The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay
Based on: Michael Lewisbook
Cast: Christian BaleSteve Carell, Ryan GoslingBrad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Rafe Spall, Hamish Linklater, Jeremy StrongJohn MagaroFinn Wittrock, Melissa Leo, Karen Gillan, Max GreenfieldBilly Magnussen, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, Anthony Bourdain, Richard Thaler
Seen on: 20.1.2016

Plot:
Michael Burry (Christian Bale) may not have many social skills, but he knows finance. And he knows that something will have to give in the world of finance – and that he can profit from the banks’ greed if he plays his card rights. So he starts betting against banks, assuming that the loans they give out will start to collapse. His tactic becomes known to Wall Street Broker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) who approaches fund manager Mark Baum (Steve Carell) with the proposal to do the same. At the same time, college kids Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) enlist veteran investor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt) to join into their own version of Burry’s scheme.

The Big Short treads pretty much the same ground as Margin Call, only that it is much more entertaining and made me understand the bursting of the real estate bubble much more.

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Knight of Cups (2015)

Knight of Cups
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Cast: Christian Bale, Wes Bentley, Cate Blanchett, Imogen Poots, Natalie Portman, Jason Clarke, Teresa Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Isabel Lucas, Nick Offerman, Joel Kinnaman, Nicky WhelanAntonio BanderasFreida PintoKatia WinterMichael WincottThomas LennonClifton Collins Jr.Shea WhighamNick KrollRyan O’NealKevin CorriganBrian DennehyJoe Lo Truglio, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ben Kingsley
Seen on: 15.9.2015

Plot:
Rick (Christian Bale) is a screenwriter living in LA. He moves from party to party, woman to woman. He seems to be looking for something, but who knows for what?
[Actually the first note I wrote down for this film is: “I don’t think I could write a plot description for this film”, so you’ll have to live with that little bit.]

I don’t like Terrence Malick movies. I decided to watch this one anyway because Cate Blanchett! Christian Bale! Natalie Portman! And so many other actors I love. But it turns out that Knight of Cups is everything I hate about Malick movies turned up to 11, while nothing I used to still like about them works for me anymore.

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American Hustle (2013)

American Hustle
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell, Eric Warren Singer
Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Peña, Shea WhighamAlessandro Nivola, Saïd Taghmaoui

Plot:
Irving (Christian Bale) is a con man who finds a new partner in all things in Sydney (Amy Adams), despite being married to Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). But then police man Richie (Bradley Cooper) catches them in the act and decides to use them to convict the mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) of corruption. But things keep on spiraling out of control.

I can imagine that American Hustle would have been a good film if somebody other than David O. Russell had made it. Or if Russell had found a consistent tone in which to tell his story. But as is the movie was just a mess.

american-hustle

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Sequel to: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight (1st review, 2nd review)
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway,   Morgan Freeman, Burn Gorman, Ben Mendelsohn, Matthew Modine, Aidan Gillen, Juno Temple, Daniel Sunjata, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson

Plot:
Batman (Christian Bale) disappeared after taking the fall for Harvey Dent. But while Gotham City is getting cleaned up by the regular police now – and quite successfully so – a new threat is rising in the form of Bane (Tom Hardy). And when Bruce Wayne himself gets robbed by a Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway), a cunning cat burglar, he decides that it might be time to come out of the retirement and face the world again.

I had very high expectations for this film (I mean, who hadn’t?) and while the film did not surpass them, it fulfilled them extremely well and was a very good ending to the trilogy.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Sequel to: Batman Begins
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael CaineGary Oldman, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Eric Roberts, Chin Han
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Gotham’s streets are considerably cleaner since the Batman (Christian Bale) started his work. Nevertheless, the mob is still going strong. So when the up and coming DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and Lt Gordon (Gary Oldman) ask Batman to help with the rest, he doesn’t say know. But at the same time, a new villain is trying to make the Batman’s life hell: the Joker (Heath Ledger).

I know I just gushed about Batman Begins, but I have to gush even more about The Dark Knight. It does have its faults, but it’s fucking amazing and even better than the first film.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
After the death of his parents in a robbery and a foiled attempt to kill their murderer, billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) leaves the country to search for something else entirely. While his hometown of Gotham City is slowly falling apart and swallowed by crime, Bruce ends up first in a prison, then with the League of Shadows, a mysterious organisation that wants to fight corruption, where he is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson). But when Bruce finds out about the actual goals of the League, he decides that he’d rather come home to Gotham and fight crime on his own terms – as the Batman.

Batman Begins is a wonderful start to the trilogy, and a film that is not only still enjoyable when you’ve seen the 10th time (or so), but also one that stands the test of time very well.

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The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter is the newest film by David O. Russell, starring Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

Plot:
Micky (Mark Wahlberg) has always stood in the shadow of his older brother Dicky (Christian Bale) who has seen his heyday as a boxer 15 years previously and has since descended into drug addiction. Micky is a boxer himself, but he struggles with it and is much defeated. It’s only when Dicky goes to prison and Micky finds his new girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) that Micky comes into his own.

The Fighter has an exceptional cast and a fine story, but it drags a bit and I don’t think I have enough love for boxing to really be able to appreciate this film. [And when I say I don’t have enough love for boxing, I mean that I don’t get boxing. At all. I don’t get how you can do it and I get much less why you would want somebody you love to do it.] It remained a little stale.

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Public Enemies (2009)

Public Enemies is a movie directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale and Billy Crudup [and Faramir David Wenham and Giovanni Ribisi in mini-roles].

Plot:
Public Enemies follows the last years in the life of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), famous bank robber who managed to be highly popular with the general public because he seemed like Robin Hood to them.

The movie was incredibly disappointing. Such an amazing cast and then what’s left is a confusing pile of explosions and shoot-outs. Half of the time I didn’t know what was going on and the other half I was bored.

public-enemies

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Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Salvation is part four of the Terminator movies, directed by McG and starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Plot:
It’s the future and the machines have almost completely taken over the world. There’s a small band of humans left who fight against them, led by John Connor (Christian Bale) who is at the moment looking for his teenage father Kyle (Anton Yelchin) (who got to be his father through time travel).
At the same time a young man (Sam Worthington) who doesn’t know anything about what’s going on makes his way through the world, discovering that he’s not quite human.

I never was a big Terminator fan. I watched the first two in preparation for the movie, but then couldn’t be bothered to watch number three. I went to the cinema for the cast. But because of that my hopes were rather high – the cast is really good and the premise is interesting (and from the trailer it seemed like they would take it to interesting places), plus I didn’t have any emotional attachment to the old movies which could be damaged by a reinterpretation of the series. Even when the first abysmal reviews came in, I still had hopes that it only sucked for people who liked the previous movies.

No such luck. This movie sucks for everybody.

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[SPOILERS]

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I want to see this movie

Said Christian Bale [before agreeing to do Terminator]:

If you can get the script to a place where actors on stage could just read it, naked, and it would be compelling for two hours because the characters change and evolve, then we’d have something to talk about.

That I want to see! Naked Christian Bale performing a good play/movie? Dreams come true…

Speaking of his hotness. You’ve probably all heard the mp3 of him blowing up on the set of Terminator. But have you heard the remix yet? It’s genius!