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!
Lol, sorry about that, I will start this review by saying that after watching this edit of Batman Forever, it's my opinion that the first 3 Batman movies make one of the best trilogies ever made. Yes I'm pointing at you Dark Knight trilogy (and ignoring Batman & Robin almost completely). I haven't seen Batman Forever in at least 10 years but I'm old enough to have seen the original trilogy in the theaters. Batman One: "you wanna get crazy?? "Let's get Crazy!!". Batman Returns: Pee wee and Simone(?) are the penguins parents/catwoman neon sign says hello there she smashes part of it "Hell Here", Batman Forever: Ace Ventura as the Riddler, Nicole "To Die For" Kidman, and Seal's Kiss from a Rose. Blah blah blah.
So this edit isn't my preferred Batman Forever but I'm really glad it got me to watch this movie again which I became so afraid of after Batman & Robin and which I pretty much forgot existed after THE Dark Knight Trilogy. Holy S Jim Carrey is great in this movie, Tommy Lee Jones is fantastic in my opinion, unpredictable, over the top, major inspiration for the new Joker i'd say. Nicole Kidman has never been hotter . And Val Kilmer is equally great in the role as Michael Keaton and the change is almost not noticeable because the first half hour of the movie he's in the Batsuit.
Reasons why the original is my favorite version: I miss the Bat nipple scene (chase meridian being aggressive), I don't mind the Bat ass (Joel Schumacher is openly gay oh well, he gives us the hottest red head ever here fine by me). I like the idea that Batman and Chase hookup at the end (forever??), I miss the silhouettes at the end. As someone else mentioned I read, I love Trilogy's and if I forget about B&R this is one of the best ever without needing any further altercations in my book, unlike the dark knight trilogy where I was able to see the Begins Dark Cut and that's my preferred version as well as whoever decides to cut out Joseph Dumbass Levitt from the Dark KNight Rises that will be my Preferred EDIT .
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.
as with any fanedit that incorporates deleted or unfinished scenes, some of the quality does suffer a bit. however, as this is unavoidable i don’t really include that in a rating unless it is unnecessarily added.
i can happily say that this is a great fanedit and a 4/5 from me. i really enjoyed the excised silliness and unnecessary elements and what was added helps a great deal. the image overall DID seem degraded and was a bit distracting.