HTS Moderator , Reviewer
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9940[/img]Title: The Dark Knight Rises
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Josheph Gordon-Levitt
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan, Jonathon Nolan
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 165 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: December 4th, 2012
HTS Overall Score:88.5
This has most definitely been the summer of the superhero. First we had “The Avengers”, then “The Amazing Spiderman” and finally we have one of the most anticipated superhero movies of the 2012 summer, “The Dark Knight Rises”, the long awaited conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s very unique take on what was once thought a dying hero. Batman has had a lot of different takes done on him over the years; we originally were introduced to Batman on the silver screen as the goofy superhero with a penchant for having a utility belt for EVERY situation on him with Adam West. Then we had the much darker take with Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns”. Joel Schumacher took Batman back to his cheesy roots in “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin”. Finally we have a completely new rebooted Batman, one who is filled with much more angst and rooted in a film noir base. Batman Begins was an incredible movie, a complete facelift on a dying franchise, dark and serious, but still with that same action filled fun that made Batman such a wildly popular superhero. I’m going to say something controversial here, but “The Dark Knight” was not that good of a Batman movie. It was a fun movie, and I enjoyed it a lot, but as a Batman movie it fell short for me. It seemed more of a crime drama that had some masked vigilante named Batman in it rather than an ACTUAL batman movie, some of the lighthearted fun was gone, replaced with brooding angst and a vicious revenge story. Now we have the conclusion, “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Batman has been gone from Gotham city for eight years. The Harvey Dent act has been used to clean up the streets and keep those villains locked away for good without the help of the caped crusader. Bruce Wayne (Bale) has become a recluse, locking himself away in Wayne manor with a wounded knee, never to be seen from again. All of this changes when a cat burglar (hehe) named Selena Kyle (Hathaway) breaks in and steals a precious necklace from him. Tracking her down is easy enough for Bruce but he comes across a new threat to Gotham city, a foe who can match him blow for blow in both wits and brawn. A man raised in darkness and trained by the same organization that gave batman his start….Bane. Bane is intent on doing what Raz a Ghul started a decade ago and bring Gotham to its knees. Bruce Wayne, with the help of some extremely hi tech toys and his faithful man servant Alfred (Michael Caine) must rise once again and don the outfit that has caused him so much pain once more.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9945[/img]“The Dark Knight Rises” is a very conflicting movie for me. I LOVED “Batman Begins” with a passion, it was funny, dark and full of incredible action from start to finish. It captured the heart of Batman and brought him in to a modern age without some of the baggage of the previous incarnations. “The Dark Knight Rises” is more like “The Dark Knight” in the sense that it felt like a long drawn out crime drama that just so happened to star a masked super rich vigilante. Much of that “fun” was gone from the movie and replaced with a dark and troubled story. I honestly would not have been surprised to see Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci in the movie somewhere if you catch my drift. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the movie a lot, some great fight scenes and the camerawork is done so well it just boggles the mind. It’s one of those situations where on one hand the Comic book nerd in me wants the lighthearted fun that made Batman such a household name and the other side of me which recognizes that Christopher Nolan, while not keeping the tone, has done an excellent job at weaving a very cohesive and tight story over the course of three full films.
As for the story itself, this outing is the weakest of the trilogy, but not by a whole lot. My main gripes had to do with the seemingly random inclusion of Blake (JGL) into the story and several of the fairly ridiculous plot holes (Batman breaks his back and can somehow heal without a traditional doctor in 3 months’ time?). However the characterization and the sheer DEPTH of his characters is a tribute to Christopher Nolan. Even Selena Kyle, who I thought couldn’t’ even come close to the job that Michelle Pfieffer did, is exquisite. Sleek, slinky, yet not meowing and carrying a whip, Annie brought the core of the character to light without actually calling herself cat woman or saying “meow” once. Gary Oldman slips into the quiet and subdued role of Commissioner Gordon with nary a hint of his wild over the top acting that made Gary famous.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn't dislike the movie one bit, I had a blast watching these movies from beginning to end, the flaws that I have pointed out aren't to say that I didn't enjoy the movie but rather point out the issues that I think pulled the movie down from Incredible, to just plain good, overall, a well done movie that’s a little bit toooooo drawn out for its own good, but still an epic conclusion for a well done trilogy nonetheless. For those of you who loved “The Dark Knight”, you’re going to love this one every bit as much, the gang is back in town and the villains don’t stand a chance. I for one will be sad to see the trilogy end and we can only hope that Batman can come back in another reboot (as Warner is working on right now)so we can see our favorite superhero once more.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9942[/img]Warner’s “The Dark Knight” was an interesting grab bag of problems and positives back in the day. Riddled with DNR and edge enhancement during the film scenes and brilliant during the IMAX scenes it was a transfer of much controversy. Luckily for us they decided to up the ante this time and give us a much better transfer. Except for one major flaw “The Dark Knight Rises” is a near perfect transfer. Colors pop off the screen, Blues and dark greys permeate the color palette but all the colors represented are crisp and rich as can be. There are no major compression artifacts to be seen and thankfully no traces of the abhorrent edge enhancement or DNR as well. “The Dark Knight” was famous for blending certain IMAX scenes into the 2.35:1 film transfer causing the movie to switch aspect ratios at times. Nolan decided this time to give us even more IMAX scenes, a whopping 72 minutes worth to be exact. So this time instead of switching every once in a while between aspect ratios we switch every few minutes. Most of the action scenes were IMAX so we are given a splendid visual treat with such copious use of the brilliant IMAX cameras. The regular film scenes aren’t as brilliant as the IMAX scenes due to the nature of two different cameras’ being used but still amazingly detailed in its own right. Detail in the IMAX scenes are so incredibly razor sharp that it almost looks TOO real at times. Now for the flaw that brings this video score down from a 5 star rating. The movie is a dark movie to begin with but Warner has decided to crush the blacks seriously for most of the film. The IMAX cameras seem to resolve blacks a good bit better than the 2.35:1 film, but still, blacks are crushed and shadow detail is robbed incredibly during extremely dark scenes. Overall an amazing transfer with one serious flaw to keep it from perfection
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9943[/img]“The Dark Knight Rises” takes the cake for a fantastic audio track. Aggressive, yet accurate it takes us by the tail and whips us around for an epic ride. Dialogue is crisp and clean, locked into the center channel, only marred by Bane’s overly muffled voice sometimes making it hard to hear him. The dynamic range is through the roof, in one scene we can hear Batman rasping to Selena Kyle in a whispered voice only to wake my wife out of a dead sleep fearing the house was falling down the next as he escapes in the bat wing. Channel separation is flawless and engrossing; surrounds are used impeccably and serve to draw the viewer into the whirlwind. Bullets whizzing from every direction, fists sucker punching you out of the dark, all sound as if they were in the room with you instead of just in front. Now my favorite part of the movie, the LFE; without a doubt “The Dark Knight Rises” is one of the more LFE films in my collection. When the batwing revs up for the very first t time my walls were shaking so badly that my wife came out wondering what in blazes was going on (and she’s been privy to my system for long enough to not usually be startled like that). Deep and throaty it permeates the track whether it be the thunderous sound of the bat wing or the low rumble of tires rolling across a street LFE stays strong and aggressive throughout the film. Lastly, I have to say that Hans Zimmer did an absolutely fantastic job at creating a score that could pull the viewer around emotionally with such ease. The score can excite you one moment and then have you fearful for the safety of Bruce/Batman all in twist of the conductor’s wand. Fantastic from beginning to end this is a track that holds up with biggest and baddest of them all.
• Second Screen Experience
• The Batmobile
Nolan’s trilogy was a complete 180 from the downward spiral that Joel Schumacher started years ago and probably the one thing that kept Batman from retiring his cape forever, and for that all of us Batman fans can be eternally grateful. “The Dark Knight Rises” is a movie that needs to be seen more than once to appreciate all the little nuances and nods to the previous two movies. In all reality I think all 3 movies should be watched one right after the other as one cohesive story to truly appreciate all of the work that Nolan did. I for one had a blast watching this in the theater and an even better time watching it in my home theater when I could watch all three movies back to back. A truly well done conclusion to a well done series; while the series (and the blu-ray) may not be 100% perfect, I must say, Christopher Nolan, I tip my hat to you.
Buy The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It!