Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holy Extras, Batman! The Batman '66 Blu Ray and DVD Release

Karen: We seem to be the right audience for the Batman '66 blu ray and DVD sets which have just been released (Bleeding Cool has a run-down on the different versions available here), yet I find myself not too interested in buying any of these. Don't get me wrong, the transfers look brilliant and the extras are great, but if I am honest with myself, I can't see sitting down and watching all of these.

What about the rest of you? Are you planning to get the blu ray or DVD versions? I'd like to hear your reasons for either buying or not buying.


MattComix said...

When it comes to Batman let's say you have DKR and All-Star or Joker cutting his face off representing one extreme end of the spectrum and the 60's tv show representing the opposite. I generally just prefer to be somewhere more in the middle with Bronze Age Batman and Batman The Animated Series.

Maybe there was a point where you couldn't bring up the subject of Batman without a non comics reading person going "nanananana", but fandom and the industry have for years been trying more than a little too hard I think to get out from under this shows popularity. Which I think has been a contributing factor to the excess of grimdark the genre is currently choking on now.

david_b said...

I pre-ordered mine at Amazon months ago, it came in this last Monday. While most folks are going for the blu-ray, I settled (settled...??) on the standard DVD set. I'll miss some of the fine extras, but I can always pick up a like-new blu-ray when I get my new place.

I preferred the standard package now, just so I can take 'em on the road and play on laptops.. I know you can download the app to play it from the cloud, but didn't want to go through all that. I don't need to necessarily view Ms. Newmar and Ms. Craig with the highest resolution ~ I've had 40some years to use some imagination, still works fine today.

And seriously.., my childhood was spent trying to tune in the show from a distant affiliate with bunny-ear antennas and snowy b&w screens, watching the standard disks now on a 50" plasma with surroundsound v7.1 will be awe-inspiring enough, trust me.

david_b said...

MattComix, great last sentence.

While I cannot necessarily recommend the comparatively disappointing final season with Batgirl (althought Yvonne does do a great job with what she's given..), the first year's energy still has 'the best octane for the buck..'.

William said...

Still debating on whether or not to pick up this nostalgic slice of my childhood. I LOVED the show back in the day, but I actually find it a little hard to watch nowadays. The camp factor goes just a little too far afield sometimes. But the fight scenes were always pretty cool. So, it's a bit of a toss up.

I'll probably end up caving eventually. After all, I bought the recent '66 Batmobile and the Batman and Robin action figures that go with it. So what the heck?

Anonymous said...

I watched the show like everybody else but in the '70s I'd never read (or even seen) any DC comics and I genuinely thought that Batman was supposed to be a joke or spoof of Marvel characters - it seemed so silly when Marvel had the death of Gwen Stacy etc. I love the theme tune though :)

david_b said...

My boxset is still wrapped ~ I'm planning on putting a bow on it and slipping it under my Christmas tree, along side other new geek products being released shortly for the holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Still debating: my adult-self knows I have no time to re-watch an entire series, but my inner-child is screaming that this show was such a staple of my childhood... how could I not? Sigh; can't I all just get along...? :-)

As for the show itself, I find it very interesting how my opinions have changed over the years. As stated above, in my childhood, this was *the* show to watch. In college, I joined my fellows in decrying it as camp nonsense that continues to "taint" the image of comics. Nowadays, I'll watch an episode and find some very sly humor hidden away under the camp - I find myself laughing at stuff I never noticed as a kid!

Humanbelly said...

DaveB, I have to say that your unabashedly in-for-a-penny/in-for-a-pound zeal is most refreshing. A guy's gonna love what a guy's gonna love, and a word can ne'er be said 'gainst it. Good job.

Myself, I'm afraid I'm solidly in the "enh" camp for this one. (Oh lord, which means it will almost certainly show up, unbidden & unasked for, under the Christmas tree as a big, heartfelt, surprise gift. . . bless the beloved HBSpouse's cute little heart. . . ) I LOVED the show when I was a kid. . . but I was, like, 5 to 7 years old at the time. And even at the latter end of that I was finding it rather repetitive and hokey and obvious and, I don't know-- insincere? I'd seen just enough regular Batman comics at the barber shop to know that THAT was the MUCH cooler version of the character, and gleaned that the television version was making fun of what I, even then, LIKED about comics.

I've definitely had trouble sitting through any episodes when I've come across them as an adult. And it's usually the campy comparative brilliance of the guest-star villains (some of whom must have wanted to kill their agents) that puts it across. As great as he was, it must have driven brilliant little Buzz Meredith crazy that this is what he would be most recognized for- even though his Penguin was a definitive performance. Same w/ Cesar Romero-- whose Joker comes immediately to mind when I think of the character in any format.

No, for me, it will likely remain best as a "small doses" happy memory of early childhood. (Hmm-- sort of the opposite of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, it seems. . . ).


Doug said...

Anonymous shares my feelings on this, almost to a T.

Last week I actually watched an infomercial for one of these DVD sets. That particular sales pitch was for a set of "64 or your favorite episodes", so was only about half of the entire 3-year run. It had most of the extras that Karen has pictured, but the price tag was $120! No way, particularly when a seller in the Amazon marketplace is offering the entire run of shows on DVD for $89.

Anyway, during the infomercial they showed a split screen that had the original version on the left and the the restored version on the right. I was watching on a very large HD tv, so the right side looked great. But I was skeptical if it was really that much better. A few days later I had the opportunity to watch an episode on IFC and WHOA! They're right! The restored version is going to be all of those wonderful colors, just popping off the screen. I was almost sold right then. By the way, the episode I watched had Maurice Evans as the Puzzler -- yep, ol' Dr. Zaius himself! You could tell by his eye movements.


Anonymous said...

I have to second Doug's IFC comment. When I'm in the mood for Batman, I catch a couple of episodes on IFC. Then I change the channel.

The set really holds no interest for me. I remember when I purchased the first season of Remington Steele and I've just been so disappointed rewatching those episodes. I remember liking this show when it came out, but not now. I know it would be the same with Batman. I like the show, but I'm not IN like with the show.

And did I read that comment correctly? William bought the '66 Batmobile!?! That's the coolest thing ever.........

I think I'm secretly holding out for the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl/Isis box set.

The Prowler (nanananananananana).

Edo Bosnar said...

All of these are priced way out of what I'd be willing to pay for it. I liked the show as a kid, and still like it well enough now, but as others have noted, it's not something you can binge watch, because you can OD on the camp, and its formulaic nature also becomes tiresome. It's something I prefer to watch in small doses occasionally, and there are other ways to get that fix.

I am, however, mildly intrigued by that comic shop special, with the Batman TV stories HC - I'm wondering if those are stories from the recent Batman '66 series or new ones specifically based on episodes of the series. Either way, it's a great way to package this.

david_b said...

Per Doug's comment, I also have the entire TV Land-shown episodes on 6-7 DVDs. Will probably just give to a niece or nephew this Christmas, since resale of such is illegal.

That being said, my pre-order of this set was solely based on cashing in credit card points for Amazon gift cards, which ended up being about $200 in total. So I decided to buy the cheaper standard set, then save the rest of my gift cards for other Christmas gifts.

Moebius Models has that nice pre-finished '2001 Moon Bus' for just over $50 which may garner the reminder of my unused Amazon cards. :)

dbutler16 said...

I can still have fun watching this show, but I can't see myself buying the blu ray and DVD sets, though I do wholeheartedly support Dave B's enthusiasm. Me, I'd go for Thundarr the Barbarian or Star Trek the Animated Series with my limited funds.
However, I did catch an episode on the tell last week, and I thought to myself "hey, Cesar Romero was a really good Joker".

Comicsfan said...

I've been devouring the Blu-rays like Galactus at a planetary buffet. Eartha Kitt--purrrrfect.

Humanbelly said...

Honestly, of them all, I think Eartha Kitt absolutely nailed it. Love the other two ladies a lot-- but Ms. Kitt brought an innate, almost too-much-for-television sexiness to the role that seemed much more in line w/ the comic book version of the character.

Oh golly, was she ever cute in that mask. . . !


Robert L. said...

This was my favorite show growing up as a child. I dressed as Batman for Halloween when I was three and Robin the next year. My Grandmother, who was an artist with a sewing machine, made me a full Robin costume just by looking at a panel in a comic book. Without any patterns whatsoever she made everything but Robin's green shoes with the costume. I wish I still had a picture.

But I digress, the show was a milestone for me. It introduced me to the world of super heroes and both my mother and grandmother would watch it with me each and every week.

I'm going to have to wait for that $30 price tag for each season to go down. I can't shell out $ 100 for DVD's never mind the Blu-Rays. It's good to see that they did get a video release. The rights have been held up for decades because actors wanted residuals and who can blame them? It was a wildly popular show and brought Batman into the public conscience.

Because of this show Adam West and Burt Ward are internationally known icons appearing at comic conventions for over twenty years.

I can't understand why the creators behind the movies didn't want any of them to at least have a cameo role. If it wasn't for this TV show, Batman would never have become part of the pop culture.

It's good to know he still is around with his voice as Mayor West in the animated show, "Family Guy".

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