Tag Archives: Christian Bale

It’s a man’s right to stop….

It’s nice to be able to sit at my newly repositioned pc (thanks to the female feng shui influence of my new flatmate) and get some words down on the blog. It’s been a nuts few weeks with a vast array of personal, professional and not so professional incidents and upheavals happening faster than a crowd fleeing the cinema halfway through the new Bond movie…. If they’ve managed to get that far.

On a Bond note, I’m not going to see the new picture. I didn’t enjoy the last one and have never really got what the fuss is about. Daniel Craig is a decent actor but I’ve always looked at Bond with a certain level of disdain, which kind of renders any trip to see the movie an inevitable disappointment.

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007: A load of old tosh

So, PLASTIC is finished, completed, done. It’s the longest (3 1/2 months) I’ve ever worked on one project which was great and I really think we nailed getting the atmosphere of the piece onto film. I’ve also just finished shooting a 3 minute experimental short of my own which goes by the working title SHADES OF REMORSE. This is my first crack at stop frame animation which is incredibly painstaking but wonderfully rewarding, it’s also the first time I’ve worked with an editor which is a strange experience. Handing over your tapes to someone and letting them get on with it is liberating but unsettling. Kind of like leaving your child with a babysitter for the first time, you just want to be calling every half hour to ask if everything’s fine…. is she sleeping ok….. Does she have a temperature??

From that lot it’s straight into pre production for the new Zach Rosenau picture THE INAUDIBLE CRIMES OF JASPER PIDGEON…. What a great title right? On this film I’m going to be his assistant director / producer which, considering we’re shooting the film on black and white 16mm on the tiny isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides over 2 weeks at the start of December, should present some interesting challenges and stunning results. I’m really looking forward to working with Zach; our views on cinema are very much aligned as is our passion for this project.

There’s been painfully little time for the consumption of pictures in the last 2 weeks, I feel like Christian Bale in the last third of RESCUE DAWN, all emaciated through a lack of movies. My new flatmate has been a terrible influence which has caused a tumbling off the wagon, the likes of which I’ve never experienced. The upside of that is her willingness to learn about and watch films. Last night we broke ourselves in gently.

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For all it’s predictability this is a great movie with some razor sharp dialogue, I particularly loved the way the stoner friends verbally rip up the character “Martin” (played brilliantly deadpan by Martin Starr) as he strives to win a bet that involves him not cutting his hair or shaving for a whole year, these relentless jibes really had me in stitches. From “The shoe bomber Richard Reid”, to “Scorsese on coke”, “Serpico”, “Cat Stevens” and “Late John Lennon”, the guy takes it from all angles. This movie is peppered with genuine laugh out loud moments and having not seen much of Apatow’s other stuff, I’m looking forward to checking out these films.

In honour of this film’s great dialogue, I’ve selected 3 of my favourite dialogue scenes in cinema. There could be many more of course but this is just to get the ball rolling. Feel free to chip in with your favourite scenes where the words are king…….

First up is the Return Of The Jedi scene from the Kevin Smith film CLERKS (1994). I just love the pace of the conversation and the blind logic of the reasoning. I read somewhere recently that Smith’s new film ZACH AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO was a rip off of the Judd Apatow approach to filmmaking. This is laughable as Smith was doing what Apatow is aiming for now a decade before he’d made a picture….. Enjoy.

From the comedic to the downright sharp, the opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s visceral debut RESERVOIR DOGS (1992). There’s nothing that needs to be said about this scene other than it was the start of great things for Steve Buscemi, which in itself is reason enough to love it.

Last up is Dave’s leaving speech from the 1992 James Foley picture GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. Ed Harris is fantastic here as is Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino. You just can’t take your eyes off this scene but it’s the verbal exchange that provides its power.

So let’s have it. The cinema dialogue scenes you never tire of seeing.

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Ok, I was wrong…

I’ve never had a resistance to super hero movies. I can remember the first time I saw Superman as a kid sitting transfixed, wide eyed and amazed as Christopher Reeve, god rest his soul, went about his daily business in a rather gawky manner whilst saving the world in his spare time. Not only saving the world of course but reversing time. I’ve never once heard Steven Hawkings disprove that the Superman method wouldn’t actually work.

On growing a little older the genre lost its charm for me. Example after example of comic book adaptation was pumped into cinemaplexes with huge promises of never seen before action. It all came crashing to hard nosed conclusion for me on release of HULK…. I was a great lover of David Banner as a kid, this was the “you won’t like me when I’m angry” TV David Banner of course, played wonderfully by Bill Bixby with Lou Ferringo as the frightening yet lovable monster. The movie was, and I’m an admirer of Ang Lee, HORRIFIC.

My good friend and workplace adversary Matt Etheridge (He loves his Blu-Ray) convinced me, through his relentless enthusiasm for the release of THE DARK KNIGHT to revisit the superhero movie and, as much as I hate to admit it, he’s right.

Christopher Nolan’s reinvention of this particular character is bursting with depth, conflict and, most importantly, bloody good storytelling and filmmaking. It’s not often you get such a cast fitting so well together to make what should be a formula Hollywood film, but is anything but. Christian Bale is fantastic, if you haven’t seen RESCUE DAWN, then do. Herzog and Bale seem like perfect collaborators considering their collective fondness of the physical extreme.

Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman also feature prominently and to great effect, Kate Holmes manages to keep her face looking not too weird by resisting that Cherie Blair thing that she sometimes does but the one appearance that REALLY floated my boat was Tim Booth of Indie legends JAMES fame as a villain who turns up a few times in the picture but says NOTHING… He looks the part, granted, but I don’t know if Gotham City was frequented by mancunian indie frontmen which was maybe a reason for having him mute. By the way, as I was googling Tim, I for some reason put an “e” at the end of his christian name and ended up at, what is probably the most boring website in the world….. see it here.

The scene below is one of my favourites in the film and really gives a sense of what I’m talking about in terms of craft. Bruce Wayne meets Ducard for the first time which proves to be a turning point that will change Wayne’s life forever.

Roll on Dark Knight……..