You loved the Bat-movie, what about the Bat-DVD?
Find out as we examine the extras in a special Bat-edition of Metromix's movie DVD column...
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Director: Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”)
Formats: Limited Edition DVD Gift Set, Blu-ray, Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set
What we say: With Bale in the suit, and Nolan behind the camera, Batman returned to form in this dark take on the caped crusader.
Extras: Limited Edition DVD: a 128MB “Batman” flash drive; five “Batman Begins” postcards; $7.50 movie cash towards a ticket to “The Dark Knight.”
Regular Blu-ray: “The Dark Knight Prologue,” which is basically the first six minutes of “The Dark Knight.”
Limited Edition Blu-ray: The postcards, movie cash and “The Dark Knight Prologue”; plus, a 32-page booklet with a comic book version of “The Dark Knight Prologue”; “Batman Begins” motion art lenticular; exclusive photos; script pages; storyboards.
Worth watching (or, in this case, using): The $7.50 in movie cash, even if it will only pay for half a ticket. Unless you see a matinee. And you’re over the age of 65. And walked to the theater.
Worth skipping: “The Dark Knight Prologue.” Just wait to see the opening in theaters with the rest of the film. Why tease yourself?
Worth adding: How about all the making-of documentaries from the original “Begins” DVD? Is that too much to ask?
Buy, rent, or ignore: Rent.
“BATMAN: THE MOVIE”
Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero
Director: Leslie H. Martinson (“PT109”)
What we say: Like “The X-Files” and “Sex and the City” movies that followed, this spin-off from the ’60s TV show takes Batman and Robin on a big-screen adventure.
Extras: Commentary by West and Ward; a second commentary by writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr.; “Batman: A Dynamic Legacy” about the caped crusader; “Gotham City’s Most Wanted” featurette on the bad guys; a 35th Anniversary featurette filmed in 2001 featuring interviews with West and Ward; “The Batmobile Revealed” featurette with designer George Barris; “The Batmobile Interactive Tour”; “‘Batman’ on Location: Mapping the Movie” featurette; pop-up trivia track; trailers; photo galleries including production stills, behind-the-scenes shots, posters and more.
Worth watching: “Gotham City’s Most Wanted,” because while some Bat-fans decry the movie's campy tone, even they can’t deny how good Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwther were as the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman, respectfully.
Worth skipping: “‘Batman’ On Location,” unless you actually think you too might end up on a dock, looking for a place to ditch a giant bomb.
Worth adding: “Untruth in Advertising,” a featurette in which the person who designed the adverts for this DVD can explain why they're all so dark and moody (a la “Batman Begins”) when this movie is clearly light and goofy.
Buy, rent, or ignore: Rent.
“BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT”
Voiced by: Kevin Conroy, Gary Dourdan, David McCallum
Directors: Hiroshi Morioka, Jong-Sik Nam, Shojiro Nishimi, Futoshi Higashide, Yasuhiro Aoki, Toshiyuki Kubooka
Formats: DVD, 2-Disc DVD, Blu-ray
What we say: An excellent “Animatrix”-like collection of interconnected animated Batman shorts, that pairs American comic book and comic book movie writers with Japanese studios behind such animes as “Ghost in the Shell,” “Paprika,” and “Tekkon Kinkreet.”
Extras: DVD: Commentary; a sneak peek at the upcoming animated “Wonder Woman” movie.
2-Disc and Blu-ray: DVD features plus “Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story”; “A Mirror for the Bat,” a featurette on Batman’s bad guys; and four episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series,” including “Legends of the Dark Knight” which inspired this collection’s “Have I Got a Story for You” installment.
Worth watching: “A Mirror for the Bat,” a thoughtful look at iconic Batman bad guys including the Joker, Mr. Freeze and Catwoman.
Worth skipping: The “Animated Series” episodes, especially if you already have them on DVD. Disappointingly, they're not in HD on the Blu-ray (though even if they were, we’d still skip them until the entire series was released on Blu-ray).
Worth adding: A featurette on the writers, voice actors and anime studios responsible for the on screen awesomeness.
Buy, rent, or ignore: Buy.
Other Batman DVDs out this month:
— See the dark knight’s early adventures in the TV ’toon “The Batman: The Complete Fifth Season”
— Batman’s sidekick Robin fights crime with people his own age in the animated “Teen Titans: The Complete Fifth Season”
— It didn’t last long, and never matched the comics, but if you're curious to see Bat-gals Huntress, Black Canary and Oracle fight crime in Gotham, check out “Birds of Prey: The Complete Series”