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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Tim Burton
USA 1992

In this first sequel to 1989's Batman, the Caped Crusader (Michael Keaton) is up against the Penguin (Danny DeVito), the hideously deformed scion of a wealthy Gotham City family. The Penguin plots with evil businessman Max Schreck (Christopher Walken) to become mayor and then turn Gotham into a cathedral of crime. Upon overhearing these plans, Schreck's mousy secretary Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) is tossed from a high-rise window by her boss. Rescued by a covey of kittens, Selena transforms into the leather-clad Catwoman. In this guise, she teams with the Penguin and Schreck to divvy up their ill-gotten gains and help discredit Batman-but she also has her own scores to settle. Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens, Vincent Schiavelli and Jan Hooks play significant bits, while Pat Hingle and Michael Gough make returns as, respectively, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred the Butler.

***

Frankly, I don't understand why everyone craps all over this film . Of  all the pre-Bale Batman films that I suffered through this was the only shining spark of attempted brilliance - another of Tim Burton's memorable efforts. The plot is classic comic-dom with Gotham City facing two aligning criminal menaces: the bizarre and sinister Penguin (played, and make-up'ed, brilliantly by Danny DeVito) and the mysterious and dangerous sexpot known as the Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). Lurking in the background is a political manipulator named Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) and an army of sewer-dwelling miscreants preparing their vengeance. I thought Michael Keaton as Batman was just fine and Michelle made me forget any boyhood fantasies of Ertha Kitt, Lee Meriweather or Julie Newmar. The concept of 'Batman" in the first place is an outrageous farce with extravagance as the key narrative stroke. It was meant to be expressed on the big screen as darkly stylistic Burton-esque with grandiose makeup, towering sets and probing close-ups. I thoroughly enjoy this each time I watch it. It was meant to be as dynamic and grandiose as it is - this was not an error. If you are taking 'Batman' seriously - perhaps you need some other diversions in your entertainment. 

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 16th 1992 (Hollywood, California) (premiere)

Reviews                                                                                            More Reviews                                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD RIGHT

 

Box Cover

   

 

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC Warner Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD
 
The initial Batman Series (1989-97') is also available in a 4K UHD package. It includes Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin

             

Runtime 2:06:20  2:06:16  2:06:28.956 2:06:27.037
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.48 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Disc Size: 39,859,896,384 bytes

Feature Size: 30,592,671,744 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.25 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1 Video

1.85:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 83,533,857,659 bytes
Feature: 82,626,528,192 bytes
Video Bitrate: 71.71 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Original

Bitrate:  Two Disc SE

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Bitrate:  4K Ultra HD

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) English DTS, English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0) Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1684 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1684 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby TrueHD + Atmos English 4070 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4070 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Chinese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 384 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Russian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, None English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Czech, Hungarian, Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Cast
• Production Notes
• 'Film Flash' - 4 trailers
• Liner note with DVD Regions listed

DVD Release Date: August 22nd, 1997

Snapper Case
Chapters: 39

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: director Tim Burton
• The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin – Cast and crew members recall the making of this equally spectacular sequel
• Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight: Part 4, The Dark Side of the Knight
• Beyond Batman Documentary • Gallery: Gotham City Revisited: The Production Design of Batman Returns, Sleek, Sexy and Sinister: • The Costumes of Batman Returns, Making up the Penguin, Assembling the Arctic Army, Bats, Mattes and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of Batman
• Face to Face Music Video by Siouxsie and the Banshees
The Heroes and The Villains Profile • Galleries
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2005

Double slim keep case
Chapters: 39

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Disc Size: 39,859,896,384 bytes

Feature Size: 30,592,671,744 bytes

Average Bitrate: 28.25 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1 Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: director Tim Burton
• The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin – Cast and crew members recall the making of this equally spectacular sequel (21:54)
• Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight: Part 4, The Dark Side of the Knight (30:19)
• Beyond Batman Documentary (11:27)

• Gallery: Gotham City Revisited: The Production Design of Batman Returns,

• Sleek, Sexy and Sinister: (13:31)

• The Costumes of Batman Returns, Making up the Penguin, Assembling the Arctic Army (9:05), Bats, Mattes and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of Batman
• Face to Face Music Video by Siouxsie and the Banshees
The Heroes and The Villains Profile • Galleries
• Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Release Date: December 22nd, 2008
Standard
Blu-ray case
Chapters: 39

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

 

1.85:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 83,533,857,659 bytes
Feature: 82,626,528,192 bytes
Video Bitrate: 71.71 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: director Tim Burton
 

ON THE INCLUDED Blu-ray:

• Commentary by: director Tim Burton
• The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin – Cast and crew members recall the making of this equally spectacular sequel (21:54)
• Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight: Part 4, The Dark Side of the Knight (30:19)
• Beyond Batman Documentary (11:27)

• Gallery: Gotham City Revisited: The Production Design of Batman Returns,

• Sleek, Sexy and Sinister: (13:31)

• The Costumes of Batman Returns, Making up the Penguin, Assembling the Arctic Army (9:05), Bats, Mattes and Dark Nights: The Visual Effects of Batman
• Face to Face Music Video by Siouxsie and the Banshees 
• Theatrical Trailer

 

Leaflet for Digital copy


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
June 4th, 2019
4K Ultra HD Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 39

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective disc.

ADDITION: Warner 4K UHD (October 2019):

The major attributes of the 3840 X 2160 resolution are the significantly improved color balance, and the detail both accomplished by the very high bitrate - over double that of the 2008 Blu-ray. The colors especially flesh tones lose that orange-ness on all previous digital editions. But some green-ish blue does show up occasional. I have no idea is this is the intended look of the film. All I can say is that it has never looked better for my home theater. I don't see grain texture here but detail in the many close-ups is impressive showing even the minutest grains of skin. I love the contrast and deeper black levels on this frequently dark-toned film.  

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this variance. 

NOTE: 30 more full resolution (3840 X 2160) captures for Patrons are available HERE.

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR),, The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

If you are fortunate enough to have a setup that allows for Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1, this is a bombastic aural presentation with bouncy effects (the flying bats in the opening) and a winning score by the great, Danny Elfman's (American Hustle, Darkman, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, Good Will Hunting, Beetlejuice) switching from with a circus aura to serious, dark, tones. The film has sampling of Face to Face by Siouxsie and the Banshees and Rick James' Super Freak. There are multiple optional DUBs and subtitles including English and as with all 4K UHD discs, this is Region 'Free' playable worldwide. 

NOTE: For Atmos many non-compliant systems will recognizes it as TrueHD 7.1, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

The only extra on the 4K UHD disc is the previous Burton commentary. But the included Blu-ray is new with a 1.85:1 transfer (where the initial BD was 1.78:1) and it is technically more robust (Disc - 46,644,239,308 bytes, feature - 39,858,352,128 bytes, video bitrate 31.5 Mbps). It has all the extras of the 2008 Blu-ray with director commentary and multiple production featurettes etc. There is a leaflet with a code for a digital copy.

Batman Returns is such a visual and character-driven film. Of the early Batmans' - it remains my favorite - mostly, I think, because of the eclectic villains - even Walken is superb - and, let's not forget, Burton's 'decor' (adore the Wayne Mansion) plus the obvious with the ultimately alluring Miss Pfeiffer as an unforgettable Catwoman / Selina Kyle. Great dialogue here too - fun and 'superhero'-serious at the same time. I was very pleased to view it in the 4K UHD presentation. I still love the score and frequent eye-candy. If you enjoy Batman Returns - this is the digital version to watch it with.

Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: Blu-ray January 09': Warner have released the 4 earlier Batman Movies on Blu-ray in the UK. This is where I obtained my copy. It looks quite good - not stellar but certainly far superior to the last DVD version I own which I compared by toggling back and forth on my system. The color scheme supports the 2-disc version from 2005 but there is more vibrancy and depth. Everything is much tighter but probably a notch below what modern cinema fans may expect. Remember Batman Returns is almost 17 years old now. Burton's film is quite dark (drenched) and contrast appears improved in the lower lit scenes. At times the image shows a strong texture and overall, with over 4X the bitrate, it bests the DVD in all areas that I can judge. In fact the visuals can be so strong you can discern production attributes (like make-up etc.) which lends itself away from the disbelief. I expect the VC-1 encode filling over 30 Gig alone fro the film probably reproduces the film as faithfully as it can. Effects and details may not be as glossy as modern films, but this is, probably, precisely how Batman Returns looked when it came out theatrically. Yes, Michelle Pfeiffer looks awesome as does DeVito's extensive costuming.

NOTE: I can confirm that the Warner Blu-ray is region free and will play on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Warner have a TrueHD track mix that supports the strong video very well. I love the sounds of the Batmobile, the theme music and many subtle effect noises that help produce a substantial surround track. Audio can be a big part of a Burton film and this doesn't disappoint. There are a bunch of foreign language DUBs (see list above) and many optional subtitle choices.

Supplements are duplicated from the last 2-disc DVD - which are abundant with a director commentary and multiple production featurettes etc. Something new would have been nice but the film is old news and I'm sure Warner are concentrating on other ventures. Suffice to say most fans may be content and die-hards may revisit now on the same disc as the feature. NOTE: All extras were playable on my region 'A' Blu-ray machine.

I really enjoyed seeing and hearing this in hi-def. Temper your expectation with the age of the film and I'm sure you will be as impressed as I was. Recommended!

NOTE: We've been told, unlike the UK DVD releases, that this is NOT cut 6 seconds - but is the full theatrical release.           

****

ADDITION 2-disc DVD: Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) : The new edition is superior to its, over 8 years older, counterpart in every area. The new release shows how the old colors were very pale and washed out. The old edition has less information on all 4 edges and of course the extras in the Special Edition are abundant - including a much anticipated commentary by Tim Burton. This film really stood out from many of the other releases in this movie series and this new DVD is a treat. Thanks Warner.  

*****

ON THE ORIGINAL DVD: This is one of the oldest DVDs that I can remember reviewing. By today's standards it would be considered less than stellar, but I wasn't so disappointed. The film is very dark but the transfer held up its end of the contrast with no artificial brightening that I could discern. The anamorphic  image seems to hold its color balance, if at times, appearing a little faded, but skin tones look very good. The big winner of this disc is the 5.1 audio which magnifies the deepest bass levels of the films track into a real theater experience. Extras are non-existent with some 4:3 text screens of production notes and no trailer for the film. Subtitles are excellent. The disc itself is a single layered job with the Full-frame version on the opposite side. I can see it being re-released soon with commentary etc.

Gary W. Tooze

 


 

DVD Menus

(Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - DISC 2

 

Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY or 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 or 3840 X 2060 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 

1) Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Sound:

Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Extras: 4K UHD / Blu-ray
Box Cover

   

 

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC Warner Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner - Region FREE - 4K UHD
 
The initial Batman Series (1989-97') is also available in a 4K UHD package. It includes Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin

             

 

 Box Cover

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray
 
The other series in the initial Batman Series are also available on Blu-ray in the US or the UK (discs are REGION FREE)

'the Batman Legacy' has all 4 on Blu-ray.

 

 

 


 




 

 

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Gary Tooze