BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (Thursday) – “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!” Yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con, WB Archivists gave us our first look at the newly re-mastered Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and–bah gawd!!–it looks beautiful. The animayed film has been painstakingly re-done, with everything from the art to the sound to the music all just stunning. Thankfully for Batnerds in attendance, the panel itself was just as awesome. Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm and the man himself, Kevin Conroy, all discussed everything that went into: not only the movie, but getting the show made; what it’s like working with dirty animation cels; and just how wild Mark Hamill becomes when he transforms into the Joker in the sound booth. The panel was an absolute joy and I’m glad that Dana and I were in attendance since there won’t be any extras on the Blu Ray when it is released next Tuesday. Yes, you heard me right; all the money that went into this project was all used up on the creation on new technology to clean up the movie. While that aspect is slightly disappointing, the movie alone is worth the price. 3.75/5 Bibles (score lowered for lack of Blu Ray extras).
Damn. A near 24-years later, and Mask of the Phantasm is still considered one of, if not the, finest theatrical representation of the caped crusader. It’s easily my favorite. Piled in Room 6A with the “Cardinal” Robert, we were treated to a highly enjoyable — and ultra candid — panel. They certainly weren’t shy about the film’s lackluster theatre run, saying it was most likely due to Warner Bros’ lack of advertising and the fact that most theaters stopped showing it before noon. Another high note was the panel discussing the (sadly) absent Hamill, and how he came to take the Joker mantle (of which Tim Curry was originally cast….terrifying) and his process of evoking that character in the booth. GHG was also treated to 8-minutes of the Blu Ray version, which looks fantastic. Don’t expect many/any special features because according to the panel; “every dollar” went into the master. But hey, thats good enough for me. 4/5 Bibles.
Batman: Mask of The Phantasm drops on Blu-Ray July 25th.