Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our first, I believe, review of HARSH TIMES, the new Christian Bale indie flick. This sounds fantastic and has gotten me enthused for this project! Enjoy the review!
Just got back from the “World Premiere” of Harsh Times at the Toronto Film Festival. Before I go any further I have to apologize for my last review here You have to believe me when I say I did not purposely make all those question marks. I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t care.
In all honesty 12 hours ago I had never even heard of this. I was planning on going on Monday to see either River Queen or Everything is Illuminated (by rush of course). But because I had time tonight I decided that maybe I should see what’s playing then. I checked out the specs : Christian Bale, Eva Longoria, Writer of Training Day. After I finished reading Christian Bale I knew I had to get there. I called them up- got tickets(last of 30) and took off.
Bale plays an ex-army soldier(Jim) who’s now tortured with nightmares of his past. Right now he’s looking for a job with the LAPD---even though he’s really no mind to be in law enforcement. Of course he wants this job for the sole reason so he could support and bring his girlfriend from Mexico across the boarder. Mike his best friend(Freddy Rodriguez who might be the reason why I’ll go see Six Feet Under) is in the same. He wants a job so he’ll be able to support his girlfriend Sylvia(Eva Longoria).
As I said, the writer of Training Day made this. It shows. Now that’s not a bad thing, granted I thought Training Day was just pretty good, some of the better aspects of Training Day can clearly be seen in this. Bale is basically the Denzel character(where I later found out Bale also auditioned for) and Rodriguez is Hawke(but they’re best friends). But there is a lot of driving like in Training Day to different locales.
This movie also did something, which I haven’t seen in a long time—it makes you fear the presence of a gun on screen. I know it sounds stupid just typing this but it’s true. Imagine what it would be like if you took the editing from Man on Fire, and just used that only through integral/tense moments in the movie. That’s exactly what it felt like here.
Eva Longoria is barely in the movie, but it’s Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez fucking own their roles. No two ways about it. I really can’t decide who did a better job. They both have their little moments here and there, but end up being the perfect team. Although it’s funny, I was thinking who they both reminded me of during the movie. Christian Bale looked like Matthew Fox, and Freddy reminded me of John Leguizamo----yet I know neither would be able to pull off the part. Bale literally has to play two characters, one straight and the other fucking insane. He pulled it off.
After the movie director David Ayer was talking about how Bale could have gotten any role because of doing Batman, but he chose to do this because he was chasing for the right material. He was right. I know this will probably get a wide release, because I looked at the voting cards being dropped off---ALL 5s.
9 out of 10