Batman Forever (1995)

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Released 10-May-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 116:39 (Case: 122)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joel Schumacher
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Val Kilmer
Tommy Lee Jones
Jim Carrey
Nicole Kidman
Chris O'Donnell
Michael Gough
Pat Hingle
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Elliot Goldenthal


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Once more, the good guys and the bad guys are getting ready to do battle.

    In the green corner, representing the bad guys we have: The Riddler/Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey), and Harvey Two Face/Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones).

    Aaaannnnd in the black corner, representing the good guys we have: Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer) and Robin/Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell).

    Also featuring: Nicole Kidman as the seriously hot Chase Meridian, who definitely catches the eye of Batman and Drew Barrymore, as the beautiful Sugar.

    Let the battle begin.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (not 1.85:1 as stated on the back cover), and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall the picture is a little soft, but it is clear and sharp for foreground objects. The picture usually lacks background detail, which makes it appear blurry on many occasions. Surprisingly, this does not overly detract from the movie. No low-level noise was noted, and the shadow detail was very good. Only one scene seemed to be just a bit on the dark side, which is probably a director's choice and not a transfer problem.

    There is some trivial edge enhancement at 30:37 and 57:51, which I doubt that you will notice if you are actually watching the movie.

    The colours are well saturated and natural looking, with perfect skin tones. There are many scenes that contain vibrant colours that stand out amongst the dark scenery - the back-street alley night fight is a perfect example of this. However, colour is still not as lush or vibrant as some of the more recent films that I have seen, such as Bicentennial Man.

    The background suffers from an almost constant grain, which is not overly distracting, but there are a couple of occasions where it spills over into the foreground, such as at 87:16 and 110:33. For TV owners, this grain should hardly be noticeable.

    Film artefacts are very rare and are always small and unobtrusive. This transfer is alias-free except for one trivial occurrence at 47:34Moiré effects are limited to two deliberate cinematic occurrences at 35:44 and 78:23 - 78:27, but there really is nothing to complain about here.

    This movie is on a single layer disc, which is surprising considering the movies’ running time.

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

Audio

    There are three Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s soundtracks on this DVD; English, French and Italian. The default is the English soundtrack and this is the one that I listened to.

    The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.  There are a couple of occurrences of looping or dialogue replacement. These are noticeable, but inconsequential.

    Elliot Goldenthal's musical score suits the movie well.

    The surround channels are very aggressively used for ambience, music and lots of special effects.  Directional effects and sound placement within the sound field are very good, which puts you in amongst the action.

    The subwoofer is continually being used to add bass to most scenes and is highly active during the dramatic sequences, which there are plenty of.

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

Extras

    The extras are limited to Cast & Crew Biographies and Filmographies. Note that there are no Production Notes on the disc itself as is incorrectly claimed on the packaging.

Menu

    The menu consists of a 16x9 enhanced still picture of the main characters gathered around the menu options, which are; Jump To Scene (39), Cast & Crew and Languages. All menus are 16x9 enhanced. Since the movie starts playing when you insert the disc, Warners obviously didn't see the need to include a Play Movie option on the main menu. This makes playing the movie awkward once you have gone to the Main Menu.

Cast & Crew

    This section contains Biographies and Highlight Filmographies for Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle and Joel Schumacher.

R4 vs R1

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 Region 1 DVD reviews that I read did not mention any graininess or background softness, but given that Warner also produced the R1 version of this DVD, and given the age of this title, it is more than likely that it too suffers from the same limitations. So, I think it will come down to whether you prefer the PAL or the NTSC format.

Summary

    Batman Forever is a great movie, presented with a very solid transfer.

    The picture quality is very good, with only some grain and softness slightly spoiling the image.

    This is an excellent audio transfer, and is of reference quality (just).

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, May 27, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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