Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-The Art Of Batman: Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
Featurette-Get The Picture: Batman
Game-The Hunt For Mr. Freeze
Trailer-Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker;The Batman Superman Movie
Teaser Trailer-Scooby Doo
Trailer-Scooby-Doo Sneak Peeks
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4||Directed By||Boyd Kirkland|
Warner Home Video
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Batman & Mr Freeze: Subzero is a really cool (Ha!) film. It runs for only 60-odd minutes, but it has very many elements that I really enjoyed. Firstly, right from the opening credits, it had much of the feel of the original Batman films by Tim Burton. The music is based on Danny Elfman's theme from the films, and it is set in Gotham City with one of Batman's arch enemies as the villain.
The animation is in the older hand-drawn style. While I am no expert on animation of any kind, I enjoyed the sort of 'messy' nature of the animation - coupled with its Art Deco production design, it made me feel like a kid watching Batman again. A lot of the shots contained in this film are similar to the early comics as well as the more recent TV adaptations. Some of the 'steady cam' style shots looked immaculate, and the actual storyline was solid as well.
Our story starts with poor old Mr Freeze. He is living up there in the arctic sobbing over his cryogenically frozen and terminally ill wife, Nora Fries (pronounced 'Freeze'). When her slumber is interrupted, Mr Freeze is forced to find a cure for her by tracking down an organ donor for her in Gotham City.
When Mr Freeze kidnaps Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Batman & Robin fly to the rescue to battle the 'evil genius' (I have always wanted to use that term in one of these reviews!!) and rescue Barbara from his clutches.
The production values are fantastic, and the slightly messy hand-drawn animation gives the film an older feel which I really liked, but I guess it comes down to personal taste. Some of the computer generated shots are simply awesome and above all else, I think that Batman is the coolest guy ever.
The picture on-screen is sharp and clear for most of the film and shows no lack of shadow definition. Grain, however, can be problematic at times. I believe that some of the grain found in this transfer is from the source material, as the film has a dark and menacing texture to it. The most troubled areas are at 14:35, 24:47 and 25:15.
Colours are steady, but dark throughout the feature. All colours stay rock steady throughout and there is no sign of colour bleed or any other colour related artefacts.
There are no MPEG artefacts to be found but there are some film artefacts present on the film's negative at 5:25, 12:53 and 14:35 in the form of some small scratches. There are also small flecks of dust and dirt throughout the film. I noticed only a small amount of aliasing in this transfer with the worst example at 11:34. Compared to the aliasing-riddled Justice League, this is a major improvement by Warner Home Video. Some very minor aliasing can be seen at times in Batman's eyes, but it is very minor.
Because this is an NTSC transfer, we are open to seeing one of the most objectionable DVD artefacts you can find - the NTSC '3:2 pulldown' or 'judder'. There are a lot of examples of judder in this transfer with some horrible examples to be found at 4:36 and 12:01. There are also some other instances at 2:30 and 2:22.
There are four subtitle tracks recorded on this disc. I watched about 30 minutes of the film with the English subtitles on, and they were adequately matched with the dialogue on-screen.
This is a single-layered disc.
The surrounds are used heavily despite this disc's 2.0 treatment. They are used a lot during action sequences and constantly have light effects and ambient noise coming from them. The biggest and most impressive workout the the surrounds get is at 48:11 when the Batwing flies overhead.
The subwoofer is used with reckless abandon throughout the action sequences and in the finale to give a massive bottom end to the 2.0 soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is solid without being fantastic. The NTSC transfer is terrible at the start, but gets a lot better as the movie progresses.
The audio quality is superb considering its format.
The extras are pretty short.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S525, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm) 16:9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Jamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround|