1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mask of the Phantasm
After not seeing this film since its début in the early 90's, it was with great anticipation I put the disk into my PS3.
If you are a fan of Bruce Timm's work in the DCAU, then you're obviously going to enjoy what this film has to offer. If you enjoyed the recent Batman films by Christopher Nolan then you're likely to enjoy this animated offering...
Published on Jan 4 2011 by Scroozle
3.0 out of 5 stars Mask of the Phantasm Review
I like how they show Bruce Wayne's past before he became Batman. At the end, The Joker and Batman are in a play city. Then, The Joker flies away. But Batman catches him anyway. Batman and The Joker bleeds. I think kids under the age of 6 will not like this.
Published on Aug 13 2002 by Cory Nelson
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mask of the Phantasm,
This review is from: Batman - Mask of the Phantasm [Import] (DVD)After not seeing this film since its début in the early 90's, it was with great anticipation I put the disk into my PS3.
If you are a fan of Bruce Timm's work in the DCAU, then you're obviously going to enjoy what this film has to offer. If you enjoyed the recent Batman films by Christopher Nolan then you're likely to enjoy this animated offering.
Many laud this title as the best Batman film as it sticks close to its comicbook roots, but doesn't tone down the story's darkness to patronise to kids (much like The Dark Knight). The art deco design of the film goes well with the gothic nature of Batman, and the storytellers used colour to great effect as an element of storytelling.
The disc itself is double-sided with both widescreen and fullscreen versions. The widescreen version looks great upscaled on an HDTV. I don't know when a blu-ray version of this film will be made, but this DVD is more than adequate until it comes along.
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman mask of the phantasm best movie of batsy !,
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This review is from: Batman - Mask of the Phantasm [Import] (DVD)We don't have the movie in region 2 except in UK. The DVD is wonderful.Very good picture and colors. But the wrong thing about it : there's no bonus features except the trailer. You have the choice between the Widescreen or fullscreen version !
I have only one thing to say : little price and good surprise (The Riddler would'nt tell better !).
Buy this item ! It's the best movie and certainly the best adaptation of the character created by Bob Kane !
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Angel of Death Awaits: THE BATMAN Legend Reinterpreted,
This review is from: Batman - Mask of the Phantasm [Import] (DVD)The animated Batman series of the '90s was an excellent series, and this movie makes for a great companion piece. Judging by the format of this movie, it wouldn't have been possible for the animated series to tell this story for two reasons. First, the violence in this story was too extreme for the TV show - Batman bleeds fairly often, and people are actually MURDERED. I was a HUGE fan of the show when I was a kid, and I loved this movie, but back then I was really surprised by the degree of violence in it. I had expected it to be as tame as the TV show. Regardless, the violence in this movie isn't anything that kids aren't exposed to on a daily basis. But it is rated PG for a reason, and 'parental guidance' means that parents should watch this movie with their younger children the first time they see it - just in case the parent needs to explain and/or clarify some of the events in this film to their kids. Second, even if the violence was toned down, this storyline couldn't properly be told if it was simply divided into three episodes for the TV series. The typical episode of the TV series wouldn't be able to handle all the flashback sequences - the TV series was more interested in fast-paced storylines. And the flashback sequences REALLY slow down the pace of this movie. But am I complaining? Of course not. The quality of this movie would suffer greatly without all those slow-paced flashback sequences. So it was necessary that an animated movie tell this story.
Shirley Walker's brooding background music is perfect for this movie - she outclasses every other composer who ever worked on a Batman film. During the opening credits, Walker's title theme is powerful as we see a red sky over a darkened Gotham City, and pass by the towering and foreboding skyscrapers. Her music is especially poignant during many of the flashback sequences, and during the scene when the old World Fair site is completely obliterated. And how about during the last scene in the movie when it shows Batman in deep reflection right before the Bat Signal flashes across the heavens?
The Phantasm is awesome - Batman must find out why he has marked Gotham's biggest mob bosses for death. No one really gets a good look at the Phantasm, and a lot of witnesses mistake him for The Batman. So Batman isn't framed for murder - it's an interesting case of mistaken identity.
Everyone says the Joker steals the show. He certainly is great, but I think this is Batman's movie - they didn't repeat the mistake of Burton's Batman movies. I really like how the Joker is an old-time gangster in this movie, especially since he's deranged and looks freakish. With the black trenchcoat and fedora he's classy and menacing. The film explores his own shadowy past as well.
In various flashback sequences, we see Bruce Wayne's first attempts at being a vigilante. He is sucessful in some respects, but not in others. I'm assuming it's a lot harder to beat up thugs when they aren't afraid of you. He must find a way to strike fear in criminals as soon as they lay eyes on him. The other big problem is his inability to focus during his scuffles with criminals - but it's presumably difficult to put yourself in harm's way when you have loved ones to worry about at home. Since we all know that Wayne becomes Batman, it's obvious that these two problems are eventually resolved.
My favorite part of the movie is when Bruce Wayne first hears that his fiancee has left him forever, then it cuts to the scene where he's trying on the Batman costume for the first time. A silhouetted Wayne pauses to stare at the mask, contemplating the deep significance that it will have on his life. After he dons the mask, Walker's music erupts in dramatic fashion as the terrifying spectacle of The Dark Knight steps out of the shadows, setting off to begin his unending crusade against evil. Indeed, the sight of Batman coldly narrowing his eyes at Alfred (and the look of awe on Alfred's face) makes this one of my favorite scenes in movie history.
One of the most touching scenes is when Batman is on a skyscraper in the rain, watching his former fiancee eating at a restaurant (it sounds sick, but it's not). Walker's music, and the expression of longing on Batman's face as he reflects on his past, is moving. Then Batman's nostalgia is interrupted by a police helicopter - knowing he is a wanted man, Batman is forced to flee before being spotted. So the scene ends on a sentimental note. At the same time the end of this scene is really cool - the way Batman is so stealthy that he can completely disappear from sight (and without a sound) when your attention is diverted for a millisecond.
Most action fans will be disappointed that it's not all action from start to finish, but the action scenes in this movie are very impressive. Batman's raid at a casino was done with lightening speed and efficency. I especially liked how Batman flips a heavy table on one gunman, then afterwards he stomps on the table (and thus the gunman) for good measure. In another scene Batman sights the Phantasm while in the Batwing (which is a really cool jet airplane - the noise it makes as it flies would terrify any evildoer). A chase ensues. But the Phantasm escapes, and to make matters worse the police sight Batman. This leads to one of the coolest chase scenes you'll ever see. The fight with the Joker in a miniture city is excellently done - it seems to have been inspired by the Godzilla movies. Yes, this is one of my very favorite movies - I almost enjoy it as much as Batman Begins. Buy this DVD, and the soundtrack too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cartoon film that rivals the live action films....,
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Batman Feature,
This review is from: Batman Mask of the Phantasm (VHS Tape)This is one of the best Batman animated features I have ever seen.The writing was good and Mark Hamill doing the voice of the Joker?G-O-O-D.The soundtrack gets high marks and the actors picked to voice the characters was good.With plans to make a new series of Batman feature films in the works,I would like for Warner Brothers studios to please keep Tim Burton as the executive producer and most important,Michael Keaton as Batman because he is the right actor for the role.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Batman film!!!!!,
This review is from: Batman Mask of the Phantasm (VHS Tape)This is a terrific movie that is so much better than any of the live action movies! It has a brillant plot,terrific voice overs(especially Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Mark Hamill as the Joker),and one terrific ending.If you are a fan of Batman,then would recommend this movie! See this!
4.0 out of 5 stars An actual review of the Soundtrack by Shirley Walker,
This review is from: Batman: Mask of Phantasm (Audio CD)Due to a glitch here at Amazon, the reviews for the DVD of "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" have been imported to this page meant for the soundtrack, which is the reason most of these reviews here make no mention of Shirley Walker's score. So, in case you're curious about the soundtrack album (and you must be, if you sought out this page), this is a review that actually deals with the CD and its music.
Shirley Walker is an excellent film music composer who hasn't gotten her deserved acclaim yet. She was already part of the Batman family of music from working on the excellent "Batman: The Animated Series." In early episodes, she made use of Danny Elfman's famous Batman theme from the live-action Tim Burton films, but she soon developed her own theme that became the musical signature of the series. Elfman's theme is very frantic and driving, but Walker's theme is majestic and gothic, with religious overtones. It's a perfect fit for the animated incarnation of the character (probably the best version of the character ever on screen).
When it came time to score the first animated Batman film, "Mask of the Phantasm," Walker had a chance to really expand the sound of the theme. "Main Title" offers the theme in a huge choral version, making it even more religious and gothic in tone. It's a chilling and dark opening for the score. The chorus returns with the theme in the end of the action cue "The Big Chase" and for in finale in "Batman's Destiny." The Batman Theme also surfaces in "The Birth of Batman." The action music stays close to Danny Elfman territory, and Walker does a great job on such cues as "Ski Mask Vigilante," "Phantasm and Joker Fight" (which also contains the 'mad-merry-go-round' theme for the Joker that she wrote originally for the television show), and the first part of "Batman's Destiny." For the mysterious Phantasm, Walker uses an approach that sounds like the music from 1950s science-fiction movies of the: Hammond organ and the synthesized sound of the theremin. It's an effective, creative device, and is heard the strongest on "Phantasm's Graveyard Murder."
The score is less powerful in its quieter moments, and Walker unfortunately doesn't have a strong enough love theme to support such cues as "First Love" and "A Plea for Help." Nonetheless, the score is always interesting, and these cues are good segues between the heavier music. The final track is a jazz-pop vocal, "I Never Even Told You," performed by Tia Carrere when she was trying to become a pop singer. Shirley Walker didn't write the song, and it's fairly bland. The lyrics match the tragic romance between Bruce Wayne and Andrea, but the song is too light compared with the rest of the album.
The biggest flaw with the album is its length: just under 35 minutes. Warner Bros. did not believe in the film despite its obvious quality, and shoved it out in December 1993 without any fanfare. Their lack of support shows in the skimpy length of this soundtrack; Warner Bros. apparently didn't want to shell out too much money for music re-use fees. The short length damages the score, since Walker doesn't have enough space the stretch out with her themes, and many important cues had to be left out.
Still, this soundtrack is a must for Batman fans. It works perfectly with Danny Elfman's two scores, and is far superior to the schlocky music that Elliot Goldenthal wrote for Joel Schumacher's two awful live-action Batman films. Get it while you still can.
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the movie, but...,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PERFECT BATMAN MOVIE,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Batman story ever!,
This is still the best Batman story that was ever conceived, and worth 5 Stars.
Actually, I added this review for one production value, and I don't know if the DVD touched on it. All animation is done by adding lines and then color to a white backdrop - except this one. Here, they colored on a black background. The effect works absolutely well.
Hope this has peaked your curiosity enough to give it a buy.
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Batman - Mask of the Phantasm [Import] by Kevin Altieri (DVD - 2005)
CDN$ 10.16 CDN$ 10.08