Batman Begins 4K UltraHD Blu-ray Review
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K UltraHD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”
“Batman Begins” 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.
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Run time: 140 mins
Audio: DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Disc Spec: 1 4KBD/1 BD50
Superhero franchises need a reboot every few years in the comic book world to help bring back a unique freshness to a series. Hollywood has gone back and done the same with many of our favorite superhero franchises including ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman’. The ‘Superman’ franchise was out of the public eye for years, while the Batman franchise had turned into a kid friendly type of movie where promotion was more important than taking the franchise in the right direction. I really liked Tim Burton’s rendition of ‘Batman’ with his first two films, albeit ‘Batman Returns’ being ultra dark film. His style helped shape the first two ‘Batman’ films rather well, but enter Joel Schumacher for the next two which helped bring the franchise down more than many expected.
Enter Christopher Nolan as our director, David S. Goyer as our screenwriter, and Christian Bale as our superhero ‘Batman’ in the new retelling of ‘Batman’s’ origin on the silver screen. All 3 come together to pack a punch on the retelling of ‘Batman’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’ in ‘Batman Begins’. What even helps make this a much more fantastic film is that the supporting cast is actually really good. Without having such a good supporting cast, this film could have easily gone down a few notches. What also adds even more is the addition of our villain ‘Scarecrow’ played by Cillian Murphy. Murphy plays the role so well because of his maniacal look alone. One thing that Nolan and Goyer do so well here is that this film does not feel like a 2 combo villain affair as the last 2 ‘Batman’ feature films did. Tim Burton did a good job with making the villains in his films feel special. With Schumacher’s versions, they felt so cartooney and out of place as loners, let alone having 2 or 3 villains teaming with each other.
Liam Neeson plays an excellent character too, and for those that have not seen the film I will not spoil who Neeson is in any way. Add all these pieces together and you have an excellent retelling of ‘Batman’ on the silver screen. Gotham City looks fantastic here too; it keeps that gritty feel of a city that went down due his powerful parents being murdered. It just felt more realistic to me with Gotham City in this film the way it was represented.
Christian Bale is the best ‘Batman’ since Michael Keaton, if not the best. There, I finally was able to get that out of my system. Val Kilmer and George Clooney did nothing for me as the caped crusader, but we finally have a person that even tops the great Michael Keaton as ‘Batman’.
Movie Content: 10/10
The print is presented in 2160p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. I have owned many versions of “Batman Begins” on home video, and the HD DVD version of ‘Batman Begins’ was one of a crown jewel in my collection before the Blu-ray release. The day that I decided to sell off my HD DVD collection, it was rather upsetting but the Blu-ray release was really overall a nice upgrade at that time. Here we are in 2017 now with the new 4K UHD release of “Batman Begins”. This is a definite upgrade from the previous HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases, it is not the substantial upgrade that I would have hoped for in a few areas. Some DNR rears its ugly head here, which is one of the biggest issues that I had back on the infancy of the Blu-ray format where it ran rampant. The image is sharp and very detailed with Blacks taking front and center as they should be in a film like this. Colors are well produced and hold up rather strong here, especially with browns and blues taking center stage. I was concerned at one point that the black levels were going to experience an issue, but that was not the case.
Video Quality: 9.5/10
The audio mix is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. Warner bumps up the audio to DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix track from the previous Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix that was on the HD-DVD and Blu-ray releases. The sound in ‘Batman Begins’ is fantastic and still holds up very well through the action sequences to the dialogue scenes. This film really had my house rumbling anytime there were action scenes. In all my reviews, I always mention the dialogue scenes and is a test for the sound engineers due to some releases having high action sequence sound vs. low dialogue scenes. ‘Batman Begins’ stays consistent throughout the entire film with the entire sound field. This is a nice upgrade over the previous Dolby TrueHD mix, yet would be disappointing for those with an Atmos setup which this doesn’t get to take advantage of.
Audio Quality: 9/10
- The Dark Knight IMAX Prologue [HD]
- Behind The Story
- Additional Footage
- Reflections on Writing
- Digital Batman
- Batman Begins Stunts
- Theatrical Trailer [HD]
Special Features: 7/10
For those that don’t already own “Batman Begins” in high definition, I highly recommend that you pick this title up for your collection especially if you are a huge fan of Batman. The only sour point for some will be the lack of Dolby Atmos and that the image quality lacks in a few areas, other than those little nuances this is the definitive version of “Batman Begins”.
Overall Rating: 8/10