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American Hustle (2013)

My Rating : 3.5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “I really like Christian Bale’s acting, and this movie portrays him differently. Must watch for CB fans.”

Christian BaleBradley Cooper, and Amy Adams star in director David O. Russell‘s fictional period crime drama about a reckless FBI agent who recruits a con man and his alluring partner into a scheme to ensnare corrupt politicians and gangsters. Smooth-talking Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a hustler of the highest order.

American Hustle

No mark is off limits for Rosenfeld, especially when his crafty partner Sydney Prosser (Adams) is by his side. When renegade FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Cooper) thrusts the deceptive duo into the treacherous world of New Jersey power players and underworld heavies, the thrill of the hunt grows too strong to resist.

American Hustle

Meanwhile, New Jersey politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) gets caught in the middle, and Rosenfeld’s capricious wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) holds more power than anyone could imagine. Louis C.K. and Jack Huston costar.

 

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Harsh Times (2006)

My Rating: 4/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Bale rocks like thunder, but the plot goes too wild to be real. But it worked for me!”

Haunted by nightmares from his murderous military past, the honorably discharged Jim (Christian Bale) spends his time between his impoverished fiancee in rural Mexico and cruising the streets of east L.A., knocking back beers and smoking joints with his buddy Mike (Freddy Rodriguez). They also pawn a gun, run into some trouble with a jealous gangster, and fool Mike’s girlfriend (Eva Longoria) into thinking he’s actually dropping off resumes instead of getting drunk and high with his buddy.

Harsh Times

Homeland Security meanwhile wants to recruit Jim for some special ops in Central America, but first he has to pass a urine test. This is the directorial debut of David Ayer, who wrote TRAINING DAY, which this film resembles with its smog-saturated cinematography and loving attention to the minutiae of male bonding and “homey codes” in and around L.A.’s inner-city drug culture.

Harsh Times

One never knows where the story is going, or what’s around the next corner in this off-center yarn, and Ayer captures that uneasy feeling of cruising through a bad part of town in a car with someone who you slowly realize cannot be trusted. Christian Bale delivers, as usual, a towering performance: growing progressively more disturbed as the film goes on, he weeps, roars, struts, shouts and flips out, maintaining audience sympathy all the while.