The Batman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Overall this Dolby Vision image delivered a pleasing presentation.
A native 4K project, sharpness seemed strong. Even with the murky photography, I noticed nary a sliver of softness.
Jaggies and shimmering remained absent, and I also saw no signs of edge haloes. Print flaws failed to appear.
Like so many modern movies, The Batman opted for orange and teal – a grimy sense of orange and teal, but orange and teal nonetheless. A few reds cropped up as well.
Within stylistic constraints, the colors felt well-reproduced. HDR added punch and impact to the tones.
Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows appeared clear – well, as clear as the often intentionally murky photography allowed. HDR brought range and power to contrast and whites. Given the movie’s cinematography, the film didn’t offer a visual showcase, but the Blu-ray offered a solid representation of the source.
Though not among the best of the superhero soundtracks, the Dolby Atmos audio of The Batman still did nicely for itself. The movie came with a good general sense of atmosphere and showed smooth delineation of the score as well.
Of course, the film’s action sequences gave it the biggest kick, and those added a lot of spice to the proceedings. The material filled the speakers and created a dynamic sense of these elements.
Audio quality seemed good. Speech remained natural and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Music came across as full and rich as well.
Again, effects demonstrated the strongest aspect of the mix, as these added punch. The elements sounded accurate and dynamic, with clear highs and intense lows.
Bass response seemed powerful and contributed a solid presence throughout the film. In the end, the soundtrack created a quality impression.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio remained identical.
As for the 4K’s Dolby Vision presentation, it offered a step up in quality, as it looked tighter and smoother. Blacks felt more distinct, and colors added verve. The nature of the photography limited growth, but the 4K nonetheless became the superior image.
All the set’s extras appear on a separate Blu-ray disc, and there we start with a documentary called Vengeance in the Making. It spans 53 minutes, 41 seconds and offers comments from writer/director Matt Reeves, producer Dylan Clark, Batsuit costume designer/chief concept artist Glyn Dillon, Batsuit costume designer/costume supervisor David Crossman, HOD costume effects Pierre Bohanna, director of photography Greig Fraser, production designer James Chinlund, set decorator Lee Sandales, assistant set decorator Anita Gupta, makeup designer Naomi Donne, costume designer Jacqueline Durran, visual effects associate supervisor Malcolm Humphreys, VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy, and actors Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Jayme Lawson, and Peter Sarsgaard.
The documentary covers story/characters and Reeves’ take on the material, costume and makeup design, photography, sets and locations, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the production, cast and performances, various effects, and music.
With nearly an hour at its disposal, “Vengeance” manages to become a fairly good production diary. Despite some of the usual happy talk, we learn a lot about the flick.
Nine featurettes ensue, and Looking for Vengeance runs four minutes, 57 seconds. It brings notes from Reeves, Pattison, Clark, 2nd unit director/supervising stunt coordinator Robert Alonzo and stunt coordinator Samuel Le.
The reel looks Batman’s fighting style. Though brief, it comes with useful insights.
Genesis goes for six minutes, nine seconds and features Reeves, Pattinson, Kravitz, Wright, Donne, Clark and hair designer Zoe Tahir.
“Genesis” covers the influence of the comics and aspects of the film’s take on the material/characters. A little of this repeats from the longer documentary, but we get many new thoughts.
Next comes Vengeance Meets Justice, an eight-minute, four-second reel with Reeves, Pattinson, Dano, and Clark.
“Justice” examines the movie’s treatment of the Batman/Riddler characters/relationship. Expect some nice glimpses of the filmmakers’ viewpoints.
Becoming Catwoman lasts eight minutes, 36 seconds and delivers info from Kravitz, Reeves, Pattinson, Clark, Wright, Alonzo, Sarsgaard, Tahir, Chinlund, Sandales, Durran, and costume cutter Jennifer Alford. We learn about the flick’s version of the character in this engaging reel.
After this comes The Batmobile, a 10-minute, 51-second program with Reeves, Tuohy, Wright, Pattinson, Clark, Chinlund, art director – vehicles Joseph Hiura, stunt coordinator Stephen Griffin, stunt performer Rob Hunt and visual effects producer Alex Bicknell.
Unsurprisingly, we hear about the movie’s main vehicle in this one. It turns into another informative segment.
Two similar featurette follow: Anatomy of the Car Chase (6:08) and Anatomy of the Wing Suit Jump (6:29). Across these, we hear from Reeves, Alonzo, Tuohy, Bicknell, Farrell, Hunt, Lemmon, Clark, Dillon, Fraser, 2nd unit 1stAD Tom Edmundson and stagecraft operator Charmaine Chan.
As expected, these segments cover aspects of their respective scenes. They give us nice notes about these domains.
Unpacking the Icons takes up five minutes, 47 seconds and gives us statements from Reeves, Durran, Dillon, Dano, Kravitz, Farrell, Clark, property master Jamie Wilkinson and graphic designer Laura Dishington.
Here we examine costumes/props and attempts at realism in these areas. The short program offers useful informant.
Finally, A Transformation fills seven minutes, 59 seconds with material from Farrell, Kravitz, Pattinson, Reeves, Fraser, Clark, prosthetics designer Mike Marino, prosthetics makeup artist Mike Fontaine,
“Transformation” looks at the techniques used to turn Farrell into Penguin. It covers the topic in a positive manner.
Two Deleted Scenes finish the package. We find “Scene 52 Joker/Arkham” (5:53) and “Scene 56 Selina Gets 44 Below Keycard” (1:54).
Fans might already have seen “Arkham”, as it made the rounds online to promote the home video release. It gives us a glimpse of the Clown Prince of Crime as played by Barry Keoghan.
It hints at the history between the Batman and Joker but feels like a ripoff of the Clarice/Lecter relationship from Silence of the Lambs. If The Batman 2 uses Joker, I hope the filmmakers find a better way to do so.
“Keycard” just offers some shoe leather of Selina as she investigates inside the club. Given how long the final film runs, “Keycard” would’ve just made it drag, though it does allude to Penguin’s crush on Selina as well as his aspirations.
We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Reeves. He tells us about the sequences as well as why he cut them from the final film. Reeves delivers some useful notes.
Speaking of commentary, the iTunes download of the film includes a full-length track from Reeves. I’ll update the review after I get a chance to screen it, though I think it stinks that folks who drop money for the disc can’t access it there.
Another reboot of the franchise, The Batman brings the darkest, grittiest – and most pretentious – version of the character to date. Aspects of the movie succeed, but it lacks the consistency it needs to become one of the best superhero flicks. The 4K UHD brings very good picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. The Batman becomes a generally engaging but spotty adventure.
To rate this film, visit the original review of THE BATMAN