Out of the Furnace: Familiar thriller anchored by a brilliant Bale

posterWe’ve become inured to Christian Bale’s chameleonic take on acting. From drastic weight fluctuations to elaborate prosthetic comb-overs to his in/famous “Batman voice”, Bale is a guy who goes all out for the sake of a character. So I feel it is really saying something when I tell you that his performance as Russell Baze, a barely-hanging-on blue-collar worker from the steel belt, is easily one of the best of his career to date—arguably the best. There is no body change, no funny voice, no elaborate make-up. There is just Bale, preternaturally still, playing a guy made of hopelessness and broken dreams. Out of the Furnace itself is a solid, if predictable, revenge thriller, but Bale’s performance elevates it to something more lyrical and moving than that. Continue reading “Out of the Furnace: Familiar thriller anchored by a brilliant Bale”

A Single Shot is a nervy, slow burning thriller

a-single-shot-71200-posterOver the last couple months I have started, in my halting, not-remotely-consistent way, to bring you a selection of reviews for movies that are available on demand (under the “VOD review” tag). I’m tired of people complaining about the state of cinema when it is, in fact, easier than ever to see quality movies, thanks to in-home programming, and to that end, I’m making a point of including reviews of on demand movies. So far it’s been an even spread between pretty great, decent, and really fucking unpleasant, but with A Single Shot, adapted by Matthew F. Jones from his own novel, we can chalk another one up in the “pretty great” category. Continue reading “A Single Shot is a nervy, slow burning thriller”