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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Widescreen/Full Screen) (Bilingual) [Import]
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Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in Batman: Mask of Phantasm, "one of the most imaginative films of the past year" (Chuck Rich, Westwood One). Only here will you discover all-new revelations about Batman's past, his archrival the Joker and the most grueling battle of Batman's life - the choice between his love of a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of Phantasm is a "mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving" (Cincinnati Enquirer) and a film no fan should be without! Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his name? Year: 1993 Director: Eric Radomski Starring: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Abe Vigoda
Although the live-action Batman franchise faltered artistically after Tim Burton gave up control, the slack was taken up by the Saturday morning cartoon show, whose creators are responsible for this feature film. Though a cartoon, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is less cartoonish than the popular '60s TV show (which spawned its own movie, Batman: The Movie). Mask of the Phantasm combines the noir of the original comic book, the violence and dark humor of the Dark Knight comic book revision, and Burton's two movies.
In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, everyone's favorite schizophrenic billionaire crime fighter is investigating the murders of several prominent gangsters. Meanwhile, his ex-fiancée and her father are back in town. Through flashbacks, these two death-obsessed kids are shown falling in love (she lost her mother; he lost both parents--of course, they meet in a graveyard), until she leaves quickly and mysteriously. Along the way, there's a short course in the origins of the Batman costume and the origins of the Joker (voice of Star Wars' Mark Hamill!), a big fight with the smoke-enshrouded Phantasm character, who is suspected of killing the gangsters, and an even bigger fight with the Joker at the abandoned Gotham World's Fair grounds. Altogether, a good ride. --Andy Spletzer
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Not having known anything about this amimated feature I initially suspected that this was going to be an adaptation or reinterpretation of the DC Comics mini-series, ''Batman: Year Two,'' in which a similarly costumed vigilante from Gotham's pre-"Batman" era, called ''The Reaper,'' came out of retirement in order to continue a 'crusade' of his own, one which he had started decades earlier.
Although this is a completely different story, it OBVIOUSLY borrows much from that original ''Reaper'' storyline, using many of the same (or very similar) elements, plot devices, costumes, romance-related inner conflicts, etc.
In this story, the ''Phantasm'' is a new character (not a figure resurrected from Gotham's past) who is on a specific mission of vengeance, rather than expressing disgust at Gotham's general degradation and responding to it as a ''crime-fighter'' with a loose cannon. Here, numerous plotlines merge and intertwine, which involve, among other things, Bruce Wayne's relationship with Andrea Beaumont, the only woman he had ever considered marrying, (very similar to his relationship with Rachel Caspian in the "Reaper" storyline ... the different twist being that in the "Year Two" series Miss Caspian cancelled her plans to dedicate and devote her life as a nun in order to marry Bruce), Andrea's father's unusual connection to organized crime -- as well as his secret connection to the murderous "Phantasm" (again, very similar to Rachel Caspian's father's unusual connections to the criminal underworld in general, as well as his secret connection to the murderous "Reaper"), and a ''NEW'' (i.e., "different") revelation of the origin of the Batman's arch-nemesis, the unstable and ruthless "Joker.Read more ›
- Animation is more friendly to comics than film - I'm getting more and more to this conclusion. With animation, there's no fuss about costumes or CGI or make-up. It allows the movement and sound and some of the 3-D effect you can't get from a comic book without things looking too campy or silly.
- Extreme faithfulness to comics - This feature is a smart and tight combination of the Year One and Year Two storylines. There's nothing here to piss-off fanboys: no stiff rubber suit, no leather jackets, no skinny guy as the hero, no caricatural or Power-Rangish villain - the Joker is actually quite creepy - no turn-back-in-time ending.
- Spot-on characterization - Like a lot of two-hour movies don't get to, this hour-and-a-half piece gets to cover in a fitting way all the basic issues of the character: why he can't get over the death of his parents and try for a happier existence, why he uses a dark symbol to fight crime, why he works outside the law, why he isn't a murderer, whether he's as crazy as his enemies or not. His skills are all featured as well: the womanizing playboy facade, the detective, the scientist, the martial artist, the acrobat, the badass. It finds na ideal way to tell his story, connecting past and present. You get to see a lot of Bats at the prime as you also get to follow his first steps.
- Great romance story - I never thought a romance story with Bats would work - at least if it didn't involve Catwoman. But this one is incredibly fitting with Bruce's character arc. Andrea, at first, seems to represent the lighter side of what he could have had - a happier, more normal life.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Love this movie, so much epicness from start to finish...and god does the score for it work, just listen to the music when some of the most key things about this movie happen and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by T.a.B.
Was so happy to find this incredible animated "movie" again released on DVD that was originally released on VHS tape in 1993. I watched it many times with our son. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Don and Tracey
Mark Hamill plays the best Joker from my point of view! I would suggest this for anyone who likes batman! Good price, good packaging and delivered on time.Published 16 months ago by drew allum
Quite easily one of my favourite Batman movies. If you enjoy the animated series then this is a no brainer. Read morePublished 21 months ago by T. Wittrup
A mysterious costumed phantasm haunts Gotham City, knocking off mob bosses thus drawing the Batman out from the shadows to stop him. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2013 by A.P. Fuchs, author of The Axiom-man Saga
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2012 by KOMIKMAN
Many people have seen Batman: the animated series. Well, this movie lives up to that shows potential! Read morePublished on June 10 2004 by Jet Black
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. Read morePublished on May 26 2004 by Willie Montgomery
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