Move over Tim Burton, it’s time for Joel Schumacher to take over the Batman franchise, in the spectacularly silly Batman Forever. Now that it’s on 4K Ultra HD, how does it shape up? Is it a brain gain, or a brain drain?
The story: Batman (Val Kilmer) isn’t a popular pointy-eared not-a-rodent. Former DA Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones), now bad guy Two Face, is out to get him, as well as a rather verdant, newly-minted baddie in The Riddler (Jim Carrey). Luckily, however, our hero has smitten psychologist Dr Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) rooting for him, along with a shiny new sidekick in Robin (Chris O’Donnell).
“Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?”
The 4K disc: Schumacher brings a lot of the 1960s campy Batman to the table in Batman Forever, and every single jaunty Bat-angle – and every shot of a Bat-nipple – comes at us in glorious native 4K. In a technical sense it’s a lovely-looking transfer, too, exhibiting a lot of detail at most times, with a few sorties into softness when the primitive by today’s standards 1995 digital effects come into play. This is a vastly more colourful affair than either of Tim Burton’s trips into Gotham City, and the HDR treatment really goes to town, making sure that every colourful element truly goes POP! The Riddler’s sparkly number in particular looks absolutely stunning. Black levels do vary a little throughout, managing to match the inkiness of the Burton affairs in places, while veering more towards silvery black at other times. Film grain is so fine as to be scarcely worth mentioning. In all it’s quite the snappy transfer.
All that action needs BIG sound, and the newly-created Dolby Atmos mix here certainly delivers. It’s a treat right from the get-go, with every swoosh, swoop and swirl of the opening credits thundering all around the room. Dialogue remains clear, while Elliot Goldenthal’s bouncy score gets plenty of breathing space, along with the odd sojourns into soundtrack-selling territory from the likes of The Flaming Lips, The Offspring, U2 and Seal (the latter two shoehorned into the end credits) all sounding pretty good.
Extras fans get a Joel Schumacher commentary on the 4K disc, and can go bat-bonkers with those on the included standard Blu-ray. These deliver galleries, a Seal music video, featurettes, the continuation of the Shadows of the Bat doco series that’s spread across the batch of four Burton/Schumacher releases, and more.
Release date: June 5, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey
Read our review of Tim Burton’s Batman on 4K Ultra HD here.
Read our review of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns on 4K Ultra HD here.
Read our review of Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin on 4K Ultra HD here.
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.