Monday, December 03, 2007
That Man Begins
When it comes to movies, Christian Bale is to relaunches what Kevin Costner is to crap.
Over the weekend it was all-but-confirmed that Bale will take on the role of reluctant robot-killer John Connor in the next installment of the seemingly inexhaustible Terminator series -- Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. Besides being saddled with a title that calls to mind memories of Remo Williams (whose "Adventure" began and ended almost simultaneously back in 1985), the new film will supposedly be a sort of Wonder Years of the Terminator canon, focusing solely on the good old days of Connor's early fight against Skynet and those evil self-aware machines bent on the destruction of mankind.
Producers plan to make T4 the first in a new Terminator trilogy.
It should be noted that despite his exceptional talents and willingness to immerse himself neck deep in a role -- eg: losing so much weight for The Machinist that he probably looked the way Stanislavski himself does these days -- Bale's last flirtation with full-on "post-apocalyptic" was 2002's Reign of Fire, a movie which had the distinction of unforgivably squandering what may have been the coolest idea ever to come out of a Hollywood pitch meeting.
Whether the new Terminator film is good or not, this move firmly cements Bale, who's already effectively resurrected Batman, as the king of the series relaunch.
So with that in mind, I offer a few suggestions as to some other floundering film franchises that Christian Bale might help revive.
American Pie Preheated
Christian Bale takes on the difficult and coveted role of Jim's Dad -- made famous by Catskills legend Eugene Levy -- in this prequel to the highly-successful American Pie series. Set in the early-60s, the film follows the exploits of "J.D." as he wantonly violates his mother's jars of Borscht at every opportunity, leading to the kind of hilarious misadventures and misunderstandings one would expect to find in any episode of Three's Company, only with more homoeroticism. Bale spent two years in Hebrew school and performed a self-circumcision to prepare for the part.
Robocop: Police Academy
Christian Bale is Alex Murphy, a cyborg police officer who goes back to the academy to whip a group of new recruits into shape before the city can be overrun by an army of Robo-Bobcat Goldthwaits. Steve Guttenberg makes a triumphant return to the big screen after spending the past few decades playing "Sir Douchebag of Hackensack" at the Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach. Also starring Kim Catrall as "The Whore," and Samuel L. Jackson as that asshole who makes all the noises.
The Naked Gun .45: Reloaded
Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant Police Squad is back. But this time, as played by Christian Bale, he has to hunt down one of his own, when Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) is accused of killing his wife and another man, then staging a violent sting operation in Las Vegas to -- as he puts it -- "get the motherfuckers who think they can steal my shit."
In this shockingly reimagined prequel to the 80s teen-sex comedy classic Porky's, Christian Bale is the titular character of the series, turning in a gritty portrayal of a young man's blood-soaked rise from Everglades trailer park manager to powerful and respected purveyor of redneck ass. Also starring Leonardo DiCaprio as "Pee-Wee," Harvey Keitel as "Meat" and Kim Catrall as "The Whore." Directed by Martin Scorcese.
Christian Bale plays The Fonz, a nebbishy Jewish guy who has everyone convinced that he's actually America's coolest television character. He finds himself forced to do whatever it takes to perpetuate this ruse, even if it means jumping a killer shark just as the credits roll at the end of the first Jaws film, since it was pretty much all downhill from there.
Cobra Kai: The Other Karate Kid
Christian Bale turns in a searing performance as one of cinema's great misunderstood anti-heroes: John Kreese. Long after he was sensei of the feared Kobra Kai Dojo -- the most powerful martial arts school in the Eastern San Fernando Valley -- he was a struggling, alcoholic writer who moved into a motel room in Las Vegas with no way out, and no plan but to drink himself to death. Elisabeth Shue reprises her role as Ali Mills, now a hooker with a heart of gold and a weak spot for $3.99 prime rib. Also starring Hilary Swank as some guy.
Star Wars, Episode VII: Fuck You, It's Jar Jar
Christian Bale is the only organic, non-CGI entity in this sprawling epic brought to you by the man who spent six years building childhood memories for you that would've lasted a lifetime had he not then turned around and spent another six years smashing them into the ground like Joan Crawford on a meth binge.
Christian Bale fights off an Alien attack on Earth, while simultaneously fighting off the advances of Winona Ryder, who mistakes him for a purposely disheveled Brit-pop musician. Hilarity ensues.
The Matrix Whatever
Screw it -- it's basically the same thing as The Terminator anyway.