Tag Archives: Christian Bale

Terminator Salvation Review

Grim, grey palettes and an ensemble separated from one another with little reason, what a quick and horrid change of pace Terminator Salvation is compared to the previous instalment just six years before it. Grip the fun of the third instalment like it were the final days because that is the last film in the series to inspire any level of slight enjoyment. Even then, the confusion founded in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was on thin ice to begin with, the rest of the series is the scurrying fear of trying to break free from the depths. No such luck for Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, who don’t quite get to grips with the worldbuilding around them, or lack thereof. Even with simplicity and the fears of a new Terminator model, they struggle to figure out their place in an ever-changing landscape of miserable characters and poor twists.

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The Big Short Review

Compiling the build-up and fallout of the seismic actions and reactions to the financial crisis of 2007-08 is not a particularly promising project for Adam McKay. His works before The Big Short had been withering comedies like The Other Guys and Step Brothers. All directors must make their leap from comedy to drama at some stage. Jay Roach tripped through Austin Powers: Goldmember and made it through, unscathed, to Trumbo. But for McKay, the desire to adapt modern history was overbearing. His need and lust to shed a spotlight on the political machine and the problems of it was too much to resist, not just for the director and his cast but audiences who fell at the shocking revelations that McKay made.

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I’m Not There Review

Adapting the life and talent of Bob Dylan to the biopic genre was an inevitability. It is hard to see how anyone could stop it from happening. For all the failed markups of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and the big names around the 1960s, pulling off a dissection of The Voice of a Generation is no small feat. I’m Not There plays with the format of traditional detailing. Dylan defines a meaning or passage of time for so many people, spread across generations. To adapt that correctly, no one man can portray Dylan, and that is what director Todd Haynes gets right with I’m Not There. As Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again plays through the opening credits and the passages of time cross the screen, I’m Not There springs to life.

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Out of the Furnace Review

Violent crime is, inevitably, the only way out of the furnace. For two brothers stuck in the Rust Belt, that is their only salvation. Out of the Furnace, from the promising Crazy Heart director, Scott Cooper, sees men who wish for more. Don’t we all? They are not special. What sets them apart is striking good looks. But that is an inevitability of casting Christian Bale, rather than a character defect or advantage. Not all of us have the benefit of being a strapping young steelworker with a penchant for theft and violence. He will utilise those tools later on, because of course, he will. He was tailor-made for the deluge of danger he soon finds himself in. 

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American Psycho Review

That slow trickle of blood to open the enticing, Silian Rail-clad font has aged rather poorly. But American Psycho has not. Adapting the work of any author proves difficult. There are far more misses than hits when pushing the written word to its on-screen breaking point. But there are the heavy hitters. The classics that have removed themselves from the reach of the book they are based upon and have followed their own path. That is, to some extent, what American Psycho attempts to do. It is the erratic, schizophrenic horror of Patrick Bateman that is adapted so well. In particular, their obsessions, desires, and inability to face up to the real world without a thick layer of expense accounts, strained friendships and a desire to kill. 

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The Dark Knight Review

To cobble together thoughts on The Dark Knight over a decade after its release is to look more at its legacy and impact on filmmaking than on any specific part. Many an amicable discussion may come from the longevity of such a piece, whether on the topic of Christopher Nolan’s stunning direction or the blurring of action, thriller and detective genres. Those are effective, but The Dark Knight can work best as an understanding of comic book villains. It sets the bar high for those that wish to replicate these heroes and horror stories for later iterations. It holds a legacy that is known by many, mainly the tragic brilliance of Heath Ledger. But to look beyond that for a moment, there are performances here that outshine the craft he presents, moments that provide subtlety, unnoticed in the face of the best-remembered scenes and quotable moments.  

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Batman Begins Review

Origin stories are no stranger to the world of superhero adaptations. Comic book capers can nary exit the opening minutes of their narrative without murdering a plot device here or strapping a protagonist with a bit of devastating backstory there. At the end of it all, few are as frequently told as that of Batman. Batman Begins is no stranger to the story of Bruce Wayne, his aversion to winged beasts and living parents wheeled out in every iteration the big screen could possibly throw at audiences. As audiences, we find comfort in similar entertainment, and that, to some degree, is the appeal of superheroes. We are told the same story consistently, with a handful of variables found in-between. It is Christopher Nolan’s work with Batman Begins that massages both entertainment value and storytelling prominence, to varying degrees of success.

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