Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
10 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Batman
Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Jack Nicholson as Joker/Jack Napier
Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale
Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox
Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon
Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent
Michael Gough as Alfred
Jack Palance as Grissom
Jerry Hall as Alicia
Tracey Walter as Bob the Goon
Lee Wallace as The Mayor
William Hootkins as Lt. Eckhardt

Batman Returns
Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Danny DeVito as Penguin
Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman/Selina Kyle
Christopher Walken as Max Shreck
Michael Gough as Alfred

Batman Forever
Val Kilmer as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Two-Face/Harvey Dent
Jim Carrey as Riddler/Edward Nygma
Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian
Chris O'Donnell as Robin/Dick Grayson
Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon
Drew Barrymore as Sugar

Batman & Robin
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries
George Clooney as Batman/Bruce Wayne
Chris O'Donnell as Robin/Dick Grayson
Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy/Dr. Pamela Isley
Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl/Barbara Wilson
Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon
John Glover as Doctor Jason Woodrue
Elle Macpherson as Julie Madison
Vivica A. Fox as Ms. B. Haven

Special Features:
Commentary by director Tim Burton on Batman and Batman Returns

Commentary by director Joel Schumacher on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin

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

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

Additional Scenes

Riddle Me This: Why is Batman Forever? – How a new director and cast created a new version of Gotham’s classic good and bad guys

Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Parts 1-6: The Road to Gotham City, The Gathering Storm, The Legend Reborn, The Dark Side of the Knight, Reinventing a Hero, Batman Unbound

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

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

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

Scoring Forever: The Music of Batman Forever

Kiss from a Rose Music Video by Seal

The Heroes and The Villains Profile Galleries

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

Freeze Frame: The Visual Effects of Batman & Robin

Music Videos: Batdance, Partyman, and Scandalous by Prince, Face to Face by Siouxsie and the Banshees, The End is the Beginning is the End by the Smashing Pumpkins, Foolish Games by Jewel, Gotham City by R. Kelly, Look into My Eyes by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence

The Heroes and The Villains Profile Galleries

Theatrical trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby TrueHD
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
French, Spanish, Castilian, Latin, German, Italian, and Portuguese Language
French, Spanish, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, and Portuguese Subtitles
Running Time: Batman: 126 Minutes, Batman Returns: 126 Minutes, Batman Forever: 121 Minutes, Batman & Robin: 125 Minutes

Synopsis:
This "Batman Anthology" includes Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), and Batman & Robin (1997). The following are official descriptions of the DVD:

"This year the BAT goes BLU…BATMAN - Batman (Michael Keaton) vs. The Joker (Jack Nicholson) in the amazing first extravaganza! With Kim Basinger. BATMAN RETURNS - The Bat (Michael Keaton), the Cat (Michelle Pfeiffer), the Penguin (Danny DeVito). And Christopher Walken, too! BATMAN FOREVER - Riddle me this: The Dark Knight (Val Kilmer) bat-battles Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey). With Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell. BATMAN & ROBIN - Will Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) put the world on ice? George Clooney wears the hero's cape. Also with Chris O'Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone. All four box office hits on Blu-Ray for the very first time!"

All of the "Batman" films are rated PG-13.

Mini-Review:
This is essentially the same "Batman Anthology" that was released a while back, just this time on Blu-ray Disc. I looked at them side by side and they appear to have all the same bonus features. When I popped the original Batman into the PlayStation 3, I hoped that it would look better than ever. That wasn't the case. As soon as the opening credits popped up, you could see every hair and bit of dirt on the print. The HD treatment also made every flaw in the film pop out even more. It really made it apparent that this movie is in need of the restoration treatment that the James Bond films and the "Star Wars" films recently got. Blu-ray enthusiasts may be disappointed by the picture quality.

That being said, if you haven't seen the "Batman Anthology" before, you're in for a major treat. The extensive bonus features are fantastic and it's a lot of fun to see Jack Nicholson reminisce about the Joker. I showed my kids Prince's "Batdance" and they were speechless. It was hilarious to see their reactions. Bat-Fans may want to upgrade their collections to the Blu-ray and anyone that doesn't have the original films in their collections will want to pick this up.

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