Batman: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
Jack Nicholson is the Joker, who emerged from a horrible accident as a maniacal criminal. Michael Keaton is the Caped Crusader, who emerged from a childhood trauma to become a masked crimefighter. Kim Basinger is Vicki Vale, the talented photojournalist desired by both men. And Batman is the movie, the all-out spectacular directed by Tim Burton, set to songs by Prince and a music score by Danny Elfman, and an Academy AwardO winner* for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Anton Furst and Peter Young).
Released on DVD the year the Batman
franchise was resurrected with Batman Begins
, the first four of the Warner Brothers live-action films receive slick reissues, all with a Wayne Manor-sized amount of extras. The 40-minute feature on the history of Batman
is deft and conclusive--they talk to all the right people. The three-part documentary on the making of the first film is even better. Every time you think you are not going to hear new interviews, there pops Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Everyone seems to have had a grand time on the set, and those vibes continue more than a decade later; even Sean Young is good-natured when interviewed about a last-minute injury that led to Kim Basinger being cast as Vicki Vale. Candid comments from producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters also help. Tim Burton's free-following commentary only mentions the footage you are seeing briefly; it's more of a two-hour riff about his memories of filming and a must-listen for his fans. There's lots of other stuff including an unfilmed storyboard sequence introducing Robin. The film itself is upgraded by a remastered print and a new DTS soundtrack. --Doug Thomas