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!
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.
Well, I just watched the best version of Batman '89 tonight. Guess which one it was? Oh, ok, this one! Not only was the romance removal a good decision, but Bruce (who is used quite sparingly!) is no longer a "reclusive, asocial, insecure-acting creep." Sounds good to me. He's supposed to be far removed from the Batman persona, not slightly less Batman-ish! ;)
Overall, the story is nice and tight and loses nothing from the cuts, which were all perfect. The movie looks and sounds great. Give it a whirl! :)
P.S. I was happy to contribute to this project, even if it wasn't with the edit itself, but with the supplements. Heh.