Christian Bale

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer Promises Football, Voiceover

Release Date: 
Jul 20 2012
Director: 
Christopher Nolan
Cast: 
Christian Bale
Tom Hardy
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Anne Hathaway
Gary Oldman

It's hard to do anything but relish the awesome here, but let's be honest, all you can think about is Hines Ward. You can get mad all you want about Ward being over the hill, or crack wise about him outrunning anything at this point, but at least it wasn't Jamie Foxx. Aside from the horrible looking football the rest seems pretty Batmany and I mean that in the best way possible. All the Christopher Nolan superhero goodness will be heading your way July 20th with an "epic conclusion", like what happened in my pants when Anne Hathaway whispered in Bruce's ear.

Side note: Epic Conclusion is my new band name. It's a solo project. 

Synopsis: 
Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes.

68th Golden Globe Nominations Are Here, Hilarious

It's that time of year when the worst of all the film awards shows announces their nominees. Yes I'm talking about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and their usually mostly ridiculous nominations for the Golden Globes Awards. Don't get me wrong they do a lot of stuff right, but they also have the dumb Comedy Or Musical awards that are reserved for popularity contests instead of quality films.

This year's big winners in quantity are The King's Speech with seven nominations, while The Fighter  and The Social Network each received six and thank god they didn't give Timberlake a nod as these are the douchenozzles most likely to open that Pandora's box. Johnny Depp is cool and all, for serious, but Alice In Wonderland and The Tourist were terrible at best. As for the big nominations in the drama field they seem to be pretty right on, although I assume True Grit should be on the list, I just can't confirm that at this time. What are your thoughts on this year's nominees?

The television nominations are available at the HFPA site if you are interested but they are usually a season behind so it feels like you're looking at three years ago's nominations. I'm looking at you Temple Grandin and You Don't Know Jack. On the plus side Katey Sagal got a way overdue nomination for her stellar work on Sons Of Anarchy, unfortunately it's a Golden Globe.

BEST PICTURE: DRAMA
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque
The Kids Are Alright
Red
The Tourist

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronosfsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter

BEST ACTOR: DRAMA
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Anette Bening, The Kids Are Alright
Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are Alright
Emma Stone, Easy A

The Fighter

The jokes sort of write themselves with this one. Marky Mark was literally born to play this part, and I never thought I'd say that about anything that doesn't involve Dirk Diggler. Bale looks certifiably loony in his bits here as Dicky Eklund which should be a nice changeup from his usual role as the generic male lead post Batman Begins. For all intensive purposes this is director Russell's follow-up to 2004's I Heart Huckabees and while the mood will certainly be different, let's hope the end result of a quality film isn't. From the looks of things that shouldn't be a worry.

Synopsis: 
From acclaimed director David O. Russell comes The Fighter, the powerful true story of professional boxers Dickie (Bale) and Micky (Wahlberg). Although they are half brothers, their careers take very different courses. Older brother Dickie does not suffer from a shortage of talent or confidence, but his lack of judgment and humility lead him down a path of self-destruction. After blowing his shot against one of the greatest fighters of his generation, Dickie descends down a dangerous road of drug addiction that robs him of his career, alienates his brother, and eventually lands him in jail. Meanwhile, discouraged from yet another defeat, younger brother Micky, whose talent never seems to match the size of his heart, vanishes into early retirement. But his itch to fight never goes away, and when a rehabilitated Dickie is released from prison and takes over as Micky’s trainer, Micky transforms himself from an underdog into a world champion prized pugilist.

Public Enemies

The newest film from director Michael Mann tells the story of the chase for "public enemy number one", John Dillinger, played by everybody's favorite 21 Jumpstreet alum Johnny Depp. The entire world loves Johnny Depp so he's not really on the line here. I am pretty sure he could adapt 2 Girls 1 Cup for the big screen and there would be a line around the block. I don't know what that says about him exactly but it definitely says something. Christian Bale stars as Melvin Purvis, the FBI Agent sent by J Edgar Hoover to clean up the dirty 1930's Chicago streets and capture Dillinger. Bale has recently achieved megastardom with his roles in the Christopher Nolan Batman films as well as his role as John Conner in Terminator Salvation, so he's not really on the line here either; however, it should be noted that he still has a severe case of over-accent-itis.

Michael Mann wrote and directed [amazon B000A2WP7O], [amazon B000P0J0AG], and [amazon B00003CWRX] consecutively. That is a very strong run of filmmaking. Next Mann directed Will Smith in [amazon B00005JKMQ], and while I am of the belief that Ali was overrated, it's still anything but garbage. Ali was undoubtedly a step down from The Insider which meant Mann may have hit his peak. Possibly by coincidence, but probably not, Ali also marked Mann's first foray into the Jamie Foxx business. Mann again teamed with Foxx and a little hobbit named Tom Cruise for his next film Collateral, which was when Mann decided to forgo traditional film, and start shooting in HD. Miami Vice was next and reteamed Mann and Foxx with Colin Farrell's ridiculous haircut and chutzpah. The results were not good. After this Mann seemed to make sure to stick it to the rest of us that missed Miami Vice by getting a producer's credit on the abomination that was Hancock. Let's just say Mann's got a lot of making up to do.

For most of the movie Public Enemies feels like an art film dressed up like a summer blockbuster. The film is shot with the typical handheld cameras and borderline obtrusive closeups that Mann has successfully used to create his distinct style. I have always been fascinated with the way Mann builds suspense through tense dramatic scenes only to explode with action at the drop of a coin, and this technique is certainly on display here. In many ways Public Enemies is a perfect execution of a well developed craft, but I can't stop shaking the feeling that it was missing some action.

Much of the film focuses on Dillinger's apparent instant connection with Billie Frechette, who is played capably by Marion Cotillard. Dillinger is depicted as an overall pretty good guy that is "just having too much fun" to change his reckless ways. While the chase and subsequent caputure of Dillinger occurred in the thick of The Great Depression, you won't see much of that here. The film would feel flat without the historical context and big names of Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson, which in turn makes it seem like a bit of a crutch. In fact all the movie really seems to feature are law enforcement members with dangerously slicked back hair, bank robbers with dangerously slicked back hair, gangsters with dangerously slicked back hair, and hookers. In many ways the real star of the film is hair gel.

The film is shot beautifully if you can handle the Mann style, the shootout and chase scenes are pretty riveting, and while many of the shots are extremely dark, they certainly make the gun fire pop off the screen. Depp delivers a typically solid performance, granted not as fun as normal, and Bale is fine, albeit overly intense. Billy Crudup gives a pretty fantastic performance as J Edgar Hoover and the rest of the cast somewhat blends into the background.

The pacing makes the movie feel criminally slow at times, but these scenes are usually the calm before a storm of furious action. I will be interested to see if there is an extended director's cut as the robbery scenes are pretty blah. There really is no developed planning we are privy to, and the actual robberies are pretty in and out, so the audience is never really invested in the heists, which is a shame as Mann does this kind of exposition brilliantly in Heat and The Insider.

Overall I liked the movie, although I think it would have been better served to be marketed as a character driven awards type movie, as opposed to the summer action blockbuster. Either way it's a step up from Miami Vice, so nice work Mr. Mann. Oh yeah, and no Jamie Foxx.