When Christopher Nolan took on the task of bringing Batman back to the masses, it’s hard to believe that the desire for comic-book heroes and villains wasn’t exactly a high priority, which now seems unusual in the current climate of long-term plans for summer blockbusters.
This new release of The Dark Knight trilogy on 4K Ultra HD includes each film on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and a digital download of all three. In truth, I think it’s a perfect time to re-visit such an impressive part of our modern movie history. Nolan has always foreseen, and exclaimed, of his desire for a wide-range of audiences to see his films, and for audiences to not be underestimated in what they enjoy. The quality of image here shines through in 4K with every Scarecrow fear toxin moment, each Joker lip lick and every ounce of Bane’s punch and Selina Kyle’s kicks. It’s an impressive setup and that’s before we even start delving into the extensive extras, of which I’ll come back to later.
Taking a quick look back, Batman Begins appeared, more or less, quietly and I’ve got wonderful memories of the unknown and Nolan’s movie did not disappoint. Up to that point, Nolan had a good record of gritty, intelligent movies like Following, Insomnia and Memento and so was given creative control when it came to a new Bruce Wayne origin story that could begin again. Happily, the shackles of mess that were Batman and Robin and Batman Forever *shudders* had quickly been forgotten.
Batman Begins not only brought back the Bat and help gain unexpected critical acclaim for the DC hero, it also offered up to audiences something that was equally grounded and, yet, it was still a movie you could escape in with genuinely scary villains, alongside am expansive story-line. Plus, when Gary Oldman‘s Gordon lays down the Joker card at the end of the film, it sent shivers down the spine with expectation.
The Dark Knight came next and while I was already eagerly excited due to BB, it arrived to the world as a new way to dive into the world of Batman with huge, huge expectation and, best of all, it surpassed it. Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced Katie Holmes as love interest, and utterly self-sufficient, Rachel. Aaron Eckhart gave a-near career-best performance as Harvey Dent/Two-Face and then there was Heath Ledger as the Joker: One of the finest character inventions ever seen on screen. Ledger gave an iconic performance, despite the incredibly sad news of his untimely death, as the film was released six months after his passing but his Joker remains firmly in the mind. The Dark Knight is a truly glorious experience from start to finish and the perfect example of a great superhero movie.
While The Dark Knight Rises could have taken the Batman off and away into eternal sequels, it actually became a chance for Nolan and his team to round-up his story, so others couldn’t nab it and steal the characters. One thing that’s clever is the actors who wanted to work with Nolan would only give their time, and commitment, to these specific moments in movie history. Tom Hardy‘s Bane and Anne Hathaway‘s Selina Kyle are one off a kind, and it also proved that with a strong enough character you can’t typecast anyone. Whilst a few loose ends remain in TDKR, Robin being one, it was still a complete story for their team and enough to close a tremendous trilogy, full of entertainment, intelligence and big-screen brilliance and all these things come through on 4K, with an extra dose of awesome.
In many respects, The Dark Knight trilogy has become the very high bar for what audiences expect from their comic-book-based franchises, a grounded drama with relatable characters, dark comedy, intelligent big screen adventures and expansive escapism that straddles the narratives of both the comic book and real world it represents.
This 4K UHD release of the trilogy is an impressive collection that gives you the full beauty of all three films, Batman Begins – The Dark Knight – The Dark Knight Rises, in 4H Ultra HD glory, Blu-ray, a smart selection of special features and digital download codes for all three. For a fan of the films, and if you’re looking to get it in one hit, this is one you absolutely want on your shelf.
The sheer scale of the special features here with every film are great, pictured above is the Batman Begins extras which merge into The Dark Knight but this doesn’t mean the other two aren’t also packed full of insight. I’d say there’s far too many to mention here but not a single part is left alone, everything from location shoots, designs, creations of scenes, the Gotham Tonight cable news moments – I remember TDK viral campaign for once, so these little things made the whole world even bigger – which all maybe all add up to 40-50 extra features you can delve into at your own leisure.
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Christopher Nolan’s other films re-mastered on 4K UHD are also available http://amzn.to/2matflt