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items tagged with Christian Bale

Scraped Crusader: "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Red Stroke"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-07-21 18:03:17

Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight RisesTHE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Dark Knight Rises, as you’ve perhaps heard, is the concluding chapter in Christopher Nolan’s series of grandly scaled, intensely serious-minded Batman adventures that began with 2005’s fittingly titled Batman Begins and continued with 2008’s The Dark Knight. It is also, as you perhaps hoped, a terrifically satisfying wrap-up to the trilogy – flawed, at times distractingly flawed, but powerful and resonant and deeply emotional. After my lukewarm responses to The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, I would’ve been relieved to exit this summer’s latest superhero blockbuster merely content. Instead, I left Nolan’s 165-minute comic-book epic simultaneously jazzed and sated, and more than ready to see it again.


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Oscars / The Grouch: Notes on the 2011 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2011-02-28 19:41:18

Best Actor Colin FirthBefore getting into what went wrong at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and sadly, quite a bit went wrong – let’s begin by addressing the one portion of the telecast that, for maybe the first time in Oscar history, went magically right.


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En Pointe, on Edge: "Black Swan" and "The Fighter"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-12-20 00:02:21

Natalie Portman in Black SwanBLACK SWAN

In director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, the first words we hear are uttered by professional ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), who tells her mother, “I had the craziest dream last night.” And for the next 105 minutes, the movie unfurls like a crazy dream itself – a crazy, fascinating, terrifying, exhilarating dream that you have no desire to wake from. You can label the film a psychological drama, or a hallucinogenic thriller, or an art-house horror flick, and each would be appropriate. But none of those tags really hints at how much delectable fun Black Swan is. As with a dream that you want to return to the moment you wake up, you want to experience the intoxicating, rapturous weirdness of Aronofsky’s vision all over again the minute the end credits start to roll.


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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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