THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
By now, you may have heard of this little independent film that came out this year called “The Dark Knight Rises.” Not sure if you did as it barely made any money, and no one seemed to talk about it. Well, that micro-budgeted project is now out on DVD and Blu-ray, wrapping up the entire Nolanverse Batman saga.
In this film, Bruce Wayne has gone into seclusion for eight years after the death of Rachel Dawes. Batman has also not-so-coincidentally left Gotham. However, due to the Dent Act, the authorities have new powers to capture and detain criminals, making Gotham safer than ever. However, a mysterious mercenary named Bane has started a plan in motion t take Gotham hostage and bring down the Batman once and for all.
As a straight-up Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” is pretty good. Better than at least half – if not all – of the previous Batman series. It’s a tough follow-up to “The Dark Knight,” of course, but that movie was very hard to beat. Consequently, “The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t the best Nolan Batman movie, but it’s still worth checking out.
It has some pacing problems, though like most film, these don’t seem so problematic on home video. Even for the almost three-hour running time, the film is relatively well paced, and it moves strongly enough that the gaping plot holes are less noticeable and not as problematic. Like its predecessor, “The Dark Knight Rises” has real power behind it. It also has grand scope, which was best viewed in the IMAX theater, but the presentation is still quite impressive on the Blu-ray. The largest screen you’ll likely watch this film on again is in your living room, so if you have a large enough television and decent sound, you’ll still enjoy it.
The Blu-ray is a great package, consisting of the HD disc as well as the standard-definition DVD with UltraViolet streaming capabilities. The disc is also available in a set with the other two movies, which is quite reasonably priced, depending on your retail shop.
The special features on the Blu-ray are given their own disc, featuring an hour long look at “The Batmobile,” which examines Batman’s mode of transportation over the years. Like most of Christopher Nolan’s films, this doesn’t include a commentary, but it breaks down the film under the featurette label “Ending the Knight.”
This includes multiple documentaries about the Production (including “The Prologue: High-Altitude Hijacking,” “Return to the Batcave,” “Beneath Gotham,” “The Bat,” “Batman vs. Bane,” “Armory Accepted,” “Gameday Destruction,” “Demolishing a City Street,” “The Pit,” “The Chant,” “The War on Wall Street” and “Race to the Reactor”), Characters (“The Journey of Bruce Wayne,” “Gotham’s Reckoning” and “A Girl’s Gotta Eat”) and Reflections (“Shadows & Light in Large Format” and “The End of a Legend”).
Along with a trailer gallery and a print campaign art gallery, there’s at least as much content in the special features as their is in the feature itself.