Casino Royale would follow suit, and the trend would continue right up until the final week of the decade with the violent and sexy reimagining of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is either spinning in his grave, or unable to spin because of his erection. Or maybe spinning despite the erection, creating a hollow knocking sound on the coffin lid.
The Dark Knight.
If Batman Begins is where Christopher Nolan floated the idea of a realistic superhero movie, The Dark Knight is where he perfected it. Let's ignore the fact that TDK kicked more ass than we knew was available for kicking. And let's ignore the fact that its Oscar snub was so horrifying that the Oscar committee decided to add five more nominees to the category this year. Dark Knight made a category larger and, as science will tell you, it follows that the category is also now more in charger.
This movie was not only a critical and commercial smash hit, but it also marks the first time in my life where I noticed regular, non-Internet-dwellers caught up in online, viral marketing. Online games designed to build hype used to be simple distractions but, for TDK, it was an event that left the Net and bled onto the real world. For example, if you were one of the lucky ones to sign up for the Joker's Army early, you received a cake, a cell phone and an advanced screening of the first seven minutes of the movie. And everyone wanted in.