The Dark Knight Rises brings to an end Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman. Where most fans generally agree The Dark Knight is the definitive Batman film, Rises certainly questioned fans morale. Many debate if Nolan’s trilogy ended with a bang rather than a whimper. And it’s true, The Dark Knight Rises is a flawed film, but most of it’s issues happen within the first hour, and the film really picks up when Batman himself makes his first appearance.
Rises biggest problem is that it tries to cram too much into a two and a half hour film, particularly the aforementioned first hour. It seems odd a film this length wouldn’t have enough time to present every idea it wants, but we’re also talking about a film that never allows its big moments to breathe. Things move along so quick that when one set piece is ready to be enjoyed, another hits its climax right behind it. Nolan’s typically thrived on this, so it’s something of a let down he can’t let us savor some of the best moments in the picture.
Yet that’s OK, because Nolan’s finale is still fun to watch, even as it throws logic right out the window. True, it’s a little jarring because the tone of these films was to be realistic, but this is Nolan and company having fun. His interpretation of Batman may not fit in line with how most fans see the character, but that’s fine. At the end of the day, Christopher Nolan was the right man to give Batman the shot in the arm he needed. In this humble watcher’s opinion, Nolan ends with a bang, and doesn’t overstay his welcome. We should be thankful Batman finally has a fine cinematic trilogy to call his own.
The Dark Knight Rises comes in a sublime 2.40:1 presentation, that switches to a pseudo-IMAX format of 1.78:1 for the IMAX sequences. While it can be a little jarring at first, the switch flows fine, and doesn’t take away from the spectacular job Warner Bros. has done. In fact, the IMAX sequences look just as breathtaking as they did in the format. It begs the question why studios don’t pimp this format more than 3D, but I digress. This should be the reference disc in your collection to show off a brand new television.
Much like it’s video counterpart, the audio presentation for The Dark Knight Rises will be your go-to disc to show off that brand new sound system. While Bane sounds more audible here than in theaters, that may have more to do with some post-post-production tinkering than the stellar mix. Nolan has always used sound to his advantage, and everything comes in crisp and clear. No sound feels cluttered. Again, reference quality presentation here. The film is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix.
First up is The Dark Knight Rises FX HD App which is available on either iTunes or Google Play Store and allows you to turn your device into a second screen while the movie plays. The second screen provides various behind-the-scenes and extras while the movie plays on. I still prefer Warners Maximum Movie Mode that was present on Watchmen, but I can see how this alternative could please the casual viewer.
“Ending The Knight” is up next and is a 70-minute documentary that focuses on all aspects of the production and is broken into the following segments: The Prologue: High Altitude Hijacking, Beneath Gotham, Return to the Batcave, Batman vs Bane, The Bat, Armory Accepted, Gameday Destruction, Demolishing a City Street, The Pit, The Chant, The War on Wall Street and Race to the Reactor. Also included are profiles for Batman, Bane, and Selina Kyle/Catwoman. “Shadows & Light On A Large Screen” focuses on shooting the film in IMAX, while “The End of a Legend” focuses on the trilogy itself and has many cast and crew discuss it.
Next is “The Batmobile”, which talks about the famous vehicle and its many incarnations. Nolan, along with Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and various artists and writers chime in on their thoughts of the classic car. It runs and hour, and while not specifically talking about the film, is a fun piece.
The set is rounded out with trailers, photo galleries of different posters and art, and a DVD. Also included is an UltraViolet digital copy to watch the film on the go.
While I found the majority of the extras informative, I was still left wanting more out of this set. You get your money’s worth here, but with the announcement that there’s a “Ultimate Trilogy” set planned, there could be more extensive extras on the way.
The Dark Knight Rises may not have been the slam-bang finale we wanted, but of the three films in this trilogy, it might be the most fun. Christopher Nolan has given us a wonderful trilogy that can stand toe-to-toe with Godfather and Star Wars (this installment may be the Return of the Jedi when it’s all said and done.) Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has crafted a disc that’s well worthy of showing off your new sound system and television, as the video and audio presentation is sublime. The bonus features may not blow you away, but they’re enough to get the job done. If you can’t wait for the Ultimate Trilogy set coming next year, then you can’t go wrong with completing your Dark Knight Trilogy with this disc.