As other reviewers have said, a lot of the cheese from Forever has gone, but I'm not sure if you can polish this waste. The problem isn't the editor, it's more a problem of the film itself as the film is quite simply a mess and I doubt many people surrounding this film initially thought that they would end up with a car crash of a film (still.....Batman & Robin, anyone?)
The deleted scenes are grainy, off-coloured and unfortunately don't match the rest of the film. On whole, I don't really think they improve the film much and I'm sure they were originally deleted because Bruce basically tells the audience that he is "whole" with Batman (whatever that means) with his final confrontation with The Riddler.
Maybe, The Riddler and Two Face could have been further toned down. I don't blame you for leaving The Riddler as Jim Carrey is visually amazing and I don't know if making the film "darker" was your true intention. The scene with the "dark/light Two Face girls" is very cheesy and I honestly thought that the scene in particular would have been kept to an minimum....but recently thinking about it again, it may have looked awkward when the girls re-appear at The Riddler's exhibition and at the evil island in the final confrontation. Who knows how it would have looked, I can't really pass judgement.
Another problem is Chase, she could have been reduced even further really. Maybe it could be someone's job to see if they could remove her completely? I personally don't see much need for the character at all. Nicole Kidman was purely in it for her name and nothing else.
On conclusion, I think you did your best trying to change the film. Maybe you could have made the film darker by changing the soundtrack audio and trimming the remaining bits of cheese you left in? But again, maybe that was not your intention. Would I keep this edit and watch it again? Probably not. But the cuts in audio and visuals were very well made and I'm sure you got the end result that you personally wanted to achieve, so good on you.
I hadn't watched this since the 90s, so mostly I was coming at the film with fresh eyes. I had actually liked it more than Batman Returns, due to hating most everything about the Penguin, preferring Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne and Batman, and generally liking Jim Carrey. Actually, neither of the films have aged very well, though. But The Red Book Edition attempts to change that.
First, it has to be said that the deleted scenes are 99% amazing (except for one lame line reading by Kilmer: "I'm Batman") and they form a subplot that actually gives a REASON for the main plot of the film. It deepens Bruce's reason for survivor's guilt, justifies having Chase the psychiatrist being a potential lifelong love interest instead of just an old-timey harlot, and gives a more believable reason for Batman to retire than was presented in The Dark Knight Rises. As a serious film that holds up, these scenes MAKE the movie.
Unfortunately, they also highlight how different everything else in the film is. Well, mostly the villains. Schumacher was clearly raised on the old TV show, and the film frequently hearkens back to the improbable inventions and campy over-the-top antics presented there. He doesn't lean into it full bore like he did later in Batman & Robin, though occasional shots and sound effects emphasize the cartoonish aspect of scenes. Mostly it comes in the villains though, and sadly (even with the cuts) Tommy Lee Jones clearly has no idea what he's doing in this film. This Two-Face is a travesty compared to his portrayal in TAS, or even The Dark Knight. And while I was on board with Jim Carrey at the time, he's just horrible now. His hair changes back and forth every other scene, his crotch bulge is distractingly bad, and he's mostly channeling previous wacky characters rather than actually giving us The Riddler. Again, it's a travesty when you know what can be done with the character.
This is undoubtedly a better film than the theatrical release, and the new tone is created with great expertise and attention. Elliot Goldenthal's underappreciated work is the real star of this edit (besides the killer end credit songs), and the visual differences in the deleted scenes worked for me, for the most part. Also, Val Kilmer is given more to work with in this edit, enhancing the best part of the original film. I'd say this is now probably tied with The Dark Knight Rises for my third-favorite live action Batman film.
However, it's still not a great movie. Like TDKR, there are significant problems in this film that cannot be fixed by editing. If you're going to watch it though, this is the version to watch.
Batman Forever: The Red Book Edition is a fanedit I've been pursuing since late 2016, mainly due to its popularity with fans of Batman lore and especially the Burton/Schumacher films. Now, thanks to Masirimso17, I was finally able to watch it in January of last year, and I can certainly say — this cut lives up to its promise for me.
First off, the A/V quality isn't perfect, of course. It's ripped from a DVD source, so that makes sense. Everything else, on the other hand, makes this worthy of repeat viewings.
The editing, in terms of visuals and audio, is damn near seamless. There are certain bits that can come off as slightly jarring, but overall, Scaperat really has outdone himself with this cut. Most of Two-Face's laughs and jokes have been cut in order to bring him in line with his characterization from the comics, and it works beautifully.
The Riddler, however, remains almost completely untouched, and this is due to Scaperat being a huge Jim Carrey fan. I honestly can't blame him, since I really like Carrey's performance myself. As he said himself, "Jim Carrey is a comedic god."
The colour correction, while imperfect, brings a unique look to the film with its muted and noir-esque nature. It helps to highlight significant plot points in the film, such as the criminally underappreciated 'red book' subplot.
The deleted scenes have been restored to their rightful places, obviously, and they blend in perfectly. They contribute to darkening the tone of the film and character development, particularly Bruce's dilemma on becoming Batman and the guilt he expresses over his parents' death.
Unlike many other Batman Forever fan edits which tend to replace Elliot Goldenthal's score with Danny Elfman's epic soundtrack from the Burton films, this cut actually adds more of his work, specifically from Alien 3 and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. And their inclusion actually succeeds in emphasizing intensity and reflecting the mood of certain scenes.
One thing to keep in mind, this cut sticks with the altered timeline as presented in the theatrical cut, but the changes and additions made are a major contributing factor to making it work. Plus, Chase's clearly-redubbed line "Last night at the bank..." fits pretty well here.
On a personal note, I consider Batman Forever to be an underrated gem hidden beneath the earth, and one that has recently been overlooked by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Director Joel Schumacher has expressed his interest in piecing together a director's cut in the near future, but due to the film's drop in popularity, it seems unlikely that we may ever get to see his vision come full circle.
But we can always keep on trying to convince Warner Bros. to let him shine in the spotlight. In the meantime, this cut has succeeded in being a darker version of a 19-year-old movie that was affected by the underwhelming performance of Batman Returns. A highly recommendable fan edit, and well-enough worthy of completing your Batman movie marathon!
I liked the edit, and after having looked after it for months and months, when I finally found it, I thought of having found the definitive edition of "Batman Forever". That was not the case, but was extremely happy with it. Thank you for your dedicated work and inspiration.
This fan edit has been held in high regards for some time now so I was excited to finally sit down and watch it.
From the opening scene I felt like I was watching another movie. Then with the transition to the red Bat logo and then to the Batmobile taking off I thought this is fantastic. However from that point onwards my enthusiasm waned.
Most of the deleted scenes worked great though some could have benefited from more sound design. The newly added Goldenthal cues generally work but I think ultimately his score just isn't right for Batman
What bothered me most about this edit was the colour design. From scene to scene the picture didn't seem very consistent. In some scenes it was very nearly black and white and in others very flat. If I felt this was the editors intention I could except it but I'm not entirely sure it was. I appreciate the flashy neon design that Schumacher created wasn't right for Batman, nevertheless I think I prefer that over a very flat image.
With all that said this is still a very good fan edit. Scaperat could've probably been more brutal with cuts, but most of the truly offensive stuff is gone making this a much more watchable film.