Tag Archives: Christian Bale

Shaft

STILL THE MAN, ANY QUESTIONS? The son (Christian Bale) of a wealthy real estate tycoon kills a black man, is released on bail and leaves the country; when he returns a few years later, New York cop John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) is determined to see him punished. When this blaxploitation hero was revived a … Continue reading Shaft

My 12 Favorite Superhero Movies

Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe started dominating the global box office, superheroes have become a safe bet. You may say you’ve grown tired of the genre, but it’s made important cultural advances over the years. They have become more inclusive when it comes to women and minorities, even if the safe basic formulas  really … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Superhero Movies

Vice

THE UNTOLD TRUE STORY THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY. In 2015, Adam McKay successfully depicted the 2008 financial crisis in The Big Short; this is another satirical look at a dark chapter in American political history. The rise of Dick Cheney gets a completely irreverent treatment, with amusingly dim-witted and mean-spirited performances by Sam … Continue reading Vice

Mowgli

THE GREATEST JOURNEY IS FINDING WHERE YOU BELONG. A human boy is raised by a pack of Indian wolves in the jungle; he wants to be a full member of the pack, but his future is uncertain… A significantly darker version of Rudyard Kipling’s tale, primarily remembered thanks to two Disney movies. This one has … Continue reading Mowgli

Little Women

SAVE A PLACE IN YOUR HEART FOR THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF THESE LITTLE WOMEN. Gillian Armstrong’s most successful Hollywood project is one of the best adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s novel, portraying a Massachusetts family of four sisters during and after the Civil War, primarily focusing on Jo (Winona Ryder) who wants to be a … Continue reading Little Women

Henry V: Branagh and the Bard

THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF A KING WHO DEFIED THE ODDS TO PROVE HIMSELF A MAN.  When I was a teenager, maybe this was around 1990, my class was treated to a performance of Shakespeare’s ”Hamlet”. It was not a bad production; the young leading actors went on to have successful careers. But we were an … Continue reading Henry V: Branagh and the Bard

The Promise

EMPIRES FALL. LOVE SURVIVES. As the Ottoman Empire prepares to go to war in 1914, an Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac) is caught up in the turmoil, along with an American journalist (Christian Bale) and his girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon). The Hotel Rwanda (2004) director takes on another genocide that has never gotten proper attention … Continue reading The Promise

The Big Short: Dark Days Lie Ahead

THIS IS A TRUE STORY. Brad Pitt must think Michael Lewis is a genius. Perhaps he is. Lewis is the financial journalist who wrote “Moneyball”, a book about a baseball manager who used statistics to win games, and “The Big Short”, about the housing bubble that sent the world into the Great Recession of 2008. … Continue reading The Big Short: Dark Days Lie Ahead

Out of the Furnace

SOMETIMES YOUR BATTLES CHOOSE YOU.  After serving time in prison, steel mill worker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) learns that his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), who did tours in Iraq, competes in bare-knuckle fights. A grim drama from the director of Crazy Heart (2009) set in an economically depressed Pennsylvania borough. The working-class locations feel … Continue reading Out of the Furnace

Exodus: Gods and Kings

ONCE BROTHERS, NOW ENEMIES.  Moses (Christian Bale) is raised by the Pharaoh of Egypt (John Turturro) together with his son Rhamses (Joel Edgerton), but when the truth about Moses’s heritage emerges, everything changes… Ridley Scott returns to epics, a genre he commands well, this time inspired by a biblical story rather than Roman or Medieval … Continue reading Exodus: Gods and Kings

American Hustle

EVERYONE HUSTLES TO SURVIVE.  In 1978, FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) enlists two con artists (Christian Bale, Amy Adams), who are also lovers, in an operation targeting political corruption. Loosely based on the real-life ABSCAM sting, this movie lacks focus and rambles a bit, which is a shame since the scandal deserved a more … Continue reading American Hustle

Dark Knight Rises: The Bat vs. Bane

A FIRE WILL RISE. On the night of this film’s intensely anticipated premiere, a 24-year-old man attacked a midnight screening in Aurora, Colorado and murdered 12 people. The horrendous act caused the studio to remove ads for the The Dark Knight Rises and director Christopher Nolan released a statement where he called the movie theater … Continue reading Dark Knight Rises: The Bat vs. Bane

The Fighter

It certainly has a ring of truth, this home-grown drama about the troubled relationship between two Massachusetts prizefighters who are also brothers, Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. The project was nursed by Mark Wahlberg (also born and raised in that state), shot on location, features a few real-life appearances (such as Mickey O’Keefe, Ward’s mentor) … Continue reading The Fighter