"Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

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"Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" - Discuss this animated feature!


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Otaku-sempai

Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2010
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Lackawanna, NY
#21
Still doesn't explain his origins to his psychosis or misogyny; or what happens after the ending to the story as I brought up earlier.
Gordon's motivation is explained if you are paying attention. When Batman confronts him in the climax we learn about his Civil War experiences: the brutality of the war and the diseases spread by camp-followers and prostitutes. You might not find the explanation satisfying, but it's there.

Now that I've watched the movie, I see that it is not so much an adaptation of Brian Augustyne's original story as it's a reinterpretation of it. Actually, I wish more elements of the original were still present, especially Jack the Ripper's previous activity in London of 1888. Of course then we would have to have had learned that James Gordon was also in London during the appropriate period. And eliminating 'Uncle Jake' from the film's story narrows our suspect pool for the Ripper, where keeping him in the narrative would have provided the audience with another red herring.
 

Yojimbo

Yes, have some.
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Jul 13, 2003
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Shahdaroba
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#24
Great movie, strong start for the 2018 line. Happy to see it was a detective/mystery tale at its core. Been wanting to see more of those kind of stories. More thoughts later. Movie aside, a tad amusing this and TNT's The Alienist came out at around the same time. Weird coincidence.

EDIT:

While the movie is clearly akin to the original comic, material has been cherry picked from its sequel, Master of the Future, and draws many influences from related literature, television, film, and animation. Sherlock Holmes was clearly the jumping off point but there's clearly some Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, steampunk, and even a little Star Trek mixed into the pot. Krieg clearly went above and beyond and inserted a lot of Sherlock Holmes and other pop culture easter eggs. Sam Liu is also just as malleable with his talents directing any genre that comes across his desk. In the past year alone, he went from teen drama in "Teen Titans: The Judas Contract" to the farcical send up of "Batman and Harley Quinn" and now a pseudo-period mystery. The action scenes are the easiest to tell there was careful attention to make sure it stayed true to the old fisticuffs of boxing from the late 1800s. The camera angles and editing help keep it grounded. The lighting also an interesting choice. Gotham has always been portrayed as a foreboding land but abundance of shadows, a little light, and sepia tone make it even more sinister. And like they say in the commentary, returned to doing money shots of Gotham. Frederick Weidmann also shows off his versatility in keeping the score in line with the period. I'd love for there to be a proper release from Water Tower Music.

Loved it was a straight up story of Batman trying to solve a murder mystery has been largely absent and "Batman: Gotham by Gaslight" finally fills that void. Even more compelling, on the flip side, it's also much more of a Bruce Wayne story than it is a Batman one. But also there is that love story element with Bruce and Selina, which was pretty cool. There's hope for them in one parallel universe at least.

The movie is a study on two similar men, Batman and Jack, who are affected by brutality and tragedy: how they cope, and ultimately how their life paths diverged in their promise to get vengeance and clean up Gotham. Bruce's parents are murdered and he goes on an undisclosed journey around the world learning science, psychology, and even paying off a certain magician for a magic trick then returns home with the knowledge and training needed to fulfill his promise, and retains that human connection to others. Whereas "Jack" lives through the horrors of some of the Civil War's bloodiest battles as a surgeon, observes disease run rampant, and becomes an island unto himself in trying to keep his own promise. Both men have stared down into the quintessential darkness of humanity. The only difference is Bruce didn't blink. Because of that Bruce remains his true self. Batman is not, just a mask he puts on. "Jack" keeps that mask on and turns into a monster. In the greater scope of the movie, I found it to be perfect study of how environment affects men - in this case, the back drop of the Industrial Age leaving Gotham tainted and giving way to the Gilded Age. The glitter of the World's Fair is only surface level and while all of Gotham is rooted in deep socioeconomic problems - misogyny, poverty and child slavery displayed by the 3 street urchin boys, laissez-faire politics of Mayor Tolliver, and xenophobia in the way everyone casts wayward glances at Hugo Strange (a perfect example of the Gilded Age, on the surface level they simply think he's a weird one but under the surface there's that institutionalized prejudice against certain immigrants in play). The ending was perfect with the imagery of the World's Fair burning down and Dickie's closing words solidifing a new hope for Gotham.

I agree the mystery of Jack's identity was changed for the better by Bruce Timm and Jim Krieg. Bringing in analogues of famous DC name characters to populate the world of Gaslight was a great way to supplement the cast but also helps with setting up a few red herrings and creating a character bias with the audience, fooling them into thinking characters will act like their counterparts in the mainstream comics do. It was also a nice touch to bring in Jacob Packer for a brief cameo as Bruce's defense attorney like in the comic but not use him as Jack. There are subtle clues that lead back to the true culprit but it's natural to be a little shocked. Still, with the movie and television realms being over saturated with stories about alternate dimensions and DC being no stranger to the multiverse, there has to be a version of Gordon that's evil.

Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Jim Krieg, Sam Liu, and Wes Gleason put together an amazing cast for this movie. It's not what you expect, in a really really good way. Bruce Greenwood, a fan favorite for his portrayals of Batman in "Young Justice" and "Batman: Under The Red Hood", gives us a brand new interpretation of the Dark Knight. Jennifer Carpenter also turned in a new take on Selina Kyle yet still mirroring the traits we know and love. Scott Patterson as well did an amazing take on James Gordon... especially at the end. I was really surprised to learn it was Yuri Lowenthal who voiced Harvey Dent. He truly sold him as a two-faced ******. Loved that wink when Selina said he was a different person when he was drunk. Anthony Stewart Head, wow! It's a slam dunk choice that he voiced Alfred. William Salyers as Hugo Strange and Grey Griffin as Sister Leslie were also truly transformative. I suppose listening to Salyers as Penguin the past 2 years, then his Hugo Strange was something new. Casting Griffin as Sister Leslie was also unexpected. In terms of the general voice acting, it was a relief there wasn't any stereotypical English, Irish, and Scottish accents. When it did come up like Griffin, it was subtle. Or with Chief Bullock, it played.

I chose not to re-read the original comic before watching this movie and found it way more enjoying. It's easy to get lost in nitpicking the movie about the comic, or Sherlock, or American history, or anachronisms like the blimp, Selina's song, and steam bike. The style of the character designs took some getting used to. The Answerstudio does impeccable work animating these movies, but I'm afraid to say it isn't par with their usual work. I admit I can't fully articulate what bothered me in particular. The characters seemed inconsistent and off-model at a few times or too minimalist maybe. But on the other hand, the blimp chase through Gotham and the flaming Ferris wheel fight was simply amazing. Looking at the comic, I think maybe they could have pushed a little more towards Mike Mignola's style.

In terms of the story, I was disappointed they left Bruce Wayne's status ambiguous as he's still technically a criminal and fugitive. But I suppose they left that for a hypothetical sequel. Also, one or two more red herrings were needed. The suspect list thins out a bit too quickly in my opinion. I think a really good addition to possible suspects would have been Tommy Elliot/Hush. With his medical training and occupation as a doctor in the comics, he would have been perfect. And I like to think, if a sequel is greenlit, Hush could make for a pretty easy translation as Batman's Moriarty -- and he was observing Batman and Bruce all along in this movie. A traveling circus of criminals with Joker and Harley could work, too.

The audio commentary is a true delight and is a sight for sore eyes. Very informative and entertaining.
 
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Yojimbo

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Shahdaroba
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#27
Even in that case, I would've preferred one in an AU where he serves an evil Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor as a commanding officer for a dictatorial union, systematically flushing out lower class civilians. But ah well, to each their own I suppose.
In a hypothetical sequel, I can see the latter because a short time skip would take them into the WWI era.
 

Dusty

Superman.
Nov 15, 2003
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#30
Called it being Gordon about 1/3 of the way in... this was a great movie, my only complaint was the abrupt ending. But aside from that I loved this, the animation was great, the dialog, acting, action, and designs were fun too.
The designs remind me of a mix of Jef Matsuda’s The Batman style and Bruce Timm’s DCAU.
Loved the feel of the movie and the time it took place, I’m not super fond of the Victorian era most times but this was really well done.
4 1/5 stars (only because I am nitpicking) as I wish I could have my nephew who loves Batman watch it with me. lol




Kallum.
 
May 15, 2008
156
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#32
I wasn't sold on the character designs for this story when the trailer came out, but i ended up really liking the look of all the main characters, especially Selina and Bruce. In fact, this has my favorite Bruce Wayne design in the entire DCU DTV line. I often feel like these movies could have a bit more background detail, but i understand there a budgetary limitations. With that said, i still thought the backgrounds combined with Wiedmann's score did a good job of setting the mood for the period. Voice acting was really solid too and i enjoyed the characterization of Bruce and Selina.

The only thing that hurt my enjoyment of this film was that i felt like the mystery aspect of it wasn't very strong. We get several red herrings regarding Jack's identity, but they're hardly viable for one reason or another. For example, Dent was passout drunk at the Dionysus Club when Bruce realized that Leslie is in danger, yet later he's brought up when Bruce and Alfred talk about possible suspects on account of the bloody pin found at the crime scene. Or Hugo Strange not being a physical match for Jack, as well as not lasting too long in the film anyway. The other potenitally suspicious characters have too little characterization for them to make sense from a narrative point of view. Unless we're supposed to consider the possibility of Jack being more than one person, there isn't much mystery to who he is and therefore the reveal hardly felt surprising.

If they had found an excuse for Harvey to split from Bruce and Selina by the time they got to the Dionysus Club (like leaning into him being the fifth wheel), he could have stayed a viable candidate until shortly before the reveal. Now he just looks like a misogynistic jealous jerk and a terrible friend.

On that note, i loved the scene of the three of them walking down the street, with Bruce and Selina starting to connect in conversation and slowly phasing Harvey out of it, next you know he's walking next to them instead of between them. That was good visual storytelling. Anyway, i realize it's hard to do a lot of misdirection in a crime mystery with a limited amount of time and that they improved on the comic in that aspect, but i thought they could have done a bit better in that regard.

With that said, i still enjoyed it quite a bit overall.
 
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Pfeiffer-Pfan

Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2007
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#35
3/23: The Numbers reports Blu-ray estimates - Gaslight sold $2 million in the 1st week.
This actually looks pretty good and certainly bodes well for any potential sequel and future Elseworlds.

It's already done alot better than Batman & Harley Quinn, which is a bit of a shame, but I guess word of mouth killed that one.