Tag Archives: christian bale

Review: Out Of The Furnace (2013)

Film Title: Out of the Furnace
Director: Scott Cooper.

Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe.

Certificate: 15.

With only 2009’s CRAZY HEART to his name, Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE struggles to disguise its relatively green writer-director. What could have been an intelligent, tense revenge thriller unfortunately soon unravels as a redneck version of TAKEN; a paint by numbers and completely unremarkable affair that signposts any shock tactics from a mile off. However, with Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio (originally set to direct and star) onboard as producers, it’s hardly surprising it attracted such impressive talent.

After a tragic car accident puts Russell Baze (Christian Bale) behind bars, he returns to a place where everything is fundamentally the same, but inescapably different. His younger, Iraq-serving brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) seeks solace in physical bouts, while girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) is far more standoffish than hoped. But Rodney’s addiction to the boxing ring is more than just a hobby as he finds himself sucked into a dangerous world of underground fighting, headed by the nefarious Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson). When little bro mysteriously goes missing and local police chief Wesley (Forest Whitaker) is slow to act, Russell decides to take matters into his own hands. Continue reading

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Review: American Hustle (2013)

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Director: David O. Russell.

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Pena.

Certificate: 15.

Running Time: 138 minutes.

Synopsis: Successful conman Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) find themselves forced to work amongst the Jersey mafia by FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper).

Corrupt politicians, sleazy American nightclubs and the threat of the mob may be far from novel, but David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE feels extremely apt and relatable in a time of growing political distrust. Handled ever so coolly by the director and his stellar cast, every line and action is meticulously placed, right down to the very precise positioning of Irving’s glued-on hairpiece.

In a time where the hair was high and the necklines significantly lower, the audience are immediately intoxicated by the 1970s hairspray and rich mahogany. Elton John, David Bowie and The Bee Gees may punctuate the severity of the situations our main trio find themselves in, but amidst its slick, neon skylines, AMERICAN HUSTLE means business. Continue reading

Thanks For The Shivers, Mr. Nolan

With The Avengers already a success story both critically and commercially, this summer is once again chock-full of superheroes – we mustn’t forget Sony’s Spidey reboot due in July. But out of the three, it is only this new trailer which gives me goosebumps. Yes, I adored The Avengers and came out feeling like a giddy three year-old who had eaten too many blue Smarties, and sure, the Spidey trailer has its moments, but they’re not a patch on the feeling of dread and stunning silence that enshrouds Nolan’s latest puzzle piece.

Far quieter than the viral run up to 2008’s The Dark Knight, Bane still feels almost entirely alien – a stark difference to the vast use of the Joker’s face. We have barely seen anything of Selina Kyle in either guise other than photos and, as for Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, well, what they’ll be up to beyond the allusions of their character names is anyone’s guess.

But where Nolan succeeds is with his phenomenally loyal fanbase. Though the viral marketing may seem sparse and cryptic and only readily available to those ‘in the know’ (yep, that’s us, fellow nerd), he never needed to present a trailer that provided any explicit storyline or character info. And this makes me so much hungrier for July 20th.

Rewatching the trailers for The Dark Knight, they may seem significantly more epic, but I have no doubt this third and final trailer for Nolan’s Batman bow out is only a meagre taste of the impact Bane and co. will have once they hit our screens.

In Nolan We Trust.

Forget The Artist Winning Best Picture Last Sunday – Here’s My Top Ten Films Of 2011

I am well aware that everybody else posted their ‘Best Of 2011’ lists at, well, the end of 2011 or back in January, but I wanted to be a little different. Mainly because I still had a fair few films to catch up on and because I wanted to compare my list to what the Academy deemed ‘fit’ and what eventually won.

So, finally, I present to you my Top Ten Films Of 2011. And when I say ‘Top Ten’, I mean what I enjoyed most as opposed to what I think I should say to be congratulated on. No, this is my Top Ten and simply that. And I’m pretty sure a lot of you won’t see my #1 coming – unless you follow me on Twitter (@iamnotwaynegale) in which case you’ve probably known for a while!

So, as usual, please leave comments if you want to argue this thing out – you’ll definitely realise I’m a sucker for big performances as opposed to big films – and check out my Top Ten below, starting with the films that didn’t quite make the cut: Continue reading

Trailer Talk: Bruce Wayne, Space Jockeys and Hobbitses

Bruce Wayne, Space Jockeys, Hobbitses, Gods, R-Pattz, Channing Tatum trying to be a comedian, a PVC-clad Beckinsale and discontented teachers. Let’s talk trailers: Continue reading

The Great Trailer Debate – Week 7

It’s been another pretty busy week for trailers and for the first time Nadine and I have disagreed on our favourites of the week. Next week – we’ll put it up a few days after Christmas – is the biggie, though, with The Dark Knight Rises (I lied when I said we’d do that this week!), The Hobbit AND Prometheus. Mental. So, as ever, take a look at what’s below and let us know if you disagree with our opinions! We have Men In Black 3, ParaNorman (NADINE’S TIED TRAILER OF THE WEEK), The Flowers Of War, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Perfect Sense, Rock Of Ages, Jack The Giant Killer (NADINE’S TIED TRAILER OF THE WEEK), Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, Expendables 2, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (EMMA’S TRAILER OF THE WEEK), Lock-Out, The Dictator and Casa De Mi Padre. Oh, and if you hadn’t already guessed, it’s Ewan McGregor week. Continue reading

Excited Doesn’t Even Cover It