Bat Thumb (2001)

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Released 20-Jan-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Deleted Scenes
Interviews-Character
Teaser Trailer-BAT THUMB Teaser; BAT THUMB Cartoon Teaser
Audio Commentary
Storyboards
Trailer-Thumb Wars; Thumbtanic; The Blair Thumb
Trailer-Frankenthumb; The Godthumb
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 28:22
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dave Bourla
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Steve Oederkerk
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Titling
English
German
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Steve Oederkerk has been around a while. He's the scriptwriter of such luminous movies as The Nutty Professor (1 & 2) and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. As well as this he's directed other comedy films such as Kung Pow (1 & 2), Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and of course his classic Thumb series. These short, low budget spoofs are based around other movies and TV series of note such as Frankenstein, Star Wars, The Blair Witch Project, The Godfather and of course Batman. In all cases I've seen so far, every expense has been spared to offer the viewer the very least quality, both in scripts, acting (can thumbs act?) and sets. If you have no sense of humour then this isn't a series you'll enjoy, but for 30 minutes plus extras this is the sort of mindless stuff that either becomes cultish, forgotten or ends up in endless repeats on unwatched cable TV channels.

    Bathumb parodies both the recent movies and the old 1960s TV series. The opening sequence where a can of beets offers an apology and introduces the movie is indicative of the level of humour to follow. A quick synopsis (which can't be too long as otherwise I'll give away all the best gags!) is that Bat Thumb, played by Wuce Bayne (aka Steve Oederkerk), comes to the aid of an hapless reporter who is robbed by two inept crooks. Bat Thumb in turn has his own problems remembering his lines and warding off the advances of his new love interest Vicky Nail. Meantime, his old arch enemy No Face has robbed a bank and the commissioner sends for him. With his trusty new (and unwanted) sidekick, Blue Jay, who is even more inept than he is, in tow (or should that be toe? or thumb? argh!) he must save the day and find Blue Jay a new costume, since his current one sucks so badly.

    The whole thing is a bit of a mess with the plot consisting of bits of the movie and the TV series, with a few visual sound effects tossed in, taking the Mickey out of Michael Keaton's acting and some pretty awful jokes. All-in-all, I found it a crack-up, but then that goes to show you what sort of sense of humour I have, doesn't it?

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The quality is about as decent as you'd expect and no more. The sets are cheap, tacky and obviously sets designed for thumbs. The great thing is that they work really well.

    The transfer is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    There are no problems with grain, which is minimal at worst. Sharpness is excellent to the degree that you can make out the whorls on the surface of the thumbs. Shadow detail is irrelevant with nothing to be really seen in the backgrounds and the sets being fairly two dimensional. Low level noise wasn't an issue.

    The colour is good. It is well saturated with no chroma noise or bleed noticed. The thumbtones are quite good although there's a lot of make-up used to hide the nails.

    No major MPEG, film or video artefacts were noted at all. There was possibly some very minor shimmering on the background sets, but it was so minimal as to be unworthy of comment.

    The subtitles are in yellow and utilise a good font that proves fairly unobtrusive. They are easy to read and very accurate with a selection of either English or Dutch subtitles.

    There was no layer change on this single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtracks on this disc are fairly unremarkable being Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks at a bitrate of 224 kilobits per second. They are available in English, French, German and Spanish. For the most part I stuck to the English version. There is not a lot of separation across the front although there is the odd swoosh that tracks across the front speakers. All-in-all, it was adequate for the job at hand.

    The dialogue was clean and crisp with no syncing errors to be noted.

    The music used is fairly unspectacular and uncredited as well.

    There was no surround channel nor subwoofer usage noted.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    The music is from the feature with some opening animation devolving to a static menu picture.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

    Total silliness for this 0:49 second so-called Behind the Scenes featurette. It was obviously made up to look like an outtake and is just weird.

Deleted Scenes

    These are nothing more than more deliberately stuffed up outtakes designed to look like deleted scenes. They have a total running time of 1:03.

Interviews-Character

    Probably one of the best of the extras, besides the audio commentary. At 3:49, these are the various thumbs in the movie sitting back and shooting the breeze as real actors would, talking to an interviewer.

Teaser Trailer

    0:37, 4x3 and looks just like a typical movie trailer.

Audio Commentary

    The director, photographer, set designer and anyone else that happened to be in the vicinity seem to be on this commentary effort. Steve Oederkerk tries to pull off a bad Indian accent and the whole thing is simply a complete crack-up. They begin making martinis at one stage and apart from the sound dying off around 2 minutes in, this is actually funnier than the original soundtrack.

Storyboards

    1:32 with approximately 23 storyboards and layouts.

Trailer

    At 0:43 this is a very weird cartoon version of a trailer. You have to see it to understand what I mean.

Trailer

    This is a collection of trailers for all the Thumb series.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The only difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this disc is that the R1 version appears to have a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Although I don't believe it will make that much difference, that and the lower pricing for the R1 version gives it a slight advantage over the local product.

Summary

    A rather silly spoof/parody on the Batman movies and TV series. It has moments of humour and won't tax the brain. It is best watched with a smattering of younger viewers, since they will probably appreciate the humour more.

    The video is decent without being spectacular, but does the job.

    The audio is fine with no major dramas.

    A good extras package is offered that is actually better than the feature!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Friday, March 28, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD5300, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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