Click on the image to see the other film’s artwork.
if you consider this a quadrilogy, do what I did when you get these 4Ks: watched them in reverse so Batman goes from a goofball with with a goon sidekick, to a serious, gritty and dark Batman who faces off with his greatest nemesis: The Joker (played by the incomparable Jack Nicholson). I saw Batman in theaters when I was six, and saw the subsequent sequels when they released in theaters as well.
While doing this experiment, I noticed something the 4K transfers got better as the movies did, and I don’t think this was on purpose. This means they get worst if you watch in order, which isn’t a bad thing since the first two are the ones people love and cherish. I’m not sure if the folks transferring these 4Ks got tired or what was available to transfer to 4K were bad for Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, but they look about as good as a first generation Blu-ray. Batman and Batman Returns look quite incredible in 4K, so watching in reverse had more than one perk.
What I honestly most curious about was how the colors looked for Joel Schumacher’s take on Batman. Even though they aren’t as colorful as I hoped, the 4Ks don’t completely disappoint — the neon colors used do pop like they were drawn from a comic book, which I’m sure would please Schumacher since that’s what his goal was.
What bothers me about all four releases are what bothered me about Paramount’s M:I releases — the cover art on all four films look like a first-year college intern made them using Microsoft Paint. (And Robin is missing on the cover of the film where his name is in the title, along with Uma Thurman who plays a big role in Batman and Robin.) Even with the last two have being mocked for decades, the first two are beloved and deserve better covers. 4Ks aren’t cheap and I would have an inner-battle with myself if I were in the position to buy these — I would probably just take the cover off and write Batman 4K in yellow on the case. These covers are that sloppy and I expect more for these releases since they are an important part of cinematic comic book lore (regardless how you feel about Schumacher’s take on Batman, they still made an impact on comic book movies and are still fun to watch).
If the artwork won’t bother you, the quadrilogy is worth your money. The first two are the best and great films, and the second are just fun to watch — it’s hard to believe some of the major stars took these roles and didn’t phone it in — they really went for the glory of their characters.