Batman Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 1st February 2009
A fantastic movie that, apart from Prince’s ill-matched songs, stands up very well today, and this is a much-deserved, spruced-up re-release. The AV quality is a nice step up from Special Edition SD and the extras are Bat-fan gold. We may not have anything new – no PiP for example – but the familiar stuff is strong enough anyway.

Christian Bale’s incarnation, to my mind, is the better, more fully-rounded one and it has a much stronger action element, but Burton’s vision captures the gothic darkness and the borderline horror aspect that we all love about Batman. It exudes a sense of mystery and Grand Guignol that Nolen's gritty urban take has jettisoned in favour of realism. Nicholson steals the show, but this was an audacious and influential comic-book adaptation that opened many eyes and minds to the bonafide possibilities of superhero movies being taken seriously once again after the Superman series had degenerated into nothing more than a patriotically coloured farce. Burton would follow this up with the even darker and much more compelling Batman Returns, itself something of a ground-breaker in that it felt like both the final word and a new beginning for the character and the franchise.

For true Bat-geeks this Blu-ray is a no-brainer. You get everything that Warner graced the earlier release with and you get the raised level of picture and sound. So, for the discerning, it is definitely time to chuck out the older copy and replace it with this edition. There’s heaps of good stuff lovingly presented here and the whole package come mightily recommended.


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Mustang

Active Member
I found that both the original DVD and the Special Edition DVD (DTS and "remastered") were very poor, the picture quality was horrible and the sound was pretty badly presented too...in my opinion it was more like watching a (bad)VHS than a DVD.

Above all else, I was horrified at the amount of judder in the picture : which was apparant in the title sequence above all else. This never seems to be picked up on in any reviews of the DVD, I would be interested to see if the BD edition corrects the problem (or if anyone else has a problem with it).

Thanks for the review !
 

lagoonalight

Standard Member
I don't agree with the reviews about how this and that are so flawed they have been ongoing since 1989. If you weren't making love to Bale and Co. you would realize just how flawed that movie was too. Sooooo much violence, so much anger, so many over the top stunts. I like the first two and the last two as much as anyone but there is something to be said for your criticism of Keaton's Bruce Wayne. MANY people disagree with you, many of them avid fans, because many of us really don't like Christian Bale a british actor playing bruce wayne. There is something wrong with his voice and his persona err I mean CHIN!. I thought Keaton nailed it just about perfectly and his chin will always be the best. If you want to call yourself a critic then expose some of the flaws in the dark knight please while you hollow out Burton's vision in this very comparative review.

And really no matter what Nolan does he will never be a tim burton. EVER! And the women were better in Burton's movies BY FARRRRRRRR! I don't give a wick for any of the characters in Nolan's movies besides ehh, heath? and........ Batman? I don't know, to me the warmth has been lost and the soul has been battered in Nolan's vision.

Heath did a great job, Bale less so. Anyway, I did like the review I am just getting very sick of the neobatman worshippers who act like Nolan just took out a can on every batman ever in existence. For one, the mystery of Batman has been pulverized. He has been taken out of his noir roots and thrown into the real world. Each vision has its setbacks but there is still a very very large place in my heart that says the original batman's, especially Returns, will never be topped in its respective comic book persona, which, was all but eliminated for the very excellent Nolan takes.
 
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Mustang

Active Member
First off, I just checked out the Blu-Ray version, the judder is still there....sigh.

It's ok on a regular sized telly, but on anything bigger that 40 inches it really irritates me. How Burton / WB can stand to release this film with this small imperfection in it is beyond me especially considering how much it cost to make and made back !

That said, the detail and colours are pretty impressive - definitely the best version so far.

Keaton nailed Wayne as far as the mood and style of Burton's take on the caped crusader is concerned, he was haunted, eccentric and complex : all the qualities I would expect and demand from such a Burton interpretation.

This, in my opinion, is not the Wayne I knew from the comics / graphic novels and Burton had reinvented Wayne, Joker, Catwoman, Penguin and Gordon (but curiously Alfred was very similiar) in such a way that I felt there was no perversion of the graphic novels.

Nolan's characters are very different and so is his Gotham city for that matter, but Wayne was bang on for me reminding me of so many moments from the comics and really acting like the Wayne I remembered. Nolan's Batman is heavily influenced by Son Of the Demon, Killing Joke and a few of the other more adult novels.

The two really are very different and I think it's difficult to compare them directly and say one is better than the other : you may as well compare either of them to the TV Series or compare Star Trek TNG to the Original Series. I would say they are totally different interpretations by two directors with very different styles.

If asked which I preferred, I would take Nolan's two over Burton's two as I can find less faults in the recent movies (Prince's contribution to the movie, Commissioner Gordon's passive role in the story, Robert Wuhl as Alex Knox irritates me beyond belief and some awkward line deliveries occasionally bring Burton's down a notch).

I am intruiged to know what mystery you believe to be destroyed by Nolan though....please elaborate !

And I'm not making love to Bale & Co. when I say that, simply recognising what I believe to be a fantastically made movie(s?).

Totally agree with you on the women though : hard to believe any Catwoman replacing Michelle's :D
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Nice review:smashin:

Great movie too. Possibly my fave Batman. Keaton was THE Batman, imo. Well in the first movie anyway. Don't care for 2,3 and 4 and not even sure if he was in them:rolleyes:
 

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