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9.8 44 10
FanFix June 04, 2022 4100
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If you're going to watch The Batman, this is a very cool way to watch it. Potentially better than just pausing the original halfway through and finishing later. It certainly is an unwieldy film that lends itself to being broken up.

My review of the film itself, what works and what doesn't, is in full here: For this edit, it's not really about fixing any issues I had, and indeed most of my complaints are script and casting, not very fixable. What this does better though is in trying to give the story a flow and sense of progression rather than make it feel like a slog. I think it mostly succeeds.

The chapter breaks mostly work very well, especially in the first two episodes. The titles do feel a bit abrupt when they come on each time; a slight fade-in on each would work better. The beginning of the third episode felt a bit odd to me... it would be more natural to cut in titles when leaving the asylum instead of in the middle of a conversation. The beginning and ending of the final episode really didn’t work for me, though. We left off on a tense cliffhanger confrontation at the end of episode three, but then we start this finale with a long, slow scene, then flash backwards to the cliffhanger. It’s a weird choice, and when I looked back at the editor's change list, I saw that this scene was moved to there. Explains why it didn't fit for me. Then the ending is again, a really long, quiet conversation. Checked the change list... yup, another move in the edit. TBH, it really made the film feel like it went out on a whimper, so it may be the biggest barrier to rewatchability.

The other issue I had here was that honestly, Batman and Selina not acting on any attraction in this film kind of created a plot hole for me. It just felt like there was no substantial reason for them to say some of the things they do and to go out on a limb for each other several times. They weren’t anything to each other yet, so they should be making more objective judgments. This is partly a weakness of the original movie, where the relationship just felt a bit forced to me in general, but it felt even worse here.

I should also mention that while the audio and video edits felt quite good to me, I had persistent audio sync issues with some of the dialogue. Usually, altering the sync by about -.3 seconds fixed it, but it was not always off with that consistency.

Overall, I do recommend watching this way and making up your own mind. And I'd also recommend that any fans of this go check out Batman: The Animated Series, which has the best Batman of all time, and is basically where this version of Penguin started. RIP Kevin Conroy (1955-2022)

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