DVD Releases For July 8, 2008
BATMAN BEGINS, on Blu-ray and Limited Edition Gift Set DVD from Warner Home Video, 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.
In theory, Batman is a regular guy who has trained himself to the peak of human perfection in body and mind. Batman comes and fights his own demons and ours (both inner and outer), and does it in the bigger-than-life manner we have come to expect of our costumed adventurer/superhero characters. And while he may not have super strength or a spider-sense, he has the most advanced technology that Wayne Industries can produce, and the most up-to-date vfx that the industry has to offer.
How this technology was used, though, is not the way you would expect it would be in a typical summer superhero blockbuster. Nolan said he wanted to present "a more realistic take on his [Batman's] story than we've seen in previous incarnations of the character. I wanted to treat it with a degree of gravity and with a sense of epic scope, but set in a world that is firmly grounded in reality."
With that as his priority, Nolan had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern vfx world, and eventually saw the light. The visual effects boutiques he would use to achieve his cinematic goals included Double Negative, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) and The Moving Picture Co. (MPC).
Paul Franklin, Double Negative's visual effects supervisor, explained about his company's most ambitious project to date: "Chris Nolan really wanted this film to be very much grounded in some sort of believable reality rather than existing purely inside some sort of graphic world that could only be achieved through the use of computer animation or whatever. And he always wanted to make it feel like that you might actually go to Gotham, that Gotham might be a real place, and that somebody could really do the things that Batman was doing."
"It was really interesting that in BATMAN BEGINS you saw Chris basically progress through all the various stages that visual effects have been through in the last five or six years, and going from the position where he was very reluctant to use extensive digital effects work, to the point where was pretty happy for us to go away and generate something entirely digitally, because we were getting what he wanted."
"So we moved from a position where at the outset of the film, Chris was pretty adamant that he wasn't going to have digital cityscapes, certainly not entirely digital cityscapes, in the film, to a position where at the end of post-production, where Chris is approaching his final cut of the film, where he's coming up with new ideas for shots, and we're able to generate them entirely digitally, because obviously there is no opportunity to go out and shoot new material at this point," Franklin said.
Nolan's bottom line is the story of the man inside the suit. And at its core, that story is about fear. The director, whose previous films have been MEMENTO and INSOMNIA -- both about men pushed to the absolute edge of sanity by forces beyond their control -- is focused on what that emotion can do to a person and to a society. "It's fascinating to me," Nolan remarked, "the idea of a person who would confront his innermost fear and then attempt to become it."
The limited-edition gift set includes the two-disc special edition DVD version of BATMAN BEGINS plus an all-new disc with an exclusive two-minute sneak peek of THE DARK KNIGHT, Hollywood Movie Money to see THE DARK KNIGHT in theaters (a $7.50 value), a 128MB flash drive including 18 images from THE DARK KNIGHT, a BATMAN BEGINS lenticular, and five collectible BATMAN BEGINS post cards.
Blu-ray Special Features:
--THE DARK KNIGHT IMAX Prologue -- Seven minutes of opening footage from THE DARK KNIGHT replicated in 1080p HD.