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Batman [2 Discs] [DVD] [1989]

Release Date:10/18/2005
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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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (395 out of 405)

    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


    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

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.