Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012): Christopher Nolan

Anne Hathaway Dancing The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray,  a movie directed by Christopher Nolan and co-written by David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan with a score by Hans Zimmer.  It stars Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom HardyMarion CotillardMichael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Stewart, Daniel Sunjata, Burn Gorman, Diego Klattenhoff, Josh Pence, Matthew Modine, Tom Conti, Joey King, Alon Aboutboul, Nestor Carbonell, Brett Cullen, and Juno Temple.

Release date:  December 4, 2012

Film Review

Set eight years after its predecessor The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises nearly emerges from the shadow of that epic film. It explores the psychology of a man whose witnessing of his parents being gunned down as a child triggered a complex series of events transforming him from a happy child into a dark and troubled young man driven to combat evil in his home metropolis of Gotham City.

Batman has been brooding in emotional exile following his battle with the Joker until a new villain, Bane, arrives in Gotham City. Only Batman and Commissioner Gordon know the truth about Dent’s fall into criminal madness, choosing to conceal it for the greater good. Bane and his henchman institute a reign of terror that pushes the citizenry and police force to the limits, forcing Batman to resurface after taking the fall for D.A. Harvey Dent’s crimes and death.

Goyer and the Nolan brothers have added additional depth to the usual Batman fare by introducing a multitude of subplots:  a penal colony on the other side of the globe, a potentially Earth-saving—and dangerous—clean energy source, terrorist attacks, a socio-economic coup that redistributes wealth from the super-rich to the 99%, and the loss of Bruce Wayne’s personal economic wealth, not to mention the distraction of a nouveau-Catwoman: sexy, savvy, and a adept jewel thief.

The Dark Knight Rises epitomizes the real-world class warfare of 2012 as Gotham City descends into a play of Spencer’s economic survival of the fittest: the affluent are stripped of their standing and/or executed. Gotham is under threat from dark forces in existence long before Batman and the conflicts—both within Batman and between the own citizenry—that threaten to destroy them all. The breathtaking action and unpredictable twists keep the viewer guessing the ultimate outcome until the very last showdown.

The Dark Knight Rises Bluray


The Dark Knight Rises is filmed in 1080P/MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 1.77:1 aspect ratio for the 70mm IMAX scenes and 2.40:1 for the traditionally filmed scenes. Cinematographer Wally Pfister chose to weave IMAX footage throughout causing a slight shift in several scenes, but ultimately enhancing the superior visual delivery in the stunning action scenes. The IMAX film really brings out fine details and sharp edges with a minimal of ringing. You can feel the snow blanketing Gotham; the dusty aura of Bruce Wayne’s prison stint almost induces a cough. His Gotham is lush, deep, and dark with very dark black levels (almost to excess) with some loss of shadow details in dark shots. Contrast is higher than necessary, but still much lower than in The Dark Knight. Primary colors pop and skin tones are warm and realistic with a very few exceptions. There are precious few instances of banding, noise, or other anomalies.


Hans Zimmer’s score is a driving, sweeping soundbed accompaniment to the on-screen action. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is ear-splitting, chest-thumping, and downright jaw-dropping. The LFE output powerfully showcases loud action effects such as explosions, collapses, and engine roars. The rear speakers engage in the chaos and transport the viewer to the middle of the danger. Bane’s voice is often piped into the front speakers to avoid having loud action drown him out; this results in an ever-so-slightly strange detachment from the rest of the scene however the listener will appreciate the clarity of the villain’s monologues. Pans are smooth and transparent, directionality is sparkling, and dialogue crisp and clean even amidst the loud action. Overall, this is a hugely immersive, engaging lossless mix.

Blu-ray Bonus Content

There are two region-free Blu-ray discs containing the main feature and the extras as well as an A/1 DVD and directions for an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

The Dark Knight Rises FX HD App

This second screen experience, available for iPhone and iPad, allows you to place yourself in promo posters for the film and to shoot video and have the Camo Tumblr drive through it.  When synced to the Blu-ray it allows an additional avenue for exploring the film.  The app provides production notes, production screens, and Easter eggs about the Batman universe.

The Batmobile (58:17)

This feature includes interviews with writers, directors, and artists associated with the Batman franchise including Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Christopher Nolan as well as a few fans about what may be the coolest ride on the big screen.  It takes you through all the incarnations of Batman’s second-most trusty companion for the past 60 years.

Ending the Knight

A portal to multiple featurettes covering characters, production, and reflections on the franchise.


Discusses sets, songs, and sequences in the film.

The Prologue:  High Altitude Hijacking (7:52)
Return to the Batcave (3:37)
Beneath Gotham (2:34)
The Bat (11:08)
Batman vs. Bane (6:07)
Armory Accepted (3:19)
Gameday Destruction (6:44)
Demolishing a City Street (4:15)
The Pit (3:04)
The Chant (5:19)
Race to the Reactor (7:52)


Takes a close look at Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, and Bane.

The Journey of Bruce Wayne (8:53)
Gotham’s Reckoning (10:05)
A Girl’s Gotta Eat (9:26)


A cinematic exploration of shooting on IMAX and the experience of concluding the trilogy.

Shadows & Light in Large Format (5:37)
The End of a Legend(9:04)

Trailer Archive (8:35)

Contains four trailers in HD and 5.1 Dolby Digital; includes a Play All button.

Print Campaign Art Gallery

Where you can purchase this Blu-ray

You can purchase The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray here: Buy Now


About the author

Romney J. Baldwin

  • Great review. It is a great disk and movie. The Batmobile video alone is worth the price.

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