Reviews - DVD - Mask of the Phantasm
Studio: Warner Studios
Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 1993
DVD Release Date: December 21, 1999
Run Time: 76 minutes
Production Company: Warner Home Video
Package Type: Snap Case
Languages & Subtitles (English & Francais)
Widescreen Anamorphic - 1.85:1
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0
Encoding: Region 1
With only a limited release in Christmas 1993, Batman: The Animated
Series entered and left theatres with a wimper, raking in just over
$5 million dollars. It wouldn't be until the movie hit video that
following spring would the movie really hit it big, raking in millions
more than it's brief onscreen fling. And the movie earns every cent it
raked in with being easily the best translation of the Batman character
in any medium.
The movie takes a mature approach to the character, and was created with
adults in mind, with kids as an afterthought. This movie is violent,
dark, menacing and very adult. Implied sex, death, blood, and rampant
fisticuffs fly during this excellent feature.
In short a new villain is introduced into Gotham, called Phantasm, who
is bumping off mobsters left and right. Of course, the police think
Batman is to blame, making things all that more difficult for the Dark
Knight to get his job done. The movie also takes an extended look into
his past, uncovering some very tragic moments leading up to his eventual
turn tot he cowl.
Now, thats a very thin description, but it's done so on purpose. This
is a movie you must see. Plain and simple. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
is an exciting breathtaking movie that every Batfan will enjoy. For such
a stunning movie, it's a shame that just about everything else on the
DVD falls far short.
The transfer for this DVD is average, if not a little below. The movie
has a fair amount of dust and scratches, compression, and even goes soft
in a few instances. It's a pretty poor transfer, seemingly done from a
VHS master copy. Both the widescreen and full screen options seem to
come from the same original print.
On note of the widescreen, it is a matted a widescreen. However, the
movie was created with widescreen in mind, meaning the framing is better
than the fullscreen option. The audio for this release is standard.
The extras? Well the only extra here is a trailer, and it is one of the
single worst trailers I have ever seen. I swear, I have no idea what
incompetent employee cut this thing, but it is terrible. In fact, it's
so bad is has to be seen. Almost every single shot in the trailer seems
to be the one AFTER what should be seen in the trailer. It's truly
hideous. Poorly edited, cut, assembled, dubbed, the whole nine yards.
This DVD is recommended solely on the movie, though. This is easily the
best Batman movie ever made, and it should be seen by all Batman fans.
The tone is dark and brutal, the story is engaging and tragic, and the
villain(s) are nefarious and devious. It's an excellent movie that will
hopefully receive the special edition treatment down the line. Highly