Thursday, October 10, 2013

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997[Region Free] (2009)

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997[Region Free]This review is for the "Batman Anthology" set, where each movie is packaged in a new, 2-disc special edition. There is also an older, "Batman Legacy" set with the bare-bones editions, and Amazon seems to be grouping the two reviews together.

It's about time that Warner Home Video has finally given these superhero films the two disc, special-edition treatment they deserve. Each film comes with restored/enhanced video and audio, and all the special features one expects from a current dvd release these days; we get commentaries, archival music videos and trailers, making-of featurettes, interviews, retrospectives, and deleted scenes. The last bit will be of special interest to some fans, especially because the Batman Forever DVD finally includes those missing sequences we saw in the storybooks and trading cards (though they appear here in rough form). Also of interest to fans of the animated series is the abandoned "Robin sequence" from the original movie, where they got Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil to bring the storyboards to life. Overall the special features are excellent, and these special editions are not a cheap double-dip.

The big question is if you should shell out for the box set, which includes the generally reviled "Batman and Robin." Personally I completely love the first three movies, and since the box set is about the price of buying them seperately or even cheaper, I'd say go for it. The Batman and Robin edition has enough special features to be worth the investment, and besides that the complete box set just looks nicer on my shelf. If you only like two of the four movies, it's a harder decision. If you can guarantee to yourself that you'll never be tempted to pick up more than two of the films, grab them individually. But if you're a collector who might eventually cave-in and get the others for completion's sake, the best bet is to buy the box set now.

Either way, it's nice to finally own these films with all the trimmings.

"Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?"

"I am Catwoman. Hear more roar."

"It's true, I was there #1 son, but, they treated me like #2!"

"By the way, I've seen your mind freak!"

"Your not sending me to the cooler!"

The Joker wants to put eternal smiles on Gothamites, Catwoman has more than a frog in her throat, The Penguin can't get family time, The Riddler has a meeting of the minds, while, Mr. Freeze cools off, as they all try their hand at destroying "Batman"

Finally, after roughly five years since the release of the bare bones "Batman Legacy" DVD edition & on the heels of "Batman Forever"'s tenth anniversary on video, comes the "Batman Anthology". The first four "Batman" films are represented here with 2 discs covering each film in widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, with director's commentary.


Disc 1: feature film & one (!) theatrical trailer ("Warner" advertised the sh*t out of this film in 1989 & all they put is one release trailer!)

Disc 2: On the set with Bob Kane -the creator of "Batman" takes a small tour thru the set of the first film. It lasts about 2 minutes & really isn't worth losing sleep over, if you miss it.

"Shadows Of The Bat: The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight" Parts 1-3: this is definitely worth checking out. Everything you pretty much need to know about the progression of Batman from the comic pages of D.C. to the big screen release of the first film is here. If there is a reason to get this box set this is it. Big thumbs up.

"Legends OF The Dark Knight: The History Of Batman"

Need another reason to own this box set? here it is. Doc covers the complete history of Batman, from an idea of Bob Kane's, to comic hero, to T.V. star of the 60's, to big screen Dark Knight hero of the 80's & 90's. Another big thumbs up.

"Batman" Documentary Gallery O.K. look behind the scenes at making the film. From the gadgets & sets, to the costumes & the score. Cool enough to look at, but, something you would expect from a box set like this.

Hero & Villians Profiles basically, a bit of a rehash look at the main characters from the first film.

Robin storyboard sequence an idea that was dropped & might have actually pissed off a lot "Batman" fans. Basically, it's a chase sequence with Batman chasing The Joker through the streets of Gotham City. The chase eventually leads to a circus, The Flying Graysons, & the origin of Robin. I, personally, thought this sequence was overkill & makes you question did the filmakers need to have the Joker be responsible for both the origins of Batman & Robin?

Prince's music videos yup. Oversexed & silly even for it's time. I couldn't even sit through watching "Batdance". Prince is O.K., but, can you really take a man seriously when he's dressed as half-bat, half-clown? I call it half-as*ed.

"Batman Returns"

Disc 1: Feature film & theatrical trailer (yeah, just one)

Disc 2: "The Bat, The Cat, & The Penguin" original CBS special shown with a repeat showing of "Batman" in June of 1992, a couple of weeks before the release of "Batman Returns". Robert Urich hosts & its pretty cheesy in some areas.

"Shadow Of The Bat: The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight" Part 4 decent chronicle of the history of "Batman Returns". There is a big problem, however, with the interviews. All of the Michael Keaton, & some of the Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito interviews are rehashed from the CBS special, & its like watching pete & repeat. Nothing has been changed. My advice watch this first then go to the CBS special. Trust me on this one.

Heroes & Villians profile of main characters

Beyond Batman Doc Gallery behind the scenes look to "Batman Returns"

Siouxe & The Banshees "Face to Face" music video ever wonder what happened to this group? Watch this video & wonder no more.

"Batman Forever"

Disc 1: Feature film & wow!..., 1 trailer

Disc 2: "Riddle Me This Why Is Batman Forever?" CBS special that was broadcast with "Batman Returns" in June 1995, a couple of weeks before the theatrical release of "Batman Forever". Chris O'Donnell hosts & asks the question: Do you like your cheese grilled or with a slice of tomato? Taste the cheese.

"Shadow Of The Bat: The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight" Part 5 everthing you need to know about "Batman Forever" & the rumors & gossip surrounding the film are debunked right here. Great stuff.

Beyond Batman Doc Gallery a look at the making of the film. Just like the first two films.

Deleted Scenes (!) Holy cutting room floor, Batman!

alternate beginning (Two-Face escapes Arkham Asylum. "The Bat Must Die!" in blood on his cell wall), Bruce Wayne faces his fear in the bat-cave, are a few of the deleted scenes. Pretty cool, overall.

Seal, "Kiss From A Rose" video classic video from the film, but where the hell's the "U2" video!?

Heroes & Villans Profile

"Batman & Robin"

Disc 1: Feature film (sheer toy-ettic torture) & trailer

Disc 2: "Shadows Of The Bat: The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight" Part 5 YES!!! Joel Schumacher finally apoligizes for making this film!!(my soul reason in buying this box set was to see what was going to be said about this fourth film)

"Warner Brothers" wanted a more family inspired film, with lots of toys for the kiddies.

With the film being rushed into production & the emphasis, from toymaker Kenner, for more characters & vehicles to be "toy-ettic" (so they can make massive amounts of money off the toys, even if the movie sucks, which it does) "Batman & Robin" was doomed from the starting gate.

Why didn't Schumacher bow out of the project if he knew it was gonna suck?

Even after all this I still find the film painful to watch.

Chris O'Donnell adds: "Batman Forever" felt like we were making a film. "Batman & Robin" felt soft, like making a toy commercial."

Deleted scene Alfred's lost love. Ho-hum.

Batman doc gallery behind the scenes of "Batman & Robin"

four music videos they all suck. Believe me.

Heroes & Villans Profile

Overall, this is a great set & is worth getting, for the right price that is. This isn't the last definitive set for the "Batman" films. "Batman Begins" isn't included in this set, but, it seems like the franchise has been revived with the latest film & hopefully won't fall to the trappings of "Batman & Robin".

Either way Batman is forever.

Buy Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997[Region Free] (2009) Now

I'll admit that the price is cheap. Having all four films for less than $10 is great, but upon watching the first disc, I find that the quality of the transfer is absolutely terrible. Lots and lots of pixelation artifacts, especially when there's black on the screen, and let's face it, BATMAN was not a brightly lit film. The quality is barely, BAREly above VHS. I feel like they hooked a VCR up to a DVD recorder and had at it. I'm not even talking about grain (which I would expect from an older film transfer), but rather poor resolution. There are no solid diagonal lines, everything is blocky. The video looks like an SVCD that was poorly upconverted to DVD.

It's good value, if you're just looking for an affordable way to complete your collection, but if you're used to DVD-quality video, you will be disappointed...

Read Best Reviews of Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997[Region Free] (2009) Here

Compiling the first four Batman films, which as a previous reviewer noted both helped resurrect comic to film adaptations and nearly kill them as well, the Batman Anthology is better left on the shelf and the Special Editions of the first two films are the only ones worth purchasing. The first film, released in 1989 and directed by Tim Burton, cast Michael Keaton as a brooding Dark Knight trying to save Gotham City from the diabolical Joker (Jack Nicholson) while wooing reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger). This first film was revolutionary in it's tone and delivery when first released, and it hasn't aged very well, but the page it takes out of Frank Miller's classic Dark Knight Returns helps seperate it from the campy television series, which is why it became the blockbuster it did. Nicholson was perfectly cast as the Joker, and his performance will go down in history as one of, if not the, best comic book villains of all time. The second film, Batman Returns, was released in 1992 with Burton in the director's chair again and Keaton reprising his role and this time taking on the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the sexy Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) as well as a crooked mayor (Christopher Walken). Batman Returns was one of the few super hero sequels that managed to successfully capture the spirit of the first film, and be it's equal as well. The third film, Batman Forever, saw Joel Schumacher take over as director, and Val Kilmer dawning the cape & cowl this time around to take on the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (an overacting Tommy Lee Jones). Bats is also joined for the first time by Robin (Chris O'Donnell) as he woos the beautiful Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). This film was a split between critics and fans alike, as the dark tone is pretty much gone and replaced by an uber-campiness, but it's nowhere near as bad as what would follow it. 1997' Batman & Robin is arguably the worst comic to film adaptation of all time, with Schumacher back at the helm and the miscasting of George Clooney as Batman, with Chris O'Donnell returning as Robin, and Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. They take on Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), but before you get to that point you'll be wondering how this piece of crud ever got greenlit. Each film has been re-released in Two-Disc Special Editions with an assortment of extras, but this box set features no exclusive features itself. If you're a Bat-fan, then you already know to skip this set and just buy the first two (and maybe the third depending on how much you liked it) instead of getting this.

Want Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997[Region Free] (2009) Discount?

In order to convey where I'm coming from, I was never able to see the original Batman or the equally stunning Batman Returns in theaters when they were initially released. I figured that these new Blu Ray discs in combination with my high definition monitor. Well, I was beyond blown away with the image transfers from DVD to Blu Ray. As one would expect, with each progressing film the picture gets better. But even Batman and Batman Returns look great, especially considering how old the source material is. This is, without a doubt, a must have for any die-hard Batman fan if you want to experience the first four films in the highest quality available. Noteworthy is the fact that although the less than impressive third and fourth films are a bit goofy, they do look visually stunning on Blu Ray. If there is any silver lining for "Forever" and "B&R," it's the fact that the colors jump off the screen.

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