Batman (1989)

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Released 7-Oct-1998

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Biographies-Cast & Crew
Production Notes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 121:10 (Case: 133)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tim Burton
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jack Nicholson
Michael Keaton
Kim Basinger
Robert Wuhl
Pat Hingle
Billy Dee Williams
Michael Gough
Jack Palance
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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
Arabic
English 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

    Batman is considered by many to be the finest Batman movie, and it is indeed very good, relying more on its characters and its stark gothic look to create atmosphere rather than on CGI special effects.

    Michael Keaton is Bruce Wayne/Batman, initially a choice which was a surprise to some but one which paid off big time. Whilst at the time Michael was proven as a comedic actor, his dramatic talents were less clear. Anyone that has seen his extremely threatening performance in Pacific Heights cannot doubt his dramatic ability.

    Jack Nicholson is Jack Napier/The Joker, Batman's fearsome foe in this movie - another excellent casting choice.

    The movie moves along at a cracking pace, with lots of action and lots of exquisite cinematography. The use of unusual camera angles is done very well in this movie, with the angles helping to tell the story rather than distracting from it.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie does not hold up very well at all for its age. Indeed, the first 30 minutes of the transfer are appallingly bad compared with the rest of the transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was acceptably clear and sharp. Shadow detail was acceptable, and no particular low level noise was apparent.

    The colours tended towards undersaturation, though whether or not this was a filmic choice is debatable.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen.

    Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some severe image wobble which occurred frequently and was very distracting. This occurred particularly during the first 30 minutes of the film. Virtually no scene in the film until this point was free of this most disturbing artefact.

    Film artefacts, particularly during the opening credits and the early part of the film were excessive and quite distracting.

Audio

    There is only a single audio track on this DVD, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was usually clearly audible at all times, with only a very few words hard to make out.

    Audio sync was a severe problem with this disc, with the majority of the first 30 minutes of the film slightly out of sync. In addition to this, the remainder of the movie appears to have had some very slipshod ADR work applied to it at times.

    The musical score is by Danny Elfman and is appropriately dark and dramatic.

    The surround channels were used moderately, albeit somewhat unspectacularly.

    The .1 channel anchored the special effects nicely.

Extras

    Limited extras are on this disc. The running time of the movie is incorrectly stated on the DVD cover as 133 minutes. It is actually 121 minutes.

    I note that this disc has a prominent D1 label on the disc. According to a recent post on a UK DVD site, this D1 moniker signifies that we have received the UK censored version of this movie.

Menu

    The main menu is plain and functional. Only limited scene selections are possible.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are of average length.

Production Notes

    These are of average length.

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 misses out on;

    Otherwise, the two versions are identically specified, so there is no compelling reason to favour one over the other.

Summary

    Batman is a good movie on a mediocre disc. Only recommended if you simply must have it.

    The video quality is poor, even considering the age of the movie.

    The audio quality is acceptable except for the audio sync problem.

    The extras present are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Friday, April 02, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

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