Friday, December 5, 2008

The Dark Knight DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Heath Ledger’s Swan Song Released on DVD

The late Heath Ledger easily eclipses his predecessors with this inspired interpretation of The Joker as a maniacal misanthrope much more menacing than mirthful. What makes this incarnation of the character unforgettable is that under that garish clown makeup is a philosophical and downright scary psychopath with mayhem at the top of his agenda. The accolades for The Dark Knight don’t stop with Ledger, as the picture itself happens to be perhaps the best screen adaptation of a comic book ever.

As for the plot, at the point of departure, we find Gotham winning its battle against the underworld, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Batman (Christian Bale). Everything changes the day The Joker shows up in town and pulls off a brazen bank robbery of a fortune of laundered mob money during which he strategically knocks-off each of his accomplices at the moment he no longer needs their services.

Next, the double-crossing clown approaches the city’s loose confederation of crime bosses and offers, for a price, to kill the vigilante on the brink of shutting down their embattled syndicate. They reluctantly agree, which means Batman must match wits as much as muscle with this most-worthy adversary.

Fortunately, his alter ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, with the help of his loyal butler, Alfred (Michael Caine) and genius inventor Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), is capable of outfitting himself with a new line of state-of-the-art Bat gadgetry, including a Batmobile, a Batsuit, a Batpod, Batdarts, Batsonar, and so forth.

Still, despite all the superhero’s bells and whistles and the production’s eye-popping special f/x, The Dark Knight is unavoidably fated to be remembered as Heath Ledger’s chilling swan song. Fortunately, he saved his best performance for last.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for menacing and for intense violence.

Running time: 153 minutes

Studio: Warner Home Video

2-Disc DVD Features: 6 Imax scenes, a digital copy of the film, poster art, production stills, 6 episodes of Gotham Cable’s news program, and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

To see a trailer of The Dark Knight, visit:

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