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The Dark Knight (+ digital copy and BD live)

Item ID#:1562840Location:
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Editorial Reviews: The Dark Knight arrives with tremendous hype (best superhero movie ever? posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger?), and incredibly, it lives up to all of it. But calling it the best superhero movie ever seems like faint praise, since part of what makes the movie great--in addition to pitch-perfect casting, outstanding writing, and a compelling vision--is that it bypasses the normal fantasy element of the superhero genre and makes it all terrifyingly real. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is Gotham City's new district attorney, charged with cleaning up the crime rings that have paralyzed the city. He enters an uneasy alliance with the young police lieutenant, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Batman (Christian Bale), the caped vigilante who seems to trust only Gordon--and whom only Gordon seems to trust. They make progress until a psychotic and deadly new player enters the game: the Joker (Heath Ledger), who offers the crime, bosses a solution--kill the Batman. Further complicating matters is that Dent is now dating Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, after Katie Holmes turned down the chance to reprise her role), the longtime love of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne.

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In his last completed role before his tragic death, Ledger is fantastic as the Joker, a volcanic, truly frightening force of evil. And he sets the tone of the movie: the world is a dark, dangerous place where there are no easy choices. Eckhart and Oldman also shine, but as good as Bale is, his character turns out rather bland in comparison (not uncommon for heroes facing more colorful villains). Director-cowriter Christopher Nolan (Memento) follows his critically acclaimed Batman Begins with an even better sequel that sets itself apart from notable superhero movies like Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man because of its sheer emotional impact and striking sense of realism--there are no suspension-of-disbelief superpowers here. At 152 minutes, it's a shade too long, and it's much too intense for kids. But for most movie fans--and not just superhero fans--The Dark Knight is a film for the ages. --David Horiuchi

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Important notice: This disc is a high-definition disc and is compatible only with Blu-ray players. It will not play on a standard DVD player.

Product description: 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.

Click here to view on Amazon associates page and place order for The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray features:

Movie with Focus Points (picture in picture)
Explore your favorite movies through BD-Live™, an interactive gateway to exclusive content
2.40:1 aspect ratio, with IMAX sequences in 1.78:1
Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene: Director Christopher Nolan and creative collaborators unmask the incredible detail and planning behind the film, including stunt staging, filming in IMAX®, and the new Bat-suit and Bat-pod.
Batman Tech: The incredible gadgets and tools (in HD)
Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight: Delve into the psyche of Bruce Wayne and the world of Batman through real-world psychotherapy (in HD)
Gotham Tonight: 6 episodes of Gotham Cable's premier news program
The Galleries: The Joker cards, concept art, poster art, production stills, trailers and TV spots
Digital Copy of the feature film

Click here to view on Amazon associates page and place order for The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]

The Dark Masterpiece Surpasses the Hype, October 11, 2008, Reviewed by Justin Heath (Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada)

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.

Click here to view on Amazon associates page and place order for The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]

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

Click here to view on Amazon associates page and place order for The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]

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