Music

American Hustle

I watched “American Hustle” last night. Christian Bale is a dead set rock star. He is the most versatile actor I have seen. He plays American characters better than American characters. He even gained 19.5 kg for the flick and who can forget his ghost/wraith like appearance in “The Machinist” where he lost 27kg.

What a top supporting cast in Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Smart and Robert DeNiro. DeNiro was at his best in his small cameo. He was menacing, especially when he broke out the Arab talk to the fake Mexican sheikh.

Great movie and a lot of funny scenes like when Cooper’s character goes to town on his FBI boss. That is a WTF moment especially afterwards when the boss is confessing to the Prosecutor the events and whole confession gets hijacked by Cooper into setting up the sting that his FBI boss was against. And we never got to hear the end of the ice fishing story.

The other star of the movie is Director, David Russell.

Silver Linings Playbook was a surprise to me. It was funny but real in a way and it kept you interested through the whole thing. Even though it was essentially a romantic comedy, it didn’t really come across like that at all.

American Hustle did the job as well. When looking at both flicks now, I think the key part are the characters in these movies and how all of them are eccentric in a way, none of them could really be seen as normal, there is something about them that makes them all complicated and nuts.

Jennifer Lawrence was the funniest in this flick though, she was a complete nutter but she knew exactly what she was doing. There is the aluminium foil in the “science oven” scene and the Amy Smart toilet confrontation. Add to that the scene when she sells out Christian Bale to the mob, and afterwards convinces him to thank her for it.

Russell is on a hit streak. He has followed up a “The Fighter” with “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle”. In a world where here today and gone tomorrow is the new paradigm, Russell has stuck around by delivering the hits.

Russell is building a reputation like Tarrentino. He has his own style and own way of making a movie. With his hit ratio, he is able to draw in whatever talent he wants and like Tarrentino he is proving that whatever actor/actress he chooses their stocks go up a notch. Russell’s next flick is “Legacy of Secrecy” will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The JFK assassination gets another cinematic round. Will it be another hit for Russell.

In “The Fighter” Bale stole the show again as the ice addicted older brother of Wahlberg’s character that just couldn’t shake a drug habit and in the end it cost him his boxing career. It’s got some WTF scenes in that movie as well like how scared he was from his mum and when she went to one of the drug houses, Bale gets freaked out and jumps out of the second story, landing on a couch and walking away with a limp.

Bale is one of those actors that is outputting movies. He first came to my attention in “American Psycho” released in 2000. It was a small budget film that tripled its return. Reign Of Fire and Equilibrium came next in 2002. Reign of Fire had a $50 million budget and it made money, while Equilibrium didn’t make money however it was my favourite. I love the whole dystopian society theme. It cost $20 million and returned around $6 million.

In 2004, “The Machinist” hit the market along with a very thin Christian Bale. It was another small budget movie (costing $5 million and returning $9 million).

From when “Batman Begins” came out in 2005, Bale’s star has risen with each movie. There is a mix of big budget movies and low budget movies. The big budget movies returned profits and some of the low budget movies are hit and miss. In eight years, up until 2013, Bale churned out 15 movies. You see, he gets it. It’s about being in the public eye, however musical artists still don’t get it.

Along with the record labels, they keep releasing an album every two years only to see that album disappear from the conversation after six weeks. Of course some albums hang around longer than that. Volbeat, Five Finger Death Punch, Skillet, Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold and Shinedown are a few bands that come to mind.

Just because everybody is still doing it the same way, that does not mean an artist can’t break the rules. But the music business is lost in the past, shackled by legacy. Always screaming for laws to get passed to protect their business models. However, the actors get the modern paradigm, even though the studio heads don’t.

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