Batman [2 Discs] [DVD] [1989]

It has taken almost a decade for Warner Bros. to finally release a deluxe edition of Tim Burton's first mega-successful blockbuster Batman flick, so now that it's here, how does it stack up? Could it possible live up to expectations? The answer is a resounding and joyous "Yes!" This two-disc special edition release is just what any film geek ordered -- the transfer is stunning and the bonus materials deliver hours of drool-inducing material. Despite all its bells and whistles, though, at the heart of this release lies the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. It's a crying shame that the folks at WB didn't update the presentation of this film sooner. The previous edition is an utter failure by today's standards and, needless to say, the digital picture remastering and combination of 5.1 Dolby and DTS tracks make for a truly new experience for the viewer. The movie disc comes complete with a Tim Burton commentary that finds the filmmaker scatterbrained as ever, but it's a solid and insightful commentary nonetheless. The real goodies come in the form of the documentaries and featurettes, adding up to over two hours of material dedicated to the various departments of this colossal production. Possibly the most interesting tales are those that present the film's decade-long road to production, spearheaded by a professor who happened to be the first to teach a comic book course at a university (just one of the little-known facts that abound on the bonus disc). Also included is a 40-minute special on the Batman mythos in the comic books that features interviews with past and current creators including Frank Miller and Alex Ross. Packed into the rest of the edition are three music videos from Prince, some smaller featurettes on each main character and character creator Bob Kane, and a surprising storyboard scene that features an early appearance by Robin that was cut (made even cooler by the vocal stylings of Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy doing the voices of the Joker and Batman, respectively). It's a bit of a disappointment that the discs don't include the heavily rumored deleted scenes, but you can bet that they're being saved for some kind of "Ultimate Edition" down the road. For now, you can't get any better than this release, compounded by the similar treatments done to all three later Batman films and, of course, Batman Begins, which was obviously the marketing strategy for waiting so long to finally unleash these stellar editions onto the scene.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (266 out of 270)

Special Features


  • Commentary by director Tim Burton
  • "On the Set With Bob Kane"
  • "Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman" -- The Batman comic book saga as reinvented and reinterpreted over nearly seven decades
  • "Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Parts 1-3" -- "The Road to Gotham City," "The Gathering Storm," "The Legend Reborn"
  • Beyond Batman documentary gallery -- "Visualizing Gotham: The Production Design of Batman," "Building the Batmobile," "Those Wonderful Toys: The Props and Gadgets of Batman," " Designing the Batsuit," "From Jack to The Joker," "Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of Batman"
  • Music videos by Prince: "Batdance," "Partyman," "Scandalous"
  • The Heroes and the Villains profile galleries
  • Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence
  • New digital transfer with both 5.1 Dolby and DTS surround
  • Theatrical trailer

Synopsis


Batman
Behind the black cowl, Gotham City superhero Batman is really millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who turned to crimefighting after his parents were brutally murdered before his eyes. The only person to share Wayne's secret is faithful butler Alfred (Michael Gough). The principal villain in Batman is The Joker (Jack Nicholson) who'd been mob torpedo Jack Napier before he was horribly disfigured in a vat of acid. The Joker's plan to destroy Batman and gain control of Gotham City is manifold. First he distributes a line of booby-trapped cosmetics, then he goes on a destruction spree in the Gotham Art Museum while the music of Prince blasts away in the background, and finally he orchestrates an all-out campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Gothamites, hoping to turn them against the Cowled One. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) becomes the love of Batman's life-which of course plays right into the Joker's hands. Photographed by Roger Pratt, designed by Anton Furst, and scored by Tim Burton's favorite composer Danny Elfman, Batman was a monstrous box-office hit, making $100 million in the first ten days of release--$82,800,000 in North America alone. Incidentally, Billy Dee Williams' comparatively small role as DA Harvey Dent was originally designed to set up the sequel, wherein Dent was to convert into master criminal Two-Face; but by the time the producers got around to that character in 1995's Batman Forever, Two-Face was played by Tommy Lee Jones. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Michael Keaton
    Michael Keaton - Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Jack Nicholson
    Jack Nicholson - Joker/Jack Napier
  • Kim Basinger
    Kim Basinger - Vicki Vale
  • Robert Wuhl
    Robert Wuhl - Alexander Knox
  • Pat Hingle
    Pat Hingle - Commissioner Gordon



Overall customer rating

4.8
99%
would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An Excellent Movie in the Batman Anthology

    Posted
    Superman

    Being a fan of the recent Batman Begins, I decided it would be worthwhile to give Tim Burton's original Batman flick a try. While it wasn't quite as deep or thematic as Batman Begins, it's still quite an enjoyable flick. I must admit I was skeptical about Michael Keaton taking up the role of the Dark Knight, especially after viewing Christian Bale's excellence performance in the part. Even though Keaton isn't quite the dark, brooding Bruce Wayne that Bale brought to the table, he still is a very interesting character to watch and serves up an overall effective Batman. On the other end of the spectrum, Jack Nicholson is excellent as Joker. Throughout the whole movie he's a delightful, happy-go-lucky oddity who's nursing a hidden agenda. His strange, somewhat absurd nature is very amusing to watch, and overall Joker makes for a wonderful villain. In conclusion, this is an excellent movie for Batman fans or superhero fans in general. Tim Burton serves up a fun yet serious movie that is a delight to watch. I highly recommend it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The dark knight returns in high definition

    Posted
    JKpinky
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Tim Burtons Batman stands as one of the original batch of the first blockbusters, alongside such classics as Jaws, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. But with Christopher Nolans excellent Dark Knight trilogy available, it can be pretty easy to forget this original Batman film from 1989. And there is still plenty here to enjoy. The dark gothic visuals and set design, the thrilling bombastic story it tells and of course Jack Nicholsons gleefully twisted take on the Joker. The Blu-Ray transfer may at first seem grey and murky, but when you consider that the whole movie is grey and murky, they really did a good job making this old a film look beautiful. Definitely worth buying for those who after all these years still have an appreciation for this near forgotten classic.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Movie Ever

    Posted
    gosborne

    I had purchased this movie for the digital copy i have on my ipod I purchased it on April 4th and got home and the Digital copy wouldn't work looking at it expired March 31st .. SO instead of returning it I write WB costumer support and they issued a new number that didn't work upon writing back I never got a respond email so I wrote them again and was told this " Hello, Thank you for your interest in the Digital Copy feature for Batman. Unfortunately this feature has officially been discontinued. We appreciate your interest in this feature and hope to provide many more like it in the months to come. Thanks again DIGITAL COPY SUPPORT" If it is a selling point for the Item they need to support it or remove it off the rack !!! I will never buy a WB Disc again

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Be shure to replace your old copy with this one

    Posted
    TurtleTitan

    This new DVD edition should definitely replace your old Batman DVD or, God forbid, VHS tape. There are hours of bonus features included, mostly done in documentary format. All angles are covered on the 2nd disc. Beginning with the original Batman creator, Bob Kane, through the lengthy history of Batman, to the ultimate cinematic adaptation by Tim Burton, who also speaks at great length about the production of the film. This is very interesting material that a fan will truly appreciate. This movie spoke for itself at the box office. The combination of Tim Burton's vision and direction, impeccable casting and wonderful special effects took the movie world by storm and reached far beyond the silver screen. For a while there, you couldn't look anywhere without seeing the Batman logo. They did some job marketing this movie...

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Batman Steelbooks

    Posted
    Matt
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I'll never understand why WB only released the steelbooks for the first two in the US, but Batman Forever and Batman & Robin can be found in other countries. The good news is, the foreign releases of those are region free, and look like they were released in the US aside from the rating code on the front. They match up with Batman and Batman Returns to form a full set of original Batman steelbooks. These are super cool, and I think they're worth the extra expense. I can confirm that while these do not include a Digital HD copy, all original Batman films work with Vudu Disc-To-Digital as of July 2016.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Batman 89 Steelbook & Blu-Ray Review

    Posted
    TPOT
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The steelbook for this movie looks nice. I like how the insignia stands out on the front. The movie itself looks good for the most part on Blu-Ray with the exception of a few areas (notably the opening credits) where the color palette looked washed out but overall I was pleased. Sound is ok but I found myself wishing there was a DTS-HD audio track instead of Dolby TrueHD. Overall, I feel this is a good purchase for fans of this interpretation of Batman. Buy it, especially if you find it on sale in stores or online.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Tim Burton's Masterpiece

    Posted
    Readmyreview
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Many will say that "The Dark Knight" was the best Batman film, but if you really dig deep at how the Batman character was portrayed in this film, you will find that this interpretation was much darker and more truer to the comic version of the caped crusader. Michael Keaton's performance as an odd, socially awkward Bruce Wayne, as well as a dark, hidden in the shadows with crazy eyes type of Batman makes this character seem believable and fathomable. Jack Nicholson as Joker was perfect and Tim Burton's vision was wonderfully captured in this true masterpiece. This movie changed Hollywoods perception of how financially successful comic book movies can become.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    watchable but empty

    Posted
    prlwctd

    The Joker was the role Nicholson was born to play and his performance here shows that he knows it. The art direction (which richly deserved an Oscar) is also first rate, as is the music from Prince (especially Scandalous). Sadly, this emphasis on Jack proved to be at the cost of what could've been great work from Michael Keaton in the title role. Instead, his work is merely good instead of legendary (a la Christopher Reeve as Superman). Kim Basinger, as beautiful as she is, proves as weak and cliched a love interest here as she was in Never Say Never Again. It wouldn't be until Batman Begins, over 15 years later, that the big screen would do the Caped Crusader justice.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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