Batman Begins – Christopher Nolan

The Batman franchise had fallen on hard time and along came director Christopher Nolan to revive it. He rode in on his white horse and rescued the whole thing. Batman became cool once again. Once again Batman was the dark avenging angel of the superhero family. The schlock of the previous four films was dropped and the caped crusader was reborn.

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) disgusted with its excesses leaves Western society and is taken under the wing of a mysterious instructor named Ducard (Liam Neeson). He is trained to become a ninja in the League of Shadows. Once he has completed his training Wayne returns to his native Gotham City in order to release it from the stranglehold of the criminals who have paralyzed it.

Bale's Batman is intense and dark – just the way we like this superhero. He gets it and the story is just as dark. Here we get the interesting origins of Batman and the people around him.

Special Features:
-Genesis of the Bat
-Batman: The Journey Begins
-Path to Discovery
-Saving Gotham City
-Shaping Mind and Body
-Gotham City Rises
-Cape and Cowl
-Batman: The Tumbler
-Still Gallery

The Dark Knight – Christopher Nolan

I am here to tell you that the buzz is not misplaced. And it should not just be about Heath Ledger's tour de force performance; it is the entire film that is great. Action films can have substance to them as proven by brilliant director/screenwriter Christopher Nolan.

Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins) has been credited with rescuing the Batman film series and injecting new life into it. That is only partially correct. He has injected new life into it, but by taking out all of the light from it. If you thought that "Batman Returns" was a dark and serious look at the caped crusader then you ain't seen nothing yet. For the entire 2 and a half hours of the film you will have this uneasy feeling about you. Not sure of what is about to happen, but sure that it will not be light and cheery.

Nolan has brought back the true origins of this the darkest of the superheroes. Batman was always an unwilling and tortured hero. He did what he did because he felt there was no one else and did it because he wanted revenge for the murders of his parents. Unlike Tim Burton's dark Batman this has no comic book quality to it. It is just dark.

The film examines morality, heroism, the battle against modern day terrorism, and does so uncompromisingly. It is a character study of the close link between the hero and the villain. Others have looked at this bond, but very few have done it this well. Both are tortured and both need the other to exist. Both Batman and Joker work alone as they follow a strict code, which few others could. In the end everyone involved has lost his or her sense of humanity. It is fascinating and heady stuff. Pretty cool that an 'action' film could accomplish this type of depth.

The story is about the beginnings of the Batman vs. The Joker ongoing battle. Batman/Bruce Banner (Christian Bale – The Machinist, September Dawn) wants to get out of the superhero business so he can be with his love, lawyer Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal – Mona Lisa Smile, Secretary). He sees a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is named Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart – Thanks For Smoking, Erin Brockovitch). Dent is the new District Attourney, who is dating Rachel, and he is out to eliminate crime in Gotham City. Dent, however, has his hands full when a new villain, The Joker (Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot), brings complete chaos to the city. Batman sees Dent as the true hero and that he is no longer needed. Batman wants out and The Joker wants to keep him in the battle. Who will win out in the end?

Special Features:
-Gotham Uncovered
-Focus Points
-Batman Tech
-Batman Unmasked
-Gotham Tonight
-Digital Copy

Batman Gotham Knight – Yashuhiro Aoki and Shojiro Nishimi

Animated outing that has six chapters which chronicle the growth of Batman from rookie crimefighter to the Dark Knight. Batman does battle with a variety of villains like Killer Croc, Scarecrow and Deadshot.

Great animation and stylishly done.

Special Features:
-Batman and Me: Bob Kane Story
-Mirror of the Bat
-Sneak Peek at Wonder Woman
-4 Episodes from Batman Animated Series

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