Batman: Descent Into Mystery

Batman: Descent Into Mystery

 
9.3 (20)
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Batman: Descent Into Mystery
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Closer to the source material. Devoid of contrived romance. Newly color-corrected.
Original Movie Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1989
Original Running Time:
126 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
91 minutes
Time Cut:
35 minutes
Brief Synopsis:
Batman (1989) minus the Bruce Wayne-Vicki Vale romance subplot, and closer in tone and facts to the original comic books.
Intention:
I've always considered that the romance between Bruce Wayne as depicted in this movie (a reclusive, asocial, insecure-acting creep) and Vicki Vale, babe reporter, to be completely unbelievable and a result of Hollywood forcing a love story into every single movie. Also, the whole character of Vicki is nothing more than a rather annoying damsel in distress shrieking her way into Joker's traps only to get Batman to save her. This edit cuts back the character and removes the romance to center in the stories of Batman and Joker. Along the way, pointless deviations from the source have been fixed.
Other Sources:
A few seconds of new music have been used in the museum sequence (won't tell what it is, it will be fun to see if someone recognizes it), and some foley bits from the Freesound Project have been used.
Special Thanks:
Too many to list, but particularly JMB, the "executive producer" of this edit. He actually had the same idea 20 years before, and even made a VHS version back in the day! I hope he gets to make it as a proper fanedit one day, the central concept was the same but the execution was very different from mine.
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • AVI/MKV
Special Features
-Optional English and Spanish subtitles.
-Bonus short fanedit: THE KILLING JOKE by Blueyoda.
-Alternate version of the Joker reveal scene.
-Color correction before/after comparison clip.
-"About this edit" scroll.
Cuts and Additions:
-Color correction applied all through, to minimize the washed-out image and the slight blue-ish tint.
-Tweaked the main credits sequence, adding the new title and fanedit credits, and fixing a 70-year-old injustice.
-Cut the rooftop view of Batman on the tower (reason: awful cartoon special effect).
-Cut shot of Jack running up the Axis Chemicals stairs, and Batman appearing behind him (just why doesn't he stop Jack?)
-Cut Jack hanging above the vat of chemicals and the ambiguity about whether Batman intentionally dropped him or not. Now he just falls directly.
-Cut the whole Bruce/Vicki date, them spending the night together (bye bye, upside-down sleep), and the morning after.
-Moved scenes from later in the movie about Batman's origin to be intercut with the birth of Joker. Now it progresses like this: Jack gets surgery; Bruce looks at the Axis map and asks Alfred for his parents' folder; Joker kills Grissom; Bruce looks at the folder and remembers his parents' murder; "Wait till they get a load of me".
-Speaking of which: JOKER IS NOT THE MURDERER OF BRUCE'S PARENTS! YAAAY! Trimmed the shots which identified the gunman, and added a slow motion effect to a now too short bit (the original already had slo-mo so it's unnoticeable).
-Cut Alicia coming back to the apartment and encountering Joker (reason: mainly for pacing, and because I find women fainting a sexist stereotype).
-Cut the "Wayne file" scene between Vicki and Knox.
-Cut Vicki out of the Crime Alley sequence.
-Cut Vicki calling "Bruce!" in the courthouse stairs massacre.
-Cut Vicki running to Bruce after Joker's car leaves the courthouse crime scene, and them exchanging looks.
-Trim scene of Bruce and Alfred talking, so they mention Jack being alive but don't talk about Vicki.
-Cut Vicki phoning Knox to ask about Crime Alley.
-Moved the scene of Joker cutting photographs and getting his crush on Vicki to later in the movie, after the TV poisoning, the news bulletin, and Dent on the phone. Sunarep suggested this and was spot-on.
-In the above, cut the audio of Bob's line "She's dating some guy named Wayne" and moved "She's the photographer who's working with Knox" to its place, removing the video of this line along with Joker's "That girl has style". (Thanks JMB!)
-Cut Vicki's phone call to Bruce about getting ten minutes late to the museum.
-Muted the audio of Vicki asking for "Mr. Wayne's table" and added a track of a chatting crowd to hide it. Now it looks like we just can't hear what Vicky tells the maitre.
-Cut Partyman sequence. Some seconds of foley work created from scratch to replace necessary parts "contaminated" by the song Added new background music to fill the gap.
-Trimmed Joker and Vicki's museum conversation.
-Cut Alicia and Joker's exchange in the museum (reason: she refers to watching him "improve the paintings", which he now doesn't).
-Cut Bob's "Check his wallet" line.
-Cut the "non-fight" between Batman and Bob.
-Fixed a hand position goof when Batman orders the Batmobile to stop in front of him.
-Cut the whole three-way meeting in Vicki's apartment, along with all the sequences leading to it.
-Cut Vicki and Knox checking out the Wayne murder paper.
-CUT ALFRED TAKING VICKI TO THE BATCAVE! DOUBLE YAAAY!
-Cut the Axis Chemicals bombing. Batman is no longer a mass murderer.
-Trimmed the "Trust" parade number.
-Cut the audio of Vicki's line "Smylex gas" when she sees the Smylex gas coming out of the balloons.
-Cut Batman's first failed pass through the balloons. It made narrative sense, but emotional continuity required him arriving and immediately starting the ass-kicking.
-Cut the Moon Bat-symbol show-off nonsense.
-Cut Batman getting the Batwing rocket launchers ready.
-Cut Batman breaking all Batwing gunnery Hell loose on the Joker... and missing.
-Cut Joker's line "Better make it ten" and the goon's reply. It won't take forever to get there anymore.
-Cut almost all of the bell tower staircase sequence, all 16 hours of it. Batman doesn't follow Joker and Vicki upstairs, he'll be up there waiting for them to arrive (he's, like, Batman, you know!)
-Cut the whole bell tower fight sequence between Batman and the goons. Who attack one by one, of course.
-Cut Batman's "dance with the devil" line.
-Trimmed the Batman/Joker fistfight to eliminate referencing events that didn't happen in my cut.
-Cut Alfred lifting Vicki up in the limo.
-Added acknowledgements to the end credits.
-Replaced WB logo at the very end with FE.org logo.
Cover art by Ripplin and Dwight Fry (DOWNLOAD HERE) image

Cover art by QuickCut (DOWNLOAD HERE)
Cover 1
image
Cover 2
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User reviews

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Overall rating 
 
9.3
 
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Overall rating 
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

Nothing to add, it is just perfect =)

I challenge you do the same to batman 3 and 4 =)

Everytime i'm gonna watch it, i'll watch this edit =)

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
9.0

I really loved this edit of the movie. At first, I really missed the Prince song Party Man, but as the movie went forward I realized how out of place that scene would have been in this cut--and we got Prince's "Trust" a little later. (I'm a Prince fan. He wrote a song called 200 Balloons for that scene, and it's a on a CD Single. If I ever re-edit this, I've always wanted to use that track.).
In general, there isn't any one thing I can point to that is "wrong" with this edit. The problem is that there isn't much emotional investment with anyone. The things you cut, I agree with. And yet if the Joker didn't kill Batman's parents, that fight in the belltower doesn't have much power to it, IMO. I mean, Batman seems super-pissed and taking the whole Joker-trying-to-kill-everyone-in-Gotham-including-Vikki-Vale thing personally. It just felt a little emotionally hollow.

I still have to say it was a really fun ride, perfect editing. The Joker was great--I found myself speaking dialogue out loud with him. I was glad none of the lines I remembered so well were gone.
In many ways this is much more fun than the original. Much tighter and the Joker is menacing and charismatic. Also, I thought the picture and sound were very very good on my tv, much better than I remembered it. This seemed to fly by!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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Overall rating 
 
7.3
Audio/Video Quality 
 
7.0
Visual Editing 
 
9.0
Audio Editing 
 
6.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
7.0

I watched this yesterday, on my tablet with headphones.

I mostly agree with njvc's review.

The bad: well, I own the Bluray of this movie, with surround sound and this particular edit cannot replace my copy because the richness of Tim Burton's movie doesn't come to full display with this offered video file. I don't know if the color correction is an issue with the DVD release but this version, I find the colors rather murky and obviously detail is missing, resolution-wise. So on the basis of visual image and sound, I would have to stay with the original source.

The volume was rather low, I had to turn the audio way up. I checked on my 60" TV as well as PC.

Alfred is sorely undercut.

The good: removing Vicky Vale works, the shortened museum encounter works, removing Joker as Bruce's killer works.

All in all, I would say that it is a good edit in that it appears seamless, I can only see it because I am well familiar with this movie and a Batman fan to boot. I didn't like Tim Burton's Batman movies until Joel Schumacher came long and showed how much worse it could be.

As a *movie ending*, it does seem rather unsatisfying and over quick, but as story-telling, it does work.

If you want to see a shorter Batman 1989, watch it, with no Batman-killings, no Joker killed his parents and no Vicky Vale knows his secret. If you enjoy visual quality and surround sound, the changes are not enough to make me want to switch.

Good job.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (SD)
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Overall rating 
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
10.0
Enjoyment 
 
10.0

It's hard to say how much better this film is than the original. The pacing is tighter, the tone is darker, yet you still get a cackling maniacal Joker, a tormented Bruce Wayne, and a brooding Dark Knight. What's missing is everything that wasn't Batman - every moment that made you think "Wait, would Batman do that?"
Ironically I had just watched Tim Burton's original Batman, listening to Kevin Smith's analysis from his "Fatman on Batman" podcast. Every point he made against the original is fixed here. If you loved the original, as I do, you owe it to yourself to check this out. You'll end up loving it twice as much.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
8.0
Audio/Video Quality 
 
9.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
8.0
Enjoyment 
 
7.0

Like many reviewers, the 1989 Batman is a special one to me. It's the first superhero movie that I remember getting swept up in the marketing campaign for, and feeling crazily excited to see 'the real' Batman at last. I had the t-shirt, the making of book, the comic book (as featured on the cover of this edit!), and the toys, all before being allowed to actually see the film. The batwing was particularly cool. So, in short, I loved and still love Batman '89, flaws and all. It may even be my favourite Batman movie, although I certainly acknowledge many aspects have dated.

As for this fanedit, it is edited superbly. Dwight Fry's fine eye for detail is at work here, and it is clear that an enormous amount of thought and effort went into creating an extremely professional edit. There were no jarring cuts, and the whole thing flows smoothly. But overall, I missed many of the parts that were cut for a couple of reasons.

First, I think the movie has suffered in terms of character development and depth of relationships in this edit. Dwight has successfully removed the aspects he wanted to (vale/bruce relationship, joker killing bruce's parents etc), but to me this left the film feeling more hollow rather than more streamlined. I can buy that Vicki would be attracted to an intelligent, mysterious and dark Bruce Wayne - Remember she is no ordinary girl, and has been out in war torn areas as a photographer. She's attracted to darkness, hence her desire to learn more about Batman in the first place. And of course Knox is the everyman, who clearly has no chemistry with Vale whatsoever. So I don't agree that the love story feels shoehorned in to this movie.

Did Vicki need to see the Batcave? No. But again, it's an important character moment for all three of them in Burton's story - Especially for Alfred, who is really short changed in this edit. I missed the levity of their date scenes, particularly the scene in the kitchen between Bruce, Vicki and Alfred. I am pleased that you cut Bruce sleeping upside down though... That was always ridiculous.

Secondly, many of the scenes felt too rushed to me, particularly the climax in the church. While I understand the reasoning behind most of the cuts, this scene no longer felt worthy of the 'final battle' scene. It was over in a couple of punches. More true to the character? No doubt. More enjoyable? Not really.

If I was able to relate more to the understandable Bat-fan desire to see batman a) become more recluse/mysterious and b)not murder anyone, I think I would have enjoyed the edit more. As it was, I missed seeing Batman blow up the goons in the factory, and throw that guy down the stairwell at the top of the church. And I missed the lovely character beats that have been cut which may have strayed from Batman's origins as a character, but are essential to this particular telling in my opinion.

Overall, I commend Dwight Fry on his fantastic editing skills, and completion of his vision. He has accomplished his goals, and I would happily recommend this to anyone who wants to see a version of Batman closer in line with the comics, and anyone who doesn't have such a nostalgic connection to the original ;)

PS. Blueyoda's The Killing Joke is yet another masterpiece from the best editor I know. A beautiful and mesmerising work. Thank you for including it!

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