Box set containing four films from the popular 'Batman' film series. 'Batman' (1989) was the first big screen outing for Bob Kane's caped crusader. The streets of Gotham City are no longer safe for criminals, who are being picked off by a masked vigilante in a rubber suit - dubbed 'Batman' by the press. Reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) teams with photographer Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) in an attempt to discover Batman's true identity - an investigation which leads them to the door of mysterious millioniare Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton). Meanwhile, crime boss Carl Grissom's (Jack Palance) attempt to rid himself of untrustworthy henchman Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) does not go according to plan, and after emerging physically - and mentally - disfigured from a vat of chemicals, Napier reinvents himself as the psychotic Joker. In 'Batman Returns' (1992), Oswald Cobblepot was abandoned by his parents as a baby. Thirty three years later, bent on revenge, he returns to Gotham City as the Penguin (Danny DeVito). First he begins a warped campaign to become Mayor, helped by millionaire businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken); next, he undertakes a mission to murder every first born son in Gotham - a plan which will avenge his own beginnings. Meanwhile, he has two adversaries to contend with: Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), the embittered ex-secretary of Max Shreck, and, of course, the old caped crusader himself (Keaton). In 'Batman Forever' (1995), former District Attorney Harvey Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) is terrorising Gotham City, when a new villain appears on the scene - the Riddler (Jim Carrey). Together they plot to discover Batman's (Val Kilmer) identity, using a device which can probe the human mind. Meanwhile, the caped crusader has been joined by Robin (Chris O'Donnell), whose trapeze-artist family have recently been slain by Two-Face. 'Finally, in 'Batman and Robin' (1997), Batman (George Clooney) and Robin (O'Donnell) have to stop the vengeful Mr Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from taking over Gotham City by using his new ice weapon. To make matters worse, the venomous Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) decides to join forces with Freeze, so making an almost undefeatable double-whammy of a team. Luckily for the caped crusader and his rebellious ward, they can team up with a new tough and courageous new partner - Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone).
Thanks to the ambitious vision of director Tim Burton, the blockbuster hit of 1989 delivers the goods despite an occasionally spotty script, giving the caped crusader a thorough overhaul in keeping with the crime fighter's evolution in DC Comics. Michael Keaton strikes just the right mood as the brooding "Dark Knight" of Gotham City; Kim Basinger plays Gotham's intrepid reporter Vicki Vale; and Jack Nicholson goes wild as the maniacal and scene-stealing Joker, who plots a takeover of the city with his lethal Smilex gas. Triumphant Oscar-winning production design by the late Anton Furst turns Batman into a visual feast, and Burton brilliantly establishes a darkly mythic approach to Batman's legacy. Danny Elfman's now-classic score propels the action with bold, muscular verve. --Jeff Shannon
The first Batman sequel takes a wicked turn with the villainous exploits of the freakish and mean-spirited Penguin (Danny DeVito), whose criminal collaboration with evil tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) threatens to drain Gotham City of its energy supply. As if that weren't enough, Batman (Michael Keaton) has his hands full with the vengeful Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), who turns out to be a lot more dangerous than a kitten with a whip. As with the first Batman feature, director Tim Burton brings his distinct visual style to the frantic action, but this time there's a darker malevolence lurking beneath all that extraordinary production design. --Jeff Shannon
When Tim Burton and Michael Keaton announced that they'd had enough of the Batman franchise, director Joel Schumacher stepped in (with Burton as coproducer) to make this action-packed extravaganza starring Val Kilmer as the caped crusader. Batman is up against two of Gotham City's most colorful criminals, the Riddler (a role tailor-made for funnyman Jim Carrey) and the diabolical Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), who join forces to conquer Gotham's population with a brain-draining device. Nicole Kidman plays the seductive psychologist who wants to know what makes Batman tick. Boasting a redesigned Batmobile and plenty of new Bat hardware, Batman Forever also introduces Robin the Boy Wonder (Chris O'Donnell) whose close alliance with Batman led more than a few critics to ponder the series' homoerotic subtext. No matter how you interpret it, Schumacher's take on the Batman legacy is simultaneously amusing, lavishly epic, and prone to chronic sensory overload. --Jeff Shannon
Batman and Robin
Following Val Kilmer's portrayal of the caped crusader in Batman Forever, the fourth Batman feature stars George Clooney under the pointy-eared cowl, with Chris O'Donnell returning as Robin the Boy Wonder. This time the dynamic duo is up against the nefarious Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who is bent on turning the world into an iceberg, and the slyly seductive but highly toxic Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), who wants to eliminate all animal life and turn the Earth into a gigantic greenhouse. Alicia Silverstone lends a hand as Batgirl, and Elle McPherson plays the thankless role of Batman/Bruce Wayne's fiancée. A sensory assault of dazzling colors, senseless action, and lavish sets run amok, this Batman and Robin offers an overdose of eye candy, but it is strictly for devoted Bat-o-philes. --Jeff Shannon
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.