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UHD Review A few words about...™ Batman/Returns/Forever/Robin -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 24, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 75 May 24, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One cannot say that WB is not being totally transparent with their distribution plans for the 4k 1989-97 Batman series.

    They arrive shortly as four separate films, and then, on 17 Sept, as a boxed set.

    The difference is in the pricing. Currently a $42 price tag for each title, streeting at $25, with the set listing a $90, which presumably will be discounted.

    For those who must have them now, it's $100 for the set.

    But it's a nice set.

    With the exception of Batman & Robin, the final film in the non-dark Batman series, there really isn't 4k information to be ferreted. HDR adds a bit of nicety. And Dolby Atmos helps with the price of admission, but don't be expecting to be blown away by a 4k look, as you won't find it.

    What you get for your upgrade dollars, are four films that nicely mimic the appearance of 35mm prints. These are beautifully rendered 4k discs, accurately representing the original look of the films. All shot on fillum, and not digital - what they made is what you get.

    And that's a good thing, with nary a problem in sight.

    For fans, and there are more than attempting to collect the compleat Dean Martin, the only question should not whether to upgrade, but whether to wait for the boxed set, and a small discount.


    Image - 5 (HDR10)

    Audio - 5 (Dolby Atmos)

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

    Recommended

    RAH

     
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  2. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    But the Batman films should look better than Superman because they weren't proccessed out the wazoo right?
     
  3. Message #3 of 75 May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    Just checking does BATMAN 89 retain its original theatrical WB Opening logo?

    I read Returns does but for the recent theatrical presentation a viewer felt like the snowy WB shield looked a bit off almost greenish in a way

    thoughts on BATMAN 89 audio?
    Does it contain added / audio sound effects, not meaning the Atmos upgrade but all new effects?

    Sadly on the logo topic recent 4K screenings of Kubricks THE SHINING does not restore the Saul Bass logo. :-( Really wish the 4K disc would restore it.

    Fingers crossed when The Exorcist hits 4K it will finally get the Saul Bass Logo restored. It was perfect with the score integrated with that logo.
     
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  4. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    The Warner Bros. logos on all the Batman films are custom ones. They cannot be removed.
     
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  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    They all morph from a desaturated logo into other items of interest. They look fine.
     
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  6. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    I think he means the ones on the first two that go from the regular logo to one against a darkened background.
     
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  7. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    I wonder if the boxset will ever be as cheap as just buying Batman & Batman Returns, which is what I'm going to do. I suppose I have to buy the 4K to get the remastered Blu-rays, by the time my plasma gives out I could have a little stash of 4K discs ready for the new 4k telly. The last time I looked at the Batman Blu-ray, I can remember thinking that it could really do with a new transfer. I love the first two films, but then (for me anyway) the franchise quickly went down the tubes, & I really don't like the Noland films either.
     
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  8. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    Why would the negatives of the first 3 not provide 4K detail but the last one would?
     
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  9. Message #9 of 75 May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Not certain that the fourth appears terribly highly resolved. Just more so than the earlier. Just the overall look of the films. Everything isn’t perfectly destined for 4k.
     
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  10. Message #10 of 75 May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    This would be the perfect time and tie-in for the release of "Birdman" on 4K/UHD. Seriously, no joke, I'm not kidding. Meanwhile, with the upcoming releases of "Batman" and "The Shining", its really shaping into a great 4K year for Nicholson's craziest of characters. Now, all that's needed is a UHD of Warner's "The Witches of Eastwick" and the triad will be complete.
     
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  11. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Robert - thanks for the review! I intend to pick up the box set later this year!

    I’m very excited about this set and I’m glad it will be one of my first films to buy on UHd!
    As it was for dvd and Blu Ray!
     
  12. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    Saying there is no 4K information to be found on the first three movies is quite the opposite of just about every other review I've read, which all seem to be blown away by, not just the HDR, but the added clarity and detail found in these discs.
     
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  13. Message #13 of 75 May 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Reviews are personal opinions, based upon a myriad of different factors. My position is not that the new 4k releases do not capture the image properly, but rather that the image may never have had 4k detail.

    I believe they are as good as they can be.

    One should keep in mind that the majority of 4k releases aren’t. HRD can add a nice layer to an image, but the majority of modern films - both of photo-chemical, as well as digital - are finalized in 2k. Films shot photo-chemically, also do not necessarily hold 4k information, especially those with heavy effects. It’s simply the nature of what they are.
     
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  14. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I would also wager many of today's "reviewers" do not have the length and breadth of experience in the film industry, and knowledge of process and presentation, to comment with authority on such issues. They're basically just saying, "it looks good on my screen," which can be highly variable from one set-up to another.

    IMO, analysis by someone with RAH's years of involvement in the film industry would trump most any other reviews. As he noted, he did not say they looked bad, but likely look the best they can based on the technology in use when they were filmed, and combined with current options for HT presentation.
     
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  15. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    Ordinarily I would agree. In fact, I would say his opinion normally trumps ALL other reviewers, but it's still a personal opinion based on what he is seeing, and it's quite different from literally every other reviewer, who are practically giddy at the final product. Not one other reviewer has even suggested "they look the best they can." Anyway, it was just a curious observation on my part. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know.

    He also once said The Godfather, Part 2 did not need a restoration, despite the mosquito swarm around Michael Corleone's head in the opening shot, which he personally told me way back then was "fine." He thought differently when HE was offered the job, and the mosquito swarm, thankfully, is now gone.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Please remind me re GF2. What product? What year? New elements were produced c. 1997, and used for the DVD around 2001.
     
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  17. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    It's also a personal opinion based upon decades of experience working with film and extensively-researched knowledge about its image capabilities and the methods in which films are shot and finished.

    I have no doubt that the films will look great, but that doesn't change the fact that different film formats and production methods have finite resolution limits and, when it comes to 35mm, the only benefits that are possible on a 4K release are better compression methods, color handling, slightly more visible detail than 1080p, and HDR (depending on how it is handled and if the material warrants it.) You can't create detail that isn't present in the original materials. Theoretically, a good 4K release will allow you to see everything that is on 35mm film elements that were transferred, which is almost always better than what Blu-ray can show you, but not by much. The only 4K releases that have the potential to show a substantial improvement over what is on Blu-ray are the ones for large-format films. The difference between the 1080p and 4K releases of 2001: A Space Odyssey are like night and day because it was shot on 65mm by talented DP's. The differences between the Blu-ray and 4K releases of 35mm films or digital movies finished at 2K are mostly negligible. If done well, there is some visual improvement in the 4K over Blu-ray, but it's minor. That's just a fact. I'm totally fine with most 4K releases of 35mm films as UHD is currently the format that is most-capable of reproducing every bit of visual information from the source. A gallon of water will still be a gallon, however, even if it is poured from a jug into a bathtub. Mr. Harris is absolutely correct in his assessment that these new releases, "look the best they can."

    Don't even get me started on 4K releases of films shot on 16mm. Talk about overkill.
     
  18. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    Of course, they do, but whether "the best they can" is a revelation, as most reviews suggest, or "meh," you do not know if you have not seen them. I find Mr. Harris' review to be rather disappointing, and I suspect it's considerably better than the review suggests. We shall see.
     
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  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor
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    Since when is a 5/5 review a “meh” for a film?
     
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  20. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    When it says not to expect 4K from a 35mm that was scanned and finished in 4K, "because you won't find it."
     

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