The Dark Knight Rises – Preorders Open!

The Dark Knight Rises

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

ARRIVES ON BLU-RAYTM DVD and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM 3rd DECEMBER

Pre-order in the UK from 2nd October HERE

The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset also available on 3rd December

The Dark Knight Rises arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download from 3rd December. In the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Gotham City is threatened by the masked terrorist Bane, forcing Batman to return from an eight-year absence and fight for his city one more time.

“The Dark Knight Rises” will be available on 2 disc Blu-ray and on single disc DVD The Blu-ray features the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray and in standard definition on DVD. “The Dark Knight Rises” Blu-ray disc takes advantage of the marriage of IMAX and 35mm formats by using the hybrid master to replicate the unique theatrical experience of integrated film formats.  The Blu-ray is also available in limited edition Bat Cowl packaging. Both the Blu-ray and the single disc DVD include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

Also available on 3rd December, just in time for holiday gift-giving, is “The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset,” featuring “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” all in one collection. Available on Blu-ray or standard definition DVD, “The Dark Knight Trilogy Limited Edition Giftset” will also include a premium book exclusive to the collection, which takes fans deeper into the epic franchise, as well as existing special features.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. “The Dark Knight Rises” also stars Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

The screenplay is written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The film is produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker; Michael E. Uslan; Kevin De La Noy; Thomas Tull; with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer. The film is based upon characters created by Bob Kane and published by DC Comics.

SYNOPSIS

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.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

BLU-RAY

  • “THE BATMOBILE” DOCUMENTARY: Witness all five Batmobiles together for the first time in history.  Dive deep into every aspect of the most awe-inspiring weapon in Batman’s arsenal as you journey through the birth and evolution of this technological marvel and cultural icon. (01:00)
  • ENDING THE KNIGHT: A comprehensive look into how Director Christopher Nolan and his production team made “The Dark Knight Rises” the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend.

Production

    • The Prologue: High-Altitude Hijacking
    • Return to the Batcave
    • Beneath Gotham
    • The Bat
    • Batman vs Bane
    • Armory Accepted
    • Gameday Destruction
    • Demolishing a City Street
    • The Pit
    • The Chant
    • The War on Wall Street
    • Race to the Reactor

Characters

    • The Journey of Bruce Wayne
    • Gotham’s Reckoning
    • A Girls Gotta Eat

Reflections

    • Shadows & Light in Large Format
    • The End of A Legend
  • Trailers
  • Art Galleries
  • UltraViolet: Instantly stream and download films to compatible devices

DVD

  • The Journey of Bruce Wayne
  • UltraViolet: Instantly stream and download films to compatible devices

The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises

There’s a moment in The Dark Knight which not only feels like a really good comic book scene, but actually transcends it, and becomes better than most of the Batman comics there have been. It’s when The Joker visits Harvey Dent at his hospital bed, and says just the right things to take advantage of Harvey’s broken mind. Everything about that scene is great for long-time fans, not least because of the way it uses well-known characters, but actually reinvents them and ties their fates together.

There are a few scenes like that in The Dark Knight Rises, and this sets it apart from most comic book movies. With most, there’s a sense that if they manage to come pretty close to the comic book at some point, that’s a good thing. One of the most impressive things about Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is that no matter how grittily he portrays the characters, tech and locations, it never loses sight of what’s been best about the comic books themselves. This movie draws mostly from the mid-late nineties run, with elements of the ‘Knightfall’ story as well as a lot of ‘No Man’s Land’.

But, more so than the comics themselves for 95% of the time, the film deals with consequences. Following the end of the previous movie, Bruce has effectively retired, his body shattered from the accumulated damage of crime-fighting and his reputation even more so. In some ways, he’s looking to return, but in other ways, he’s given up. One of the reasons he can’t ignore the events that take place in this film, though, is that in a direct way, he’s responsible for what’s happening. Again, the events of the first two films aren’t just distant memories – they directly inform what’s happening in this one.

This allows for a larger scope to be taken with Batman than has really been taken before – there’s not much need to introduce characters, as we already know the main ones. This frees Nolan up to push the character into somewhat unexplored territory (certainly filmically, and for most of the comics history as well).

This also means that Christian Bale is front-and-centre in this movie, with more interesting things to do than he’s had in a while. Anyone who has seen The Machinist knows that Bale can play withdrawn and haunted like few others, and he plays Bruce as such a recluse in the early parts of the film that it’s difficult to see how he can end up donning the costume again.

Tom Hardy plays Bane as Batman’s threatening shadow, with a huge arrogance to go along with his brutality. He’s bordering on camp at times, but is a hugely fun villain, if (and stop me if you’ve heard this one) somewhat incomprehensible at times.

Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway wins over a huge amount of her nay-sayers with a confident, winning performance, which combines sexiness with pragmatism. The slow build to her appearance in full costume means that the character never feels as ludicrous as she really should – a trick that Nolan also used with Batman in the first film.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues his slow climb towards the a-list, with a strong performance in a role that gets a lot to do, but never feels completely fleshed out. Marion Cotillard is charismatic, but probably would have benefitted from more screen-time to flesh out her character.

Meanwhile, if you liked Gary Oldman and Michael Caine in the first two films, you’re probably going to like them here. Caine gets to be emotional, and Oldman gets to be angry and frustrated, and otherwise, they’re continuing doing what they’ve been doing so far in the series.

The film looks amazing, as is to be expected from a movie from Christopher Nolan (especially with Wally Pfister behind the camera), and while Hans Zimmer’s score can be a little overbearing at times, it continues the huge quality of the series so far.

This isn’t to say that the film doesn’t have its flaws. There are continuity issues and plot points that it seems jaw-dropping that they’ve been missed. There are actions that happen purely to advance the plot, and there are a couple of scenes that end up feeling like a cop-out.

However, your mileage will vary on this. You may find that the flaws in it irritate you too much, or you may find they’re something you barely notice. For this reviewer, there’s a scene involving a trial that perfectly displays the kind of comic book movie that nobody thought we’d ever get. And this means that the positives outweigh the negatives completely, and while the flaws irritate, they don’t destroy.

Howl?s Moving Castle Blu Ray Review

Howl?s Moving Castle Blu Ray
Howl?s Moving Castle Blu Ray Cover
It?s time to take a look at the second Studio Ghibli film to be released on Blu-Ray this month. Following on from the under-par Tales From Earthsea we have the ?in-another-league? Howl?s Moving Castle. Both films were being produced at the same time, but it was Howl that was directed and overseen by the master, Miyazaki-san?and boy does it show. Where Goro Miyazaki?s film shows all the trademarks of a first-time director struggling with his art, Hayao Miyazaki?s movie shows a director at the height of his talent, confident in his adaptation of the source material. Howl sits perfectly alongside ?Spirited Away? as a modern masterpiece of animated story-telling, and it is for all the hallmarks that we have come to regard as de rigeur for a Ghibli film. Here is a movie that is at once for children and for adults, for fans of the original book and those coming fresh to the tale. It is whimsical, magical and fantastical while remaining grounded in its characters and motivations. Miyazaki-san gives us another view of his version of a pseudo-historical steampunk-lite Europe, all airships and magic, Victorian outfits and manners, middle-European architecture and colours. Much like Laputa, Lupin III and Porco Rosso, this is Miyazaki letting his love for European vistas take flight, and then rooting a very solid story in the middle of it all.

Based on but not strictly adhering to the best-selling novel of the same name by Diana Wynn Jones, the movie tells the tale of Sophie, the hard-working daughter of a hat-seller who encounters the Witch of the Waste and is cursed to look 90 years old. She flees her home and family and meets up with a mysterious magical scarecrow who leads her to the sanctuary of the infamous wizard Howl. This castle moves across the Alpine-like landscape on legs and Sophie discovers is inhabited not just by Howl, but by his young apprentice and a fire demon named Calcifer. She quickly casts herself in the role of cleaner in order to try to find a way to lift the curse upon her. In doing so she befriends the wizard and his entourage and becomes embroiled in their attempts to avoid being dragged in to a war between rival countries.

Aside from removing the Welsh and name-swapping sisters elements of the original book, Ghibli stick fairly close to the original story, but do so with their usual flourish adding more depth and life to the characters.

Sophie is far more sympathetic here, and with the legendary Jean Simmons supplying her ?elderly? voice, she becomes a character you genuinely feel for. Howl is a far less whiney wizard here, partly due to time constraints, but mostly because the audience need to fall in love with him along with Sophie. The Howl of the book is a rather harsh and overly whinging chap who I struggled to see what Sophie saw anything in. But here he is a bit emo/goth, and while Christian Bale?s ?I am Batman? gruff voice grates more often than not, he is a relatable character, fearing for his freedom and seeking the return of his heart. The real standout characters are Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal, and the Witch of the Waste?both amuse and entertain, but also offer a sense of depth to the storyline, of a whole world to be explored.

The film is one of Studio Ghibli?s finest, with wonderful pacing and a real sense of scale. It is a grand adventure for all ages and does a great job of blending reality with fantasy. While magic is at the core of the film, it is the very real actions of Sophie and co. that leads our heroes to success. There is also a heart to the film, where even those who have done wrong are offered a chance of salvation and peace. And of course, there is a Totoro-sized chunk of Miyzaki-styled ships, planes, palaces, cars, trams and much more. The unique Ghibli style is on full display throughout.

And so we come to the Blu-Ray itself. Unlike the rather lacklustre look of ?Tales From Earthsea?, the transfer for Howl is nothing short of magnificent. The transformation from DVD to BD is stunning. The vibrancy of colours, the sharpness of the image, the purity of the animation?all of it is beyond compare. This is Ghibli?s best looking BD to date, and the best-sounding, and it gives me great hope for what Spirited Away is going to look like. This BD will show off your system to its finest, while entertaining friends and family alike. There are, once again, some interesting extras included, such as a feature on how Miyazaki-san surprised John Lasseter at Pixar with a shock visit, bringing drool-inducing gifts. There are features on the sound and voices, the English dub and the original launch. All in all it is a wonderful package that will make Ghibli fanatics (like me) very happy indeed.

I cannot recommend this film, or this BD release highly enough. Go and get it and you?ll not be disappointed. If you?ve never bought or seen a Ghibli movie before, here is a wonderful place to start. Fall in love with the magic of Ghibli animation, it is truly something to behold.

Terminator Salvation Blu Ray and DVD Details

Limited Edition Terminator Salvation DVD Boxed Set
Limited Edition Terminator Salvation DVD Boxed Set

Stars Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) and Sam Worthington (Avatar) ignite the battle between man and machine in the futuristic action epic TERMINATOR SALVATION, blasting its way onto Blu-ray and DVD on 23/11/09 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The TERMINATOR SALVATION Blu-ray and DVD will arrive packed with spectacular bonus features, including ?Re-Forging the Future,? an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the film?s production, ?The Moto-Terminator,? a featurette revealing how the film?s visual effects crew and motorcycle manufacturer Ducati partnered to create the slick and deadly Moto-Terminators, plus eleven mini featurette focus points spotlighting how the ground-breaking special effects were created.

The Blu-ray edition of TERMINATOR SALVATION will exclusively include McG?s Director?s Cut of the film with additional footage not shown in cinemas and Maximum Movie Mode, which allows viewers to watch the film with director ?McG and includes a Picture In Picture (PiP) commentary with cast and crew interviews; 11 mini featurettes; storyboards; still galleries; and more. BD-Live features on the disc include 10 downloadable ?Terminator TechCom? videos, live-updated film information via movieIQ, and cinechat, a feature allowing movie fans to chat live with friends around the world while viewing this, or any other cinechat-enabled Sony BD title.

Terminator Quadrilogy Terminator 1-3 + Terminator Salvation Boxed Set
Terminator Quadrilogy Terminator 1-3 + Terminator Salvation Boxed Set

Priced to own at an RRP of ?24.99 (Blu-ray) and ?19.99 (DVD) (see right to compare prices), TERMINATOR SALVATION is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the mega hit Terminator series movie lovers around the world won?t want to miss. The film is also available to buy as part of a TERMINATOR 1 ? 4 DVD box set, priced at ?34.99 RRP, and as a Collector?s Edition Blu-ray with stunning life-size Skull packaging for ?74.99 RRP, the ultimate purchase for true fans of the franchise.
TERMINATOR SALVATION was directed by acclaimed director McG (Charlie?s Angels 1 & 2). Joining Christian Bale in the visually breathtaking fight to save the human race is an all-star cast that includes Australian newcomer Sam Worthington (Avatar), who was cast in the critical role of ?Marcus Wright? after a personal recommendation from James Cameron, Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village), famed American hip-hop artist Common (Wanted), rising young star Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter).
TERMINATOR SALVATION was produced by Moritz Borman (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), Derek Anderson (After the Wedding), Victor Kubicek (After the Wedding) and Jeffrey Silver (300). It was co-written by the writing team of John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Game). The film also co-stars Jane Alexander (The Ring), Moon Bloodgood (What Just Happened?) and Michael Ironside (Total Recall). The film was released internationally by Sony Pictures Releasing and has a run time of approximately 114 minutes.? It has been rated 12 (tbc) for DVD and Blu-ray.

Lost the Terminator plot? Then read on…

John Connor (Bale) was fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.

DVD and Blu-ray? High Def Bonus Material

Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes:
?Re-Forging the Future? ? Go behind the scenes of Terminator Salvation with an exclusive set tour.
?The Moto-Terminator? – See how the Terminator Salvation visual effects crew and Ducati partnered to create the slick and deadly Moto-Terminator!
Plus, 11 mini-featurettes spotlighting how the ground-breaking special effects were created!

Exclusive to Blu-ray? High Def:

The Extended Director?s Cut of the film with additional footage not seen in theaters.
Maximum Movie Mode – watch the film with director McG,
11 mini featurettes
Picture ?in-Picture ?(PiP) commentary with cast and crew interviews
Storyboards
Still galleries
Timeline.
BD-Live Content:

Ten downloadable ?Termninator TechCom? ?video segments
cinechat ? BD-Live technology that lets viewers around the world chat live about this, or any other cinechat enabled BD disc, from Sony Pictures International Home Entertainment!
movieIQ ? Live-updated on-screen film information available via BD-Live

The Blu-ray Disc? version of TERMINATOR SALVATION is BD-Live? enabled, allowing users to get connected and go beyond the disc via an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. Download content, give feedback through an exclusive survey, and register for rewards.

Terminator Salvation Trailer

Please note the new release date, which is now June 3rd as opposed to June 5th.

This is the film Terminator fans have been waiting for – to witness the post apocalyptic war between the machines and the human resistance!

Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But, the future Connor was raised to believe in, is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright, a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past.

As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet?s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.
NEW Trailer – March 2009

Trailer – Feb 2009

Terminator Salvation is due to be released in the UK on the June 5th 2009.