Friday, December 31, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Playing Cards from US Playing Card Company

A quick one before 2022 starts. Here's a look at the playing cards they made for the Batman Forever movie featuring some great artwork from the Style Guide.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Miscellaneous Content: Legends of Robin audiobook

The last few Christmases I've uploaded Batman audiobooks. I've done Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. So I'm out of movie based audiobooks. 

I hope this one will be of interest (and won't get taken down). It's an audiobook called Legends of Robin from 1996 that loosely adapts various comic books arcs to show how Tim Drake took over from Jason Todd. 

It's got a couple of interesting voiceover actors. John Shea (who played Lex Luthor in the TV show Lois and Clark) narrates the story and Mark Hamill (who voiced the Joker in the Batman Animated series) does the voice of the Joker.

Give it a listen and have a Merry Christmas. See you in the new year.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - 3 Tier Batcave playset from Kenner

I had more or less resigned myself to never owning this massive Batcave playset. It rarely ever pops up on eBay and when it does it goes for astronomical prices. I lucked out last year when a seller contacted me and asked if I wanted to buy his one for £50. It was an absolute no brainer to say "yes".

It is a great playset and I am glad it's now in my collection. The main selling point is it's size. The thing is HUGE but fortunately it is let down by it's rickety and wobbly nature. I can't help but love the sturdier, smaller, more packed Wayne Manor Compound a little bit more.

If you can find one it's worth getting. If nothing else it gives you somewhere to hang your Batwing.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Wayne Manor Batcave Compound from Kenner

I make a pretty bold claim in this week's review but I'm going to stick by it. This IS one of the best playsets of all time. 

It's technically a repaint of the Wayne Manor Compound from Kenner's Batman Returns toy line but it works much better for Batman Forever. You can recreate the section of the film where Two Face and Riddler break into Wayne Manor and blow up the batcave. 

Okay so it doesn't totally look like the exterior/interior of Wayne Manor as it appeared in Batman Forever and they've just recoloured Axis Chemicals green to represent Claw Island but it's still a really fun set offering a lot of variety. I don't blame Kenner for bringing this out 5-6 times.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Battle at the Big Top board game from Parker Bros

I'm not a massive board game fan but I couldn't pass on picking up this board game based on Batman Forever. It’s fun but flawed game. The Hippodrome circus is well represented and I like that they made it 3D. Knocking down the Two-Face figures is also a fun diversion from just rolling a dice. And bonus points for allowing you to play as Alfred and Chase.

I've got to knock it down a few points for not being especially accurate to the film though. I think having the board game be based on Nygma's base on Claw Island would make way more sense. And some of the cardboard figures are a little cheap looking and poorly made.

Unless you're a board game fan I don't think this is a particularly essential purchase.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Trading Cards from Dynamic Marketing

I've already reviewed the Fleer trading cards that were released in the US but I've recently picked up the Dynamic Marketing series that was released in Australia. It’s the usual set of stills from the film that runs through the gist of the story and posed shots of the actors.

But what's really awesome is that it contains some of the deleted scenes (that are possibly in the fabled Schumacher Cut). Also it's got some awesome concept art of the Bat gadgets and locations. 

Ironically, for an Australian card set there's not many of Nicole Kidman (Boooo!). But anyway, here's me laboriously going through them all. 

I'll get the really interesting ones scanned for the website in the near future.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Batmobile vehicle by Kenner

Okay this week we're looking at the Kenner's Batmobile for Batman Forever - an essential purchase if ever there was. 

It's nice, chunky and attempts light up inner part that was featured in the film. I wish it was a little brighter and bluer but I'm glad Kenner tried. Weirdly they didn't do the same thing for Batman & Robin's Batmobile. I could nitpick the wobbly fins too but I'm not going to. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

External link: Toy Armada with Aaron Archer

This week I thought it would be a good idea to highlight this great podcast called The Toy Armada. The show is hosted by "Protoman" and features Aaron Archer as its co-host.

Aaron was a toy designer at Kenner and Hasbro for many years starting in 1995 and has some great insights and behind the scenes stories. This episode he covers his work on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Give it a listen and subscribe for more episodes.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Batwing, Batboat, Batmobile models from Revell

This week we're looking at the three models made by Revell for the Batman Forever vehicles. I picked these up a few years ago and for some crazy reason I threw out the boxes. Even worse I didn't pack them up properly when moving so they do have a little bit of damage. 

These are worth owning if you are a fan of these vehicles and good at building/painting models (note: it's not my forte). I've seen people on YouTube customise them with lights and even installing a gas burner for an exhaust if you're feeling brave.

Monday, September 20, 2021

External link: Batman Forever trailer in 4K

Mindd Kidzag (who earlier in the year supplied the awesome scanned shooting script and schedule) has done it again! He's purchased a copy of the Batman Forever trailer and got Denis-Carl Robidoux to scan it at 4K resolution. 

Both the DVD and Blu-ray of course had the trailer on them but only in standard definition. It's wonderful to see the trailer in such clarity. Two bits that particularly stick out are the shot of Batman saying "Going down" and the shot of Val Kilmer standing up to the giant bat - both of which were deleted from the film.

Check it out below on the largest screen you can!

Friday, September 17, 2021

News: Chase Meridian to be featured in Detective Comics

Not often I get to jump on some Batman Forever news but I stumbled on the Twitter post this morning that seems to suggest that the character of Dr Chase Meridian is coming to Detective Comics in issue 1047 that goes on sale on 4th January 2022.

This will coincide with the start of 'Shadows of the Bat' - a 12 week event series that follows on from 'Fear State' which saw Batman quit Gotham! I'll be totally honest I'm way behind on reading Batman comics. I'm still trying to get through Tom King's run.

I'll try and catch up and cover the issue(s) nearer the time.

In the meantime, here is Simone Di Meo's original tweet.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Figure mugs (and more)

This week we're looking at the last few Batman Forever mugs and glasses that I own. Not quite sure how I ended up with so many of these but they're kinda fun. Just the same old problems with them being Applause, the paint application is a little sloppy. As I say in the video I'm 99% sure they didn't make a Riddler mug in this style but if anyone knows better let me know. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Magazine Article: Sci Fi Universe July 1995

The second issue of Sci Fi Universe that covered Batman Forever is a lovely in-depth series of articles about various aspects of the film. One of the interesting things to note in this article is that there's an honesty to how rushed the production was. I know I already knew the budget but it bears repeating - this movie was made for $70 million!

There's also some interesting little bits of info like Joel talking about how they wrestled with coming up with the movie's title.

And Pat Hingle also gives lots of interesting insights. He even gives a gist of what the Marlon Wayans version of Robin was meant to be in Batman Returns (he must have had a great memory to remember that considering none of it was shot or in the final script).

Friday, August 27, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Batwing vehicle from Kenner

This week we're looking at the Batwing from Kenner. One of four vehicles made for the film (not including the Triple Action Vehicle that I still have yet to get my hands on).

It nicely mirrors the movie in that the wings can be removed and it turn into a Batsub. Further still the cockpit can be removed and is it's own mini vehicle. 

Another stellar effort from Kenner who were notorious at finding extra fun features in vehicles.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Magazine Article: Sci Fi Universe June 1995

One of two issues of Sci Fi Universe that covered Batman Forever. This one is just really a primer with Joel Schumacher explaining the film and how it differs from the Tim Burton ones. I do love that he says Bob Kane approved of everything except Dick's earring and the nipples on the suit.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Hydro Claw Robin figure from Kenner

I've reviewed a lot of Batman Forever over the last few years but Hydro Claw Robin holds a particulaly special place in my heart. This was the first Batman Forever figure I ever bought back in 1995 having just watched the film. I loved the figure then and I still love it now. 

The suit is really nicely detailed and I love the addition of the gold bandolier. It strays quite far from the movie suit but feels like it would fit really nicely with the Batman Sonar suit. 

The reversal of the green and black elements (gloves and boots) also works really well too and helps give the suit a darker look. If only it came with a cape this would be a great figure (and in fairness it's no trouble to nick a cape from another figure). 

This was a definite shelf warmer back in the day but it's still worth picking up (even today). EBay is awash with them so there's excuse not to get one too. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

External link: Batman Forever Alleyway location video

I love videos on YouTube where people locate and revisit movie locations. It's so interesting to see how different places look without all the lighting, props, set dressing and actors. With Batman Forever there's only so many real locations to revisit because so much of the movie was shot on soundstages.  

Here's a very cool video from a YouTuber called Pat the Batman Fan who managed to track down the exact alleyway used in the sequences where Two Face and his goons chase Batman into a dead end. It's a fantastic, funny, fact filled video, check it out.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Crimefighter Watch from Amitron

Quick one this week, looking at another of the watches that were made to tie in with Batman Forever. 

This is the one I wear on a daily basis. It's reasonably grown up looking from a distance. 

So far only my wife has ever spotted it has Batman on it. Everyone else either hasn't noticed or are too polite to question why a 37 year old man is wearing a Batman watch.

Friday, July 23, 2021

External link: I Read Movies Podcast covers Batman Forever by Peter David

One of the best podcasts that I've been listening to recently is I Read Movies in which host Paxton Holley breaks down all the changes from a movie compared to its novelisation. 

Novelisations are fascinating at times because 1) often authors are given licence to include their own material and 2) because they have to start writing so far in advance they will usually adapt the original script which can often differ from what gets shot.

Most recently Pax covered the Batman Forever novelisation by Peter David. If you've never read the book (which can be found as an ebook here) this is a nice way of finding out what's different.

Here's the link to the podcast. Be sure to check out his other episodes too, he's also covered Batman and Batman Returns by Craig Shaw Gardner.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Custom Fibreglass Batman Head

Another eBay find that's going to become a long term project. Managed to pick up this fibreglass head of Val Kilmer in the Sonar Suit cowl recently. It's a little rough and needs patching up but I think it has the potential to become the jewel in the crown of my collection... if I can get it painted right. Will update you on my progress. As always any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 9, 2021

External link: Batman Forever ebook at Retro Reading Time

I'm a big fan of the Peter David novelisation of Batman Forever. If you haven't read it you'll be pleased to know that some enterprising person has painstakingly converted it into an ebook that you can read on any tablet or computer.

Here's the link to the page

There’s also conversions of Batman (1989) and Batman Returns as well as a host of other movie, tv and video game novelisations. I've recently become a bit obsessed about reading novelisations and this website is worth it's weight in gold.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Batman Forever Merchandise Review - Batarang 1:1 Scale Model from Phoenix Models

Managed to snag a very interesting (and likely very unofficial) prop on eBay a few months back. Made by a company called Phoenix Models it's a resin Batarang based on the one used at the end of the film - the one that Batman uses to destroy Nygma's Brain Sucking machine. Can't wait to get this painted and put together - I'll give another update when it's finished. The question is can I put a hinge in it so it slides together like it does in the film? Any advice in the comments below would be welcome.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Magazine Article: Automobilia no 52 Batman Forever Batboat

This week we're looking at the Batboat magazine that came with the Eaglemoss Batboat model. To see my video review of the model, click here.

This is a neat little magazine. The cutaway of the boat in particular is really fun to see.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Riddle Me This - A brief follow up about the Schumacher Cut

Today is June 16th (the twenty sixth anniversary of the Batman Forever's release). 

There’s a big push to get the hashtag #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut trending on twitter to see if Warner Brothers will consider releasing an extended cut of Batman Forever. Following on from last week's video about the contents of the "Schumacher Cut" here's a few corrections and clarifications.  

If you want to see the stuff I talk about in these videos, go to twitter and let @ATT @hbomax @jasonkilar know that you want them to #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut

Friday, June 11, 2021

Riddle Me This - What is the Schumacher Cut (and what does it contain)?

 Okay here's something I've been working on for a while. Back in March 2021 a twitter user @MinddKidzag released three awesome scanned pieces of paper work from Batman Forever. 

1) First up, a copy of the shooting script (previously there was only the Batchler's original Batman 3 script and one of Akiva Goldsman's drafts). This scan appears to be what they actually shot and contains scenes and lines not featured in the film. Some of this tallies with the deleted scenes on the DVD and Blu-rays but some does not.

2) A comprehensive film schedule detailing the order that everything was filmed. Again there are a couple of bits not featured in any script (featuring Nygma purchasing and developing Claw Island).

3) A list of scenes to complete (ie. small insert shots needed after principal photography was completed). Some of these were done and some seemingly were abandoned (like the helicopter ride to Wayne Enterprises).

There’s a big push to get the hashtag #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut trending on twitter on 16th June (the twenty sixth anniversary of the film's release). As such I thought it would be a good idea to go through the script and pull out the missing stuff because I believe it ultimately tells us what the Schumacher Cut includes.

So if you want to see the stuff I talk about in the video, go online on 16th June and let @ATT @hbomax @jasonkilar know that you want them to #ReleaseTheSchumacherCut

And please follow @CutSchumacher on Twitter.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Batman Forever Style Guide - Part 4

Here's the last part of posts showing the best bits of the Batman Forever Style Guide.

To see the full guide click here.

This part is particularly interesting because the last few images are something called "Forever Kids" which was an attempt to make illustrations suitable for under 5s. It looks a lot like the Animated Series.

There's also a bunch of product concept ideas which were never made like Batman rollerskates, umbrellas, waistcoats and more.