Movie Review: BATMAN (4K UHD Combo Pack)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

BATMAN is based on characters from DC Comics. The movie was directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren and stars Jack Nicholson as The Joker and Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Robert Wuhl as reporter Alexander Knox, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon, Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, Michael Gough as Alfred and Jack Palance as crime boss Carl Grissom.  Batman was produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber. The score is by Danny Elfman with songs performed by Prince.

Having witnessed his parents’ brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City disguised as Batman, a costumed hero who strikes fear into the hearts of villains. But when a deformed madman who calls himself “The Joker” (Jack Nicholson) seizes control of Gotham’s criminal underworld, Batman must face his most ruthless nemesis ever while protecting both his identity and his love interest, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger).

This 1989 big screen debut takes a much darker route than the cheesy television series from the 60’s and follows Bruce Wayne who ultimately becomes Batman when The Joker arrives on the scene in Gotham and causes all kind of chaos. Bruce Wayne hits it off with reporter Vicki Vale who also gets the attention of the demented villain. The two square off in their first big brawl and it leaves The Joker horribly scarred but this is also what triggers the madman to go over-the-edge and become the psychopathic clown prince. The Joker terrorizes the citizens of Gotham as Batman begins his pursuit with the help of his trusty butler, Alfred.

What happens is, The Joker (and his goons) have a sinister plan to remake the people of Gotham into his own twisted image and as his evil scheme slowly gets going, Batman saves the day and the two men go one more round with Vicki Vale serving as the ultimate prize. Batman and The Joker battle it out high above Gotham and the heroic vigilante ends up saving the entire city and of course he also gets the girl. In the end, Commissioner Gordon unveils the Batsignal that’ll be used whenever the city of Gotham needs help from Batman.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. This release includes collectible packaging with new art designed in stunning glossy retro colors reminiscent of the 1980’s and 1990’s era when the films were originally released in theaters. Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray discs feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment. Each disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this upgrade and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Batman is the one that started them all and takes a much darker route than the fan favorite television series from the 60’s. This one isn’t my favorite Batman movie because that honor goes to Tim Burton’s 1992 sequel, Batman Returns. This movie gives us a little back history for Bruce Wayne and The Joker and how the two character’s pasts are connected and what ultimately brings them together. Tim Burton does a fantastic job telling the story and bringing the dark world of Gotham to life. The gothic look of this movie is really impressive, from the set designs to the amazing props. We can’t forget about the music either because it’s an extremely important part of this movie. The Batmobile, Batwing and those high-tech gadgets were all fantastic. Michael Keaton delivers what I consider to be the perfect Batman along with Jack Nicholson who’s a blast to watch as The Joker and if you noticed ol’ Jack got top-billing for this one. These two also crank out some memorable lines throughout the watch. The supporting cast also did a really good job with their characters. Last but not least is Danny Elfman’s iconic theme/score that’s complimented by songs from Prince and it’s perfection. All in all, Batman clocks in as my second favorite of them all and was so much fun to revisit plus it looks and sounds amazing. Batman celebrates its 30th anniversary with a really nice 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital) that’ll be available on June 4th and it comes loaded with extras.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 126 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

4K UHD Video: 2160p Ultra High-Definition 16X9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

4K UHD Audio: English Dolby Atmos / French Dolby Digital 5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16X9 Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / French Dolby Digital 5.1 / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: There’s hours of previously released extras that include some audio commentary, making of and behind-the-scenes featurettes, character featurettes, storyboards, music videos, the original theatrical trailer and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Tim Burton
  • On the Set With Bob Kane (02:34)
  • Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman (40:39)
  • Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight – a 3-part making of documentary.
  1. Pt. 1 – The Road to Gotham City (17:44)
  2. Pt. 2 – The Gathering Storm (23:00)
  3. Pt. 3 – The Legend Reborn (31:00)
  • Batman: The Heroes (12:40)
  • Batman: The Villains (07:23)
  • Beyond Batman (50:41)
  • Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence (04:25)
  • Music Videos by Prince (15:18)
  1. “Batdance”
  2. “Partyman”
  3. “Scandalous”
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:44)
  • Digital Copy
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