - Arnett, Dawson and Cera pose with the real-life minifigs of their characters.
  • Promotional Material (14:21) - Ten trailers and ads ("Trailer 1 - With Will Arnett Intro," "Trailer 2," "Trailer 3," "LEGO Life Trailer," "Follow Me Online," "Don't Skip," "Happy Holidays Jingle," "Batsby New Year's," "Team Cutdown" and "Comic-Con Panel").
  • Director and Crew Commentary - Director Chris McKay and a host of the film's crew talk about everything from the music, the lighting, the editing, the voice cast, the character designs, the references to other films, the Easter Eggs, the animation and the visual style, the jokes and the gags, and more.

The LEGO Batman Movie is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of June 13th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish - Mexicano, Spanish - Colombiano and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 44 Mins.

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