Batman and Robin: Deep Freeze

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9.2 (16)
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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1997
Original Running Time:
125
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
84
Time Cut:
41
Time Added:
3
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Batman & Robin DEEP FREEZE doesn't attempt to be as serious as The Batman or as dark as the Nolan trilogy, but something closer to the feel of The Animated Series, just in live form. Mr. Freeze, now a more sympathetic villain, has little to no one-liners, Bane is completely excised and Poison Ivy isn't created by a mad scientist pushing her into a shelf. There is no Elliot Goldenthal Batman theme, but a lot of his music is still included. New opening titles and a small set of end credits have been created (and of course giving Bill Finger the credit he deserves).
Intention:
I happened to catch a little bit of Batman and Robin on TV and as I watched, my editing brain kicked on and I wondered what it would be like if it looked more like a noirish/German expressionist look while also scaling back as much of the cheese as possible. That accompanied with music from the Arkham games has led to the DEEP FREEZE cut, where Mr. Freeze is a more sympathetic victim, Bane doesn't exist, and Batman and Robin bicker less. Also, no dated "sexy sax" music whenever Ivy is on screen.
Other Sources:
-Batman and Robin blu ray
-Batman Forever blu ray
-Batman and Robin expanded score
-Batman Arkham City soundtrack
-Batman Arkham Knight soundtrack
Special Thanks:
DwightFry for helping me bounce ideas around in the early days of this edit prior to the official announcement and for the preview screening!
Release Information:
Digital
Cuts and Additions:
There were A LOT of cuts that totaled 41 minutes. Here is the basic idea:

-Converted the whole movie to black and white
-Added in a shot of the batsignal in the sky from Batman Forever
-New opening credits
-Cut the Schumacher Batman gearing up (including no butt shots)
-Cropped out all opening credits (this was to help mask big cuts from the museum sequence)
-Cut ALL Mr. Freeze "Arnold" one-liners
-Cut goofy cartoon sound effects when Freeze throws a guard into a wall or tosses a guard
-No ice skating heroes
-No rocket ship getaway, air surfing heroes or flying icemen
-Trimmed back all arguments between Bruce and Dick. They still bicker, but it really only happens once Ivy comes into the picture
-No Pamela Isley in South America and NO BANE!
-Mr. Freeze does not lead a chilling sing-a-long and isn't seen turning down his henchwoman's advances
-Cut out Bruce stammering after being asked about getting married. He's asked and immediately asks Julie to give him a hand.
-The first encounter between Bruce and Pamela is cut so that there is no reference to the mad scientist. Now, Bruce mentions he cut funding due to a difference in ideologies and it comes off as that it was due to Pamela's ideologies as she then proceeds to talk about saving mother nature. It worked so beautifully well.
-Mr. Freeze watches his home movies, is feeling remorse for what he is about to do as it cut to him closing his eyes while holding the newspaper about the Wayne diamonds and then back to him watching the movies and saying it's only one more diamond. No henchman interrupting the movie.
-A LOT was done to the gala scenes. NO gorilla suit, NO Bat credit card, The 90's sexy music for Ivy was replaced with Ivy's themes from Goldenthal's score and from the Arkham games.
-Freeze crashes the party and Batman immediately shoots the freeze gun out of his hands with a grapple hook. Freeze DOES NOT swing onto stage, but simple gets there during the ensuing fighting. He is polite to Ivy without asking what her dumb names are (Garden Gal for instance) and then takes the diamonds and leaves. There was a lot of restructuring of this action sequence.
-The chase scene is pretty much the same, but with some changes in the music. Freeze doesn't obnoxiously laugh or say anything after he crashes.
-The movie was heavily restructured from here as we deal with Barbara's antics, Bruce and Julie and Dick trying to catch Barbara.
-Freeze is broken out by Ivy just by her using her methods of getting in, killing the guards with a kiss and recruiting Freeze. That's it. We don't need to see anything else. If she got herself in, she could get them out.
-In order to cut Bane related stuff, I cut Batman and Robin watching any video footage of the escape while at Freeze's lair. They find his wife and then go after Ivy. Freeze subdues the police and gets his stuff without encountering them. Batman and Robin climb down in the boiler room area and find nothing (this was where the Bane encounter happens, but it's been cut). With Freeze outta there and Batman and Robin on a wile good chase, Ivy emerges and unplugs Nora.
-At the Turkish bathhouse, I cropped out Bane as Ivy grabs one of her mutant plants. To help cover some of this and the reframing, I doubled up on shots of Freeze looking at her.
-Cut Ivy getting Gordon to give her the batsignal. Most of this was because of Bane. Also, I felt that with the Bruce/Julie/Ivy scene, Julie would've broken up with him and that gave her an ending since it really doesn't go anywhere due to scenes that were either cut or not filmed with her fate.
-Trimmed back on the bickering between Bruce and Dick as they finally bury their issues.
-Barbara, excuse me, Batgirl's new theme starts to lightly play as she discovers the batcave. No suit up nonsense with her either.
-No "ta da" music when Ivy's Venus flytrap bed is shown. Their dialogue between each other has been trimmed back as it was just bad.
-Batgirl crashes in and there is very little dialogue left during their fight because it was soooooooooooo bad. I did of course leave her revealing "this is a one woman show" for later.
-With their dialogue cut and removing an obvious reverse shot of Robin struggling for air, it moves much quicker. The awful dialogue between Batman and Batgirl has been restructrued so Batman says "and you are?" to which Barbara replies that it's her to which Batman then responds "I know". Felt much more like a Batman thing than the PC speech he gives. The Arkham City theme plays as they unite as a team.
-Some cropped shots due to Bane being around at the observatory
-We see the Batfamily driving to the observatory, but no encounter with any henchmen. There was some head scratching decisions made in the original cut that I don't know why it went into the final draft.
-A LOT was done with the climax. Here's the gist.....lots of rescoring, lots of new sound effects, Robin and Batgirl do not encounter Bane, but are stuck until Batman gets them after the telescope falls. Freeze doesn't throw a quick hissy fit when he keeps missing punching Batman. Their brawl is more streamlined and I think much better paced.
-Robin doesn't say "you're pretty good at this little girl". It's just "you're pretty good at this" to which Barbara's response has been altered to say "well, watch and learn".
-Batman plays a recording for Mr. Freeze of what Ivy said about unplugging his wife. It is now an audio recording and NOT a video recording along with matching soundwaves.
-Mr. Freeze does not deliver his last one-liner of "take two of these and call me in the morning".
-Changed the music for our visit to Arkham. Ivy is in her cell ALONE. After we see her, I used an earlier shot that I removed and placed here of Victor looking at his ice sculpture of his wife while looking sad. I felt that this was the best way to end his story.
-I cut Barbara saying "that was me" twice while referencing how she kicked Ivy's "botanical butt".
-As Barbara asks them to be partners, we start to hear the '89 Batman Finale music arranged by Joel McNeeley.
-As they all join hands, we crossfade to a pan up some Gotham buildings (curtesy of Batman Forever) to see the Batsignal in the sky and then onto our hero silhouettes running toward the screen off on their next adventure.
-Brief custom end credits (as well as a credit for myself)
-New credits music.
Trailer (Password: fanedit.org)

User reviews

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5-7 stars
 
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1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.6(16)
Visual Editing
 
9.6(16)
Audio Editing
 
9.4(16)
Narrative
 
9.1(16)
Enjoyment
 
8.9(16)
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(Updated: November 21, 2022)
Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
This edit did the impossible and made Batman & Robin a watchable movie by cutting down the cringe, noise, and neon. Though I missed Elliott Goldenthal's score, the new music chosen was fitting.

Removing Bane, Poison Ivy's origin, and that stupid gorilla suit improved Poison Ivy tremendously, and losing the puns (as much as I love them!) improved Mr. Freeze. However, even with the editing, Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl is barely tolerable and the plot is paper-thin (not the fault of the editor, some things can't be helped!)

Still, to echo the sentiment shared by reviewer mnkykungfu: if you're going to watch Batman & Robin, this is definitely the way to watch it.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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(Updated: November 15, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is absolutely a fantastic fanedit, even without rating it on a curve for level-of-difficulty. Does it turn Batman & Robin into a good movie? Oh god no.

Does it make Batman & Robin watchable? Surprisingly: yes!

My thoughts on this film and exactly what the hell Joel Schumacher was doing with it are here: https://boxd.it/3qY4bl but suffice to say that it's one of the worst comic book movies of all time. When you wonder why people aren't raging in the streets at the sloppy efforts DC comes out with all the time now, it's probably in large part because we all know just how much worse it can get. This.

But we also know how much better it can be, like Batman: The Animated Series. Seeing that MusicEd's goal was to make this film more like that show was very intriguing to me...and he mostly pulls it off! I honestly NEVER would have drawn the comparison, but changing the movie to black and white showcases the intense lighting that Schumacher used, and actually gives this a rather appropriate, almost Gothic/expressionist look like often used in the animated series. The bizarre building architecture suddenly looks less like studio excess and more fitting to a weird, heightened 1940s aesthetic. Poison Ivy's entrance hearkens back to Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Mr. Freeze's tech looks like something from Lost In Space. The massive rescoring of the film places it more in tone with the series as well, as do the opening credits which I actually found really impressive... God help me, it almost all works!

That said, this is one of the worst scripts ever written, and a lot of the dialogue is still cringey. Despite all the cuts, Arnold speaks almost exclusively in bad puns, so many are still included, like “The iceman cometh!”, “Freeze in Hell, Batman!”, and “Adam and Eve-il…” <eyeroll> Clooney is still as horribly-miscast as him, Silverstone and O'Donnell's storylines are still underbaked and annoying more than fun, and there's honestly just a lot of really inconsistent acting here. The whole affair still has jarring tones at war with each other and plot pieces strung together on the thinnest of margins. It's written down to kids far more than the worst Batman cartoon.

My favorite exchange made me actually *guffaw* at the end, where Batman says-
"The satellites COULD be reconfigured but it would take a computer genius to --"
Robin: "I'm on it!"
Batgirl: "No, I'M on it!"

Ah, this movie is just full of geniuses. ;) However, as dumb as it is, it's a vast improvement over the theatrical version, something which was almost physically painful for me to watch even 5 minutes of at a time. Cutting Bane out of this film works amazingly well, as do most of the other plot alterations. The cuts do leave some slight logic gaps in the narrative, where it really feels like people (especially Batman) just suddenly know things or have decided things and we've missed that whole process off-screen. That said, I'm sure the original film wouldn't feel much different... more material would just raise more questions. It's a silly movie with very little logic to it, so what's here is actually a big improvement. Can't fault it for not being perfect.

If you're going to watch Batman & Robin, this is unequivocally the way to watch it. I still don't know that I'd recommend watching it at ALL, (a better choice would be to spend time with Kevin Conroy's work, the best Batman of all time...) but if you do, this is the way to do it.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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(Updated: November 05, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Look... It's a well known fact that this movie has some bad writing and cringy line delivery. No amount of editing is going to change that. Some negative reviews seem to take the core film too seriously... So I want to focus on the positive, and I'll start by saying that I had a lot of fun with this fan edit! A big part of that is the use of the Arkham City score; something I feel is a quintessential Batman theme. It's not always perfectly placed in its use here, but for the most part its a nice addition to the film that gives it a stronger tone.

Batman & Robin suffers from trying to do too much, so cutting it down and removing certain elements really benefits the central story; Bruce fighting to save his family. Cringy lines aside, I've always felt that George Clooney gives an earnest performance as Bruce Wayne and that the right edit could really highlight that. Music Ed pulls that off and then some!

Freeze is now a much stronger villain without the constant, terrible one-liners, and the decision to cut out Ivy's origin strengthens her as a villain, too, as she's introduced as a crazed environmentalist, and then a few scenes later shows up (not in a giant ape costume) as a confident and sexy threat, making her feel instantly more unhinged! Removing awkward scenes of henchmen singing, and flawlessly removing Bane, also makes Freeze and Ivy much more focused characters. (You'd seriously never know that Bane was even in this movie!)

Now, truly, these changes would not work as well if the film weren't presented in black in white; something I feel majorly benefits the overall tone. The lack of vibrant colors helps keep a more grounded, almost Burton feel - especially in any exterior Gotham shots (although the statues are still goofy. But the lack of neon makes them more palatable). The new aesthetic makes it feel like this edit would be a great companion piece to the Batman Forever: Vintage Workprint.

This will be my go-to version of Batman & Robin. Granted, my previous "go-to" version was to just never watch it... So it's an improvement in my book!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
J
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
7.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
Disclaimer: I haven't seen this since I was a child, when the film was always experienced at the hands of the VHS player. I picked up the blu-ray pretty much exclusively to see the edit, so take my comparisons and opinion with a pinch of salt. I am far removed from the source.


QUALITY

Visual quality is variable, but decent overall. Some artifacts can be heard on the audio.


VISUAL

There are moments where it's apparent that the framerate has been dropped in order to slow down/extend a shot, which took me out of the film. The conversion to black and white is a mixed bag as some shots look a bit washed out, like they could maybe have done with having deeper blacks. Scenes with Mr Freeze seem to be the exception; his character was born to be portrayed in B&W!


AUDIO

This is an ambitious project and requires a lot of sound rebuilding to make the rescoring choices work, but it feels like the replacement of sound effects has been on the lighter side. Some scenes feel as though they are missing sounds, such as the absence of breath or grunting during a fight. Dialogue in unscored scenes is also noticeably louder than scenes where audio has been reworked. It works, and not all of the film has been rescored, so this isn't a regular issue. But it took me out of the edit and made parts feel incomplete. As mentioned, there is some artifacting, which may be from the choice of bitrate, but this is also a common side effect when removing music from sound effects; so I'm wondering if that's part of it. These typically fare worse than dialogue when trying to remove music.

On a purely subjective level, I found the music during the motorbike chase to be obnoxious, and think that could have been rescored.


NARRATIVE

I found the opening credits to be a bit lengthy and not ideal pacing, but the rest generally flows well. I didn't piece together where Bain even was meant to come into the plot, so that was obviously slickly done. Maybe the biggest criticism I could give is that Robin and Batman's rivalry over Ivy felt underdeveloped.

Unfortunately, even with all of MusicEd's changes, it felt apparent to me that Batman and Robin is a film that wants to be campy, and the edit feels at war with this. Personally, I didn't think the music was that fitting; I realise that Ed was going for more of an expressionist look, but I got much more of a noir vibe. For me, this notion jarred with the choice of a modern cinematic soundtrack. I could see the expressionist angle working maybe if this was made into a silent movie (anyone?), which would also allow for more freedom with the narrative.


ENJOYMENT

To be completely honest, while I enjoyed seeing MusicEd's unique take, the film itself came across pretty mediocre. It's been so long since I've seen the original that it's hard to determine whether this is an improvement or not. I can remember offensive elements that are now removed, but is it necessarily a gain to remove these or does it rob an inherently campy film of ironic enjoyment? Whether you're a fan of Schumacker's approach or no, it feels like a homage to the days of Adam West... and it may be that it's better embraced that way. I don't put that forward as a strong opinion, merely as food for thought.

Thank you again, MusicEd, for sharing your work. Sorry I haven't been super positive on this one! I'm always pleased to see ambitious projects like this come out though :)

User Review

Format Watched?
Digital
T
Top 50 Reviewer 79 reviews
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Overall rating
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Original film was not good. As such this was starting from a very low base, but has succeeded in making it enjoyable.
This was achieved by cutting unnecessary character time/lines.
Very much appreciated the switch to B&W, I think the film very much benefited from this.
Thank you for your efforts,

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
P
Top 500 Reviewer 18 reviews
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