While this reviewer found the Tim Burton "BATMAN" films boring and over-praised, at least they weren't as completely crappy as the Joel Schumacher offerings. That's a sad indictment on adaptations of a comic-book classic. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan, has revitalized the series, with not only the best of the films, but a semi-great film in its own right. From its opening segment, viewers realize that they're about to be taken into a world they've never experienced before. It's a world where characters like Bruce Wayne aren't just re-invented, but actually given real depth, making the "BATMAN" legacy feel epic-like in a manner never before even close to being realized as it is here. Of course, even "BATMAN BEGINS" has some short-comings. Katie Holmes is just awful and the last 20 minutes of the film, feels far too cumbersome in comparison to what has preceded it. But, the wonderful aspects of "BATMAN BEGINS" more than make up for these negatives, allowing it to be both entertaining and intriguing again and again.
WARNER BROS. has preserved the 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/VC-1 transfer. Unlike the previous "BATMAN" films, "BATMAN BEGINS" has a more pleasing color palate. Sure, it still has an overriding "dark" feel, but there are many scenes filled with rich color. In scene after scene, colors bring this image to life with life-like fleshtones and perfect hues.
"BATMAN" has always relied on dark overtones, and the blacks and grays making up the darker scenes of this film are incredibly deep. But, every scene in the HD-DVD transfer of "BATMAN BEGINS" offers incredible depth. It's a flawless transfer. There's just incredible detail and color in scene after scene, without any flaws to be found.
WARNER BROS. has provided a Dolby TrueHD mix for this release. While there have been several outstanding soundmixes on previous HD-DVD releases from WARNER BROS., "BATMAN BEGINS" is by far the best so far. It engulfs the audience from the opening seconds and never lessens its grip again. There are numerous action scenes where the intricate, well designed effects help heighten the epic-like atmosphere of the film, but even more subtle moments are impressive, with exquisite detail. The dynamic range is incredible to experience. The high and mid-range levels are flawless, but the bass is also utilized with great impact. There are acrobatic moves in this mix wherein high-range, bass, discrete and panning effects are used to bring scenes to life, without ever having to lose to dialogue or music. OUTSTANDING!!!
WARNER BROS has carried over all of the extras from the two-disc dvd. These consist of a lengthy but entertaining documentary. A "IN-MOVIE" experience offers an option for viewers to blend video and/or audio information over the film while it runs. This is a mixed bag, as it looks great, but never adds as much to the film experience as one hopes.