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.
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…
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.
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…
-Part of my on-going Spielberg marathon-
First off, I was genuinely BLOWN away by Christian Bale in this film. It’s a true testament to what he can and have achieved in his career decades later thus far. Memorable roles (‘The Machinist’ comes to mind), his methodic acting that has receives strings of recognition, infamously known for his hot-headed temper, being the Batman to Nolan’s Dark Knight, and on and such and such…but this film clearly his stepping stone and what a great role it is. It’s not supremely easy to truly embody Jamie/‘Jim’, a young boy whose world are trapped in one of the most ferocious and indeed, a bleak time in human history, the Pacific War. But he nails…
Can't decide if this is a strong 3 1/2 stars or a soft 4; either way, a notch or two up from my previous viewing years ago. Still feel that the superb opening hour shifts to an erratic second half, and that John Malkovich is half-miscast. He nails Basie's opportunism, but the role needs a movie-star's charisma to make convincing the character's leadership abilities, along with Jim's willingness to be exploited (or Joe Pantoliano's, for that matter). On the other hand, while I used to think the prison-camp middle-passage was too cutesy-poo, I can see now that John Williams's score for some of these scenes is actually more clueless than Spielberg's direction. Death and madness are everywhere, and the director…
Underrated classic. Amazing cast. Excellent performances.
That movie is reason why Christian Bale is best. he is extraordinary talented
Remember the time when Spielberg made serious films and the critics didn't take him seriously? Then he made 'Schindler's List'? And they changed their minds? When he was making serious films for years beforehand. It's a masterpiece.
Ο Σπιλμπεργκ είναι περιπτωση σκηνοθέτη που ξέρει τί κάνει ό,τι και να κάνει.
Steven Spielberg scores so high on this one, that I'm willing to forgive his many other Spielberg-whimsy (or otherwise stupid, cue the fridge scene in Indiana Jones 4) shortcomings. Not only is the film visually gorgeous, but it introduced a 13-year old Christian Bale as Jim, who gives an excellent performance for someone so young. Furthermore, the subject matter is tops: we've all seen WWII, but tackling the internment of British/American expatriates in Japan is an interesting take, particularly through the eyes of a child.
John Malkovich is also tops, his keep-cool attitude serving as an anchor for Jim's (and us by extension) calmness of mind. He's just got such a great voice....
Anyways, I digress. The story here is…
4 out of 5 (B+)
Fluctuating pretty hard between 4.5 and 5. Need to see it again for sure. One of the more underrated Spielberg films, young Christian Bale and John Malkovich kill it. A scene lifted from "Bridge on the River Kwai" is made even more haunting here, and Tom Stoppard kicks ass with a brilliant script. Definitely a must-see for anyone remotely interested in Spielberg.
One minor thing though--the song sung at the open (then repeated in a gorgeous triptych) is actually a traditional Welsh lullaby. Not that you care.
Forgot how awesome this was.