Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Christian Bale

American Psycho on Broadway!

american-psycho_final-posterOff-Broadway powerhouse Second Stage will present the U.S. premiere of the much praised (and much debated) American Psycho, the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel (and 2000 Christian Bale-starring film) about excess, murder and flashing the right labels. The show — with music by Duncan Sheik, book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, staging by Rupert Goold and a starring performance by Matt “Dr. Who” Smith – opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre and was considered a shoo-in for Broadway next season. It still may be.

That’s a challenge for the Ellis novel, which prompted furious protests from feminist and human rights groups in reaction to its explicit, play-by-play depiction of the brutal torture and murder of women at the hands of protagonist Patrick Bateman, which the book’s defenders insisted was satire of a society gone mad with material obsession and moral vacuity. The musical has inspired almost inevitable comparisons to Sweeney Todd.

54 Below Press Preview With Duncan Sheik, Sierra Boggess, Alice Ripley, Paulo Szot, Anat Cohen And Maucha Adnet,The Almeida production of American Psycho prompted mostly favorable reviews along with some dissenting voices: “Goold’s production [has] a cool wit that actually enhances the story’s satire,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Sheik’s music also evokes Bateman’s Eighties pop icons, such as Phil Collins, and provides an ironic commentary on the action. Instead of stand-alone songs Sheik gives us music that reflects the world the characters inhabit…This is a show that confirms the mythic power of Easton Ellis’s story and leaves us all dangerously entertained.”

american-psycho_matt-smithCharles Spencer, in The Telegraph, demurred: Sheik, he wrote, had told an interviewer that he initially thought it ” ‘was the worst idea for a musical ever.’ I rather agree, but although I cordially disliked this show, I suspect it is going to be a big hit and that a transfer to either the West End or Broadway is inevitable, especially since it stars the soon to be retired Doctor Who, Matt Smith as the psychotic Patrick Bateman…You could sense the audience lapping up this empty mixture of ironic style and sudden moments of violence, and there is no doubt that Rupert Goold’s production is smart and sharp. But like the novel on which it is based, it is also glib, heartless and pretentious.”


1/6 Scale Batman Armory with Alfred & Batman

Pre-Order now for next Christmas… If anyone wants to get me one for my new office you can check out the stats HERE

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American Psycho – The Musical

American Psycho_bannerDONATE NOW: A brand new musical, based on the iconic novel by Bret Easton Ellis, is coming to the Almeida Theatre in London this December.

AMERICAN PSYCHO paints the shocking, funny and unsettling portrait of Patrick Bateman, a 26-year-old Manhattan investment banker with a designer lifestyle and a twisted mind. The novel was originally published in 1991 and has remained a part of contemporary pop-culture ever since. In 2000, Lionsgate released the celebrated film version directed by Mary Harron and featuring Christian Bale in his star-turning performance.

The Almeida Theatre and Headlong are two of the UK’s most impressive non-profit theatre companies. They make extraordinary work and keep it universally accessible through funding from public agency Arts Council England, charitable grants and the generosity of individual and corporate donors.

Bring your raincoats… donate HERE


The Dark Knight Trilogy – Poster Art

The Dark Knight_Trilogy The Dark Knight_Poster Art The Dark Knight Rises_Poster ARr


The Dark Knight Rises – Madrid Street Art

After a weekend of tragic news surrounding the midnight screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, it feels slightly pointless to post this image from Madrid on the eve of the film’s opening there, however, it’s such a joyful image of people celebrating the release with style, that I wanted to share it.


The Dark Knight Rises ****½

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a reclusive Howard Hughes-like figure, hidden away in Wayne manor, mentally and physically broken from his battles as Batman. Gotham has largely forgotten Batman, believed to be responsible for the death of the lionised Harvey Dent, the city has moved on since the end of The Dark Knight.

Wayne still lives with his loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine), as ever, the heart of these films and Bruce Wayne’s link to humanity, who reminds him that he isn’t living his life.

Lured back into the world by two women, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), socialite investor in Wayne Enterprises’ clean-energy programs, and cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Wayne finds his world and Gotham on the brink of collapse when a new villain, the remorseless Bane (Tom Hardy), emerges with a plan to destroy Gotham and everyone in it. Batman must return to confront this new threat, to save both Gotham and his own legacy from ashes.

You really need to have seen Batman Begins before watching The Dark Knight Rises. Bane’s modus operandi is similar in tone to that of Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman’s former mentor and nemesis. Bane states that: “Gotham is beyond saving and must be allowed to die” and he means it, targeting Gotham’s stock exchange and football stadium in two hugely impressive set-pieces.

Modern-day themes and fears are central to this final part of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; corporate collapse, global and local terrorism, and class warfare (people may draw parallels with the recent ‘occupy’ protests), which could be lifted from any recent headline. These are distilled in the dubious motivations of Bane, who for all his ‘smash the system’ rhetoric actually makes a few good points.

In Bane, Batman faces an enemy with similar motivation of the Joker, but in a much more physically imposing form. Hardy manages to instil Bane with some personality beyond his face mask and monolithic appearance, however his performance, and especially his dialogue delivery suffers due to the constraints of his mask.

Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), although still oozing sex-appeal, is less fetishist than in previous outings, here she’s a real presence, with a real story arc and a sly sense of humour, she has great chemistry with Bale.

Unlike The Dark Knight, where The Joker was central to the whole, here the film revolves around Batman, and fittingly, this is also Christian Bale’s best performance in the role, he was always good as Bruce Wayne, portrayed this time as an older, more thoughtful, melancholic character, and this time his Batman is a more fully rendered character.

The returning cast of Michael Caine and Gary Oldman are as solid as ever, Marion Cotillard is restrained and the introduction of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an earnest young police officer gives the audience hope for Gotham’s future.

As with Nolan’s previous Batman movies, this is more dark and serious than most superhero movies, and the previous Batman outings. There are many ideas thrown around in this film, not all of which lead to the expected conclusions, and it feels like Nolan has tried to fit a little too much in there, however the film works, it is spectacular entertainment.

It is visually beautiful, and cinematic on a massive scale, again due to Nolan regular, Wally Pfister’s gorgeous cinematography and fantastic production design by Nathan Crowley.

The film is also quite long, the first half build-up gives each character their moments, as well as a backstory that encompasses the previous movies and beyond; as it moves into a massive second half everything is geared towards a spectacularly ambitious conclusion. It’s been a big year for superheroes, with Marvel’s The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man already box-office hits; it’s time for DC’s Dark Knight to stake his claim back at the top where he belongs.

Quality: 5 out of 5 stars

Any good: 4 out of 5 stars


The Dark Knight Rises – Fan Poster Art


The Dark Knight Rises – 3D Billboard


The Dark Knight Rises – UK Empire Covers

Two fantastic new Dark Knight Rises covers from the UK Empire magazine… the Catwoman one is AWESOME.


The Dark Knight Rises – Official Trailer # 3

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises” is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Leading an all-star international cast, Christian Bale again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Michael Caine plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Morgan Freeman reprises the role of Lucius Fox. “The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters July 20.


Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American novelist and short story writer. Ellis was born to a wealthy California household. He attended Bennington College, where he met and befriended fellow writers Donna Tartt (The Secret History), Jonathan Lethem, Francis Lombard and Joseph McLaughlin, none of whom were aware of his literary aspirations. After rising to fame with Less Than Zero in 1985, Ellis became closely associated and good friends with fellow Brat Pack writer Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City): the two became known as the “toxic twins”. He is a self-proclaimed satirist, whose trademark technique, as a writer, is the expression of extreme acts and opinions in an affectless style. Ellis employs a technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters.

Though Ellis made his debut at 21 with the controversial 1985 bestseller Less Than Zero, a zeitgeist novel about amoral young people in Los Angeles, the work he is most known for is his third novel, 1991’s American Psycho.

Ellis’ first novel, Less Than Zero, a tale of disaffected, rich teenagers of Los Angeles, was praised by critics and sold well (50,000 copies in its first year). He moved back to New York City in 1987 for the publication of his second novel, The Rules of Attraction, which follows a group of sexually promiscuous college students and sold fairly well, though Ellis admits he felt he had “fallen off”, after the novel failed to match the success of his debut effort. His most controversial work is the graphically violent American Psycho. On its release, the literary establishment widely condemned the novel as overly violent and misogynist; though many petitions to ban the book saw Ellis dropped by Simon & Schuster, the resounding controversy made it a paperback bestseller for Vintage later that year.The book was intended to be published by Simon & Schuster, but they withdrew after external protests from groups such as the National Organisation for Women (NOW) and many others due to the allegedly misogynistic nature of the book. Some consider this novel, whose protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is both a cartoonishly materialistic yuppie and a serial killer, to be an example of transgressive art. American Psycho has achieved considerable cult status.

His collection of short stories, The Informers, was published in 1994. It contains vignettes of wayward Los Angeles characters ranging from rock stars to vampires, mostly written while Ellis was in college, and so has more in common with the style of Less Than Zero. Ellis has said that the stories in The Informers were collected and released only to fulfill a contractual obligation after discovering that it would take far longer to complete his next novel than he’d intended. After years of struggling with it, Ellis released his fourth novel Glamorama in 1998. Glamorama is set in the world of high fashion, following a male model who becomes entangled in a bizarre terrorist organization composed entirely of other models. The book plays with themes of media, celebrity, and political violence, and like its predecessor American Psycho it uses surrealism to convey a sense of postmodern dread. Ellis’s novel Lunar Park (2005), uses the form of a celebrity memoir to tell a ghost story about the novelist “Bret Easton Ellis” and his chilling experiences in the apparently haunted home he shares with his wife and son. In keeping with his usual style, Ellis mixes absurd comedy with a bleak and violent vision. Imperial Bedrooms (2010) follows the characters of Less Than Zero 25 years later; it combines the violence ofAmerican Psycho and the postmodernity of Lunar Park with the unaltered ennui of Ellis’ debut novel.

Ellis often uses recurring characters and settings. Major characters in one novel may become minor ones in the next, or vice versa. Camden College, a fictional New England liberal arts college, is frequently referenced. It is based on Bennington College, which Ellis himself attended, there are oblique connections between it and Ellis’ Rules of Attraction. Though his three major settings are Vermont, Los Angeles and New York, he doesn’t think of these novels as about these places; they are intentionally more universal than that.

In American Psycho (1991), Patrick’s brother Sean appears briefly. Paul Denton and Victor Johnson from The Rules of Attraction are both mentioned. Camden is referred to as both Sean’s college and the college a minor character named Vanden is going to. Vanden was referred to (but never appeared) in both Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction. Passages from “Less Than Zero” reappear, almost verbatim, here, with Patrick replacing Clay as narrator. Patrick also makes repeated references to Jami Gertz, the actress who portrays Blair in the 1987 film adaptation of Less Than Zero. Allison Poole from Jay McInerney’s 1988 novel Story of My Life appears as a torture victim of Patrick’s. 1994’s The Informers features a much-younger Timothy Price, one of Patrick’s co-workers in American Psycho, who narrates one chapter. One of the central characters, Graham, buys concert tickets from Less Than Zero‘s Julian, and his sister Susan goes on to say that Julian sells heroin and is a male prostitute (as shown in Zero). Alana and Blair from Zero are also friends of Susan’s. Letters to Sean Bateman to a Camden College girl named Anne visiting grandparents in LA comprise the eighth chapter.

Patrick Bateman appears briefly in Glamorama (1998); Glamorama’s main characters Victor Ward and Lauren Hynde were first introduced in The Rules of Attraction. As a in-joke reference to Bateman being portrayed by Christian Bale in the then-in-production 2000 film adaptation, the actor himself briefly appears as a background character.

Four of Ellis’ works have been made into films; notably, Less Than Zero (1987) was rapidly adapted for screen, and Mary Harron’s adaptation of American Psycho was released to predominantly positive reviews in 2000 as was Roger Avery’s The Rules of Attraction in 2002. The Informers (2008) was awful.

In later years, Ellis’ novels have become increasingly metafictional. 2005’s Lunar Park, a pseudo-memoir and ghost story, received positive reviews, and 2010’s Imperial Bedrooms, marketed as a sequel to Less Than Zero, continues in this vein. He is prolific on twitter… follow him.


The Dark Knight Rises – Occupy Wall Street!

These videos shot in New York City show what’s supposed to be a brawl between supporters of Bane (Tom Hardy) and Gotham police led by Batman (Christian Bale) in The Dark Knight Rises. If any of this seems familiar, it’s because similar scenes were shot three months ago in Pittsburgh.


Oldboy Remake

The Oldboy remake now has a confirmed lead, Josh Brolin will feature as a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held by a mystery villain in solitary confinement for 15 years without knowing why. But when he’s released and handed the tools to get revenge on those who kept him a prisoner, he soon learns that it’s all part of a bigger plan. And, naturally, violence ensues…

I Am Legend writer Mark Protosevich adapted the current script from Park Chan-Wook’s 2004 original. Hopefully he’ll do a better job than his lacklustre effort on the Richard Mathieson novel. Spike Lee has officially taken over the directors chair from Steven Spielberg, who originally nabbed the rights to remake the movie in 2008 and planned to have Will Smith in the lead. Now, though, Brolin will be the main man although rumours persit that Christian Bale is in talks to play the villain, though he’s yet to make his mind up about any post-Dark Knight Rises work and has been linked to numerous projects.