Batman was always one of my favourite comic’s characters and as a child I always loved the repeats of the Adam West/Burt Ward series when they appeared on Saturday mornings. However, this was all knocked on its head when, in 1989, they released the new Batman movie. Not because I hated it, but because I loved it. I loved the darkness, the comical evil of the Joker and the slightly quirky, but nonetheless stylish interpretation of the Batman. I also loved the suit, which for me, was far more in keeping with the character. The only thing I didn’t like was Michael Keaton in the role. It just didn’t fit somehow. He was too short, too unfit and nowhere near fast enough to be the Batman that I had loved for so long.
However, time passes, and when you compare him to the George Clooney characterisation, you soon realise that Mr Keaton wasn’t half bad. I think he suffered because he was overshadowed by the immensely talented Jack Nicholson, whose version of the Joker was still more deranged than the modern ‘Dark Knight’ characterisation. Yes, I know this goes against critical opinion and Heath Ledger does a mean Joker – but it’s not my Joker.
This brings me through time and space to modern day, and the Blu-ray version of the same movie. Those of you who know me, from such publications as this, Micro Mart and my own (but for the moment unplugged), sci-fi review site will realise that I have both a HD compatible TV and a PlayStation 3 games console. I was therefore very pleased when this version of the movie landed on my door mat.
Opening up the box I saw the disc and the standard insert. Putting it into the drive, the movie starts up straight away, which is just how I like it. At this point you can either bring up the menu from within the movie or stop the movie and bring up the menu. The menu, so far as I can see, contains all the extras that you find on the double disc special edition DVD of this movie. Having not seen all of these extras before, I have to admit that it took me ages to go through them all. Nearly as long as watching the movie – maybe longer, I lost track.
The movie itself is a reasonable quality upgrade from the latest DVD version. There are some areas where the scenes get too dark, and also some graininess, but it is generally a good transfer and I have seen far worse. Where there is bright colour it is represented very accurately, and I love the look of the Joker. The colour of his suit stands out more in this version of the movie.
Sound is accurately represented in a Dolby Full HD mix, but I could swear there are areas where the sound drops into a mono sound field. It could just be my surround amplifiers interpretation of the mix, but I have heard other people who have passed the same comment.
In general, this is a decent Blu-ray release, and I look forward to looking at the rest of the movies as and when I get a chance to.
Batman on Blu-ray is out now.