If you're not familiar with Frank Miller's seminal retelling of Batman's and James Gordon's origin, it's a gritty, character-driven story about motivations.
The film adaptation is pretty appropriately brutal, pushing the boundaries of its PG-13 animated rating. My big problem with Batman's origin is - if told badly - it's easy to dismiss the critical, devastating death of Bruce Wayne's. This adaptation walks the line pretty well.
Though that's maybe where the film drops a bit -- the original arc was arguably not kid-safe, and trying to make the motion adaptation fit into a safer rating gimps it.
But almost better than the movie are the special features, which are pretty robust for this direct-to-disc release.
- Catwoman -- A sexy (definitely PG-13), slick anime-esque original short pits Eliza Dushku-voiced Selena Kyle against a very, very bad man (voiced by John Di Maggio).
- "Heart of Vengeance" -- A solid (if a bit fawning) look at Frank Miller's comic book work and impact on comics; more than just a "known name", I'd say Miller creatively re-invigorated comics at a critical point in the speculative market that arguably nearly killed the industry.
- Voice acting -- There's a commentary-heavy voice acting feature with producer Alan Burnett, writer/editor Mike Carlin, and Andrea Romano (voice casting director); good for Biz folks.
- Two previous Catwoman cartoons -- Oddly, there's a Catwoman-themed episode each from Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. They're OK, but not stellar.
- Justice League: Doom -- This teaser shows off the upcoming modernization of the Justice League versus Legion of Doom, popularized in the Super Friends Saturday morning cartoon from the late seventies.
Overall, a good Blu-ray for content and extras, especially for those of us who are Batman fans and are OK with different expressions of some of our favorite stories.