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Batman Vs Two-Face (Blu-ray Review)

Last year brought some excitement when the DC Animated Universe turned its sites to a sort of resurrection of the 1960s television era of Batman with their Return of the Caped Crusaders movie. Said film returned Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar to their roles of Batman, Robin and Catwoman respectively. Of course, other villains (Done in the style and vocal likeness) showed up as well. Now, we get the focus on a A-list Batman villain that never popped up on the show, with a known 1960s acting commodity that never guest starred on the program either. William Shatner will enlist his vocals to bring to life a 1960s version of Tw0-Face in the sequel to Return of the Caped Crusaders which makes its debut on Blu-ray, October 17th.

Film 

Batman and Robin return in classic 1960s action, protecting Gotham City from some of the most nefarious villains in comics history. But when the mutilated master of multiplicity, Two-Face, begins staging a daring crime wave across Gotham, the Caped Crusaders must work double-time to discover his mysterious secret identity before they can halt his evil-doing – all the while combating the likes of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Bookworm, Hugo Strange and King Tut!

The news of this release excited me to great degrees. I had always wanted a project with the two like-talented actors, William Shatner and Adam West, to collaborate together. Also, Shatner seemed poised to be perfect guest on the show that just never happened. What better role for the guy than that of Harvey Dent? When the news of this film dropped, it just all made the most perfect sense. And the moment the film starts and Shatner’s Dent walks into frame the world and universe all come together to confirm just how perfect it is. Shatner really does his due diligence and nails the part.

Its one thing to just have fun and be a recognizable voice acting a role in an animated feature. But, no, Shatner goes beyond the call of duty and perfect it. Not only is it Shatner, you’re getting the actor diving deep and pulling out a true 1960s performance that he’d been storing away for who knows how long. And with his words , he becomes a natural fit and molds into some great chemistry with the other performers in the film.

Two-Face is the headliner, but you also have two other characters that make their 1960s “debut”. Dr. Hugo Strange is an element in this film and his partner happens to be a Dr. Quinzel. Many a villain make a cameo in the film (Go Egghead!), but King Tutt is back and plays a pretty decent role in the film. Catwoman once again graces us with her presence, and I’ll take all the Julie-Newmar Catwoman I can get.

The film is bittersweet as it is a dream come true for fans of the 1960s Batman series. Its bittersweet as it is now the final Batman performance from Adam West.  Though, he has gone out on a complete high her in his last time donning the cape and cowl. We are lucky to have had these last two adventures with 1960s Batman and Robin, given their show got stale and was on fumes when it ended its live action run. These two animated films have refreshed it and put it once again on top and had it finish top tier.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Batman Vs Two-Face comes with a pretty strong animated presentation. Nothing is too overtly vivid, which could have been a temptation, keeping this looking as bright but also as true to the 1960s as it could be. Animated details and smoothness comes along as pretty strong. Overall, you pretty much have the look and visual strength that any DCAU film has when it comes to Blu-ray.

Depth:  This is 2D animation with an anime edge to it, so there are some 3 dimensional aspects to the image with a the look of a pushback on the background with relation to the foreground. Movements are smooth and no blurring or jittering was witnessed.

Black Levels: Blacks are solid and the animation also carries good shading. No details to be hidden here and no crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty strong and bold in their appearance. They have a nice, 1960s-era glow to it. Its simpler in its palette, but they all look very gorgeous and have varied tints on each basic color.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: This comes with a really nice, distinct and crisp 5.1 track. The mix is a nice and balanced one with the vocals, musical score and sound effects all not stepping on each other’s toes and allowing everything to breathes. Each gets their moment in the spotlight and never topples over the other. Foley effect work is pretty top notch as the mix captures the depth and layers of the individual sounds.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Engines, punches, explosions and some big musical bumps all give a nice rumble from your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Its a more front heavy track, with accurate movement and volume placement. The rear does a lot of ambiance, but does have its unique contributions at times.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with every piece of diction captured.

Extras 

Batman Vs Two-Face comes with the DVD edition and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The Wonderful World Of Burt Ward (HD, 14:34) – The actor talks his super hero likes as a kid to the set of the show, his work with dogs, the show’s legacy and thoughts on Adam West as he passed with the city hall event as well as finishing this film.

Adam West Tribute Panel, Comic-Con International 2017 (HD, 39:27) – The full panel from SDCC, which includes Kevin Smith & Lee Meriwether, on the life, career and legacy of Adam West.

Burt Ward On Being Starstruck (HD, 2:03) – The actor talks about the co-stars and guest stars he shared the screen with during the shooting of the show.

Burt Ward On Ambition (HD, :59) – Here Ward talks about his childhood dream to be Superboy.

Julie Newmar On Inspiration (HD, 1:53) – The actress talks about the costume and the appeal to her of Catwoman and how easy the words were to “physicalize” and that she idolizes Rita Hayworth.

A Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (HD, 12:36) 

A Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (HD, 6:52) 

Trailers – Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Experience 4K UHD, Experience the Next Generation of Digital Movies

? (HD, :32) – A little…what seems like it could have been a post credits scene, that introduces Harley Quinn as she busts Joker out of jail.

Summary 

Batman Vs Two-Face has a terrific turn from William Shatner, who fits like a glove on the series, but also ends up being a fond and fitting farewell for Adam West as the caped crusader. It come s with a very good presentation in audio and video. The extras are insightful and a nice tribute to the life and legacy of Adam West. A must have for Bat-fans and more.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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