December 09, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
Well, it’s here. “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s much-lauded follow-up to “Batman Begins,” with Christian Bale comfortably in the reins and Heath Ledger in his Oscar-buzzworthy final role—and it’s out today on Blu-ray.
OK, so it’s out on standard DVD as well, and time will soon tell us which format sells better. And that leads us to a larger question—is this the release that Blu-ray’s been waiting for? It’s certainly the most anticipated. But will “The Dark Knight” push people to go out and buy a Blu-ray player, and buy a Blu-ray disc?
Or will you pay a little less and watch it upscaled to “near high-def” on your Oppo or other solid upconverting DVD player, and merely add it to your already large standard DVD collection?
It’s been almost 10 years since “The Matrix” essentially played that role for the DVD format (though it didn’t get quite the same praise as “The Dark Knight” while it was in theaters) as a must-own disc. Despite the improved audio and video quality, there wasn’t nearly the buzz about “The Ultimate Matrix Collection” on high-def media.
Early word is that “The Dark Knight” already topped 100,000 copies sold on its first day in the UK. It’s bound to smash numbers set by “Iron Man” recently and become a must-own Blu-ray.
Early reviews have been very favorable, as well—High-Def Digest and Gizmodo had kind words to say, among others.
But will you buy it on Blu-ray? We know it has some sweet interactive features that are exclusive to the format, and there’s Digital Copy as well. Blu-ray and DVD sales are down right now—so for one thing, DVD might be good enough for most people, and for another, they might just wait to rent the copy (or stream it) from Netflix.
What do you think the reaction to “The Dark Knight” on Blu-ray will be—will it kickstart your own Blu-ray library—maybe you’ll go get other reference A/V demo material like “Wall-E,” “Casino Royale,” “Iron Man,” and “Transformers” for your home theater? Will it carry “The Matrix” effect for the format?
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.