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items tagged with Christian Bale

Charmed and Dangerous: "Public Enemies," "Away We Go," and "My Sister's Keeper"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-07-03 12:00:00

Johnny Depp in Public EnemiesPUBLIC ENEMIES

With a low-key yet intensely charismatic Johnny Depp as its lead, you could describe Michael Mann's Public Enemies as the story behind the criminal activity of the infamous, Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. But that's not entirely accurate. The film is also about the nascent, frequently misguided authority of the FBI, personified here by a stalwart agent (a somber, less-throaty-than-usual Christian Bale) and showboating chief J. Edgar Hoover (a spectacular Billy Crudup). It's also about early media saturation in our country, and the public's complicity in turning villains into heroes, and the labyrinthine hierarchies among American gangsters, and - as embodied by a dazzlingly desirable and powerful Marion Cotillard - the ever-unpredictable nature of love. And, more than anything, it's about the exquisite craftsmanship of Michael Mann, whose Public Enemies doesn't look or sound quite like any other crime movie you've seen, and whose technical virtuosity might make Public Enemies impossible to forget.


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Traveling Exhibits: "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," "Terminator Salvation," and "Dance Flick"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-05-24 21:57:26

Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianNIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is to its precursor what Ghostbusters II is to Ghostbusters: the less-novel offering, sure, but a follow-up of surprising wit and great throwaway touches, and one that, in many ways, improves on source material that was pretty terrific to begin with. Despite its titular locale, no one is going to mistake director Shawn Levy's adventure comedy for a work of art, yet when this follow-up is really working - which is surprisingly often - it provides a giddy, giggly rush, and it's filled with comic bits that you could probably watch three or four times in succession and laugh at every single time. The movie is scrappy, silly, and a load of fun.


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Harlequin Romance: "The Dark Knight"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2008-07-23 08:14:56

Heath Ledger in The Dark KnightTHE DARK KNIGHT

The buzz on Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight may start to wane by the time the late actor is awarded the Oscar for it, but the effects of this performance are likely to be felt for years, if not decades.


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Moral Minority: "3:10 to Yuma" and "The Brothers Solomon"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2007-09-12 08:28:57

Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma3:10 TO YUMA

James Mangold's dramatic Western 3:10 to Yuma, the remake of a Glenn Ford oater from a half-century ago, is a tough, effective, frequently powerful piece of work. Yet despite its authentic period design and supremely intelligent performances, it feels a little lightweight; a few hours after seeing it, you may not remember much about the experience except having had a good time. Especially considering Hollywood output of late, 3:10 to Yuma is hardly a disappointment, but for all of its thematic richness, the movie is rather generic - it's a modern-day action blockbuster in Old West attire. The film is everything except moving, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Mangold desperately wants it to be.


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Imaginary Heroes: “Flags of Our Fathers,” “The Prestige,” and “Marie Antoinette”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2006-10-25 04:18:45

Flags of Our FathersFLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers is serious and noble, but it isn't resonant - despite some harrowing battle scenes, this World War II drama is surprisingly easy to brush off. Based on the James Bradley book, the film provides the back story to the historic raising of the American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima - a moment eternalized in Joe Rosenthal's famed photograph - and then follows the flag-raisers as they cope with their newfound status as American heroes, sent on a nationwide tour promoting war bonds. Yet with the exception of Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), who is seduced by the limelight, the men don't feel heroic - John Bradley (Ryan Phillippe) falls into a jittery depression, and Native American Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) becomes a despondent alcoholic. These men didn't ask to be heroes. They just wanted to stay alive.


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