May 18, 2009

Christian Bale - Not my hero

   This one is probably going to make girls that think Christian Bale is cute upset. If you fall into that category feel free to stop reading now.
   The last 2 weekends I went to the movies. Okay, last 3 weekends. There have been some shows I've been waiting for a while to see so I went to the theater. I paid with AMEX rewards points too so I was pretty happy to get in to some of this summer's big ones for free.
   The one thing I noticed was that Christian Bale is in all the previews this summer. It kind of makes me angry too. I'm becoming a CB hater more each year. I think he is one of the most overrated actors around. What really upsets me is that he keeps taking crucial roles that don't suit his one character dead stare guy.
   When he first landed the role as the new Batman I was okay with it. Until I learned a little about him. Oddly it was from an interview on public radio. He said to the interviewer at the time, "Choosing a guy like me from Wales to play an iconic American hero like Batman is like choosing an American to play James Bond." It wasn't until he said these words that I started not liking him. It took me a long time to really think this through, years in fact, but now I understand why that made me so angry. He understood the significance of playing Batman and yet still took the role. Clearly he should have turned it down. Clearly he understood that he should have turned it down. Yet he is the new Batman.
   As far as Batman actors go he is OK. I mean, there have been worse, but there have also been better. One big problem I have seen, and I know some people agree with this, is his Batman voice. It's really silly and quite distracting. I think he was going for a Michael Keaton "I'm Batman" thing. It just doesn't work. He is no Michael Keaton. Honestly, he is no Adam West. Though Adam West played the campy Batman (possibly giving the word "campy" a popular place in our lexicon) he had a charm that CB doesn't.
   Okay, so I am a little upset that he plays Batman. Fine. I can learn to live with it. I realized that this run of Batman movies isn't really about Batman. I mean, Heath Ledger was the star of the show last time. The time before that may have been Liam Neeson. Disagree if you like Christian Bale in both movies had the benefit of working around actors with way more talent and charisma than he owns. He looks good a lot by association.
   Then there are the old time movies. Have you seen the preview of the one with Johnny Depp? It looks pretty good, until you see the scenes where CB is playing the same character he played in The Prestige. I think the movie I am referring to is Public Enemies. From the few seconds he is on screen in the preview I can tell he is just doing the same old thing. He has the same look on his face. He seems to only be able to express harshness on his face effectively.
   Then there is the new Terminator flick. I can't believe they wanted him to play grown up John Connor. I just can't understand how someone thought, "Hey you know who would make a good John Connor? Christian Bale." How is that stony face of his going to convey the child we all grew up with? Especially now that we have an amazing characterization in Thomas Dekker? Dekker has range and expression that CB doesn't. In one look he can show disappointment and hope. Dekker in my view is John Connor.
   So, I was most likely going to see Terminator this summer. Now I don't really want to.
   So, there is my first really bad rant. I didn't get a blog to rant about stuff. I just can't help myself on this topic. It's not that I don't want to ever see CB in a movie. He is a good actor in some roles. Honestly, I just don't think he deserves to play 2 American heroes of the big screen. Who knows, maybe they'll make him the new more hardcore Superman.