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The Dark Knight Rises FX Second Screen App Feature Preview

December 4, 2012 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
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The Dark Knight Rises FX Second Screen App Feature Preview  

Last week Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gave me a chance to personally visit the studio and get a live demonstration for the new second screen app feature for The Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray release. For those not in the know, “Second Screen” is an enhanced viewing mode that links up your Blu-ray movie to an app feature on your mobile devices. One was recently made and released for The Avengers. The Dark Knight Rises second screen app is currently live and available only on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.). Once you pop in the main movie disc of The Dark Knight Rises from your Blu-ray set, you can sync it up to your iOS device to get a further behind-the-scenes look of Christopher Nolan’s vision unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

In past releases for the Nolan Batman trilogy, I’ve been rather disappointed with what has been provided for the DVD and Blu-ray extras. Christopher Nolan has been quite secretive of his productions, especially where it concerns Batman. Also, Nolan has been fairly restrictive with special feature content, and he’s more often than not been reluctant to “pull back the curtain.” That said, there is a surprising amount of behind-the-scenes and in-depth content here — unlike any previous Batman release. I hope that means that Nolan is adjusting to the times in this digital, 24/7 information age. Face it. The moment it was happening we saw Batman and Bane fighting on Wall Street on YouTube. So for the second screen feature, the index is divided into several sections: Characters; Locations; Featurettes; Vehicles and Gadgets; and Scene Explorer.

The Second Screen feature allows you to run a timeline feature on your mobile device as the movie plays. The timeline feature provides additional production and behind-the-scenes photos, featurettes, and script page excerpts. Unfortunately, you don’t get any type of production or shooting script in full available on this app which would’ve been neat. In terms of featurettes for the app, all the video featurettes are the same available on the second disc for the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release. So don’t get too excited there. The timeline feature is highly interactive and you can scroll ahead or back in time with the movie. The movie really could have used some sort of “Comic Callback” feature. There were some moments or obscure characters in the movie lifted right out of the comics. This app could have taken them into account and shown a moment in the Batman comics corresponding to its occurrence in the movie (e.g., Bane breaking Batman’s back, the prison breakout, the older cop telling the younger cop that they are in for a show tonight when Batman shows back up, Daggett, etc.).

The character sections provide some nice additional character profiles and concept artwork not on the DVD. You can get a good look at some of the early takes on Bane’s make and how it was ultimately streamlined to what was in the movie. You also get a nice look at all the vehicles and gadgets such as the Bat and the EMP gun. I was happy to see some animated models of the vehicles as well as Pre-visualization sequences.

Also, this app is an update to the previously released Gotham’s Most Wanted app that came out in conjunction with the movie in theaters. So, all the original features from the Gotham’s Most Wanted app are still included such make your own Tumbler video, as well as putting your image in the movie poster. The app developers did talk about additional plans for releasing more.

The 411: This is a nice, comprehensive and in-depth feature for the hardcore film and Batman fanatics. Hopefully, it will eventually be made available on other devices besides the iOS. A few features are redundant, and I would have liked to see a couple more ideas incorporated. Overall, I was incredibly satisfied with the in-depth material.
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Final Score:  9.0   [  Amazing ]  legend

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Jeffrey Harris

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