Ever since the Golden Globes — a.k.a. the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a.k.a. a very small (under 100) group of cultishly enigmatic and otherwise insignificant entertainment-industry journalists from around the world who like getting free drinks and being photographed with movie stars — voted to choose American Hustle as one of their five nominees for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, there’s been an unofficial debate, played out in reviews and early water-cooler chatter, about whether or not the movie is, in fact, a comedy. I think we can agree that it’s not a musical (though I did love its use of Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work” and that Arabic cover version of “White Rabbit”). To me, it’s not a comedy either, although it did make me laugh a lot. Some critics I hold in high esteem, like Richard Corliss of Time and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, have said that the movie is, indeed, a comedy. A hundred Talmudic scholars could chew over the question of whether there are enough jokes in American Hustle to leave you giggling on the head of a pin — and if there are, I suppose that would mean that, yes, the movie is a comedy. I personally think that the Golden Globes, trying to smear the wealth around in their usual promiscuous and fun and quasi-mindless way, made a categorical mistake. But in the end, it’s not really a big deal. I’m glad that American Hustle — a great movie, whether it’s a drama or a comedy — got nominated in one of the Globes’ Best Motion Picture categories instead of being left out. That gives it awards momentum. By the time the Oscar nominations come along, no one will remember, or care very much, about whether American Hustle was unfairly branded as a movie that’s fundamentally a laff riot. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Christian Bale (11-20 of 64)
Breaking: David O. Russell doesn’t think American Hustle is a comedy either.
“I feel like we’re telling stories, characters and stories, that are beyond category,” he told EW shortly after learning about his film’s seven Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). In his mind, Hustle is tonally similar to his 2010 film The Fighter — which was nominated at the Globes in the Drama category. “Obviously it was a bit less of a comedy,” Russell explains, “but Christian Bale was incredibly funny in that movie. I love to be the director who can bring that out of him, but it’s done from the heart of the dramatic character that he creates. So as far as he and I are concerned, we’re doing a drama.”
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Is anyone a better movie actor right now than Christian Bale? (Okay, I’ll give you Daniel Day-Lewis… but it’s close and getting closer.) The 39-year-old Welshman is fully in his prime, demonstrated most recently by two powerful performances landing in the heart of Oscar season. The flashier role might be in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which doesn’t open until Dec. 20. In Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which opened Wednesday and expanded Friday, he plays the good-intentioned ex-con whose pursuit of justice — after his ne’er-do-well brother (Casey Affleck) goes missing — puts him on a collision course with a terrifying meth-king hick (Woody Harrelson).
Set around the decaying stacks of Pennsylvania steel mills around the eve of Obama’s 2008 election, Furnace never flinches from its dreary first impression, using Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard to positive effect as the types of craggled faces who survive this iron underworld. There’s not a lot of hope or change for these characters. As EW’s Chris Nashawaty writes, “Like 1978’s The Deer Hunter, Cooper’s devastating death trip nails the bond between two no-hope men pushed to violent extremes.”
Bale has always been drawn to characters with violent impulses — from Batman to Patrick Bateman to boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. Playing a superhero never seemed to limit his range, but now that he’s free of the cowl for good, it will be fascinating to watch the next phase of his career. The critics seem to think he’s off to a great start.
Before you head to the theater, click below to see what the leading critics are saying about Out of the Furnace.
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Sometimes, the right song can make all the difference to establishing a mood for a movie. But the absolutely perfect song can go even further and provide meaning. Director David O. Russell is a connoisseur of music, so it’s probably no accident that the TV spots for his upcoming movie, American Hustle, are set to Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times.” Yes, it immediately evokes the setting of the film — the 1970s. But the lyrics are even more insightful for his characters, a coterie of ne’er-do-well con artists, corrupt pols, and compromised cops.
“In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man,
Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.
No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam.”
The latest TV spot, titled “Unexpected,” showcases Christian Bale as an amusing con-man hanging on by a thread — much like his marvelous comb-over.
Everything is cloaked in the gritty, suffocating glamour of sequins, cigarette smoke, high-stakes cons and hairspray in the newest trailer for David O. Russell’s American Hustle. Stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams are in perfect 1970s form — especially Cooper in those hair curlers.
Russell’s ensemble drama follows a con artist (Bale) and his partner (Adams) as they team up with an eager FBI agent (Cooper) to expose other players of the Camden, New Jersey underworld. Lawrence is all grown up in the trailer below and Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro, and Louis C.K. also appear in the star-studded period pic.
Check out the latest trailer, featuring the Electric Light Orchestra anthem “10538 Overture.”
The new trailer for Out of the Furnace, a gritty rust-belt crime drama from Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), sings a new tune.
The first preview — which showed Christian Bale seeking vengeance against the hillbilly crimelord (Woody Harrelson) who might have made his brother (Casey Affleck) disappear — was accompanied by Pearl Jam’s “Release.” This new clip opts instead for a whispery cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”
In the movie, Affleck plays a returning Iraq War vet who turns to bare-knuckle brawling to pay back some debts. He finds trouble when he has to decide whether he can make more money by winning or losing — and disappears. Enter his older brother (Bale), who is trying to walk the straight-and-narrow but seems to have a history with this type of mountain justice. The trailer seems determined to evoke The Fighter… if it were crossed with Winter’s Bone.
Watch the trailer below. READ FULL STORY
There are a lot of bat-goodies contained within the 90 minutes of new special features on Warner Bros.’s new Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. (Try saying that three times fast.) But this clip could very well be the collection’s coolest moment. It’s pre-Batman Christian Bale! Doing a screen test for Batman Begins! Wearing Val Kilmer’s old batsuit from Batman Forever. And acting opposite… Amy Adams! (Don’t get too glum thinking about what might have been, Katie Holmes haters — she was only there as a favor to the movie’s casting director.)
As the video proves, Bale’s rumbly batvoice was there from the very beginning — before the beginning, even. “He had decided that Batman had to have a different voice… that he had to put on a voice,” director/co-writer Christopher Nolan explains over footage of the screen test.
And evidently, that simple acting choice was a major factor in Bale’s ultimate casting. READ FULL STORY
A chapter has officially closed in the Batman mythology. Christian Bale retired the cowl, Ben Affleck now inherits the suit and will next fight Superman, and Christopher Nolan may be playing a diminished role in the hero’s future as Warner Bros. and DC Comics set the table for a Justice League movie. So it’s the perfect time to look back and celebrate what Bale and Nolan did with their Batman trilogy, resurrecting the character from neon-saturated camp after Joel Schumacher and George Clooney’s 1997 debacle, Batman & Robin. Beginning with Batman Begins in 2005 and punctuated by The Dark Knight in 2008, Nolan literally reinvented the superhero genre, planting a flawed hero in a recognizable physical and moral landscape that made room for ambiguity, political commentary, and literary subtext.
On Tuesday, Warner Bros. puts a bow on its Dark Knight Trilogy with an Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set. There’s 90 minutes of new special features, including a conversation between Nolan and the godfather of superhero epics, Superman‘s Richard Donner, and a special featurette about the creation and the impact of the series. In an exclusive video from the latter video, titled “The Fire Rises,” Nolan explains his obvious-only-in-hindsight take on the material and how it took only 15 minutes to get a “Yes” from the Warner Bros brass. READ FULL STORY
Extra! Extra!! Christian Bale offered $50 million to play Batman again!
If you’ve scanned the superhero sites, you’ve inevitably read reports that Bale is being lured back to the Batcave with a $50 meeellion offer to square off against Henry Cavill’s Superman in Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel sequel. Fans of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Bale’s dark portrayal of the Caped Crusader immediately rejoiced, convincing themselves that Bale’s previous denials and his desire to pass the torch to another Batman could quickly be erased by cold hard cash. Perhaps that will eventually be the case. But not today.
The recent online buzz erupted after the British Sun newspaper reported that “Bale is facing extraordinary pressure” to return to the character for a huge payday. The Sun‘s sources, however, aren’t exactly Warner Bros. insiders or members of Bale’s inner circle. Instead, the tabloid was blindly relying on a new ebook titled Beyond Batman: The Unauthorized True Story of Christian Bale and His Dark Knight Dilemma. It’s a 27-page mini-book from an author named Vincent Russel, who’s also written an unauthorized biography of WWE superstar CM Punk.
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