Monday, April 2, 2012

A-Z Challenge: Batman Begins

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.  

9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nolan is a genius! Can't wait for the Dark Knight Rises. (And I covered Memento in my post today.)

Eric said...

Great choice for B. This movie brought us Batman as we've always wanted him - our truly Dark Knight.

I also loved Memento, though it does take some thinking as you watch it to get the gist. Great idea though.

Rick Daley said...

Alex- I saw your Memento, cool how we both arrived there today on very different paths. The Dark Knight Rises should be a fitting conclusion; I think the plane heist they released as a teaser sets the stage for some intense action and a cool story.

Eric- Some day I'll pop the Memento DVD in and watch it in order, I've seen a website that lists the scenes in true chronological order (including the black & white scenes that do run forward in the regular movie).

Anne Gallagher said...

Who doesn't love Batman? Memento sounds like a great movie. I'll have to watch it sometime.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm a Batman fan and the Jack Nicholson 'joker' is my fave, too.

I prefer the more intense batman version (with the quiet whisper) of the 'Dark Knight' rather than the early M. Keaton incarnation. I wouldn't mind a Batmobile, either.

Thanks for the visit to my blog, Rick!

Have to go check out Alex's post now, about that 'Memento'.

Dee Dee OConnor said...

Memento was a great movie. Saw it years a go and I still think about it.

Andrew Mellusco said...

Great "B" - Batman Begins harked back to a broodier bat, akin perhaps to Keaton's turn when i was a kid.

Red said...

I look forward to "O". Jack Nicholson was one of the only characters I found to be redeeming in the Batman movies I have seen so far. If this one takes it down a peg geek-wise, I may have to revisit the series.

Red.

Checking in from A to Z.

Rick Daley said...

Red- If you're a Jack Nicholson fan you can probably guess the film title for "O" but it's really an excuse to talk about how awesome Jack is.

The Christopher Nolan take on Batman is very different from the prior movies, especially what he and Heath Ledger did to the Joker story in The Dark Knight. It's almost hard to compare to Nicholson and Burton's Joker, it's a whole different brand of crazy, but oh man did they nail it!