Tag Archives: Christian Bale

“If you’re hearing this, you are the Resistance.”

McG’s big-budget continuation of the Terminator franchise has finally hit theaters, and well… it sure has. This time, the audience is given a look at things post-Judgment Day, with John Connor and the human resistance desperately trying to end the war between man and machine. In the middle of it all is former death row inmate Marcus Wright, who’s role in the war may be bigger than he had believed. Caught in the middle is Kyle Reese, John Connor’s father and top dog on Skynet’s kill list. Boocoo spoilers follow.

After the dust settles and all the robots are dead, all I can say is that the movie felt incredibly anticlimactic. For a film that bills itself as a deep look into what it means to be human, there really isn’t a lot of depth here. As a whole, the movie is very disjointed. It was as if plot point after plot point was rushed through just to get to the movie’s final showdown between Connor and the machines. I mean, at one point, the entire resistance leadership dies! Isn’t that kind of a big thing? Nope, Connor’s in charge! Let’s blow sh*t up!

This illustrates my next point. It never feels like the characters are in any sort of real danger. Connor is the prophesied leader of the resistance, and at one point one of the leadership asks him if he thinks they’re just going to hand over control to him because he has a small group of followers. Of course, that’s not what Connor thinks, but a little while later they’re all dead, and Connor’s there to pick up the peices. The prophecy has been fulfilled. So, does anything they do really matter? Can the future be changed, or is everything they do predestined? A big Matrix vibe hangs over Connor’s entire role.

Salvation sure is an action movie, complete with lots of CGI and loud explosions. All of this surprised me a little bit because, in the interviews I’ve seen, McG has talked a lot about how they were trying to stay away from some of the more typical action movie conventions and make this film more character driven. I guess I can say that it’s more character driven than most action movies you’ll see these days, but after the interviews I was expecting a lot more.

It’s completely possible that it was late and I was tired, or that I’m an idiot and simple things fly past me, but it took me a little while to sort out the movie’s plot. Things that are made specific mention of in the trailers, like the machines building Terminators that look like humans, didn’t seem like they were that big a deal in the actual movie. They were there, but the focus of the movie was more on John Connor’s search for Kyle Reese, and trying to get into the heart of Skynet. And as far as plot goes, or more specifically the holes in it, don’t even get me started on this one. T-600s and other cool looking robots roam bombed out cities, wiping out the last human survivors with their super advanced… 1970s machine guns? Why not use heat sensors to find the last survivors? Why is Skynet central guarded by two Terminator and a Macbook Pro? Maybe it’s a mistake to apply logic to movies like these, but maybe that’s what sets us apart from the machines.

As for the actors, Christian Bale is Christian Bale, and I’m beginning to wonder if there’s anything the man can’t do. He does well in the movie, although I suspect that if they had cast him as Batman and had him destroy Skynet, the movie would have been better. But I digress… Anton Yelchin’s Kyle Reese is definitely a major player. But by the time the film is over, I didn’t feel like we had spent enough time with him to really care whether he survived or not. Yes yes yes, I get that he’s John Connor’s father, and that if he dies then John’s never born, and that leads to all sorts of problems… but still. Why does he get a spot at the cool kid’s table when all he did was get caught by that big damn robot thing with a gun for a head? Everyone else’s performance was solid, or as solid as they could be here. Sam Worthington plays Marcus Wright without coming off as an action movie cliche. Bryce Dallas Howard doesn’t say much, but she’s hot. And Common has a beard.

The scifi geeks will like the fact that the movie fleshes out a lot of the Terminator mythos. We’re shown what came before the Arnold Schwarzenegger models from the previous films, as well as some other baddies who could seriously put that wussy Optimus Prime to shame. There’s also a pretty good scene toward the end with a Schwarzenegger model, done with some impressive CGI that people will really like. The entire movie has some great visuals, and props to McG for his eye toward that sort of thing. The movie looks great, it’s just everything else I had a problem with.

From what I’ve read, McG has a second and third movie arced out, so I’m interested to see where he goes with it. The hints he’s dropped make it sound like they’ll be very different from Salvation, and right now I think that’s probably a good thing. Salvation works as an action movie, but really fails to live up to its potential. I give it a B- just because I have a man crush on Christian Bale, and robots blowing stuff up gives me a thrill. I doubt I’ll talk anyone out of seeing this movie, and that’s okay. You should go see it, but it would be better to go in not expecting to be blown away.



It looks like there are going to be some pretty good movies coming out in the next few months. Of course, we don’t judge movies on how good they are, but rather the number of explosions the director can cram into things. We also give extra points for every song on the soundtrack is performed by Linkin Park. Michael Bay, we’re all counting on you.

Here’s the full trailer for Terminator Salvation, opening up this May. This prequel/sequel tells the story of how the human/robot war was won by John Connor, who heroically screamed at robots for walking into his line of site.

Public Enemies tells the story of the FBI’s efforts to stop famous criminal John Dillinger during the early 1930s. What’s exciting is that this role finally gives Johnny Depp the chance to use an accent to say charming things. It also gives Christian Bale the chance to scream at an FBI agent for walking into his line of site.

The Escapist was released in the UK this summer, and may or may not be playing in the States. We don’t know. We don’t want to know. Anyway, in the film, Brian Cox plays a father who escapes from Christian Bale escapes from prison to see his dying daughter. While it doesn’t feature any real explosions, it does feature emotional ones. So… half credit.

TRAILER MONDAY – Tuesday Edition

Another Tuesday, another Tuesday edition of Trailer Monday. First up this week is the hot-off-the-press trailer for FOX’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which tells the story of how f**king awesome Gambit is gonna rock this thing!

Last week, the full trailer for Terminator: Salvation, starring Christian Bale was released. I couldn’t really tell what was going on, with all the big explosions and cool looking robots. But I’d guess it has something to do with Christian Bale working with Shia LeBeouf to keep the All Spark away from Megatron. With all the franchises and sequels and threequels we get these days, especially all the ones with big explosions and cool looking robots, I’d say the success of this one hinges soley on how many obligatory little-kid-in-SUV scenes we get. You know, the ones where the robot flies by and the little kid yells, “Cool!”

Finally, we have the trailer for Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage. This is like a big screen version of Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcolm, from Jurassic Park, which was a big screen version of the book by Michael Crichton. Anyway, it doesn’t have any dinosaurs, that we know of.

“And tonight, you’re gonna break your one rule.”

Wow. Wow. The summer blockbuster season might as well pack it in and go home, because it’s over. See you later Step Brothers. Shake a leg Swing Vote, because it’s done son. We’ve been waiting three years for Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to 2005’s Batman Begins, and holy piss, was it worth it. And not only did we get a great film, but the greatest superhero movie ever made.

As Batman continues to clean up the mean streets of Gotham City, desperate criminals are scrambling to save their crumbling empire. Taking advantage of the confusion is one of Gotham’s new breed of criminal, a man they call the Joker. Why does that sound awesome? Because it effing IS.

Watching as all this unfolds is Batman. As the Joker takes control of Gotham’s underworld and the body count begins to rise, Bruce Wayne is forced to ask himself if the creation of such a fantastic hero as Batman is really to blame for all this. If, in his desire to make the city a safer place, he’s only upped the ante in a game he’s not sure he can win. Or rather, a game in which he’s not sure he can do what he needs to in order in win.

I hate to say it, but these types of movies have changed since 9/11. The line between hero and villain has been blurred and they’re presented to us in a much more gritty, realistic way. As far as superheroes are concerned, this method has been met with some criticism. Frank Miller, of Sin City fame, explained it like this…

People are attempting to bring a superficial reality to superheroes which is rather stupid. They work best as the flamboyant fantasies they are. I mean, these are characters that are broad and big. I don’t need to see the sweat patches under Superman’s arms. I want to see him fly.

I think it’s a valid criticism, but not one I necessarily agree with. When superheroes are presented to us as “flamboyant fantasies,” I’m not sure they can progress beyond a certain complexity and ultimately don’t affect us on the level a movie like The Dark Knight does.

The movie’s complexity is served not only by it’s story, but also by it’s actors. Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman. All are in top form from start to finish. And while they were all great and a delight to watch on screen, it was as if God himself looked down on Heath Ledger’s Joker and said, “You are my finest creation.” From his first scene (and it’s AWESOME), his entire performance was brilliant.

There’s a giant internet slap-fight going on right now, with people arguing over who’s better, Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson from 1989’s Batman. They’re both representative of two different cultural mindsets and I don’t think you can truly compare the two. And while I loved Nicholson’s portrayal and get a little giddy every time I hear the line, “Hubba hubba hubba! Money money money! Who do you trust!”, Ledger’s Joker was much more rounded-out than Nicholson’s and in the end you understand him better. This is really driven home in a scene halfway through the movie (that they’ve hinted at in previews), in which Batman interrogates the Joker at Police HQ. In it, you understand who these two characters are, and why the Joker is considered Batman’s nemesis. For me, it was probably the best part of the whole movie. But then again, I’m stupid like that.

Two small complaints (I’m sorry!). At a hefty 152 minutes, the movie does start to drag a little toward the end. And, Batman does have a few more crazy gadgets that make you scratch your head a little. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about these two movies is that they don’t really mess with all the crazy bat-crap the comics and the Joel Schumacher movies got bogged down in. But, these are small things and – at the risk of sounding like someone who’s just gulped down a big pitcher full of Batman Kool-Aid – it doesn’t really matter. Everything I liked about this movie completely outweighed the things I didn’t.

The movie is set to make all sorts of money this weekend, so a third installment is as good as in the bank. And honestly, I have no idea where they’re going to take it. Aaron Eckhart plays Gotham D.A. Harvey Dent, and anyone who knows anything about Batman knows what happens to him. With that in mind, I felt that while the focus of the movie would be on the Joker, Dent’s story would set things up for the next film. We’ll just say that all my expectations were dumbfounded. That’s right, they were found to be dumb. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say that the Joker doesn’t die. And while I don’t think Nolan would ever try to find anyone to try (because they could only try) and follow up Heath Ledger’s, you’d think they would try and give some resolution to his storyline. I guess we’ll see.

This is the best movie you’re going to see this summer. So if you haven’t seen it already, run out to your nearest IMAX and enjoy it in all it’s six-story, high definition goodness. And then go do it again.

10 out of 10 stars

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All hail the conquering hero…

…Christian Bale, who has come to pump another mega-franchise full of PWN.

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Like Puff Daddy once said…

“Can’t stop. Won’t stop.”

more Two-Face news…

Isn’t viral marketing awesome? Go check out www.gothamcitypizzeria.com. Click on the bouncing “HA” in Gotham to see an exclusive clip from next month’s The Dark Knight. This gives a little more credibility to the Two-Face concept art that sent Warner Bros. into crazy damage control mode last month. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section.

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