Christian Bale made his film debut as British schoolboy in a Japanese prison camp in World War II Shanghai in this superb war drama.
Todd Haynes draws from the songs, lives (real and imagined) and mysteries of Bob Dylan for his impressionistic survey of the artist, his art, his interaction (and at times collision) with the culture he both grabs onto and flees, and the mysteries that surround him.
Superhero films became increasingly sophisticated and decidedly darker as they become (for better or worse) a full-fledged genre in the 2000s. With Batman Begins, writer/director Christopher Nolan (drawing inspiration from the revisionist Batman comic books by Frank Miller and Jeph Loeb) rebooted the Batman mythos for the big screen, bringing the often lighthearted hero back […]
One of the defining films in the elevation of comic book movies to adult fare, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) rebooted the Batman mythos for the big screen, bringing the often lighthearted hero back to the shadows, both figuratively and literally. It’s quite a leap from the previous Batman revival launched by Tim Burton’s 1989 […]
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) doesn’t want for ambition. The culmination of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of high-minded comic book superhero action spectacles by way of pop-art social commentary, it pits The Batman (a terse Christian Bale) against Bane (Tom Hardy as a musclebound mountain in a creepy mask), a self-appointed horseman of the apocalypse. Bane […]
Public Enemies (2009) is Michael Mann’s take on the gangster glory days of the depression, when the most flamboyant and notorious bank robbers became the outlaw heroes of the day. That makes Johnny Depp great casting as John Dillinger, whose spree of daylight bank robberies and daring getaways between May 1933 (when he was paroled […]
3:10 to Yuma (2007) – Delmer Dave’s original 1957 3:10 to Yuma, based on the short story by Elmore Leonard, is a superior western: understated, smart, visually modest and dramatically surprising. James Mangold’s remake is a fine film its own right. It is respectful of the story and the situation and then it goes its […]
Mark Wahlberg is Mickey Ward, The Fighter (2010) of the title in this true-life late-career comeback story. The younger half-brother of could-have-been contender Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), the man who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard and is now wasting away as twitchy crack addict lost in fantasies of his own comeback, Mickey is the […]
The Big Short entered Oscar season with great reviews and five Academy Award nominations. It came away with a single win, for Best Adapted Screenplay for Charles Randolph and filmmaker Adam McKay. That’s pretty good for a director, previously known for guiding Will Ferrell through such comedies as Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys, […]