Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Empire of the Sun
To survive in a world at war, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him.
The story of young English boy who lives with his parents in Shanghai during World War II. After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese occupy the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the following chaos Jim becomes separated from his parents.
Wow, Batman was tiny.
It's freaky just looking at him.
The ending took it up a big notch. Caught me off guard is what happened.
Technically the film is fantastic. Spielberg knows his stuff. The story is a little bit all over the place but Bale really holds it all together. It truly is a great performance. Some other characters do feel underused though. The film tries to rely on Miranda Richardson's character for a couple of emotionally heavy scenes but I felt that she had not been present enough throughout the film to warrant this.
Gotta love the choir singing though.
With Empire of the Sun, Steven Spielberg is simply preparing for Schindler’s List, a film that is a superb period piece with fantastic emotional value. With Empire of the Sun, Spielberg creates one of the most tedious films I’ve ever seen.
Young Christian Bale portrays a spoiled British kid who is separated from his parents and experiences a life outside of his comfort. To put it simply, Bale is terrible in his film debut providing no depth, no charisma nor any versatility whatsoever for his age. There have been far superior performances in Spielberg films from younger actors than Bale: Drew Barrymore as Gertie from E.T and Cary Guffey as Barry in Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Both exceptional…
It seems an odd pairing: Steven Spielberg and his films of emotional warmth and yearning, and JG Ballard, author of detached, forensic examinations of violence. Yet it's easy to see what attracted Spielberg to Ballard's autobiographical novel, as it covers some of the themes he returns to many times over: childhood and family; parental abandonment and a child's adventure; escape and flight as a symbol of transcending ones troubles.
Moreover, Empire of the Sun is about the death of innocence; a boy whose experiences during the Second World War form him into an adult. It's a significant film in Spielberg's body of work as it marks an attempt to shift away from what had been his celebration of the child…
Empire of the Sun is a story about a british boy surviving in a japanese occupied Shangai.
The movie is really beautiful, with really great sceneries and shots. There are some really magical moments, for example when Jim is singing for the three kamikaze.
The acting is really great and what I like about this movie is that infantile feeling as we follow Jim around. Yes, he was a brat and of course those war situations would change him, mature him, but I love how we can watch him still being a kid or befriending a japanese kid, ignoring the hatred of the war. I just didn't like much the way he glamourize the Atom Bomb, but I guess it was his naive way to see it.
This is really a great movie.
Gets pretty Spielberg-y at times—he still hadn't learned to distrust his populist instincts in a purely dramatic context—but the first hour or so, prior to the internment camp, is remarkably strong, not least in its depiction of Jamie as a budding young opportunist who encounters his disreputable future in Basie. (Malkovich gets one of the all-time great entrances here: head down, cap pulled low, just a torrent of wised-up speech; it's ages before we get a good look at his eyes. He'd already won critics' awards a couple years earlier for Killing Fields and Places in the Heart, but this was the role that defined him for me.) Really, you could repair a lot of the damage just by…
This is one of the lesser-known Spielberg films and while it's nowhere near his best ones, it's still a pretty solid war drama about the Japanese occupation in China during the WWII. This angle is less seen in Hollywood films about the war, which made it more interesting. The young Christian Bale basically in his debut role is quite convincing.
I watched "Empire of the Sun" tonight at my father's begging.
It's a Spielberg effort, and well the subject matter didn't interest me too much. I kept an open mind until about 2 hours and 15 minutes into the film, when I realized I was watching way too much of these silent pan shots and a warm bed appealed to me much more then sitting through another second of the movie.
I was also very frustrated with the child actor, who I felt I could not sympathize with and that his story was one of great inconceivably. It just wouldn't happen that way. The kid became annoying in my tired state, and I wished every moment that he'd step on…
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Another technically dazzling film from Spielberg, there's obviously a lot to respect about "Empire of the Sun". The images are gorgeous, the special effects are top notch and the scale of production is as impressive as it gets. (the overall scope and attention to detail in the Shangai city sequences are mind boggling incredible) When I last watched "Empire of the Sun" (at least 10 years ago I think), I thought it was one of Spielberg's most underrated movies - a borderline "great film" that might be one of his 10 best. Unfortunately, re-watching this time around, my feelings weren't quite as strong.
Overall I still enjoyed it for all the reasons listed above…
The element that attracted me the most was the way that Tom Stoppard's script keeps building analogs between the Christian Bale's Jamie and John Malkovich's Basie. Basie is sort of a potential adult outcome of Jamie's opportunism; and when he dies, Jamie dies a bit too. The final scene is stirring, but I don't think it's as happy as the music would lead us to believe. This kid is going to be a shell of a person from now on. (Or be J.G. Ballard for the rest of his life I guess.)
Other than that, I'm not sold. There's some gorgeous imagery at the beginning, and Malkovich's performance is one of his best. But every other supporting character is asked to do some heavy lifting with zero help from the screenplay. We're also still at a point when Spielberg just couldn't help himself with the sentimentality, and he really hammers things home in the last ten minutes.
While The Color Purple was Spielberg's first IMPORTANT movie, this was the movie that set off his important historical straight-faced phase. Although he had made movies about WWII before, they had all had comical elements. Not so here. I love the first half of this movie. The confusion and suspense, but the second half frustrates me - particularly John Williams' inappropriately whimsical and heavy handed score. It doesn't fit the movie Spielberg has shot. And the second half feels rushed - as if there were gaps to the story with relationships that are undefined.
Personally, I'm more of a fan of Spielberg as director of genre movies. His historical epics tend to feel self-important and syrupy. And the way he fetishizes WWII really turns me off. But boy, can Spielberg choreograph a shot. The movie is constantly amazing to look at, and Christian Bale is fantastic. It's too long and unfocused, but it's effective as hell.
This film is hard to classify, because it goes through so many phases: from China, where the British have settled; to wartime with the Japanese; to the streets, to a holding camp, to a concentration camp, and beyond.
A well-written script by Tom Stoppard(!) gives "Empire..." it's emotional weight, told entirely from the p.o.v. of Jaime (Bale), a British boy, son of aristocrats, thrust head-first into WWII by circumstance. He learns to live on his own, miles away from his life of privilege.
Jamie becomes "Jim" and starts fraternizing with a group of Americans in the camp. He becomes a bit of a scavenger, finding good in the camp and bartering to get the other prisoners what they want.
Saw the 4K restoration of this today. Amazing.
Turns out Bruce Wayne's childhood was quite traumatic even before his parents were murdered. Tough kid.
This should have been great but despite a super showing from a juvenile Christian Bale I found it to be largely trite and obvious. Lots of very good scenes and visuals but fatally overlong. Jim's just too much of a brat to really hold the interest on his own and the way other characters float in and out with paper-thin personalities is very distracting. And again there's the old problem of the obvious Spielberg ending - there's zero suspense as to whether the boy's going to be renunited with his parents, it's just a simple question of keeping him busy until he is.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- À nous la liberté
- About Schmidt
- Absence of Malice
- Adam's Rib
From the NYT website:
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