What's new

HTF BAT-RAY REVIEW: Batman - The Movie (1 Viewer)

Michael Osadciw

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Messages
1,414
Real Name
Michael Osadciw
Bat-ray Disc Review




ronsreviews_covers_1973041.jpg


BATMAN
THE MOVIE


Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 1966
Film Length: 105 minutes
Genre: Action/Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Colour/B&W: Colour

BD Specifications:
Resolution: 1080/24p
Video Codec: AVC @ 27MBPS
Disc Size: BD-50

Audio:
English DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin
Film Rating: PG








Release Date: July 01, 2008.



Rating: :star: :star:
htf_images_smilies_half.gif
/ :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Starring: Adam West (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Burt Ward (Robin/Dick Grayson), Lee Merriwether (The Catwoman), Cesar Romero (The Joker), Burgess Meredith (The Penguin), Frank Gorshin (The Riddler)

Written by: Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Directed by: Leslie H. Martinson



He’s Here Big As Life In A Real Bat-Epic.


Commissioner Gordon: It could be any one of them... But which one? Which ones?
Batman: Pretty *fishy* what happened to me on that ladder...
Commissioner Gordon: You mean where there's a fish there could be a penguin?
Robin: But wait! It happened at sea... Sea. C for Catwoman!
Batman: Yet, an exploding shark *was* pulling my leg...
Commissioner Gordon: The Joker!
Chief O'Hara: All adds up to a sinister riddle... Riddle-R. Riddler!
Commissioner Gordon: A thought strikes me... So dreadful I scarcely dare give it utterance...
Batman: The four of them... Their forces combined...
Robin: Holy nightmare!

This conversation explains it all. The whole movie summed up in a conversation (with branching subplots, of course). I couldn’t help but laugh and raise an eyebrow. This conversation happens just after Batman applies Shark Repellent to the shark that was biting on to his leg, after Batman beat it silly making a sound so similar to that of taking a rubber mallet to a rubber barrel. Then the shark explodes. If I were any younger and I never knew the Batman television series I’d be saying LOL OMG WTF? But…I understand.

While today’s generation knows Christopher Nolan’s Batman, I grew up with Tim Burton’s Batman after watching the ‘60’s television series as an ‘80’s child. So I was a bit shocked to see the Dark Knight not so dark once Burton got a hold of it. No more POW! punches or silly one-liners. No more colours popping off the screen. While Burton’s vision worked and was widely accepted, the post-Burton Batman and Robin and Batman Forever, which I think attempted to merge the look and campy feeling of the ‘60s series didn’t quite work. There is nothing like the original.

So here we are now, in 2008, with even darker revisions of Batman in the theatres under the direction of Nolan (which work very well, by the way – no complaints here), and it’s a stark contrast to Fox’s Blu-ray edition of Batman: The Movie made in 1966. This film continues the same approach that the television series took: not serious and all fun and games even if someone gets hurt. You must love it for what it is even if you think it’s inconceivable. It popularized the superhero. It made him what he is today. Even superheroes must start with an embarrassing part of their career. But I think if you ask Batman himself, I don’t think he regrets his origins. He’d also probably say that people are “too serious” these days.


VIDEO QUALITY :star: :star: :star:
htf_images_smilies_half.gif
/ :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Batman looks much better than I thought it was going to. When the opening credits came up, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. The edges of credits were slightly blurred and the image was alright, but immediately afterwards I knew I misinterpreted the image. In fact I believe Batman looks very good. I’m very impressed with the film’s rather high contrast. No matter the scene, the image seemed to look brightly lit without looking washed out or with clipping whites. This made the colours stand out; the campy costumes of our heroes and villains never seemed to miss a shade of accuracy. Different colour tones stood out in the image and were not drowned in a haze of murkiness or weak shadow detail.

Resolution is also very fine. The distance between foreground and background is very distinct and actors seem to be finely focussed in the shot. A good consistently solid black level helps this. Textures of the costumes are nicely rendered that one could view this Blu-ray disc and replicate it detail for detail for Halloween (that’s all I’d use it for). I don’t think the Batcave has ever been displayed with such fine detail and tiny text is more legible then it will ever be in SD. Catwoman looks simply delicious and Batman is…well…Adam West in tights.

The aspect ratio is preserved at 1.85:1 with most of the “black bar” at the top of the screen. I did not see evidence of compression artefacts and no edge enhancement is visible.


AUDIO QUALITY :star: :star: :star: :star: / :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

I’m pleasantly surprised with the high quality 5.1 repurposing of this soundtrack! It’s actually very good! Aside from the constant (but mild) hiss from the center speaker, there isn’t too much else that makes this soundtrack dated. Sure, sound effects don’t have the wider dynamic range and “freedom” of high-profile modern soundtracks, but the somewhat congested and restricted upper-bass effects found here can’t be distinguished from the many soundtracks of the ‘80s and very early ‘90s having similar tone. The treble is very good as well, hinting a bit on the hot side.

Dialogue sounds like it was recorded yesterday. When Bruce Wayne and Kitka are speaking about dreaming in their romantic ride in the horse and carriage, the words are extremely articulate, clean, and unrestrained. Never did the center channel information feel like it was too loud or boxy.

The jazzy music soundtrack is in excellent shape and is mixed nicely with all other elements. The soundstage is also very wide and deep in the front (a common sound from the era that I wish I’d hear more of today) and it also extends into the surrounds. Surrounds are also 100% discrete from each other as you can hear clicking and beeping in the Batcave behind you, or, as heard in Chapter 8 when the sub missile is fired at Batman and Robin, it explodes in the rear channels with some good bass and extra LFE rumble.


TACTILE FUN!! :star:
htf_images_smilies_half.gif
/ :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

TRANSDUCER ON
/OFF?: ON

A few explosions in the film are dedicated to the LFE channel and give a good rumble. Using a bass shaker actually enhances this dated soundtrack! Who would have thunk?


SPECIAL FEATURES :star: :star: :star:
htf_images_smilies_half.gif
/ :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

I’m surprised that Fox went all out delivering plenty of special features for Batman fans, some of it in high definition as well. Let’s start with the audio:

Audio Commentary - two commentaries, one from Adam West and Burt Ward and the second from screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr.

Isolated Score - encoded bit-for-bit to the master, Nelson Riddle’s score is preserved without the film’s added sound effects and dialogue. All Blu-ray discs should have this audio option!

Next are a good bunch of featurettes, old and new, and a mixture of high definition and standard definition content. All are AVC-encoded including the 480 SD material. The five featurettes cover behind the scenes footage, older interviews, costumes and the effectiveness of West’s calm, but articulate voice, coverage of the original television series, and a walkthrough of the Batmobile with the original designer. Cool! I wonder what Barris thinks of Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of it?

Batman: A Dynamic Legacy (1080i, 28:29)

Caped Crusaders: A Hero’s Tribute (1080i, 12:29)

Gotham City’s Most Wanted (1080i, 15:51)

Original 2001 Featurette (480i, 4:3, 16:47)

The Batmobile Revealed with George Barris (480i, 4:3, 5:47)

This Blu-ray disc also takes the viewer on a Interactive Tour (1080p, 1.78:1) of the Batmobile. With your remote’s cursor keys, you can view the caped crusader’s cruiser at any angle. Utilizing the BD-Java capabilities of the format, you can also have fun Mapping the Movie while you watch it. A map appears on the screen at various points of the film where you can access certain information about the movie.

Remaining is:

Holy Trivia Track, Batman! - pop-up trivia while watching the film

Original Trailers (480p, 4:3) – no HD? tsk, tsk…

Still Galleries (480p, 1.78:1) – six galleries: From the Vaults of Adam West, Interactive Pressbook, Posters, Production Stills, Behind the Scenes, Premier


IN THE END...

Batman: The Movie is a silly film that follows in the steps of the classic TV series. I liked it more the second time around and I suspect you’ll be impressed with the A/V as much as I was.

Michael Osadciw
July 04, 2008.

Review System
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,546
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
...and to think this is the closest we will ever see the original
TV series released to DVD.

Good to hear that the movie looks good in high def and the
amount of extras make it a must buy!

Thanks for getting this out, Fox!
 

RickER

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
5,128
Location
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Real Name
Rick
After this review, and other positive reviews on the web, i had to add this to my wish list. Sounds like an upgrade from the old DVD. Having said that, the $28 this goes for on Amazon, and thats the cheap price i found, i will have to wait for this to get to the $20 or lower price point. FOX is killing me with their prices, especially with catalog films! This movie went to $6 on DVD almost within the first month. While i dont expect the same with Blu-ray anytime soon, the high price for a 40 year old movie is a killer.

Oh well, they have to know, and they must sell enough at their prices to make someone happy.

Thanks for the review Michael, and please dont think i want to rain on anyone's parade. I just feel the need to air my FOX dirty laundry...but hey, no DNR problems like Patton, so thats something, huh! :)
 

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
24,678
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I have to admit, Mike, that I burst out laughing when I saw your "adaptation" of the thread title "Bat-ray" review. Made my day.

Nice review, and I agree with Ron: this is likely all we'll ever see of the original series' conceptions in HD or any other definition.
 

Larry Sutliff

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2000
Messages
2,861
I watched this late last night(with the Lorenzo Semple,Jr. audio commentary). There is no question that the image on this disc is an improvement over the SD DVD, but the SD DVD still holds up pretty well, all things considered. The Semple commentary is fun, but there are long periods of silence...often right after he starts talking about a really interesting topic. It made me wonder if Fox erased some of what he had to say. The new documentaries are very interesting, with many of the modern comic book creators giving their take on the Adam West version.

If you're a Batfan like me, then I'd say this BD is a no brainer. If you're just a casual fan, the very inexpensive(and still nice looking) DVD from a couple of years back may be enough.
 

Michael Osadciw

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Messages
1,414
Real Name
Michael Osadciw
Matt - I'm glad I made your day! :)

...so why do you guys believe that we'll never see the television series on DVD or HD? What is it I don't know about it? It's film origin...
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,546
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Fox owns the TV series but DC comics owns the rights.

Word on the street has it that DC does not want the new Batman
films tarnished by the campy TV series as if audiences are going to
care.

Another story we are hearing is that there are additional rights
issues that the studio feels will never be resolved.

Batman is the most highly requested TV show for DVD
release and unfortunately Fox is unable to move forward in getting
it released. One Fox executive told me "never."
 

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
7,299

To me, that is complete bullshit. DC didn't do anything to keep the awful "Batman & Robin" from being released, and that was supposed to be a "serious" Batman film. And the 60's film has been available on DVD for years anyway, so the "damage" has already been done. And there's no way they would turn down what would be huge sales for that (completely unfounded) fear.

No, it's just, IMO, DC being a little bitch because they don't want to have to share profits with another studio because I'm sure Fox desperately wants to release this.

Also, the studio should be reminded that there are "alternate avenues" of obtaining this. I would have rather given my money to an official release.

I guess one could still hope. After all, a few years ago, we all thought complete seasons of SNL would never happen either.
 

David Deeb

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
1,169
Real Name
David

If that is true, and I don't understand how it could be, then that is ridiculous.

First of all, DC and Warner have released AND promoted a gazillion different Super Friends and Filmmation Batman DVDs. I can't stand to watch any of those longer than 5 minutes without losing interest, and they are certainly worse than the 60s show.

Secondly, the people that want this series the most are people like me who grew up reading the Batman comics AND also LOVE the new Batman films. We're not going to dislike the character now, after 70 + years, just because of the old TV show. There are countless interpretations of Batman. The 60s show is just one of them.


P.S. - Edit - Thanks for the review. I picked this Blu-Ray up over the weekend and am loving it.
 

Mike Williams

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Messages
1,019
I bought this last week and tried to play on my Sharp HP20U. During the movie's 20th Century Logo, it would pixellate and freeze up and stutter through the rest of the movie. It was completely unwatchable. I took it back to the store, got a different one. Same problem in the exact same spots the exact same way. I took it back again and asked them to play it in one of their BD players. They popped it in a Sony and it played fine. I'm guessing my BD player needs a firmware upgrade. Anyone else have a problem with their Batman: The Movie BD?
 

David Deeb

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
1,169
Real Name
David

No problems so far. Haven't watched all the special features though. Using a Sony BDP-S300.
 

Michael Osadciw

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Messages
1,414
Real Name
Michael Osadciw
...well that just sucks. I think the whole "tarnish" is a lame and false excuse. I grew up with those shows and would love to watch them again. It was those shows that introduced me to Batman and to think they'll be denied to me for that reason - rediculous. Something else is wrong that we're not being told about...
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,546
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Basically it comes down to rights issues. There is nothing not
being told to you as I got the answer right from the studio's mouth.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
23,510
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
I love these rights issues.

I'm not expecting the world, and more specifically, the home video market to become a combination hippie paradise and communist outreach program, but this kind of legal nonsense that holds up a commercially valuable, culturally significant, cherished and beloved show from distribution makes absolutely no sense in this day and age. As someone else on this thread pointed out, there are some less-traditional ways to acquire this show if one tried hard enough, but perhaps more to the point is that the show is still being broadcast on TV... all of that free advertising goes to waste. People who want to see this show are going to see it, period. They're willing to pay good money for it, but with that option being continually denied to them, will seek out other ways that will give them the same end result...only they'll end up saving money that they gladly would have given over for this. With the new Batman movie coming out, they could have gotten some great sales without having to spend too much on promotion, and that the show is still in syndication on TV only helps keep it in the spotlight.

I'd really love to be a fly on the wall in the studio lawyer's office for this one...

"Yeah, we'd actually rather stop you from putting it out and get nothing than allow you to put it out and have us both profit."

Pathetic.

(Sorry for taking this a little off thread...this is something that really gets me, this kind of stupid rights nonsense, and unfortunately it's something I have to deal with in my own job on an almost daily basis. Why do the bean counters never understand...? Give them the choice between a smaller percentage of something, or one hundred percent of nothing, and they'll take the hundred percent of nothing every time.)
 

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
7,299

Yeah, it's real stupid. What do they think, one company will eventually go, "We give up, you can have all ther profits"

You would think they would say, "we're losing money to bootleggers on this, let's come to an agreement and get this out"
 

Brandon Conway

captveg
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2002
Messages
9,521
Location
North Hollywood, CA
Real Name
Brandon Conway
Well, part of the problem is not just negotiating profits, but negotiating who is responsible - and how much are they responsible - for budgeting the disc production.
 

Steve...O

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
4,376
Real Name
Steve
For what it is worth, and it may be totally worthless, the moderators at the 1966 Batman site (Lee Kirkham and Scott Sebring) have been hinting recently that they have been provided information suggesting that a DVD release of the TV series may soon become a reality.

Although I'd like to believe them, this news is greeted with some healthy skepticism because of my belief that if this story had any legs HTF, TVSonDVD.com and other well connected sites would be all over this.

William Dozier's widow is the lovely actress Ann Rutherford who is still active socially and occasionally makes public appearances. Perhaps a Batfan who finds themselves at one of these functions could ask her about it?

As far at the movie in this review goes...it's one of my favorite SD discs/guilty pleasures. Great escaptist entertainment that appeals to adults and children both.

When I make the conversion to BD this will be on my wish list although the pricing has to come down to a more reasonable level.
 

David Deeb

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
1,169
Real Name
David

I take that back, yes, I do have a problem with it, but not the same as you.

My problem is the unnecessary trailers that are forced on me on this BD release. It won't let you go to the pop-up menu.

If Blu-ray is going to succeed, studios have to stop the relentless advertising and endless warnings. It already takes a while for a BD player to warm up, then a little longer for this disc to load, and then a little longer to go through all these commercials.

I wish their was a way to petition for immediate pop-up menus.

Warner and a few other studios are getting it right, but not Fox on this disc.
 

Tony Bensley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
6,975
Location
Somewhere in Canada
Real Name
Anthony
Yes, I'm reviving a long "Dead Thread" to post that I've ordered the BATMAN: THE MOVIE Blu-Ray from a Canadian Amazon Merchant as a companion piece to my recently received Italian Import Edition of the BATMAN: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES Blu-Ray set!


What a difference several years makes! The Batman TV Series that many thought would NEVER see a proper release is now available, and the 1966 Batman Feature Film Blu-Ray is generally cheaper than the old DVD version, these days! Pity regarding the involuntary playing of the advertising and warnings! Also, too bad about the inappropriately misleading (In my opinion!) Cover Art, which I may actually substitute!


CHEERS! :)


Tony
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
351,438
Messages
4,952,842
Members
143,050
Latest member
NickNick
Recent bookmarks
0
Top