Friday, October 28, 2005

[DVD] Batman (1966)

*BAM* *POW* *ZAP* Who can forget the letters splashed across the screen each time Batman and Robin sucker-punch villains in the 60s Batman television serial?

Forget Christian Bale's accurate portrayal of the Dark Knight. This is Adam West's camp version of the character in the 1960s, and together with "holy-spewing" Robin, they ham it up with their classic chemistry on screen as the dynamic duo. Taking on a total of four villains, The Joker (Cesar Romero), Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether taking the place of Julie Newmar) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the dynamic duo battles their evil plans, on world domination by capturing the Security Council of the UN. But getting there and having their diabolical plot materialize is a test of patience, as the plot seemed to beat about the bush.

With a bigger budget to work with, we actually get to see various inane gadgets (which are dated nonetheless), and vehicles like the well-known Batmobile, Batboat, Batcopter, and Batcycle. Certain aspects of the series are migrated to the movie as well, like the weird camera angles, and the walk-up-the-side-of-the-building-with-a-batrope sequence.

Corny dialogue delivered with straight laced faces, perhaps this movie is strictly for bat-fans (to watch for the sake of completion), and fans of the 60s serial.

The true gems in the DVD are the documentaries and the audio commentary by Adam West and Burt Ward. It's amazing how they've aged gracefully, with Ward putting on visible pounds in his cheeks. They share various anecdotes on the casting and shooting of the film, which any bat-trivia enthusiast will lap up with glee.

Code 1 DVD extras: Audio commentary, trailer, and various documentaries like the Tour of the Batmobile, and Batman Featurette.

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