As the DCEU wobbles somewhat lately, you have to wonder whether the DC bigwigs are trying to cajole Christopher Nolan into returning to the Bat-fold. Batman Begins was his first outing for DC, and it remains a stunning example of superhero movie-making. But how’s this new 4K treatment? Is it bat bueno or bat guano?
The story: The definitive origin tale of Batman for many a bat-fan, Nolan’s gritty take on Bruce Wayne’s life starts with an explanation for the whole bat thing, and proceeds with style and flair through an Asian sojourn and on to finding his purpose as protector for Gotham City. It isn’t a job that will prove easy, as Scarecrow and the League of Shadows aim to weirden the water, sending every Gotham citizen bat-spit crazy.
I’ve gotta get me one of those…
The 4K disc: Director Christopher Nolan is a huge fan of both 4K and HDR, and was fully hands-on with this transfer. The short opinion on his work here? He’s done good. We’re given a detailed transfer with a very fine level of grain that is almost entirely unnoticeable unless you stick your nose against your screen (in our case a 55″ OLED). This really does look wonderful. HDR is employed subtly, so the dark bits benefit from more contrast without looking like a cartoon, while brighter things such as police lights just look so much more “real” than HDR-free transfers. If we had to find fault, it’s that the credits background isn’t completely jet black, fluctuating slightly – we can deal. As for sound, while Nolan embraces 4K, he thumbs his nose at Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, so we get the original cinematic 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track. While some upwards action would have been nice, this is still a thumping soundtrack that sounds anything but weedy.
Release date: December 18, 2017
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Batman Begins is also available in the 21-disc (7x 4K, 14x Blu-ray) Christopher Nolan Collection…
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.