New on DVD/Blu-ray: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie Image

The Dark Knight takes on his biggest and most dangerous enemy yet in Bane, a muscle-bound terrorist intent on bringing Gotham City and its self-appointed protector to its knees in Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises”. Despite tragedy and bad press, the film still managed to rise (ahem) to the top of the box office, becoming the most profitable installment in the franchise yet. “The Dark Knight Rises” is scheduled to arrive on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and for download on December 4, 2012.

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and directed by Christopher Nolan.

How do you defeat a terrorist with a whole army behind him and who knows all your darkest secrets? Turns out, it’s kinda hard. That’s what Bruce Wayne discovers when he comes out of retirement in “The Dark Knight Rises”, just as Bane (Tom Hardy) launches a full-scale war on Gotham City. In his third outing, Christopher Nolan doesn’t hold back, tossing everything including the kitchen sink into “Rises”. Villains, hidden villains, heroes, allies, and everyone in-between put in their two cents. War movie battle scenes, an entire city under occupation, and up-close-and-personal fistfights that hurt just to watch. Comic book movies don’t come more epic than this. “The Avengers” may have a gang of superheroes, but Nolan only needed one (and a helpful cat burglar, of course) to reach the same level.

Bale is back and in fine form as Batman, but it’s the newcomers that really inject much-needed vitality into “The Dark Knight Rises”. Anne Hathaway is fantastic and amazing and every other superlative you can think of as cat burglar Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, though she’s never called that in the movie). Who knew Hathaway could kick so much ass? Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also surprisingly convincing as an idealistic cop who might understand Batman more than anyone else in the entire movie. And Tom Hardy as Bane … even with that ridiculous voice, Hardy is a force to be reckon with. I could have done without the surprise villain, which thanks to the Internet, wasn’t really much of a surprise. (Gee, thanks, Internet!)

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie Image

“The Dark Knight Rises” Blu-ray Combo Pack, featuring a holographic cover, arrives in a three-disc package. Disc one contains the film in standard DVD format, while disc two features the film on Blu-ray. The third and final disc contains special features only. (The movie is nearly three hours long, after all, so separating the films on their own discs makes sense.) For you multi-taskers out there, the Blu-ray gives you the option of watching the film with the Second Screen function.

Bonus content on the third disc includes the hour-long documentary on the Batmobile, featuring the history of Batman’s ride from its early days in the comics to the current Tumbler. “Ending the Knight” is like a vault of bonus content that opens up to reveal an insane amount of mini-docs on pretty much every aspect of the making of “The Dark Knight Rises”. Lots and lots here for those who want to immerse themselves into absolutely every little thing in terms of the how’s and why’s of “Rises”. And finally, Trailer Archives has four trailers from the movie, and a “Print Campaign Art Gallery” is just that, a gallery of all the promotional artwork that were made for the movie, including posters and banners (31 in all). Chances are, we probably posted all 31 of these at one point or another.

If this is indeed Nolan’s final Batman film, he certainly went out with a bang — and then some. Comic book fans were really spoiled in 2012 — first “The Avengers”, and then “The Dark Knight Rises”. Two films from the same genre, yet so utterly different in every way that comparing the two would be silly. It’s much easier, and more rewarding to take them as two different beasts. If you were one of the few who decided to bypass “Rises” in theaters, don’t make the same mistake twice. Get this movie on DVD or Blu-ray.

Buy “The Dark Knight Rises” on DVD or Blu-ray on December 4, 2012 from Warner Home Video.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Movie Blu-ray Cover