Dark Knight, The

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Intense sequences of violence and some menace
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Three-Disc Set: BD-50, BD-25 & DVD-5
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Not Indicated
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Christopher Nolan
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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The Dark Knight joins Batman (Bale), Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman), and new District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart), who have been successfully rounding up the criminals that plague Gotham City, until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as The Joker (the late Heath Ledger) appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman's struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to confront everything he believes. (Stacey Pendry)

Disc One special features include the option to play the movie with 21 Focus Points (HD 1:04:10) and BD-Live™ functions. Disc Two special features include a behind-the-scenes picture-in-picture feature in Gotham Uncovered: Creation Of A Scene, two featurettes: Batman Tech (HD 45:59) and Batman Unmasked: The Psychology Of The Dark Knight (HD 46:02), six spoof newscasts in Gotham Tonight (HD 46:41), four stills galleries, three theatrical trailers, and six TV spots (HD 8:48). Disc Three contains a digital copy of the film.

Picture quality is superb on this 1080p VC-1 transfer. The opening and closing scenes are framed in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, as are 20-some sequences referenced in the credits as IMAX® sequences. The majority of the picture is framed at 2.40:1. This is distracting, as one must adjust for variable frame composition during viewing. Otherwise, the presentation is pristine with excellent color fidelity, deep pure blacks, and exemplary shadow detail. Colors are fully saturated. The picture is amazingly noise free and artifact free, though the slightest edge enhancement can be detected. The combination of high contrast and deep blacks creates a wonderful sense of three-dimensionality throughout. Along with the high resolution, the picture is reference quality. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is reference quality and projects holosonic® envelopment that fully engages one in the experience. The directional surrounds are often extremely aggressive, and at times the sound level achieves maximum SPL level with system-threatening bass below 25 Hz. Surround envelopment can also be subtle, yet sustain finely resolved ambiance. Dialogue articulation is excellent and well integrated spatially with the visual settings. The rich symphonic orchestral music score is also well recorded, with excellent spatial soundstage spread and depth and exciting dynamics. Sound effects are nicely integrated and at times explosive, while Foley effects are always perfectly integrated. This is a superb soundtrack that is reference quality. (Gary Reber)