The Dark Knight Trilogy - Ultimate Collector’s Edition
You've got to be a die-hard collector to shell out $80 for some extra features, a few Hot Wheels and some art - which may be why this Blu-ray repackaging of "The Dark Knight" trilogy is, in fact, called "The Ultimate Collector's Edition." The films and their special features are no different from the existing $30-ish 5-disc packaging; but to be honest, real fans of the films who haven't already bought that set should be well tempted to shell out the extra $50. Either way, you're scoring a huge amount of entertainment for not a lot of money.
Christian Bale's turn at the bat has seen 8 years of massive spectacle, a trilogy of well-crafted films that scored more than $2 billion at the box office. Director Christopher Nolan reimagined the masked vigilante in 2005 from the ground up, surrounding him with dark, glorious sets and characters as memorable as they were archetypal. It helped that the cadre of actors surrounding Bale was as talented as he: Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Aaron Eckhart, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Cillian Murphy gave stand-out performances along the way. And while an uncomfortable shift from Katie Holmes to Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes in the second chapter dented the film's charm, the penultimate - and caustically brilliant - performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker earned the film tremendous praise.
So what's the real $50 difference here? Specifically, you get a new documentary called "The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy" which, for all of its inside perspective, isn't as fascinating as the existing behind-the-scenes docs on the regular set. Also included in the new bonus disc is a conversation between Nolan and Richard Donner of Superman fame (a bit of a yawn) and IMAX sequences from "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises." Frankly, I've never understood the appeal of seeing an IMAX image on a 60" screen, but I'm sure some fanboys love it.
The Hot Wheels cars are cute, and you'll be able to enjoy a few Mondo collectible art cards (cool) and a 48-page hardcover book with stills and behind-the-scenes images from the making of the trilogy. Whether these extras are worth $50 is up to the individual. But I must admit the packaging is gorgeous. I don't tend to watch films over and over and over, so a hardcover book packaging beats the regular Blu-ray plastic any day for me, and Warner Bros. has created a beautiful case and disc-holder here.
I also have to add this: In the lexicon of fabulous film franchises, few warrant a big, bold space on my shelf. In most cases, movies should take up the smallest space possible (in fact, digital is even better, although I don't care for the Ultraviolet format). But "The Dark Knight Trilogy" holds its own next to my other boxed sets - "Bond," "The Lord of the Rings," and other fantastic properties. And in a real sense, the difference between a few digital files and a showpiece for your in-home movie theatre? Now, that might be worth the extra cash.
About the Ultimate Collector's Edition (UCE):
Disc 1 - "Batman Begins" Feature and Special Features
Disc 2 - "The Dark Knight" Feature
Disc 3 - "The Dark Knight" Special Features
Disc 4 - "The Dark Knight Rises" Feature
Disc 5 - "The Dark Knight Rises" Special Features
Disc 6 - Bonus Disc of New Special Features (details follow)
NEW Special Features:
The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy - The inside perspective on the fascinating story behind the creation of one of the most celebrated franchises and how it changed the scope of movie making....forever. Full of never-before-seen footage, rare moments, and exclusive interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Damon Lindelof, Michael Mann, Richard Roeper, Zack Snyder and others.
· Christopher Nolan & Richard Donner: A Conversation - For the first time, Directors Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight Trilogy") and Richard Donner ("Superman") sit down to discuss the trials and triumphs involved in bringing the two most iconic superheroes of all time to the big screen, and how "Superman" influenced Nolan when developing "Batman Begins."
· IMAX® Sequences: The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises - See your favorite scenes as they were intended in the original IMAX© aspect ratio
Exclusive NEW Memorabilia:
· Premium Mattel Hot Wheels Vehicles: Batmobile, Batpod and Tumbler
· Newly commissioned collectible art cards by Mondo featuring Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Harvey Dent, and Ra's al Ghul
· 48-page hardcover book featuring production stills and behind the scenes images from all three movies
The Dark Knight Trilogy - Ultimate Collector's Edition