Review: Batman Returns (4K)

Batman Returns 4K Review

Director Tim Burton returns with the monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) to topple the Batman (Michael Keaton) once and for all. But when Shreck’s timid assistant, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), finds out, and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.

Plot: When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Batman Returns 4K Review

Director: Tim Burton

Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1

Runtime: 126 min

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Director Tim Burton’s dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton’s work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.

Online Ratings:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes 78%
  2. IMDB 7.0
  3. Metacritic 68

“Sensational! A funhouse of comic and crazy surprises!” -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’ll get a pretty clean image with very little to no grain present. (There are some soft scenes too, but nothing that takes you out of the movie.)

The first Batman release in 4K UHD was top notch, but (in my opinion) Batman Returns really brings that bump up in HDR, texture and overall picture quality. This movie arguably looks like it was shot in the last few years — that’s how great this transfer is. Highlights that will really stand out include Catwoman’s black latex suit and bright red lips — the detail on the various wardrobes down to specs of lint and hair being visible, the wool and fabric on Penguins coat — the works. It’s repetitive, but you will get more details across the board in every aspect, it looks amazing. To top if off you will get more of what 4K UHD does best, character close-ups. All facial features are more apparent like pores, sweat, makeup, etc. There are plenty of these character close-ups in the film to fill of up the bar of picture quality quite nicely.

There’s nothing but positive things to say about this disc because the black levels, contrast and shadows are top notch as well. On the high end, you’ll be able to discern a perfect contrast between light and dark constantly — foregrounds, backgrounds, etc. On the smaller (but still important) end, the various textures of concrete on the buildings/monuments and more touches of color in Gotham illuminate on all their own. It’s hard to put into words, but while there are various levels of black and grey prominent throughout, there are splashes of color everywhere. Examples of this can be seen right away at the tree lighting ceremony in Chapter 3 — to shots of Bruce Wayne watching TV in front of a fireplace with a (out of focus) Christmas tree behind him in Chapter 11. A dark and shadowy atmosphere is always in play, but every added tone of color shimmers in the darkness.

A side note: just like in Batman (at least to my eye) the whites come on strong again in a few scenes.

As I’ve mentioned previously, unfortunately didn’t grow up with Batman or Batman Returns, I grew up on the worst movies of the franchise, that I still secretly enjoy. (If you were to as me, I like this movie more over its predecessor.) Beyond that, you can bet this 4K UHD disc is highly recommended because it will surpass all of your expectations in the 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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