Review: Batman (1989) 25th Anniversary Blu-ray
by Paul (ral)

With the 25th anniversary of Batman (1989) this year, an updated release of the film was the very least Warner Bros could do.

Unfortunately, this latest Blu-ray is the very least they could have done. It is severely lacking and to be honest I don't really know its purpose.

To review the 2-disc set, I really have to go back to the 20th Anniversary release.

The only difference between it and the previous Blu-ray was a nice shiny booklet with materials such as snippets of the script and reprints of behind the scenes information. Nothing real fans of the film haven't already seen.

One of the most dissappointing things, for me, about the set was an advert for collector sets other films such as "I Am Legend"  - with lovely fold out packaging, cards etc. Why didn't Batman get a similiar treatment? 

But still, it was better than nothing and at least in some small way it did celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of WB's most important films. But as I said, it had the SAME special features that the initial Blu-ray from 2008 did. Heck, they were the same features that the 2005 DVDs had! They were great features and WB really pushed out the boat on them.

Which brings us back to this celebration of 25 years.

The set comes in the Diamond Luxe collector-style packaging, which is shiny and nice with a couple of images emblazoned inside of Batman, Joker and the Bat-signal across the Gotham skyline. The first disc is the exact same as previous releases - same features, same transfer, etc. The second disc features 1 new documentary...a 24-minute exploration of the hype and marketing of Batman entitled "The Birth of the Modern Blockbuster". 

And it's a look at this new documentary that this review really boils down to.

Does this documentary make the set worth fans double (or quadruple) dipping for? No.
Is the documentary aimed at fans of the film? Not really. There isn't anything new for us to gain. Much of the ground is covered in the other documentaries.

Instead it spends time hitting us over the head with the idea that WB was the first to create and market a franchise in the way that Batman was. And ultimately Marvel now do it fantastically because of them. 

There is a few minutes of a new interview with Michael Keaton. You just know there is more, but sadly we only get a sniff. 

Why did I say the set isn't particularly aimed at fans of the film? Well, the film isn't explored in a completely positive light with commentators and those at WB  - with their overall consenses being that the film isn't all that good (in their opinion). I'm all for being objective in anaylsis and opinion, but these comments hardly celebrate a film that WB owes much to. I mean, for example, you won't find someone in the special features of "The Dark Knight Rises" making similiar comments!

So, overall I really can't recommend this Blu-ray. If you must get an anniversary set then get the 20th Anniversary least it looks nice and comes with a digital copy.

To Warner Bros I say - please give us an anniversary release worthy of the film. Something worth collecting. Something comprehensive that includes a new transfer, new commentaries, deleted scenes, promotional materials and the "Making of a Hero" documentary. The film deserves nothing less. Fans demand nothing less.

Overall rating: 4/10

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