What Else Ya Got? “The Dark Knight”

When you’re the highest grossing movie of the year, fans tend to expect a little more bang for their buck when it comes to the inevitable DVD and Blu-ray release. “The Dark Knight” is certainly loaded with an impressive collection of bonus material, but the lack of certain extras seems to hint that an ultimate edition is already in the works. You never know how long you’ll have to wait for that, though, which makes the two-disc release the perfect distraction until it does. With over three hours of bonus material and a digital copy to boot, it may not be the best Blu-ray of the year, but you could certainly do worse.

“Focus Points”
The Blu-ray version allows you to access this collection of 18 mini-featurettes as it pertains to the movie, but you’d be better off watching it all at once as a 64-minute making-of featurette. Among the topics discussed include the challenges (and advantages) of filming the opening sequence and Batmobile chase in IMAX, the design and creation of the new Bat-Suit and Bat-Pod, and the planning and execution of the hospital explosion and the super-cool semi-truck flip.

“Batman Tech”
A TV special that focuses on the history and practicality of Batman’s gadgets. Diehard fans probably already caught this when it first aired on TV, but those that didn’t will discover that the Caped Crusader is more based in reality than you might think.

“Batman Unmasked”
Another TV special that aired prior to the Blu-ray release, this one isn’t nearly as interesting as “Batman Tech,” but it still delivers a one-of-a-kind look into the psychology of Batman and his villains. The focus on the latter group is particularly cool as the interviewees discuss the similarities between Batman’s rogue’s gallery and real-life criminals and murderers.

“Gotham Tonight”
Undoubtedly the weakest of the set, this collection of fake news stories (including profiles of Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent) doesn’t really work as well as it should. The acting is subpar and the stories themselves feel staged. Granted, that’s what you’d expect from fake news stories, but still.

“The Galleries”
Four excellent photo galleries including a variety of Joker cards, concept art, poster and production stills. Most of the Joker cards designed were clearly unusable, but it’s still cool too explore all the different styles they considered.

“Trailers and More”
Three trailers and six TV spots. ‘Nuff said.

Overall, not a bad collection of extras for Warner’s first go-around with “The Dark Knight.” Any real collector knows that a much better version will likely be released next Christmas – and hopefully with more behind-the-scenes footage of Heath Ledger at work, not to mention make-up tests for both The Joker and Two-Face – but if you’re jonesing for another viewing of “The Dark Knight” before then, you can at least find comfort in the fact that the two-disc Blu-ray isn’t a complete waste of time.

  

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