Batman Forever: Red Book Edition - The 15th Anniversary Enhanced Edition

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Batman Forever is a great movie, but there are things in it that definitely ruin the experience. Tim Burton's absence wasn't the problem.
Original Movie Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1995
Original Running Time:
120
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
120
Time Cut:
11
Time Added:
10
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Enjoy Scaperat's original vision, with updated visual fidelity, sound design, and transitions. I have been working on enhancing and revising this classic edit by Scaperat.
Intention:
I wanted to make the DVD experience feel more so like a Bluray experience, yet also feel grungy and even more noir like. You'll notice a heavy film grain and desaturation levels that reach near black & white in some scenes.

I've seen many members here request a modernization of Scaperat's original edit from 2007, echoing my own desires. The idea popped into my head: I own Topaz Lab's Video Enhance AI. I need to upscale and enhance the Red Book Edition! And so began the work.
Other Sources:
-"Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies​
-Further credits are named during the end credits
image
Special Thanks:
A huge special thanks to Artisdead, Wraith, Bionicbob, Dwight Fry, That One Guy, ThatStinkyGuy, Lantern51, Canon Editor, and everyone else who had input. The end credits of the film have an in depth special thanks for each member who helped make this edit possible.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
This enhanced edition was about getting a modernized Bluray experience from the original DVD fanedit of Batman Forever Red Book Edition.
Cuts and Additions:
- Upscaled everything to 1080p
- Added a heavy film grain
- Created custom INIGHTMARES logo during opening
- Customized the Fanedit.org Warning text during opening
- Customized the Netflix style Fanedit.org logo during opening
- Recreated the WB logo turning red during opening
^bluray source​
^added VFX​
- Added new SFX over new opening titlecards
- Fixed entire edit's aspect ratio problems
^entire original edit has black bars on left and right and they change sizes throughout the running time​
^00:47:31 - 3x - deleted scene in dojo​
^01:15:55 - 2x - deleted scene bat cave​
^01:33:09 to 01:37:21 - 5x - deleted scene bat cave​
- Extended Falling Boss shot
^timestamp: 00:23:48​
^for more emotional effect​
- Change/Fix how Dojo Kick deleted scene flows
^timestamp: 00:48:07​
^adjusted audio levels​
^colorgraded flashback shot red​
^added smoke VFX over flashback shot​
^moved the flashback shot just before Bruce's leg makes contact​
^fixed shot using Topaz Video Enhance AI​
^removed shot of Robin's first reaction​
^used space for the flashback shot​
^added breathe SFX​
^added wood splinter SFX​
^added tree fall SFX​
^added Punch/Thud SFX​
^added gunshot SFX​
^stretched over several seconds​
^added white flash VFX​
^added SFX from Flashback 1 (43 min.) to this scene​
- Added SFX to TV turning off
^timestamp: 01:16:45​
- Added new effects over Book/Bat Confrontation scene
^timestamp: 01:35:53​
^add low rumbling SFX​
^add deep cave SFX​
^add bats in cave SFX​
^add heavy flapping wings SFX​
- Bring Flashback shots to an equilibrium
^Flashback 1 starts at 43min40sec​
^Flashback 2 starts at at 1hr35min30sec​
^Equalize color grade as much as possible between the two​
^add gunshot SFX to Flashback 2​
^re-use SFX in Flashback 2 from Flashback 1​
- Fix all slowed shots using Topaz Video Enhance AI
^shots upscaled to 120fps and reformed back to 29.97fps​
^00:07:47 - Vault moving
^00:12:25 - Gotham skyline flyover​
^00:18:02 - Batman stare​
^00:18:50 - Batman then Gordan
^00:23:48 - Falling Boss
^00:44:19 - Funeral flashback scene
^00:44:26 to 00:44:42 - Bruce walking
^00:44:47 - Bruce approaching book
^00:45:02 - Bruce stare
^00:48:18 - Bruce kicking
- Adjusted audio levels at end of edit
- Recreated the Red Book end credits
^colorgraded red​
^bluray source​
- Changed the music selection during the end credits
^"Where Is My Mind" by The Pixies​

New Cuts:
- Removed "Holy Batman!" line from Robin
^timestamp 01:43:28​
Trailer

User reviews

4 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0(4)
Visual Editing
 
9.0(4)
Audio Editing
 
9.3(4)
Narrative
 
9.0(4)
Enjoyment
 
9.0(4)
Overall rating
 
8.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I must confess from the start that Batman Forever is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I'm aware that it's a big step down from the Burton-era Batman movies, but I can't lie when I say that it gave me plenty of good laughs, even if it was for all the wrong reasons.

Still, I think it's safe to say that this film needed a good FanFix. I haven't seen the original SD version this edit was based on, but I did get to see this HD upgrade of it. If anything has been changed from the previous edit, look for a different review. I'm just reviewing "this" version of the edit.

Overall, I can't call the Red Book Edition a major improvement, but I can call it an improvement. The reason I can't go into a crazed Joker level of happiness over this is because Music-ed's Batman & Robin: Deep Freeze has spoiled me too much, and between those two, I like Deep Freeze a lot more.

I'll start with the good for this edit. The first thing anyone watching will notice immediately is the color grading. It's quite a wonderful sight to behold. The mostly black-and-white-and-red color grading gives this edit some much welcomed Frank Miller vibes, and it's a nice change of pace from the overly colorful neon infused color palette the movie is known for. If I were forced to choose one thing to remember from this edit, it has to be the color grading. Even if it would never be seen in a theatre in 1995.

Of course, there's more to this edit than just pretty colors. The addition of the Bruce Wayne retirement subplot (a.k.a. the one where this edit got its name from) is a revelation, and one that will make you want to find a Warner Bros. employee to strangle for cutting it out. I also like a lot of the improvements made to Robin, as they do a lot to flesh him out as a person. In the original, Robin was pretty much a jerk who wanted revenge for his family without thinking it over. This version did a great job at making his motive for revenge more understandable and relatable.

However, in spite of its advantages, the Red Book Edition is still filled with a lot of that Adam West level silliness that bothered so many back in '95. And while I guess this version isn't as campy as the original, there's still so much of it remaining that I would be wary of recommending this edit to someone hoping for a darker, grittier Batman Forever. The biggest examples are the villains, played by Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey. They're still as silly and as ridiculous as they were before and if you had a problem with the Saturday morning cartoon treatment they were given, consider this review my warning, because none of that has changed here. Hated the villains in this movie? Don't watch this. You're gonna be disappointed.

So, as you can imagine, the Red Book edition is not a dark, gritty re-imagining of the Schumacher era some might be hoping for. Rather, it's more of a compromise between the Burton-esque Batman and the Adam West-ian Batman. Think Skyfall, but with Bruce Wayne instead of James Bond. If that sounds like your thing, then you'll probably enjoy it.

Batman Forever: The Red Book Edition is not one of my favorite edits, and if I were to compare this edit to the first two Tim Burton films, I would still call this the weakest of the three. But with that said, this is better than the theatrical, and if all you're looking for is a better version of Batman Forever, this is worth seeing. As for me, you know my thoughts about the original. So of course I liked this one too.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
AVCHD
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 1
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I've been on a Batman kick lately. The work that went into the upscaling of this edit is really incredible! It keeps a good consistent look throughout the movie.

The overall narrative does seem to flow better than the theatrical release and you get a better since of that the director wanted for this movie before studio interference came into play.

This is a nice look into the phycology of Bruce Wayne. I would recommend this for anyone who has an interest in the early Batman films for sure.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
The music and colour grading are blended together rather nicely to create an atmospheric viewing experience with the intro immediately drawing me in with it's use of text, music and colour to the point that it almost felt like the start to a very different film and I mean that in the best possible sense, the effective use of colour throughout this edit by the editors gave the colour grading and isolation in certain scenes more meaning pertaining to the characters internal and external developments within there sub narratives and the main overarching narrative.

The placement of the deleted scene of Arkham Asylum at the narratives conception coupled with the scene of Arkham Asylum at the narratives conclusion gave the edit a nice circular bookends kind of feel and the utilisation of other deleted scenes helped to strengthen Batman & Robin's character arcs with the death of The Flying Graysons being way more dramatic than the theoretical cut thanks to some creative editing choices and well I am aware that last point has nothing to do with deleted scenes I thought I'd bring it up since it ties to start of young Grayson's character journey.

Well the bombastic campiness and overacting gets on my nerves, though that's more of a problem I have with the source material rather than this edit and I imagine reducing the large amounts of camp and overacting would prove quite tricky given how the theoretical source was produced. The eradication of small detrimental moments such as the BatButt and certain characters moments of questionable intelligence alleviate some of the campiness and overacting with the new colour grading and music certainly helping with said alleviation.

The idea of tying the colour red to the edit via Thomas Wayne's journal was genius and the small douses of red that appeared in those flashbacks gave them meaningful levels of intensity perfectly reflecting the rage and grief within young Bruce's soul, I kind of wish there was more red throughout this edit like the Cover Art heck I wouldn't have minded if the entire edit was doused in red mainly because it was so engrossing and pleasing to look at as I found myself pausing and rewinding several times just so I could engross myself in it's dark gothic beauty.

I agree with another reviewer that there was a little bit of an inconsistency with the colour visuals here and there though that's more of a nitpick from me than a major detraction as is Batman's silent mouthing around the 19:18-1919 minute marks, I get that it may have been put in place to remove/silence his exasperated ''Women'' comment but I think just cutting to the pulling of the lever would have worked better though if I am ever to watch Batman Forever again than I will gladly choose this over it's theoretical counterpart anyday.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
P
Top 500 Reviewer 22 reviews
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is an absolutely fascinating fan edit.

An update of the very popular Scaperat fan edit The Red Book Edition. An edit I remember thoroughly loving when it was initially released 15 years ago... wow, where has the time gone? But with the passage of time, would an updated version hold the same magic?

I can happily say YES.

What Inightmares has done here is truly interesting on a technical level. His approach was not to rebuild this edit from scratch using new HD sources, but instead used the original fan edit file and UPSCALED it to Hight Definition. He then corrected the added deleted scenes to the proper aspect ratio (even rebuilding the audio for many of these scenes) and gave the edit a new colour grading... removing much of blues and oranges, while highlighting the Reds.

The new colour scheme is immediately very engaging, and even gorgeous in many scenes. It has a very definite Sin City style vibe at times. Though on a personal level, I wish it had been a bit more visually consistent and even. An example is the Circus scene which starts out in multi-colours but then switches halfway through to a very desaturated, almost Black & White look. But this is subjective and a creative choice by editor which I can respect and does not overly detract from the enjoyment factor.

Another interesting observation, even though the main objective of this project was to create an HD version of the original fan edit, this new version has a decidedly Standard Definition look. The use of high grain, diluted colours and deleted scenes (as Topaz can only do so much, it is not a miracle worker) evokes the feel of times gone by. And this is not a negative knock. For me, it feels wholly appropriate as an love letter to the original. But if viewers are going into this edit expecting a crisp, clean, sharp, bright MODERN experience, they might be disappointed.

This was clearly a passion project for the editor and it shows in every frame.
A wonderful tribute and update of a fan edit classic.
Well worth the watch!

Thumbs Up!

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