Batman: Descent Into Mystery

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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:
  • DVD
  • Digital
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

24 reviews
 
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33%
 
4%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.3(24)
Visual Editing
 
9.7(24)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(24)
Narrative
 
9.0(24)
Enjoyment
 
8.8(24)
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Overall rating
 
7.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
As unfamiliar as I am with the character from the comics (having not read a single one), certain elements of Tim Burton's 1989 Batman never felt quite right to me, Dwight Fry's edit pretty much clears it up and makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

The removal of the flat "romance" and some sillier aspects (Batwing completely missing the Joker?) is seamless, as is the excision of Bruce and Jack's prior history. While some may say that this makes the flashback and associated scenes pointless, it doesn't seem out of character to me that this event is something that Bruce would dwell on, and besides is an important piece of backstory that the first "proper" film adaptation of the comics ought to include.

While still not a film I can claim to really like (unlike the sequel, for all its weirdness) this is definitely my go-to version, the theatrical cut may never leave its case again!

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Overall rating
 
8.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
I enjoyed this a lot. The Vicky Vale romance was a always a bit contrived and distracting; likewise Alfred letting her into the Batcave; the removal of the=is subplot was much appreciated and worked well. I did however miss the Jack Napier/ Joker/ Wayne murders link more than I thought I would, and perhaps keeping this -- while ditching the Vale/ Wayne romance -- would make this really good fanedit a great one. Technically, its top-notch: edits are smooth and seamless. Thanks again!

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(Updated: May 07, 2020)
Overall rating
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
As a fan of the comics, the intent of the cut is obvious, but the editor ends up tearing the heart from the original movie and creates a sterile watch.

Firstly, there is no compelling reason to cut the Bruce Wayne / Vickie Vale relationship. Without it, Bruce becomes a one-dimensional character with little development. Without Vickie providing a background to it in her investigation, the death of his parents is utterly without place within the context of the story. The absence of a romantic relationship also creates an oddness in the edit's continuity at times (Vicki goes to the museum and waits for nobody in particular, for example). Alfred is almost pointless if he cannot coax Bruce to pursue Vickie, as is Knox (as the "other" man).

Secondly, the Batman / Joker relationship in this story is shallow without the parent connection, even if that connection is distasteful to a comics purist. Batman passionately beats the hell out of the Joker in the climactic scene in the belfry, with no dialogue in a jarring manner. Without that verbal back and forth, the scene lacks tension. There is little to underpin Bruce's obvious anger aimed towards him.

The editor tries to paint Batman as an invincible monolith, as he sometimes is shown in the comics, but I would argue Batman's best interpretations show him as vulnerable and human. Even when Batman is brought crashing down in the Batwing, we are not allowed to see his injuries as per the original cut, nor his struggle against the Joker's goons in the belfry. There is never any fear that this Batman might fail, which in combination with Bruce's stunted character development, makes him uninteresting.

Besides this, the cut is impeccable in terms of the visual cuts, though the edit is not stellar in terms of visual quality (the blacks were at times pixelated), and the audio transitions on occasion were too sudden, such as when Bruce remembers his parents' death from the preceding scene. The volume of the cut seemed very low.
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(Updated: January 01, 2018)
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Maybe it is because I grew up with the original version, I prefer that one over this, but with all that, I still did enjoy this!

For my first viewing of this edit, I have to say I enjoyed it, maybe after multiple viewings I'll fall in love with it.

UPDATE: Even though, I guess due to nostaglia, I will always love the original, but this deserves to be on my dvd shelf! Dwight Fry, you did a great job with this edit!

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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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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 =)

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