Blu-ray Review: GOTHAM: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

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.

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GOTHAM is executive produced by Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon and John Stephens and is based on the DC Comics characters. The series stars Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue as Detective Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as the young Bruce Wayne, Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, James Frain as Theo Galavan, Jessica Lucas as Tabitha Galavan and Michael Chiklis as Captain Nathaniel Barnes.

The impressive list of guest stars for the second season include Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, Nathan Darrow as Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze, BD Wong as Professor Hugo Strange, Cameron Monaghan as Jerome Valeska, Natalie Alyn Lind as Silver St. Cloud, Richard Kind as Mayor Aubrey James, Paul Reubens as Elijah Van Dahl, Melinda Clarke as Grace Van Dahl, Michelle Veintimilla as Bridgit Pike/aka Firefly, and Carol Kane as Gertrud Kapelput.

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Darkness saturates Goham in its triumphant second season as the city’s villains continue to rise from the shadows, each more ambitious and depraved than the last. As Penguin continues to solidify his control over Gotham’s underworld, the battle for power in the city has become a game of interesting alliances on both sides of the law – with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the forefront of the fight against crime in the dangerously corrupt city. Season Two witnesses Gordon’s moral compass wavering as he confronts Gotham City’s most notorious criminals while simultaneously attempting to gain the trust of young Bruce Wayne, a boy now clearly on the path toward the man he is destined to be. And all the while, Gotham follows the intriguing origin stories and evolution of some of the city’s most infamous personalities, including Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze.

The second season really had so much going on that some of the characters either had to be shipped off on a trip or they simply had to take a back seat to the new ones being introduced. Jim gets himself in a really uncomfortable love triangle with Leslie and Barbara and both of these love interests get shipped off to different places where we’d end up seeing one more than the other. You’ll just have to witness it play out. There was definitely a heavy focus on BD Wong’s fantastic performance as the deranged Hugo Strange who is the madman behind most of the new chaos introduced to the city. More chaos means more supervillains!

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It’s up to Jim Gordon and the GCPD to go up against and take down this new enemy of super villains one by one and in doing so Gordon has to channel a darker side of himself that ends up making him a marked man by both sides of the law. More highlights this season include Mr. Freeze and this is an amazing version of the villainous ice man played by Nathan Darrow. Another highlight is James Frain’s sleazy character Theo Galavan who ultimately becomes Azrael but getting there is half the fun for this menace that’s unleashed upon Gotham. As the second season started to wind down and it was obvious that nobody was safe from Hugo Strange’s weird experiments, we even saw the return of Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) who rises from the dead with a few new surprises of her own.

As slick as the writing was for the amazing first season it felt like the growing pains were over and the second season got even better. The writing continued to be smart and all of the characters were just so interesting – familiar faces and the new ones. The entire cast for this series is really impressive and they’re the ones who bring these wonderful comic book characters to life. Of course, some of the cool costumes helped a little! Don’t worry, the series is still character driven but there’s nothing wrong with giving them a little more to do so they can all have more fun! Season two also featured so much more action and non-stop adventure and a lot of this was courtesy of some amazing special effects that included practical and CGI. Everything from the city’s skyline to Mr. Freeze’s ice cold weapons – it all looked awesome! The directing and cinematography for each episode also helps to give it this noir look that’s all dark and atmospheric. So well done!

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The packaging comes with a nice slipcase. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes season two details, an image and the impressive list of special features. There’s also a booklet inside that includes a list of the episodes with synopsis, more images and series credits. All four Blu-ray discs also include artwork that features the classic looking Gotham skyline on them. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Gotham: The Complete Second Season ended up being a fantastic sophomore effort that was even better than the first season. The subtitle for the second season was “Rise of the Villains” and that’s exactly what was delivered. The writing continued to be smart and thought-provoking but the second season added so much more action, adventure and new characters. There’s still a heavy focus on Jim Gordon (with a side of Bruce Wayne) who shows more of his dark side as he battles it out with Batman’s future enemies. This ultimately leads him to discovering that a sick and twisted puppet master is the one giving these villains a sinister second chance. Superpowers, cool costumes, high-tech gadgets and weapons are just some of the toys these maniacs use to wreak havoc on Gotham. One thing is for certain, the second season was a fun watch and it’ll be hard to top it when the Court of Owls show up in season three! Gotham: The Complete Second Season arrives on a four-disc Blu-ray set on August 16th and is definitely worth checking out. If you enjoyed the first season then you’re really going to have a blast with the second one!

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 4 Discs / 22 Episodes / 960 Minutes

  1. Damned If  You Do
  2. Knock Knock
  3. The Last Laugh
  4. Strike Force
  5. Scarification
  6. By Fire
  7. Mommy’s Little Monster
  8. Tonight’s The Night
  9. A Bitter Pill to Swallow
  10. The Son of Gotham
  11. Worse Than A Crime…
  12. Mr. Freeze
  13. A Dead Man Feels No Cold
  14. This Ball of Mud and Meanness
  15. Mad Grey Dawn
  16. Prisoners
  17. Into the Woods
  18. Pinewood
  19. Azrael
  20. Unleashed
  21. A Legion of Horribles
  22. Transference

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! The impressive list of extras include the 2015 Comic-Con panel, lots of featurettes, and a digital copy of the second season.

  • Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel: Warner Bros. Television Presents a Night of DC Entertainment at Comic-Con 2015: Gotham
  • Gotham by Noir Light: Gotham is deeply cast into the film noir technique and edgy attitude. The camera’s lens is able to pick up on the subtlety for the fans to enjoy a modern update to an age old tradition, of how to paint with shadow and light.
  • Alfred: Batman’s Greatest Ally: This story is about Gotham’s take on the father/son bond between Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred. The depth of the mythology from the comic books comes to life on the series. Poignant and powerful.
  • Cold Hearted – The Tale of Victor Fries: The mix of cold blood and a warm heart. We examine the humanistic melt-down of Victor Fries in pursuit of a cure for his love, Nora.
  • Character featurettes
  • Digital HD Copy

 

 

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