Even though I am a long time fan and supporter of MusicEd, when he announced this project, I must be honest, that small part of me was skeptical that he could pull this off. But pull it off he has, and then some!
The Black & White conversion looks great! Never too dark that you can't make out important background details and never too bright that it looks washed out. But most importantly, it just immediately creates a new mood and tone that perfectly suits the world of our favourite dark knight detective.
This new tone is further solidified by the incredible new soundtrack from the Arkham games that Ed has added. Gone are the more over the top, bombastic music beats replaced by a darker, edgier, Gotham-esque sound.
But the real accomplishment is in the cut work! Over 30 minutes sliced away, Ed has significantly toned down the moronic badguy elements, making them feel now more like mustache twirling comic book villains. And by trimming back on Freeze and Ivy, it moves the Alfred subplot to the center stage, giving the overall movie significantly more dramatic and emotional weight. It is an incredible narrative accomplishment. Of course, with such dramatic trims, there is the occasional moment where the dialogue does not flow quite naturally enough or you can not hide every silly moment like our heroes on skates, but these a fleeting and minor issues, none of which deterred from my enjoyment.
As I watched, many times I remarked to myself how much this fan edit reminded me of the classic Animated Series... a fantastic blend of Noir, Spectacle and Character.
This is some delicious popcorn entertainment. Highly recommended.
Batman & Robin had.... a decent movie hidden inside????
Yes indeed, and I'm as surprised as you are! It was just a matter of removing layer upon layer of outrageous garbage, and what remains is a nice little Batman story, which is very hard to notice in the official version because the terrible stuff is so prominent. But lose the neon aesthetic and make it a beautiful black and white, remove the truckload of ice puns and all that other random nonsense, and cover it with the amazing music from the Arkham games, and the result plays surprisingly close to a Batman the Animated Series episode in tone. And one with a lot of heart: Mr. Freeze was arguably the most tragic villain of the show, and the basics of the character remain here, even if Arnold is still a less than ideal casting choice (where was Patrick Stewart when we needed him?), and the Alfred subplot displays a lot of warmth inside the Bat-Family. For all of the movie's interminable list of faults, this warmth is an aspect that is rarely present in other, better ones, despite memorable comic book stories having been built around it (anyone remember the Legends of the Dark Knight story "Family"?). These people deeply love each other, which is sadly kinda lost in the current grim-and-gritty cinematic approach to the characters.
Sure, this is still not as good as Batman 1989 or The Dark Knight or [insert about any other Batman movie here], but Music Ed has created a version of Batman & Robin that I can actually enjoy. And that's no small feat. Highly recommended!
Wow... just... wow! Music Ed has accomplished something truly great here by turning easily the worst Batman movie into a coherent and even enjoyable experience. It felt very much like watching a live action version of B:TAS.
While I'm typically not a fan of watching a black and white version of a current movie (Fury Road is an all-time favorite movie of mine but I can't watch the silver and chrome version because I feel it mutes so much of what makes that movie great), it fits the tone of this edit perfectly. Pair that with the rescores which especially helped to elevate the tone of this edit. I never knew how great the scores from the Arkham games were.
There really is a ton to love here. The complete expulsion of Bane is done masterfully and you would never know for a second that he was there if you've never seen the film. An editor after my own heart, I love that a lot of dialogue is cut out during fight scenes (biggest example being Batgirl vs Poison Ivy). I've always felt this gives a much greater intensity. The redone opening credits are great and cutting back and forth helps eliminate a lot of garbage.
There are some very minor gripes but I feel you can find that with most any edit. While I adore the rescores, there were two moments where it shifts back to the regular score that feel awkward (opening when Batman and Robin are chasing Freeze down the tunnel, Climax when the gang is leaving Poison Ivy's layer/shots of the Observatory with Freeze) and there are a handful of shots that look either visibly slowed down or noticeably cropped. Again, these are minor and only distracting for a moment but those are where the knocks on A/V editing come from.
This edit should without a doubt replace the original for anyone lucky enough to watch it. It's really not even a fair fight. Great job on taking a near impossible task and running with it!
This film has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. You put it on, I'll watch it and laugh my ass off at how bad it is and at the ice puns or really any of the corny jokes in it.
That being said, this is truly great edit and the definitive way to watch this film. Despite the limitations, so much of the corny fluffy is cut out and you get a solid movie that pays a great homage to Batman the Animated Series. The music choices are superb and honestly the opening I love with the music choice and cuts. The changes and focusing the story more on the tragic story of Mr. Freeze and Alfred's disease, make this film much more dramatic, focused, and even serious in tone that make it stand out. Sure, this film still has its issues and is not going to be anywhere near the quality of even Batman Forever. But you have quite a solid movie here that I highly recommend to any fans of the animated series or even Batman for that matter.
This is the first time since the blu ray came out years ago that I have been able to finish this movie! That is quite an accomplishment if you had any idea how much I really don't like it LOL...
I have seen 2 movies by Music Ed and he does a wonderful job! I really enjoyed is Superman edit and this shows a ton of creativity and work. There were a couple of scenes that looked like they were slowed down so I took a point off for that. The audio was very inspired except for when Poison Ivy tells Freeze they should team up and placed cartoonish music when we cut to Freezes face.
The removal of Bane and most of the silly elements really sells Freeze as a more sympathetic villain and gives the movie some much needed focus. Going black and white is probably the only way to save our eyes from all the neon color the theatrical version had.