The Dark Knight on Blu-ray

Can you believe that it’s been four years since The Dark Knight was in theatres? It’s true. It was released in 2008. And it’s been four years since I’ve seen The Dark Knight.  But now seems like a good time to refresh myself, so I can really whet my appetite for The Dark Knight Rises.  And whet my appetite it did.

I have a bad habit of diminishing Christopher Nolan films in my mind the more time that passes since I’ve seen them.  This definitely happened with Inception. And it happened with The Dark Knight.  Although in my defense, due to circumstances that were beyond my control, I had to sit through the two and half hour movie three times within a week’s time.  You can understand how that may have been a little too much Batman.  But rewatching the Blu-ray, I was fully reminded of how, even at its enormous run time, the editing is tight, and effective, the storytelling is always at center stage, and that Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Gary Oldman are freaking awesome.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen this film as well, I’d like to remind you of how amazing Heath Ledger is in his penultimate role.  That joker is batshit crazy, and terribly fun to watch.  Remember his magic trick of making that pencil disappear?  I knew it was coming, I’d seen it three times before, and it still frightened and disturbed me.  Everything about his performance disturbed me, and I clearly remembered why he deserved the Oscar that year.

Christian Bale, who’s vulnerability and strength made his character in the first Batman film have a certain alluring depth, was given less to do in the second installment.  But still, he’s an amazing actor, that does the most with the script that he can.  It’s important not to forget that stellar supporting cast, including Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, and last but not least, Aaron Eckhart.

The script, which Christopher wrote with brother Jonathan, runs just a bit too long for my taste.  I could have done without the last act wherein the Joker rigs two ferries with explosives–one filled with prisoners, and one with civilians–and designates each responsible for blowing up the other before a midnight deadline.  It made sense why it was included, and because the film is so good, I can tolerate it.

Nolan’s films tend to be visually spectacular and the Blu-ray format makes The Dark Knight crisp and engaging.  It deserves to be watched this way.  The Blu-ray includes the following bonus features:

- Movie with Focus Points (picture in picture)
- Explore your favorite movies through BD-Live™, an interactive gateway to exclusive content
- 2.40:1 aspect ratio, with IMAX sequences in 1.78:1
- Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene: Director Christopher Nolan and creative collaborators unmask the incredible detail and planning behind the film, including stunt staging, filming in IMAX®, and the new Bat-suit and Bat-pod
- Explore your favorite movies through BD-Live™, an interactive gateway to exclusive content
- Batman Tech: The incredible gadgets and tools (in high-def)
- Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight: Delve into the psyche of Bruce Wayne and the world of Batman through real-world psychotherapy (in high-def)
- Gotham Tonight: 6 episodes of Gotham Cable’s premier news program

Warner Brothers provided BFR with a Blu-ray for this review

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