Batman: Descent Into Mystery
- NTSC DVD-5
-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.
-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.
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.
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!
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 =)
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!
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.