Monday, February 28, 2011

Reel Insight Episode 36: Christian Bale and guest

This might have been my favorite episode of Reel Insight yet.  Our Quoteable Quotes winner from January, Rachel's mom, Monica, joined us.  A whip smart film afficianado with a love for Christian Bale - our Star of the Week.  A fair amount of pre-Oscar discussion, so you can see how well we prognosticated.  Some TV talk and other movie talk as well.  Thanks so much for all the listener feedback too!

New movies seen this week:

Empire of the Sun - Can't believe I missed one of Speilberg's best, but now that's been rectified.  What a great start to a career, and epic story carried well by a less than annoying child actor.

Metroland - I didn't love this 70s flashback filled drama about growing up and having a family and leaving your past behind.  It was interesting and Emily Watson is terrific as always, but it still didn't resonate with me.

All the Little Animals - I watched this one for John Hurt, whom I adore.  Generally very odd movie - Bale is a teenager with special needs, and when his mother dies, his step father (whom he calls "The Fat") wants Bale to sign over his control of their store.  He runs away instead and meets John Hurt who is obsessed with road kill - the tragedy of it - and follows the roads giving them a proper burial.  He lives off the grid (perhaps he's escaping his own past) and takes on Bale for help.  It goes way off the rails when they try to get permission from The Fat to keep working and give up the store.  Uneven, but I still liked it.

The Machinist - I did not like this one.  It felt like Bale's weight loss was just a gimmick to advertise what could have been a fairly interesting dark drama.  He could have been thin, but the level to which they took it was distracting rather than helpful.  His craziness from lack of sleep was fascinating, but overall, the movie didn't come through.  Michael Ironsides was an interesting addition since you never quite know what side of the madness he's going to come down on.


Fletch said...

I'll admit that they overdid it with showing how skinny Bale was, but shit, they probably felt bad after looking at him and wanted to give the man his money's worth. That said, I'm disappointed you didn't like the movie - I think it's well-made with a good story. It's a movie that I always forgot how much I like until I watch it again. It's a slow burn but has a good payoff. And just the 10 seconds you get to see of Fat Bale make it all worth it, anyway.

Jess said...

Fletch - while I didn't whiz through this, I probably didn't pay it as much attention as I should. Now that I've gotten around the skinniness, I might give it another shot to absorb the rest of it.