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We take a look at the prequel to the classic Batman series of movies. And this one is in full HD and available now on HD DVD.

Director Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman reinvigorated an ailing franchise at the box-office and in the home, thanks to a great transfer and a plethora of extras on a two-disc DVD release.

However, this HD DVD release is slightly disappointing, mainly due to a less than- perfect transfer and a fairly dull ‘in-movie experience’ extra.

While the movie is spot on in blending Batman’s dark and gritty comic book world with real-world reference points, therefore righting all the damage Joel Schumacher did to the cinematic adventures of the Dark Knight, the 2.40:1 images on this disc aren’t as crisp as other Warner releases. At times it seems they’re fairly soft around edges, and there’s not as much of a sense of depth as with other discs, with background details being somewhat muted, especially in interior scenes.

However, there’s nothing wrong with the picture’s dynamic range, with some of the deepest blacks ever seen – essential for a film mainly based at night.

The soundtrack benefits greatly from a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. Action sequences, like the Batmobile chase, are loud, aggressive and have more punch than an offi ce party, all without any sacrifice to dialogue. The Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack is also an audible treat.

All of the extras are the same as those that appear on the two-disc DVD edition (in standard-def, sadly, and only stereo) save for Warner’s in-movie experience which, as previously mentioned, is rather tepid, gets in the way of the film a little too often and offers little new information.

It exemplifies the feeling that while this release is the best version of Batman Begins so far, it may not be the last.

HD DVD, widescreen, Dolby
TrueHD/DD Plus (Warner Home Video)

THE PICTURE
THE SOUND
THE EXTRAS
THE MOVIE

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