Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Dark Knight Returns

Oh lordy, does he ever.

Warners just released all five Batman movies as 2 disc special edition dvds. The first four come in a nifty box setwhile Batman Begins comes alone. Unfortunately, no one in my area knew how to order it. Best Buy had no box set. Target had no 'Batman Begins'. Renee and I fought too much traffic trying to get a deal on both and I still don't have 'Batman Begins'. Renee wanted a pumpkin but we didn't find that either.

I'm usually against the 'double dip'; buying a dvd again to get more extras. But seeing how the Batman films were some of the first dvds ever released, they were in dire need of an upgrade. Dfx, a frequent poster, made fun of me. "What are you going to do with the old ones? Give them away?" He has them now.

I expected better transfers and with each film taking 2 discs, a good amount of extras. What I didn't expect were some of the most in-depth and complete dvds I have ever seen.

Let me say this right now: THEY GOT NICHOLSON. Jack's all over the first dvd, telling stories about the makeup process, being a comic fan as a kid, enjoying the part and being the only one who knew how much money the first film was going to make. Strangely enough, all of Michael Keaton's interviews are old. How they could get Nicholson and not Keaton is the riddle of the Sphinx.

From what I've seen the prints look great and the DTS sound really helps. But I turned the movie off after a minute so I could charge straight into the extras. I spent three hours on the documentaries for the first film alone, barely dipping into 'Batman Returns' before bed. And I learned tons.

I'm one of those who bought the VHS the day it came out. In high school. At lunch. And it was the display model. I grabbed the first box I saw in Sam Goody's and shoved it at the clerk. I watched it once a week my entire senior year. I know every word to this movie. And I didn't know 1/10th of the stories told on this dvd. They hit it from every angle, from the script to the casting to the marketing. Very few punches are pulled. I guess because it's been long enough and everyone's done well enough they can air a little dirty laundry. Sean Young talks openly about how breaking her leg and losing the role of Vicki Vale hurt her career (you think that hurt, Sean? Funny, because they're still talking about you showing up on the lot in the Catwoman costume like you were off your medication. And they put it on the 'Batman Returns' dvd).

There's also a 40 minute documentary on the comic that could easily be a history of the comic business. If you're a comic geek, they got everybody here too. Even Stan Lee talking about a DC book! There are also storyboards of a lost Robin sequence in the first film. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill provide the voices. Geek manna.

I've barely scratched the surface of this set but it already beats 'Star Wars', 'Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Indiana Jones' in terms of thoroughness. This will take me a week at least to get through and that's without 'Batman Begins' on top of it!

Of course, just like the Alien and Godfather sets, you have to own a shitty movie in order to get the good ones (actually, the movies are sold separately but you save so much with the set it's not worth picking and choosing). 'Batman and Robin' in my opinion is the worst movie ever made. There's not even any comedic value like 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'. It's just bad and an assault on the senses. I saw it in a $2 theater and by the second hour I was kicking the seat in front of me I was so mad. Years later it was on at a party where I met my wife and I explained to her in full detail why it sucked. How I didn't lose her then I don't know. It's a film I refused to have in my home on any medium for years. But I still can't wait to see the extras on it. I want my apology.


Cromely said...

But I want ice skates thatpop out of my boots too!

The wife said...

You got your apology!!!! I was surprised there was one, but it was there!

You need to link to that clip somehow so everyone can get it!!!


Jon Clarke said...

That's right. The documentary on 'Batman and Robin' is infuriatingly hilarious.