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Batman Begins

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Batman Begins' 4K relaunch enhances its iconic reboot, despite minor flaws.

    Batman Begins 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Batman Begins' 4K UHD Blu-ray upgrade offers improved details and HDR enhancements but retains some original cinematic softness and color nuances, reflecting Nolan's aesthetic.

  • Audio
  • The DTS-HD MA 5.1 upgrade for Batman Begins enhances the audio experience with clear dialogue, intense Zimmer scores, and powerful low-end effects, maintaining the film's immersive atmosphere.

  • Extra
  • Batman Begins Ultra HD Blu-ray set boasts a rich selection of extras across discs, featuring picture-in-picture interviews, eight detailed featurettes on various aspects of the film's creation, and additional content like a spoof and galleries, despite missing some previous exclusive bonuses.

  • Movie
  • Nolan revitalized Batman with a gritty, realistic lens and an ensemble cast, setting a high bar for superhero movies with a mix of artistry and action.

    Video: 82

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Batman Begins" presents an ambitious but somewhat inconsistent upgrade from its previous incarnations. Encompassed by an HEVC / H.265 encoded 2160p transfer and framed within the original theatrical ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen, it showcases an evident improvement, particularly when contrasted with the standard Blu-ray's decade-old presentation. The film, initially shot on 35mm film by the acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister and supervised by director Christopher Nolan for this 4K scan, exhibits enhanced clarity and detail that breathes new life into Gotham's dreary cityscape. However, despite the advancements in cleaning up image quality, balancing contrast, and eliminating instances of black crush or banding, the inherent softness attributed to the original cinematography occasionally mars the visual fidelity, leaving some scenes to appear slightly nebulous.

    Detailing in "Batman Begins" ranges from spectacular in close-ups, capturing intricate textures of skin and costumes, to underwhelming in broader shots where clarity expectedly wanes. This unevenness extends to the color reproduction as well, where the HDR grading significantly enhances shadow detail and black levels, contributing to a visually darker yet purposefully atmospheric picture that Nolan and Pfister envisioned. Although the color palette benefits from this HDR treatment, showcasing more vibrant hues and a warmer tone that accentuates the grim aesthetics of Gotham, it doesn't entirely veer into a transformative revelation due to the restrained chromatic choices of the original film production. Nevertheless, instances of aliasing and potential DNR application hint at technological limitations or choices that slightly detract from an otherwise commendable upgrade.

    The overall presentation of "Batman Begins" on 4K UHD is characterized by a substantial yet flawed enhancement, struggling with the dual task of staying true to the original filmic expression while attempting to meet the heightened expectations for 4K resolution. While it marks a definite visual improvement highlighting finer details and a richer color gamut, it falls short of being the definitive demonstration piece for enthusiasts expecting a dramatic leap in quality. The effort to preserve Nolan's cinematic vision is evident, rendering this release a must-have for fans despite its shortcomings, reaffirming its place as a visually compelling entry into the superhero genre's foray into higher definition mediums.

    Audio: 87

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Batman Begins" sports a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, a commendable enhancement from its original Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. Although largely indistinguishable from the previous release to some, this update holds its ground with an array of technical improvements. The sound is dynamically rich, with a palpable sense of atmosphere and a meticulously detailed soundfield that endows each scene with a vivid lifelikeness. The efforts to remix for near-field listening environments have paid off, presenting a sound that is both impactful and immersive, making it seem like the action unfolds within your own living room.

    Hans Zimmer's iconic score is once again at the forefront of the audio experience, its weighty LFE presence underscoring the intense thematic material of the film. Vocals retain a crisp clarity and are well balanced within the soundscape, never getting lost amid the action sequences that boast impressive low-end force and robust surround effects. Particularly notable is the auditory portrayal of the Batmobile (Tumbler), whose powerful engine rumble and action-packed escapades provide an exemplary showcase of the mix's dynamic range and low-frequency prowess.

    This release, albeit sticking to a 5.1 configuration instead of venturing into object-based audio options, leverages its sound design effectively across all channels, creating an engaging auditory experience. Environmental sounds, from the delicate patter of rain in the Batcave to the intense clashes in Gotham, move smoothly across channels, showcasing the mix's spatial articulation. The decision to maintain Nolan's original sound presentation in DTS-HD format may disappoint those yearning for an Atmos upgrade; however, it remains a testament to adhering to the director's vision while still delivering a substantially immersive experience that complements the visual spectacle of "Batman Begins.

    Extra: 83

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Batman Begins" features a comprehensive suite of extras spread across the accompanying Blu-ray discs, focusing predominantly on featurettes that delve into various aspects of the film's production. These extras include in-depth explorations of the conceptual genesis of the reboot, casting insights, location shoots in Iceland, practical effects-driven action sequences, Bale's physical transformation into Batman, detailed set design, the development of the iconic Batsuit and Batmobile, and more. Notably, this release omits the In-Movie Experience feature found in previous versions, which provided Picture-in-Picture commentary and behind-the-scenes footage overlaid on the film itself—likely due to production constraints. While the absence of certain exclusive content from the Warner’s The Dark Knight Trilogy box set is felt, the inclusion of a digital copy (with individual film purchase) and an array of other featurettes and materials—including an MTV spoof and confidential files animations—ensures a rich supplementary experience that complements the main feature well. Overall, while aiming for completionists might leave some wanting due to missing elements from past editions, the package remains a solid collection that enriches the viewing experience of "Batman Begins."

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Tankman Begins: A spoof short film featured on MTV.
    • The Journey Begins: Chronicles the casting process and early production stages.
    • Shaping Mind and Body: A look at Christian Bale's transformation for the role.
    • Gotham City Rises: Insight into the elaborate set design.
    • Cape and Cowl: The development and design of Batman's suit.
    • Batman - The Tumbler: Exploration of the new Batmobile's design and functionality.
    • Path to Discovery: Focus on the Iceland shooting location.
    • Saving Gotham City: Discusses the action sequences and practical effects used.
    • Genesis of the Bat: Introduction to the reboot’s concept and development.
    • Reflections on Writing: Brief discussions on scriptwriting for the film.
    • Digital Batman: Overview of digital effects used.
    • Batman Begins Stunts: Showcase of stunt work.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Promotional material for the film.

    Movie: 86

    Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" represents a monumental pivot in the superhero genre, resurrecting the Batman franchise from the ashes of its past missteps and propelling it into the realm of cinematic artistry that appeals both to hardcore comic book aficionados and a broader audience seeking depth and sophistication. The movie meticulously weaves the origin story of Bruce Wayne into a gritty, realistic narrative that deftly balances action with psychological depth. Through an impressive ensemble cast, including Christian Bale's compelling dual portrayal as Bruce Wayne and Batman, and notable performances by Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, and Cillian Murphy, Nolan crafts a world that is both fantastical yet remarkably grounded. The narrative arc redefines Batman not just as a superhero, but as a symbol of fear against the corrupt, reflecting Nolan’s ambition to deliver a tale that is emotionally resonant and philosophically rich.

    Nolan’s knack for storytelling shines as he explores themes of fear, justice, and redemption, embarking on a dark, introspective journey into the soul of his protagonist. "Batman Begins" merges stylistic elements of noir with the spectacle of blockbuster cinema, establishing a tone that would influence not only its sequels but also the trajectory of superhero films as a genre. The film’s technical prowess is equally commendable; the 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation underscores Nolan’s dedication to visual and auditory excellence. With a stunning new 4K scan of the original camera negative overseen by Nolan himself, the movie's visual aesthetic is revitalized, capturing Gotham's gloomy atmosphere in striking detail. The remastered sound format enhances Hans Zimmer’s iconic score, enveloping viewers in the film’s intense emotional beats and action sequences.

    "Begins" stands out for its coherent narrative structure and brisk pace compared to its successors. It successfully introduces the foundations of what would become the Dark Knight Trilogy—a testament to Nolan and Goyer’s foresighted planning. Despite minor action scene coverage issues, which Nolan would refine in later installations, "Batman Begins" lays down a compelling template for approaching superhero cinema with seriousness and depth. Through its exploration of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman within a believably corrupt Gotham, the film invites viewers into a reflective dialogue on justice, heroism, and the potential for redemption amidst darkness. This approach not only elevated Batman but set a new benchmark for storytelling within the genre.

    Total: 81

    Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" is lauded not only as a remarkable reboot of the Batman franchise but also as a film that redefined an iconic character for new generations, with Christian Bale's portrayal quickly becoming a definitive take on the Caped Crusader. This sentiment is echoed in the film's 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation, part of The Dark Knight Trilogy or the Christopher Nolan Collection, which has received high praise for substantially enhancing the viewing experience over its predecessor releases. Despite some minor visual imperfections and a noted aliasing glitch, the native 4K image significantly improves upon the flawed Blu-ray version, offering a cleaner and more engaging visual presentation. The audio quality, particularly the DTS-HD MA track, is nearly flawless, delivering an immersive experience that complements the film's intense and atmospheric moments.

    The 4K UHD release of "Batman Begins" stands out not just for its technical upgrades but also for the added depth it brings to Nolan's grittier, reality-grounded take on Batman's evolution. Warner Bros.’ effort to upgrade the movie to Ultra HD HDR format, while not without its shortcomings when compared to some top-tier 4K releases, still represents a commendable step up from the HD SDR version. It enhances the film's darker tones and richer soundscapes, even if it doesn't quite reach the pinnacle of UHD perfection. The inclusion of the same comprehensive set of extras ensures that fans have plenty to engage with beyond the film itself.

    In conclusion, while "Batman Begins" on 4K UHD Blu-ray may exhibit a few visual inconsistencies and doesn't completely set a new standard for the format, it undoubtedly offers a superior viewing experience that fans of the trilogy will appreciate. Highly recommended for Batman enthusiasts and 4K collectors alike, this release shines as a testament to Nolan’s vision and Batman's enduring legacy in cinema. Whether as part of a wider collection or as a standalone purchase, it's a valuable addition to any UHD library, especially for those seeking to experience Gotham City's dark knight at his finest.