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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.

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