"Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" Blu-ray Release Talkback (Spoilers)

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James Harvey

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The classic animated feature Batman: Mask of the Phantasm finally arrives in High Definition!


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Studio: Warner Archive
Release Date: Blu-ray, Digital HD - July 25, 2017

Description: Based on the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series and released theatrically Christmas 1993, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has not only been ranked by Time magazine as one of the 10 best superhero movies ever, but is also argued amongst fans as being the best Batman movie ever as well.

When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with some link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his own name?

Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in this dazzling animated feature. Discover revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker and Batman’s most grueling battle ever — the choice between his love for a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is “a mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving.” (Cincinnati Enquirer).

The cult classic film features an all-star and is directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series). The Blu-ray features a new 2017 1080p HD remaster and is presented in both the original theatrical 16x9 aspect ratio (1:78:1) and open matte 4x3 (1:37:1) aspect ratio.

Bonus Feature:
-Theatrical Trailer (HD remaster)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has arrived on Blu-ray! Discuss this long-awaited, exciting release right here in this thread! Check the links below for related discussion!

Discuss this Blu-ray release!

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GWOtaku

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Well, it waits for me now, the most overdue WBA release of all-time. Thinking I'll do a blow-by-blow for this one.
 

Classic Speedy

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Didn't find it at either Target or Best Buy in-store. Guess I'll have to order it...
 

BigFatHairyDeal

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I've watched this movie so many times. I am a big fan, though I think not quite enough to buy again unless there are some really nice extras on the disc. So, here's hoping that there are more reasons to buy.

Still, I'm happy to see it get released.
 

defunctzombie

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Best Buy delivered mine yesterday, but I didn't get to watch it until today. I picked the fullscreen 4:3 version, and it looks great. The colors are much sharper, and the Joker is actually white instead of reddish.

Didn't find it at either Target or Best Buy in-store. Guess I'll have to order it...
Warner Archive releases never go to brick and mortar stores, they're strictly online only because they're technically "manufacture on demand" (though I hear smaller places like Bullmoose and occasionally B&N will stock them). Amazon, BBY, and Deep Discount affiliates have them, though.

It puzzles me why they chose to release it through Warner Archive, though. This has to be one of WB's most demanded animated titles, and is clearly going to sell out more than their usual Archive runs (Archive titles are usually things like Key Largo, Gypsy, or Hudsucker Proxy).
 
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GWOtaku

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Shot screengrabs to show the difference in widescreen vs. 4:3 aspect ratio. FWIW, I'd say there's a fairly substantial amount of extra picture without the cropping in the latter.

& oh, those are big...gonna spoiler tag em


 
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BigFatHairyDeal

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Shot screengrabs to show the difference in widescreen vs. 4:3: aspect ratio. FWIW, I'd say there's a fairly substantial amount of extra picture without the cropping in the latter.

& oh, those are big...gonna spoiler tag em
DFnqVerV0AAcdwR.jpg


DFnqWsyUAAArLjv.jpg
You know, comparing both screen shots, they're both kind of disappointing. Either way, I feel like neither shows the whole picture. Either you get cropping on the top and bottom, or on the side margins. In this particular screen shot, the 4:3 looks better than the wide screen, but on other shots I might not like the horizontal tightness. :\
 

defunctzombie

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I felt watching the fullscreen version that the camera was pretty tight on shots of say Bruce before telling whatsizname to stick it, or the Joker and his "don't touch me!" rant, and couldn't imagine how they would crop them for widescreen. It has to be zoomed in more than they're letting on.

It's a tough call which is better. I've seen people argue over framing for Disney movies (never get into a fight over Fox and the Hound, whatever opinion you hold will be the wrong one), so I say leave it up to whatever looks best on the monitor or TV you're using.
 
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-batmat-

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You know, comparing both screen shots, they're both kind of disappointing. Either way, I feel like neither shows the whole picture. Either you get cropping on the top and bottom, or on the side margins. In this particular screen shot, the 4:3 looks better than the wide screen, but on other shots I might not like the horizontal tightness. :\
I agree. Saw some screenshots on other websites and thought the same thing. Why can't they just give us the full picture version? EDIT: Don't mean that as a complaint, but as a serious question!
 

Otaku-sempai

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I agree. Saw some screenshots on other websites and thought the same thing. Why can't they just give us the full picture version? EDIT: Don't mean that as a complaint, but as a serious question!
I'm sure that someone will correct me if I am mistaken, but it largely a lot to do with the movie being mostly shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio, requiring the big-screen version to be cut at the top and bottom to achieve the widescreen effect. In addition, Mask of the Phantasm did not utilize anamorphic widescreen which has become a much more common practice today.
 

defunctzombie

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I saw on another site that analyzed the picture, with all the animation between the WS and FS versions, the true aspect ratio of the film comes out to about 1.47. I guess WB just chopped it down to an even 4:3 and 16:9 since the majority of people out there don't understand any ratio past those and cinemascope (2.35).
 

-batmat-

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I saw on another site that analyzed the picture, with all the animation between the WS and FS versions, the true aspect ratio of the film comes out to about 1.47. I guess WB just chopped it down to an even 4:3 and 16:9 since the majority of people out there don't understand any ratio past those and cinemascope (2.35).
It makes no sense releasing a 4:3 picture in a blu ray when you can have it in 1.47 aspect ratio. It means less black bars. I just don't get it
 

Otaku-sempai

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It makes no sense releasing a 4:3 picture in a blu ray when you can have it in 1.47 aspect ratio. It means less black bars. I just don't get it
Because of the way that the animation was shot for B:MotP we actually get a more complete picture at 4:3 than in widescreen.
 

-batmat-

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Because of the way that the animation was shot for B:MotP we actually get a more complete picture at 4:3 than in widescreen.
But it's still not the FULL picture since on the widescreen versions the top and bottom get cropped, but it has actually more picture on the sides. That's what I mean. Either version has the full picture. I'd go for 4:3 over 16:9 though!
 

Otaku-sempai

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But it's still not the FULL picture since on the widescreen versions the top and bottom get cropped, but it has actually more picture on the sides. That's what I mean. Either version has the full picture. I'd go for 4:3 over 16:9 though!
Those sides are still visible (or mostly so) at 4:3, but the image is a bit smaller. 4:3 is as close to a full (as in complete) picture as you are going to get (with the exception of the widescreen opening credits) outside of seeing the film at the aspect ratio in which it was actually shot. Naturally, this is still going to result in black bars on the sides of a widescreen monitor, but that is unavoidable short of re-shooting the animation. The widescreen version looks as if it is more complete, but is missing imagery/animation on the top and bottom of the picture.
 
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-batmat-

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Naturally, this is still going to result in black bars on the sides of a widescreen monitor, but that is unavoidable short of re-shooting the animation. The widescreen version looks as if it is more complete, but is missing imagery/animation on the top and bottom of the picture.
You're not understanding what I'm trying to say. Compare the 16:9 version to the 4:3 version. The 16:9 is cropped top and bottom but it actually has a little bit more picture on the sides, I mean ACTUAL movie material. 4:3 is closest to getting the full picture but it is cropped a bit on the sides to make it 4:3 proportion, but there's actually a bit more picture material on the sides, which can be found on the 16:9 version.

So, the movie is actually a bit wider than a 4:3 aspect ratio. So my question is, why didn't we get the most of the movie image we can get? It would be better than 4:3 since it means less black bars on a widescreen TV.
 

Otaku-sempai

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You're not understanding what I'm trying to say. Compare the 16:9 version to the 4:3 version. The 16:9 is cropped top and bottom but it actually has a little bit more picture on the sides, I mean ACTUAL movie material. 4:3 is closest to getting the full picture but it is cropped a bit on the sides to make it 4:3 proportion, but there's actually a bit more picture material on the sides, which can be found on the 16:9 version.

So, the movie is actually a bit wider than a 4:3 aspect ratio. So my question is, why didn't we get the most of the movie image we can get? It would be better than 4:3 since it means less black bars on a widescreen TV.
I understand what you are saying, but I think we have a basic disagreement as to what constitutes a complete picture. As far as I can see, we lose more "ACTUAL movie material" (as you state) from the cropping of the 4:3 image to make it a widescreen picture than we do by keeping the 4:3 version which comes closer to how the animation was actually shot. I think that shooting slightly larger than 4:3 (at 1.47:1) is--or used to be--a standard practice; releasing a film or video at that aspect ratio is not.
 
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defunctzombie

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I think it boils down to the fact that WB was trying to present a picture without -any- black bars on people's televisions, hence the 4:3 version for the TVs of the era the picture was released and the 16:9 version for today, and they were just too lazy or whatever to reframe it a third time for presenting the entire animated picture.

It's also possible that they animated for overscan, which we don't have to worry about anymore. Don't you love tube TVs? :p
 

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