Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against two foes: the schizophrenic, horribly scarred former District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), and the Riddler (Jim Carrey), a disgruntled ex-Wayne Enterprises inventor seeking revenge against his former employer by unleashing his brain-sucking weapon on Gotham City’s residents. As the caped crusader also deals with tortured memories of his parents’ murder, he has a new romance, with psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman).
Plot: Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1
Runtime: 121 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.
“The best Batman yet.” -Pat Collins
This movie was shot with Panaflex Cameras and Lenses by Panavision on 35 mm, so ultimately you will get a native 4K visual for this release. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. When it comes to the grain levels you will get a clean image with very little to no grain. (There are some soft scenes too, but nothing that takes you out of the movie.)
Something you will notice immediately is the new style by Joel Schumacher in comparison to Tim Burton. Instead of a dark and grey-shadow heavy tone, you will get a variety of color across the board. You will see this (literally) when Robin takes the Batmobile out through the city in Chapter 16, a scene which leads to an ally-attack by people who glow-in-the-dark. Previous films show almost no color or the people of Gotham, here the mean-streets come to life under the neon lights. That’s the type of color palette will echo again and again, not only in Riddler’s orange hair and bright green wardrobe — but with Two-Face, his two-tone suits and purple make-up on his scarred-side of his face. All of these scenes hold great detail, black levels and HDR too!
Just as Batman Returns, you’ll also get that 4K sharpness in various character close-ups. All the characters facial features are more apparent down to pores, sweat, makeup, wrinkles… the works. When it comes to Two-Face’s scarred side, it’s always under a casted shadow, but you can really see all the little inadequacies on this disc distinctly. As a side note: Batman and Robin’s outfits hold a new clarity — you can really make out the rubber-like texture of their suits, something I’d never noticed before.
Some of the places I jotted down highlights was in Chapter 4 when the HDR looks amazing with red hues engulfing the interior of the helicopter. (Scenes like this, scenes at night and looks in the batcave have deep blacks and great contrast start to finish. They really nailed those aspects on all these discs.) Up-close eye-candy can be seen in Chapter 20 when Batman and Robin are having a conversation in the batcave and again in Chapter 27 when Bruce and Dr. Chase Meridian are having a fire-lit conversation. Flesh tones, picture quality and detail look excellent.
As I’ve mentioned in my Batman and Batman Returns reviews, I didn’t grow up on those movies — this is actually the first one I was introduced to as a kid, so there is a small part of me that enjoys this movie today, even though it’s not the best, by any stretch.
Overall, this disc serves as another amazing upgrade from Warner Bros, but I don’t think it surpasses Batman Returns in the UHD department — its a close second. “Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?” Beyond that, you can bet this 4K UHD disc is another solid recommended because it’s a great addition to classic Batman on the best format! Make sure you pick it up when it releases everywhere on June 4th — and remember a box-set is coming September 17th.
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