Empire of the Sun Reviews

  • Jun 03, 2019

    Steven Spielberg's lesser known wartime drama "Empire Of The Sun" brings the semi-autobiographical stylings of J.G. Ballard to the big-screen, with then up-and-comer Christian Bale doing the heavy lifting as the young protagonist who loses track of his family and subsequently succumbs to the harsh realities of human hardship. And, to be absolutely sure, Christian Bale commits to the role entirely, offering up an incredible performance for anyone, let alone that of someone at such a young age at the time. In fact, all of the acting is up to snuff. Where this movie falters, I find, is actually in that of one of its primary intentions. Part of the movie's aim is to really drive home the desperation and exhaustion on the part of the film's main character. In relating the devastation and pain at hand -- especially towards the end of the film -- the movie does this a bit too well, in my opinion, ultimately allowing things to dip in terms of entertainment value. Granted, this isn't necessarily a movie that's supposed to entertain you, but my engagement suffered nonetheless.

    Steven Spielberg's lesser known wartime drama "Empire Of The Sun" brings the semi-autobiographical stylings of J.G. Ballard to the big-screen, with then up-and-comer Christian Bale doing the heavy lifting as the young protagonist who loses track of his family and subsequently succumbs to the harsh realities of human hardship. And, to be absolutely sure, Christian Bale commits to the role entirely, offering up an incredible performance for anyone, let alone that of someone at such a young age at the time. In fact, all of the acting is up to snuff. Where this movie falters, I find, is actually in that of one of its primary intentions. Part of the movie's aim is to really drive home the desperation and exhaustion on the part of the film's main character. In relating the devastation and pain at hand -- especially towards the end of the film -- the movie does this a bit too well, in my opinion, ultimately allowing things to dip in terms of entertainment value. Granted, this isn't necessarily a movie that's supposed to entertain you, but my engagement suffered nonetheless.

  • May 25, 2019

    The best reason to see this movie is to regale in Christian Bale's magnificent performance; he commands the screen, despite being an adolescent. The movie is a fantasy based in real life and inspired by a true story. It is an inherently interesting - in fact, fascinating - situation, and for that reason we maintain our focus even when the narrative doesn't have a point. The "story" is simply a narrative of four years out of the life of this child. The value of that story is simply that it happened, or more likely that a more prosaic and less dramatic version of this happened. And that is by itself worthy of our gaze. It is a good looking movie, and lots works. The stumbles seem typical of Spielberg's an attempt to make something mystical and transcendent out of prosaic aspects of life that don't need the manipulation to make them interesting. This is particularly noticeable in several scenes at the end that Spielberg seems to be trying too hard to elevate to a place where - at least for me - he didn't need to go.

    The best reason to see this movie is to regale in Christian Bale's magnificent performance; he commands the screen, despite being an adolescent. The movie is a fantasy based in real life and inspired by a true story. It is an inherently interesting - in fact, fascinating - situation, and for that reason we maintain our focus even when the narrative doesn't have a point. The "story" is simply a narrative of four years out of the life of this child. The value of that story is simply that it happened, or more likely that a more prosaic and less dramatic version of this happened. And that is by itself worthy of our gaze. It is a good looking movie, and lots works. The stumbles seem typical of Spielberg's an attempt to make something mystical and transcendent out of prosaic aspects of life that don't need the manipulation to make them interesting. This is particularly noticeable in several scenes at the end that Spielberg seems to be trying too hard to elevate to a place where - at least for me - he didn't need to go.

  • Apr 15, 2019

    Seen this again the other day, first time seeing it since I was kid. I liked it as a kid, and I still like it. One of Malkovich's best characters that I've seen. The invasion that displaces "Jaime" and is well done. Does a good job of instilling the fear and panic. There is a childlike wonder to the film, for me it worked. Really enjoyed this movie.

    Seen this again the other day, first time seeing it since I was kid. I liked it as a kid, and I still like it. One of Malkovich's best characters that I've seen. The invasion that displaces "Jaime" and is well done. Does a good job of instilling the fear and panic. There is a childlike wonder to the film, for me it worked. Really enjoyed this movie.

  • Jan 22, 2019

    Underrated is an understatement. Few if any movies that I have seen look at the formative years of a young man and reveal what a societally forced tough exterior hides. For a male viewer, this is one of the finest, most honest and beautiful movies I have ever seen. For the female viewer, watch this movie with an open heart and learn what lies deep inside a man. Love, love, love this movie.

    Underrated is an understatement. Few if any movies that I have seen look at the formative years of a young man and reveal what a societally forced tough exterior hides. For a male viewer, this is one of the finest, most honest and beautiful movies I have ever seen. For the female viewer, watch this movie with an open heart and learn what lies deep inside a man. Love, love, love this movie.

  • Jan 12, 2019

    The cinematography of the film was on point, most notably in the footprint scene. But the tone of the film was off-putting, with a curious score that only seemed to be suitable in the stressful scene where the boy was nearly caught. I did not identify with any character, and particularly disliked Bale's. The film stagnated greatly once he went to Suzhou, where he seemed to have a bizarrely happy life. The film tried to fill the audience with the sense of wonder, but it just left me confused.

    The cinematography of the film was on point, most notably in the footprint scene. But the tone of the film was off-putting, with a curious score that only seemed to be suitable in the stressful scene where the boy was nearly caught. I did not identify with any character, and particularly disliked Bale's. The film stagnated greatly once he went to Suzhou, where he seemed to have a bizarrely happy life. The film tried to fill the audience with the sense of wonder, but it just left me confused.

  • Jan 01, 2019

    Out For A Walk. Empire Of The Sun Spielberg's symphony on the disastrous incident has a young heart pulsating among the cold sinister world. To drive an entire more than two hours of a film with a kid on the lead role to speak of a tale that is bizarrely horrendous and gloomy to be palpable. But then this is Spielberg's strongest genre, and the reason why his take on war over the year has created such a jarring effect on the viewers is to his gore yet clean vision. There is undoubtedly inedible sequences as the concept suggests and demands, but his little tactics through which he scales the depth of the water, is to be admired in here. Barring no restraints on taking the storyline to various places and wider ranges, the consistency is kept alive through familiar faces that shows up every now and then like surfing through different channels. Spielberg's world is not dependent of any medium, as the war should be, and through physical sequences with using less words as possible, he demands attention of the viewers on a much larger scale. Bale, upfront in the field, marching without any flags or troops, is a committed floating bubble that narrates this resistance fluently. Among all the harrowing images shown, one of the worst ought to be Bale's innocence being ripped off in the field to almost nothing. And it's that journey of nothing to existence, if not meaningful, that arcs up a magnificent moon on the screen; a pure brilliance. But all the good bits aside, there are times where the film sinks too much into the semantics of it to brew the bittersweet essence of the tale. Nevertheless, Spielberg's second World War triumph claimed Empire Of The Sun has a white bright light that Bale sees it and so do we.

    Out For A Walk. Empire Of The Sun Spielberg's symphony on the disastrous incident has a young heart pulsating among the cold sinister world. To drive an entire more than two hours of a film with a kid on the lead role to speak of a tale that is bizarrely horrendous and gloomy to be palpable. But then this is Spielberg's strongest genre, and the reason why his take on war over the year has created such a jarring effect on the viewers is to his gore yet clean vision. There is undoubtedly inedible sequences as the concept suggests and demands, but his little tactics through which he scales the depth of the water, is to be admired in here. Barring no restraints on taking the storyline to various places and wider ranges, the consistency is kept alive through familiar faces that shows up every now and then like surfing through different channels. Spielberg's world is not dependent of any medium, as the war should be, and through physical sequences with using less words as possible, he demands attention of the viewers on a much larger scale. Bale, upfront in the field, marching without any flags or troops, is a committed floating bubble that narrates this resistance fluently. Among all the harrowing images shown, one of the worst ought to be Bale's innocence being ripped off in the field to almost nothing. And it's that journey of nothing to existence, if not meaningful, that arcs up a magnificent moon on the screen; a pure brilliance. But all the good bits aside, there are times where the film sinks too much into the semantics of it to brew the bittersweet essence of the tale. Nevertheless, Spielberg's second World War triumph claimed Empire Of The Sun has a white bright light that Bale sees it and so do we.

  • Nov 07, 2018

    This film was great.

    This film was great.

  • Sep 26, 2018

    Absolutely one of the most underrated films of all time. Every tween and teen should see this film. A coming of age story tracing innocence to maturity under stress, to the point of madness.

    Absolutely one of the most underrated films of all time. Every tween and teen should see this film. A coming of age story tracing innocence to maturity under stress, to the point of madness.

  • Sep 21, 2018

    Great, well made and powerful story.

    Great, well made and powerful story.

  • Aug 17, 2018

    What a grand disappointment. This film seemed more lost than Christian Bale's character. I'm a huge Spielberg fan, but even he couldn't save this drawn out film that never gets an identity. My God, 2 hrs and 30 min felt like 3:50. Unbelievable. A few nice nuggets are delivered along the way to make you want to stay attached, but then 60% through when you realize this is a failure, you figure you're already so invested you should just keep the DVD rolling in case there is a reward. Alas, there is none. Just a truly weird movie I will never watch again. I guess I was right to not watch this movie the last 31 years. If you want to see a much better film of the same British/WW2 young man's angst theme, watch Alan Parker's/Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Empire of the Sun goes to show you need a sharp, driving script to succeed in fim, even if you have quite possibly the best director ever trying to bring it all together.

    What a grand disappointment. This film seemed more lost than Christian Bale's character. I'm a huge Spielberg fan, but even he couldn't save this drawn out film that never gets an identity. My God, 2 hrs and 30 min felt like 3:50. Unbelievable. A few nice nuggets are delivered along the way to make you want to stay attached, but then 60% through when you realize this is a failure, you figure you're already so invested you should just keep the DVD rolling in case there is a reward. Alas, there is none. Just a truly weird movie I will never watch again. I guess I was right to not watch this movie the last 31 years. If you want to see a much better film of the same British/WW2 young man's angst theme, watch Alan Parker's/Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Empire of the Sun goes to show you need a sharp, driving script to succeed in fim, even if you have quite possibly the best director ever trying to bring it all together.