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Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989 - 1997  Print E-mail
Blu-ray Action-Adventure
Written by Noah Fleming   
Monday, 16 March 2009
Article Index
Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989 - 1997 
Page 2

“Batman Forever” (Video):
I would claim that this film has the best video transfer of the anthology.  The blacks are even across the board with no crushing in the bottom end.  Shadow delineation is the best it can be for such a dark film.  Contrast and skintones (the normal ones anyway) are impeccable.  Details and textures are terrific.  The details on the new superhero outfits are spectacular.  This film is of course free from edge enhancement and digital noise reduction.  The print has no evidence of dirt or blemishes.  With Joel Schumacher at the helm, the colors are bold and leap right off the screen.  Magnificent. (Video: 4.5/5)

“Batman Forever” (Audio):
As well as having the best video transfer, this film would also have to have the best audio transfer.  The frequency range of the audio track has been fixed, extending much further into the upper frequencies.  The LFE channel has a bit more kick to it.  The surround channels are now filled with ambience as well as discrete effects.  The front and rear divergence provides nice front and back movement.  The film just lacks that cohesive factor that would make it truly remarkable. (Audio: 4.5/5)

“Batman & Robin” (Video):
This film contains an excellent video transfer, however the overproduction of the film’s visual style just gets to be too much and impacts the viewing experience.  The black levels, details and textures are all stable and excellent.  Once again the shadow delineation is lacking ultra clarity.  I found that the extreme color saturation led to some minor bleeding.  The contrast was also overblown slightly.  It looks as if the studio let production get in the way of visual stimulation and plot. (Video: 4/5)

“Batman & Robin” (Audio):
As with “Batman Forever,” this film contains a great audio track.  Everything with the previous film holds true with this one.  The LFE channel is thumping this time around.  Dialogue becomes unclear during some points, but it is hard to stay focused during this film in any event, so it is not that disconcerting. (Audio: 4.5/5)

The Batman Anthology comes with a plethora of special features, which are spread across all four discs.  All the bonus materials are presented in standard definition.  “Shadows of the Bat” is an extensive that is broken into pieces and placed on each of the discs from beginning to end.

On the “Batman” disc there is a commentary with director Tim Burton.  “On the Set with Bob Kane” is a brief look at the writing of the screenplay.  The first three parts of the “Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight” are located here.  The three segments are “The Road to Gotham City,” “The Gathering Storm” and “The Legend Reborn.”  “Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman” takes a lot at the development of the superhero.  “Beyond Batman” is a featurette that contains all the movie specific documentaries: “Visualizing Gotham: The Production Design of ‘Batman,’” “Building the Batmobile,” “Those Wonderful Toys: The Props and Gadgets of ‘Batman,’” “Designing the Bat-Suit,” “From Jack to the Joker” and “Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of ‘Batman.’”  The disc also contains a photo gallery, storyboard sequence and theatrical trailer.  Lastly the disc contains three Prince music videos: “Batdance,” “Partyman” and “Scandalous.”

The “Batman Returns” disc contains an audio commentary with Tim Burton.  There is a making-of of featurette, “The Bat, The Cat and The Penguin.”  The disc contains the fourth part of the “Shadows of the Bat” documentary: “Dark Side of the Knight.”  The Beyond Batman section of this disc contains: “Gotham City Revisited: The Production Design of ‘Batman Returns,’” “Sleek, Sexy and Sinister: The Costumes of ‘Batman Returns,’” “Making Up the Penguin,” “Assembling the Arctic Army,” “Bats, Mattes and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of ‘Batman Returns,’” “Inside the Elfman Studio: The Music of ‘Batman Returns.’”  The disc also contains a photo gallery, theatrical trailer and a music video Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Face to Face.”

“Batman Forever” has an audio commentary by director Joel Schumacher.  “Riddle Me This: Why is Batman Forever?” takes a look at the new director and cast of Batman.  There are additional scenes as well as part five of the “Shadows of the Bat” – “Reinventing a Hero.”  The Batman Beyond section of this disc contains: “Out of the Shadows: the Production Design of ‘Batman Forever,’” “The Many Faces of Gotham City,” “Knight Moves: The Stunts of ‘Batman Forever,’” “Imaging Forever: The Visual Effects of ‘Batman Forever,’” “Scoring Forever: The Music of ‘Batman Forever.’”  Lastly, the disc contains the a photo gallery, theatrical trailer and a music video of Seal’s “A Kiss From the Rose.”

The “Batman & Robin” disc contains an audio commentary with director Joel Schumacher.  Along with one additional scene, the disc contains the sixth and final part of the “Shadows of the Bat” saga – “Batman Unbound.”  The Batman Beyond section of this disc contains: “Bigger, Bolder, Brighter: The Production Design of ‘Batman & Robin,’” “Maximum Overdrive: The Vehicles of ‘Batman & Robin,’” “Dressed to Thrill: The Costumes of ‘Batman & Robin,’” “Frozen Freaks and Femmes Fatales: The Makeup of ‘Batman & Robin,’” “Freeze Frame: The Visual Effects of ‘Batman & Robin.’”  Lastly, the disc contains a photo gallery, theatrical trailer and four music videos: The Smashing Pumpkins – “The End Is the Beginning Is The End,” Jewel – “Foolish Games,” R. Kelly – “Gotham City” and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – “Look Into My Eyes.”

Lastly, the Anthology comes with a Digital Copy of all four films.  These are located on one disc, which is placed inside the case with the Blu-ray of “Batman.”

The Batman series is a terrific saga.  I thoroughly enjoyed this release and it will find a great place among my Blu-ray collection.  I only hope that Warner Bros. sees fit to bring “Superman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1978 – 1987” to Blu-ray really soon.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Without a doubt, add this to your collection.
Studio Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG-13
Starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Chris O’Donnell, Nicole Kidman, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Alicia Silverstone, Uma Thurman, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Director Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher
Film Release Year 1989, 1992, 1995, 1997
Release Year 2009
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 2 hr. 6 mins., 2 hr. 6 mins., 2 hr. 1 min., 2 hr. 5 mins.
Sound Formats English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 • English Dolby Digital 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 2.0 • German Dolby Digital 5.1 • German Dolby Digital 2.0 • Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 • Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 • Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles Chinese • Danish • Dutch • English • Finnish • French • German • Italian • Korean • Norwegian • Portuguese • Spanish • Swedish
Special Features Director Audio Commentary; Cinematic Documentary; Photo Galleries; Music Videos; Theatrical Trailers; Production Featurettes; Additional Scenes; Storyboards; Digital Copy
Forum Link http://www.avrevforum.com
Reviewer Noah Fleming







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