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Beast
08-02-2005, 01:30 AM
We've all been waiting for this one for a while, and it's nice to see it's finally here. It's a shame we're not getting the planned extended cut of Batman Forever, as the workprint cut really does help salvage the movie. Oh well, still looking forward to it, though I hope they do individual sleeves for each movie in the mega-boxset, instead of that insane foldout thing like the Alien Quadrilogy Collection. Ugh. :)

There's big news for you caped crusader fans this morning. As we've reported in The Rumor Mill, Warner Home Video has finally announced the DVD release of Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 on 10/18 (SRP $79.92). The box set will contain new 2-disc special editions of Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (each 2-disc set will also be available separately for SRP $26.99). All four films on disc will feature new digital transfers (anamorphic widescreen video, of course), with audio in BOTH Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 surround sound. All four films are the original theatrical cuts. English and French audio options will be available, with English, French and Spanish subtitles (feature film only). Overall, the box set will include more than 18 hours of new bonus material. Let's run down the extras, film by film...

The Batman: Special Edition will feature audio commentary by director Tim Burton, 4 documentaries (some multi-part) including On the Set with Bob Kane, Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring Part 1 - The Road to Gotham City, Part 2 - The Gathering Storm and Part 3 - The Legend Reborn) and Beyond Batman (featuring 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 and Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of Batman), 3 Prince music videos (for Batdance, Partyman and Scandalous), 2 profile galleries (The Heroes and The Villains), the Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence featurette, and the film's theatrical trailer.

The Batman Returns: Special Edition will feature audio commentary by director Tim Burton, 3 documentaries (some multi-part) including The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring Part 4 - The Dark Side of the Knight) and Beyond Batman (featuring 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 and Mattes and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of Batman), Siouxsie and the Banshees' Face to Face music video, 2 more profile galleries (The Heroes and The Villains), and the film's theatrical trailer.

The Batman Forever: Special Edition will feature audio commentary by director Joel Schumacher, deleted scenes, 3 documentaries (some multi-part) including Riddle Me This: Why is Batman Forever?, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring Part 5 - Reinventing a Hero) and Beyond Batman (featuring Out of the Shadows: The Production Design of Batman Forever, The Many Faces of Gotham City, Knight Moves: The Stunts of Batman Forever, Imaging Forever: The Visual Effects of Batman Forever and Scoring Forever: The Music of Batman Forever), Seal's Kiss from a Rose music video, 2 more profile galleries (The Heroes and The Villains), and the film's theatrical trailer.

Finally, the Batman & Robin: Special Edition will feature audio commentary by director Joel Schumacher, a deleted scene (Alfred's Lost Love), 2 documentaries (both multi-part) including Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight (featuring Part 6 - Batman Unbound) and Beyond Batman (featuring Bigger, Bolder, Brighter: The Production Design of Batman & Robin, Maximum Overdrive: The Vehicles of Batman & Robin, Dressed to Thrill: The Costumes of Batman & Robin, Frozen Freaks and Femme Fatales: The Makeup of Batman & Robin and Freeze Frame: The Visual Effects of Batman & Robin), 4 music videos (for the Smashing Pumpkins' The End is the Beginning is the End, Jewel's Foolish Games, R. Kelly's Gotham City and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Look into My Eyes), 2 more profile galleries (The Heroes and The Villains), and the film's theatrical trailer.
MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Fluke Skywalker
08-02-2005, 05:07 AM
SWEET! Thanks for the heads up! It's about time they did this. Those bare bones versions have been out for a while.

First off, thank God they'll be available separately. 'Batman' and 'Returns' are must haves, but I'm ambivalent about 'Forever' and I don't want 'Robin' stinking up my collection!

I'm excited by the Burton commentary tracks, but after listening to the 'Pee-Wee's' & 'Sleepy Hollow' commentary tracks, I've decided a raconteur he aint. Still will be neat. I wonder if they even approached Keaton about being involved with this? Maybe in the docs?

I'd been predicting 10/18 as the 'Begins' release date. I wonder how Warner Bros. will approach this? Will they release it on the same day as this set? That's a whole lot of Batman at once! Anyone hear anything about when 'Begins' is going to be released on DVD?

Captain Spoon
08-02-2005, 07:37 AM
Same here I will pick up Batman and BAtman returns. I didn't care for the other 2. Also I can't wait for Batman Begins that movie was Frick'n Sweeeeet!!!

Vengecore
08-02-2005, 09:27 AM
yeah ill buy the first 2 films but I boycott Schumachers blatant disregard for the comics.

El Chuxter
08-02-2005, 12:00 PM
I too agree it's best they're separate. I & II will definitely be in my collection, and III if it's on sale for a cheap price. But no matter how much of a Batman fan I am, and no matter how incredibly cool Bane is, I will never, ever allow that piece of turd parody (jokingly called "Batman and Robin") in my home.

The special features on Batman and Robin should include a lengthy apology by Joel Schumacher, as well as footage of Clooney repeatedly kicking him in the crotch for almost ruining his career.

2-1B
08-02-2005, 01:11 PM
It's not a complete set without the Adam West movie. ;)

JediTricks
08-02-2005, 04:33 PM
I just watched the previous DVD of '89 Batman and damn does that movie need a better DVD treatment. Glad to hear that WB isn't pulling a Robocop series by releasing only the unpopular movies out of the set, I'll be buying only the first movie on DVD, I couldn't care less about the other 3.

The '66 Batman movie with Adam West was made by Fox, not WB, and they already have a DVD out for it... in the $5.50 bargain bins at Target and WM. Even that would be better than either Schumacher film though. :D

El Chuxter
08-02-2005, 04:35 PM
I wonder if Batman used his Bat-American Express from Batman and Robin to purchase the Bat-Shark Repellent he used in Batman: The Movie.

darthvyn
08-02-2005, 05:22 PM
The special features on Batman and Robin should include a lengthy apology by Joel Schumacher, as well as footage of Clooney repeatedly kicking him in the crotch for almost ruining his career.

add schmucher kicking liefeld in the crotch as well, and we'd have a hit reality tv show in the making... ;)

2-1B
08-02-2005, 10:20 PM
The '66 Batman movie with Adam West was made by Fox, not WB, and they already have a DVD out for it... in the $5.50 bargain bins at Target and WM. Even that would be better than either Schumacher film though. :D

And I'm proud to own that 5.50 one, I just want it recognized as part of the "anthology." If WB is going to soup up even Batman and Robin for re-release, then Fox should do a triple disc treatment of Bats 66. :crazed:

I still like Batman Forever though, call it a guilty pleasure . . .

Darkness Shroud
08-03-2005, 12:24 PM
I preordered Batman, Batman Returns and Batman Begins. I cant even begin to watch Batman and Robin again! Yack! JJB here in the UK a 4 disc boxset of the Superman films is due out. Do you or anyone else know if they will be extras filled or if they are just the plain titles bundled together? Batman begins is availble 16th October here in the UK.:)

JediTricks
10-19-2005, 02:37 PM
I saw the single-packed 2-disc Batman set yesterday at Target for $20, but the shelf tag for the boxed set was on an empty shelf. I didn't end up buying it because I bought Batman Begins instead, but I probably will soon.

Anybody here buy either the '89 alone or the whole boxed set? Any opinions yet?

El Chuxter
10-19-2005, 02:48 PM
I ordered the set, as I wanted the first three, and it's cheaper to get all four than to buy them separately.

I think Batman & Robin will be like the Superman III and IV in my Superman Anthology and will never be viewed.

Jayspawn
10-19-2005, 05:38 PM
I picked up the boxed set today at Target for $49.99. I struckout several times yesterday. My Target had 1 left this morning. I checked out the special features -pretty good! I'm happy. I picked up Batman Begins at Costco for $20 (cheapest in any of my stores).

Tycho
12-24-2006, 04:19 PM
I've gone batty lately. I bought Batman and Batman Returns - don't want the other 2 later films as I'd rather pretend they never happened. I think I got the bare-bones versions in Wal-Mart's cheap DVD stock, but that's fine. I am usually into watching the movies and not the extras.

I'm really glad I bought the 2-disc Batman Begins copy though. There I go enjoying the extras included with that. Go figure.

Anyway, I really always liked what Michelle Pheiffer brought to Batman Returns as the Catwoman. Keaton is great as Bats and Bruce and only Christian Bale has recently pulled the role off as the young Bruce.

The music is great and I like that "Face to Face" song while Selina and Bruce are dancing at Shrek's party to Siouxsie's music. That was a great movie moment. "Do we have to start fighting now?" Catwoman has always intrigued me.

Batman has the best Rogues' Gallery.

JediTricks
12-27-2006, 06:23 PM
I didn't care for Batman Returns, Burton got really self-indulgent with the directing, the script was a mess, and the whole thing felt like it took place in a giant store window because the sets were so enclosed and over the top. Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman was a massive disappointment because she's so wishy-washy and the magic backstory was lame and her behavior at the end undermines everything she had become - however, she was better than Halle Berry playing Storm in the X-men movies, so it makes even less sense that they'd cast Berry in the Catwoman movie. And I just loathed how they rebooted the Penguin, that was an atrocity - at the time, I wasn't even that familiar with the character but it still felt way out of place, a real tragedy since DeVito could have played an awesome Penguin if they had kept the character true to the comics.


I still haven't bought '89 Batman on 2-disc, I have the original 1-disc with zero extras and I was a HUGE fan of the '89 movie for the longest time, but when Batman Begins came out it really opened my eyes to how off-target the '89 film was and I lost a lot of interest in it.


I never cared for either Schumacher Batman film, the guy had no vision for the character and went straight to the old campy TV show, let the studio point him in the wrong direction even though he actually is a talented director when he wants to be. I thought Val Kilmer was going to be an awesome Bruce Wayne, but he blew it, apparently on purpose because the studio promised he'd work with Tim Burton and when they bait-and-switched him for Schumacher, he was so displeased he intentionally tanked his performance to spite the studio.

Tycho
12-27-2006, 06:47 PM
I like Val Kilmer in other movies (The Saint, Willow, Top Gun, etc.) but he was too young for Bruce Wayne, and too surfer boy for the haunted, billionaire, recluse that becomes Batman. Kilmer's capable, but it was the wrong casting from the get-go.

The story and script-writing of the other two Schumacher films added to the complications of the directing of them. I really want to pretend they never happened.

I agree that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton did a wonderful job - and I liked what DeVito and Pheiffer did. To each their own I guess. Until I saw the Nolan-Bale film, where Neeson was outstanding, I wished Keaton and Burton would have stuck with the Batman franchise for more films and also left Robin and especially Batgirl out of it (at least for a long time). Say 6 movies, and then a Robin with foreshadowing that he'll become Night Wing in a 7th film that featured him more than Batman, might've been the way to go.

Chris O'Donnel was great for that role, however.

El Chuxter
12-27-2006, 07:45 PM
I think, in better films, Val Kilmer and George Clooney could've been excellent Batmans, uh, Batmen, whatever. They're both awesome actors, and the train wrecks these films became wasn't the fault of either of them. (Believe me. I hated Clooney for the longest time, until I saw O Brother, Where Art Thou? and realized this suckfest wasn't his doing.)

Schwarzenegger was totally wrong as Mr Freeze. He's supposed to be a scrawny fella, and they didn't provide any reasoning behind changing him to this Austrian hulk.

Uma Thurman could've been a decent Poison Ivy had the movie not sucked.

Chris O'Donell: Not bad, but he'd be a better Nightwing than Robin. He's too old to be Robin.

Jim Carrey was too over-the-top as the Riddler, and came across as a second-rate Joker. Riddler should be far more subdued, more calculating.

Tommy Lee Jones I could actually see as Two-Face, but the character they had in Batman Forever was only Two-Face in name. The guy's a good enough actor to pull off the schizophrenic former DA, totally dependent upon a coin to decide whether Harvey or Two-Face gets the upper hand in any decision. But both the character and the actor were totally wasted here. The guy's indecisive; he's not a moron.

Jeep Swensen? Well, I have no idea if he could play Bane. That character in the film was less Bane than Two-Face was Two-Face. We're talking about a guy with superhuman strength and the cold cunning and intellect to match. I mean, the first time he saw Bruce Wayne, he pegged him as Batman just by the way he walked! And they turned him into a monosyllabic mass of fake-looking musculature. That was the true tragedy of Batman and Robin.

Alicia Silverstone and Batgirl? Forget it. They both suck. The Batman mythos would be forever endebted to whoever retconned her totally out of existence. Alan Moore deserves a medal and the wholehearted thanks of every comic fan for putting a bullet in her spine and turning her into the far more interesting Oracle.

JediTricks
12-29-2006, 03:59 AM
I like Val Kilmer in other movies (The Saint, Willow, Top Gun, etc.) but he was too young for Bruce Wayne, and too surfer boy for the haunted, billionaire, recluse that becomes Batman. Kilmer's capable, but it was the wrong casting from the get-go.Totally disagree. First off, "too young"? He was only 2 years younger than Keaton's first turn at the character, Kilmer was 38. Plus, he's played other parts besides rich guys, Willow was good work before Batman Forever and as Simon Templar in The Saint he played many characters. Kilmer had the rich playboy industrialist thing but also a hard edge, that's what would have worked as Batman but unfortunately it was not to be.


The story and script-writing of the other two Schumacher films added to the complications of the directing of them. I really want to pretend they never happened.The story on Batman Forever was written by a first-timer husband and wife team who have gone on to do nothing else. The screenplay was by them and a 3rd guy who also completely wrote Batman & Robin and the Lost in Space movie and some other junk but also the critically-acclaimed Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind.


I agree that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton did a wonderful job - and I liked what DeVito and Pheiffer did. To each their own I guess. Until I saw the Nolan-Bale film, where Neeson was outstanding, I wished Keaton and Burton would have stuck with the Batman franchise for more films and also left Robin and especially Batgirl out of it (at least for a long time). Say 6 movies, and then a Robin with foreshadowing that he'll become Night Wing in a 7th film that featured him more than Batman, might've been the way to go.Robin was originally supposed to be in Batman Returns, it was pretty far along actually which is why Kenner's Batman Returns line has a Robin figure in it (an awesome figure too, very close to the then-new comic iteration which Tim Burton supposedly helped come up with). Personally, I think Tim Burton both breathed new life into the franchise and hampered it with his personal vision overriding what was right for the direction of the movies.

Also, I feel that Robin's addition is somewhat unnecessary to the Batman character and was created to serve basically as a guy who says "why is that Batman?" so the audience knows what's going on, and he's a kid rather than an adult to get more kids to read the comic.


Chris O'Donnel was great for that role, however.Christ O'Donnell is an underrated actor, but this was one of the low points of his career IMO, he did alright with it but I actually felt bad for him having to read the junk they wrote for him.



I think, in better films, Val Kilmer and George Clooney could've been excellent Batmans, uh, Batmen, whatever. They're both awesome actors, and the train wrecks these films became wasn't the fault of either of them. (Believe me. I hated Clooney for the longest time, until I saw O Brother, Where Art Thou? and realized this suckfest wasn't his doing.)I've felt Clooney's an awesome actor since ER (and even a noteworthy one in The Facts of Life and Roseanne, actually), but I think he is ALL wrong for both Batman and Bruce Wayne characters because he's a more intimate type of actor, emotive and personal and even quiet, none of that translates to Bats. Plus, Clooney has SUCH a trademark face and voice and style - especially at that time - that he overshadows the part.


Schwarzenegger was totally wrong as Mr Freeze. He's supposed to be a scrawny fella, and they didn't provide any reasoning behind changing him to this Austrian hulk.Freeze can be a bigger guy, that works, but not a bodybuilder like the Austrian Oaf. Plus, like Clooney, Arnold is such a trademark guy (and usually such a crummy actor, though he showed occasional range after "Last Action Hero") that he completely overwhelms the part with himself.


Uma Thurman could've been a decent Poison Ivy had the movie not sucked.Uma can be a good actress, but again, I think the casting here is all wrong, she plays the wrong TYPE of person in her acting styles, it's just part of who she is. I think someone like Catherine Zeta Jones in a long curly red wig and tight, revealing green dress would have been way way better as Ivy - she has a better grasp on how to do this level of camp as well, Uma went way overboard.


Chris O'Donell: Not bad, but he'd be a better Nightwing than Robin. He's too old to be Robin.Yeah, better as Nightwing for sure, which is essentially what he was doing here, look at his costume and except for the cape (and lack of tonfa) that's what's going on. He also needed a writer and director who would let him play it tougher and less immature.


Jim Carrey was too over-the-top as the Riddler, and came across as a second-rate Joker. Riddler should be far more subdued, more calculating.Absolutely! Awful awful awful. He could have played this well too if he had a director rein him in tight, but Schumacher went for what the studio wanted which was "more of Jim Carrey's antics" - bleh.


Tommy Lee Jones I could actually see as Two-Face, but the character they had in Batman Forever was only Two-Face in name. The guy's a good enough actor to pull off the schizophrenic former DA, totally dependent upon a coin to decide whether Harvey or Two-Face gets the upper hand in any decision. But both the character and the actor were totally wasted here. The guy's indecisive; he's not a moron.I think he did better with the part than you think, but the material completely failed him. Also, I did have a hard time getting past the accent, and I really wanted to see Billy Dee as Two-Face.


Jeep Swensen? Well, I have no idea if he could play Bane. That character in the film was less Bane than Two-Face was Two-Face. We're talking about a guy with superhuman strength andthe cold cunning and intellect to match. I mean, the first time he saw Bruce Wayne, he pegged him as Batman just by the way he walked! And they turned him into a monosyllabic mass of fake-looking musculature. That was the true tragedy of Batman and Robin.That was an embarassment, they went the wrong way, they had no idea how to write Bane and they went for "big muscle guy" instead. The real tragedy is that Bane isn't something you can pull off cinematically, not naturally anyway, you need a hulking brute, someone twice that Jeep guy's build and about a foot taller - this should have been a man-in-suit if it HAD to be there at all.


Alicia Silverstone and Batgirl? Forget it. They both suck. The Batman mythos would be forever endebted to whoever retconned her totally out of existence. I think Alicia Silverstone is cute and sometimes a fair actress, but totally off-the-mark for Batgirl. In fact, including Batgirl at all was just a bad idea at all, even the short-lived '50s version (Batwoman's sidekick). Adding her to the movie was really stupid for 2 reasons: A) she sucked and added nothing to the film; B) it killed any possibility for a spin-off Batgirl franchise.