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4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Batman's 4K UHD release: critically acclaimed, fan-celebrated, visually stunning.

    Batman 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Ultra HD treatment of films, including 'Batman,' greatly enhances visual aesthetics, color gamut, and sharpness, making them superior to their Blu-ray predecessors and presenting a visually breathtaking cinematic experience.

  • Audio
  • The Dolby Atmos upgrade immerses and enriches Batman's audio, enhancing detail, depth, and spatial dynamics across action and music, despite some mixed elements.

  • Extra
  • Batman 30th Anniversary Edition packs both UHD & remastered Blu-ray, featuring Burton's commentary with Blu-ray exclusive comprehensive special features & digital copies. No new extras.

  • Movie
  • Tim Burton's '89 Batman dramatically reshaped the superhero genre with its noir aesthetic and complex characters, setting a dark cinematic legacy still influential today.

    Video: 92

    Warner Bros. has once again set a high benchmark in the realm of home entertainment with their 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Batman." Utilizing a native 4K scan of the original camera negative and graded for high dynamic range (HDR10), the visual fidelity of this release is undeniably impressive. The film, originally shot in 35mm using Panaflex cameras and lenses, and finished on film, preserves its photochemical roots while embracing the enhancements offered by modern technology. The 2160p resolution significantly uplifts the level of detail, making it a substantial upgrade over previous Blu-ray editions. Grain management is meticulous, ensuring a natural filmic appearance that does not distract but instead enhances textures and definition across the board. This scan reveals intricacies previously unnoticed, from the cross-hatch pattern on Knox’s shirt to the detailed stonework of Wayne Manor, all presented in the correct 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio.

    The HDR grading elevates the visual experience by improving contrast and brightness levels. Whites are crisper and blacks are deeper, which is crucial for a film that heavily relies on its shadowy, gothic aesthetic. The nuanced differences in dark areas are now more discernible without losing detail, while specular highlights offer a more vibrant glow, making reflective surfaces and light sources more realistic. Despite its intentionally limited and nearly monochromatic color palette, key colors such as reds and blues see a notable enhancement in dynamism and variation. Most strikingly, the Joker's iconic purple suit and green hair exhibit a new level of vibrancy, bringing his chaotic presence to life against the dark backdrop of Gotham City.

    In this remastered edition, Warner Bros. has managed to retain the film's original atmospheric essence while providing a clearer and more detailed view of Tim Burton's vision. The textural clarity, from the gritty streets of Gotham to the distinctive costumes of Batman and the Joker, is remarkable. Skin tones are more natural and consistent throughout, allowing for an immersive viewing experience that pays homage to the film’s stylistic intentions without being overshadowed by digital enhancements. Even scenes originally criticized for their lack of detail due to smoke or stylistic choices now reveal a newfound clarity and depth, showcasing the painstaking craftsmanship that went into the movie’s production design and cinematographic efforts.

    Audio: 91

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Batman" offers an impressive auditory experience, primarily thanks to its Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which far surpasses previous mixes in depth, clarity, and environmental richness. Right from the onset, the meticulous remastering breathes new life into Danny Elfman’s iconic score and Prince's memorable pop songs, providing a level of immersion and spatial awareness not previously experienced. The remastered score boasts a robust low-end and crystal-clear highs, allowing for a full-bodied orchestral resonance and ensuring that even the most controversial elements of the soundtrack, such as Prince's contributions, are presented with unprecedented vocal and instrumental clarity. Added environmental sounds enrich the soundscape, particularly in action sequences and Gotham's bustling streets, creating a vividly realized world.

    The use of the Atmos mix's overhead channels introduces an enveloping layer of sound that substantially enhances set pieces, urban ambience, and the spaciousness within scenes, magnifying moments like the cavernous echo in the Flugelheim Museum or the Batmobile's engine roar with remarkable depth and realism. Enhanced sound effects, including gunfire, explosions, and the mechanical noises of the Bat-Wing, contribute to a more dynamic and engaging experience, though it's worth noting some effects have been updated from the original mix to increase impact. This careful upmixing and added audio content modernize the film without overshadowing its 1989 roots, presenting a balanced update that respects the original while embracing contemporary sound design techniques.

    Despite the overall enhancements brought by the Dolby Atmos track, there are some limitations rooted in the original production's sound design. The presentation remains notably front-heavy, and while the mid-range benefits from increased warmth and fidelity, it lacks extensive dynamics and detail in upper frequencies. This occasionally results in action sequences feeling somewhat constrained. However, dialogue remains crisp and well-placed within the mix, ensuring clear communication of the narrative amidst the expanded soundstage. On balance, this audio presentation elevates "Batman" to a reference-quality experience that complements its visual counterpart, making it an essential showcase for any home theater setup.

    Extra: 86

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Batman" primarily includes a solo audio commentary by Director Tim Burton, situated on both the 4K and the accompanying remastered Blu-ray disc. However, the more substantial suite of extras is exclusively housed on the Blu-ray disc. These extras are ports from previous releases, encompassing a rich array of content that dives deep into the Batman lore, the making of the movie, its iconic characters, and the creative process behind its memorable elements. Notably, "Shadows of the Bat" offers a comprehensive 72-minute documentary split into three parts, while "Beyond Batman" explores the film's production design, Batmobile construction, and score across 51 minutes. Additionally, there's engaging content such as the "Legends of the Dark Knight," focusing on Batman's history, and featurettes on the heroes and villains, alongside music videos by Prince and a storyboard sequence for a Robin introduction. No new features have been added for this anniversary edition, yet the collection remains a treasure trove for fans, rounded off with a digital copy of the film.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: By Director Tim Burton.
    • On the Set With Bob Kane: A brief insight with Bob Kane.
    • Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman: Traverses Batman's evolution.
    • Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight: A detailed three-part documentary.
    • Batman: The Heroes: Featurettes on the film's protagonists.
    • Batman: The Villains: An exploration of the film's antagonists.
    • Beyond Batman: Delving into make-up, effects, and scoring.
    • Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence: A "what-if" storyboard sequence.
    • Music Videos: Including hits like “Batdance” by Prince.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The film's original promotional trailer.

    Movie: 89

    Warner Bros' 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of Tim Burton's groundbreaking 1989 film "Batman" provides an exemplary visual and auditory experience that revitalizes the iconic superhero movie for new and returning audiences alike. Portrayed by Michael Keaton, Bruce Wayne/Batman battles against his most formidable nemesis, The Joker, played with unforgettable menace and eccentricity by Jack Nicholson. This film, pivotal in evolving the superhero genre from its campier iterations to a darker, more nuanced storytelling form, benefitted immensely from Burton's unique vision. The amalgamation of gothic aesthetic, Danny Elfman's haunting score, and a blend of horror and comedy elements marked a significant turn in comic book adaptations, laying groundwork for the genre's future.

    At its core, "Batman" explores the duality of its lead character and introduces audiences to a Gotham City that is as much a character as Batman and The Joker themselves. The narrative intertwines the origins of both hero and villain, creating a poetic symmetry and depth that was innovative for its time. The decision to link Batman's and The Joker's origins, while controversial, serves to enrich their rivalry, supported by stellar performances across the board. The remastered 4K UHD presentation enhances every detail of Gotham's sprawling, meticulous sets and the atmospheric cinematography, making the viewing experience even more immersive.

    The film's release on 4K UHD Blu-Ray is accompanied by a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, ensuring that every note of Elfman's iconic score and each line of Nicholson's and Keaton's performances are delivered with utmost clarity. This edition does not merely offer a nostalgia trip but reestablishes "Batman" as a seminal work that successfully balances the source material's inherent camp with a newfound gravitas. Its influence on both the character's cinematic journey and the broader superhero genre endures, testament to Burton's vision and the film's place in the annals of film history.

    Total: 88

    Warner Bros.' release of Tim Burton's iconic "Batman" on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, both as a standalone and within the Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary Studio Collection, has garnered considerable praise for its meticulous restoration and remastering efforts. Celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight, this release shines in delivering a high-quality video presentation that remains faithful to the original film's aesthetic intentions. The addition of updated lossless Dolby Atmos immersive sound mixes not only complements but enhances the viewing experience. The attention to detail in this remaster ensures that both long-time fans and newcomers will find the visual and auditory enhancements rewarding, making these Ultra HD Combo Packs a must-have.

    Tim Burton's "Batman" holds a special place as a seminal piece of cinema, blending masterful set design, shadow and light play, superb cinematography, and overall exceptional production quality. The film's narrative smartly complements its aesthetics, bolstered by stellar performances from a cast led by Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. This release underscores the enduring appeal and influence of Burton's vision, with the 4K remaster and ATMOS mix breathing new life into this classic. Despite some minor quibbles with the packaging art, the quality of the film's restoration and the richness of its sound offer an irresistible draw for enthusiasts, ensuring its revered status within the superhero film genre.

    In conclusion, Warner Bros.' commitment to preserving and honoring the legacy of "Batman" through this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release is evident in every aspect of its execution. With its exemplary video quality, immersive audio enhancements, and faithful adherence to the original creative vision, this edition is an exemplary tribute to a film that redefined the superhero genre. Whether for nostalgic revisitation or a first-time viewing, this release is a compelling addition to any collection, solidifying "Batman's" place as a landmark film that continues to captivate and inspire audiences across generations.