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Batman Returns [2 Discs] [WS] [DVD] [1992]

Release Date:10/18/2005
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Caped Crusader fans rejoice! Batman Returns makes a grand reentrance into the DVD world thanks to the timely release of Batman Begins into living rooms everywhere. This 2-Disc Special Edition is just what the doctor ordered, with a gorgeous presentation and bonus materials seemingly sent down from the DVD heavens. The first thing you'll notice is how good it looks. The widescreen image (16 x 9, 1.85:1) has a beautiful pop to the stark images that was severely lacking in the previous release. And how about that sound? DTS, for all you who have the pleasure of running it, and a slam-bang solid 5.1 track to immerse you in this crazy carnival ride right out of Tim Burton's head, which is cracked open for all to see with one of his usual dry audio commentaries. The track is full of Burtonesque scatter shots of ideas and memories, though it's interesting to hear his repeated reactions to the film's criticism. The real juice comes from the bonus materials, which are packed over two hours of documentaries and featurettes. Included is a made-for-TV special along with a continuation of the "Shadow of the Bat" documentary that flows through each of the four Batman film-series DVD reissues. Everything from Annette Bening's original casting to the lukewarm studio exec reception are discussed in a frank and rather refreshing way that only time can afford. With additional featurettes focusing more on the individual aspects of the production, including production design and a fascinating look at the re-creation of the batsuit, there's so much covered that you can't help but get sucked in. The funny thing is that the disc isn't even done yet -- you've still got a handful of smaller featurettes on the film's heroes and villains along with the Siouxsie and the Banshees "Face to Face" music video. It's nice to finally see this series getting the treatment it deserves, even if you're going to think twice about picking up the Schumacher installments (though the idea of those documentaries is definitely tantalizing). Whether it was worth the extended wait or not, there's too much grade-A material in this edition for people not to be drawn to it.



Commentary by director Tim Burton

"The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin" -- Cast and crew members recall the making of this equally spectacular sequel

"Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Part 4" -- "Dark Side of the Night"

Beyond Batman documentary gallery -- "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," "Inside the Elfman Studio: The Music of Batman Returns"

"Face to Face" music video by Siouxsie and the Banshees

"The Heroes and the Villains" profile galleries

New digital transfer with both 5.1 Dolby and DTS Surround

Theatrical trailer