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David A. Brown RSS Feed (Indianapolis, IN United States)
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Batman - The Complete 1943 Movie Serial Collection
Batman - The Complete 1943 Movie Serial Collection
DVD ~ Lewis Wilson
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $6.98
73 used & new from $1.44

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman in the beginning, November 18, 2005
First, I would also like to say thank you to the studio for releasing the uncensored version of this movie serial. I had seen it previously on a vhs tape and realized later that what I had seen was an edited (censored) version. I was happy to see this serial released on dvd format and happier still to find that it was the uncensored version as originally released.

THE DVD

The picture and sound are better than the vhs tape I used to have. I have also seen part of a "non-commercially released" dvd which was sold online and the picture and sound here are also better than other releases you might find. Because of the age of this film, the picture is not 100% crisp and clear. I'm sure those who had the pleasure of seeing them in the theater or who own the film prints can argue they could have been better, but I think this is probably the best that will be available. As in previous reviews, I agree that the picture on Chapter 1 is contrasty and not as sharp as the other chapters, particularly the first shot of Batman sitting in The Bat's Cave. I do not know about what the availability of a better-looking master for this first chapter, so I cannot give a lower rating because of this.

My only complaint is that the preview for Chapter 3 which comes at the end of the cliffhanger in Chapter 2 was not present. Why they left this off, I do not know. You have the complete story, so it isn't like you're missing part of the story because of this omission, but it's still a curiousity.

Also, I noticed in Chapter 2 as well, when Bruce Wayne is making a telephone call to Linda Page, on my disc there is a brief flicker of the picture to the scene just previous showing a shot of the villains. Did anyone else notice this?

THE CONTENT

I had the pleasure of reading some of the original Batman comic books in reprints. I recommend The Batman Chronicles and The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told as containing some early Batman tales. Batman in the Forties looks good too, but I haven't yet read that one. Having said that, I can say that this adaptation is much more true to the concept of Batman as he originally appeared than any of the later incarnations. Batman wasn't all-powerful and occasionally makes mistakes. Sometimes he gets knocked unconscious or overpowered by a group of mobsters. A few henchmen are also killed because of Batman's actions. Bruce Wayne is an act. He's a fop, a rich playboy who pretends to live the party life and tires easily. Alfred is much more bumbling comic relief than his later incarnations. Robin/Dick Grayson... what's up with his hair? I think he's sort of creepy. The police are depicted as lazy and corrupt, particularly Captain Arnold. It's interesting to see Batman at his beginning so that we can see and appreciate how his character has evolved over the years.

You won't find the Batmobile here. It hadn't been introduced yet! Batman and Robin were driven around in Bruce Wayne's car and they often have Alfred pull into an alley so they can change into their costumes. Also absent are Commissioner Gordon and any of the well-known villains.

As for censorship, I am glad to see the uncensored version of this dvd released. Racism is an ugly thing, and the fact that the country was at war at the time this movie was made is not an excuse. But, censorship is an ugly thing too. Only be releasing things in their entirety, the uncensored version, can we get it out in the open and talk about it. We learn from the past and from our mistakes, not by sweeping them under a rug and ignoring them or pretending they didn't exist. Again, I would like to commend Sony for releasing the complete unedited version.

CONCLUSION

This movie is goofy and was intended as Saturday morning or afternoon fun. Superheroes were not treated with the same reverence we have for them today and it was not give that same treatment. I recommend watching it for several reasons. First, it's entertaining. Second, for the bat-fan who wants to see Batman's first live action appearance and a close interpretation to the original character concept. Finally, for the historical significance of watching an old movie matinee serial and as a little time capsule to see the world in 1943.

I give this dvd 4 stars. It misses a higher rating only because of the little goofs in Chapter 2 which look like they should have been corrected before it was released.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2010 9:36 AM PDT


Batman and Robin - The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection
Batman and Robin - The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection
DVD ~ Robert Lowery
Offered by Urban-E
Price: $26.79
38 used & new from $0.82

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This dvd edition does include more footage, April 30, 2005
In response to another review below, someone mentioned that he remembered the first episode being about 10 minutes longer than the VHS release. I have seen both the VHS release and the dvd and can verify that, yes, the first episode of the dvd edition is about 9 or 10 minutes longer. The additional footage helps it make a bit more sense, though nothing critical was left out.

The picture quality is good for something this old. It's still pretty hokey, but it's good for what it was. It's fun to see Batman in the 1940's, just 10 years after his creation and to see how the character has evolved over the years.

I wonder why they didn't use the box art from the vhs release?

I too would like to see the 1943 movie serials released on dvd, and the 1960's Batman television show as well. With the new Batman Begins movie about to open in theaters, what better time?


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good local interest magazine, December 27, 2004
Indy Men's Magazine is a good local interest magazine in the Indianapolis area. It has interesting interviews, some original stories, a section where they recommend cool and useful items and the Tom, Dick & Harry poll is usually very funny. They also review and suggest local events.

If someone has the March 2003 issue (cover story is The 25 Most Important People in Hoosier Basketball), I'd love to buy it. [...]

For those thinking of a subscription, I recommend it. It's a good read and usually good for a chuckle or two.


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $3.99
646 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Response and recommendation., November 14, 2003
In response to Ryan Capuano's review (and others?) who had trouble believing the TX was stronger than the T-850 (Arnold's character) because she is smaller - new technology generally IS smaller, more compact, and more powerful. Take cell phones for example. It makes sense that a new and improved Terminator model could also be a smaller and more compact machine.
As for the movie, it was a pretty good action movie. The effects were improved over the previous movies - when parts of the terminator get blown away, you can actually see through the gaps and holes in it, unlike the previous films where they might have stuck make-up over top of his face to simulate the cyborg skeleton underneath the flesh.
I've read some complaints about character development. I tend to agree, although it wasn't a fatal flaw in the movie. In T2, Arnold's character was able to learn to mimic human behavior and during the course of the movie, he became more human as he learned more about them. This movie lacked that. His character didn't seem to have that ability (except for the funny "Talk to the hand" gag) and that was part of the magic of T2.
Something funny to ponder - in the scene at the convenience store, when the T-850 (Arnold) grabs food and supplies from the store, he pauses at the sunglasses display. When he walks out, he's wearing his pair of expensive glasses ($175 a pair). Uh-huh. Tell me he found THOSE on one of those cheap convenience store racks!
So, it doesn't quite measure up to T2, but I still recommend it as a good action movie and a decent close to the story. Much better than some other action movies of late.


The Final Countdown (Widescreen Edition)
The Final Countdown (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Kirk Douglas
Price: $11.34
46 used & new from $6.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool movie, bad packaging, October 1, 2003
I wonder why it says the release date is March of 2004? I ordered my copy through Amazon.com and got it a couple weeks ago.
I won't spend time on the plot of the movie. If you're browsing, you may already know what that involves or have read it in other reviews. This is a great "What if" movie and kind of fun for history buffs too.
I was disappointed in the quality of the packaging. It looks like a couple junior high kids with a printer could have made the cover, and there are no inserts or booklets or anything. But, that isn't really why you buy the DVD.
On to the DVD itself, there aren't any features to speak of other than the trailer. That might have been nice, but what I wanted was to see a movie I remembered fondly from when I was younger. The movie looks a bit dated, but the quality is decent and it's still fun to watch, even after having viewed it several times before.
I won't give it 5 stars due to the cheap packaging and lack of features, but the movie itself was worth the purchase and I do recommend it.


Gone in 60 Seconds
Gone in 60 Seconds
DVD ~ Edward Abrahms
41 used & new from $4.92

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it more than I thought, February 5, 2001
This review is from: Gone in 60 Seconds (DVD)
After learning that the 2000 movie was actually a remake of a 1974 movie, I got the bug to watch the original. I had a hard time finding it.
I read some reviews that said to skip this 25th anniversary edition and watch the original Media VHS release. I was lucky enough to get my hands on both this weekend.
I liked this movie much better than I thought I would. True, the real highlight is the car chase, everything else is just filler, but it was still a fun movie.
I've read complaints about the remastered anniversary edition available on this DVD. Let me say that after watching both versions, this DVD has a much better, cleaner picture than the old VHS tape. The sound wasn't bad either. My only beef with the anniversary edition was the new soundtrack, everything else was just fine. The anniversary edition on DVD features a generic new pop synth soundtrack. Most of the time, I really wasn't listening to it. But, if you are going to have those 70's hair styles, sunglasses, clothes and sideburns, why mess with the 1970's music? Yes, it was dated, but the music went along with the movie and added to at least a couple scenes.
The original soundtrack should have at least been an available option as an alternate version to watch, even if it was recorded in mono. If that had been done, I'd have given it another star.
As is, it's not bad. The music is a little distracting because it doesn't go at all with the rest of the movie, but if you can get past that annoyance, this DVD is certainly watchable.
It left me wanting an old Mustang.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2010 5:06 PM PDT


Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction
DVD ~ John Travolta
Offered by insomniacsonline
Price: $6.99
142 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not for the politically correct, January 11, 2001
This review is from: Pulp Fiction (DVD)
I saw Pulp Fiction when it first created such a buzz in the theaters. The soundtrack is one of the best of the 1990's.
This movie is just fun, there is so much thoughtful dialogue to chew on.
I saw part of the movie on TV a few weeks ago and decided to get the DVD to add to my collection.
When I watched it the other night, something occured to me-- when Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vincent (John Travolta) arrive at Jack Rabbit Slims for their dinner, she comments to him that an Elvis man should love this place. I distinctly remember on TV a few weeks ago that they had a discussion before they reached Jack Rabbit Slims about how some people were Elvis people and others were Beatles people. I don't remember that scene in the DVD though. I might have to watch it again to be sure it's really missing though.
The movie has violence, drug use, and lots of profanity, but I think the great story telling still makes it a fun movie. There is lots of humor in this movie, in a twisted sort of way.
Want to watch it in chronological order? Watch the chapter (3?) right after the main titles with Vincent and Jules riding in the car. Then jump to 22. (scene 1, with Pumpkin and Honey Bunny happens concurrently with the restaurant scene) After that, I think it goes to 4 (the scene where Butch (Bruce Willis) is talking to Marsellus Wallace about fixing the fight) and then watch straight through till he rides off on the chopper.
I give it 4 stars only because of the lack of goodies on the disc.


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