Produced by Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Charles Roven,
Screenplay by Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Story by David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based onCharacters by Bob Kane
Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Wally Pfister
Editing by Lee Smith
Studio Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films, DC Comics
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) July 20, 2012
Country United States
Budget $250 million
Info & Plot
The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming American superhero film under the development of Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, and Jonathan Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third and final installment in Nolan’s Batman film series. The Dark Knight Rises will see the return of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, and Lucius Fox, respectively. The film will introduce the characters of Selina Kyle and Bane—portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy—two villains from the Batman mythology.
Nolan was initially hesitant about returning to the series for a third time, but agreed to come back after developing a story with his brother and David Goyer that he felt would conclude the series on a satisfactory note. Filming has taken place across the world, including locations in India, London, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York, and Pittsburgh. Nolan is opting to utilize IMAX cameras for more of the filming to optimize the quality of the picture. As with The Dark Knight, viral marketing campaigns began early during production to help promote the upcoming film. The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for release in the United States and Canada on July 20, 2012, by Warner Bros.
On an estimated budget of $250 million, filming commenced on May 6, 2011, in Jodhpur, India in Mehrangarh Fort. Filming is scheduled to conclude in November, spending four to six weeks in Pittsburgh where it operated under the working title “Magnus Rex”. Shooting locations within the city include Heinz Field, the site of an American football game, with members of the Pittsburgh Steelers playing the Gotham Rogues football team. Filming in Pittsburgh also took place at the Mellon Institute and Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. A letter sent out to residents and business owners detailing road closures revealed that the streets of the city would be featured “as the start of [the] film”. 9-1-1 operators were told to expect an increase in calls related to gun shots and explosions in the film’s production. Production photos from filming in Pittsburgh showed a second Tumbler chassis after the first was destroyed in The Dark Knight. Further set photos revealed a “new vehicle” being transported to Wabash Tunnel, prompting speculation as to its nature. In June 2011, Autoblog confirmed the presence of the new Lamborghini Aventador on the film set. Other shooting locations include London and Glasgow, the latter of which is being used for additional exterior filming. The Pittsburgh leg of production wrapped after three weeks on August 21, 2011, before moving on to Los Angeles and New York. For the creation of the film’s soundtrack, Hans Zimmer crowdsourced online for audio recordings of a chant, which would be used in the film’s score.
2011 ~ The Flowers Of War (John Miller)
Directed by Zhang Yimou Produced by William Kong, David Linde, Weiping Zhang, Zhang Yimou Screenplay by Heng Liu, Based on The 13 Women of Nanjing by Geling Yan Starring Christian Bale, Shigeo Kobayashi Music by Qigang Chen Cinematography Zhao Xiaoding Studio EDKO Film, Beijing New Picture Film, New Picture Company Distributed by EDKO Film Release date(s) December 16, 2011(China) Country Hong Kong, China Language English, Chinese Budget $90 million
Info & Plot
The Flowers of War, previously called Nanjing Heroes and 13 Flowers of Nanjing, is an upcoming historical drama war film directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Christian Bale and Shigeo Kobayashi. The film, which is based on the novel The 13 Women of Nanjing by Geling Yan, has been selected as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
The film is set in 1937 in Nanjing, China during the Nanking Massacre, at the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War. A group of escapees, finding sanctuary in a Church compound, risk their lives as they struggle to survive the plight and persecution brought on by the violent invasion of the city.
In December, 2010, it was announced that the film would be made, and pre-production started the same month. They began shooting on location in Nanjing, China on January 10, 2011. The dialogue of the film was shot about 40% in English and the rest in Mandarin Chinese, with an estimated production budget of $90.2 million, which makes this China’s most expensive film yet. Joss Williams was announced as special effects supervisor, Yohei Taneda as the production designer, William Chang as production and costume designer, and Graciela Mazon as costume designer.
On September 9, 2011, the film was retitled The Flowers of War, after a 20-minute screening for prominent U.S. film distributors and the media at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Flowers of War is to be released in China on December 16, 2011. A United States release date is yet to be announced.
2010 ~ The Fighter (Dick “Dickie” Eklund)
Directed by David O. Russell Produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Wahlberg, Dorothy Aufiero, Paul Tamasy Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson Story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams Music by Michael Brook Cinematography Hoyte van Hoytema Editing by Pamela Martin Studio Relativity Media, Mandeville Films Distributed by Paramount Pictures Release date December 10, 2010 Country United States Language English Budget $30 million
Info & Plot
The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. The film centers on the life of professional boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). The film also stars Amy Adams as Micky’s love interest, and Melissa Leo as Micky’s and Dicky’s mother. The Fighter is Russell and Wahlberg’s third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
The film was released in select North American theaters on December 17, 2010 and was released in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2011. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and Best Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo). It was the first film to win both awards since Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986.
Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is an Irish-American welterweight boxer from a working class family in Lowell, Massachusetts. Managed by his mother, Alice Ward (Melissa Leo), and trained by his older half-brother, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), Micky has not had a particularly successful career: He’s become a “stepping stone” for other boxers to defeat on their way up. Complicating matters, Dicky, a former boxer whose peak of success was knocking Sugar Ray Leonard down in an HBO televised match, has fallen apart since his early success, becoming addicted to crack cocaine. He is now being filmed for an HBO documentary he believes to be about his “comeback”.
On the night of an undercard fight in Atlantic City, Micky’s scheduled opponent is ill, and a substitute is found who is 18 pounds heavier than Micky. Despite Micky’s reservations, his mother and brother agree to the terms so that they can all get the purse. Micky is soundly defeated by the much heavier fighter in an obvious mismatch. Frustrated with his career and embarrassed by his defeat, Micky tries to retreat from the world and forms a relationship with Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), a former college athlete who dropped out and became a bartender.
After several weeks, Alice arranges another fight for Micky, who, concerned it will turn out the same as before, shows serious hesitation. His mother and seven sisters blame Charlene for his lack of motivation. Micky mentions that he’s received an offer to be paid to train in Las Vegas, but Dicky says he will match the offer so he can keep training and working with his family. Dicky then tries to get money by posing his girlfriend as a prostitute and then, once she picks up a client, impersonating a police officer to steal the client’s car. This is quickly foiled by the actual police and Dicky is arrested after a chase and a fight with them. Micky intervenes to try to stop the police from beating his brother, but a police officer breaks his hand before arresting him. At trial, Micky is released but Dicky is sent to jail. Finally fed up, Micky washes his hands of Dicky.
On the night of the HBO documentary, Dicky’s family, and Dicky himself in prison, are horrified to see it is High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell, a documentary about how crack addiction ruined Dicky’s career and life. Devastated, Dicky begins training and trying to get his life together in prison. Micky is lured back into boxing by his father, who believes Alice and his stepson Dicky are bad influences. Gathering the other members of his training team and finding a new manager, Sal Lonano, they convince Micky to return to boxing with the explicit understanding that his mother and brother will no longer be involved. They place Micky in minor fights to help him regain his confidence. He is then offered another major fight against an undefeated up-and-coming boxer. During a prison visit, Dicky advises Micky on how best to work his opponent, but Micky feels his brother is being selfish and trying to restart his own failed career. During the actual match, Micky is nearly overwhelmed at the beginning but, remembering his brother’s advice, alters his strategy and is eventually triumphant; he earns the title shot for which his opponent was being groomed.
Upon his release from prison, Dicky and his mother go to see Micky train. Assuming things are as they were, Dicky prepares to spar with his brother, but Micky informs him that he’s no longer allowed per Micky’s agreement with his current team. In the ensuing argument, in which Micky chastises both factions of his family, Charlene and his trainer leave in disgust. Micky and Dicky spar, brought to an abrupt end when Micky knocks Dicky down. Dicky storms off, presumably to get high again, and Micky’s mother chides Micky, only to be sobered when he tells her that she has always favored Dicky. Dicky returns to his crack house, where he says goodbye to his friends and heads to Charlene’s apartment. He tells her that Micky needs both of them and they need to work together. After bringing everyone back together, the group goes to London for the title fight. Micky scores another upset victory and the welterweight title. The film jumps a few years ahead, with Dicky, as talkative as ever, crediting his brother as being the creator of his own success.
2009 ~ Public Enemies (Melvin Purvis)
Directed by Michael Mann
Produced by Michael Mann,Kevin Misher Written by Screenplay: Ronan Bennett, Ann Biderman, Michael Mann Book Bryan Burrough Starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Jason Clarke, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff, David Wenham, Emilie de Ravin, Lili Taylor, James Russo, Giovanni Ribisi Music by Elliot Goldenthal Cinematography Dante Spinotti Editing by Paul Rubell, Jeffrey Ford Studio Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Forward Pass, Mischer Films, TriBeCa Productions, Appian Way Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date July 1, 2009 Running time 143 min. Country United States Language English Budget $100 million Gross revenue $214,104,620
Info & Plot
In 1933, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) is brought to the Indiana State Prison by his partner John “Red” Hamilton (Jason Clarke), under the guise of a prisoner drop. Dillinger and Hamilton overpower several guards and free members of their gang including Charles Makley (Christian Stolte), Homer Van Meter (Stephen Dorff), Walter Dietrich (James Russo), Ed Shouse, Jr. (Michael Vieau), and Harry Pierpont (David Wenham). The jailbreak goes off without a hitch, until Ed Shouse, Jr. beats a guard to death. A shootout ensues as the gang makes its getaway. Dietrich is killed, and a furious Dillinger kicks Shouse out of the car. The rest of the gang retreats to a farm house hideout, where crooked East Chicago, Indiana cop Martin Zarkovich (John Michael Bolger) convinces them to hide out in Chicago, where they can be sheltered by the local Mafia.
Later in East Liverpool, Ohio, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) and several other Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and East Liverpool Cops are running down Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum). Purvis kills Floyd and is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup), who is struggling to expand his Bureau into a national police agency, to lead the hunt for John Dillinger, declaring the first national “War on Crime.” Purvis shares Hoover’s belief in using scientific methods to battle crime, ranging from cataloging fingerprints to tapping telephone lines. In between a series of bank robberies, including a violent one at The First National Bank in East Chicago, Indiana, where Dillinger kills an East Chicago cop, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) at a restaurant and proceeds to woo her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he tells her who he is, and the two quickly become inseparable.
Melvin Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying. An agent is shot and killed by the occupant. After the man escapes, Purvis realizes the killer wasn’t Dillinger but was Baby Face Nelson and Tommy Carroll. After this incident, Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texas “cowboy” Charles Winstead (Stephen Lang). Police finally find Dillinger and arrest him and his gang in Tucson, Arizona after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress. Purvis arrives that evening and briefly talks with Dillinger; Dillinger tries to size Purvis up and manages to unnerve him with his talk about the agent Nelson had killed. Dillinger is extradited back to the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana, where he is locked up by Sheriff Lillian Holley (Lili Taylor) pending trial. Dillinger and a few inmates, chief among them is Herbert Youngblood (played by Michael Bentt), carve a fake wooden gun and use it to escape the jail in Sheriff Holley’s Police Cruiser. Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance. Dillinger learns that Frank Nitti’s (Bill Camp) Chicago Outfit associates are now unwilling to help him; Dillinger’s crimes are motivating the U.S. government to begin prosecuting interstate crime, which imperils Nitti’s lucrative bookmaking racket.
Later, Dillinger meets fellow bank robber Tommy Carroll (Spencer Garrett) in a movie theater; with him is Ed Shouse Jr., who wants to rejoin the gang. Carroll goads Dillinger into a bank robbery job in Sioux Falls, promising a huge score. Even though Baby Face Nelson is involved, whom he doesn’t like, Dillinger agrees. A shootout (triggered by Nelson shooting a cop outside the bank) occurs in which Dillinger is shot in the arm, and Carroll is shot and left for dead. They retreat to Nelson’s wilderness hideout in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, where Dillinger’s wounds are treated; the gang is disappointed to find that their haul is only a fraction of what they expected. Dillinger expresses hope he can free the rest of his gang still in prison, including Pierpont and Makley, but Red convinces him this is unlikely to happen. Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll (who is still alive) and torture him to find the rest of the gang’s location. They arrive at Little Bohemia and Purvis organizes another failed ambush, in which several civilians are killed in the cross-fire. Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from Nelson and the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Don Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods on foot, engaging them in a running gun battle in which Hamilton is shot and fatally wounded. Trying to escape along the road, Nelson, Shouse Jr. and Homer Van Meter (Stephen Dorff) hijack a Bureau car, killing several agents in the process, including Purvis’s partner Carter Baum (Rory Cochrane). After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Farther down the road, Dillinger and Hamilton steal a farmer’s car and make good their escape; Hamilton dies later that night and Dillinger buries his body, covering it in lye.
Dillinger manages to meet Frechette, telling her he plans to do one last job that will pay enough for them to escape together. However, when Dillinger drops her off at a tavern that he thinks is safe, he watches helplessly as she is captured by The FBI. An interrogator, Agent Harold Reinecke (Adam Mucci) brutally beats Frechette to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts until she fabricates a location where Dillinger is hiding. Agent Reinecke investigates and realizes that he has been lied to. Reinecke returns and resumes assaulting her, later Frechette begins sneering that they missed their chance to capture him at the hotel, and that Dillinger’s anger will know no bounds because she was mistreated; Purvis and Winstead arrive and angrily break up the interrogation. Meanwhile, Dillinger is meeting with Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi), who tries to recruit a uninterested Dillinger in a train robbery with his associates, the Barker Gang. After hearing about the massive reward, Dillinger agrees to pull the robbery and flee the country the next day. Dillinger receives a note from Billie through his lawyer, Louis Piquett (Peter Gerety), telling him not to try and break her out of jail.
Through crooked cop Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of a madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Branka Kati?), threatening her with deportation to Romania if she does not cooperate. She agrees to set up Dillinger, who is hiding with Sage. That night Dillinger and Sage see a Clark Gable movie called Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater. When the movie is over, Dillinger and the women leave as Purvis moves in. Dillinger spots the police, specifically Reinecke, and is shot several times before he can draw his gun against him. Agent Winstead, who fired the fatal shot, listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis departs to inform Hoover that Dillinger is dead. Later, Winstead meets Frechette in prison. He tells her that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird.'” The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out of the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
2009 ~ Terminator Salvation (John Connor)
Directed by McG Produced by Derek Anderson, Victor Kubicek, Jeffrey Silver, Moritz Borman Written by Screenplay: John Brancato, Michael Ferris Characters James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common Jadagrace Berry, Michael Ironside, Helena Bonham Carter Music by Danny Elfman, Themes: Brad Fiedel Cinematography Shane Hurlbut Editing by Conrad Buff Studio The Halcyon Company, Wonderland Sound and Vision Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures Release date May 21, 2009 Running time 115 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $200 million Gross revenue $371,353,001
Info & Plot
In 2003, Doctor Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) to sign his body over for medical research following his execution by lethal injection. One year later the Skynet system is activated, perceives humans as a threat to its own existence, and eradicates much of humanity in the event known as “Judgement Day” (as depicted in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines).
In 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) leads a Resistance attack on a Skynet base. John discovers human prisoners and schematics for a new type of Terminator incorporating living tissue, but he is the only apparent survivor of the attack after the base is destroyed in a nuclear explosion. However, Marcus emerges from the wreckage of the base and proceeds on foot to Los Angeles. John returns to Resistance headquarters located aboard a nuclear submarine and tells General Ashdown (Michael Ironside), the current leader, of his discovery.
Meanwhile, the Resistance has discovered a radio frequency believed to be capable of shutting down Skynet machines. They plan to launch an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco in four days, in response to an intercepted “kill list” indicating that Skynet plans to kill the Resistance’s command staff in a week’s time. John learns that his own name is second on the list, following a civilian named Kyle Reese. The Resistance leaders are unaware of Kyle’s importance to Skynet, but John knows that it is because Kyle will later become his father (as depicted in The Terminator). John meets with his wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and his officer Barnes (Common), and transmits a radio broadcast to Resistance members and surviving civilians around the world. Arriving in the ruins of Los Angeles, Marcus is saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his mute companion Star (Jadagrace Berry). Kyle relates to Marcus the events of Judgment Day and the ensuing war between humans and machines. Hearing John’s radio broadcast, the three leave Los Angeles in search of the Resistance. They survive an attack by machines, but Kyle, Star, and several other humans are taken prisoner, while a pair of Resistance A-10 planes are shot down.
Marcus locates downed Resistance pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) and they make their way to John’s base, but Marcus is wounded by a magnetic land mine. Attempting to save his life, the Resistance fighters discover that he is in fact a cyborg with human organs, a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Marcus believes himself to be human, demanding to be released so that he can save Kyle from Skynet, but John believes that Marcus has come to kill him and orders his destruction. However, Blair releases Marcus and helps him to escape from the base. During the resulting pursuit Marcus saves John’s life from Skynet hydrobots, and the two form an alliance: Marcus will enter Skynet’s headquarters and attempt to disable its defenses so that John can rescue Kyle. John demands that Ashdown delay the attack so that he can rescue Kyle and the other prisoners, but Ashdown refuses and relieves John of his command.
However, John’s soldiers remain loyal to him and obey his command not to attack the Skynet base. Marcus enters the base, interfaces with the computer, and disables the perimeter defenses so that John can infiltrate the cell block and release the human prisoners. Marcus discovers that he was created by Skynet in order to lure John into the base; when the Resistance launches its attack, John will be killed, achieving the goal that Skynet and its machines have failed to accomplish so many times. The radio signal that the Resistance’s plan depends on is a ruse on the part of Skynet, which uses the signal to track down and destroy the command submarine with the Resistance leaders aboard. Marcus tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and assists John in battling a T-800 model 101 Terminator. John is mortally wounded during the fight, but succeeds in destroying the Skynet base by rigging several Terminator fuel cells to an explosive, detonating them as he, Marcus, Kyle, and Star are airlifted out. Kate attempts to save John’s life, but his heart is too damaged. Marcus offers his own heart for transplant, sacrificing himself to save John. Recovering, John radios to the other Resistance fighters that though this battle has been won, the war is far from over.
2008 ~ The Dark Knight (Bruce Wayne / Batman)
Directed by Christopher Nolan Produced by Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas Written byScreenplay: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, Story: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan, Comic book Bob Kane, Bill Finger Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman Music by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard Cinematography Wally Pfister Editing by Lee Smith Studio Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films, DC Comics Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Release date(s) July 16, 2008 (2008-07-16) (Australia), July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18)
(United States), July 24, 2008 (2008-07-24) (United Kingdom) Running time 152 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $185 million Gross revenue $1,001,921,825 Preceded by Batman Begins
Info & Plot
In Gotham City, the Joker robs a mob bank with his accomplices, whom he tricks into killing one another, ultimately killing the last one himself. While investigating the robbery, Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplate including new district attorney, Harvey Dent, in their plan to eradicate the mob. Batman, however, wonders if Dent can be trusted. Wayne runs into Rachel Dawes and Dent, who are dating, and after talking to Dent, he realizes Dent’s sincerity and decides to host a fundraiser for him. Mob bosses Sal Maroni, Gambol, and the Chechen meet with other underworld gangsters to discuss both Batman and Dent, who have been cracking down on the mobster’s operations. Lau, a Chinese mafia accountant, informs them that he has hidden their money and fled to Hong Kong in an attempt to preempt Gordon’s plan to seize the mobsters’ funds and hide from Dent’s jurisdiction.
The Joker appears and offers to kill Batman for half of the mafia’s money, but they flatly refuse and Gambol places a bounty on the Joker’s head. Not long after, the Joker kills Gambol and takes control of his men. In Hong Kong, Batman captures Lau using a skyhook, and delivers him to the Gotham City police, where Lau agrees to testify against the mob. Dent and Gordon arrest the mob, and in retaliation the Joker issues an ultimatum to Gotham: people will die each day until Batman reveals his identity. When Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb and the judge presiding over the mob trials are killed the public readily blames Batman, prompting Wayne to decide to reveal his identity. Before Bruce can turn himself in, Dent holds a press conference in an attempt to persuade the public not to sell Batman out just because of one terrorist. The public, though grateful for everything Batman has done for the city, insists that things have now reached a point where Batman must make the sacrifice, so Dent announces that he himself is Batman and is arrested as part of a plan to draw the Joker out of hiding. The Joker attempts to ambush the police convoy carrying Dent, but Batman and Gordon (who was in disguise, having faked his death when the Joker ambushed Loeb’s funeral) intervene and capture him. In recognition of his actions, Gordon is appointed the new police commissioner.
Later that night, Dent and Dawes disappear. At the police station, Batman interrogates the Joker, who reveals that Dent’s and Dawes’ police escorts were corrupt and have placed them in warehouses rigged with explosives on opposite sides of the city – far enough apart so they could not both be saved. Batman leaves to save Dawes, while Gordon and the police head after Dent. With the aid of a smuggled bomb, the Joker escapes police custody with Lau. Batman arrives, but finds Dent instead of Dawes. Batman successfully saves Dent, but the ensuing explosion disfigures Dent’s face. Gordon arrives at Dawes’ location too late, and she perishes when the bomb detonates. Unable to deal with this new level of chaos, Maroni goes to Gordon and offers him the Joker’s location.
Aboard a cargo ship, the Joker burns Lau to death atop a pile of half the mob’s money, and has the Chechen killed before taking control of his men. Meanwhile, a lawyer working as a consultant to Wayne Enterprises, Coleman Reese, deduces Batman’s identity and, after failing to blackmail the company, decides to go public. The Joker, realizing that he defines himself by his struggle with Batman, changes his mind about revealing Batman’s identity and issues a public ultimatum: either Reese is killed within the hour, or he will blow up a hospital. When attempts on Reese’s life are foiled, the Joker goes to the evacuated hospital, disguised as a nurse, and frees Dent from his restraints, convincing him to exact revenge on the people whose corruption led to Dawes’ death. Dent begins by flipping a coin to decide if he should kill the Joker, and spares him. The Joker destroys the hospital on his way out, and then escapes with a hijacked bus full of hospital patients. Out of the hospital, Dent goes on a personal vendetta, confronting Maroni and the corrupt cops one by one, flipping his coin to decide their fates. Now with complete control over the Gotham mob, the Joker announces to the public that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule. With the bridges and tunnels out of the city closed due to a warning by the Joker, authorities begin evacuating people by ferry. The Joker has explosives placed on two of the ferries – one with convicts, who were evacuated in an effort to keep the Joker from freeing them, and the other with civilians – telling the passengers the only way to save themselves is to trigger the explosives on the other ferry; otherwise, he will destroy both at midnight. Batman locates the Joker and the hostages he has taken. Realizing the Joker has disguised the hostages as his own men, Batman is forced to attack both Gordon’s SWAT team and the Joker’s henchmen to save the real hostages.
The Joker’s plan to destroy the ferries fails after the passengers on the civilian ferry decide to destroy the convicts, but cannot bring themselves to do it, and on the convict ferry a prisoner offers to do it, saying the guards can say he took it by force. However, he throws it down an air vent instead. Batman finds the Joker, and after a brief fight, subdues and captures him, preventing him from destroying both ferries. When Batman refuses to kill the Joker, the Joker acknowledges that Batman is truly incorruptible, but that Dent was not, and reveals that he has unleashed Dent upon the city. Leaving the Joker for the SWAT team, Batman searches for Dent. At the remains of the building where Dawes died, Batman finds Dent holding Gordon and his family at gunpoint. Dent judges the innocence of Batman, himself, and Gordon’s son through three coin tosses. As the result of the first two flips, he shoots Batman in the abdomen and spares himself. Before Dent can determine the boy’s fate, Batman, who was wearing body armor, tackles him over the side of the building. Gordon’s son is saved, but Dent and Batman fall to the ground below, resulting in Dent’s death. Knowing that the citizens of Gotham will lose hope and all morale if Dent’s rampage becomes public news, Batman convinces Gordon to hold him responsible for the murders. Images are shown of Gordon delivering the eulogy at Dent’s funeral and smashing the Bat-Signal. Police swarm the building, and Batman flees as Gordon and his son watch.
2007 ~ 3:10 to Yuma (Dan Evans)
Directed by James Mangold Written by Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Elmore Leonard (Short story) Starring Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Peter Fonda, Ben Foster Music by Marco Beltrami Cinematography Phedon Papamichael Editing by Michael McCusker Studio Relativity Media Distributed by Lionsgate Release date September 7, 2007 Running time 122 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $55 million Gross revenue $70,016,220
Info & Plot
Dan Evans (Christian Bale), an impoverished rancher and Civil War veteran, awakens to find his barn in flames, set ablaze by two men working for Glen Hollander, to whom Evans owes money. The next morning, as Evans and his two sons herd, they stumble upon outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang using Evans’ cattle as a road blockade to ambush an armored stagecoach. As he loots the stage, Wade discovers Evans and his two sons watching from the hills. Acknowledging that they pose no threat, Wade takes their horses telling Evans that he will leave them tied up on the road to Bisbee. Wade travels with his gang to the town of Bisbee, Arizona to enjoy a celebratory drink at the local saloon. Meanwhile, the railroad guards find Evans and his sons with Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda), a Pinkerton agent and lone survivor of the ambush. Evans reveals Bisbee as Wade’s likely destination, where the guards immediately return, joined by Evans and McElroy.
While Doc Potter (Alan Tudyk), the local medic/veterinarian, treats McElroy, Evans tries negotiating with Hollander, who reveals his intentions to sell the land to the railroad rather than grant water rights to Evans. Enraged at the loss of his livelihood, Evans tries confronting Hollander in the nearby saloon where he finds Wade, whom he distracts long enough for the railroad guards to ambush and arrest him. The coach’s owner, Grayson Butterfield (Dallas Roberts), enlists McElroy, Potter, Tucker (Kevin Durand), one of Hollander’s guards, and Evans, who agree for a $200 fee to deliver Wade for arrest. From Evans’ ranch, McElroy arranges a decoy wagon to distract Wade’s gang, now led by the sociopathic Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), while the real convoy charts a course for Contention, where Wade will be put on the 3:10 P.M. train to Yuma Territorial Prison. As the group prepares to ride out, Evans’ older son William (Logan Lerman) demands to accompany them. Evans flatly refuses. During the journey, Wade kills Tucker during his sleep with a fork stolen from Evans’ house, and later McElroy (the former for claiming his horse and the latter for insulting his mother) but is stopped from escaping by the surprise arrival of William, who had followed the group all the way from the ranch. While taking a shortcut through a canyon, the group is attacked by Apache warriors. Evans is wounded but Wade saves him, arms himself, and kills the attackers.
Following the shootout, Wade escapes to a Chinese laborer construction camp blasting a tunnel through the mountain range, where the foreman captures Wade for having killed his brother. His assistant, Zeke (Luke Wilson), tortures and electrically shocks Wade. Evans, William, Potter, and Butterfield appear and after unsuccessful attempts at negotiation, Potter leads an attack on the foremen and his miners, freeing Wade. As they flee on their horses, Potter is shot and killed, while Wade and Evans destroy the tunnel behind them with dynamite. The group arrives in Contention several hours before the train’s scheduled arrival and check into the bridal suite of the hotel, where they are soon joined by several local marshals hired by Butterfield. Prince ambushes and interrogates the survivor of the decoy wagon, learning that Wade is being delivered to Contention and will board a train to Yuma; he then burns the wagon with the survivor trapped in it. Upon arriving in Contention and discovering the heavy guard around Wade, Prince offers every townsperson a $200 bounty for every guard they kill. The marshals, unwilling to fight against such steep odds, surrender to Prince, who kills them anyway. Butterfield refuses to complete the mission, offering Evans the $200 salary even if Wade goes free. Evans refuses, noting that was the amount the government paid him for the loss of his leg. Instead he asks Butterfield to escort his son back to his ranch and to pay his wife $1,000 and a guarantee of water rights from Hollander in exchange for Evans delivering Wade to the train.
After Butterfield agrees, Evans escorts Wade out of the hotel and the two make their way across town, evading continuous gunfire from the townspeople before taking refuge inside a storeroom. Wade, tired of running, nearly strangles Evans; he relents when Evans reveals that the reason he has a wooden leg (a subject Wade brought up throughout the journey) is that his real leg was lost when Evans was shot by fellow soldiers while in retreat from battle, a story that would shame his sons, and that delivering Wade to Yuma would serve as an accomplishment his sons would admire. Wade relents and agrees to board the train. The two return to the streets, dodging bullets before barricading themselves in the station to wait for the train, where Wade reveals that he’s been to Yuma twice and escaped both times. Wade’s gang set up positions around the station as the train approaches. William, observing the events, stampedes a herd of cattle (echoing a similar act performed by Wade earlier in the film) that provides cover for Evans to push Wade onto the train. As Wade boards, he congratulates Evans. At that moment, Prince steps up and shoots Evans four times, despite Wade’s shouted order to stop. Wade steps off the train and catches the gun belt Prince tosses him. After a tense moment of silence, Wade abruptly executes Prince and the rest of his gang. William appears and draws his gun on Wade but finds he can’t kill him, instead turning to his dying father. Wade boards the train politely and surrenders his weapon. Evans eventually dies as Wade leaves in the train. As the train pulls away, he whistles for his horse, who perks up his ears and immediately canters after the running train into the distance.
2007 ~ I’m Not There (Jack/Pastor John)
Directed by Todd Haynes Produced by Christine Vachon, John Goldwyn Written by Todd Haynes, Oren Moverman Starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw Music by Bob Dylan Cinematography Edward Lachman Editing by Jay Rabinowitz Distributed by The Weinstein Company, Paramount Pictures Release date November 21, 2007 Running time 135 min. Country United States, Germany Language English Budget $20 million (est.) Gross revenue $11,523,779
Info & Plot
The film opens with Jude Quinn (Cate Blanchett) (representing Dylan circa 1966) walking on stage to perform at a concert, before cutting to him riding on a motorcycle and then crashing. The film then cuts to Quinn’s body on a mortuary slab and an autopsy begins. (This opening sequence refers to Bob Dylan’s motorcycle accident in July 1966). Woody Guthrie (Marcus Carl Franklin), an 11-year old African American boy, is seen carrying a guitar in a case labeled “This Machine Kills Fascists” as he travels the country, pursuing his dream of becoming a singer. (Folk singer Woody Guthrie had an identical label on his guitar.) Woody befriends the African-American Arvin family, who give him food and hospitality, and Woody in turn performs Bob Dylan’s 1965 song “Tombstone Blues”, accompanied by Richie Havens (as Old Man Arvin). At dinner, Mrs. Arvin advises Woody: “Live your own time, child, sing about your own time”.
Later that night, Woody leaves the Arvins’ home, leaving behind a note thanking them, and catches a ride on a train, where a group of thieves attempt to rob him. He jumps from the speeding train and dives into a river, where a white couple rescue him and take him to a hospital, before bringing him home. They receive a phone call from a juvenile correction center in Minnesota from which Woody had escaped. The phone call prompts Woody’s swift departure, and he takes a Greyhound bus to Greystone Park Hospital in New Jersey, where he visits (the real) Woody Guthrie. Woody leaves flowers at Guthrie’s bedside and plays his guitar. (Over the hospital sequence, Bob Dylan performs his song “Blind Willie McTell”.) Ben Whishaw plays a young man who shares his name with the nineteenth century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Arthur is solely seen in an interrogation room where he gives oblique answers to (unseen) questioners.
Christian Bale plays Jack Rollins, a young folk singer, whose story is framed as a documentary and told by interviewees such as fictional folk singer named Alice Fabian – described by some critics as a Joan Baez-like figure, played by Julianne Moore. Rollins is praised by folk fans who refer to his songs as anthems and protest songs, whereas Jack himself calls them finger-pointing songs. When Rollins accepts the “Tom Paine Award” from a civil rights organization, a drunken Rollins insults the audience and claims that he saw something of himself in JFK’s alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. (Rollins’s speech quotes some lines from a speech Dylan made when receiving the Tom Paine Award from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee in December 1963.) Christian Bale also plays Pastor John, a Born Again Christian preacher, who appears to be the Jack Rollins character several years later, having traveled to California and entered a church to engage in Bible studies. He becomes a preacher and is seen declaring his faith to his fellow church members, where he performs “Pressing On” – a song written and performed by Dylan on his 1980 gospel-influenced album Saved. Heath Ledger plays Robbie Clark, an actor who is starring in a biopic about the life of Jack Rollins (the folk singer played by Christian Bale).
This film-within-a-film is entitled Grain of Sand. (The film’s title is a reference to the Dylan song “Every Grain of Sand”.) We see how Robbie met his French artist wife Claire, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, in a Greenwich Village diner and they fell in love. (The scene in which Robbie and Claire run romantically through the streets of New York re-enacts the cover of the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan which depicts Dylan arm in arm with his then-girlfriend Suze Rotolo walking down West 4th Street in Greenwich Village.) Robbie and Claire attend the premiere of the movie, which turns out to be a disappointment for Claire and the audience. Robbie and Claire’s relationship begins to unravel, as Claire glimpses Robbie touching another woman at a party and is disturbed by his misogynistic attitude in comments such as “chicks can never be poets”. At the end of their marriage, Robbie and Claire argue over custody of their children and Robbie and Claire file for divorce. The result of the custody battle seems to be in Claire’s favor, but Robbie leaves taking his daughters on a boat trip while archival clips show Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho signing the Paris Peace Accords. (Bob Dylan was divorced from his first wife, Sara Dylan, on June 29, 1977 and the divorce involved legal wrangling over the custody of their children.) In the film, the relationship between Robbie and Claire lasts precisely as long as American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Cate Blanchett plays Jude Quinn, seen at a concert in a New England town, performing a rock version of “Maggie’s Farm” to the outraged folk music fans. (Dylan performed this song at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, which provoked booing and controversy.) Jude is seen arriving at a press conference in London and answering questions. (Some of these questions are quotes from Dylan’s KQED press conference in San Francisco on December 3, 1965.) Later, in his hotel suite, Jude is threatened by a hotel waiter brandishing a knife, who is knocked out by Jude’s lover with a vase. Jude’s operations in London are supervised by his manager, Norman (who bears a resemblance to Bob Dylan’s 1960s manager Albert Grossman), played by Mark Camacho. In a surreal episode, Jude is seen gambolling at high speed in a park with the Beatles, following a cloud of smoke presumed to represent Dylan’s introducing the band to cannabis. (The speeded-up film echoes the style of Dick Lester’s direction in A Hard Day’s Night). Jude is then confronted by BBC cultural reporter, Keenan Jones, played by Bruce Greenwood (The name of this character echoes Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” with its chorus: “Something is happening here/ And you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?”). Jude and his entourage meet the poet Allen Ginsberg, played by American comedian David Cross, who suggests that Jude may be “selling out” to God. Keenan Jones later questions Jude about whether he cares what he sings about every night, to which Jude replies, “How can I answer that if you’ve got the nerve to ask me?” and walks out of the interview. (Dylan made a similar response to a reporter from Time magazine in the D. A. Pennebaker’s documentary of his 1965 English tour, Don’t Look Back). The Dylan song “Ballad of a Thin Man” plays as Keenan Jones moves through a surreal episode in which he appears to act out the song’s lyrics. Jones is seen obtaining a copy of Jude Quinn’s high school year book. In concert, Jude performs “Ballad of a Thin Man”, when one of his outraged fans shouts “Judas!” Jude replies “I don’t believe you”. (This scene re-enacts the “Judas!” shout at Dylan’s Manchester concert on May 17, 1966. The moment is captured on Dylan’s album Live 1966.) As the fans rush the stage in an apparent attempt to attack Jude, he narrowly escapes with his band. Back in his hotel suite, Jude watches Keenan Jones on television reveal that the true identity of Jude Quinn is “Aaron Jacob Edelstein” (In October 1963, Newsweek published a hostile profile of Dylan, revealing that he was originally named Robert Zimmerman, and implying that he had lied about his middle-class origins.). Jude later throws a party where his guests include Brian Jones, The Rolling Stones guitarist, and wealthy socialite and “queen of the underground” Coco Rivington, whom Jude insults. (The description of Rivington as “Andy’s new bird” suggests that this character is modeled on Edie Sedgwick, a socialite and actress within Andy Warhol’s circle.) As Jude’s condition from drug usage worsens, he vomits in his friend’s lap. Jude and Allen Ginsberg are later seen at the foot of a huge crucifix, apparently talking to Jesus. Jude shouts at the figure on the cross: “Why don’t you do your early stuff?” and “How does it feel?!”. After being whisked off in a car, Jude passes out on the floor while his friends stare down at him. Jude’s manager, Norman observes: “I don’t think he can get back on stage. He’s gotten inside so many psyches – and death is just such a part of the American scene right now.” Jude is last seen in his car directly addressing the viewer, “Everyone knows I’m not a folk singer”.
Richard Gere portrays the outlaw Billy the Kid. Billy searches unsuccessfully for his dog, Henry, and then meets his friend, Homer. Homer tells Billy about Pat Garrett’s destruction of Riddle County and the high incidence of suicide and murder. As the townspeople celebrate Halloween, a funeral takes place and a band performs Dylan’s Basement Tapes song “Goin’ to Acapulco” (sung by Jim James and backed by the band Calexico). Following the service, Pat Garrett (Bruce Greenwood) – who, earlier in the film played Keenan Jones, a journalist who had tried to interrogate Jude Quinn) arrives and confronts the townspeople. Billy dons a mask to disguise himself and tells Garrett to stay clear of Riddle County. Garrett then orders the authorities to arrest Billy and he is taken to the county jail. Billy escapes from the jail (with the help of Homer) and hops a ride on a train. Billy then sees his dog, Henry, one last time. Billy finds a guitar on the train that reads “This Machine kills Fascists”, the same guitar that Woody Guthrie played at the beginning of the film. Billy’s final words are “People are always talking about freedom, the freedom to live a certain way without being kicked around. ‘Course the more you live a certain way the less it feels like freedom. Me? I can change during the course of a day. When I wake I’m one person, when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else. I don’t know who I am most of the time. It’s like you got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room. There’s no telling what can happen.” The film ends with close-up footage of the real Bob Dylan playing his harmonica, a shot filmed by D. A. Pennebaker during Dylan’s 1966 World Tour.
2006 ~ Rescue Dawn (Dieter Dengler)
Directed by Werner Herzog Produced by Harry Knapp, Elton Brand, Steve Marlton Written by Werner Herzog Starring Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies Music by Klaus Badelt Cinematography Peter Zeitlinger Editing by Joe Bini Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Running time 126 minutes Country USA Language English Budget $10,000,000 Gross revenue $7,037,886
Info & Plot
Rescue Dawn is a 2007 war drama film directed by Werner Herzog, based on an adapted screenplay written from his acclaimed 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The film stars Christian Bale, and is based on the true story of a German-American pilot named Dieter Dengler, who is shot down and captured by villagers sympathetic to the Pathet Lao during an American military campaign in the Vietnam War. Veteran actors Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies, Pat Healy and Toby Huss also star in principal roles. The film project, which had initially come together during 2004, began shooting in Thailand in August 2005. Executive producers for the film comprised, Freddy Braidy, Jimmy De Brabant, Michael Dounaev and Gerald Green among others. Rescue Dawn explores subjects such as war, human torture and captivity.
A joint collective effort to commit to the film’s production was made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Gibraltar Films and Thema Production. It was commercially distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer theatrically in the U.S., and by Pathé Distribution, Hopscotch Films and Central Film GmbH in foreign markets. In home media format, the film was distributed by MGM Home Entertainment. It was originally scheduled to be released by MGM in December 2006, but was held back for limited release in the United States at some point in 2007. The film had a nationwide release on July 27, 2007, after a limited release in New York City, Toronto, and Los Angeles on July 4. The film score was written by German composer Klaus Badelt, after previously working with Herzog in his 2001 film Invincible. The soundtrack was released on June 26, 2007, while the DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions of the film were released on November 20.
Following its premiere in theaters nationwide in the United States on July 27, the film grossed $5,490,423 in domestic ticket receipts. It earned an additional $1,686,720 in business through international release to top out at a combined $7,177,143 in gross revenue. The film was technically considered a financial failure due to its $10 million budget costs. Alternatively though, the film recouped its losses and saw some popularity in the video rental market grossing $24,747,717 in DVD sales. Preceding its theatrical run, the film was generally met with positive critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas. Following its cinematic release, the film was nominated for multiple awards, including a Golden Satellite Award and an Independent Spirit Award. It also won an award from the San Diego Film Critics Society for actor Christian Bale in the category of Body of Work.
Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a U.S. Navy pilot in squadron VA-145, is shot down in his A-1 Skyraider over Laos in February 1966, while on a combat mission. He survives the crash only to be pursued, and ultimately captured, by a local militia of the Pathet Lao. Dengler is given the chance for leniency by the Province Governor (François Chau) if he signs a document condemning America, but he refuses. He is tortured and taken to a prison camp. There he meets fellow American military soldiers and pilots, such as Gene DeBruin (Jeremy Davies) and Duane W. Martin (Steve Zahn), some of whom have been captive for years. Dengler begins planning an escape, much to the disbelief of his fellow combatants, who have been downtrodden through physical and psychological torture from the camp guards.
Eventually, all the prisoners agree to escape, only Dengler and Martin follow through with the plan as the others disappear and are not seen again in the film. Dengler and Martin try to reach the Mekong River to cross over into Thailand, but Martin is killed by a mob of angry villagers. Eventually, Dengler is rescued by an American helicopter but sequestered in a hospital due to the top secret nature of his mission. He is covertly taken back to his ship, where he is received as a hero by the entire crew.
2006 ~ The Prestige (Alfred Borden)
Directed by Christopher Nolan Produced by Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas Written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, Christopher Priest (Novel) Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis, Roger Rees, Rebecca Hall Music by David Julyan Cinematography Wally Pfister Editing by Lee Smith Studio Newmarket Films, Syncopy Films Distributed by North America/Japan: Touchstone Pictures, International: Warner Bros. Pictures Release date October 20, 2006 (United States), November 10, 2006 (United Kingdom) Running time 130 minutes Country United States Language English Budget US$41.2 million Gross revenue $109,676,311
Info & Plot
Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are plants for Milton the Magician (Ricky Jay), with Cutter (Michael Caine) as his illusion engineer. Angier’s wife (Piper Perabo) drowns while performing a predicament escape from a Chinese water torture cell, and Angier suspects that Borden bound her wrists with a new knot that he had suggested to Cutter before—one harder for her to undo than his customary one. At the funeral, Borden enrages Angier by saying he does not know which knot he tied. The two men begin separate careers as magicians; Borden becomes “The Professor” and hires an engineer named Bernard Fallon, while Angier performs as “The Great Danton” with Cutter and Olivia (Scarlett Johansson) as his assistants. During a parlor magic job, Borden meets Sarah (Rebecca Hall); they marry and have a daughter, Jess. Sarah feels uneasy about Borden and his apparent fickleness; she claims to know when he loves her “more than the magic” and when he does not. During Borden’s performance of the bullet catch, a disguised Angier again demands to know which knot Borden used. Borden and Fallon quickly realise Angier is going to shoot at Borden with a loaded gun. At the last second, Fallon intervenes, and the bullet severs two of Borden’s fingers instead of killing him. A disguised Borden later sabotages Angier’s performance of the vanishing bird cage illusion, damaging Angier’s reputation.
Borden soon astonishes crowds with “The Transported Man”, in which he bounces a ball across the stage before stepping through a door and instantly reappearing from a second door on the opposite side of the stage to catch the ball. The new illusion amazes Angier and Olivia. Obsessed with beating Borden, Angier hires a double and steals Borden’s trick, with a slight variation, as “The New Transported Man”. The double enjoys the applause while Angier can only listen from below stage. Unhappy at missing the applause and obsessed with figuring out Borden’s version of the teleportation illusion, Angier sends Olivia to steal Borden’s secrets. Although Olivia provides Angier with Borden’s enciphered diary, she falls in love with Borden and double-crosses Angier, allowing Borden to sabotage Angier’s act, permanently crippling Angier’s left leg by removing a crash mat. In return, Angier and Cutter capture Fallon and bury him alive inside a coffin, revealing his location to Borden in exchange for the key to Borden’s illusion. Before rushing to dig out Fallon while he still has air, Borden gives Angier one word, “TESLA”, and suggests that it is not merely the key to the transposition cipher of Borden’s notebook (which Olivia had brought to Angier) but also the key to the illusion. Angier travels to Colorado Springs to meet Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) and learn the secret of Borden’s illusion. Tesla constructs a teleportation machine that resembles a Magnifying Transmitter, but the device initially fails to work.
Angier learns from Borden’s notebook that he has been sent on a wild goose chase. Feeling he has been cheated, he returns to Tesla’s lab, but discovers that the machine creates a duplicate and teleports the original of any item placed in it. Tesla is forced to leave Colorado Springs after his rival, Thomas Edison, sends henchmen to torch Tesla’s lab, but he leaves Angier an improved version of the machine. In a letter, however, he warns Angier to destroy it. Borden’s relationship with Olivia takes a heavy emotional toll on Sarah, driving her to drink. Borden’s erratic behavior and inconsistent affection, along with Sarah’s suspicion of an extramarital relationship between Borden and Olivia, leads Sarah to hang herself in Borden’s magic workshop. Angier returns to London to produce a final set of 100 performances of his new act, “The Real Transported Man”. He insists that Cutter remain front stage for these shows and that only blind stagehands help backstage. In the new illusion, Angier disappears under huge arcs of electricity and instantaneously “teleports” 50 yards from the stage to the balcony. Borden is baffled but spots a trap door. After a show one night, Fallon follows Angier’s stagehands. They move a large, concealed water tank across town to an abandoned building. Borden attends Angier’s performance again. He slips backstage and discovers a locked water tank with a drowning Angier inside. Borden tries to save him, but Angier drowns. Cutter catches Borden, who is convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. In prison, Borden reads Angier’s diary from Colorado which addresses him directly with hopes he will rot in prison for his murder. More troubling to him, his daughter Jess will become a ward of court, but a reclusive nobleman and fan of illusionists, Lord Caldlow, sends a message to Borden offering to become Jess’s guardian in exchange for Borden revealing to Caldlow the secrets of Borden’s tricks. Borden ultimately agrees to the arrangement, but refuses to reveal all unless he can see Jess before his execution.
When Lord Caldlow visits Borden in person on the day of his hanging, with Jess in tow, Borden realises that he is Angier. Beaten, Borden gives him a note containing the secret of the original Transported Man trick, but Angier tears it up without reading it. Cutter also meets the lord and realises he is Angier and that Borden was innocent. Cutter then grasps the full grim cost of Angier’s obsession when he sees he has adopted Jess. Cutter is furious that he was the one who indirectly framed Borden, who is subsequently hanged. Cutter accompanies Angier to the abandoned building where the water tanks are stored, and helps him store the teleportation machine. Cutter leaves in disgust, silently acknowledging the arrival of Borden, who shoots Angier. Borden reveals that he and “Fallon” were identical twins who lived as a single individual, alternating lives as needed: one twin loving Sarah and the other loving Olivia. For the original illusion, a twin acted as the double. They were so committed to the illusion that they amputated the other twin’s fingers to match his brother’s injury; they also suffered the loss of Sarah as a result of their dedication to the illusion. Similarly, flashbacks recount Angier’s method: that each time he disappeared during his illusion, the machine would create a duplicate, with one Angier falling through a trap door into a locked tank and drowning, and another Angier teleporting to the balcony. Each tank stores a drowned duplicate of Angier for each time that he has performed the trick. Before leaving, Borden looks back at the aisles of tanks containing the dead duplicates and then leaves the dead Angier as a fire begins to consume the building. Afterwards, Cutter reunites Borden with his daughter.
2005 ~ Harsh Times (Jim Luther Davis)
Directed by David Ayer Produced by David Ayer, Andrea Sperling Written by David Ayer Starring Christian Bale, Freddy Rodriguez, Eva Longoria, Tammy Trull Music by Graeme Revell Cinematography Steve Mason Editing by Conrad Buff Studio Bauer Martinez Entertainment Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Release date United States: November 10, 2006, Running time 116 minutes Country United States Language English Budget US$2 million (estimated)
Info & Plot
Jim Davis (Christian Bale) is an ex-Army Ranger recently honorably discharged from the military due to reasons not mentioned. He suffers from extreme PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) over the killing and horrors of his combat tours in which he took part with a savage aggressiveness towards the enemy. Jim has a Mexican girlfriend, Marta (Tammy Trull), whom he is determined to marry, and bring into the United States to start a life together. With this in mind, Jim returns to Los Angeles.
In L.A. he meets up with his best friend Mike Alonzo (Freddy Rodriguez); the two consider each other as brothers. Mike’s longtime girlfriend, Sylvia (Eva Longoria), a young attorney, is on the warpath over his failure to get a job and she encourages Jim to help Mike hand out resumes since he lost his previous job due to outsourcing. After being denied a position in the Los Angeles Police Department for failing the LAPD psychological profile, Jim decides to get wasted and encourages Mike to join him instead of handing out resumes.
The two go to visit an old girlfriend of Jim’s in the hope of Jim getting sex from her, but when her current boyfriend shows up, a fight ensues. Jim is able to get the upper hand and when Mike produces a gun, they subdue the four gangsters and rob them of their possessions, including marijuana and a handgun which they later decide to sell. Jim later leaves messages on Mike’s answering machine with several different voices, pretending to be companies responding to his resume. The next day, when Jim goes to visit Mike he finds Sylvia in a surprisingly good mood due to the callbacks. Jim and Mike end up wasting the day away again; getting a friend of theirs to leave another message on Mike’s answering machine. They then go to a Mexican bar to try and sell the gun, but leave after their potential buyer is stabbed in the neck and killed. Mike is horrified but Jim is strangely excited by witnessing death again.
When Mike returns home drunk, Sylvia is furious, so Mike plays back the answering machine, unaware that his friend didn’t hang up early enough and his voice is heard on the tape. Sylvia is enraged and throws Mike out of the house. He goes and stays at Jim’s place. Jim gets shortlisted for a position with Homeland Security, and after cheating on a urine test, it appears that he is going to be given a position. Jim manages to pass the urinalysis test, but subsequently fails a polygraph test due to a question about his drug use. The only hope left for him is an agent working out of Colombia, who appreciates Jim’s ability to “get things done”; Jim eventually accepts the position but is warned that he must not get married as his position will not support this. Meanwhile, Mike gets a job when a company he applies at is now managed by an old friend of his and Jim’s.
Jim goes to visit Marta along with Mike and another one of their friends, but before they leave, Mike goes to visit Sylvia and tells her that he has a job for real. She calms down and the two make love while out the front, Jim is getting impatient. He goes inside and tells Sylvia that Mike is coming to Mexico with him for the weekend, as it is their last chance to hang out. Sylvia is angry and very much against the idea, and so Jim yells at both her and Mike. Mike decides to go with Jim and accompanies him to Mexico.
The trio arrive in Mexico where they spend a relaxing night and morning the next day, preparing for a big party that night. At the party, Marta reveals that she is pregnant, and Jim responds erratically, threatening to punch Marta in the stomach and shoot her in the head; in the end, this is a result of Jim’s severe PTSD.
On the way back, Jim reveals that he is transporting 20 kg of marijuana, much to Mike’s chagrin. When Mike protests, Jim pulls a gun on him before breaking down in tears at what he is becoming. Seeing his friend’s damaged state, Mike agrees to accompany Jim to the deal after all. When they arrive to sell the dope, they realize one of the buyers was the same dealer they had earlier robbed and beaten, the boyfriend of Jim’s old flame. Hostility ensues with both Jim and the other gang member pull out guns, resulting in the other man’s death. The other members of the buying party present plead for their lives but Jim kills them without much thought. While escaping in the car, a man from inside the house steps out and shoots at the car with a shotgun; Jim is hit in the back and the side of his face. Jim is consequently paralyzed, whether through trauma to his brain or his spinal cord being severed. He urges Mike to “step up” and shoot him, ending his suffering. Mike does so, and the film ends with him returning to his girlfriend, who was in the process of packing to leave.
2005 ~ Batman Begins (Bruce Wayne / Batman)
Directed by Christopher Nolan Produced by Emma Thomas, Larry J. Franco, Charles Roven Written by Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, David S. Goyer (Story), Bob Kane (Comic book), Bill Finger (Comic book) Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe Music by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard Cinematography Wally Pfister Editing by Lee Smith Studio Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Release date June 15, 2005 Running time 140 minutes Country United States, United Kingdom Language English Budget $150 million Gross revenue $372,710,015 Followed by The Dark Knight
Info & Plot
Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson, and Rutger Hauer. The film reboots the Batman film series, telling the origin story of the character and begins with Bruce Wayne’s initial fear of bats, the death of his parents, and his journey to becoming Batman. It draws inspiration from classic comic book storylines such as The Man Who Falls, Batman: Year One, and Batman: The Long Halloween.
After a series of unsuccessful projects to resurrect Batman on screen following the 1997 critical failure of Batman & Robin, Nolan and David S. Goyer began work on the film in early 2003 and aimed for a darker and more realistic tone, with humanity and realism being the basis of the film. The goal was to get the audience to care for both Batman and Bruce Wayne. The film, which was primarily shot in England and Chicago, relied on traditional stunts and miniatures—computer-generated imagery was used minimally. A new Batmobile (called the Tumbler) and a more mobile Batsuit were both created specifically for the film.
Batman Begins was both critically and commercially successful. The film opened on June 15, 2005 in the United States and Canada in 3,858 theaters. It grossed $48 million in its opening weekend, eventually grossing over $372 million worldwide. The film received an 84% overall approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Critics noted that fear was a common theme throughout the film, and remarked that it had a darker tone compared to previous Batman films. A sequel titled The Dark Knight was released in July 2008 and also saw the return of both Nolan and Bale to the franchise.
A young Bruce Wayne falls down a well and is attacked by bats. Years later, Bruce awakens from this nightmare of his past and is revealed to be a prisoner in an unnamed Asian country. He is approached by Henri Ducard, who speaks for Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Shadows, and invites him to train with the elite vigilante group. Returning to his childhood, as Bruce leaves an opera with his parents they are murdered by a mugger named Joe Chill. Chill is later arrested and Bruce is taken home and raised by the family butler Alfred Pennyworth.
Now an adult, Bruce returns to Gotham City from Princeton University, intent on killing Chill, whose prison sentence is being suspended in exchange for testifying against crime boss Carmine Falcone. Before he can act, however, one of Falcone’s assassins kills Chill. Bruce decides to travel the world for eight years, learning the various ways of the criminal underworld, before himself becoming a criminal and being arrested. After Bruce’s training in the League of Shadows, Ra’s and Ducard tell Bruce his purpose: that he must lead the League to destroy Gotham, believing its corrupt state to be beyond saving. Bruce refuses to become a murderer and battles Ra’s before making his escape. Ra’s is killed in the battle, but Bruce manages to save an unconscious Ducard and return to Gotham.
Falcone’s crime syndicate now dominates the city. Bruce enlists the help of Sgt. Jim Gordon, one of the city’s noncorrupt police officers, and befriends Lucius Fox, a former board member of Wayne Enterprises. Fox helps Bruce acquire a prototype armored car and an experimental armored suit to take up the identity of Batman. That night, a drug shipment is infiltrated by Batman and he captures Falcone. Later, easily overpowering one of the assassins targeting Rachel Dawes, his childhood friend and assistant district attorney, he provides her with evidence capable of indicting Falcone. While Falcone is in jail, Dr. Jonathan Crane induces him with a toxin that turns him insane with fear. While investigating the drugs in the shipment, Batman encounters Dr. Jonathan Crane, an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist on Falcone’s payroll. Crane sprays Batman with a powerful hallucinogenic toxin. Bruce’s butler Alfred Pennyworth rescues him, using an anti-toxin developed by Fox. Crane later summons Rachel to Arkham Asylum and shows her that the panic and fear inducing toxin has been introduced into Gotham’s water supply from Arkham for weeks, and infects Rachel. Batman saves her and takes her to his cave, giving her vials for Gordon — one for inoculating himself and the other for mass production.
That night, at Bruce’s birthday celebration at Wayne Manor, he is confronted by Ducard, who reveals himself to be the real Ra’s Al Ghul, and has now arrived in Gotham personally to destroy the city – he had conspired with Crane to poison Gotham’s water supply with the toxin, vaporizing it with a stolen device from Wayne Enterprises. After Bruce tricks everyone into leaving after being rude, he and Ra’s fight while Ra’s henchman begin to burn down the mansion. Meanwhile, other henchmen of Ra’s release all the inmates at Arkham and the gas. Although Wayne Manor is destroyed, Bruce escapes the inferno with the assistance of Alfred. Rachel delivers the antidote to Gordon and wards off Crane, now calling himself “Scarecrow,” with a taser. Before going for Ra’s, Batman reveals his identity to Rachel. He then has Gordon drive the Batmobile to the central hub of the Gotham subway – Wayne Tower. Ra’s boards the train; his objective is to send the water vaporizer on the train to a major water hub. As Batman confronts Ra’s on the train, Gordon destroys the subway line. Batman escapes the train, leaving Ra’s to crash into Wayne Tower.
Following the battle, Batman becomes a public hero, and Bruce gains control of his company and installs Fox as the CEO, firing Mr. Earle, the previous CEO. However, Bruce is unable to hold onto Rachel, who, despite having fallen in love with Bruce, cannot reconcile him with Batman. As Gordon, now a Lieutenant, unveils a Bat-Signal and mentions a new criminal who leaves Joker playing cards at crime scenes, Batman promises to investigate, and disappears into the night.
2005 ~ The New World (John Rolfe)
Directed by Terrence Malick
Produced by Sarah Green, Terrence Malick
Written by Terrence Malick
Starring Colin Farrell, Q’Orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki
Editing by Richard Chew, Hank Corwin, Saar Klein, Mark Yoshikawa
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) December 25, 2005 (United States), January 27, 2006 (United Kingdom)
Running time 150 minutes
Country United States, United Kingdom
Language English, Powhatan
Budget $30 million
Gross revenue $30,536,013
Info & Plot
The film begins with a young Native American woman offering a prayer to Mother Earth. While never referred to by name, she is understood to be Pocahontas. The woman and others from her tribe witness the arrival of three ships. It is Virginia, the year 1607, and the ships are part of the Jamestown Expedition, sent by English royal charter to found a colony in the New World. Aboard one of the ships we see a man, later identified as Captain John Smith, below decks, in chains. While initially sentenced to death by hanging for his mutinous remarks, once ashore, Smith is pardoned by Captain Christopher Newport, the leader of the expedition.
While the prospects for the settlement are initially bright, disease, poor discipline, supply shortages, and tensions with the local Native Americans (whom Newport calls “the naturals”) place the expedition in jeopardy. Smith takes a small group of men up river to seek trade while Newport returns to England for supplies. While on this mission, Smith is captured by a group of Native Americans and brought before their chief. After being questioned, the captain is nearly executed. He is spared when one of the chief’s daughters (the same young woman seen at the opening) intervenes and saves his life.
Living among the Native Americans as a prisoner for an extended period, Smith is treated well and earns the friendship and respect of the tribe. Coming to admire this new way of life, he falls deeply in love with Pocahontas. She is intrigued by the Englishman and his ways. Slowly Smith begins to question the validity of his earlier life. The chief returns Smith to Jamestown with the understanding that the English are to leave the following spring, once their boats have returned.
Upon his return, Smith encounters a settlement in turmoil. Pressed into accepting the governorship, he finds the peace he had with the Natives replaced by privation, death, and the difficult responsibilities of his new position. Smith wishes to return to his love but dismisses such action. He thinks of his time among the Native Americans as “a dream” from which he has awoken. Their numbers dwindle throughout the brutal winter, and the settlers are saved only when Pocahontas and a rescue party arrive with food, clothing, and supplies.
As spring arrives, Powhatan realizes the English do not intend to leave. Discovering his daughter’s actions, he orders an attack on Jamestown and exiles Pocahontas. Repulsing the attack, the settlers learn of Pocahontas’ banishment. They organize a trade so that the young woman can be taken captive and used as leverage to avoid further assaults. When Smith opposes the plan, he is removed as governor.
After Pocahontas is brought to Jamestown, she and Smith renew their love affair. The return of Captain Newport adds complications. Newport tells Smith of an offer from the king to lead his own expedition to find passage to the East Indies. Torn between his love and the promise of his career, the captain decides to return to England. Before he departs, he leaves instructions with a trusted settler. He later tells Pocahontas that Smith died in the crossing.
Devastated, Pocahontas sinks into depression. Continuing to live in Jamestown, she is eventually comforted by a new settler, John Rolfe. He helps her adapt to the English way of life. She is baptized, receives education, and eventually marries Rolfe and gives birth to a son. While she is happy with her new life, she learns that Captain Smith is still alive. Realizing that she still loves Smith, she suffers with her husband.
Rolfe and his family are given a chance to travel to England. Arriving in London and sharing an audience with the king and queen, Pocahontas is overwhelmed by the wonders of this “New World.” While there, she has a private meeting with Smith. Rolfe supports the meeting, believing that his wife still loves Smith and that she will not be at peace until she sees him again.
The reunion is uncomfortable at times. The state of their present lives shows how much they each have changed. Smith admits that he may have made a mistake in choosing his career over his love for Pocahontas. He says that what they experienced in Virginia was not a dream but instead “the only truth.” When asked by Pocahontas if he ever found his Indies, he replies, “I may have sailed past them.” The two depart, never to meet again.
Pocahontas and Rolfe make arrangements to return to Virginia. On the outward passage, she falls ill and suddenly dies. The film ends with images of Pocahontas and her young son playing in the gardens of their English estate. Rolfe, in a voice over, reads a letter, addressed to their son about his deceased mother. In the film’s closing moments, Pocahontas says, “Mother, now I know where you live.” As she found peace through her strength to grow past her wounds, the film ends with images of nature.
2004 ~ The Machinist (Trevor Reznik)
Directed by Brad Anderson Produced by Fantastic Factory (Filmax/Casteleao Producciones)(Spain) Written by Scott Kosar Starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Sharian, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Michael Ironside Music by Roque Baños Cinematography Sylvia Steinbrecht Release date January 18, 2004 (USA) Running time 102 min. Language English
Info & Plot
Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is a machinist who has had chronic insomnia for a year and has progressively lost weight to the point where he has become severely emaciated. His alarming appearance and strange behavior cause his co-workers to stay away from him; they eventually turn on him after he is involved in a machine accident that costs a man, Miller (Michael Ironside), his left arm. Trevor, who was distracted by an unfamiliar co-worker named Ivan (John Sharian), bears the blame for the accident. No one at the factory knows of Ivan and there are no records that he is an employee. Trevor seems to find peace only in the arms of Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a prostitute who develops genuine affection for him, or in the company of Maria (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), a waitress at the airport diner where he spends many of his nights.
Trevor is haunted by brief flashes of recurring imagery, and everyday objects take on a menacing air, like the car cigarette lighter he seems almost afraid to touch. A mysterious series of post-it notes that appear on his refrigerator depict a game of hangman; these vaguely threatening incidents send Trevor further into paranoia. He nevertheless attempts to establish a tentative romantic relationship with Maria. Meeting her at an amusement park, Trevor accompanies her son Nicholas on a grotesque funhouse ride called “Route 666”, that causes the boy to suffer an epileptic seizure.
Trevor is no longer able to think clearly, and begins to suspect that the bizarre events in his life are a concentrated effort to drive him insane, ideas which are fed by small clues, such as a picture of Ivan fishing with one of Trevor’s old co-workers, a man named Reynolds.
Another near-accident at work causes Trevor to lash out in incoherent rage at his co-workers and as a result he is fired. Growing increasingly distracted and alienated, Trevor forgets to pay his utility bills and his electricity is disconnected. A dark, viscous liquid begins trickling out of the freezer, eventually coating the refrigerator door with streaked lines of what appears to be blood.
After several unsuccessful attempts at confronting Ivan, Trevor tries to trace him through his license plate. He follows Ivan’s car to read its license plate just before his gas runs out. When the DMV clerk insists that he cannot release personal information unless a crime has been committed, Trevor throws himself in front of a random car in order to accuse Ivan of committing a hit and run. After filing a police report with Ivan’s plate number, the battered Trevor is dumbfounded when the investigator tells him that the car in question is his own: Trevor reported the vehicle totaled one year ago.
He runs from the baffled policemen and goes to see Stevie, who clothes and washes him. However, Trevor finds the fishing picture of Ivan and Reynolds in her home and accuses her of conspiring against him. Stevie is confused and says the picture is of him — Trevor, not Ivan — but Trevor refuses to look at it. After a short fight, Trevor is thrown out. He goes to find solace at the airport diner, but when asking about Maria, the waitress tells him they never had a waitress by that name.
In the film’s climax, Trevor sees Ivan take Nicholas, who appears to have been kidnapped, into Trevor’s apartment. Fearing the worst, Trevor sneaks inside. Nicholas is nowhere to be seen and does not respond to Trevor’s calls. Trevor confronts Ivan in the bathroom, and asks him what he has done with Nicholas. Ivan tells him “you know he’s dead”. Trevor struggles with and ultimately kills Ivan, then flings open the shower curtain, expecting to see Nicholas’ dead body but the bathtub is empty. He walks out to his refrigerator and opens it to find dead fish. His mind then flashes back to the fishing photo, which now shows a heavier, healthier Trevor with his co-worker Reynolds, just as Stevie claimed. Ivan was never in the photo; Trevor imagined it.
The scene then returns to one which occurred during the opening credit roll, in which Trevor tries to dispose of someone’s corpse (presumably Ivan’s), rolling it in a rug and struggling to cast it into the ocean. When the rug unravels, there is nothing inside. Ivan, very much alive, appears holding a flashlight, laughing. Trevor, suddenly home again and staring at himself in the mirror, begins to repeat “I know who you are.” The hangman game on his refrigerator has filled in the letters as “Killer.” He then recalls his own role in a hit-and-run accident a year ago, in which he ran over and killed a boy identical to Nicholas after taking his eyes off the road for a moment to use the car’s cigarette lighter. The boy’s mother, who he knows as Maria the waitress, was present; Trevor fled the scene.
Trevor briefly considers going to the airport and escaping, but instead he goes to the police station, escorted by an encouraging but silent Ivan, who bids him adieu from outside the station. At the front desk he confesses his crime from one year earlier. With his guilty conscience finally at peace, Trevor falls asleep in a holding cell for the first time since the accident.
2004 ~ Howl’s Moving Castle (voice: English version)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki Produced by Toshio Suzuki Written by Screenplay: Hayao Miyazaki, Diana Wynne Jones, Original Story: Diana Wynne Jones Starring Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall Music by Joe Hisaishi Editing by Takeshi Seyama Distributed by Toho Release date November 20, 2004 Running time 120 minutes Country Japan Language Japanese – English Budget ¥ 2.4 billion Gross revenue ¥ 23.2 billion
Info & Plot
Young Sophie Hatter, who runs her late father’s hat shop, encounters by chance the mysterious wizard Howl, who takes a liking to her. This arouses the ire of the Witch of the Waste, who has been seeking Howl’s heart for herself, and she curses Sophie, turning her into a crone. As the curse prevents her from telling anyone of her true form, Sophie decides to run away. Along the way, she befriends a sentient scarecrow that she names Turnip Head, and they come across Howl’s castle. Once inside, Sophie meets the fire demon Calcifer, who powers the castle and recognizes that Sophie has been cursed. Calcifer offers to break the curse in exchange for Sophie’s help in breaking the pact between him and Howl. When Howl appears, Sophie announces that she is the castle’s new cleaning lady. As she adjusts to life in the castle, she discovers that the front door is a magic portal leading to several places.
Currently, the land Sophie is living in is at war with its neighbor following the mysterious disappearance of the other realm’s Crown Prince Justin, and slowly the war begins to reach the country. Howl receives summons from the King, who orders his various assumed identities to fight in the war. However, Howl fears Madame Suliman, the royal court’s magician and his former mentor, and sends Sophie as his mother to decline his participation. At the palace, Sophie runs into the Witch of the Waste, who had previously been expelled from the court many years ago and now seeks to regain the royal house’s patronage; instead, Madame Suliman punishes the Witch by draining all of her power, causing her to regress into a senile old woman. Suliman tells Sophie that Howl will meet the same fate if he does not contribute to the war. As Sophie vehemently protests these measures, Suliman comes to realize the true nature of this ‘mother’; Howl then arrives to rescue Sophie, with the Witch and Suliman’s asthmatic lapdog Heen tagging along. He gives Sophie a magical ring that would guide her to Calcifer, but Suliman begins tracking her to get to Howl.
Sophie learns that Howl transforms into a bird-like creature to interfere in the war, but each transformation makes it more difficult for him to return to human form. Howl shows his appreciation for her by transforming the castle so that it can lead to Sophie’s old home as well as Howl’s childhood residence, which he gives to Sophie as a gift.
Soon after, Sophie’s mother visits the house, and somehow recognizes Sophie despite her old appearance. They then have a happy reunion. However, Sophie’s mother is actually under Suliman’s threats, and leaves behind a bag containing a “spying bug” under her orders. The former Witch of the Waste discovers it and promptly destroys the bug by tossing it into Calcifer. Unfortunately, Calcifer gets sick after eating the bug, rendering him unable to protect the castle from being discovered when Markl opens the windows to air out the Witch’s cigar smoke.
A few hours later, the city is carpet-bombed by enemy aircraft while Suliman’s henchmen invade the hat shop. After protecting the hat shop from the bombing, Howl transforms and draws the guards away, while Sophie and Calcifer bring the castle to the Wastes. Sophie pulls Calcifer out of the castle to destroy the magic and cut off all ties to the city, so that Howl would not be continually forced to defend them, then moves him back in to create a smaller version of the moving machine so they can rescue Howl. Unfortunately, the Witch of the Waste discovers Howl’s heart in Calcifer’s diminishing flames, and grabs it. To save her from burning, Sophie douses her and Calcifer with water. The castle breaks apart, and Sophie and Heen are thrown over a cliff.
Sophie recovers in tears, believing that she has killed both Calcifer and Howl, as their lives are interconnected. As she is sobbing, Howl’s ring points to the remains of Howl’s castle door; she walks through it and finds herself in Howl’s past, where she sees Calcifer being caught by a young Howl as a falling star. Howl then makes a pact with the demon that he will give him his heart if he serves him. Sophie is pulled back into present time, but before leaving, she tells Howl to find her in the future.
Back in the present, Sophie finds Howl and realizes that he has been waiting for her all along. When they return to the others, Sophie takes Howl’s heart from the Witch and puts it back in his chest. Calcifer returns to his original form and flies away, but returns shortly out of a new-found loyalty to Sophie. The remains of the castle (with everyone still inside) slide down the cliffs, and Turnip Head is forced to almost sacrifice himself to stop the fall. Sophie gives him a kiss, transforming him back into the missing Prince Justin, who had been cursed by a witch.
By now, Sophie has fully transformed back to her youthful self (with the exception of her gray hair), and Howl recovers fully. Though he has come to love Sophie as well, Prince Justin realizes that her love is for Howl and leaves to put an end to the war, as does Suliman, who has been spying on the group. Later, Howl, Sophie, and the others are seen aboard a new, flying castle powered by Calcifer on his free will. The film ends with Howl and Sophie on a balcony sharing a kiss.
2002 ~ Laurel Canyon (Sam)
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko Produced by Antidote Films, Jeff Levy-Hinte Written by Lisa Cholodenko Starring Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone, Alessandro Nivola Distributed by Sony Classics Release date 2002 Language English
Info & Plot
Sam (Christian Bale) and Alex (Kate Beckinsale) are a newly engaged couple who move to Los Angeles to further their working careers. Sam is a recently graduated psychiatrist, starting his residency, while Alex, who comes from a very wealthy background, is finishing her M.D.-Ph.D. dissertation on genomics. The relatively strait-laced, upwardly mobile couple plan to stay at the vacant home of Sam’s mother, Jane (Frances McDormand), a free-spirited record producer in the Laurel Canyon section of the City of Los Angeles.
In a change of plans, however, Jane is still around, recording an album with her boyfriend, Ian McKnight (Alessandro Nivola), and his band. The film focuses in some depth on the challenge of trying to create successful pop music, showing work on two tracks (both actually written, and later released, by the band Sparklehorse). Ian’s bandmates are played by noted indie rockers, bassist Lou Barlow and guitarist Imaad Wasif.
Jane and Ian are in the midst of a fiery romance, and both producer and band seem more interested in partying than finishing the record. Jane’s presence is a source of consternation for Sam, as he and his mother have a somewhat strained relationship, due to their very different mindsets.
Alex, however, is intrigued by the new lifestyle options presented by her soon-to-be mother-in-law; normally hardworking, she begins spending more time with the band and less time working on her dissertation. Her growing fascination with Jane and Ian leads to a scene where the three of them kiss one other while bare-naked in the swimming pool.
Meanwhile, Sam finds himself attracted to fellow resident Sara (Natascha McElhone), who is unapologetically interested in him as well. They share one first kiss while returning from an informal interns’ meeting, around the same time Alex has her first tryst with Jan and Ian in the pool. Some time later, while Alex attends Jane and Ian’s party held in a crowded hotel suite to celebrate the band’s new album release, Sam and Sara meet in a parking lot and, in a conversation filled with sexual tension, they declare their attraction for one another.
The situation strains Sam and Alex’s relationship almost to the point of breaking by the end of the film. After the party has finished and the three of them are left alone in the suite, Ian tries to “finish”, in his words, his encounter with Alex and Jane, but the latter decides against it and the threesome does not take place. Upon returning home after his conversation with Sara, Sam decides to go to the hotel and discovers Jane, Ian, and Alex scantily-clad in the bedroom; in a fit of rage he repeatedly punches Ian, hits his mother with the elbow as she tries to split the fight and leaves the hotel, but Alex chases him down the street and professes her love for him.
The next morning, the situation seems back to normal again. But Sara phones Sam and tells him she can’t control her heart, as opposed to what he told her the day before. Sam watches his surroundings, postpones any further conversation and takes a moment of reflection. Although the end is left open, it is highly implied that he has already chosen Sara.
2002 ~ Reign of Fire (Quinn Abercromby)
Directed by Rob Bowman Produced by Richard Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber Written by Story: Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka Screenplay: Matt Greenberg, Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka Starring Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Alice Krige, Ben Thornton Music by Mad at Gravity, Ed Shearmur, Brad Wagner Cinematography Adrian Biddle Editing by Declan McGrath, Thom Noble Distributed by Touchstone Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment (Some markets) Release date 12 July 2002 Running time 102 min. Country United Kingdom, United States Language English Budget USD $ 60,000,000 Gross revenue USD $ 82,150,183
Info & Plot
During construction on the Underground in 2008, a huge hibernating dragon awakens, incinerating the construction workers. The only survivor is 12-year-old Quinn Abercromby, whose mother (Alice Krige) was chief of the construction crew. The dragon escapes and multiplies at an exponential rate. Brief newspaper and TV news accounts reveal that scientists have proven the dragons are a separate species that coexisted with the dinosaurs and were responsible for the dinosaurs’ extinction. Scientists infer that when the dragons began to starve, they went into hibernation until the Earth could replenish itself.
Twelve years later, Quinn (Christian Bale) leads a small community of survivors living in a castle in Northumberland. Their hope is to outlast the dragons and wait until they die out. However, they are beginning to starve while waiting for their crops to ripen. While most are content under Quinn’s leadership, some are not satisfied and become restless. While everyone sleeps, Eddie (David Kennedy) steals the keys to the truck from Quinn and go to gather crops. This is against Quinn’s orders as picking crops too early will not allow another harvest next season. However, the group is attacked by a dragon. One of the children is killed, and the group is surrounded by fire. They are rescued by Quinn, Creedy, and Jared. While trying to escape, the dragon lands in front of them and kills Eddie’s son. The dragon then eats the ash.
Later, a team of Americans arrive, led by Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), bringing a Chieftain tank and an Agusta A109 helicopter, piloted by Alex Jensen (Izabella Scorupco). Van Zan and his heavily armed band of 200 soldiers have devised an elaborate tracking system to hunt and kill dragons. Quinn is initially distrustful of Van and finds it almost impossible to believe anyone can hunt dragons. A very tense discussion leads Van Zan to convince Quinn to cooperate. Quinn and Van Zan work together and kill the dragon that destroyed the crop. The inhabitants of the castle celebrate the victory, only to be chastised by Van Zan, who has lost three of his men. Afterwards, Van Zan and Alex tell Quinn that all the dragons his unit have encountered so far are female. Additionally, they have discovered that each female is already carrying unfertilized eggs for the next generation and that the dragons’ metabolism is so high that most will not live more than a few months. Their hypothesis is that there is only one male. If they kill the male, the dragons will not be able to reproduce.
Van Zan orders his soldiers to pick the best of Quinn’s men at the castle. Quinn becomes enraged and engages Van Zan in a fight, but loses. Quinn states that if Van Zan’s group finds the male dragon, it will kill them and find the castle. Van Zan and his unit head towards London to find the male dragon and are attacked by him en route. He kills all of Van Zan’s soldiers and heads towards the castle to attack it. Some successfully hide in an underground shelter designed to survive the heat. Creedy attempts to bring more people to the shelter but is killed by another attack that seals the shelter entrance.
Defeated, Van Zan returns to the castle and frees Quinn and the other survivors from the castle’s shelter. Quinn tells Van Zan that they will hunt the male dragon in London, which has become a nesting ground for the dragons. Quinn knows where the male dragon lives, the mine where he first saw the dragon. They fly to London where they find hundreds of dragons in the ruined city and watch smaller dragons flee from the much larger male, who is resorting to cannibalism. With only the male dragon left in the city, Van Zan, Quinn, and Alex move into the city. Van Zan’s plan is to fire a magnesium and C4 explosive charge into the dragon’s chest during the brief moment it exposes its chest as it breathes fire. During the battle, Van Zan is unable to destroy the dragon using his crossbow.In a final attempt, Van Zan jumps off the building with his axe and swings at the male, which does no effect and he is eaten. Quinn and Alex lure the dragon to street level and Quinn kills him with his own crossbow by firing the explosive bolt into the dragon’s mouth.
At least three months after the male dragon is slain, the situation has changed: the sun is shining brightly, and it is said that there have been no dragon sightings for three months. Quinn and Alex, who is now living with Quinn’s community, are seen erecting a radio tower. They receive a transmission from another group of survivors in France. He hands over the leadership of the group to Jared and sends him to talk to them. The now hopeful Quinn resolutely dedicates himself to rebuilding civilization, undaunted by the remote possibility of the dragons returning, stating that, if they ever return, “they’ll burn, we’ll build”. Before joining Alex and the rest of the group, Quinn takes Van Zan’s axe from the ground near him, and walks away with it in his hand.
2002 ~ Equilibrium (John Preston)
Directed by Kurt Wimmer Produced by Jan de Bont, Lucas Foster Written by Kurt Wimmer Starring Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson, Sean Bean, Angus MacFadyen, William Fichtner, Sean Pertwee, David Hemmings Music by Klaus Badelt Cinematography Dion Beebe Distributed by Dimension Films Release date December 6, 2002 Running time 107 min. Language English Budget $ 20,000,000 US (est.) Gross revenue $5.3 million (worldwide)
Info & Plot
Equilibrium is set in the futuristic and dystopian city-state of Libria. After the Third World War devastated the planet and reasoning that humanity likely wouldn’t survive another war, the leaders of the world sought to create a society free of conflict. It was determined that human emotion was the primary cause of conflict, and thus any and all emotionally stimulating material was banned. These materials are rated “EC-10” for “emotional content” (a reference to the MPAA film rating system), and are destroyed by immediate incineration. Furthermore, all citizens of Libria are required to take regular injections, called “intervals,” of an emotion-suppressing drug called Prozium, distributed at centers known as “Equilibrium”.
Libria is governed by the Tetragrammaton Council, which is led by a reclusive figurehead known as “Father”. Father never interacts with anyone outside the ruling council, but his image is omnipresent throughout the city in a strong cult of personality. The Tetragrammaton Council strives to create identical lives for all Librians and uses its police state apparatus to enforce unity and conformity. At the pinnacle of Librian law enforcement are the Grammaton Clerics, who are trained in the deadly martial art of Gun Kata, an art which teaches practitioners to attack and defend themselves based on the most statistically-likely positions of their enemies during a gun battle. The Clerics exist for the purpose of locating and destroying EC-10 materials and for pursuing, apprehending, and terminating “sense-offenders”—people guilty of feeling emotions. Despite the efforts of the police and Clerics, a resistance movement exists in Libria, known as “the Underground”.
The film’s protagonist, Grammaton Cleric First Class John Preston (Christian Bale), is Libria’s highest ranking cleric. He is a widower whose wife, Viviana, was executed as a sense offender, leaving him with two children. After a raid on a group of resistance members, Preston notices that his partner, Errol Partridge (Sean Bean), has taken with him a copy of the poems of Yeats and stopped doing his job. Preston tracks down Partridge, who speaks of emotion and provokes Preston to aid him in suicide by cop. Shortly afterward, Preston accidentally breaks the vial of his morning dose of Prozium and, unable to obtain a replacement due to terrorism closing the equilibrium center, begins to experience emotions.
Preston is assigned a new partner, the career-conscious Brandt (Taye Diggs). Following the arrest of Mary O’Brien (Emily Watson) for not taking Prozium, his emotional confusion is exacerbated during her interrogation. Preston stops taking Prozium and attempts to maintain his monotone and emotionless facade in front of his son and the increasingly suspicious Brandt. Finding a clue in Partridge’s effects, Preston soon makes contact with the Resistance. His behavior raises suspicions, and he is summoned before Vice-Counsel DuPont. He explains that he is attempting to infiltrate the Resistance in order to destroy it. DuPont tells him that he has heard rumors of a Cleric attempting to join the Resistance, and Preston promises to find this traitor. The Resistance convinces him to assassinate Father, an act which will create enough confusion for them to detonate bombs in Libria’s Prozium factories. They believe that if they disrupt the production and distribution of Prozium, the emotionally-awakened Librians will rise up and destroy the Tetragrammaton Council.
Preston witnesses Mary O’Brien’s execution, causing him to weep uncontrollably, and Brandt arrests him. Brandt brings Preston before DuPont; Preston, however, tricks DuPont into believing Brandt is the criminal. Once released, Preston rushes home to destroy his cache of unconsumed Prozium before the police find it, and is confronted by his young son, who reveals to Preston that he and his sister have not taken Prozium since their mother was executed, and have already hidden it for him. As part of an elaborate plot formed with the Underground, the leaders of the Resistance turn themselves in to Preston, on the basis of which he persuades DuPont to grant him an audience with Father.
When Preston arrives for his audience with Father, he surrenders his sword and is connected to a polygraph machine for a security interrogation. Via a screen, Father speaks to Preston, revealing that he has been aware of Preston’s sense-offense, and has staged Brandt’s arrest in order to lull Preston into a false sense of security so he would expose the Underground. The face on the screen changes, revealing that of Vice-Council DuPont, who explains that the real Father died years before, and that he is now the Head of State. DuPont comments that he has ended the Underground and has also captured Preston without a fight.
In response, Preston reveals his concealed guns and embarks on a rampage, shooting his way to DuPont’s office, where he kills DuPont’s bodyguards in a sword fight. Preston and Brandt face each other, but Preston easily dispatches Brandt, cutting his face off. Preston and DuPont then confront each other with handguns in a battle of Gun Kata masters, during which Preston manages to get the upper hand. Disarmed, DuPont attempts to persuade him, as a fellow feeling human, not to kill him, but Preston recalls O’Brien, and shoots DuPont. Preston then destroys the propaganda machines which broadcast images of Father across Libria. With this opening, the Underground detonates their bombs and the prisoners are released. The film ends with Preston leering as he watches the Librian government fall.
2001 ~ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Mandras)
Directed by John Madden Produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Mark Huffam, Kevin Loader Written by Shawn Slovo, Louis de Bernières (Novel) Starring Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale, David Morrissey, Irene Papas Music by Stephen Warbeck Cinematography John Toll Editing by Mick Audsley Studio StudioCanal, Working Title Films Distributed by Miramax Films, Universal Studios Release date August 17, 2001 Running time 131 minutes Country France, United Kingdom, United States Language English, Greek, German, Italian
Info & Plot
The idyllic beauty of Greece’s Mediterranean islands has been invaded by Italy, bringing legions of soldiers to the once tranquil island of Cephallonia. Captain Antonio Corelli, an officer with an irrepressibly jovial personality and passion for the mandolin, initially alienates a number of the villagers, including Pelagia. The daughter of the village doctor, Pelagia is an educated and strong-willed woman, and while at first offended by the Italian soldier’s behaviour, she slowly warms to his certain charms as they are forced to share her father’s home.
When Pelagia’s fiance, a local fisherman, heads off to war, the friendship between Antonio and Pelagia grows even stronger. Her beauty and intelligence have captured his heart and his fondness for the village’s vibrant community causes him to question his reasons for fighting. Antonio becomes a part of the lives of the villagers, but the moment is fleeting. As the war grows ever closer, Antonio and Pelagia are forced to choose between their allegiance to their countries and the love they feel for one another-a love which must overcome tremendous odds, and endure the inevitable sacrifice which accompanies eternal devotion.
The Italian government surrenders to the Allies, and the Italian troops happily prepare to go home. However, their erstwhile allies the Germans insist on disarming the Italians, intemperately and violently. The Greeks are exposed to the brutal incoming Germans, and arrange with the Italians to use their arms in a brief and futile resistance. For this, the German High Command has thousands of the Italian troops shot as traitors. Corelli survives when one of his soldiers throws himself across him, and Mandras takes him to Pelagia and the doctor to recover, and then to a boat to escape the island.
Pelagia discovers that Mandras did not reply to her letters because he is illiterate, and they part. In 1947, Pelagia receives a parcel from Italy containing a record of the tune Corelli wrote for her, but no note. An earthquake destroys much of the village and the doctor’s house, but island life continues, and eventually Corelli returns to Pelagia.
2000 Shaft (Walter Wade, Jr.)
Directed by John Singleton Produced by Mark Roybal, Scott Rudin, Eric Steel Written by Ernest Tidyman (novel), John Singleton, Shane Salerno, Richard Price Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa L. Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Busta Rhymes, Dan Hedaya, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Josef Sommer, Lynne Thigpen, Toni Collette, Philip Bosco, Pat Hingle, Lee Tergesen, Daniel Von Bargen, Sonja Sohn, Peter McRobbie, Richard Roundtree, Cameo appearance: Mekhi Phifer Distributed by Paramount Pictures Release date June 16, 2000 Running time 99 min. Country United States Language English, Spanish Budget $44,000,000 US (est.) Gross revenue $107,196,498
Info & Plot
NYPD Detective John Shaft is called in to investigate the racially motivated murder of Trey Howard, committed by Walter Wade Jr., the son of a wealthy real estate tycoon. Shaft briefly meets a potential eyewitness to the murder, Diane Palmieri, but she disappears soon after and cannot be found for the trial. Wade Jr. is let off on bail and flees to Switzerland.
Two years later, Wade Jr. returns and Shaft rearrests him for leaving the country. During his temporary incarceration at police headquarters, Wade Jr. meets Peoples Hernandez, a Dominican drug lord. Wade Jr., his passport relinquished, is let off on bail again, and in frustration Shaft resigns from the police force, promising to bring Wade Jr. to justice on his own terms. Worried that Shaft might find the missing eyewitness, Wade Jr. hires Peoples Hernandez to find and kill her first.
Shaft continues his search for Diane, enlisting the help of his friends Detective Carmen Vasquez and taxi driver Rasaan. While visiting Diane’s uncooperative mother, Shaft and Carmen realise they’re being followed by officers Jack Roselli and Jimmy Groves, who have been paid by Peoples to follow Shaft and get to Diane.
Shaft manages to find Diane Palmieri, but before they can talk, they are attacked by Peoples’s men. In the shootout, Shaft kills Peoples’s younger brother. Shaft, Diane, Rasaan and Diane’s brother manage to escape to Rasaan’s apartment, but they are followed by Roselli and Groves. While at the apartment, Diane confesses that she saw the entire murder, and took money for her silence.
When Peoples arrives at the location, another shootout takes place. Roselli and Groves, outed as corrupt, are killed by Carmen. In a face-off between Shaft and Peoples, Peoples insinuates that he’s been working for Wade, and Shaft kills him. Wade Jr.’s trial finally arrives. Before it can begin, he is shot in the chest by Trey’s mother, Carla Howard, and dies on the spot.
In the police station, Shaft reiterates to Carmen that he prefers to be a private detective. A woman arrives, asking for Shaft to help her, claiming to have an abusive boyfriend. Shaft is initially reluctant, but when he sees her injury, he decides to help her anyway.
2000 ~ American Psycho (Patrick Bateman)
Directed by Mary Harron Produced by Joseph Drake (executive), Christian Halsey Solomon, Chris Hanley, Michael Paseornek (executive), Edward R. Pressman, Jeff Sackman (executive) Written by Screenplay: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner Novel: Bret Easton Ellis Starring Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon, Chloë Sevigny, Jared Leto, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Cara Seymour, Samantha Mathis Music by John Cale, Eve Egoyan Cinematography Andrzej Sekula Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment Release date United States: April 14, 2000 Running time 101 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $7,000,000 Gross revenue $34,266,564
Info & Plot
Bret Easton Ellis’s dark and violent satire of America in the 1980s is brought to the screen in this unsettling drama with black comic overtones. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), the son of a wealthy Wall Street financier, is pursuing his own lucrative career with his father’s firm. Bateman is the prototypical yuppie, obsessed with success, fashion, and style. He is also a serial killer who murders, rapes, and mutilates both strangers and acquaintances without provocation or reason. Donald Kimble (Willem Dafoe), a police detective, questions Bateman about the disappearance of Paul Allen (Jared Leto), whom Patrick murdered several days earlier. As Kimble stays on Bateman’s trail, Bateman’s mask of studied, distant cool begins to fall apart. American Psycho also features Reese Witherspoon as Bateman’s girlfriend, as well as Samantha Mathis, Chloe Sevigny, and Guinevere Turner; the latter also co-authored the screenplay. Controversy followed the production from the start, when speculation that Leonardo Di Caprio would play Bateman sparked concerns that he would lure preteens to an R-rated movie. Di Caprio soon bowed out of the project, and original leading man Bale was reinstated. Later, a group of Toronto residents attempted to block filming in that city after Canadian serial killer Paul Bernardo claimed that Ellis’ novel inspired his murder spree.
The film opens in a restaurant with wealthy Wall Street businessmen Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux), David Van Patten (Bill Sage), and Craig McDermott (Josh Lucas). They discuss their envy for a successful associate named Paul Allen, who managed to obtain the Fischer account, before purchasing an expensive lunch. Late at night, the four go to a club, where Patrick reveals his psychopathic nature towards a female bartender, when she refuses to accept his beverage ticket, although she does not hear him.
The film cuts to Bateman’s apartment, where he describes, in detail, his morning routine, which includes daily exercise, a healthy diet, and an extensive cleansing ritual. After a restaurant with Evelyn (his fiancee), Courtney, Luis Carruthers, and Bryce, in which Patrick reveals he is having sex with Courtney, he murders a woman. Patrick dates Courtney at Barcadia, although he attempted to reserve a table at Dorsia. The next morning, Patrick and his associates flaunt their business cards in a display of utter vanity; although, despite Bateman’s attempts, he is bested by Paul Allen’s card. Following this, he murders a homeless man and his dog in an alleyway.
At a Christmas party, Patrick makes plans to have dinner with Paul Allen, who mistakes Patrick for a comparable associate named Marcus. At dinner, Bateman gets Paul extremely drunk and leads him back to his apartment. While playing Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip to Be Square,” Patrick ambushes Paul and murders him with an axe. In the morning, after Patrick has acquired Paul’s apartment, and making others believe Allen is in London, he is met by Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe), a detective searching for the truth about the mysterious disappearance of Paul Allen (although it is unclear whether Detective Kimball suspects Patrick or not).
Patrick then has a menage a trois with two hookers, but then tortures them afterwards. The next day, Luis Carruthers reveals his new business card, sending Bateman over the edge. Bateman tries to kill Luis in the restroom, but cannot bring himself to strangle him. Luis mistakes Patrick’s attempted murder as a sexual advance. Since Luis is a closeted homosexual, he urges Patrick to call him, but his attempts to further their relationship fail.
After murdering a blonde model, Patrick invites Jean (Chloe Sevigny) to dinner at Dorsia after pretending to reserve a table. When Jean arrives at the apartment for drinks, Patrick, unbeknownst to Jean, holds a nail gun to the back of her head. However, he decides not to hurt her and asks her to leave before she gets injured. Following another luncheon with Detective Kimball, Patrick has a menage a trois with his good friend Bethany and “Christie,” the hooker from earlier in the film. In the middle of having sex, Christie realizes that Patrick has killed Bethany and tries to flee the apartment. In the process of her departure, she discovers a multitude of female corpses and “Die Yuppie Scum” scrawled on the wall in blood. Bateman then murders her with a chain saw.
After this, Patrick severs his relationship with his fiancee Evelyn Williams. Following this, Bateman is cashing his credit card at an ATM, when he imagines that it demands the life of a stray cat. Bateman is stopped by a woman from killing the cat, whom he murders. A police chase ensues, but Bateman destroys the cars by shooting their gas tanks. He then flees to his office, where he murders the receptionist and janitor, and calls his lawyer, Howard. Bateman leaves a lengthy voicemail, confessing, in detail, most of his murders. He then ends with, “I guess I’m a pretty sick guy.”
The next day, Patrick visits Paul Allen’s apartment. Expecting to see a collection of corpses, he is surprised when he finds that the apartment is completely vacant and being offered for sale by a realtor. She views him as an intruder and tells him to leave immediately, not to cause trouble, and to never return. Bateman complies, stating he has no plans to. As Patrick goes to meet with his colleagues and lawyer, Jean finds detailed drawings of murders and rapes done by Patrick Bateman, insinuating that he either is imagining false crimes or he is reflecting upon crimes that he actually committed.
The next day, Bateman sees his lawyer, while attending a restaurant with his friends, and tries to convince the lawyer that he is Patrick Bateman and a serial killer. However, despite his pleas, the lawyer sees his confession as a sick joke and denies the concept that Paul Allen was murdered, since he lunched with him in London only 10 days before. Bateman realizes that the punishment he deserves will continue to escape him. He laments that there has been no catharsis and that he still remains a mystery to himself. Although he regrets that nothing has been gained, he still wants his pain to be inflicted on others, insinuating his psychopathic nature still remains. The film ends with him finishing his inner monologue by stating, “This confession has meant nothing.”
1999 ~ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius)
Directed by Michael Hoffman Produced by Michael Hoffman, Leslie Urdang Written by Play: William Shakespeare Screenplay: Michael Hoffman Starring Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Stanley Tucci, Calista Flockhart, Anna Friel, Christian Bale, Dominic West, David Strathairn, Sophie Marceau, Roger Rees, Max Wright, Gregory Jbara, Bill Irwin, Sam Rockwell, Bernard Hill, John Sessions Music by Simon Boswell Cinematography Oliver Stapelton Editing by Garth Craven Studio Regency Enterprises Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures Release date April 26, 1999 Running time 116 minutes Language English
Info & Plot
In Monte Athena, Italy, young lovers Lysander (Dominic West) and Hermia (Anna Friel) elope into the forest to escape the strict instructions from Hermia’s father that she must be betrothed to Demetrius (Christian Bale), another young man who loves her. Demetrius follows them, having been made aware of the plan by Helena (Calista Flockhart), a young woman who is desperately in love with him. Once in the forest, they wander into the fairy world, ruled by King Oberon (Rupert Everett) and Queen Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer), two sparring local deities. Oberon and his servant sprite Puck (Stanley Tucci) cause mayhem among the lovers with a magic potion that causes both Lysander and Demetrius to fall in love with Helena, leading to a rift between all four which culminates (famously in this adaptation) in a mud-wrestling scene.
Meanwhile, Oberon bewitches Titania with the same potion, causing her to fall in love with a local weaver and amateur actor, Nick Bottom (Kevin Kline), whom Puck has furnished with the head of an ass. Titania woos Bottom in her bower, attended by fairies. Oberon tires of the sport and puts all to rights, pairing Lysander back with Hermia and Demetrius with Helena, and reconciling with his own queen, Titania. In the final part, Bottom and his troupe of “rude Mechanicals” perform their amateur play, based on the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, before Duke Theseus (David Strathairn), his wife Hippolyta (Sophie Marceau) and the court, unintentionally producing a comedy.
1999 ~ Mary, Mother of Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth)
Starring Christian Bale, Pernilla August, Geraldine Chaplin, David Threlfall
Director Kevin Connor Screenwriter: Albert Ross Country USA Running time 120 min. Language English Filming locations Budapest, Hungary Company HCC Happy Crew CompanyInfo & Plot
Mary, Mother of Jesus is a made-for-television Biblical film that retells the story of Jesus through the eyes of Mary, his mother. It stars Pernilla August as Mary, David Threlfall as Joseph (his legal guardian, not father) and Christian Bale as Jesus. The film was produced by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. It aired November 14, 1999 on NBC. The film emphasizes Mary’s importance in Jesus’s life, suggesting that his parables were inspired by stories she told him in his childhood. This, and similar details about Jesus’s upbringing, cannot be confirmed, but are certainly not impossible. The resurrected Jesus also appears to his mother privately. This event is not found in the Gospels, but is probably based on an ancient Catholic tradition (not official teaching) that he appeared to her first of all people. The tradition influenced Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises among others. The movie closes with Mary suggesting the disciples should start preaching about her son.
1998 ~ Velvet Goldmine (Arthur Stuart)
Directed by Todd Haynes
Produced by Christine Vachon, Michael Stipe
Written by James Lyons, Todd Haynes
Starring Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette, Eddie Izzard
Music by Carter Burwell
Editing by James Lyons
Distributed by Miramax
Release date(s) 21 May 1998 (Cannes, France), 16 August 1998 (General UK release)
Running time 124 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Info & Plot
The story follows a British journalist, Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale), who has to search his own past when writing an article about the mysterious disappearance of a former glam-rock star, Brian Slade, for an American periodical. The film turns Slade’s paranoia of being murdered during a concert (a paranoia that Bowie incorporated into the Ziggy Stardust story in the climax of the Ziggy Stardust album) into a career-ending publicity stunt by Slade, after which he gradually disappears from the public view entirely. As Stuart locates and talks with people connected to Slade, trying to find out what happened, he revisits the glam-rock scene of the ’70s in a series of vignettes, which recreate the stories of Slade, Wild, and others involved in their lives.
1998 ~ All the Little Animals (Bobby Platt)
Directed by Jeremy Thomas
Produced by Jeremy Thomas
Written by Eski Thomas (screenplay), Walker Hamilton (book)
Starring John Hurt, Christian Bale
Music by Richard Hartley
Cinematography Mike Molloy
Editing by John Victor-Smith
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date(s) UK July 9, 1999, USA September 3, 1999
Running time 112 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Budget £3,500,000 (estimated)
Info & Plot
The story centers on a emotionally challenged man named Bobby (Christian Bale). He runs away from home in order to escape his abusive stepfather (Daniel Benzali), nicknamed “The Fat”, who had killed Bobby’s pet mouse and, as Bobby puts it, screamed at his mother until she died as a result. He finds himself in woodlands near Cornwall in England, eventually meeting an old man after being involved in a car accident (John Hurt). Mr. Summers, as the man calls himself, spends his time traveling and giving burials to animals that have been killed by cars, a task he refers to as “The Work”. Bobby, also having an affinity for animals, becomes friends with the old man and aids him in his task. Eventually, the pair return to London to confront “The Fat”.
1997 ~ Metroland (Chris)
Actors Christian Bale, Lee Ross, Emily Watson, Elsa Zylberstein, John Wood Directors Philip Saville
Writers Adrian Hodges, Julian Barnes
Producers Adrian Hodges, Andrew Bendel, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Enrique Posner, François-Xavier Decraene
Studio Universal Studios
Run time 101 minutes
Info & Plot
Bale plays Chris, young married professional living an ordinary life in the suburbs of London in the late 1970s. Although he still loves his wife, Marion, (Emily Watson) Chris still experiences boredom. A visit from an old friend, the carefree Toni, (Lee Ross) causes Chris to re-evaluate his life and to recall his time spent in Paris ten years before where he lived with an exciting French woman Annick (Elsa Zylberstein) and dreamed of becoming a photographer. Chris considers having sex with another woman at a party, until he discovers that Toni has arranged it for him in attempt to draw Chris out of his complacency. When Marion, who has herself resisted sexual advances from Toni, points out to Chris that Toni is actually jealous of all that Chris has, Chris realises that although his life may lack perpetual excitement he has made the right decisions and is content.
The film explores the tension between the youthful idealism of a hedonistic existence and that of the inevitable middle-class establishment. ‘Metroland’ refers to the London suburbs which are served by the expansive Underground network, an environment that Chris and Toni had always promised themselves they would escape. The narrative format is largely the flashback, with extended portions showing Chris as a 21 year old living in Paris.
The primary difference between this film and the 1980 novel Metroland on which it is based is the narrative structure: the book proceeds chronologically from Chris’ youth to the early years of his marriage whereas the film uses flashbacks to his time in Paris. In the book Chris is a graduate student while in Paris, and has no interest in photography. Finally, in the book Chris’ encounter with another woman at a party was not arranged by Toni, nor is there any indication that Toni has made a pass at Chris’ wife Marion. Much of the dialogue from the book is preserved in the film.
1996 ~ The Portrait of a Lady (Edward Rosier)
Directed by Jane Campion Written by Laura Jones Starring Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Donovan Music by Wojciech Kilar Distributed by Gramercy Pictures Release date(s) 28 August 1996 (1996-08-28) (VFF), 24 December 1996 (1996-12-24) (United States), February 28, 1997 (1997-02-28) (United Kingdom) Running time 142 minsutes Country United Kingdom, United States Language English, Italian
Info & Plot
The film tells the story of Isabel Archer (Kidman), an innocent young woman of independent means who is manipulated by her “friend” Madame Merle (Hershey) and the devious Gilbert Osmond (Malkovich). The film is relatively faithful to the novel but caused controversy with an interpolated dream sequence in which Isabel has an erotic fantasy involving all of her suitors.
1996 ~ The Secret Agent (Stevie)
Starring Bob Hoskins, Patricia Arquette, Gérard Depardieu, Jim Broadbent, Christian Bale Directed by Christopher Hampton Produced by Bob Hoskins, Norma Heyman, Joyce Herlihy Running time 1 hr. 34 min. Distributors Fox Searchlight Picture,Production Co. Heyman-Hoskins Productions U.S.Box Office $70,392 Filming locations London, United Kingdom Ealing Studios Produced in United Kingdom
Info & Plot
Agent provocateur Verloc is employed by a foreign embassy to stir up political activity amongst political dissidents who have sought asylum in the relatively free atmosphere of Britain. Tolerated because they pose no real threat, the group is ready to condemn the government, but too lazy to commit to any acts of violence. Keen to provoke the British rule, the embassy enlists Verloc to organize an act of terrorism which will be blamed on the anarchists. Verloc masquerades as a pornographic bookshop owner in the muddy heart of London, living with his unsuspecting wife Winnie and her brother Stevie. Wishing for a happier life for her beloved yet troubled brother, Winnie settled on Verloc. However, when Verloc’s mission goes horribly wrong, the repercussions for all are tragically different from those the agent provocateur ever intended.
1995 ~ Pocahontas (voice: Thomas)
Directed by Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg Produced by James Pentecost Written by Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, Philip LaZebnik Starring Mel Gibson, Irene Bedard, David Ogden Stiers, John Kassir, Russell Means, Billy Connolly, Frank Welker, Christian Bale, Linda Hunt Music by Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Distribution Release date(s) June 16, 1995 (selected cities), June 23, 1995 (general) Running time Theatrical: 81 Minutes, Special Edition: 84 Minutes Language English Budget $55,000,000 (estimated) Gross revenue $346,079,773
Info & Plot
In 1607, a ship carrying British settlers from the Virginia Company sails for North America in search of gold and other material riches. On board are Captain John Smith and Governor John Ratcliffe. A storm erupts, and Smith saves the life of an inexperienced young settler named Thomas when he falls overboard, befriending him in the process.
In the “New World”, Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan’s beautiful daughter, learns that her father wants her to marry Kocoum, one of his finest warriors, but a stern and serious man. Pocahontas does not want this marriage, and asks the advice from a talking tree spirit named Grandmother Willow. Grandmother Willow tells Pocahontas to listen to her heart.
The British settlers land in Virginia and dig for gold under Ratcliffe’s orders. John Smith explores the territory and encounters Pocahontas. The two spend time together, with Pocahontas teaching John to look at the world in a different way, and to not think of her people as “savages”. Back at the settlement, the Powhatan warriors and Englishmen have a skirmish, and one of the warriors is injured. The warriors retreat, and Powhatan declares that the white men are dangerous and that no one should go near them.
A few days later, John and Pocahontas meet again, during which John learns that there is no gold in the land. They agree to meet at Grandmother Willow’s glade again that night. When Pocahontas returns to her village, she finds that warriors from neighboring tribes have arrived to help Powhatan fight the white settlers. Back at the English fort, John tells Ratcliffe there is no gold in the land, which Ratcliffe does not believe, thinking that the natives have hidden the gold for themselves.
That night, Pocahontas’ best friend Nakoma catches her sneaking off and informs Kocoum that she has gone. Meanwhile, John sneaks out of the fort, and Ratcliffe orders Thomas to follow him. Pocahontas and John meet in the glade, where Grandmother Willow convinces John to try talking to Chief Powhatan. Pocahontas insists that John meet her father. When he agrees, Pocahontas is so delighted that she puts her arms around John’s neck. Both Kocoum and Thomas watch from the shadows as John and Pocahontas kiss. Kocoum, full of jealousy, attacks and tries to kill John, but Thomas intervenes and kills Kocoum. Hearing voices approaching, John tells Thomas to run. A group of natives take John prisoner thinking he is the murderer, and Powhatan announces that he will be executed at dawn before the war with the settlers begins.
Thomas returns to the fort and announces John’s capture. Ratcliffe sees this as an opportunity to attack and rescue John at the same time, and they arrive just as John is about to be executed. Before Powhatan can strike, Pocahontas throws herself over John, telling him that she loves John and that Powhatan must see where the path of hate has brought them, and asking him to choose. Powhatan lowers his club and orders John freed. Ratcliffe orders the settlers to fire anyway, but they refuse. Ratcliffe fires at Chief Powhatan himself, but John pushes the chief aside and is shot instead. The settlers turn on Ratcliffe, capturing him and sending him back to England to await punishment for high treason.
John is only wounded, but he must return to England for medical treatment if he is to survive. Pocahontas and her people arrive to see them off, and John and Pocahontas bid their goodbyes.
1994 ~ Prince of Jutland/Royal Deceit (Amled)
Actors Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Brian Cox, Steven Waddington Directors Gabriel Axel Writers Gabriel Axel, Erik Kjersgaard, Saxo Grammaticus Producers Denis Wigman, Kees Kasander, Kenneth Madsen, Sylvaine Sainderichin Language Danish, English Studio Miramax Running time 85 minutes (edited version)
Info & Plot
This European historical saga presents the true tale of intrigue, regicide, incest, and insanity on which Shakespeare based Hamlet. It begins in the ancient Danish kingdom of Jutland in the sixth century. There ambitious Prince Fenge (Gabriel Byrne) murders his brother the king and one of his sons, but masks it as the casualty of a highway robbery. The dark prince then claims both the throne and his former sister-in-law, queen Geruth (Helen Mirren). Her son Amled saw the killings, but feigns madness to spare his life. Amled then begins preparing his revenge. Fenge is not convinced of Amled’s madness and arranges for a beautiful maid to seduce the truth out of him. That doesn’t work so Fenge sends his nephew to visit the Scottish home of his friend Aethelwine (Brian Cox), who will receive orders to kill him. Amled learns of the plot and changes the orders, immediately winning Aethelwine’s favor, winning a battle for the man, and marrying his daughter (Kate Beckinsale). Then the resourceful prince travels back to Jutland to deal with his uncle.
1994 ~ Little Women (Laurie)
Directed by Gillian Armstrong Produced by Denise Di Novi Written by Robin Swicord, Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott Starring Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Trini Alvarado, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Gabriel Byrne, Samantha Mathis, Eric Stoltz Music by Thomas Newman Cinematography Geoffrey Simpson Editing by Nicholas Beauman Distributed by Columbia Pictures Release date December 21, 1994 Running time 115 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $18 million Gross revenue $50,083,616
Info & Plot
The film focuses on the March sisters – prim Meg (Trini Alvarado), tempestuous Jo (Winona Ryder), shy Beth (Claire Danes), and self-absorbed Amy (Kirsten Dunst) – growing up in Concord, Massachusetts during and after the American Civil War. With their father away fighting in the war, the girls struggle with major and minor problems under the guidance of their strong-willed mother, affectionately called Marmee. As a means of escaping some of their problems, the sisters revel in performing in romantic plays written by Jo in their attic theater.
Living next door to the family is wealthy Mr. Laurence, whose grandson Theodore (nicknamed Laurie)(Christian Bale) moves in with him and becomes a close friend of the March family. Mr. Laurence becomes a mentor for Beth, whose exquisite piano-playing reminds him of his deceased daughter, and Meg falls in love with Laurie’s tutor John Brooke.
While Marmee is away tending to her wounded husband, Beth contracts scarlet fever from a neighbor’s infant. Awaiting her return, Meg and Jo send Amy away to live with their Aunt March. Prior to Beth’s illness, Jo had been Aunt March’s companion for several years, and while she was unhappy with her position she tolerated it in the hope her aunt one day would take her to Europe. Amy thrives as Aunt March’s new companion.
Mr. March returns home just prior to Christmas. Four years pass; Meg and John Brooke are married, and Beth’s health is deteriorating steadily. Laurie graduates from college and proposes to Jo and asks her to go to London with him, but realizing she thinks of him more as a big brother than a romantic prospect, she refuses his offer. Jo later deals with the added disappointment that Aunt March has decided to take Amy, who is now seventeen (Samantha Mathis), with her to Europe instead of her. Crushed, Jo departs for New York City to pursue her dream of writing and experiencing life. There she meets Friedrich Bhaer (Gabriel Byrne), a German professor who challenges and stimulates her intellectually, introduces her to opera and philosophy, and encourages her write better stories than the lurid Victorian melodramas she has penned so far.
In Europe, Amy reunites with her old childhood friend Laurie. Finding he has become dissolute and irresponsible, she censures him and refuses to have anything more to do with him until he mends his ways. Laurie decides to go to London to work for his grandfather and make himself worthy of Amy.
Jo is summoned home to see Beth, who finally succumbs to the lingering effects of the scarlet fever that have plagued her for the past four years and she dies. Grieving for her sister, Jo retreats to the comfort of the attic and begins to write her life story. Upon its completion, she sends it to Professor Bhaer. Meanwhile, Meg gives birth to twins Demi and Daisy.
A letter from Amy informs the family Aunt March is too ill to travel, so Amy must remain in Europe with her. In London, Laurie receives a letter from Jo in which she informs him of Beth’s death and mentions Amy is in Vevey, unable to come home. Laurie immediately travels to be at Amy’s side. The two eventually return to the March home as husband and wife.
Aunt March dies and she leaves Jo her house, which she decides to convert into a school. Professor Bhaer arrives with the printed galley proofs of her manuscript and announces he is departing for the West, where he has found a position as a teacher. When he discovers it was Amy and not Jo who wed Laurie, he proposes marriage and Jo accepts.
1993 ~ Swing Kids (Thomas Berger)
Directed by Thomas Carter Produced by Mark Gordon, John Bard Manulis Written by Jonathan Marc Feldman Starring Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Kenneth Branagh Music by James Horner Distributed by Hollywood Pictures Release date March 5, 1993 Running time 114 min. Language English
Info & Plot
Set in Hamburg Germany in 1939, Peter Müller and Thomas Berger join their friends, Arvid (who is a big-band fanatic and swing guitarist) and Otto at the Bismarck, a swing club. They have a good time dancing and enjoying the music. Leaving the club, it is shown that Arvid has a club foot and can barely keep up as the other boys run off. After he catches up, they laughingly stop to urinate on Nazi propaganda posters. As they prepare to head home, they see a man being chased by the Gestapo. Evidently this is nothing new in Hamburg; they are only mildly shocked, even when he jumps off a bridge and is shot.
Peter goes home to find his mother, Frau Müller, in an argument with a Nazi officer. The doorbell rings. It is Herr Major Knopp, the head of the local Gestapo, who curtly dismisses the officer. He asks Frau Müller some questions about her deceased husband’s friends. Herr Müller had been accused of being a Communist, and returned home a shell of a man after Nazi torture. Peter never understood what went on with his father, and to his little brother Willi’s questions about him, his replies are angry and evasive.
Peter and Thomas then decide to steal a radio out of a bakery. Peter knows it was stolen by the Nazi officer, who was bothering his mother, from a ransacked Jewish home. Thomas is able to get away, but Peter is caught. Herr Knopp, who has become attracted to Peter’s mother, intercedes for him, but the catch is that he must enroll in the Hitlerjugend (HJ). On Peter’s first day of HJ School, he finds Thomas wearing the HJ uniform and a broad grin. The funloving Thomas notes that it is the perfect cover; “HJs by day, Swing Kids by night!”
Arvid is walking home one day and is confronted by some HJs who take a Benny Goodman record from him, smash it, and beat him up. Emil, a former friend and Swing Kid turned HJ, deliberately stamps on Arvid’s fingers, crushing them. Arvid wakes up in the hospital, and is terrified at the sight of HJ uniforms until he realizes it is only Peter and Thomas. He eventually cheers up a little, saying he can learn to play with two fingers.
At HJ school, Thomas is boxing with Emil and it turns rough. Thomas questions Emil’s shift from Swing Kid to Nazi, and Emil says “I wised up.” Emil and Thomas become friends again as Thomas, seduced by the power and the perks, begins to buy into the Nazi philosophy.
Meanwhile, Peter, who has a job delivering books, is asked to spy on his boss who the Nazis suspect is working against the Reich. He peeks into a book he is to bring to Frau Linge, who had known his father, discovers incriminating papers hidden inside, and becomes even more frightened of the Nazis than he had been before.
Then, working at a jazz club, Arvid refuses to play a “German” song, lashing out at the club’s patrons for being blind to the Nazi agenda. Peter is sympathetic but Thomas loudly argues the Nazi side, saying Arvid should watch out because “we’re coming for you next” referring to the Nazi policy of executing the handicapped. Peter is shocked at Thomas’s about-face, but Arvid suddenly realizes that there is no future for him in Germany and no hope of escape. He goes home and commits suicide in the bathtub, slitting his wrists with a broken record.
In HJ school, the boys are encouraged to spy on their friends and families. Thomas, whose father despises him, tells that his father had insulted Hitler, hoping to cause a little trouble for him. But even Thomas is a bit unnerved when the Nazis arrive at his home and take his father away. His subsequent attempts to resume his friendship with Peter and to get him to “go along” with the Nazis are tinged with fear.
Peter is sent by the HJ leaders to deliver identical small packages to three different families. Peter hears screams from the second house as he walks away, so he decides to open the third one. He finds ashes and a wedding ring inside. Horrified, he runs to Frau Linge. She gives him a letter that his father wrote to her husband about the anti Nazi work he did, and Peter finally understands what really happened to his father.
Peter abandons his uniform and dresses in his most fashionable clothes to go to a club, knowing that it is slated for attack. Thomas finds him and begins to beat him, but suddenly comes to his senses and begs Peter to run. “They won’t let it go this time!” But Peter almost willingly mounts the truck that carts him off to the labor camp. Thomas calls out to him, “Swing Heil!” and Willi, who has followed, screams the same thing through tears.
1992 ~ Newsies (Jack ‘Cowboy’ Kelly)
Directed by Kenny Ortega Produced by Michael Finnell Written by Bob Tzudiker, Noni White Starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret Music by Score: Alan Menken, Underscore: J. A. C. Redford, Songs & Lyrics: Jack Feldman Cinematography Andrew Laszlo Editing by William Reynolds Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures Release date April 10, 1992 Running time 121 min. Country United States Language English Budget $15 million (est.) Gross revenue $2,819,485
Info & Plot
Newsies is based on the true story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Thousands of homeless children are living in Newsboys lodging houses, including Manhattan newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly (Christian Bale), who is a regular newsboy selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) and his paper, the New York World. The newsboys wake up and get ready to sell papers (“Carrying the Banner”). Jack meets David Jacobs (David Moscow) who leaves school temporarily and joins the newsies along with his little brother Les (Luke Edwards) to help his family while his father is out of work with a broken arm. Though the injury was work-related, he lacked the protection of a union; he was deemed useless and fired with no severance. Les looks up to the older Jack. Jack, seeing this as an opportunity to make money by using Les because he is younger and cute, teaches Les how to trick people into buying a paper by pretending to be sick and making up headlines. The three of them duck into Irving Hall to escape being chased by a cop. Jack introduces Les and David to Medda “Swedish Meadowlark” Larkson (Ann-Margret), a vaudeville star who performs at Irving Hall (“Lovey Dovey Baby”). After they witness a violent part of the trolley strike and Les begins to fall asleep, David invites Jack back to his house to meet his family and sister Sarah. After declining to spend the night Jack confesses his desire to escape to Santa Fe (“Santa Fe”). Soon, Jack and David become good friends, Shortly afterward, the price of newspapers for purchase by the newsboys is raised 1/10 of a cent, decided by joint decision of Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
Feeling they will be unable to bear the added cost, Jack organizes a strike with the aid of David (“The World Will Know” and “Seize the Day”). As the protagonist, Jack struggles with his past as he forms an important friendship with David and his family. Between his dream of one day going to Santa Fe and currently wanting to help his friends, he faces many difficult decisions involving money and loyalty. Along the way, the boys are aided by newspaper reporter Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman) and Medda, as well as being hindered by Snyder (Kevin Tighe), warden of “The Refuge” juvenile detention facility. Jack and the newsies gain the cooperation of rival newsboy groups from New York and Brooklyn to team up and strike against the big-shot newspapermen. They eventually win their hard-fought demands after self-publishing and distributing a sympathetic newspaper flier (“Once and For All”) and gaining the support of other non-union child workers around the city.
1991 ~ A Murder of Quality (Tim Perkins)
Director Gavin Millar Writer John Le Carré, based on the novel by John Le Carre Cast Denholm Elliott, Glenda Jackson, Joss Ackland, Billie Whitelaw, David Threlfall, Ronald Pickup, Christian Bale, Matthew Scurfield, John Grillo Runtime 87 minutes Country UK
Info & Plot
George Smiley (Elliott), an ex spy, comes to the aid of his old friend Alisa (Glenda Jackson), when she is sent a letter from a woman who predicts that her husband, a teacher at Carne School for boys, will murder her. George uncovers corruption at the school, as he aids Inspector Rigby (Matthew Scurfield) in his investigations. All evidence points towards the husband, but a number of the town folk have their own motives for murder.
1990 ~ Treasure Island (Jim Hawkins)
Directed by Fraser Clarke Heston Written by Robert Louis Stevenson (novel) Starring Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, Julian Glover, Pete Postlethwaite, Clive Wood Music by Paddy Moloney, The Chieftains Release date January 22, 1990 (US) Country UK / US Language English
Info & Plot
Young Jim Hawkins, while running the Benbow Inn with his mother, meets Captain Billy Bones, who dies at the inn while it is beseiged by buccaneers led by Blind Pew. Jim and his mother fight off the attackers and discover Billy Bones’ treasure map for which the buccaneers had come. Jim agrees to sail on the S.S. Espaniola with Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesey to find the treasure on a mysterious island. Upon arriving at the island, ship’s cook and scaliwag Long John Silver leads a mutiny of crew members who want the treasure for themselves. Jim helps the Squire and Espaniola officers to survive the mutiny and fight back against Silver’s men, who have taken over the Espaniola.
1989 ~ Henry V (Boy)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh Produced by Bruce Sharman Written by Kenneth Branagh, William Shakespeare (play) Starring Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, Paul Scofield, Emma Thompson, Michael Maloney, Richard Briers, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Ian Holm, Robert Stephens, Christian Bale, Geraldine McEwan Editing by Michael Bradsell Release date November 8, 1989 Running time 137 min Country United Kingdom Language English
Info & Plot
The still young king of England, intending to tax the english church, is sent off to war by the bishops to enforce the (doubtful) claim to France. The King, thus sure of devine blessing for his cause, wages war on the French all too proud in overpowing strength. After the Battle of Agincourt, the French King has to yield his daughter as a peace offering. In a bitter satire, this political marriage is then portrayed as the happy ending joining the two recent lovers.
1987 ~ Heart of the Country (Ben Harris)
Director Brian Farnham
Writer Fay Weldon (writer)
Release Date 25 February 1987 (UK)
Running time UK:60 min (4 episodes)
Production Company BBC TV Pebble Mill
Producer Roger Gregory Transmission
Company BBC Television
Four-part series based on the novel by Fay Weldon, set in Somerset. GB. BBC TV Pebble Mill. BBC TV tx 1987/02/25-1987/03/18.
‘Til I’m on my feet (18/03/1987 @ 21:25)
Plans begin for the annual local carnival and Natalie, Sonia and others start work on Angus’s carnival float.
Cast Members: Susan Penhaligon, Jacqueline Tong, Derek Waring, David Buck, Sophie Cook, Christian Bale, Rosalind Bennett, Stevan Rimkus.
You have to have someone (11/03/1987 @ 21:25)
Natalie takes a job in a local quarry. Antiques dealer Angus, asks Natalie out to dinner which she accepts, but is then upset by her errant husband Harry, asking the children, Ben and Alice, to go and live with him in Spain.
Cast Members: Susan Penhaligon, Jacqueline Tong, Derek Waring, David Buck, Sophie Cook, Christian Bale, Rosalind Bennett.
What you need is a helping hand (04/03/1987 @ 21:25)
After Harry’s elopement with ‘Miss Eddon Gurney’, Natalie resolves to look after herself and the kids, and moves in with Sonia and her children in their council house. Natalie also has to cope with the DHSS and a mound of unpaid bills.
Cast Members: Susan Penhaligon, Jacqueline Tong, Derek Waring, David Buck, Sophie Cook, Christian Bale, Rosalind Bennett, Derek Merlin, Matthew Scurfield, Mary Miller, Barrie Cookson, Stevan Rimkus.
Why wasn’t I told? (25/02/1987 @ 21:25)
Natalie discovers her husband’s infatuation with “Miss Eddon Gurney 1979”, and m eets up with Sonia a young woman with three children struggling to live on Socia l Security.
Cast Members: Susan Penhaligon, Jacqueline Tong, Derek Waring, David Buck, Sophie Cook, Christian Bale, Rosalind Bennett, Derek Merlin, Matthew Scurfield, Mary Miller, Stevan Rimkus, Ann Firbank, Janet Key.
1987 ~ Mio min Mio (Jum-Jum/Benke)
Directed by Vladimir Grammatikov Produced by Ingemar Ejve Written by William Aldridge, Astrid Lindgren (novel) Starring Christopher Lee, Christian Bale, Nicholas Pickard, Timothy Bottoms, Susannah York Music by Benny Andersson, Anders Eljas Cinematography Aleksandr Antipenko Editing by Darek Hodor Distributed by Sweden: Sandrew Metronome, United States: Miramax Films Release date(s) Soviet Union: July 1987 (IFF), Norway: 18 August 1987 (IFF), Sweden: 16 October 1987, United States: May 1988 Running time 99 minutes Country Sweden, Soviet Union, Norway Language English, Swedish (dub), Russian (dub) Budget SEK 55,000,000 (est.) Gross revenue Sweden: SEK 17,799,205
Info & Plot
The film opens in modern Stockholm. Orphaned by his mother’s death and father’s disappearance, Bosse (Nicholas Pickard) suffers neglect by his guardians Aunt Edna (Gunilla Nyroos) and Uncle Sixten, as well as abuse from bullies. His best friend is Benke (Christian Bale), whose father Bosse envies. Running away one night to seek his own father, Bosse meets the kindly shopkeeper Mrs Lundin (Linn Stokke), who gives him an apple and asks him to mail a postcard. The postcard is addressed to the Land of Faraway, informing its King of Bosse’s impending journey there. After Bosse mails the postcard, his apple turns golden. Dropping the transfigured apple in shock, Bosse stumbles upon a genie (Geoffrey Staines) trapped in a bottle and frees it.
It turns out that this spirit has travelled from the Land of Faraway to seek Bosse, and that the golden apple is Bosse’s identifying sign. With the boy clinging to his beard, the genie transports Bosse to the Land of Faraway and sets him down on Green Meadow Island. There, Bosse discovers that his real name is Mio, and that his father is the King (Timothy Bottoms). Treated with love and indulgence, Mio leads an idyllic life on Green Meadow Island. He receives the horse Miramis as a gift from his father and makes friends with the local children. The latter include the farm boy Jiri, the shepherd boy Nonno, and the royal gardener’s son Jum-Jum, who turns out to be Benke’s double. Together, Mio and Jum-Jum learn to play pan flute music from Nonno.
However, not all is well. From a whispering well, Mio learns that an iron-clawed knight from the Land Outside, Kato (Christopher Lee), has been kidnapping children and making them his servants by ripping out their hearts and replacing them with stone. Those who refuse to serve him are transformed into birds and condemned to circle his castle in flight. Even his name induces terror when spoken.
With Jum-Jum and Miramis, Mio leaves Green Meadow Island and journeys to the Forest of Mysteries, where he tears his cape on the briars. The Weaver Woman (Susannah York) receives the boys at her house, mending Mio’s torn cape and sewing a new lining into it. Hearing the Bird of Grief[ lament for Kato’s victims, and told that the Weaver Woman’s daughter Millimani is among them, Mio gradually learns of his long-prophesied destiny to confront Kato in the Land Outside.
Journeying to the Land Outside, Mio and Jum-Jum meet Eno (Igor Yasulovich), a hungry old man living in a cave, and offer him food. In gratitude, Eno tells them to seek a weapon against Kato from the Forger of Swords, who has been imprisoned and enslaved by Kato in the Blackest Mountain beyond the Dead Forest. Meanwhile, Kato’s servants capture Miramis. The boys are forced to continue their journey on foot, pursued by Kato’s servants through the Dead Forest and the Blackest Mountain. Separated in the mountain’s tunnels, the boys find each other by playing their pan-flutes. They finally reach the Forger of Swords (Sverre Anker Ousdal), who tells the boys about Kato’s stone heart and provides Mio a sword capable of penetrating it.
Mio and Jum-Jum journey to Kato’s castle, where they are captured and imprisoned. Kato throws Mio’s sword into the lake outside the castle. However, Mio discovers that his newly-lined cape turns him invisible when worn inside-out, and reclaims his sword with the help of Kato’s birds. Armed and invisible, he escapes and makes his way to Kato’s chamber, eluding the castle guards. Taking off his cloak, Mio challenges Kato to combat and eventually slays him. Turning into rock, the dead knight crumbles into pieces. Mio picks up Kato’s stone heart and holds it outside a window, where it transforms into a bird and flies away.
Kato’s birds turn back into children, Jum-Jum and Miramis are freed, and Kato’s castle collapses into ruin. The Dead Forest begins to revive. Returning to Green Meadow Island, the children rejoin their families, and Mio rejoins his father. On this happy note, the film ends.
1987 ~ Empire of the Sun (Jim ‘Jamie’ Graham)
Directed by Steven Spielberg Produced by Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, Robert Shapiro Written by J. G. Ballard (novel), Tom Stoppard (screenplay) Starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers Music by John Williams Cinematography Allen Daviau Editing by Michael Kahn Studio Warner Bros., Amblin Entertainment Distributed by Warner Bros. Release date December 25, 1987 Running time 154 minutes Country United States Language English / Japanese / Mandarin Budget $35 million Gross revenue $66.24 million
Info & Plot
The Empire of Japan had been at war with China since 1937 before declaring war on the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. During the conflict, Jamie Graham, a British upper middle class schoolboy living in Shanghai, is separated from his parents. He spends some time living in his deserted house and eating remnants of food; eventually, he ventures out into the city and finds it bustling with Japanese troops. Jamie is captured along with Basie, an American sailor, who nicknames him “Jim”. They are taken to Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center in Shanghai; but are eventually moved to Soochow Creek Internment Camp. By 1945, a few months before the end of the Pacific War, Jim has established a good living, despite the poor conditions of the camp. He has an extensive trading network, even involving the camp’s commanding officer, Sergeant Nagata.
Dr. Rawlins, the camp’s British director, becomes a father figure to Jim. Through the barbwire fencing, Jim befriends a Japanese teenager, who shares Jim’s dream of becoming a pilot. Still idolizing Basie, Jim frequently visits him in the American soldiers’ barracks. At one point, Basie charges him to set snare traps outside the wire of the camp and while Jim succeeds, thanks to the help of the Japanese teenager from the other side, the real reason for sending Jim into the marsh was actually to test the area for mines, not to catch game. As a reward, Basie allows him to move into the American barracks with him. Basie then plots to escape.
Nagata visits Basie’s barracks and finds a bar of soap that Jim had stolen earlier. Thinking that Basie had stolen it, Nagata beats him severely. While Basie is in the infirmary, his possessions are stolen by other men in the camp. One morning at dawn, Jim witnesses a kamikaze ritual of three Japanese pilots at the air base. Overcome with emotion at the solemnity of the ceremony he begins to sing the Welsh song Suo Gân. Later, the camp comes under attack by a group of American P-51 Mustangs. As a result of the attack, the Japanese decide to evacuate the camp, and Basie escapes during the confusion, leaving Jim behind, although he had promised to let Jim come with him. The camp’s population marches through the wilderness, where many die of fatigue, starvation, and disease. During the march Jim witnesses a flash from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki hundreds of miles away, and hears news of Japan’s surrender and the end of the war.
Jim sneaks away from the group and goes back to Soochow Creek, nearly dead from starvation. He finds the Japanese boy he knew earlier, who has since become a pilot and appears distraught at the surrender of his country. The boy remembers Jim and offers him a mango, cutting it for him with his samurai sword. As Jim is about to eat it, Basie reappears with a group of armed Americans, who have arrived to loot the Red Cross containers that were dropped after the Japanese surrender. One of the Americans shoots and kills the Japanese boy. Jim, furious, beats the American who shot his friend. Basie drags him off and promises to take him back to Shanghai to find his parents, but Jim refuses the offer and stays behind. He is found by a unit of American soldiers and put in an orphanage in Shanghai with other children who had lost their parents. When his parents come looking for him, Jim is so scarred from his experiences that he does not recognize them at first. His mother finds him in the crowd, and eventually Jim collapses into her arms.
1986 ~ Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (Alexei)
Director Marvin J. Chomsky Producer Marvin J. Chomsky Continuity Lucie Lichtig Composer (Music Score) Laurence Rosenthal Play Author Marcelle Maurette Editor Petra Von Oelffen Cinematographer Nicholas D. Knowland Actors Amy Irving Christian Bale, Elke Sommer, Omar Sharif, Shane Rimmer, Jan Niklas, Susan Lucci, Carol Gillies, Rex Harrison, Julian Glover, Susan Engel, Claire Bloom
Info & Plot
This two-part TV movie recounts the life of Anna Anderson, who until the day she died at age 82 insisted that she was really Anastasia Romanov, daughter of Czar Nicholas. Anna first makes her claim in 1920, when she is an inmate in a Berlin asylum. Her story of escape from the Bolsheviks who killed the rest of her family in 1918 seems so vivid that many Russian expatriates are willing to believe her. The film concludes in 1928, with Anna restating her claim before the surviving Romanovs living in New York. Amy Irving plays the leading character in a lady-or-the-tiger fashion, so that we never know if she truly swallows her own tale or if she’s merely a clever charlatan. Olivia DeHavilland, Rex Harrison, Claire Bloom, Omar Sharif and Susan Lucci co-star in this opulent, location-filmed production, which originally aired on December 7 and 8, 1986.
Most info from wikipedia and various sources around the net. I wish to thank the youtube and dailymotion uploaders for the clips (in the ‘Heart of the Country’ video I removed the annoying commentary). Photos from around the web.