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items tagged with Christian Bale

Cartoon Nut Work: “Despicable Me” and “Predators”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-07-11 19:33:40

Despicable MeDESPICABLE ME

When a computer-animated feature doesn't have the Pixar label attached to it, I tend to be grateful for whatever flashes of true cleverness I can get, and it's a pleasure to report that Despicable Me delivers hundreds, if not thousands, of these flashes. They arrive in the form our protagonist's minions, and are called Minions, and resemble canary-yellow gel capsules with functioning limbs and one or two eyes. They're also just about the cutest, silliest, funniest damned creatures that have ever waddled, bounced, and shrieked through an animated outing (excepting your own children, of course). I liked Despicable Me just fine, but I never loved the movie more than when these miniature slapstick wonders were on-screen; the Minions' boss may be a super-thief, but these goofy little buggers easily steal the show.
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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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