Aug 102019
 

Gotham was hardly a perfect series and didn’t always have the strongest characters, especially the side ones (like Victor Fries) but I did generally enjoy it all things considered.

 

 

Gotham: The Complete Series
(2014-19)

Genre(s): Drama, Adventure, Crime
Warner Bros. | NR – 4740 min. – $112.99 | July 9, 2019

Date Published: 08/10/2019 | Author: The Movieman


SERIES INFO:
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Bob Kane (characters); Bruno Heller (developed by)
Cast: Ben McKenzie, David Mazouz, Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, Camren Bicondova, Morena Baccarin, Donal Logue, Cory Michael Smith, Erin Richards, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jessica Lucas, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Siddig, Cameron Monaghan, BD Wong, David Zayas


DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 18


Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5


Season 1: When rookie Gotham City detective James Gordon (BEN MCKENZIE) – dedicated to restoring his crime-ridden metropolis to its decent and illustrious past – catches the case of a murdered socialite couple, he promises their shattered surviving son, Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ), he’ll find their killer. It is an obligation and an obsession that will cost him dearly – and set the stage for the gritty and exciting world of Gotham.

Season 2: Gordon and Harvey Bullock (DONAL LOGUE) battle Gotham City’s rampant corruption under Captain Nathaniel Barnes’ (MICHAEL CHIKLIS) tough new command. To this end, Gordon seeks help from a questionable source: the Penguin (ROBIN LORD TAYLOR), king of Gotham’s underworld. But the gritty metropolis teems with ambitious criminal lunatics, including Edward Nygma (CORY MICHAEL SMITH), Professor Hugo Strange (BD WONG), Victor Fries (NATHAN DARROW) and Barbara Kean (ERIN RICHARDS), who’s set her psychotic sights on Gordon’s girl, Dr. Leslie Thompkins (MORENA BACCARIN). As billionaire Theo Galavan (JAMES FRAIN) emerges as the city’s savior, he and his sister, Tabitha Galavan (JESSICA LUCAS), his a centuries-old vendetta – while they enlist inmates from Arkham Asylum. With young Bruce Wayne only beginning to discover his family’s legacy, how long will mayhem reign?

Season 3: The fight for order and control is deadlier than ever. With the Indian Hill fugitives on the loose, Gordon takes matters into his own hands as a bounty hunter. But will he find demented mastermind Hugo Strange and his deranged subject, Fish Mooney (JADA PINKETT SMITH)? Bullock and Barnes attempt to hold the front line on crime against burgeoning super-villain Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Edward Nygma/Riddler, the future Poison Ivy (MAGGIE GEHA) and Jervis Tetch (BENEDICT SAMUEL), aka Mad Hatter. All the while, young Bruce Wayne discovers yet more secrets behind his parents’ murder as he peels back the curtain on the infamous criminal organization the Court of Owls.

Season 4: Gotham City’s most notorious criminals emerge, forcing GCPD Detectives Gordon and Bullock to battle a cadre of depraved and unhinged super-villains, including Penguin, Riddler, Kean, Tabitha Galavan and Poison Ivy (PEYTON LIST). But as the city sinks into chaos, a new hero waits in the wings. Young Bruce Wayne trains with Ra’s al Ghul (ALEXANDER SIDDIG) and, with help from his butler Alfred Pennyworth (SEAN PERTWEE) and former Wayne Enterprises executive Lucious Fox (CHRIS CHALK), dons a secret vigilante mantle to protect his beloved Gotham.

Season 5: The legend of the Dark Knight resumes with Gotham City divided between GCPD Detective Gordon’s jurisdiction and the city’s most notorious super-villains, including egomaniacal Penguin, vengeful love interest Barbara Kean, zealous Scarecrow (DAVID THOMPSON), Riddler, Catwoman (CAMREN BICONDOVA) and others. With Gordon struggling to gain control of a city on the edge of anarchy, the final season wraps up its iconic DC origin story by revealing Bruce Wayne, now a serious teen, as he undergoes his ultimate transformation into the Caped Crusader.


Review: Growing up, I was a fan of Batman, collecting just about every variation comic book series and spin-offs (i.e. “Robin”, “Batgirl”, “Azrael”, “GCPD”, etc) so one would think Gotham would be right up my alley. Well, it’s kind of a mixed bag. I did enjoy the first season as the world of Gotham City was being established with Jim Gordon as the lead character. I also didn’t mind too much following a child Bruce Wayne, though David Mazouz wasn’t great in the part and never really quite bought him (and it’s hard to take a brooding child seriously), though working opposite  Sean Pertwee’s Alfred, who honestly would even work in cinematic form, did keep those storylines afloat.

Seasons two and three weren’t my favorites but had some good moments such as BD Wong’s Hugo Strange and the further developments on Oswald Cobblepot, Edward Nygma as well as Selina Kyle, but plotlines weren’t terribly engaging. Things did turn around in seasons four and five as Bruce Wayne furthered his journey to becoming Batman (more on that later, however) and did like the set-up to the No Man’s Land story.

That said, while I did like the shortened season five, and appreciate the studio for even giving the show time to wrap things up (ratings I believe were on a downward slide), the series finale and the reveal of Mazouz as the Caped Crusader, and the cowl particularly, was… cringe-worthy and also laughable; almost made me appreciate Welling’s final scene in Smallville. Almost. Honestly, I don’t know who saw that I thought it looked even remotely passable. Sure, they have budget restrictions, but my god was it atrocious. Won’t say it killed the series, but to end it that way was ridiculous.

If one can ignore those few seconds, Gotham the series, as flawed as it may have been, was still pretty entertaining even when the storylines and shoving in just about every Batman villains as possible, there were aspects to admire and five seasons seemed like just about the right amount of time, any longer and I suspect they’d dive down and introduce King Tut or Crazy Quilt. I will say, of the villains, I liked Jessica Lucas as Tabitha Galavan the most and she got her due, even when sharing the screen with Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This set contains all five seasons each in the same HD keep cases as the regular releases, sans slip covers. The first four seasons do include Digital HD codes however mine did not have one for the fifth season; not sure it was just me or widespread but just FYI for you code collectors out there.


SEASON ONE

  • Deleted Scenes — ‘Penguin’s Umbrella’, ‘Lovecraft’, ‘Rogues’ Gallery’, ‘What the Little Bird Told Him’, ‘Welcome Back, Jim Gordon’, ‘Beasts of Prey’
  • Gotham Invented (TRT 31:28) is split into three parts: “Building Our Gotham” (13:19), “Paving the Way for the Caped Crusader” (6:56) and “Fractured Villains of Gotham” (11:13) which explores new mythologies leading to the emergence of Gotham’s deadly foes.
  • Gotham: Designing the Fiction (20:01) looks at the production design that establishes the vibe of Gotham.
  • The Game of Cobblepot (26:25) – The featurette examines the gamesmanship of Oswald Cobblepot as he ascends to the top of the Gotham underworld.
  • Gotham: The Legend Reborn (21:37) is a behind-the-scenes featurette looking at the Pilot Episode.
  • DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 (29:31) are the presentations for Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow.
  • Character Profiles (TRT 15:26) are available for Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Harvey Bullock, James Gordon, Fish Mooney, Oswald Cobblepot, Dr. Leslie Thompkins and Killer Character.
  • Gag Reel (4:55)

SEASON TWO

  • Aftermath (4:45) is a collection of interviews with the cast discussing their respective characters. These are nothing more than mini-featurettes that might’ve been shown online.
  • Father’s Office (0:24) is merely a teaser of Bruce and Alfred discovering the hidden door.
  • A Look Back (3:21) are some more interviews with the cast members Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor and Sean Pertwee where we learn more about their characters.
  • Maniax Jerome (0:24) is a preview to learn more about The Joker.
  • Strike Force (1:58) – Captain Barnes prepares to clean house with powerful cops and intense firepower. It’s a profile on Michael Chiklis’ character.
  • He Who Laughs Last (1:47) – Looks at the virus plot committed by Jerome who is then killed.
  • New Days, Dark Nights (1:36) is a featurette on the dark side of Jim Gordon.
  • A Look Ahead (3:09) is another series of interviews on Bruce & Alfred, Oswald, Nygma and Gordon. These are just teasers.
  • The King (1:54) looks at the Penguin’s power and how he’s also the newest target.
  • Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (16:19) – Warner Bros. Television presents a night of DC Entertainment at Comic-Con. It’s a panel of the cast (Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin, Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz, Erin Richards, Cory Michael Smith) and crew (Geoff Johns) discussing what’s to come in the second season.
  • Gotham by Noir Light (25:37) looks at how the film noir tradition creates an edgy, modern look.
  • Alfred: Batman’s Greatest Ally (19:51) is about Gotham’s take on the father/son bond between Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. The poignant and powerful mythology from the comic books comes to life in the series. This is probably one of the more extensive featurettes in this set.
  • Cold-Hearted: The Tale of Victor Fries (10:12) is a profile on the villain’s humanistic meltdown as he pursues a cure for his love, Nora.

SEASON THREE

  • Deleted Scenes – ‘Better to Reign in Hell…’, ‘New Day Rising’, ‘The Red Queen’, ‘The Executioner’, ‘Time Bomb’, ‘Ghosts’, ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, ‘How the Riddler Got His Name’, ‘Light the Wick’, ‘Destiny Calling’
  • Madness Rising: The New Villains of Gotham (10:00) takes a deeper look at Mad Hatter, Ivy Pepper and the elusive Court of Owls.
  • Gotham: 2016 Comic-Con Panel (28:22) – Join the cast (nearly all of them) and executive producers in San Diego as they talk about the third season.
  • Ben McKenzie Directorial Debut (2:20) is about the actor/star of the show helming ‘These Delicate and Dark Obsessions’.
  • The Dark Within the Dark: The Court of Owls (12:02) looks at the history behind this organization and their motivations.

SEASON FOUR

  • Solomon Grundy: Born on a Monday (9:53) looks at the character behind the intimidating exterior.
  • The Sirens Take Gotham (12:57) explores the relationships and motivations of Barbara Kean, Selina Kyle and Tabitha Galavan as the trio bands together to not only survive, but to thrive as one of Gotham’s leading crime syndicates.
  • The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels, San Diego 2017 (58:27) is just footage that’s on each of these DC sets have.
  • Deleted Scenes are included on ‘They Who Hide Behind Masks’, ‘The Demon’s Head’, ‘Hog Day Afternoon’ and ‘Queen Takes Knight’

SEASON FIVE

  • Gotham: Season 5: Best Moments at NYCC 2018 (20:37) has the cast and storytellers discussing the series’ final season.
  • Gotham: A Modern Mythology (16:12) – Discover the relationships between the friends and foes who motivate Bruce Wayne to become the Dark Knight.
  • Gotham’s Last Stand (1:18) – It’s the end of the beginning as heroes and villains battle for the soul of the city.
  • Villains: Modes of Persuasion (38:05) looks at the needs, wants and desires that fuel the nefarious deeds perpetrated by your favorite DC villains.
  • Deleted Scenes – ‘Year Zero’, Nothing’s Shocking’, ‘The Beginning’

 


VIDEO – 4.0/5


Each of the 100 episodes across the five seasons are presented with 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfers. The quality on each are pretty much consistent, detail is decent enough, colors lean more toward the darker realm given the tone of the show, and outside of some minor banding, is fairly clean.

AUDIO – 4.25/5


Each episode comes with a well rounded DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which showcases crisp and clear dialogue levels throughout while providing good depth when it came to the various action sequences, including gunfire, and also including the dark and dare I say, Gothic, score by Graeme Revell and David E. Russo. It’s not what I’d call a dynamic track or anything but it’s more than serviceable and an improvement over the DD 5.1 track as originally aired.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Gotham was hardly a perfect series and didn’t always have the strongest characters, especially the side ones (like Victor Fries) but I did generally enjoy it all things considered and was a step up from Arrow at least. This Complete Series Blu-ray release contains the same sets so no new exclusive bonus features, unfortunately.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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