December 09, 2008
"The Dark Knight" on Blu-ray: Wow…
Today's something of a milestone in the history of Blu-ray—or rather, it will be, once all the receipts are tallied. That's because the Blu-ray version of "The Dark Knight" finally arrived in stores today, and it's a safe bet that it'll become the fastest-selling Blu-ray disc yet—something akin to what "The Matrix" was for DVD way back in 1999 (or at least, that's my prediction).
I got a copy of TDK via Netflix today, popped it into my PS3, pulled my chair up nice and close, and … whoa. The standard 35mm "scope" scenes look sharp enough, but the four IMAX sequences (presented on Blu-ray at 1.78:1, compared to 2.35:1 for the rest of the film) are simply stunning. At the risk of gushing, I've gotta say … here's a movie that was truly meant to be seen on Blu-ray.
I'm also impressed by the BD-Live features on TDK—mainly, the ability to record your own full-length, picture-in-picture commentaries. It's a simple process: You just set up your Webcam and log on to the Warners BD-Live site on your PC/Mac; next, you launch a Web-based video player, hit "play" to start the movie, and start recording. Personally, I love the idea of fan-generated commentaries (pictured above)—the more the better. (Sorry, but the standard "we're so brilliant!" actor/director commentaries bore me stiff.) Also nice: The ability to set up live "community" screenings with fellow Batman fans in other households.
But will "The Dark Knight" manage to vault Blu-ray into the mainstream, as "The Matrix" did for DVD nine years ago? For now, it's an open question. Blu-ray player prices have finally fallen below $200, but as I've written before on Y! Tech, I've heard from plenty of folks who are just fine sticking with DVD (especially given the crappy economy). Guess we'll have to wait for the sales figures before we know for sure.