I loved Disney’s The Jungle Book. I thought it was not only better than the animated version; I thought it was better than Kipling’s book (maybe blasphemy, but there it is). I have wondered for a long time how Andy Serkis was going to separate his take on The Jungle Book, and with the release of the first trailer for the fall film, you can clearly see this is an entirely different take. Mowgli appears to be well-titled, because its focus is squarely on the man-cub after he’s grown to the age where Disney’s version leaves him. I’ve always thought the animated version’s end was ridiculous because you knew five seconds after he wandered into that village after the girl that a mob was going to chase him right back out or throw him in a cage. That’s exactly where Andy Serkis begins this trailer. You add to that a voice cast boasting Serkis, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, and Cate Blanchett as well as the motion capture expertise that Serkis has been perfecting through the Planet of the Apes trilogy, and Mowgli just jumped to the top of my most anticipated films of the fall. The film is set to open October 19, 2018, more from Coming Soon below. Continue reading Mowgli Trailer #1 (2018) *Witness the Darkest Telling*→
Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week. This weekend brings the biggest movie January 2018 has to offer as well as another limited release gone wide from a film with dashed Oscar hopes. Continue reading In Theaters This Week (1/26/2018): Maze Runner The Death Cure, Hostiles→
Scott Cooper has turned to another venerable American genre, the western, for Hostiles, the raw and compelling tale of an embittered and battle-hardened US Cavalry officer ordered to accompany a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their tribal lands in Montana. The flinty-eyed Captain Blocker (Bale) has seen more than his fair share of violence and bloodletting on the frontier, but this mission, which he is forced to accept, is a particularly bitter pill to swallow: Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) has been his mortal enemy for years due to a conflict that killed many of Blocker’s friends. The Chief has also lost friends in the conflict.
Setting out through dangerous territory, much of it inhabited by hostile tribes, the small band of soldiers and Cheyenne navigate the beautiful prairies and wilds of the west, while facing a series of challenges. Blocker — much like John Wayne’s character in the John Ford classic The Searchers — is a racist, a man who harbours a deep hatred towards the former prisoners now placed in his care. As the challenges mount, Blocker is forced to confront his own bigotry while carrying out his orders. To complicate matters, the ragged party is joined by a stricken widow (Rosamund Pike) who has just seen her family massacred in a raid.
Hostiles cuts relentlessly into the complex, troubled relationship between those who have lived on this land for centuries and the white intruder, posing the question: is reconciliation possible?
In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
Premiering last week to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival, Christian Bale’s first return to the Western since his classic remake of 3:10 to Yuma, directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) is desperately trying to secure a release date in late 2017 to qualify for the awards, such is the confidence in people who have gotten a look at it. The first trailer is a moody and tense promise of what could be a great story. Cooper’s come close in the past, but never really made a film that I thought was a home run, but Hostiles could change all that when it opens later this year.
Christian Bale’s career is already entering its fourth decade of excellence. The actor, whose first starring role was in 1987 in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun at age 13, already has a career’s worth of outstanding roles and an Oscar for his performance in David O. Russell’s The Fighter. For most, Bale is the definitive Batman in the definitive super hero trilogy: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan and Bale put a stamp on Batman that others will be living up to as long as the character exists. Bale also teamed with Nolan in The Prestige and with Russell again in American Hustle for wildly different roles in two outstanding films. Bale is an intense, character-driven actor who has twice lost massive amounts of weight (Rescue Dawn & The Mechanic) for roles. Bale gained 109 lbs for Batman Begins after losing 63 lbs for The Machinist. Bale went from 121 lbs to 230 lbs in only six months which overshot what Chris Nolan wanted for his Batman, so by the time filming began, Christian Bale had dropped to 190 lbs. For Vice, Bale did the reverse and gained over 40 lbs. to play former Vice-President Dick Cheney. The dedication paid off, and Bale continues to be one of the most dynamic actors working today.
Christian Bale’s Best 10 1. The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012) Bruce Wayne/Batman 2. The Prestige (2006) Alfred Borden 3. 3:10 to Yuma (2007) Dan Evans 4. American Hustle (2013) Irving Rosenfeld 5. The Fighter (2010) Dicky Eklund 6. The Big Short (2015) Michael Burry 7. Henry V (1989) Robin 8. Rescue Dawn (2006) Dieter Dengler 9. Empire of the Sun (1987) Jim 10. Little Women (1994) Laurie Honorable Mention: Equilibrium (2002) John Preston