'The Dark Knight Rises' Blu-ray/DVD Review

Posted by G-Man (39582 posts) - - Show Bio

Chances are you have already seen The Dark Knight Rises, but if you haven't and you've been waiting for the film's Blu-ray release, you'll be happy to find that it comes jam-packed with tons of special features. And if you've already seen the movie a dozen times in theaters, the Blu-ray might just be enough stuff to make you want to buy.

The Blu-ray combo pack of The Dark Knight Rises doesn't just come equipped with the film both on Blu-ray and DVD, but it also gives viewers a closer look at everything from the characters that appeared in the movie, to a break-down of the different scenes and how they were constructed.

The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray really delves beyond the whole "making of" aspect of the film and gives perspective on the by digging deep not only into how the film was made, but also digging into the character of Batman and his evolution through the years.

With this look at the Blu-ray, we won't necessarily delve into the aspects of the movie since we previously posted a review of the film when it was released in theaters (you can read that HERE if you haven't already). Instead, we'll be focusing on the special features to help you determine whether this is worth the purchase for you as a fan of the Christopher Nolan film and the character.

== TEASER ==

Special Features

The Batmobile (58:17)

This section dives into the relationship between the man and the machine. Christopher Nolan, Adam West, Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, Dan DiDio, Dennis O'Neil -- these guys sit down and give viewers a glimpse at the behind the scenes in the making of the Batmobile not only in the Christopher Nolan films, but the Batmobile through the ages and across all types of media.

The hour-long feature opens with the car that was initially introduced in 1941 by Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson and goes on to explain the importance of the Batmobile to the Batman mythos by elaborating on the evolution of the Batmobile in all forms of media; it delves into what the Batmobile represents and how often the changes made to it often coincided with the different interpretation of Batman's character across all realms of entertainment.

For example, the Batmobile we saw in the Adam West television show inspired the change made to the car's design in the comics. As comics evolved, and Batman's character was interpreted in different ways, so did the Batmobile evolve and change with the times. It's a great look at the step-by-step process of how each Batmobile was created for film and how the car changed with the man.

Ending the Knight

This section contains a lot of short clips that focus on specific scenes we see in the film, essentially breaking them down and showing viewers how each scene was constructed, story-boarded and filmed. How do you make a crowd of ten-thousand people in a stadium look like eighty-thousand people? Why did the creators of the film choose to build real sets as opposed to shoot and CG much of the film's backgrounds? What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of creating a movie like The Dark Knight Rises? Christopher Nolan and the film's producers answer these questions and more, expanding on the what and why of the decisions made to create a movie like TDKR. The following is a list of the different segments included in the Blu-ray with a short description of their focus.

-Production 12 parts Prologue:

  • High-Altitude Hijacking (7:52) Skyjacking scene done with as little CG as they were allowed.
  • Return to the Batcave (3:37) About building a massive set since Nolan likes to shoot from every possible angle.
  • Beneath Gotham (2:34) Huge sets built again.
  • The Bat (11:08) Batman's flying vehicle. Find out what went into making it work.
  • Batman Vs. Bane (6:07) Putting Batman to the test. He hasn't met his physical match in the other films. We see all the people involved in making the fight look like Nolan would want and have it work.
  • Armory Accepted (3:19) Dropping the Tumbler in the set. The scene was prepared and shot to match the scale model.
  • Gameday Destruction (6:44) How they blew up the football stadium. Getting the stadium filled, blowing up the field, etc. This is a great feature if you've ever wondered what went into making that scene happen.
  • Demolishing a City (4:15) More about how Nolan doesn't like to use CG and wants everything to look real.
  • The Pit (3:04) Creating the set for the underground prison.
  • The Chant (5:19) Where does Bane's evil come from? The chant was part of a ritual around his escape. The decision of using voices in a musical score is something that isn't done too often.
  • The War on Wall Street (6:40) Describing how the scene went down.
  • Race to the Reactor (7:52) Creating the chase scene with the Tumblers and bikes. Practicing the stunts and setting up some of the CG effects.


  • The Journey of Bruce Wayne (8:53) Competing the story of Bruce Wayne. Showing the consequences of being Batman.
  • Gotham's Reckoning (10:05) Creating the look of Bane. Cool look at the different types of masks that were considered. There's some explanation as to why the final mask looks the way it did. You also find out where the accent came from.
  • A Girl's Gotta Eat (9:26) The reason for Catwoman. She allowed Batman to have a connection with someone. Now he has someone other than Alfred for human connection. There's a description on her costume being more practical versus sexy. There's a reason for every part, like the high heels, etc.


  • Shadows & Light in Large Format (5:37) More on making the movie look as epic as it does. You don't think about how there is a focus on the mood and color of the scenes and the care they have to take when bright colors are involved. There was also mention ok making the movie work in the IMAX format.
  • The End of a Legend (9:04) Making the characters feel real. Designing the sets and wardrobe. We get to hear from those involved in making the trilogy happen.

Trailer Archive

Four different trailers

Print Campaign Art Gallery

31 different banners and posters used for the movie.

Second Screen App

Sometimes when you buy a DVD or Blu-ray there will be an option to view the film with creator commentary; that is sort of what this Second Screen App allows you to do. You can download the free Dark Knight Rises FX app onto your smart phone or tablet and as the movie runs, you can see behind-the-scenes notes and shots for the movie without pulling you completely out of the film.

For example, in the prologue scene where the plane is highjacked, you can see pictures of the models and how they performed the stunts rather than use CG. There are trivia notes and storyboard shots as well. This feature walks viewers through the creative process and deconstructs the way the film was created. Yet, if you want everything all one one screen, you can do that, too. With the Second Screen App viewers can choose to either sync the app to the movie or the movie to the app depending on whether you want to check out a particular scene.

Your device has to be on the same wi-fi network as your BD-Live-enabled Blu-ray player. Some of the scenes that support the Second Screen App include the scene during the mayor's speech about Harvey Dent where viewers can see a letter with the actual speech. Also, when some of the characters make their first appearance in the film, viewers will have the option of exploring further by clicking on an image and seeing a brief bio.

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All in all, you get more than just two copies of a movie when you purchase The Dark Knight Rises on DVD and Blu-ray. If you opt for the "combo pack" you don't just receive the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but you get the creator commentary and a closer look at how the movie was made. The combo pack also included UltraViolet, which allows the viewer to stream the film across a variety of platforms (smartphones, computers, tablets), so when you buy the combo pack, you're not just buying it for DVD and Blu-Ray, you're buying it for your phone or tablet, too.

Beyond all this what you're also getting is the opportunity to also explore Batman's character and discover how Nolan created the film. Why did the director often opt to utilize real sets as opposed to CG? What did he have to do in order to create a movie at the scale of The Dark Knight Rises? Who designed the Tumbler and why not name it the Batmobile? Chances are that if you had questions during the film, you just may find your answer among the 90 plus minutes of behind-the-scenes footage for The Dark Knight Rises as part of the combo pack's special features. Having said all this, even someone who didn't love the film will likely enjoy all the cool stuff that comes in this neat little package.

The Dark Knight Rises is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and for digital download. If you're into the Twitter hash tag thing, you can follow updates under #TheDarkKnightRises.

#1 Posted by ccraft (10872 posts) - - Show Bio

I want this so bad!

#2 Posted by Bestostero (5782 posts) - - Show Bio

fuck ultraviolet

#3 Posted by StMichalofWilson (4918 posts) - - Show Bio

I have tell Santa about this now!!!

#4 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (10458 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope to get the blu ray soon

#5 Posted by JLDoom (2358 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm so getting this!

#6 Posted by k4tzm4n (39547 posts) - - Show Bio

#7 Posted by cacarl (140 posts) - - Show Bio

I got the Trilogy for free on Amazon.I can't wait!

#8 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

only the first 2 are worth a buy on blu0ray

#9 Posted by ssejllenrad (13028 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it will just be a matter of time before the Nolan haters and Nolan fanboys clash on this thread.

#10 Posted by The Stegman (29559 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm still very upset at the way Blu ray is being forced on us now. I don't have a Blu ray player, I don't see the point, yet all movies now put the special features (at least the bulk of them) only on Blu ray, they did the same thing with Avengers, it's really unfair.

#11 Posted by BatWatch (4233 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm glad they gave a good value for this. I bought the special edition of The Dark Knight, and it was complete crap. It had a ten minute documentary of the making of the Bat Pod, and then absolutely nothing worth a dime. It was complete crap. It sounds like anybody getting this will get their money's worth.

#12 Posted by Xangel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

bluray has been the sole format for consumer HD almost 5 years now; that's like saying i hate how dvd's are being forced on us in 2003. The point is that more than 2/3 of the country has an HDTV and without bluray or other hi-res device frankly its a waste. Basic bluray players were $35 at Walmart this black friday; frankly there's really no excuse not to make the change at this point.

#13 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio


#14 Posted by xtremekidx (590 posts) - - Show Bio

just might buy it :)

#15 Posted by ComicAddict2814 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

I really wanted the special edition Bluray with the BatCowl that was retailing for 34.99 at Walmart. But of course greedy people have to scoop them all up (I seriously saw one person with 4 copies) and then sell them on eBay for $150-200 dollars each. Let the real fans enjoy the perks. DC puts this sort of stuff out there for us to get even more out of spending our hard earned cash, yet these sharks have to ruin it for all of us. I ended up buying the bluray trilogy instead and am very happy with it. It just really annoys me how people who probably know nothing of comics or the medium itself profit so greatly off the true fans.

#16 Posted by AlKusanagi (704 posts) - - Show Bio

Is there a director's recut where they trim about an hour out of the movie?

#17 Edited by Queso6p4 (1546 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman: Perhaps with newer movies but I have dvds of some older movies like Pan' s Labyrinth and Terminator 2 that have far more special features than their blu-ray counterparts so I keep them both.

I was able to grab Best Buy's steelbook edition earlier tonight. Can't watch it 'til next week because of finals, though. Heh, I love the vaguely homeless look Bale has to him in that picture.

#18 Posted by avariceh (3 posts) - - Show Bio

fuck ultraviolet. 2 times.

#19 Edited by Raw_Material (3472 posts) - - Show Bio

The movie was so sick! Especially with all the special features and behind the scene clips. Really love the conclusion of The Dark Knight Trilogy and think Christian Nolan and DC Entertainment did an excellent job with the movie. Hopefully there will be an epilogue of The Dark Knight and more films from other DC superheroes as good and action-packed as this one in the future. Having high hopes for Justice League Movie! Please be as good as this one!!

#20 Edited by Mild_Karl (131 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman: I'm with @Xangel, if you care at all about movies, you will have made the jump to Blu-Ray already. If you're content with watching DVDs, you should be also be content with just getting the movie with no frills or extras. It's the getting close enough to becoming the industry now (and yes, I know streaming is ultimately the end goal here). No excuses.

#21 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio

@ssejllenrad said:

I think it will just be a matter of time before the Nolan haters and Nolan fanboys clash on this thread.

It's already begun.

#22 Posted by The Stegman (29559 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman : I'm with @Xangel,  if you care at all about movies, you will have made the jump to Blu-Ray already. If you're content with watching DVDs, you should be also be content with just getting the movie with no frills or extras. It's the getting close enough to becoming the industry now (and yes, I know streaming is ultimately the end goal here). No excuses.

Really? If I care about movies I'll switch to Blu ray? There's a huge difference between the switch from VHS and DVD, and DVD to Blu ray. DVD had VASTLY superior sound and picture quality, could fit far more things on their discs  and could add things like commentary, special features, that VHS couldn't. However, as someone who has seen Blu ray compared to DVD, imo, the difference is minimum. Is the picture quality better? yes, but not by that much, not worth me spending 100 bucks to by a Blu ray player when my DVD player is perfectly fine.  And I'm not alone here, DVD sales still outnumber Blu ray sales because Blu ray, at this point at least, is a useless extravagance.  
As for the Frills and extras. My complaint is that they USED to have the extras on DVDs, I have both Ironman and Incredible Hulk, two disc edition wiht tons of features, but in this new "Force Blu ray on the people" movement, they've completely stopped putting the features on them just to get people to spend the extra ten bucks for a Blu ray, it's ridiculous. 
#23 Edited by FatihBATMAN (1395 posts) - - Show Bio

are all those features in the DVD version?

#24 Posted by Vortex13 (12138 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman: Another point to make would be that Blu-Ray disk cost more than a regular DVD. So in the long run you end up spending more money really.

#25 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1395 posts) - - Show Bio

Avengers...mixed feelings about, it was a giod weekend flick, TDKR was a memorable, inspiring movie...

#26 Posted by spidergirl2012 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

@MotherStegman said:

@The Stegman - this is your mother and I'm writing to tell you to shut the f u c k up. That goes for the rest of you blu-ray dissing fools as well. I would jump through the screen and attack you if I could!!!!

Wow, guess this site allows personal attacks and profanity for expressing different views. Won't be posting here anymore.

#27 Posted by firecracker22 (42 posts) - - Show Bio

Man....that Batcowl Edition seems to be waaaay more limited than I thought it'd be. Mine is due to arrive by tomorrow, but did not think it'd be as hard to find as it is.

#28 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (16235 posts) - - Show Bio

@ssejllenrad said:

I think it will just be a matter of time before the Nolan haters and Nolan fanboys clash on this thread.

Too late for 1 minute.

#29 Posted by TheSwordsman (1972 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane was awesome. The acting was solid. To much soap drama though and not enough batman fighting, training, developing gadgets etc. Many times throughout the movie it felt like a network drama series made for women.

C- at best.

#30 Posted by Xangel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Stegman: As someone who worked in movies; dvd has vastly superior audio capabilities jumping from 2 to 5.1 channels, the jump to blu-ray sound capabilities of 7.1, you are correct not much different esp as most people still use their 5.1 systems anyway and the majority are still only encoded in 5.1. Picture wise though vhs to dvd was 480i to 480p effectively doubling the resolution; however a 1920x1080 resolution has almost 7x the pixel information of its 640x480 counterpart. The storage capacity of a dvd is 4.7 gigs whereas a bluray is 25gb; holding roughly 23 hours of SD encoded material to DVDs 3. As for innovative bonus features that tablet streaming looks pretty darn cool. This is merely technology moving onward; bluray will replace dvd the same way cds replaced tapes; at least this time you don't have to trash your entire collection to conform to new hardware.

Your opinion is of course your own and valid; but to a cinephile, it is by no means a worthless extravagance

#31 Posted by yo_yo_fun (654 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait to get my hands on this!!

#32 Posted by No_Name_ (16193 posts) - - Show Bio

@spidergirl2012 said:

@MotherStegman said:

@The Stegman - this is your mother and I'm writing to tell you to shut the f u c k up. That goes for the rest of you blu-ray dissing fools as well. I would jump through the screen and attack you if I could!!!!

Wow, guess this site allows personal attacks and profanity for expressing different views. Won't be posting here anymore.

Had I seen the comment sooner I would have addressed it sooner. This kind of talk isn't acceptable in our forums and this individual has been dealt with.

#33 Posted by xxxddd (3705 posts) - - Show Bio

@FatihBATMAN said:

are all those features in the DVD version?


#34 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1395 posts) - - Show Bio

@xxxddd said:


i bought the dvd a couple of days ago...there was none of those features....only the road to bruce wayne which is an 8 minute docu. that was it :( ?

#35 Posted by xxxddd (3705 posts) - - Show Bio

@FatihBATMAN: My bad, it is only one Blu Ray.

Blue isn't even that much better except for the fact it can't get scratches.

#36 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1395 posts) - - Show Bio


#37 Posted by havoc1201 (568 posts) - - Show Bio

did anyone else notice they deepened Banes voice on the dvd release, it sounds much better

#38 Posted by enairafontaine (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn’t get a chance to see this movie in theaters and I’m glad I waited. The show was sold out three days in a row here. Now that it’s out on Blu-ray I added it to my Blockbuster @ Home movie queue and the movie arrived last week via mail. Now that I’m done I can just stick it in my mailbox and return it. This wasn’t my favorite of the three that Nolan has directed: I prefer The Dark Knight. My DISH co-worker thinks I’m crazy but I felt as if this story had so many layers that it was a little hard to keep up. Then again that’s just my opinion. I didn't get a chance to check out the extras but when I buy the film I'll be sure to take some time to do so.

#39 Posted by BigTPotts (132 posts) - - Show Bio

Why is this only on blu ray? this makes me sad. :(

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