Batman 89 on 4K deserves better
by Paul (ral) and DarkVengeance

This month saw the long awaited release of brand spanking new 4K transfers of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher's Batman films. The cinema events that preceded home releases were a huge success. Warner Bros are to be praised for recognising the popularity of these films (especially Tim Burton's classics).

While Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin did get new Dolby Atmos mixes (that were generally the same as previous releases) it was Batman 89 that had the most radical changes of the new sound transfers. This left some fans disappointed when they heard it on the big screen.

There was, however, an assumption that the original sound mix would be present on the 4K home release. This has not been the case.

Why is the original sound mix important? Well, it's how fans have heard it for the last 30 years. It's the soundscape the artists and sound engineers created in 1988/89. It's as much the film as the visuals are. However much you liked the new effects (gunshots, Batmobile, Batwing and more) or however much you thought the old effects sounded a bit "old" you can't deny that the original mix should have been preserved and left for viewers to enjoy.

We can debate the rights and wrongs of reworking elements of old films - infact I wouldn't have minded a little colour correction on some of the matte shots and the purple splodge on the Joker's neck in first scene in Grissom's office - but that's for another day.

So what can we do? Well, as fans we're reaching out and attempting to let Warner Bros. Entertainment know that we, as fans, deserve to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman the way it was intended.

If you purchased the new 4K Ultra HD blu-ray of the movie you can help start a movement by emailing and requesting a replacement disc including the original audio track with the classic sound effects. 

We should at least have it as an option on top of the new Atmos mix. After all, on iTunes Batman 89 is available as the new 4K print WITH the original sound mix! (As of posting this the iTunes version has been changed again with the new Atmos mix added. - Paul)

A handful of us have already reached out and contacted them and our power will be in numbers. 

We also have a petition. It's quick and easy to sign!

Let’s celebrate this classic film the way it was intended!

-Justin and Paul

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