Posts Tagged tom hardy

Christian Bale and Tom Hardy to Star in Separate “EVEREST” Movies

christian_bale_tom_hardy_everest_movieNew broke earlier today that Christian Bale has opted out of the cape and utility belt for a down coat and crampons.  Bale is to star in director Balstasar Kormakur latest survival drama/thriller about the infamous expedition in 1996 than would spawn John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.  But earlier reports say that it will not be an adaptation of his novel but a mix between Krakauer’s telling of the events with other survivors.  The cliff notes version of the drama that unfolded in 1996 is (1) conflicting takes on what exactly happen from the survivors after unpredictable conditions rolled in and (2) that the expedition’s guide, Rob Hall, felt obligated to get one particular un-fit member to the summit after two previous expeditions that failed.

Now around 1996 commercialization of Everest was at its peak.  What that means is anyone with enough money in the bank to write a $10,000 check (give or take – remember 1996) can join an expedition to attempt to reach Everest’s summit.  No matter your fitness level that check is what matters.  Needless to say a majority of those expeditions do not reach the top but it’s the thrill and experience of trying.

As of right now Bale’s role is not yet known but if I had to guess, my money would be on him playing Rob Hall.  Hall was a well respected mountaineer that made summit on Everest on several occasions.  Currently Kormakur’s project is simply titled “Everest” but this is not to be confused with Doug Liman’s project of the same name.

Nearly four month ago word got out director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith) would be doing a movie about Sir George Mallory who is to be played by Tom Hardy.  Mallory has a lot of speculation surrounding him and Everest as well (warning S P O I L E R S   to follow).  Mallory was allegedly the first mountaineer to reach Everest’s summit back in the 1920’s.  I say allegedly because it was his third attempt and well he never came back done until climbers found his body in 1999.  So there is disputable proof of whether he made it or not which should be interesting to see what Liman will suggest.

Two separate Everest movies that will most likely be release close to each other staring Bale and Hardy.  Reminds me of when another Bale film about magicians The Prestige came out at the same time as another magical film called the Illusionist.  Funny how that happens in Hollywood sometimes.  This might explain both actors growing those serious beards of theirs.

My question to those reading is which are you more excited to see?  The Kormakur/Bale EVEREST about the disastrous 1996 expedition or the Liman/Hardy EVEREST about Sir George Mallory.  Or maybe both?  I am a big fan of both actors but not all too familiar with the directors.


Christian Bale in EVEREST

Tom Hardy in EVEREST

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Lawless: Bootleggers With Brass Knuckles

It is safe to say that Tom Hardy is a major star on the rise over the last few years.  His ability to morph into whatever the role requires means he will be due for some movie down the road that will at least earn him an academy nomination.  Hardy is a very serious actor without question and hopefully some of his talents rub off on his Lawless co-star, Shia LaBeouf who has stated in several recent interviews that he wants to take on more serious acting roles with a “method” approach made famous by the late Marlon Brando.  Lawless is definitely a different breed of movie than what we have seen LaBeouf in over the last few years.

Here is a brief introduction to Lawless:  Set back in the prohibition era of the early 1930’s in Virginia, the Bondurant brothers have their own niche in their community as ruthless bootleggers.  The reputation however most fits the two eldest brothers, Forrest (Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke), while the runt of the trio, Jack (LaBeouf), can do harm on to anyone.  Corruption and danger haunts the brother as a special agent, Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce), arrives from Chicago with the intent of bust all bootleggers in Virginia.  With their back against the wall the Bondurant brother struggle to protect themselves and other that they care about in the town.  Here is the trailer:

Not sure about how well Lawless follows the biographical novel it is based off of called The Wettest County In The World by Matt Bondurant but this is one hell of a story.  If you are going into this expecting just some simple hiding an underground operation from the cops kind of movie you will find so much more in this film.  It does a good job of showing the Bondurant’s place in Franklin County and not just telling their “legend of immortality.”  Now introduce into that a legend killer of a deputy that is not just hunting down the Bondurant’s but all bootleggers and the way it impacts the other inhabitants of the county.  And hunting may be a tame word considering the malicious and violent acts that are committed.

There are several noteworthy performances in Lawless.  Tom Hardy does not say much but has grunts and actions speak volumes about the nature of the tough as nails Forrest Bondurant.  LaBeouf definitely shows his acting range in this one even though his accent slipped a few times.  Guy Pearce to me was eerie in this movie for two reasons:  one he just did horrible things to who even rubbed him the wrong way and two he was so clean and proper that he was gross which is odd.  Jessica Chastain was fantastic too in her subtle yet seductive role.  Then finally Dane DeHaan as Cricket, Jack’s physically handicapped right-hand man.  The Chronicle star showed more of his acting ability and I hope to see more from him.

Overall, Lawless is kind of like a Scarface of the prohibition days of Virginia.  It is a solid crime/drama with plenty of violence that keeps the movie from ever getting dull.  I give Lawless an 8/10.

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Does “The Dark Knight Rises” Rise Above Expectations?

There are two reasons Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises may have the biggest burden of living up to expectations of any film in a long time.  Do not get me wrong, Joss Whedon had his work cut out for him with The Avengers but that is reason number one the success of The Avengers now places high expectations on Nolan after The Avengers topped his previous superhero success The Dark Knight (reason number 2).  But the burden is not on Nolan’s shoulders alone.  Arguably one of the main reasons for the last Batman film’s success was the fantastic performance from the late Heath Ledger as Joker, so now you have audiences expecting the same from Tom Hardy as Bane (if you known Tom Hardy you know he always shows up with his A-game).  I honestly have no real expectations because I have faith in Nolan’s vision for the trilogy.  So let us see how I thought it stacked up.

Now in case you have been living under a rock for the last year or so and do not know of plot, here is a brief introduction to The Dark Knight Rises:  Eight years following the events of the preceding film, Gotham is relatively quiet on the crime front and Batman is believed to have vanished along with Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who has essentially lived like a hermit in his mansion.  Wayne is drawn out of his retirement when he learns that cat burglar, Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), broke into his mission to obtain his fingerprints for a very dangerous and sinister agenda of the ruthless Bane (Tom Hardy) who seeks to give Gotham to the people/criminals before it is reduced to rubble.  Here is the trailer:

All I can say after walking out of the theater is that I can sleep easy at night now the Nolan has reaffirmed my faith that he knows how to really make a movie.  At nearly three hours in length you would think there was a lot of fluff but honestly every scene was necessary but I honestly felt like there could have been so much more.  There are definitely a few scenes early on that I felt where choppily edited for the sake a shaving a couple minutes off the run time even though if a movie is edging towards three hours, what is a few more minutes going to hurt?  At the same time though, there is never a dull moment and the film moves at a very fast pace without impeding the story.

A lot of people are ridiculing this installment for making too much of the story dependent on the action and I could not be more surprised by this.  It is a superhero movie after all, how could there not be a lot of action.  If they are right that there is too much action, then it really is incredible that it manages to be as emotional a movie as it is.  That is what separates it from the other installments.  I really struggle to understand why audiences want sequels to be identical to its predecessors.  What is the point of making another movie then if it is just going to be something done before?  I mean it has to be in line with the other movies but it has to be its own movie at the same time and it definitely succeeds in that respect with all the emotions it evokes.

With any Christopher Nolan film the story is nothing without its characters and there are plenty worth mentioning in The Dark Knight Rises.  Starting with the one’s we already know like Wayne, Alfred, Fox, and Commissioner Gordon.  I think it is safe to say that the previous film of the trilogy had a lot of Bruce Wayne but did not focus much on him evolving like the first one.  And that is one thing the new film does that makes it feel like the trilogy comes full circle.  Wayne is a broken man, worn from his days in the suit and if you remember a repeat quote from the first “Why do we fall down?  So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”  This is what drives Wayne to get back into the swing of things at the start of the movie.  Alfred is there to be his crutch while at the same time is there as a restraint that wants to keeps the Wayne legacy alive.  Fox is as loyal as ever, keeping the weapons and developments of Wayne Enterprises a secret from even its own board members. The there is Gordon, torn apart by a secret that could change Gotham forever if ever revealed.

Then you have to acknowledge the new face/masks of John Blake, Miranda Tate, Selina Kyle, and Bane.  John Blake is just your everyday beat cop that seems to have a little more moral fiber than other members of Gotham’s police squad.  His role in the film played down in the trailer and preview articles but he plays a really big part when control over Gotham starts going array.  Miranda Tate is a member of the board at Wayne Enterprises that is concern over where her investments into the company have gone whose needs line up with Wayne’s secrets with Fox.  Now we get into other masked personas starting with Selina Kyle (A.K.A. Catwoman even though I do not think they ever directly call her that) a very busy cat burglar whose agenda we can never really tell which is why the characters works with the movie so well.  Now the character that is the focal nemesis for Batman in this movie, Bane.  Bane put short is a mercenary raised in hell that is easily the more physically intimidating force Batman will ever face with intelligence to match.

All the performances in this film are spot on.  I will start with the actor playing the character I am sure everyone is interested about, Tom Hardy as Bane.  If you have seen at least three movies with Hardy you know full well how Hardy embodies the character he is playing.  There was a lot of debate over half a year about the way his voice sounded.  Now I did not see the feature that preceded the Mission Impossible III:  Ghost Protocol premiere so I have nothing to compare it to but I had no trouble understanding him this time around even with the gypsy accent they had Hardy use.

Not going to lie when I first heard Anne Hathaway would be playing Catwoman I shook my head a little but when I heard Marion Cotillard would be in it too I threw my hands up in the air.  I had my doubts about Hathaway and completely thought Cotillard would have played the role better but I could not have been more wrong!  Hathaway is undoubtedly a very pretty actress but I had no idea she could play such a sexy, sly, seductive, and unpredictable character like she did.  Her performance is definitely a highlight of the film.

Then you have the legendary Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth who really put on his acting chops for the little screen time that he got.  He was so sincere about his desire to protect Wayne for potentially marching to his death that it was really one of the things that made the film so emotional.

The last performance I am going to talk about is one that with all this talk about Nolan and Hardy, no one is really recognizing what Christian Bale does in this film.  Obviously the first shows the most drastic change in Wayne but this movie shows his evolution from courage to anger driven.  Something that was missing from the previous two films, they focus on that it was his duty to save Gotham and here with everything that he goes through in this movie with Bane, Gotham, Rachel, Alfred and more he truly gets angry and does what he does to spite the villains which is what is for the best for Gotham.  It is just weird that he plays the hero but Bale is the unsung hero of the cast.

I will wrap it up there so I do not get tempted to give up too many spoilers for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.  This is hands down my favorite of the trilogy because of all the action, performances, and the emotional ride it takes the audience on.  I score it at a 9/10 just because again some of the editing felt hurried, if there is an extended cut to be released then that would without a doubt earn a 10/10 from me.

Sorry for the longer than usual review but there was just so much to talk about yet this is only the tip of the iceberg considering all that they crammed in a 164 minute movie.

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