The Machinist Reviews
The basic premise is nothing new at all, and there are times when this variation on a theme moves along decently, but overall, there's really not enough here to make it stand out. Even though the film has a great atmosphere, and the set up is nicely done with lots of moodiness and mystery, the end result really doesn't addd up to much, the conclusion is unsatisfying, and it really seeems too jumbled t work like it should. Some of the cinematography is decent, I'll give it that, but unfortunately there's an overuse of washed-out blue tint to everything, and it's overbearing after a while.
The score is good though. It's very Bernard Herrmannesque, and that's fitting. That's one thing that I really don't have much of an issue with, if ast all. Now, we come to the acting. I love Bale. He's a really good actor, but here, the ONLY thing about his performance that really stands out and is worth mentioning is the ridiculous amlunt of weight he lost. He lost a record breaking amount of over 60 lbs in order to illustrate just how deterioriated Trevor had become mentally and physically. That's defintiely impressive, as is the fact that he was able to gain in all back in time for Batman Begins. However, the strength of his overall performance cannoit be judged by his dedicated method acting alone. Take away the weight loss, and his take on a guy wit ha severely fractured mental state is rather run of the mill and underwhelming. Jennifer Jason Leigh does pretty decent though as Stevie- an affectionate prostitute who seems ot be Trevor's only real source of comfort. John Sharian is quite good though, and probably gets the best role as Trevor's mysterious nemesis like figure Ivan. I do enjoy Michael Ironside, and heck, even Larry Gilliard, but those two really could have used more screentime (and Gilliard deserve a lon of more work in general anyway).
All in all, this could have been a real stunner. Unfortunately, it doesn't all quite come together, and, despite a few really good and well done moments, as well as some decent mystery and atmosphere, the final product is just rather blah and seems ot be relying on Bale's method work to carry everything.
‚How Do You Wake Up From A Nightmare If You‚(TM)re Not Asleep?‚?
The Machinist is a brilliant psychological thriller. It is extremely engrossing and watching Christian Bale will make you feel tired. The way he transformed himself into this 120 pound character that has not slept in a year is insane. He looks like a holocaust victim. Every bone in his body pops out. It is pretty crazy to think about him in this role in 2004 and then a year later in 2005 he was the buff Bruce Wayne/Batman for Batman Begins. It just proves that he will put everything into his roles.
But the film is much more than just a skinny Christian Bale. The plot is absorbing. We meet Trevor Reznik, a factory machinist who hasn‚(TM)t slept in a year. He goes about a routine of work, hooker, and airport diner. He starts seeing messages in his apartment and he also sees a man named Ivan that no one else does. Everyone believes him to be crazy and it is pretty obvious why. He looks like a crack head and when he starts talking crazy, it is hard not to believe that he is nuts.
Brad Anderson does an amazing job directing The Machinist. I loved the cinematography, which shows the story in a grayish sort of filter. It makes us look at the events through Trevor‚(TM)s sleepless eyes. The story progresses at a perfect pace, moving slowly when it needs to, but still cranking up the tension as it goes.
As a fan of the psychological thriller genre, this film proves to be one of the more unique ones I have seen. That isn‚(TM)t to say that it is the best, but it is incredibly interesting and very good in its own right. The originality of the story with the amazing performance by Christian Bale paired with a good supporting role by Jennifer Jason Leigh makes for an intriguing watch.
The story was really interesting...I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. Although it dragged in a few spots, the pacing was excellent. The story remains a mystery until the very last scene...I loved the "twist."
The tone and atmosphere was really appealing. The dark setting, bland color pallete, and eerie music sets up a mood that really draws you in. It gives the mindset that something is up, but it never spoils any of the thrills.
Finally, the performance and dedication of Christian Bale is unreal. He literally weighed 120 pounds. He's a skeleton! I give props to any actor who is willing to put his life at risk for his role. He's a great actor and his performance is excellent...as usual, for him!
See this film, it's a great psychological thriller! I don't think you'd be disappointed!
Oh and I love the lack of color. Usually I'm so trained to notice deep, rich colors that not seeing it is unique! And very thematic for this film.