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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: The Dark Knight: Two-Disc Special Edition



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64 replies to this topic

#41 of 65 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted December 04 2008 - 10:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyFeldman
I've noticed a little trend here of being asked not to rush to judgment on blaming this particular studio - but since they put out the DVD who else should people blame? I have noticed this alarming trend of new films not looking great on standard DVD and then hearing that on Blu-Ray it's a different story. If that means I'm a conspiracy theorist, so be it, because I do think it's being done on purpose. A great-looking standard DVD is great looking no matter what the Blu-Ray is, and I have many great-looking DVDs. But Warners especially has been doing this, but they are not alone.
I think the speculation on the non-technical reasons that a DVD presentation is unsatisfactory is the main area where we should tread lightly until the facts are in, especially if this speculation is being espoused as fact. Asking tough questions is reasonable, but answering them without input from the responsible parties is of little value.

On the other hand, identifying a transfer that is poor, or even a pattern of such in multiple titles is not only a good idea, but it is something that should be encouraged. Ron has always been very clear to all of the forum reviewers about not hesitating to call things as we see them. He is not just supportive of that concept. Based on my experience I would say he is insistent.

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#42 of 65 JackKay

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Posted December 06 2008 - 02:15 AM

About digital copy would there be any problem transfering it to a Zune? (Yeah I know, but it was a gift)
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#43 of 65 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted December 06 2008 - 06:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKay
About digital copy would there be any problem transfering it to a Zune? (Yeah I know, but it was a gift)
The standard language at the WB support site just says:
Quote:
The Digital Copy portable media file is supported on Windows Media DRM compatible portable video devices (e.g. PlaysForSure™ certified devices).
Linking to the Microsoft Site reveals that Microsoft has replaced the "PlaysForSure" logo with "Certified for Windows Vista". In any case, according to Microsoft, none of the Zunes are "Certified for Windows Vista". Posted Image

As far as I can tell from Microsoft's web site, the only portable media players that are "Certified for Windows Vista" are the Sony Walkman brand players.

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Ken McAlinden
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#44 of 65 JackKay

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Posted December 06 2008 - 09:41 AM

Ken, thanks for the info. After looking around, the Digital Copy movies don't seem to work on Zune. A Microsoft player that won't work with Microsoft software, go figure. You think they would come up with at least a patch.
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#45 of 65 Rian

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Posted December 07 2008 - 02:04 PM

So should we all just wait for a Double Dip in the future if we aren't buying the Blu-Ray or if we want the movie should we just settle for this?

#46 of 65 TravisR

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Posted December 07 2008 - 02:18 PM

I wouldn't bet on a re-release until at least Batman 3 comes out.

#47 of 65 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted December 08 2008 - 12:33 AM

If there is a near-term double-dip, Warner usually just adds content rather than re-authoring the disc with the movie. That being said, the I Am Legend: Ultimate Collector's Edition will be released tomorrow and they have done just that after less than a year.

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#48 of 65 Bonedwarf

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Posted December 08 2008 - 05:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Radke
Well they wanted to push the format, and they found a way to do it.......unfortunately at the expense of those of us who prefer DVD (or have opted not to adopt the format at this time).

They're not forcing me. They can push all they want. I'm happy with the DVD. I don't have a home theatre. I watch on my crappy 19" CRT, or more likely my 19" LCD monitor. Movies look great on it. My headphones rock. And I doubt I'll even notice any issues with the bitrate being "low".

For once the digital copy thing is a great idea and I look forward to checking it out. Convincing the wife to get the 2 disk for me for Christmas tomorrow.

#49 of 65 Andrew Radke

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Posted December 09 2008 - 12:50 AM

I definitely hear you. I'm not being forced either. I have zero interest in BluRay at this time. But if you read some of the earlier posts in this thread, it just proves my point for the most part. People WILL purchase the Blu version because of the downgraded PQ on the DVD. As for me, I DO have a home theater set-up (55" TV et al), but I'm also partially blind and don't notice such things as edge enhancement or anti-aliasing. Because of this, I'll always and forever be content with DVD. The only time I'll change up is when the format becomes obsolete, and I frankly don't see that happening for a long time.
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#50 of 65 Corey3rd

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Posted December 09 2008 - 06:28 AM

This DVD is dark enough to win the Gordon Willis award.
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#51 of 65 NeilO

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Posted December 09 2008 - 07:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLamarre
Maybe they did it to give people more incentive to upgrade to the "Ultimate" edition that will undoubtedly be released in 6 months.
The "Ultimate" edition with "improved transfer" or maybe they just want to push the Blu-ray more. Overall, this is a depressing review to read. I guess I'll either wait for a better edition or wait until it is down to $10 or less.

#52 of 65 cb1

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Posted December 09 2008 - 11:08 AM

I just watched it on my SD TV and SD player. looked good to me and the sound was quite lively.
Thanks!
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#53 of 65 Bill Thomann

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Posted December 09 2008 - 06:06 PM

I just watched it on my 46" Samsung dlp (with toshiba hda3) & it looked great to me too. I'm sure the criticism is well warranted but I'm happy with the 2 discer from Target w/ bonus disc.

#54 of 65 Bryan Tuck

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Posted December 10 2008 - 06:50 AM

I hate to join in the complaining, because normally I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to the look of a standard DVD, but I've got to say I've made DVD-Rs of my student films with DVD Architect that look better than this.

I don't know who's to blame; I don't know if it's a transfer or authoring error. It's certainly watchable, but it's just really strange that all those artifacts and aliasing made it through QC. The IMAX sequences on disc 2 and even the trailers have an overall cleaner (not to mention more film-like) look to them than the main feature.
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#55 of 65 TerryRL

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Posted December 10 2008 - 06:03 PM

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily First Day ‘Dark Knight’ DVD Sales Break Record: Certain To Smash ALL Records

First Day 'Dark Knight' DVD Sales Break Record: Certain To Smash ALL Records

I just heard that Warner Bros' Batman Blu-ray discs alone sold 600,000 copies on Tuesday, the first day of release. By contrast, Marvel/Paramount's Iron Man sold 250,000 Blu-ray discs when it premiered on September 30th and ended up selling 400,000 Blu-ray units in its first week. But wait til you see what The Dark Knight sold in both formats, standard def and hi-def: 3 million copies bought by customers in the U.S., Canada and the UK on its first day in stores. That's 3x the norm. This isn't a superhero, it's a cash cow! The Dark Knight was not only 2008's best DVD sales day, but is also likely to be 2008's bestseller of the year by next week with a projected number of 7 million units. This is beyond huge! Christopher Nolan's pic is truly the gift that keeps on giving after already making $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Warner Bros should use this phenomenal performance to help push The Dark Knight and everyone associated with it for Oscar nominations as a box office phenomenon and critical darling. The studio said sales surged at grocery stores, indicating that the format is broadening beyond early adopters to more mainstream buyers, notably women. What makes this all the more remarkable is that I've been told Hollywood's overall DVD sales should end the year 30% down, although the Industry is only admitting to 6% off for the year so far. And Blu-ray has been pretty much written off as a new type of laserdisc just for film aficionados despite the Industry's deep discounting of players and ensuring inventories of blockbusters.
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#56 of 65 Ray H

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Posted December 12 2008 - 02:52 PM

Even though I purchased the Blu-ray, I rented a copy of the DVD for the aspect ratio purposes. Yeesh. This looks awful on my computer monitor.

A bit off topic, but I downloaded the digital copy from the BD onto my hard drive. Jeez it looks awful! It's my first exposure to these digital copies, so I'm having a hard time figuring out why this would appeal to anyone. Heck, I'm sure someone can turn to less legal routes and find a better looking, easily transferable copy of the movie.

Well, I'm glad I made the leap to Blu-ray.
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#57 of 65 bosque

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Posted December 13 2008 - 07:06 AM

Anyone feeling short-changed by the PQ of the DVD should get hold of the Dark Knight Blu-Ray where the edge-enhancement is if anything even worse than standard DVD, looks as though the studios might feel this is how film should look on home video.

#58 of 65 David (C)

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Posted December 13 2008 - 06:28 PM

I'm buying this. I had a horrible time seeing this in the theater -- just once btw. Little boy kicking the back of my seat for most of the movie -- I think he was teenager! Poor sound and shitty looking print for a Friday afternoon showing.

#59 of 65 Dave Mack

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Posted December 14 2008 - 05:41 PM

Have only seen the BD but over at amazon ALOT of people are chiming in on how poor the vid quality is on the DVD and they're kinda pissed.

One person wrote...

"Now, on to the Blu-Ray push behind this film (indirectly (though consciously) inspiring literally of hundreds of "five-star" reviews here (and everywhere else where Blu-Ray is discussed)); this is THE Blu-Ray that the BDA is praying will push Blu-Ray into the mainstream, and with the shoddy DVD that Warner Bros. released (low bitrate, weak features, etc.), the strategy just might work. For those viewing the film on Blu-Ray, you might not be aware that the DVD contains not one, not two, but THREE Blu-Ray advertisements before the film begins. Of all of the previews/advertisements on the disc, these are the ONLY ones displayed anamorphically, as if DVD can't fill a 16:9 television anymore...quite shady behavior, in my opinion. If they need to start deceiving people with substandard-bitrate DVD releases and non-anamorphic video to move Blu-Ray, I feel sorry for their desperate state..."

"What they were thinking is that "The Dark Knight" is basically Blu-Ray's last hope to be successful as a format (at least in the opinion of anyone who's been following Blu-Ray for the past year), and they needed it to have as much unfair advantage as possible (hence, a sub-par DVD release with low bitrate ("VIDEO_TS" = 7.22GB (1.4GB shy of full capacity)), EE, macroblocking, etc.). I OWN A BLU-RAY PLAYER but will not buy a Blu-Ray disc simply because its DVD counterpart was intentionally given a bad break..."

If this is accurate, that's pretty effed up for people who just want a quality DVD or haven't gone blu yet...

just in first his and then IMHO...

#60 of 65 Joseph Bolus

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Posted December 15 2008 - 12:41 AM

I viewed this DVD over the weekend on my 96" FPTV system and have to agree that it's very disappointing. In places the backgrounds shimmer as bad as anything you may have seen on Fox's "Die Hard with a Vengeance" DVD. (Does the phrase "It's Alive!" mean anything to you HTF "old timers"? )

The transfer is not a total loss. If I were giving it a grade scale I would give it a "C". ("Die Hard with a Vengeance" would have gotten a "D-".) The problem is it's inexcusable that there were any compromises at all considering that this was arguably Warner's biggest release of the year to the DVD format.

As others have stated here, "Batman Begins" sported a spectacular transfer to the DVD format. It was just as long as "The Dark Knight" and just as dark in places; so it's hard to hear the excuse that the TDK transfer was poor just due to the ineptness of the compressionists. This is 2008 and compressionists have known how to make really good MPEG-2 transfers for the DVD format since about 2001.

Now, admittedly, prior to 2001 many DVDs contained the kind of "digititus" that's evident on the TDK DVD. (Although most were not as extreme as what is evident on this disc.) From about 2001 through 2005 DVD transfers of "A" titles were mostly fantastic -- especially from Warners. From about 2006 on, many Warner DVD titles of "A" movies have suffered from what appears to be compression artifacts. And at about this same time, Warner was pushing HD-DVD/Blu-ray. Coincidence? How naive are we??
Joseph
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