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Releases - DVD - Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman

Packaging


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Release Information
Studio: Warner Home Video
Theatrical Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
Run Time: 75 minutes
Production Company: Warner Home Video
Package Type: Snap Case
Aspect Ratio
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1


Audio
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Edition Details
• Encoding: Region 1
• Animated, Color, Closed-captioned


Special Features
"Chase Me" Animated Short
• Behind the Mystery
• Batman: P.O.V.
• The Making of a Scene
• Batcave Profiles
• Bat Gadgets
• Super Hero Favorites
• DVD-ROM game: Toxic Chill

Review
Some DVDs get it right the first time you open it—not necessarily are you looking for hours upon hours of special features, but just something that you enjoy watching, and something that you want to watch.

Most of these DVDs, unless popular (ie: The Matrix Reloaded) do not come from Warner Brothers. Between their snapper cases (of note, my Mystery of the Batwoman one broke—already.) and their just real lack of anything “special” about the features on their hosts of Batman DVDs over the years, only the Return of the Joker commentary really stood out. This DVD could’ve been helped out a lot by a commentary, but for some reason there wasn’t one this time around. Instead we get three different features: “Behind the Mystery”, a sort of HBO-Style run-down of the movie, “Batman: P.O.V.”, a feature where the creators talk about making the movie and “The Making of a Scene”, shows off story boards, voice actors in the studio and general layout of how, obviously, a scene is made.

These featurettes are nice, yes, but there just aren’t enough of them. The “Batman: P.O.V.” would’ve been cooler as a commentary—which was all it was, just a super condensed version of it where you actually see everyone instead of just hearing them. And even then there was some guy on the end of the table that never talked, just drew the entire time…maybe he wasn’t supposed to be there.

Then you have the movie itself: generally DVD reviews don’t talk much about the film itself, just focusing on the technical aspects of it, but there was still something about the film that was lacking. It felt rushed, thrown together, and generally just like something Warners Bros. wanted to put out, rather than something the creators really cared about. You just didn’t get that feel from this movie—it is true they wanted to do a more light-hearted Batman movie, but I still think WB had their hands way too much up in this. Perhaps they wanted to avoid another disaster, which they had with Return of the Joker and the 50 some edits that went along with that movie—but at least with that movie, you actually found something out. You progressed deeper into both the original and future Batman’s careers, but with this movie it was just…there. I get the same vibe off of this as the recently completed run (“Hush”) of Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb’s on Batman—it was just there. It accomplished nothing aside from introducing a new character (in the movies case, characters), it didn’t add anything that could or would tie into the rest of the continuity, not unless they threw her into the comics or made another movie about it.

You’re probably wondering, what about the “Chase Me” short? Yes, that was indeed fun to watch. It felt like an extended episode of the web-i-series Gotham Girls, and that’s perfectly all right with me. The music, while odd at times, was fitting to the short, and it just really showed what Batman and Catwoman’s relationship is—always exciting, on the edge, but at the end of the day, nothing happens. They smooch and then it’s back to the police for her….

The video on this release is gorgeous. Very little interlacing and the clarity is awesome. Unfortunately it's not in widescreen (as it was animated) and instead we get a cropped fullscreen transfer. More negative marks on this release! We do get a 5.1 Dolby Surround track, however, and it's quite nice to hear. Mostly focused in the front channels though, so don't expect your rear speakers to get much action. 

You can really tell something about a movie when it’s seven-minute short featuring Catwoman is better than the movie. Technically, though, you can’t compare the two—one is 68 minutes longer than the other, and I’m sure “Chase Me” would’ve been ultra boring if it was 75 minutes like the movie…

Overall this is a bland DVD with bland special features—fitting. Pick it up if you’re a bat-fan, otherwise a rental will do.

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