While the Dark Knight Rises film was a huge let-down to me, a similar animated movie, Dark Knight Returns, was available to fill its shoes. This movie did everything that I originally hoped Dark Knight Rises would do, including visualizing an old Bruce Wayne, introducing a new, female Robin, and returning to Batman's roots as a vigilante who has to fight the police as well as the criminals.
1. The premise is good. Batman returns from retirement.
2. Batman's voice may seem bland at first, but it grows on you. He seems a lot more intelligent and educated than the previous Batman voices I've heard. I like this change.
3. Batman enters into an all-out fight against Superman.
1. Animation quality suffers greatly during some of the gunfight scenes, and you can easily notice some very lazy animation shortcuts being taken. I have seen more attention to detail in motion comics!
2. Voices of important characters are sometimes very bland and unremarkable.
3. You need to purchase two separate movies (part 1 & part 2) to get the whole experience.
I want to touch on the animation issues. There is a moment in part 2 when Robin is scaling a roller coaster by jumping up the pipe structure. She does not have any depth inside the scene and just seems to hover over the scenery like an overlay. None of the bars ever go in front of her, making it seem like she can fly, which is not the case.
Overall, both movies are worth getting, together or apart, and will entertain all Batman fans. The Joker is as sadistic as ever. Dark Knight Returns is based on a very old comic, so do not expect a whole lot of fan-service. These two movies will not show a whole lot of backstory and will require the viewers to have some previous knowledge of Batman lore in order to truly appreciate the story. However, in part 2, Superman is awesome, so if you just want to see the cool superhero fight scenes, get part 2.
The DVD/Blu-Ray extras are neither amazing nor stale. You get a digital comic version of the story on the Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray disc also has a few featurettes. The DVD has a few commercials for other DC animated movies, including Superman Unbound. The featurettes include a few interviews, some retrospectives, and 3 "bonus cartoons", which are most likely Batman Beyond episodes. (I have not checked yet, but part 1 had 2 Batman Beyond episodes on it.) For the most part, the extras do not interest me. I bought these combo packs simply because I wanted as many ways to watch the movies as possible. However, I think the bonus cartoons are very nice bonuses.