Moving on in the A-Z Challenge, the second letter of the alphabet opens the door to one of this summer's most anticipated movies. Batman Begins kicked off a trilogy, and there would be no Dark Knight without it, and even though the awesomeness that was Heath Ledger's Joker will not be there for round three, I trust the storytelling and film making instincts of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, who also brought us Inception, Insomnia, and Memento*.
Batman Begins took Batman out of the comic books and gave him a place in the real world. Like The Abyss, it took a subject that would typically be limited to geeks like me and opened it up to a larger audience by grounding it in reality. Gone was the camp of the '60s TV show (and, thankfully, the tights). I am a fan of Tim Burton's Batman (or more specifically, Jack Nicholson's Joker, but I digress...I'm saving Jack for the letter "O") but the world Nolan built in Batman Begins was right on every level.
*Memento was narrowly beaten for the "M" slot, and since I can't talk about it there, I'm taking advantage of the Nolan tie-in for an addendum to this post. Memento is a phenomenal movie, but may not be for everyone due to the way the story unfolds: Backwards. A movie about a man with short-term memory loss who's out for revenge, the movie opens with the last scene of the story and then goes back to the beginning, scene by scene. The effect is stunning, but giving the viewer a sense of confusion that helps identify with the main character because as his memory fades after a few minutes, he is also coming into each scene not knowing what happened right before it; however, as the movie progresses, we the audience know where everything ended up, and watching the motivations and characters shift as their backstories come to light builds suspense and provides a set-up for a great twist at the end...er, beginning...er, just check it it and see for yourself.