RT on DVD: The Dark Knight Is Here!

Plus Horton Hears a Who, complete series sets of The Wire and Deadwood, and more.

by | December 8, 2008 | Comments

Welcome to The Dark Knight DVD week at Rotten Tomatoes! Warner Bros.’ dark, masterful sequel arrives on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday as one of the most anticipated home video releases of the year. (Stay tuned for RT’s test drive of the Dark Knight BD-Live function, in which fans can record, upload and share their own commentary tracks set to scenes from the film.) Also see what else is new to DVD: The Wire The Complete Series, Deadwood The Complete Series, Horton Hears a Who, Man on Wire, and more!

1. The Dark Knight — Two-Disc Special Edition and Blu-ray — 94%

So last summer you might have heard of this little character-driven movie, in which a wealthy businessman-turned-crime fighter takes on a diabolical foe named the Joker whilst questioning the negative effects of his lifestyle choice on his fellow citizens. Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, that’s just fine, since this week The Dark Knight hits DVD and Blu-ray in a major way, giving you plenty of opportunity to watch and re-watch Christian Bale match wits with the late, great Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s artful comic book movie sequel.

The Dark Knight (Certified Fresh at 94% on the Tomatometer and one of the year’s best-reviewed films) comes to DVD and Blu-ray with a host of special features designed to make you drool like a Pavlovian pup. Here you’ll find galleries of concept art and stills, the Gotham Uncovered documentary, and six episodes of “Gotham Cable’s Premier News Program;” featurettes on the Batpod, the Bat-suit and Hans Zimmer’s score; and all six sequences shot in IMAX, presented as they were originally intended.

Of course, these features will look all the better in Blu-ray, which contains a total of three hours of bonus materials. The Dark Knight is also the very first Warner Bros. title to enjoy the BD-Live function, which you can use to create your own video commentary from select scenes from the film and share them with your friends. Below, watch our very own Editor in Chief, Matt Atchity, as he delivers a gripping commentary of his own using The Dark Knight‘s BD-Live function! (And yes, that’s yours truly riding shotgun.)

Next: Saddle up with the complete set of Deadwood

2. Deadwood – The Complete Series

Like many of the denizens of its namesake town, HBO’s series Deadwood lived a vibrant, but short, life during its three-season run on television. With the possibility of tele-film sequels now as dead as Wild Bill Hickok, you and your favorite Deadwood fan can take solace in the fact that the entire series is now available in one 19-disc package. And for the low, low price of $179.99!

Next: Horton hears a DVD!

Reach back into the far recesses of your memory, beyond the Kung Fu Pandas and Wall-E‘s of this year, all the way back to March — when a little animated flick called Horton Hears a Who debuted in theaters. The Certified Fresh retelling of Dr. Seuss’ original tale delighted critics, who appreciated the whimsical, faithful adaptation of one of the Dr.’s best-loved stories.

Pick up the 2-Disc Special Edition for a bonus-packed menu that includes two commentaries (one with the directors and producers, the other with stars Jim Carrey and Steve Carell), tons of deleted scenes and animated screen tests, featurettes, and perhaps most enticing of all, a sneak peek short film featuring the characters Sid and Scrat from the upcoming Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

Next: Drift away with LOST: Season Four

4. LOST – The Complete Fourth Season

The hit ABC show LOST bounced back from its mid-life slump with a Season Four that hooked viewers in again — a good thing, since the Castaways only have a few more seasons to go before the series meets its definitive conclusion, as previously announced. In Season Four, catch up with new rivals Jack and Locke, mourn the loss of the beloved (or to many, reviled) Charlie, meet a host of brand new characters from the freighter ship Kahana, and stay riveted as the show that defined “twist” for modern television explores the concept of the flash-forward. Special features include featurettes on LOST‘s location filming, composer Michael Giacchino’s score, deleted scenes and more.

Next: One of the year’s best docs: Man on Wire

5. Man on Wire – 100%

Director James Marsh pieces together a portrait of one of the world’s bravest (or is it dumbest?) man in this critically acclaimed documentary, which also happens to be one of the best reviewed films of the year. In Man on Wire, meet Philippe Petit, a charismatic, iconoclast high wire walker who in the 1970s recruited a band of loyal collaborators to stage the dangerous stunt of walking (sans safety net) between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The spectacle led to a few arrests, granted Petit instant fame, and caused the dissolution of many of his closest relationships, though by his own account the daredevil has absolutely no regrets. Watch this fascinating documentary on DVD, which also features an audio commentary and deleted scenes. Man on Wire made the Oscar documentary shortlist for this year’s nominations.

Next: Take home the complete DVD set of The Wire

6. The Wire – The Complete Series

Know any die-hard fans of HBO’s gritty series The Wire? We guarantee they’ll squeal with delight at unwrapping The Wire: The Complete Series this holiday season. The 23-disc set is essentially a collection of all previous season box sets in one place; included are all five seasons of the celebrated show, as well as special features like cast and crew audio commentaries, three prequel features, and a gag reel. The only hitch? It’ll set you back a cool $299.99, so start saving up.

Next: The I Am Legend Blu-ray double dip

7. I Am Legend – Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray — 69%

If you bought your copy of I Am Legend the first time it debuted on Blu-ray, you’ll most likely want to bypass this double dip. But if you don’t yet own the Will Smith post-apocalypse thriller in High Definition, this is a great set to consider. While most of the special features were released previously, this set contains some new materials, like a new audio commentary with director Frances Lawrence and screenwriter Akiva Goldsmith. A 40+ page glossy production booklet makes this set a collectible, one supposes.

Next: Import John Woo’s Chinese epic, Red Cliff

Asian cinema fans, take heed: John Woo’s highly anticipated historical epic Red Cliff is headed to Blu-ray…and it’s region-free. Despite breaking records in release in Asia, where the first of two feature-length parts has already debuted, Red Cliff has no set U.S. release date; picking up an import Blu-ray disc might be your best bet at watching Woo’s celebrated return to Hong Kong. The epic tale, based on the ancient Battle of Red Cliffs in the year AD 208, stars Takeshi Kaneshiro (Mongol), Tony Leung (Lust, Caution) and was reportedly the most expensive movie in Asian cinema history.

Special features include cast interviews and press conferences, photos and a trailer.

Until next week, happy renting!

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