Tag Archives: Christian Bale

Vice

It’s understandable why Adam McKay’s Vice wants to remind us that Bush’s presidency was a massive failure, and he does so by focusing on the power-hungry puppeteer in the passenger seat. But this biopic of Dick Cheney, a dark quasi-comedy, feels like a debate tournament PowerPoint, not an insightful look at what makes Cheney tick. McKay reuses all of his magic tricks from The Big Short, but they don’t make sense here. Despite good performances, Vice is sophomoric, not satisfying as a traditional biopic or as a satire.

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THE BIG SHORT

The first reason to see The Big Short? You still don’t understand the recession. I’ve watched all the movies and docs from Margin Call to Inside Job, but they don’t break down the housing bubble quite like Anthony Bourdain making stew out of customer leftovers. Or Margot Robbie sipping champagne in a bubble bath, calmly explaining finance. Mix […]

AMERICAN HUSTLE + THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

David O. Russell’s American Hustle is a fractured fairy tale of cons and corruption, starting with the epigraph, “Some of this actually happened.” What did actually happen was the Abscam scandal (short for “Arab scam”) of 1979-1980, in which the FBI used small-time con artists to bribe public officials. Not one to settle for mere facts, Russell […]

Actor in Focus: Amy Adams

During the past few years, Amy Adams has had an interesting career turnaround. When she came on the scene with her Academy-nominated supporting performance in Junebug, Adams played the role of the “perky, sweet girl,” and seemed in some ways typecast with a variety of similar roles from the singing and dancing Princess Giselle in […]