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Monday, August 4, 2014

Candid Ode to November 11, 2014 'Batman' CS DVD and BD Releases

Batman: The Complete Television Series (DVD)
The good and not-so-good timing of the November 11, 2014 DVD and Blu-ray releases of the complete series of the 120-episode '60s "Batman" series warrants this "breaking news" departure from reviews of recent home video releases. (Of course, the fact that this Warner Home Video (a.k.a. Warner Prime) announced the releases a couple of weeks ago makes this post as much a "breaking news" story as most developments that news outlets identify as such.)

The first thing that makes the Comic-Con announced releases so awesome is that they come years after fans have abandoned all hope of this highly desired series ever being released. The second thing that distinguishes these sets are that Prime clearly devotes the same care and love to them that is typical of a Warner Archive release. Third, series star (and Batman god) Adam West is actively involved in the project. He is Batman!!

On a larger level, "Batman" is a textbook example of an "unreal" series that drives the zero-revenue review site on which you are reading these thoughts. The timeless and highly creative series is visually stunning, has wonderful humor, and portrays good wholesome values in the most amusing manner possible.

The following uber-uber-awesome video, courtesy of YouTube, of highlights from "Batman" perfectly conveys the sense described above. The first clip of an opening credit provides a teaser that the intro. with which children of the '70s grew up may not be the original.

Additionally, "Batman" provides children of the '70s the same nostalgia behind paying roughly $60/season for DVD releases of "The Monkees" several years ago. Both series were part of the after-school line-up on WLVI Channel 56 in Boston that top-40 DJ Dale Dorman hosted.

The above-described elements that go into the show itself make "Batman" a series that a child and those raising said moppet can watch and thoroughly enjoy together. There is no doubt that missed humor from the '70s will be hilarious in November.

The next bit of candor regarding the "Batman" releases is that searching something not quite approaching a soul is associated with both deciding whether to purchase a set and which one to select. The sad truth is that your (occasionally humble) reviewer is like most us in not being better off than he was four years ago and must give any purchase over $50 fairly considerable thought.

A well-respected and equally well-liked contact at Archive reports that "Batman" looks spectacular in Blu-ray despite the episodes not being filmed in high-def. Further, spending the $40 premium for this set, over the DVD set, gets you a hot wheels car, 44 vintage trading cards, and an Adam West scrapbook. Both sets have a plethora of extras that include a special features on collectibles from the series and several "behind-the-scenes" productions that center around West. 

Current personal status is having a low-price guarantee pre-order with a Seattle-based web retailer, which shall remain shameless, for the DVD set. The primary factor regarding to committing to spend $150 for a DVD set, which is down to $135 and may go lower, during a period of a reversal of fortune is that it truly seems to be an exceptional release.

A sense that the lower video and audio quality of  the DVD set is acceptable and that the collectibles are not personally worth $40 are behind the format choice.

At the same time, the price of the BD set is being monitored; the price falling to within $10 of the DVD set will warrant a swap.

The argument regarding saving money by DVRing reruns that are airing on television is easily dismissed by stating that those episodes are edited and lack the same quality as the DVDs and by sharing that hundreds of DVRed shows have been lost over the years as those devices have bombed out. On a side note, online reviewers refer to the original versions of the episodes having "villain bumps," which the DVD versions hopefully will restore.

Streaming possibly presents the same content and audio and visual problems as broadcast shows. Further, it is highly likely that any streaming service will either eventually lose the license to make "Batman" available or will drop it in favor of featuring another series.

It is also very nice both to be able to easily access a "Batman" episode on DVD (or BD.) Further, this is one set that us Gen Xers will want to pass onto the next generation of batophiles.

Lacking the benefit of being able to input all this data in the ginormous batcomputer requires relying on the logic described above. It is hoped that sharing it will help other batophiles both decide  to get a set and to determine whether to splurge on the BDset.

Anyone with any questions or comments regarding the "Batman" release is strongly encouraged to email me. You are also welcome to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.