on 16 February 2010
This is the complete audio and subtitles list:
- Batman Begins (Blu-Ray)
Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1; Castilian Spanish 5.1; French 5.1; German 5.1; Italian 5.1
Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and Portuguese (Portugal)
- The Dark Knight (Blu-Ray)
Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1; Castilian Spanish 5.1; French 5.1; German 5.1; Italian 5.1; Brazilian Portuguese 5.1 / English 2.0 (Audio Descriptive)
Subtitles: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Castilian Spanish, Complex Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Portuguese (Portugal)
on 10 December 2009
As a pathetically devoted Batman fan, I am already predisposed to like these films (Heck, I even have time for Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin). However, I believe Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are more than just superb examples of the superhero sub genre, they are great films full stop!
By avoiding the narrative and stylistic trappings and cliches of superhero stories Christopher Nolan has created some beautifully shot, crafted acted films that are outstanding in their own right and will stand up in future amongst the greater works of early twenty first century Hollywood cinema.
Both these films look fabulous in HD. I owned both on DVD and saw them many, many times but was most pleasantly surprised when I felt that watching them on Blu Ray made me feel like I was practically watching a whole new film. (There aren't many double dips that I can say that for!).
Batman Begins' rich, sepia toned palette is beautifully rendered on blu ray and the world of Nolan's Gotham seems that much more vivid and atmpsheric. Sure, I miss the whimsy of Tim Burton's more gothic and expressionistic world but the more naturalistic look that Noaln was going for is really done justice. Every piece of litter, dirt and grime is evident under the dirty yellow streetlights of the Gotham night and we feally get a sense of being in a crime riddled slum on the border of economic collapse (especially in the narrows sequences).
The Dark Knight's colder, harsher world of washed blues and greys creates a look that perfectly suits the crime drama aesthetic of the film and the painstaking attention to detail is all the more evident on Blu Ray (particularly in the wonderful IMAX sequences which change the aspect ratio on screen but the film's pace is so compelling you'll hardly notice).
Extras are decent enough but their lack of real substance is the reason I have rated this package as four stars and not five.
Batman Begins comes with a handful of behind the scenes featurettes that detail the making of the film from concept through casting to production design and stunts. While these are satisfactory, at least initally, they lack the substance of the extras found in the original 1989-1997 Batman anthology and there is a sense that the extras are only scratching the surface of the film's laborious and intricate production. I would have hoped for some Blu Ray exclusive extras but the extras as they are serve well enough even if they don't hold up to more than one or two viewings.
The Dark Knight's DVD release really disappointed me with its lack of substantial bonus content so I was delighted to find not only some BD exclusive extras, but some REALLY GOOD BD exclusive extras. The passable making of docs are still there. However, there is disappointingly little on the production design of either the Joker or Two Face, particularly just how they managed to show Harvey's dreadful scarring, I guess it proves that Nolan has the clout not to let us peek behind the curtain on the stuff he'd rather remain a mystery and I have to admire him for that! There are some exclusive docs on the real life origins of Batman's hight tech arsenal and a compelling exploration of the psychology of Batman / Bruce Wayne and his nutball rogues gallery.
In conclusion, these discs are formidable separately, but together they present a bargain that no Bat-fan should ignore!
on 12 March 2010
I've never been a fan of comic books or particularly enamoured of comic book movies - I can take or leave Superman in his various guises (usually leave) and have not even bothered with Spiderman, X-Men, et al. I probably would have felt the same about Batman too, but when researching for new TV and Blu-ray home cinema system these two movies were almost universally cited as being both great films and real showcases for any HD system. So with the blessing of my wife (like me not really a comic book fan but an absolute devotee of Gary Oldman) I took the plunge and invested in this double pack and haven't regretted it since. Unlike the majority of people my personal favourite is Batman Begins, but both films offer a truly astounding audio-visual experience and the night-time sequences, particularly the Hong Kong one in Dark Knight, are both mind and eye-bogglingly impressive.
I found Christian Bale to be a most convincing Batman who portrayed the human side of the character particularly well. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman both gave excellent cameo performances. Heath Ledger deserved all the plaudits for his manic and chaotic portrayal of The Joker in Dark Knight, although I did feel that the film dragged on just a little too long and lacked the mystical feel of Batman Begins, which is probably why I prefer that to Dark Knight.
The extras are not really my bag, and I certainly wouldn't buy a film on the basis of what extras were available; and I can't pass comment on these as I haven't watched any of them as yet. But if you want to watch two superbly enjoyable films of fantastic cinematic quality then these are undoubtedly for you.
on 6 June 2010
Two absolutely brilliant movies in one pack isn't that unique.Chris Nolan reboots the franchise with his own inimatable style.
Bale is probably the best screen Batman so far playing the two sided character with a great deal of empathy.Caine as always is excellent as butler Alfred.This pack also offers excellent extras.A big plus in my opinion is the price If your just starting your blu-ray collection your getting 2 movies made for blu-ray at a great price. I started my collection with The Dark Knight
last year paying 40 euro and Batman Begins for 25 euro now Amazon are selling both for a third of that price great movies
great picture and sound quality and a great price Let the show begin....
on 2 January 2009
This is a very strong double pack. Christopher Nolan has done a stellar job with the reboot of this franchise.
Batman, over the years has taken a fair old flogging as a franchise. I used to love the cheesy TV show when I was a kid and was completely thrilled with Tim Burton's two Batman films which are still up there in my reckoning, the first one being particularly outstanding. Then we had the shocking efforts of Joel Schumacher on Batman & Robin and Batman Forever which upped the 'camp' to ridiculous levels . Schumacher is either on it with the likes of 'Falling Down' and 'The Lost Boys' or way off the mark. Anyway Back to Batman!
Now comes Christopher Nolan with these masterful re-imaginings. At first I was not overley impressed with Batman Begins. It didn't grab me in the least and yet almost against my will I bought the dvd version on a whim. I watched it again and was blown away. What Nolan has done with this franchise is make it so much more believable. I've rarely seen a character depicted with such drive in a film as Bruce Wayne. However, the story is told so well you absolutely know where all this energy is coming from as it pushes Bruce Wayne to become Batman and attempt to somehow redress the balance in Gotham City.
Using his trademark flashbacks Nolan superbly fills in all the backstory to the young Bruce Wayne as he is being trained by 'Ducard' (Liam Neeson) under the pretense of working for Ra'a al Ghul and shows the viewers how a pre-batman Wayne received most of his training. I love this element of the film. After being asked to execute a man and refusing, Bruce has to escape his master and the league of shadows to stay true to what he believes in and save his own life.
The disc in this pack is pretty good. Not up to the standard of the Dark Knight but it's a definite big step up from DVD. The general consensus is that this disc is a straight copy of the HD-DVD version and as such uses less bandwidth (Average around 20mbps) for the video than regular high-end Bluray releases. It's consistently around 8-12mbps a second lower than the Dark Knight's data rate which average around the high 20's to low 30's and peaks right up into the high 40's when things get busy - numbers HD-DVD could only dream about (thank god the better format won this time). Anyway, it's not a bad transfer just not as good as it could be. No doubt a remastered Bluray specific edit will show up and I'll definitely buy it. This will certainly suffice in the meantime.
Both discs have lossless Dolby TruHD soundtracks so that's good.
The Dark knight moves the story on superbly from the first film. I've posted a separate review of that film so check it out. Suffice to say I think the Dark Knight is the best superhero film I've seen by a long way (Spiderman can't compete, X-men can't compete, the Superman re-boot can't compete). It simply trounces everything with excellent pacing, Heath Ledger of course, great gadgets, story development, believability and great twists.
This is a great pack containing two of the best superhero films and is highly recommended.
on 12 December 2008
Just to inform, those Blu Rays has too the audio track in CASTILIAN SPANISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUES, FRENCH, ITALIAN and GERMAN. And you can see too all the extras with subtitles in those languages.
Both films have extraodinary and fantastic extras, and specially the movie The Dark Knight is one of the best of the last decade.
on 15 December 2008
I loved Batman Begins, even though I am not a big fan of the older Batman movies. So, I was looking forward to the Dark Knight, though I felt it couldn't be better than the previous movie (Batman Begins).
I wouldn't compare them and say which is better or worse, but I will say that they are two impressive movies.
The Dark Knight doesn't have the mystical touch that Batman Begins has, and it seems to be just an action comic-book movie in the beginning. However, it proves to be much more than just that as all the pieces fall into place.
There is a consequent theme throughout, which might not be obvious right away.
It was a strange experience, well worth the invested time.
The cast is outstanding, and Christian Bale is incredible, as usual.
Heath Ledger gave his performance of a lifetime... truly.
Michael Caine is magical, even though he is much less prominent in the Dark Knight than he was in Batman Begins. His role in Batman Begins was superb.
All in all, this is a great package, worth 5 stars, full of extras that I haven't watched yet, but am leaving as a separate pleasure for another evening.
on 26 May 2014
Enough has of course been said on Christopher Nolan's achievements; in re-inventing this franchise and the comic book movie genre altogether! I had been a Batman 'fan' since I saw the Tim Burton & Joel Schumacher films when I was a child and Nolan's re-invention of the franchise proved why there are so many fans of this character still as teenagers and adults alike. Nolan showcases all the more adult problems and social questions that the Batman and other characters go through in this heightened reality; his suffering / pyschological trauma, isolation, difficult decisions he has to make, sacrifices and gritty reality of war and violent conflicts he undertakes. Influenced by the more intelligent, darker Batman comics (such as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's The Killing Joke), Nolan gives us the more intelligent, serious and convincingly realistic superhero movie, which the Tim Burton films admirally paved the way for (especially stylistically), but fell short narratively.
While as Batman Begins gives a great example of storytelling and character development, which we had never seen as fully before with the Batman character; The Dark Knight begins to ask more questions on the need of such a 'vigilante', as well as hinting at social issues in todays world and responsibilties of the media and government, which the Joker character pokes fun at whilst hinting at serious social attitudes, threat of terrorism & perceptions of the public to government. Heath Ledger's performance is legendary and deservedly so; it's no surprise that posters of the joker were on nearly every teenagers / students walls, as ledger's performance personifies (to immoral extremes) the anti-establishment rebel, highly self-confident, extrovert, free speaker and political / social activist that so many students / young people feel like being, to have their say, that sense of freedom and that the world is their oyster - we just forget for a moment that the character up on the wall goes to the extremes of also being a criminally insane, terrorist, homocidal psychopath, with a complete lack of order, morality, empathy or conscience for other human beings or the world around him (the antithesis of Batman).
It is a great achievement in itself that Nolan created a superhero trilogy that was varied somewhat stylistically for each film, yet continued a masterful housestyle throughout and overall narratively and production-wise had so little flaws to mention. In Blu-ray the films unsurprisingly look and sound stunning and there are of course many interesting special features available for each film (although not as much as you might expect for The Dark Knight in comparison to Batman Begins). Overall I would highly recommend making the jump to Blu-ray with these films (if you somehow haven't already), as it's definitely well worth it!
on 5 January 2012
The Blu Ray transfer is amazing for these two films. I had both on DVD with an upscaling Blu Ray player but they hardly did the films justice. Picture is crystal clear and crisp, the level of detail you can see on the Batsuit and Tumbler is outstanding. Sound quality is excellent, you can hear everything from button presses to debris hitting the ground.
5/5 for both picture and sound.
Only 1 downside, and this is a personal preference, I enjoy blu rays that have good menus, not just pop up menus which both these films have.
on 5 March 2010
this was a very good purchase. I bought it for my younger teen brother even though i love batman but he has not stopped watching it since i bought it. If you didn't see the dark knight in the cinema then you should buy this because it has so much bonus features and if you didn't see batman begins you should buy this also because it starts the story off. You can find out how batman became batman and all that stuff.
Great purchase, well worth the money.