Review Detail

9.2 17 10
batmandeepfreeze_front
FanFix June 22, 2022 1965
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 :)

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