DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2012)

Plenty of action and interesting plot in this third entry in Nolan's Batman trilogy.

Published on December 19, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises, Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy (2012)

Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Warner Home Video [12/4/12]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced, or 1.78:1 for 16:9; 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1; French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1; English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Extras: Second Screen Experience; “Production” featurette consisting of twelve mini-featurettes; “Characters” featurette consisting of three mini-featurettes; “Reflections” featurette; “The Batmobile” feaurette; Four theatrical trailers; Print campaign and art gallery, D-BOX, BD Live
Length: 165 minutes
Ratings: Movie: ****       Video: ****1/2
Audio: *****       D-BOX Motion: ****½

The Dark Knight Rises is the third film in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  Crime in Gotham City is way down and it has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale) has made an appearance.  A powerful new villain, Bane (Tom Hardy) is about to change everything though.  Bane steals a nuclear reactor, designed as a clean energy source by Wayne Industries, and then converts it into a bomb.  Bane threatens to destroy Gotham and all of its citizens.  Batman comes out of retirement to try and stop Bain but he’ll need the assistance of old friends and a couple new ones, including a cat burglar named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and an upstart police officer named Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) if there is any chance in thwarting the diabolical plan.  “The Dark Knight Rises” is a fitting conclusion to this extremely successful trilogy.  There is plenty of action, cool vehicles, and even a clever twist at the end.  The entire cast is great and Tom Hardy really steals the show as the madman Bane.  Highly recommended!

The overall high definition video quality of this Blu-ray disc is excellent.  Images are pristine with razor sharp detail.  Black levels are deep and dark throughout the film, but sometimes a little too much so as crush is occasionally visible.  Colors are rich and warm with fully-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is well-done with no glaring flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is also excellent with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  It actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its dynamic mix.  Dialogue is crisp and remains intelligible amidst all of the on-screen action.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for the sound effects and Hans Zimmer music score, plus include multiple split rear effects and side-to-side pans.  The low frequency effects channel is explosive and actively engaged throughout the movie.

The Dark Knight Rises is compatible with the D-BOX Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie-viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  They are active throughout the entire movie.  Up-and-down and side-to-side movements, plus significant vibration, are used to simulate flight, vehicle chases, several types of gunfire, hand-to-hand combat and large explosions.  My favorite D-BOX highlights of the movie were: (1) the opening sequence when Bane escapes from a plane in-flight; (2) the sequence where Batman and Bane battle each other in Bane’s underground lair (the thump and impact of each of their body blows was intense); and (3) the sequence where the explosives are set off under the city collapsing bridges, buildings and the football field.  Overall, this is a superb D-BOX title.

—Calvin Harding Jr.




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