I love Christmas. My DVD collection always grows this time of year, often exponentially. This year was no different. Santa Claus brought Captain Larby the Red Sox World Series collection, The 40-Year Old Virgin and Batman – The Motion Picture Anthology (1989-1997). The latter will be the subject of this diatribe.
To date, Mrs. Larby and I have only watched Batman (1989), by far the best of the bunch. My Christmas wish list didn’t specify the entire gift set because, quite frankly, I don’t care for the other three movies. Nevertheless, I now own them all. To be fair, Batman Returns is a decent flick. With Tim Burton at the helm, the Dark Knight and Gotham City maintain that dark, moody edge. Not to mention the fact that I would recommend any movie where Christopher Walken makes an appearance, let alone a leading role. But let’s face it, Joel Schumacher swooped in to direct the final two installments and completely ruined the franchise. Don’t blame Kilmer or Clooney, Uma or Kidman, Schwarzenegger or Carey. Blame Schumacher the schmuck.
But I digress.
Tim Burton hit his prime with the first Batman. I mean, can you possibly imagine a more perfect live action film based on a comic book? Everything from set design, to costumes, to Danny Elfman’s brilliant score help this story leap right off of those colorful storybook pages and on to the screen. Furthermore, DVD’s were invented for certain movies, and this is one of them. It took Warner Bros. far too long to release this treasure, but I don’t hesitate to say that it was worth the wait. First of all, the movie looks fantastic. It is crisp, clean, and despite the dark lighting and nocturnal action sequences every scene is clearly discernible. And the aforementioned score, by my personal favorite score composer, is treated to a much deserved DTS track. Simply scintillating. Technically speaking, this DVD gets 5 out of 5 Peg Legs from the Cap’n.
Does the movie stand up, even after 16 years?
First of all, HOLY SHITE! Just typing that gave me more gray hairs. This movie is already 16 years old?! Ouch. I remember, as if it were yesterday, walking to the theater with my boy Mike V., barely able to contain our excitement. Hold on, I need a shot of Metamucil…okay, good to go.
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