Sunday, February 17, 2008

Movie Review: The Machinist

Blogrunner likes to run. But Blogrunner likes movies too. He likes them a lot.
Tonight I saw a movie that was strange, and so well done, that it's like the best
Twilight Zone episode that I've ever seen.

The Machinist (2004)
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason-Leigh

Christian Bale, who is my favorite actor of the modern era, and who is climbing to be my
favorite of all time, has given an incredible effort here. He plays a character whose film revolves around him and his mind. It's almost like an equisite soliloquy from an extemely disturbed vantage point. He plays a character named Trevor Reznik (I wonder if the screenplay writer likes the group Nine Inch Nails. Trevor Reznik, I'd like to introduce you to Trent Reznor....)

In the movie, Trevor no longer can perceive what is real and what isn't, and so we're not sure either. The movie seems like something of a dream, like he (and you) are going to wake up. But then, you start to realize that it was more like a hallucination occurring with some glimpses of reality.

The screenplay was terrific, but like I said before Bale was incredible. He is an incredible method actor. The fact that he lost more than 60 pounds in preparation for his performance should speak volumes about his level of committment to act. The Machinist is a harrowing and incredibly sad at times. It almost crosses over to the horrific, but stops short from crossing over into vulgarity, showing both class and wit at the same time.

As the movie unfolds, his character unravels. You will learn alot from his character almost as he ultimately learns from himself. The ending is a shocker, yet it all falls into place.

As I had said in the beginning about it being like the Twilight Zone; even the music is eerily similar to scores that the late Bernard Hermann wrote for TZ some 50 odd years ago, but it works so, so very well. Also, the landlady in the flick looked and sounded like the schoolteachers' character from the Twilight Zone episode, "One More Pallbearer" (1962).
Now that's a Twilight Zone right there!!! (do doo dooo do!)

Anyway, back to Bale. He deserved an Oscar nomination for this movie, which got lost somewhere at a drama shelf inside of a Blockbuster. It is still painful to see how anemic his body looked. It almost reminded me of the way I looked or even my father, when we were both younger men. LOL.

About the only negative critique (as if there was a positive one) is that it tends to be slow moving. Some might accuse it of peeling back to the layer of truth, far too slowly for everyone's patience. Still the 1:40 minute film flew by for me.

This movie is also gripping and moody, as it is intense and dark. Some people have compared it to a Hitchcock thriller, or more up-to-date, something like Memento (great) and/or Fight Club (another favorite of mine).

The Machinist won 7 awards and was nominated for another 8, all overseas. In fact, despite an all American/English movie, this was a Spanish-made film. "El Maquinista", as it is called was in fact, shot on location in Barcelona, Spain. Incredible, because until I read it on I wouldn't have been able to tell! Looked just like your ordinary American city to me!

Too bad 'Oscar' missed this one. What a waste. Hollywood missed the boat on this one. So please, don't miss out on this gem yourself. Give it a chance and rent it!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Gonzos.
Spectacular DVD rental. Look for it!

1 comment:

DGA said...

...And the winner is....CHRISTIAN BALE! Anemic Faher? YOU ARE DEAD MEAT!