20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurettes, Still Galleries, Trailers and Teasers
In the best comic book manner, the four most powerful villains in the world team up to take down the world’s greatest superhero, and take over the world in the course of it. Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Joker (Cesar Romero) and the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) are making plans to rid themselves of Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) so that they would no longer interfere with their villainous deeds. They kidnap Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) to lure Batman and then begin setting traps for the caped crusader. But every time they try to put an end to his life, his heroism, dumb luck and his gadgets save the superhero and slowly Batman and Robin close in on the lair of the villains. With the help of a dehydrator, the four mad geniuses then try to take over the world’s most important political figures, but once again Batman comes to their rescue. How will this struggle ever end?
The culmination of a highly successful TV series, "Batman: The Movie" is a highlight in TV history, there can be no question. It is in many ways typical for its time in its look, feel and presentation and much of its appeal comes from its vintage quality. Whether you find the cheap sets and stilted acting ridiculous or part of the beauty that makes up this film, it is hard to escape its charm and sincerity to entertain. The fact that the cast is playing all these hilarious characters with a straight face, delivering classic lines that are remembered to this date, only furthers the heart-warming presence of the movie.
"Batman: The Movie" is coming to remarkable life on this DVD. Clearly, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has done quite a bit of work on this transfer to create a presentation that is so clear, clean and full of color and detail. There is hardly any grain in the image either, producing a very finely defined picture. Colors are powerful and nicely resemble the color schemes of comic books, further adding to the film’s overall appeal. Nonetheless with its natural looking flesh tones, the movie is firmly rooted in its colors and the deep blacks give it plenty of depth and contrast to work with. No distracting signs of edge-enhancement are evident and the compression is flawless without introducing any signs of digital artifacts.
The DVD comes with an English Stereo audio track, as well as mono tracks in English and French. Although slightly dated, the audio is also surprisingly clean and clear. The frequency response is a bit narrow, creating slightly notched dialogues that appear a bit harsh, and the music also suffers notably from the limited spectrum. Given the film’s age however, I was surprised how well the audio sounds nonetheless, as it creates the perfect sonic accompaniment for the film.
Next up is a brand new 17-minute featurette that has been created for this DVD. It features extensive interview footage with Burt Ward and Adam West, as they discuss their experiences working on the "Batman" TV series and the movie. They cover many aspects, including their fellow cast members, the production, the gadgets and much more, making it a wonderful addition to the disc. You can also take a close look at the Batmobile in the 1966 featurette "The Batmobile Revealed." It tells you about its origins and gives you a candid look inside this iconic automobile.
"From the Vault of Adam West" comes an extensive photo gallery with production still photographs as well as pictures from the set and the rehearsals. In a separate "behind the scenes Still Gallery" you can take a closer look at promotional images of the principal cast as well as great photos from the set. Of course you shouldn’t miss the trailers and teaser that are also part of this release.