This entry was posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 12:42 pm and is filed under No Politics Friday, Quick Hits.
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Christian Bale must be still stuck in his Batman suit. It reportedly gave him headaches, I hear. Still wondering how he has any vocal cords left after those 2 movies, myself.
What I would like to know is how these allegedly "great" actors get so great when they are really just playing themselves, in stories scripted around their "method actor" personality. They must all think they are Jame Dean. On the other hand, take someone like Daniel Day-Lewis, now THERE'S an actor.
Looking back, I think Empire of The Sun is still the best movie Bale has ever done. Unlike most child actors, Bale didn't try to get by on his good looks or charisma. There was nuance, depth, vulnerability, courage, and a refreshing honesty in his performance. Believe me, if you're doing a major Hollywood film where you're the emotional anchor in every scene and you're not talented, you'll never make it to "The End" before the audience turns away in bored contempt. Because Bale was so damned fascinating, you made the investment in following his character's painful transformation from spoiled rich kid to a haunted, sad-eyed child older than his years. Now? Bale doesn't want to work that hard. Squint. Mumble. Work out in the gym. Do big loud empty movies where things blow up. Wear funny costumes. Get rich. Still, sometimes I wonder if Bale knows what he lost. Too bad that poor grunt on the set had to be the punching bag.
American Psycho. Batman Begins. Bale in those two exhibits everything D.R. Scott says he doesn't have anymore, in spades. So cut him some slack. Oh , and The Machinist, so anybody slagging on him should just fuck off. Maybe the problem with him in The Dark Knight was that he wasn't given anything at all important to do – but maybe that's not a problem because that was Ledger's movie anyway. But then again, in the interrogation scene where The Joker presents him with the save either Dent/Rachel but the other dies choice, he displays plenty of courage, vulnerability and honesty and does it all with just his EYES. So, again, y'all fuck off. Don't tar him with his appearance in a shitty movie.
Boy, that's insightful movie criticism. It must have taken up most of the day to write, I guess. Still, you sound like a Christian Bale fan. I'd bet that if you were there when Bale screamed at the guy on the set, you would have given him a standing ovation.
And Bale still is a shitty actor. The Machinist? I'm sorry, but I don't confuse circus tricks with acting. I found Bale's skeletal carcass distracting. And he mumbled. Batman Begins? Puh-leeze. Another dumb comic book movie. Are you sure Bale was in that overwrought potboiler? I couldn't tell who was in the shiny black rubber condom. And he squinted. American Psycho? As a cold, calculating yuppie sociopath, Bale wasn't bad. Then again, he was playing himself, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. And he mumbled, squinted, and worked out in the gym.
But I want to let you know that I'm not angry at you because of your clumsy, vulgar, empty-headed rudeness.
I'm angry because people like you keep Bale employed.
Bale's a pretty good actor overall, and other good movies he has been in include 3:10 to Yuma and The Prestige. I think he tries to stretch himself with a balanced mix of indie and blockbuster movies, and has done quite a bit of diverse work for a guy still in his thirties. I do agree that for Batman he overused the scratchy Batman voice, and from the Salvation trailers it looks like he is gruffing it up a bit much also. Anyone who thinks the last two Batman movies was bad is patently insane. There are certain movies that one can dislike to a certain extent but if you don't think a movie like The Dark Knight or Batman Begins are at least good movies then you are clearly going out of your way to be a contrarian. You also seem to be one of those people that thinks comic book movies can't be good(based on your "another dumb comic book movie" comment) which is the same mindset from the Joel Schumaker school of summer movie filmmaking. "Hey, let's sell toys. Bat-Skates!" D.R Scott uses the most beaten to death phrase in movie criticism, "He was just playing himself." This is one of the most lazy criticisms one can have. Bale's Salvation set antics may have been apalling, but I doubt he chainsaws hookers to death. Maybe you are mistaking Bale for Vin Diesel or Paul Walker but the guy didn't peak with Empire of The Sun and Newsies.
I'm glad Daniel took the more reasoned route so I can continue with my "empty-headed" vulgarianism: you really need to fuck off about Bale, D.R. And I don't say it because I'm a Bale fanboy; I mostly say it because your comments are very, very douchetastic. I have no idea whether Salvation or Bale's performance in it are any good; I'm entirely prepared to believe that they're not. If you had comprehended my comment, you would have understood that I see his performance in The Dark Knight to be problematic overall but that it still had its bright spots. My point is that to slag him as an actor based on JUST The Dark Knight and Salvation is foolish. Further, that to assert Bale hasn't done ANY good work since The Empire of the Sun is foolish – i.e., that in this comment thread at least, you, D.R., are a fool.
I don't know what "insightful movie criticism" means, but I'm sure that I';m as capable of it as you are. Especially since you seem to think that all Bale did in American Psycho was be "a cold, calculating yuppie sociopath", a mumbler, and play himself. SO stupid. Did you see the scene where he confesses to his killings while he believes he's being hunted? No honesty or vulnerability there? All mumbling and cold calculatingness? Right.
As Daniel said, if you can't accept Batman Begins or The Dark Knight as "good" movies, then your opinion isn't to be taken seriously. And if you think The Machinist was just a stunt then your opinions are not just to be ignored but actively opposed.
Maybe Bale is in the process of turning into Nick Cage – an extremely promising actor who inexplicably decides to appear in mostly lousy movies. But then again, maybe he's not. We don't know yet, and one fair-to-middling performance followed by one bad one (both in big-time franchise movies, I might add) don't seal the coffin on his career. You'd have to be an idiot to say so.
Finally: It's not "people like (me)" who keep Bale employed, D.R. I haven't spent one thin dime to support any movie at all for the last ten years or so – library card, bitch. So, again – fuck off.
Fairly insighful post.Never believed that it was simple after all.I had spent a beneficial deal of my time looking for someone to explain this subject clearly and you're the only one that ever did that.Keep it up.