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The Batman 4K UHD Review

“The Batman” is easily one of the best DC movies.

After seeing what director Matt Reeves did with the excellent and deeply underrated “Planet of the Apes” sequels, it was clear that he was an exciting choice to helm the next Batman film. To say he did not disappoint with “The Batman” is a massive understatement. 

2022’s “The Batman” is a layered saga about The Caped Crusader finding himself getting caught up in a dangerous plot masterminded by The Riddler. The Riddler claims to be exposing the truth, but he’s a psychotic murderer who is creating chaos. As Batman tries to find out who and where he is, he also uncovers the truth about his own family history and Gotham’s criminal enterprises (namely those by Carmine Falcone). Aiding him in his quest are Gotham Police Officer James Gordon and the mysterious Selina Kyle who has her own personal vendetta.

It’s no secret that DC movies have been rather lackluster over the past several years, but with “The Batman,” Reeves has finally made something that does justice to one of their premiere characters. This is not just another Batman film but rather Reeves and co-writer Peter Craig have crafted a smart, grounded and frankly epic crime drama that is brimming with ideas about politics, vengeance, vigilantes, loss, lies, trauma, voyeurism, and ultimately hope. There’s a lot of “Batman: Year One” and “Batman: The Long Halloween” present here, but Reeves puts his own unique spin on it as he creates an ambitious, topical and adult crime drama that might feel overstuffed in other hands, but feels like a fully realized (and fulfilling) film/comic book film. Perhaps more than anything, it’s just great to see a story with “The World’s Greatest Detective.” In past Batman films, Batman is rarely seen doing detective work. With this noirish story, it’s all about Batman being a Detective (even if he screws up sometimes). In fact, this a movie that really values character and story over action which is exceedingly rare and refreshing in this day and age.

Batman films have had a lot of great casts over the years, but this just might be the best one yet. A lot of nonsense was spouted about a “Twilight” actor (Robert Pattinson) being cast in the title role, but those who have followed his career and have seen him in underrated films like “Good Time” and “Life” will know that he is an actor with range. Simply put, he’s the best Batman we have seen thus far. Even when he’s not on screen his presence is felt. He’s intimidating, he nails the Batman voice, he strikes fear into criminals (which was expertly relayed in that beginning sequence), and he’s formidable in a fight. Some have thrown criticism at Pattinson for his depiction of Bruce Wayne, but they’re missing the point. Batman doesn’t know who Bruce is at this juncture. He doesn’t realize until the end what he needs to do. He’s still a tortured and angry soul seeking vengeance. Paul Dano’s Riddler brings a very different interpretation to the character and it works. He’s a psychotic, game playing killer who thinks he’s helping Gotham City. Jeffrey Wright just might be the best James Gordon we’ve seen yet. His dynamic with Batman is such a major part of the movie and it works wonders. John Turturro is chilling as mob boss Falcone while Colin Farrell completely disappears into the role of the more gangster like Penguin (both physically and verbally). Andy Serkis (who plays Alfred) doesn’t get a ton of screentime, but he has one of the film’s very best scenes with Bruce in the hospital. Last, but not least Zoe Kravitz completely brings her own take to the role of Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Her chemistry with Pattinson is pitch perfect. 

Batman also has a history of great scores and the ever reliable Michael Giacchino creates yet another memorable theme (although it does bear a resemblance to the Imperial March music at times). 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p With Dolby Vision. How does it look? This is a pristine print that perfectly displays the film’s very specific color palette.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The dialogue is a bit low for my taste, but the audio intensive sequences (the club and the car chase) certainly shine.

Extras:
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* 2 deleted scenes including the previously released Joker sequence. Optional commentary by Matt Reeves is included.
* 2 behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of 2 action sequences titled “Anatomy Of The Car Chase” and “AnatomyOf The Wing Suit Jump.”
* “Looking For Vengeance”- A look at the fighting style of Batman.
* “The Batman: Genesis” explores Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson finding Batman and Bruce’s voice for this new film. A very insightful extra.
* “Vengeance Meets Justice”- A look at the Batman and The Riddler dynamic.
* “Becoming Catwoman” features Zoe Kravitz discussing the character.
* “The Batmobile” gets its own nearly 11 minute documentary.
* “Vengeance In The Making”- The most extensive bonus feature is this nearly 54 minute look into Matt Reeves film.
* “Unpacking The Icons” covers the props, gadgets and costumes.
* “A Transformation: The Penguin” shows viewers how Colin Farrell became the character through prosthetics.

May 22, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , , ,

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