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Releases - DVDs - Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub Zero

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Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video
VHS Release Date: March 17, 1998
DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
Run Time: 70 minutes
Production Company: Warner Home Video
Package Type: Snap Case
Aspect Ratio(s):
Orginal Aspect Ratio - 1.33 Standard [4:3 Transfer]

Audio
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

Edition Details:
• Encoding: Region 1
• Animated, Color


Special Features
• The Hunt for Mr. Freeze Game
• Get the picture: How to Draw Batman
• Music Montage
• Cast and Crew Information
• Trailers
• Languages & Subtitles: English, Francais, Espanol & Portuguese

Review
Premiering on DVD four years after it's initial VHS bow, Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero shows us how to do a Mr. Freeze movie right. Released on the heels of Batman & Robin, this direct to video feature met with far more critical acclaim than that live-action debacle, though is inferior to Mask of the Phantasm (for just reasons). Still, it's a helluva fun, albeit short, Batman adventure suitable for both kids and adults.

No doubt taking note from the more adult-themed Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Sub-Zero is a little more kid-friendly in mind. The story is still strong and doesn't cop out in any instances, you can tell there was an obvious effort to make the feature more attractive to younger viewers. The plot is straight forward, with Mr. Freeze kidnapping Batgirl in order to save his comatose wife, who happens to share the same rare bloodtype (more on that in a moment). It sets up for a pretty impressive car chase scene, and some splendid action sequences on an oil rig, including an awesome reveal of the rig's size. Throw in a crooked doctor, a smitten Dick Grayson, and a clueless Commissioner Gordon, and we have a fun 67 minute movie worth picking up.

If I have any problem with the movie aside from the short running time, it's the main whole "rare bloodtype" cliché. It is a horrible cliché but it's treated with a bit more intensity and an ominous overtone. Regardless...rare blood type? Why does EVERYONE have such rare blood? Ah well....

Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio, and the transfer is solid. All of the colors are vibrant and are properly displayed and there is no edge enhancement, dust, or scratches. The print is in fine shape. The audio is in regular 2.0 and does sound adequate, though given the amount of explosions, loud engines, and fight scenes, a better audio presentation would have been appreciated.

And yeah, the extras are pretty slim. We're given a musical montage called "The Art of Batman" that features production artwork, storyboards and design sketches interspersed with action from the film under horrible music. Also included are trailers, a pointless Get the Picture" Batman were we apparently get to learn how to draw at super speed, and a useless game, if you can call it that.

Now this is pretty standard for these releases and fans have been forced to settled with them, but this DVD disappoints me most than others. Boyd Kirkland, co-writer and director, told me in an interview a few years back that not only does he have extra material he would have been willing to share, but also has a matted widescreen 5.1 audio master copy of Sub-Zero! But Warner Home Video failed to contact him, so it's quite possible we'll never see what Kirkland is so willing to offer the fans. A real shame, and mistake on Warner's part.

Overall, it's a fun movie worth watching. It's safe for kids and adults, and the quick running time make it impossible for the feature to bore viewers. The extras are, as usual, slim and unimpressive, but don't let that stop you from picking up and enjoying this fun Batman movie.

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