Batman & Robin (1997)

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Released 29-Jan-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Biographies-Cast & Crew
Production Notes
Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 120
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Joel Schumacher
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
George Clooney
Chris O'Donnell
Uma Thurman
Alicia Silverstone
Michael Gough
Pat Hingle
Elle Macpherson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Elliot Goldenthal


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
Polish
Greek
Czech
Turkish
Hungarian
Icelandic
Croatian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Batman & Robin has been described as the sequel that killed the Batman franchise. Personally, I didn't think it was that bad. OK, Arnie has some terrible lines, and Chris O'Donnell's  Robin is just a spoiled little brat, but there's lots of colour, lots of action, lots of gadgets, and, frankly, I quite enjoyed it as an escapist thrill ride.

    George Clooney is Batman in this instalment of the franchise. The maniacal enemies all set to destroy Gotham City are Mr Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Bane (Jeep Swensen). Mr Freeze wants to freeze the world, and Poison Ivy wants to destroy all the animal species on the planet including all the humans.

    There are a great deal of excellent stunt pieces and way-over-the-top action, and all-in-all, I found that it was quite an entertaining experience. It tended to drag a little in the middle after an excellent opening, but this was a minor quibble.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a magnificent transfer in almost every way, except for two specific problems, detailed below, which is a real shame.

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

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear. However, black level was set too high, so there were no deep blacks, only dark greys. In addition to this, there was a significant amount of low level noise and grain apparent in the blacks and the low level blues. This marred the shadow detail somewhat, and made the transfer significantly worse than it otherwise would have been. Whilst everything on screen was brightly lit, this black level problem didn't matter as much, but when things got dark, then the picture got a little ugly. This problem could be corrected by turning the brightness down whilst watching this movie.

    The colours were vibrant throughout, with large splashes of primary and secondary colours lending a comic-book look to this film. There was some chroma noise, particularly affecting deep blues.

    No MPEG artefacts were noted. Aliasing was only very rarely present, but it was significant when it was present, such as on the door to the Bruce mansion, which shimmered severely. Film artefacts were very rare and essentially non-existent.

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, English Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue was almost always completely clear and audible. Some dialogue, especially at the start of the movie, was a little hard to hear.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The virtually omnipresent but still unremarkable musical score is by Elliot Goldenthal. It certainly had the appropriate Batman feel to it.

     The surround channels were heavily used for this movie, from the aggressively surrounding opening titles, through to the end. Sound effects and music were aggressively placed throughout the soundfield, making this an extremely enveloping soundtrack, and an excellent experience. Split surround effects were often used with great effect.

    The .1 channel was very aggressively used, receiving signal virtually thoughout the movie.

Extras

    The extras on this disc are very limited.

Menu

    The menu design is in the Batman & Robin theme, with accompanying orchestral score underscoring it. There is no theatrical trailer on this disc.

Production Notes

    These are extensive and give a good description of the scripting, design and production aspects of this movie.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are also quite extensive.

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;

    Other than this, the two versions are identically featured.

Summary

    Batman & Robin is enjoyable escapist entertainment. Worth watching to enjoy the 5.1 soundtrack at least.

    The video quality is generally excellent with the significant exception of having the black level set too high and consequently suffering with significant low level image noise. This is a shame as the other aspects of the video transfer are impeccable.

    The audio quality is excellent, with a very aggressive surround presence being created by the soundtrack.

    The extras are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Friday, February 19, 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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Comments (Add)
R4 release is not OAR - MJ defender REPLY POSTED