Batman: The Movie
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When Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) get a tip that Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) is in danger aboard his yacht, they launch a rescue mission. But the tip is a set-up by four of the most powerful villains ever, who seek to defeat the Dynamic Duo once and for all! Armed with a dehydrator that can turn humans into dust, the fearsome foursome intends to take over the world! Can the Caped Crusaders use their high-flying heroism and groovy gadgetry to declaw Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), ice the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), upstage the Joker (Cesar Romero), and stump the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) in time?
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The movie was filmed during the summer hiatus of the TV series. It had the same campy, cheesy factor that the show had, and while the actors played it straight you can tell everyone's tongues were planted firmly in their cheeks. The highlights of the movie that everyone likely remembers is the very cheesy fake shark, and the shark repellant, the bomb gag, and Lee Meriwether filling out the Catwoman suit quite nicely.
As far as bonus material goes, there is a great commentary track with Adam West and Burt ward, as well as a separate commentary track with the writer. There are also several short features that talk about the movie itself and the general influence of the movie and series on society back then. There is also a short feature on the batmobile, a trivia game, interactive batmobile tour and trailers for the movie. All in all a very good amount of material if you like going through all the extras. If you were a fan of the show, either during its original run or in syndication, this is definitely worth picking up.
Nice to go back in time to this classic movie and tv series when Superhero films were not as dark as today, but full of humour, puns, big words and a sense of humor/camp.
Adam West, Burt Ward and Company are perfect, or shall I say purrr-fect in their roles. Upon my umpteenth viewing, I really appreciate how the film takes some breathing room to develop more of Bruce Wayne's romantic side. Too bad he's/Batman is being foiled and fooled again by Catwoman.
The colors, the camera angles, the sets are amazing, not to mention expanding the television series in it's use of not just the Batmobile, but the bat-copter and bat-boat. The pace moves well and the ending is far more interestingly absurd than one might imagine even by the show's standards.
The movie is packed with some big names of the day: Lee Meriweather, Ceaser Romero, Burgess Meredith, etc., and they all had to have had fun making this film!
The picture quality for the Blu-ray high def release is excellent, with vibrant colors and the audio is good. There are a number of extras that fill out the disc. There are two commentaries, one by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr., and the other with Adam West and Burt Ward. There is a short featurette with George Barris, creator of the Batmobile. An interactive map of locations can be played while watching the movie, and while the map spotlights can jump from Santa Barbara (for the wharf where Batman runs with the bomb) to the studio in Culver City where interiors were shot there is an option to pull up factoids, photos, and map directions to the locations. There are featurettes on the heroes and the villains, and more.
All in all, a fun Blu-ray disc to purchase.
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Drinking game: take a sip whenever someone says bat.Read more