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Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm Blu-ray Review

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“Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is the best 90’s Batman movie.

In the 1993 minute animated film “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” (which is connected to the great “Batman: The Animated Series”), the film jumps back and forth in time as we chronicle the life of Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by the one and only Kevin Conroy). In the present, a mysterious cloaked figure is killing gangsters and the citizens and authorities of Gotham City believe Batman is responsible. As Batman investigates the matter, he becomes wanted by the Gotham City Police and is targeted by The Joker (expertly voiced by Mark Hamill) who was hired by a gangster to finish him off once and for awhile. Meanwhile, in the past, we get an origin story of sorts for Batman (and even The Joker) as he struggles to juggle a life as a vigilante (pre-Batman) and a devoted lover to his beloved Andrea (who plays a pivotal role in the story).

Do not adjust your screen, “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is indeed on Blu-ray now and I couldn’t be happier. For the mere 76 minute runtime, the film packs a lot in. There’s romance, revenge, noir, The Joker, and even a partial origin story. What makes ‘Phantasm’ so fascinating is that it doesn’t play like your average Batman film. It’s rather unconventional in its structure and pacing. It’s also a very personal and intimate character story for Bruce Wayne and Batman. For a feature film, one would think it would be a rogue’s gallery centric story, but aside from The Joker, it’s not. This is a character piece through and through which is why it works so well.

As for the animation, it’s a bit stiff and clunky looking at it today, but the colors, style, and interpretation of Gotham City still hold up. The best moments animation wise take place at the fairgrounds which is almost certainly a nod to “Batman: The Killing Joke.”

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 (theatrical version) or 1.37:1 (television version) 1080p. How does it look? The picture quality is a definite upgrade from the DVD. It’s a nice crisp transfer. I do like that viewers have the options of playing the film in widescreen and fullscreen as well.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The track is a little flat, but it’s decent enough.

The lone extra is a “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” trailer.

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December 10, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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