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'Batman Begins' Swoops Onto DVD Oct. 18

16 Aug, 2005 By: John Latchem

Another piece of the fourth-quarter DVD puzzle fell into place with Warner Home Video's confirmation that Batman Begins will hit stores Oct. 18 (prebook Sept. 6) with two editions of the film.

There had been speculation that Batman Begins would street Oct. 18 after Warner announced that date for the release of new two-disc special editions of the four previous “Batman” films.

Batman Begins is the fifth film in the franchise, which began in 1989 but stalled in 1997 after the universally panned Batman & Robin. To reinvigorate the series, director Christopher Nolan went back to the beginning, exploring the roots of the character of Bruce Wayne and what motivates him to don his famous cape and cowl to fight the criminal underworld of Gotham City.

The result is what critics praised as a fresh spin on the character that stays true to the formula established in the older films. In Batman Begins, young billionaire Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, witnesses the murder of his parents and sets off on a quest to fight injustice as Batman.

Not only must he regain control of his father's company from its corrupt caretaker, he also must deal with the nefarious plot of the vigilante warlord Ra's Al Ghul and the villainous Scarecrow, who wants to unleash an insanity drug upon the city.

In addition to Bale, the cast includes Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer and Cillian Murphy.

Batman Begins has grossed more than $201 million since its theatrical debut in June.

On DVD, Warner is releasing a single-disc edition for $28.98, which includes a DVD-ROM mobile game demo, and a two-disc deluxe edition for $30.97, which will include a special second disc of extras and a collectible comic book.

These bonus features include “Genesis of the Bat,” a look at Batman's incarnations over the past two decades; a number of featurettes that explore the film's action sequences and production design; plus looks at Batman's fighting style, his costume and his array of weapons, including the new Batmobile.

The Batman Begins VHS will be priced for rental.

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