The Dark Knight: So What’s In The Bag?

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We knew it’s gonna be huge – but did anyone expected it to move 107,730 copies on its first day of release? I doubt so. But it did. Have you wondered what’s in the 3-disc version of the Blu-ray release? If you’re hoping for a Commentary by director Christopher Nolan; be prepared to be disappointed – its not included. With over 200 minutes of HD bonus features – its a no brainer that this is a must-get title for your Blu-ray library. Actually, I am more eager to watch these bonus features than the movie itself. Getting my copy this weekend. Can hardly wait. Details of these features after the jump:

Reviewed by Peter M. Bracke / highdefdigest.com
Pictures by Mark Wilson / gizmodo.com

‘The Dark Knight’ comes to Blu-ray as a three-disc set. Most of the supplements are on disc two (in full 1080 video), with the third disc reserved for Digital Copy. Is this the absolute ultimate special edition of ‘The Dark Knight?’ Hardly. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a double-dip of ‘Dark Knight’ in our future, but for now, there should be enough extras here to satisfy fans.

Disc One:

  • Focus Points (HD, 65 minutes) – With the absence of any audio commentary on the disc, this pseudo-PIP track has to take up most of the slack. There is roughly one hour of total behind-the-scenes footage (in 1080i/VC-1 video) spread out over approximately 18 vignettes that span the runtime of the film. During playback, you must manually click your remote when an icon appears (or simply pull them up directly from the Extras submenu), which will then branch off to the full-screen segment before returning you to the movie. I find this an ungainly approach considering Blu-ray is capable of much better interactivity. In any case, the material is repurposed for the most part from the other, stand-alone featurettes on the second disc. Sparse cast and crew appearances are featured (all taken on-set or shortly after production was completed), and focus almost entirely on the action, stunts and costumes, so as a straight making-of this is a good piece. If you want focus and perspective on the ‘Dark Knight’ phenomenon and the film’s incredible popularity, look elsewhere.

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Disc Two:

  • Documentary: “Batman Tech” (HD, 45 minutes) – The first of the two main docs, there is some overlap with the Focus Points on disc one. The title is self-explanatory, with a look at the various bat gadgets, gear and vehicles (of which there is little compared to previous Batman incarnations). There is a glossy, promotional feel to this doc, but it’s relatively neat stuff to watch.
  • Documentary: “Batman Unmasked” (HD, 45 minutes) – The second doc feels even more like a fluff piece you’d see to promote the movie on E! or the like. A host of comic book historians, psychologists and criminologists are on hand to discuss the inner-workings of Batman’s mind, as well as the general freakdom of the comic book character. I always enjoy these contextual documentaries, though in light of the paucity of genuine behind-the-scenes material on ‘The Dark Knight,’ this winds up coming off as marketing padding.
  • Shorts: “Gotham Tonight” (HD, 46 minutes) – Kicking off the “Extras” section (which is odd, since all the supplements are extras, right?) are six faux-Gotham newscasts. These are fun to watch for a while if, perhaps, overkill in the end.
  • Still Galleries (HD) – There are five robust galleries, with about 60-odd photos each: Concept Art, Poster Art, Production Stills and the quite intriguing Joker Cards. You can watch the stills go by automatically, or use your manual Play/Pause to go step-by-step.
  • Theatrical Trailers/TV Spots (HD) – A theatrical teaser and two trailers are included, plus no less than six TV spots. And I must say, these are the best looking TV spots I’ve ever seen, presented in 2.40:1 widescreen and full 1080i/VC-1 video and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.

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Disc Three:

Digital Copy (SD) – Finally, we have a Digital Copy of the film compatible with PCs, PSP, and iTunes. (Standard-definition video only.)

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