Posts Tagged ‘Christian bale’

Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and Billy Crudup

“We’re havin’ too good a time today, we ain’t thinking about tomorrow”. This line and the film that follows, places John Dillinger firmly within context and gives you a better idea of who this man was, what he was up against and why he became an icon during the Great Depression.

Set in 1933 against the backdrop of the Great Depression Public Enemies follows the legendary crook John Dillinger (Depp), a man who stole millions from banks and eluded capture in the process. This film largely chronicles the attempts to bring Dillinger to justice by a newly formed FBI whilst also throws light on the gangster’s romance with Billie Frechette (Cotillard). J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI (Crudup) quickly mobilizes to address the Dillinger’s mayhem at large in the country’s heartland. He appoints morally sound Melvin Purvis (Bale) to run his Chicago office. Purvis and his crew inexorably put the screws on, just as the city’s organized crime syndicate becomes annoyed by the FBI scrutiny aroused by Dillinger and other reckless gangsters.

Director Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) does not waste any time warming up as he throws you right into the action from the very beginning of the film. The depiction of 1930’s America is near perfect in this film. The shaky camera work might make some audiences dizzy but works perfectly for the story as it puts you right in the middle of the chase sequences and shootout scenes. The best example of this is the shootout scene at the house where Dillinger is holed up.

Depp controls the screen pretty much throughout the film and delivers a cold and intense performance. He portrays Dillinger’s two key characteristics; charm and menace with panache. Look out for the scene where Dillinger enters the police station fearlessly and goes into the ‘Dillinger Investigations’ department going unnoticed by cops. Bale on the other hand is too stiff throughout the movie barring the climax, which makes his performance average. But both of them put together as adversaries works great for the film.

One problem that Public Enemies suffers from is the lack of character depth in many of the characters. At times, it seems as if you are expected to know and understand the characters before watching the film because it is a real life story. But apart from these minor glitches, Public Enemies makes a great watch packed with some good performances and action sequences.

Director: McG

Cast: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington and Anton Yelchin

Terminator Salvation is an all out action flick lacking soul due to its brittle storyline. But it will not satisfy the die-hard franchise fans looking for a worthy sequel to the first two films after the mishap that was Terminator 3. This installment of Terminator is all style and no substance.

The story opens in 2003 with death-row inmate, Marcus Wright (Worthington), agreeing to surrender his body to Cyberdyne systems for experimentation after execution. In 2018, the war between the small patches of human survivors and the machine army wages on. John Connor (Bale) is now the spiritual leader of the Resistance.  Following a botched mission Connor loses his entire unit and somehow activates Marcus. Later, Kyle Reese (Yelchin), the soon-to-be time traveling father of John Connor and some young man who inadvertently saves Marcus from an attack is abducted and taken to Skynet headquarters with thousands of other human slaves. Connor knows that he must rescue Reese. But as one would expect, not everyone and everything is, as it seems.

As a summer blockbuster, Terminator Salvation is striking. Director McG does a good job of keeping the action tight and breathtaking. There are several excellent action sequences in this film, and all of them are handled with panache. Probably the best thing about the film is the use of the variety of Terminators ranging from T-600s to T-800s.

But the big problem the film faces is that it lacks focus. The movie moves into a new area of storytelling in this universe created by James Cameron, and looks confused with the story it really wants to tell. The script is the real culprit here. Agreed, there are some mind blowing CGI action sequences in this film, which make it an out and out action blockbuster. But without a core storyline, everything falls flat.

Christian Bale is the biggest downer in this film. His role is not fleshed out enough to portray him as the messiah of the Resistance that he is supposed to be. He is just seen irritatingly shouting in the microphone transmitter throughout the film. On the plus side Sam Worthington does a wonderful job as Marcus Wright trying to find salvation and redeem himself.

The film does not resolve any issues brought up by the storyline, clearly keeping it’s options open for a sequel. But at the end of it all, you will realise that perhaps it is better if the franchise is terminated. Watch it for the action sequences.

Director: Christopher Nolan

In 2005, Christopher Nolan relaunched Warner Brothers’ dormant Batman franchise with “Batman Begins”, an exceptionally well-made film that took a realistic, detailed approach to the origins of DC’s biggest hero (arguably the most popular hero in the world). Now, three years later, Nolan and his star Christian Bale return to the property, and they deliver what is perhaps the greatest superhero film ever made (and a great film, besides), one that will become the model all others will look up to.

Nolan and his screenwriters draw on several different comics sources to create their vision of Batman, the Joker, and Gotham. The most obvious among these are Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” (perhaps the seminal Batman vs. Joker story) and Jeph Loeb’s “Batman: The Long Halloween”, which involved Harvey Dent and the struggle between Batman and the mob. Moore’s Joker was conceived of as having no fixed origin, and Nolan follows through with this: the Joker has no origin, though he offers several different versions to different people.

The performances are as spectacular as many had expected and/or hoped. Bale returns in fine form as the titular character, and can’t be faulted too much. Aron Eckhart debuts as District Attorney Harvey Dent, and the storyline effectively revolves around him and his war on organised crime in Gotham. There are fine supporting performances from the returning Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, as well as the newcomers Eric Roberts, Nestor Carbonell and Maggie Gyllenhaal (who thankfully takes over from Katie Holmes as Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Rachel Dawes).

That brings us to The Joker. Just about everything you have heard about his portrayal is true. He is a complete psychopath, and is totally unrecognizable in the role. You may laugh at some of his shenanigans, but then will take them back when you see the horrifying things he says and does. He spits and slobbers through his lines with such quirk and filth you feel nasty watching him. There are evil, little sadistic moments that tinge and stain this film, dramatically stirring discord, melancholy, and angst inside of you until the credits roll. Yes, Ledger is that good. This brilliant performance is even better than I could have hoped, and is enough to see the movie alone. I thought I’d never say this but, make way Nicholson, Ledger has arrived!

The very loyal screenplay is written very well by Jonathan Nolan, who has done a masterful job. The characters are rich in character and the story has not a flaw in it. For a comic book film adaptation, this film is not at all fantasy-like. It is quite realistic in a way and this is what gives the film more credibility. Also, the fact that the script is realistic is unbelievable, as you expect a superhero film when you walk in the cinema, and walk out realizing you have just seen an epic crime saga. It deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with “Goodfellas”, “Heat”, “The Untouchables” and even “The Godfather”. I kid you not, this film has the power.

Wally Pfister’s cinematography is simply stunning. Gotham has never looked so good, so big and deep. His wide shots purvey a dirty aura and contribute to the feel of the film. Without it, it may not have been the same. Another Oscar worthy portion, THE MUSIC! With Hans Zimmer AND James Newton Howard at the helm, how could it go wrong? The score sets the mood in every scene, giving an epic and thrilling tone. During action sequences it really ups the adrenaline. And on that topic of action, The Dark Knight succeeds in have the best fight sequences and car chases in a comic book adaptation yet. With no obvious or over-use of CGI, the explosions and accidents are the real deal. Thrilling, edge of your seat and violent, this is brutally awesome stuff.

But of course, none of this is possible without the genius that is the other Nolan, director Christopher. As per Memento, he knows how to direct a film. The dramatic scenes are engaging and the action sequences are crisp, thrilling, and will blow you out of your seat. Nolan’s direction is tense, whip-smart, kinetic and smart. All of the action sequences are realistic and CG is used only when necessary. The new vehicle and some gadgets look cool and stylish and do not take away the film’s credibility and realism. There are a lot of action sequences to boot, some of them combining themes from above. You will have to see them to believe them. The Nolan Brothers have done it again.

What else is there to say? The Dark Knight just flat out rocks hard. The fight scenes, the explosions, and the big car chase are nothing short of amazing. The performances by everyone involved are well above par and Ledger’s Joker is a comic book movie villain that will likely be remembered forever. Chris Nolan has crafted an epic superhero movie that just might be the best ever made.