directed by Christopher Nolan
USA
2005

Product Description: Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents' murder disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman a masked crusader who uses his strength intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.

***

"Batman Begins" at last penetrates to the dark and troubled depths of the Batman legend, creating a superhero who, if not plausible, is at least persuasive as a man driven to dress like a bat and become a vigilante. The movie doesn't simply supply Batman's beginnings in the tradition of a comic book origin story, but explores the tortured path that led Bruce Wayne from a parentless childhood to a friendless adult existence. The movie is not realistic, because how could it be, but it acts as if it is.

[...]

I said this is the Batman movie I've been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn't realize that more emphasis on story and character and less emphasis on high-tech action was just what was needed. The movie works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment. There's something to it.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 10th, 2005

Reviews     More Reviews     DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE

(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (Limited Edition Gift Set)

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner - Blu-ray
Region FREE
Runtime 2:19:50 2:20:02
Video

2.37:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: around 20-30 mb/s

Video codec: VC-1

1080P Dual-layered (50Gig)

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1, DUB: French Dolby Digital 5.1

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, DUBs: French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, none English SDH, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, none
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.37:1

Edition Details:
• Featurette: "Batman: The Journey Begins" (14:15 - 4:3)
• Featurette: "Path to Discovery" (14:53 SD)

• Featurette: "Shaping Mind and Body" (13:39)

• Featurette: "Batman: The Tumbler" (14 :13)

• Featurette: "Gotham City Rises" (12:49) 
• Featurette: "Saving Gotham City" (13:00)
• Featurette: "Cape and Cowl" (8:22)
• CGI Effects for the monorail chase scene

• 'Art' Gallery - US, International or Explorations
• Confidential Files (SD)
• Sneak Peek disc of The Dark Knight
• Teaser Trailer (SD)


DVD Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Custom package holding standard Keep Case (see below)

Chapters 40

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Blu-ray

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.4:1

Video codec: VC-1

1080P Dual-layered (50Gig)

Edition Details:
• 
Featurette: "Batman: The Journey Begins" (14:15 - SD 4:3)
• Featurette: "Path to Discovery" (14:53 SD)
• Featurette: "Saving Gotham City" (SD, 13 minutes)
• Featurette: "Shaping Mind and Body" (SD, 13:39)
• Featurette: "Gotham City Rises" (SD, 13:00)
• Featurette: "Cape and Cowl" (SD, 8:22)
• Featurette: "Batman: The Tumbler" (SD, 14 minutes)
• Still Gallery (SD)
• Confidential Files (SD)
• MTV Special: "Tankman Begins" (SD)
• Teaser Trailer (HD)
• In-Movie Experience track with new 'Dark Knight' preview
• Picture-in-Picture
• The Dark Knight IMAX Prologue (HD)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 8th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 40

Limited Edition Gift Set package

 

Comments

NOTE: The Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. Blu-ray images below are linked to their full size (borders removed) by simply clicking on them.

As we are now linking to full resolution captures for Blu-ray discs, we thought it only fair to also show the SD in its native resolution (for this NTSC Limited Edition Gift Set disc - 960X540 - black borders cropped).

The SD image is weaker in all the anticipated areas and we can see skin tones (that look suspiciously reddish on the Blu-ray) have an orange-yellow tinge on the standard-definition DVD. Mostly though it is in detail and occasionally colors - consider that the SD will be blown up further for most HD systems and it should lose to a higher degree in this area. To no surprise the, VC-1 encode, Blu-ray  image quality is in advance of the SD - and more so than these jpeg screen captures should indicate. On my system it was quite a huge gap that becomes 'un-returnable' once you see the difference.  

On the audio front the Blu-ray advances again with an TrueHD track that defines and separates that much more bombastically than the simpler 5.1. NOTE: My Blu-ray defaulted to the 5.1 so you may have to physically change to get the TrueHD option. To my untrained ears the TrueHD sounded as perfect as I could expect and it bears out if you care to do a comparison on your own system. It was a bit of an education for me and I am now a convert. The region-free Blu-ray offers a host of subtitles options where the R1 does the standard Eng, French and Spanish.

Supplements offer an endless supply of featurettes - hopefully all listed correctly in the table above. I'll simply try to identify the differences. Firstly though, I had some trouble navigating the second SD disc - each menu is presented in a comic book page with hidden links to the feature - by clicking one half of a 'bat logo' you can move to the next comic page (or back to the last). Through my computer this was a bit of a disaster but through my stand-alone player it was much simpler. It appears as though most featurettes are duplicated on both editions (with, obviously the dual-layered Blu-ray's all on the same lone disc as the feature - which takes up 23 Gig, by the way).

I'm really not a fan of these grandiose packages overflowing with gimmicky trinkets that frequently end up in the garbage. The SD is not too bad on that front. It has a $10 Movie Cash coupon you may use, an extras disc with a Sneak Peek disc of The Dark Knight (4:3 letterboxed, interlaced - and running only 2:16). I'm not the world's most staunch environmentalist but this seems like a real waste of a disc - not to mention the packaging. You get 5 'collectable' postcards - one postcard-sized holographic picture - it's called a 'lenticular card' and the first item in the trash. Lastly, we are given a 128MB Flash card. On it are 18 images (among them posters for The Dark Knight etc.) - some as large as 8100X12000 (10MB in size). Why not add these to Sneak Peek disc? Sorry, if I sound jaded but it irks me to think that most of this stuff is a promo for another film - albeit the sequel... and that it amounts to a ton of waste. Okay, I'll shut-up.  

Over the SD the Blu-ray does include the (seen before) In-Movie Experience track with a new 'Dark Knight' preview that some should be keen on. There is the fairly unused Picture-in-Picture option (hopefully this will improve it is delivery as the new format improves) and a "The Dark Knight IMAX Prologue" in HD (hubba hubba). Aside from the unique Blu-ray features the only SD extra is a teaser trailer.  

I was not as enamored with this film as some of my buddies when I first watched it back in 2005 but I must admit these seeing it again in Blu-ray and all these extras almost force you to succumb and warm to the film, to some degree, with its highly adventurous and brooding aspects. It most probably is the best Batman film and has reignited this entire comic-hero's character for Warner. Bottom line is that the Blu-ray IS a definite improvement and we certainly suggest over the SD - and this package with all the bells and whistles of advert-add-ons. The Blu-ray is quite pristine both visually and aurally. Plus its extensive supplements should more than suffice most fans. It turned even myself into a fan. 

 - Gary Tooze

 

DVD Menus (SD only)


Disc 2 of Deluxe Edition

 

Sneak Peek disc of The Dark Knight (4:3 letterboxed, interlaced - 2:16)

 


 

Screen Captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

(BLACK BORDER CROPPED TO SAVE BANDWIDTH)

(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray  - Region FREE - BOTTOM) 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray  - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner - (Limited Edition Gift Set) - Region 1- NTSC - TOP vs. Warner - Blu-ray - Region FREE - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Limited Edition Gift Set has trinkets - Blu-ray has some HD extras
Menu: -

 

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (Limited Edition Gift Set)

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner - Blu-ray
Region FREE




 

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