The Dark Knight Rises [Blu-Ray]

Christopher Nolan

BY Chris GramlichPublished Dec 4, 2012

You have to commend director/mastermind Christopher Nolan, he did what few thought possible after the camp calamites of Joel Schumacher ("history's greatest monster"): he made Batman dark and dangerous again. And much like any Nolan work (Inception, Memento), he did so on his terms, in a true three-part story arc, grounding his characters and world more so in believability, drawing upon the grittier comic iterations for inspiration, valuing acting and story as much as effects. Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, crime in Gotham has plummeted, the Batman has disappeared, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse and Commissioner Gordon is wracked with guilt over the Harvey Dent/Two-Face cover-up that allowed for Gotham's new-found era of peace and prosperity. However, as Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle/Catwoman promises Bruce Wayne, "a storm is coming," in the form of Tom Hardy's hulking Bane, Gotham/Batman's reckoning. It's interesting to note in the extras that Nolan was initially aghast when co-writer David S. Goyer suggested Bane as the villain for their finale, given his more fantastical comic book abilities, but after deconstructing the hulking mercenary, and Tom Hardy's performance, Bane will go down alongside Heath Ledger's Joker as an iconic film villain. While there are an impressive number of featurettes included with the Blu-Ray, from costuming to thoughts on the series concluding to breakdowns on some of the main action sequences, effects and fights, featuring almost all the main voices of the series (although Joseph Gordon-Levitt is strangely absent), the most interesting and interactive is a free iTunes app for the iPhone. Said app syncs with the Blu-Ray, allowing the viewer control and deeper exploration options, as well as trivia, etc. However, it is a little gimmicky and doesn't make up for the lack of a Nolan commentary track. "Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up," states Thomas Wayne in a flashback, and this theme is represented in all aspects of Nolan's trilogy, from Wayne/Batman's three-film journey, to the plots to even the redemption of the film licence.

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