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The Dark Knight (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]
The follow-up to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Heath Ledger stars as archvillain The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.
AC-3; Color; Dolby; Widescreen
||Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine|
||AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen|
||English, French, Spanish|
|Number of Discs:
||Warner Home Video|
|Blu-ray Release Date:
||December 09, 2008|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 2030 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 2030 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
363 of 422 found the following review helpful:
Great Film - Buy the Single Disc Version!Dec 09, 2008
What has been said about the Dark Knight cannot be elaborated on - so I won't. The film is muscling its way into my #1 favorite comic movie adaptation of all time.
The reason for my review is in hopes of saving you some money. This double disc Special Edition doesn't deliver the price you pay for it. There isn't even deleted scenes!!! I would save your very hard earned dollars and buy the single disc version and wait for the inevitable ULTIMATE re-release that will come later on down the road.
But nonetheless, a great film - you will not be dissapointed; I just wish the studio would have given a better Special Edition release than what we have here. So enjoy!
621 of 740 found the following review helpful:
The Dark Masterpiece Surpasses the HypeOct 11, 2008
By Justin Heath
Christopher Nolan has a vision. And whether you agree with it or not, he undeniably completes it in "The Dark Knight"--a vicious, engrossing, overwhelming, intelligent event- film that re-defines 'comic-book-flicks'. In Nolan's grim, dark-depiction of Gotham-City (the crime-ridden hell protected by legendary superhero Batman), the director strives to make everything real (something he began in the well-received "Batman Begins"). He makes it plausible, possible. And yet there's more to it: just as 'Begins' was a dissection of myth, the nature of symbols and heroes, 'Knight' is the escalation of that notion. It's a biblical- confrontation of 'good-and-evil', yet as 'good-and-evil' really exist: a conflict of ideals, something that can't be purely-defined but that is relative to a viewpoint. In Nolan's world, the line of villainy and heroism isn't crossed... it's non-existent. The bad-guys don't see themselves as bad-guys, and as such something so unnervingly-real comes across it might fly past some people's minds (no insult to anybody, it's just common that people don't look deep into 'popcorn-flicks'): the battle is a complete ambiguity.
The film runs at nearly 2.5-hours, yet never ceases to lose interest or momentum. It doesn't waste a scene or moment; every event is utilized and necessary. 'The Dark Knight' tells a story worth telling and it takes the proper amount of time to tell it. Action-sequences are frantic, old-school, eye-grabbing stunts (vastly superior to 'Begins') and in their chaotic intensity we see that they serve purpose to the story, yet more interesting are not played for pure entertainment-value: we are meant to watch, petrified, simply hoping that the outcome will go the hero's way. Attention is never lost because we are immersed in a breathtaking, almost completely-unpredictable story (it packs many a shock), that makes us think and more importantly gains our emotional-investment. We come to care for the characters, because they are believable, developed, and personified fully.
Everyone has great-chemistry together. Maggie Gyllenhal is a more mature Rachel Dawes than Katie Holmes. Morgan Freeman provides his authoritative presence to the role of bad- gadget-inventor/Wayne-Enterprise CEO Lucius Fox, and under anyone else's portrayal, the part would be less-memorable. Gary Oldman underplays his world-wearied lawman with such honest-nobility, you never feel for a second any of its forced-acting. The irreplaceable Michael Caine makes a gentle, reassuring, father-like presence as Alfred, and the movie would surely fail without his strong-presence and interjected-moments of light-humor.
And while everyone (rightfully) pours the praise unto Bale and Ledger, I think most are glancing-over Knight's breakout-performance. As Harvey Dent, Aaron Eckhart does more than hold himself in the company of such a renowned-cast. He makes his presence known, whether he's playing on the easy-going charisma of Gotham's 'White-Knight' or the broken and damaged, twisted-soul of Two-Face. He achieves a full-impact with the tragedy that comes unto his character, and so closely connects with Dent, that he makes his pain tangible for us: we sympathize even as we become terrified. He captures both facets of each personality flawlessly.
Now, some people cite that 'Knight' has a potential fatal-flaw in the supposedly wooden- acting of Christian Bale. Admittedly, his development is not as grand as in 'Begins' (yet that film gave us such a good psychoanalysis of Wayne, we hardly need more), yet what Bale pulls off is admirable. Wayne is not an eccentric personality. He is a disillusioned man who can hardly find any joy in having no family, giving up his love-interest and spending his life fighting a battle that may never end. He's dark and conflicted, and Bale plays up on that brooding-mood by making Wayne look as though a thousand dark-things were on his mind. He's not wooden...he's a humorless, quiet individual. Even when Wayne is acting as a frivolous playboy for the public, every now and then Bale offers us a powerful glance that reminds us its all a façade; that deep down, something more disturbed irks him. Occasionally he offers a broken-smile when exchanging banter with Alfred, letting us know that beyond the dour depression of the Caped-Crusader lies a damaged human-being. It is only in the guise of a growling masked-man, that he can unleash his true, ferocious personality.
Finally, who could forget Heath Ledger. Now, when he was first-announced for the part, I was (along with many other people) asking myself: "Why?". Mr. Ledger had proved with 'Brokeback Mountain' he could deliver a potent performance. But he hadn't before. It is only, after seeing this film, that I know the answer to 'why?': I see the significance of his loss.
When Heath appears in this movie, he is completely unrecognizable. His voice is distinctly-altered; a near-whiny, pedophile-like tone that sends shivers down the spine. His face is completely splattered with makeup that renders him both freakishly-nightmarish and strangely-funny. And when you see him, you don't think it's him. In this, his final performance, Ledger proved he was a chameleon. His two iconic performances in this, and 'Brokeback', could not be more different. I am convinced he could have been anything in his career. He commits so intensely to character that the line of actor/portrayal dies. His every tick and gesture only further-enhances his character. Heath never hams the role up or goes for something cheap: he delivers a fully-immersed display of psychotic madness...or do we just label him that to feel safer? The movie writes the character brilliantly; blending terrifying truth into his every social-accusation, and making us question why we laugh at his sick-jokes.
'The Dark Knight' has had an incredible-amount of hype running for it, from the get-go, mounting ever-higher, until Heath Ledger's too-soon death. And the finished-product does more than exceed all of the near-impossible expectations placed on it. It becomes something much richer than a super-hero-franchise-saga. Christopher Nolan has opened a new door in cinema: allowing action-flicks to become more serious, capable of intelligence. He has transformed this into a piece of artwork, full of beauty, terror, moral-conundrums. This movie has changed things...forever.
There's no going back. 10/10
63 of 77 found the following review helpful:
A little batpod & case infoDec 02, 2008
Ok, the movie is a 5 star, this is a little info on the case and bat pod if anyone is curious about it size. We have it at work and I have already seen it. It is actually VERY small, the case and the bat pod. The bat pod is maybe 4"-5" long, and the case is just a bit larger then the blu rays. I was expecting a bat pod the size of the one available at in the toys at most stores which is 10"-12" long.
AT $50+ dollars, I would get the Bluray 2 disc and the $20 12" bat pod, which s a much better bat pod and value in my opinion.
95 of 118 found the following review helpful:
Batman channels Plato's RepublicJul 23, 2008
First of all, this is a GREAT film, not just a great Batman film.
Others have compared Christopher Nolan's two Batman films to the Tim Burton Batman films, so I won't repeat their observations. Let me simply say that everything about this movie, from the script to the casting to the CGI to the acting and ultimately the directing is superb.
Now to Plato. The meta-message of The Dark Knight is a meditation on the nature of good and evil, the veneer of civilization, the virtues of principle and the necessity and the danger of bending principle in emergencies, the differences between evil for gain or power and evil for mere destruction and chaos, and the tension between public duty and private loyalty. Finally there is the question of the place for facts and the place for "sacred" myth.
(Caution: this review refers to specific scenes and characters.)
The mafia in Gotham is evil for gain and power. They want money and they want influence. They also want order. When the manager of the bank objects to the robbery he complains that the usual rules and courtesies among criminals are being violated. The corrupt police officers are evil for gain as well. They too need general acceptance of rules and procedures.
The Joker is evil for evil's sake. He sows chaos and disorder and wants to expose the thin veneer of civilization. He seeks only to unmask what he sees as contradiction and hypocrisy in human nature and to demonstrate that so-called good citizens are really evil underneath.
Scarecrow, who was featured in Batman Begins and has a minor role in the drug bust scene in The Dark Knight, is a deranged psychiatrist whose evil comes from desire for power over others as he uncovers the weaknesses in the minds of others.
The Mayor is out for power but does not resort to evil. Police Lieutenant James Gordon represents incorruptible good. This is ultimately stressed when Gordon must make a choice between public duty and personal relationship. Batman faces that same dilemma when he must decide whether to rescue Harvey Dent or Rachel Dawes. Likewise, the passengers in the ferries must choose between what they are told will be personal survival and the deaths of others, in another of The Joker's nefarious experiments. When the Wayne Industries accountant is about to reveal the identity of Batman, The Joker announces that the accountant must die, and citizens try to assassinate him. Personal safety trumps adherence to the good sometimes, but not all times.
Batman seems weaker than The Joker because he adheres to rules. The Biblical injunction, "Justice, justice shall you pursue," has been understood as demanding that justice be pursued justly. Evil, especially evil for its own sake, makes no such demand. We see this every time terrorists deliberately target innocents and hide themselves behind children knowing that those in pursuit will not purposely aim at innocent bystanders. This gives evil a huge temporary advantage.
Yet sometimes the good must bend and even break the rules. Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus during a critical interval during the Civil War. Batman asks Lucius Fox to preside over such a broken rule to locate and catch The Joker. When and how can we know when good can break rules to catch evil? Batman answers by creating a mechanism to restore the rules as soon as the crisis is over.
Alfred Pennyworth indirectly poses the question, "Knowing that evil, if attacked, will double its efforts and create even more destruction, is it really wise to go after evil?" The bad guys cause huge destruction after Batman and Gordon squeeze the mafia, creating enormous conflict and guilt in Batman. But without disturbing the hornet's nest, evil would prevail anyway. So the battle must be joined in any event.
Harvey Dent is extremely complex. He berates Gordon for compromising his police unit by accepting some corrupt officers to his staff. Gordon answers by claiming that sometimes those who know corruption can be the most effective in fighting it. Dent is identified as the "White Knight" whose public persona will rally the public against evil. But Dent himself participates in an untruthful diversion to help trap The Joker. Even he compromises good for the sake of fighting evil.
When Rachel and Dent are being held in danger Batman and Gordon each race to save them. Batman declares he is going to save Rachel but is tricked into going to Dent's location. Rachel dies and Dent is severely injured. In a brilliant make-up creation the right side of Dent's face remains normal and the left side is severely and dramatically changed. He has physically transformed from a White Knight into his derisive nickname, "Two Face." Reminiscent of Jekyll and Hyde, Dent's nature is now permanently divided.
The death of Rachel has destroyed Dent's belief in good and has dissolved his commitment to the public's welfare. Now he only thinks of his own personal pain and loss. But he is not a creature of pure evil. His hurt and grudge turn him into a near nihilist. The lucky coin with two heads has been transformed. One side is now ruined and becomes for him the oracle of ethics. Life and death depend solely on chance; solely on the flip of a coin.
Furious at Gordon for the actions of the corrupt police officers in Gordon's unit who betrayed Rachel, Dent finds Gordon's wife and children. Recognizing that Gordon's young son is dearest to him, Dent demands that Gordon reassure the son as Dent flips his coin to decide the boy's fate.
Batman, for whom good and evil, life and death, are not decided by chance, intervenes. In their fight Dent and Batman both plunge to the ground from a height. Batman survives and tells Gordon that the myth of Dent's goodness must become the rallying point for the city. Dent remains the White Knight, while Batman allows himself to become The Dark Knight, spurned by the public, identified wrongly but necessarily as the source of evil, who can then secretly work for the good. Only Gordon and his son know the true story behind this myth. Gotham thus gets the hero it deserves.
The Joker is captured but his fate is left hanging, literally and figuratively. We do not even know for certain whether Dent died, or unconscious, has survived his fall. All we know for sure is that the complexity of fighting evil and the compromises permitted for good are unsolved. Civilization continues but only barely. The Joker has destroyed Rachel, transformed Dent, and caused everlasting turmoil and doubt within Batman.
The need to resort to myth over facts after arguing previously for the absolute value of Truth, ends Plato's Republic, with the famous story of the myth of the cave. We too are left in the dark, in the company of The Dark Knight, at the end of this superb film.
We can only wonder what the sequel might have been, with The Joker and Two Face challenging Batman, had Heath Ledger survived.
Speaking of Heath Ledger I want to mention a few things about his performance as The Joker. There is a small pantheon of presentations of psychiatrically deranged individuals in film. Among the best are Olivia Thailand in Snake Pit, Gregory Peck in Spellbound, Jack Nickelson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Ledger's perhaps surpasses them all.
For those with a psychiatric or medical background like myself, the use of his slight head tics and the seemingly random movement of his tongue suggest that The Joker has been in a psychiatric institution and medicated with drugs that left him with a case of tardive dyskinesia, a rare but serious and irreversible movement disorder that can be a side effect of certain psychotropic medications. This touch, which I believe was meticulously and masterfully added to the portrayal by Ledger, makes The Joker both more convincing and more dangerous.
I am told that Ledger immersed himself in The Joker's state of mind before and during the filming. It is not unknown for an actor to have difficulty extricating himself from such a wrenching and demanding role. Joaquin Phoenix and Faye Dunaway have each spoken about this as they worked to emerge from Johnny Cash and Joan Crawford. If this was so for Ledger then The Joker got an undeserved bitter laugh while we have only tears.
Addendum July 23, 2008: One of The Joker's henchmen must have gotten into my spell checker to change Olivia De Havilland into Olivia Thailand. Sorry for that.
I want to expand on one point distinguishing Batman from Dent. When The Joker reveals the locations of Rachel and Dent, Gordon asks Batman which location he is going to. Batman says Rachel's but I believe he is aware of The Joker's double crosses and switches, and knowingly goes to Dent's location. That Batman expresses no surprise at finding Dent rather than Rachel confirms this view. Bruce Wayne would have rescued Rachel but Batman, a true hero, puts his public duty above his private preferences.
After Rachel is killed Dent loses his sense of public duty and loses faith in goodness. Batman, equally in love with Rachel and equally convinced she will marry him, retains his public duty and goodness, though he is burdened with grief and guilt. Perhaps a White Knight cannot endure crushing disappointment. Perhaps only a Dark Knight, who has already experienced the crushing loss of viewing the murders of his father and mother, and holding himself responsible for that tragedy, can make his way through darkness without losing his way.
A final note, in response to a commenter who took issue with my portrayal of Gordon as incorruptibly good, I agree that Gordon made pragmatic choices, and refer to them in the essay. But as a person he is beyond bribery and never loses sight of his duty to the citizenry. So how about personally incorruptible but one who made some seemingly necessary but ultimately unwise alliances.
48 of 58 found the following review helpful:
Info on the Bat PodDec 09, 2008
This is just some information regarding the Bat Pod. Please be aware, the Bat Pod and the display stand are 100% plastic. The Bat Pod is also not removable.
In my opinion, they are not worth the extra money.
Get the film, but don't splurge on this plastic toy.
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