Blu-ray Review: The Dark Knight

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The Dark Knight
Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Review By Jerry Rutledge

The Dark Knight is as much a psychological thriller as it is a comic book action movie.  It is a must have for fans of the genre.  The Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) is a cynical, sadomasochistic villain who organizes the criminals of Gotham city to kill Batman (Christian Bale).  He is opposed by the seemingly incorruptible District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), and the stalwart police lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman).  Alfred (Michael Caine) is once again the protector and spiritual advisor of Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne.  Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) reprises his role as the inventor of the great gadgets that give Batman his technological edge.  Rachael Dawes (Maggie Gylenhaal) is caug ht in a love triangle between Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent.

Director Christopher Nolan’s Joker is a complex madman whose maiming, torturing, and killing is merely a prelude to prove to Batman that the citizen’s of Gotham are not worth saving and that given the chance they will turn on themselves like animals and kill each other.  His greasy hair, moldy white makeup, and sickly red clown smile drawn across his ragged scar of a face remain disturbingly vivid on Blu-ray Disc.(tm)   Batman, on the other hand, is an equally complex character who is willing to be a vigilante to deter crime and save innocent lives, but also accepts his role as a scapegoat who will be blamed by Gotham’s citizens for the destruction he and those he pursues leave in their wake.

The movie comes with an entire additional disc of interesting content that is well written, and professionally produced and narrated.  This enhances the package considerably.  For example, the special feature “Batman Tech” gives an exciting look at the gadgets and tools used by Batman such as the Batsuit, Batmobile, Batpod and utility belt and compares them to similar devices used by the military and CIA.  “Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight” is a feature that explores the psychology of Batman and the villains he faces with commentaries from real world psychologists and behavioral profilers.  Viewers may turn on focus points during the movie that provides commentary from the director including stunt staging and filming in IMAX.  Other extras include: “Gotham Tonight,” 6 mini-episode of a fictional Gotham news program including an interview with Harvey Dent.  Also included are joker cards, concept art, poster art, production stills, trailers and T.V. spots.  In addition a digital copy DVD comes with software to transfer the movie for viewing on your iPod, Mac of PC.

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