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The Dark Knight (Full-Screen Single-Disc Edition)
The Dark Knight
Full-Screen Single-Disc Edition
Actors: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2008     2hr 32min

Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 12/09/2008 Run time: 151 minutes Rating: Pg13

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Movie Details

Actors: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Superheroes, Crime & Criminals, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 12/09/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 32min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 13
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French Canadian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Rebecca L. from LOVINGTON, NM
Reviewed on 1/12/2011...
I enjoyed watching this movie. It had very little of the things that I usually don't like about action movies, like excess profanity.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lewis P. (Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 10/24/2010...
Convoluted plot and lack of humor sinks overlong exercise in self-indulgent nastiness

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Unlike their first entry in their Batman series, the Nolan brothers juxtapose their comic book characters against a well-lit Chicago urban backdrop—they seem out of place in the real world and would have been much more at home in a make-believe noirish setting.

The opening scene urges us not to take any of the antagonists seriously. As a bank robbery unfolds, the criminals end up double-crossing one another, shooting one another in the back. Only Health Ledger's Joker is left standing, collecting all the proceeds from the robbery. From the outset, the Joker faces no obstacles and appears almost omnipotent.

The next thirty minutes consists of a series of very slow-moving expository scenes. There's a clash between mobsters and a few Batman wannabes show up (The leader of the wannabes is later captured by the Joker and in a repugnant scene is tortured in a video clip shown on the evening news). Cut to Bruce Wayne's 'Bat Cave' which looks more like a concrete bunker fitted with large high definition computer screens (so much for the neat old Bat Cave!). Michael Caine as Bruce Wayne's affable butler has little to do except impart pithy advice to his boss. Then there's the relationship between DA Harvey Dent and his girlfriend Rachel, who Bruce has an interest in (the love triangle never seems to develop).

After Dent invokes RICO laws, the mobsters agree to allow one of their own, Lau, a Chinese Mafia accountant from Hong Kong to hold all their cash outside the US where the DA can't get his hands on it. Wayne then makes his way to Hong Kong where Batman manages to break into Lau's impenetrable skyscraper, kidnap him and return him to the DA where he's placed under arrest. Of course, this sideshow has nothing to do with the main plot which involves the Joker approaching the mobsters and agreeing to take half their cash in exchange for killing Batman. After the bosses refuse to go along with the Joker's proposal, one of the bosses, Gambol, puts a bounty on the Joker's head. The Joker then gains easy entry into Gambol's lair in a body bag, only to jump out and then kill the hapless criminal by slashing his throat with a knife (the point is made that the Joker is a sadist and the Nolans appear to congratulate themselves by emphasizing that fact over and over again without regard for good taste or an economical narrative).

The rest of the film's extremely convoluted plot mainly concerns the Joker's efforts to eliminate his nemesis, The Dark Knight. The Joker declares if Batman doesn't reveal his identity, people will die each day until he decides to act. When the Police Commissioner and Judge presiding over the mob trials are assassinated, the public blames Batman. DA Dent concocts a plan to draw the Joker out by claiming that he's The Dark Knight. As Dent is transported in an armored car, the Joker attacks but is captured by Batman aided by Lt. Gordon who is soon promoted to police commissioner as a result of his heroic efforts in capturing the Joker.

We never see how it happens but Dent and Rachel disappear and soon turn up as hostages at a warehouse. Batman gets a little rough with the Joker in jail and it's revealed that some corrupt police officials (they seem to be all over the place) were the one's who kidnapped the DA and his girlfriend. It turns out that one of the Joker's associates who he was imprisoned with has a cell phone implanted in his chest (don't know why he wasn't put through a metal detector) and when the phone rings, there's a huge explosion and the Joker and Lau both escape. Batman is able to save the DA but is unable to rescue Rachel. Despite surviving an explosion Dent's face is maimed and now he becomes the second villain of the movie, 'Two Face".

The unlikeable Joker proves even less charming when he declares he has no interest in money and torches Lau who is tied up in a warehouse on top of a giant pile of cash. Then in the most ludicrous part of the movie, the Joker visits Dent in the hospital and convinces him to take revenge on all the corrupt people responsible for Rachel's death. How the good guy DA could morph into a sinister criminal so easily just proves how silly the whole story is (instead of honoring his girlfriend's memory, he too conveniently becomes a bad guy!).

The finale features a bunch of convicts and upstanding citizens held hostage on two separate ferry boats. The boats are rigged with explosives (how did they get on the boats undetected?). Each person on the ferries have the ability to set off the explosions but out of the goodness of everybody's hearts, no one can bring themselves to act.

Finally, in the most distasteful scene in the movie, Dent attempts to kill Commissioner Gordon's son by throwing him over the side of a building. The killing of a child is not something that should be shown in a story that's supposedly taken from a comic book.

Despite the absurd, overlong plot, The Dark Knight wouldn't have been so bad if the filmmakers didn't take themselves so seriously. Did they really have to rehash their point ad infinitum—that criminals are sadistic? Somehow a little humor could have humanized all the comic book characters and made the film a lot more enjoyable. Instead, the Dark Knight is an example of lazy screen writing where there is no interest in explaining one implausible event after another.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Danielle T. (sugarkane) from FITCHBURG, WI
Reviewed on 12/14/2008...
This was honestly the best movie I've seen all year! Actions sequences are excellent! The script offers a dark and probbing look at the Batman story. Heath Ledger was incredible as the Joker, and the rest of the cast did great too. A must see!!!
4 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The Dark Masterpiece Surpasses the Hype
Justin Heath | Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada | 10/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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.

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"
Great Film - Buy the Single Disc Version!
Victor Belagosi | Park City | 12/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What has been said about the Dark Knight cannot be elaborated on - so I won't. The film is muscling its way into my #1 favorite comic movie adaptation of all time.

The reason for my review is in hopes of saving you some money. This double disc Special Edition doesn't deliver the price you pay for it. There isn't even deleted scenes!!! I would save your very hard earned dollars and buy the single disc version and wait for the inevitable ULTIMATE re-release that will come later on down the road.

But nonetheless, a great film - you will not be dissapointed; I just wish the studio would have given a better Special Edition release than what we have here. So enjoy!"
The DARK KNIGHT Returns for Gotham City's Soul....
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 07/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rarely has a film left me speechless, much less a comic book inspired film. Christopher Nolan's rendition of the DC comic character has. "THE DARK KNIGHT" may well be the best comic book film I have ever seen. Christopher Nolan, along with Jonathan Nolan has crafted a screenplay of nearly unbelievable proportions. The duo has taken the "Batman" mythos and has turned it into their own; what results is a film that captures the essence of the comic book and combines it to a truly gripping and engaging psychological crime drama-action-adventure. You heard that right, a psychological crime drama and an adventure.

I'll get right to the point, you don't need to read any reviews, (including this one) just watch this film. It stomps Burton's rendition of the caped crusader to the ground and MAY well eat "Batman Begins" for breakfast, lunch and dinner; all the more evolving the concept of Gotham City's "Dark Knight".

Still here, no trust? Ok then, here we go...

Gotham City is the battle ground. The mysterious "Batman" has the crime element by its ear. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is an incorruptible force in court and Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) has his special unit to combat crime. Seems like a good time to be in Gotham, doesn't it? Wrong.
A mysterious "Joker" (Heath Ledger) has surfaced and seemed poised to take Gotham's soul by creating mass hysteria and chaos. Gotham's population is at the mercy of this madman--and what does he want? To prove a point.

Christopher Nolan has impressed me before, with his films; "The Prestige" and "Memento". But never as much this time around. The director has abandoned the idea that "Batman" has to have a comic book feel. The film goes for the comic book's soul. Nolan is armed with a near flawless script that exudes the spirit of Gotham City as well as its Dark Angel. If there are any holes in it then I cannot see it. The movie is unstoppable, the direction it went is awe-inspiring that it nearly gave me goose bumps. The movie not only portrays the usual Batman vs. Joker main event, it also defines the meaning of the word "hero" as well as the morality that surrounds the idea.

"The Dark Knight" has a lot of characters and the film develops each one. No one is a plot device, everyone has a purpose in the screenplay. Heath Ledger gives the performance of his career (Rest in Peace, Heath) and trumps Nicholson's portrayal. Ledger's "Joker" is very reminiscent of the Joker in the comic book "The Killing Joke". The maniac is not after money, he has no grand scheme but he wants to prove a point. This Joker isn't joking around, this villain is frighteningly twisted, maniacal and homicidal. Ledger performs as if he saw the adage: "Crazy people don't know they're crazy" and brings all to bear. There's no "origin" as to where he came from, although his past is suggested by his quippy remarks. The Joker will remain an enigma in this film, and I think it's a very smart move to do so. Christian Bale is still a great Bruce Wayne and as his cowled alter-go. Bale changes his voice to a raspy one when he is Batman. Aaron Eckhart is an intriguing Harvey Dent, the district attorney is charismatic, heroic and the embodiment of Gotham's hope, until he--well, has a very bad day. Yes, Two-Face makes an appearance and not to worry, the character won't be one-dimensional.

The film's success is that the plot has attained a life of its own. The characters can breathe and everything has a purpose. The film's main premise is not limited to our two nemeses. Even Gotham City itself has become a character in the movie as well as its inhabitants. Gotham is portrayed as a melting pot of chaos and disorder and one nudge towards the wrong direction may unbalance the city's moral fiber. Yes, the film has its bit of morality in it and explores the decency of everyday folk. Before, in "Batman Begins" James Gordon and Bruce's lost love Rachel (played this time by Maggie Gyllenhaal) embodied this idea, but the concept is more widely expressed this time around. The Joker's target is the soul of Gotham and never more has the stakes been this high. The Mantle of the Bat is by itself a separate entity from Bruce and the concept is even given more depth, just what it means and what it is.

The movie still has the tank-like Batmobile and a newer version of a Bat-cycle or in this case, a "Bat-Pod". The mantle of the Bat has undergone some updates to make it lighter but for me, it looked bulkier. Tim Burton's rendition of the Bat-suit may have the edge over this one but none are more accurate than the Bat suit in the fan film: `Batman Dead End". If the film had a fault, is that the fight sequences need some smoothening up. They're not bad, it's just that it's not as hard-hitting as I would've liked and the camera work needs to hang back a little bit so the audience can see the fight a little more. The action sequences itself are exciting, the movie does have some very cool car chases which are intense and adrenaline-pumping; further complemented by Hans Zimmer's very powerful soundtrack. The proceedings have that somber but intimidating "dark" feel that the film's cinematographer needs to be commended. The visuals are great, the CGI doesn't look they're CGI at all.

There are cleverly placed bits of humor that help the film's pace. Alfred (Michael Caine) supplies the sarcasm that is reminiscent of his character. The sarcastic exchanges between him and Wayne give a lot of depth to their relationship. Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Lucius Fox and his character has a humorous exchange in sarcasm with a Wayne Enterprises employee. Fox also serves a significant role as a man who serves as Bruce's conscience almost as much as Alfred. Even "The Joker" adds some twisted bits of black humor--"I have a magic trick..", boy, what a way to add an exclamation point to his character. The bits of humor help the film balance its darkness towards its gripping build-up to its end game.

BATMAN is a dark character and he is arguably the most interesting character in DC's line of comic books. The man is an enigma and very mysterious. Obsessed? Crazy? a Genius? This man is an urban legend and Nolan and company has successfully represented all these factors. Ledger's performance may have taken the spotlight since this is his last film and he does somewhat steal the show from Bale--from Bale not the character itself.

I'm not exactly sure how Christopher Nolan will be able to top this film. The promise of things to come and its climax has such an impact the way everything was structured through its storytelling. Comic book fans have a reason to rejoice, the director has taken the Batman myth to new heights. "The Dark Knight" is epic, deliciously exciting, unforgettable, groundbreaking, scary and manages to put the audience in the middle of the struggle between Gotham's Dark Knight and his arch-nemesis; The Joker. The film is very sincere and precise in its execution.


This review is Dedicated to the Memory of Heath Ledger.