Batman Begins—Warner Brothers (HD DVD)

Video: 5
Audio: 5
Extras: 5

It was with some trepidation that I watched this movie. After all, Joel Schumacher and Akiva Goldsman did their incompetent best to ruin the franchise for anyone who can sound out the word h-a-c-k-s. I shouldn’t have worried. Christopher Nolan knows his stuff and made a movie that is the equal to if not (dare I say it) better than Tim Burton’s classic. Unlike Brian Singer’s passable rebirth/continuation of the Superman franchise, Nolan starts fresh and does as the title says, showing the beginnings of Batman.

The 2.40:1 image quality is excellent. There is essentially no grain, and, for most shots, there is detail galore. Occasionally, a few shots are a little softer, but not very noticeably. Colors are purposefully subtle, and skintones are spot on. There are two 5.1 choices, the required Dolby Digital Plus and also Dolby TrueHD. The mixes are full, with lots of bass for the explosions. Voices come across a little chesty at times but overall are clear and intelligible.

There is a running video commentary with the director, the writer, Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne), and others, and there are three very short featurettes on the writing, the computer-generated Batman, and the stunts. Then there are eight longer featurettes on just about every aspect of the production. There is also a short parody from the MTV Music Awards. It’s an excellent HD DVD overall.