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Tag: Christian Bale

The Pale Blue Eye–A Second Look

“The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague.  Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins?”  Based upon  Louis Bayard’s  novel by the same name, The Pale Blue Eye is a murder mystery thriller that intersects with horror. Opening with  renowned detective Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) being hired by West Point to investigate the hanging of a young cadet, Landor’s duties also include  protecting the reputation of the newly established military academy.  A reformed alcoholic who agonizes over his lost...

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“The Big Short”—We Were All Duped

The Big Short “The Big Short”, based on Michael Lewis’s book, is a film that wildly fluctuates between comedy and deadly serious criticism of Wall Street. The producers, shouting out “Finance For Dummies”, follow a group of outlier financial analysts who predicted and bet on the fall of the U.S. housing market. 2011’s “Margin Call” told a similar story. “Wolf of Wall Street” also focused on investment banking as one excessive party, with attempts at humor. The Big Short, a true story, feels like a lecture with subtitled definitions of arcane financial acronyms like CDO in PowerPoint slides....

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“American Hustle”:—Everyone Hustles To Survive

With its ensemble cast, this film has received almost unanimous accolades for the universally stunning performances, under the direction of David O. Russell. Still at the top of his game (after “I Heart Huckabees”, “The Fighter”, and “Silver Linings Playbook”).   All of Russell’s movies, intentionally or not, are the embodiment of a certain malaise, the sense that we have lost our community spirit, and everyone is on his or her own.  It is a war of all against all, or at least a cold indifference of all to all. “American Hustle” is about the ultimate con game, of which there have been many in...

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“The Fighter”–A Knockout

The 2010 blockbuster and critics’ darling, “The Fighter”, won Academy Awards for best supporting actor (an astounding Christian Bale) and best supporting actress (the masterful Melissa Leo).  However, I hate boxing movies, especially the tawdry “doormat turned boxing champion” variety we have seen in movies like “Rocky”.  This movie, however, is more in the genre of “Raging Bull” or “Million Dollar Baby”, movies in which “boxing” is a metaphor for the volatility of punches that life can throw to anyone, especially...

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