Aaron Eckhart Masters the Creep

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under CineBlog

Actor Aaron Eckhart’s transformation into gothic literary character Frankenstein’s monster (AKA Adam) might be the first official “monster” he’s played on the big screen, but he has portrayed a handful of other debauched characters in his 22-year career. Here is a look at a few other characters that’ll probably make your skin crawl more than his embodiment of Frankenstein’s monster…

Character: Chad
Film: In the Company of Men (1997)
Why he’s a monster: Devoid of any moral capacity, Chad is one of those characters you’d hope even your worst enemy never meets during his or her lifetime. In the film, the first by director Neil LaBute, Chad, a misogynistic business executive, concocts a scheme where he and his coworker end up dating the same a deaf woman and plan to string her along before dumping her simultaneously and breaking her heart. And you thought your ex-boyfriend was a dick.
That’s a fucked up thing to say: “Let’s hurt somebody.”

Character: Del Sizemore
Film: Nurse Betty (2000)
Why he’s a monster: In this other Neil LaBute dark comedy, Eckhart gets to show off his insensitive side again, this time as Del Sizemore, a used car salesman who is having an affair with his secretary unbeknownst to his wife (Renée Zellweger). He’s also selling drugs on the side from his car dealership. This time, however, Eckhart gets what he probably deserves.
That’s a fucked up thing to say: “You know these actors are mainly models, which are mainly faggots. And the rest are assholes.”

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Character: Nick Naylor
Film: Thank You for Smoking (2005)
Why he’s a monster: As a smooth-talking tobacco lobbyist, it’s Nick Naylor’s job to tell everyone it’s safe to light up and offers studies to prove to consumers that smoking cigarettes, in fact, is not hazardous to their health. He also wants more Hollywood studios to advertise cigarettes in their films through product placement.
That’s a fucked up thing to say: “Few people on this planet know what it is to be truly despised. I earn a living fronting an organization that kills 1,200 people a day. We’re talking two jumbo jet plane loads of men, women and children. I mean, there’s Attila, Genghis… and me, Nick Naylor. The face of cigarettes, the Colonel Sanders of nicotine.”

Character: Travis Vuoso
Film: Towelhead (2007)
Why he’s a monster: Eckhart is at his most perverse when he plays Mr. Vuoso, an Army reserve who develops an infatuation with his 13-year-old Lebanese American neighbor and ends up raping her.
That’s a fucked up thing to say: “What the hell do you think you’re doing with that nigger? You’re going to ruin your reputation.”

Character: Two-Face
Film: The Dark Knight (2008)
Why he’s a monster: He may only be the charred DC Comic’s character for a short time before he falls to his death at the hands of Batman in the popular sequel, but Eckhart is just as warped as Heath Ledger’s Joker when he gets a coin in his hand. He was a good-hearted politician when he was Harvey Dent, but once the Joker took away everything important to him, there was nothing left but madness.
That’s a fucked up thing to say: “You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time. But you were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. Unbiased. Unprejudiced. Fair.”

The Dark Knight

July 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Directed by: Christopher Nolan (“Batman Begins”)
Written by: Christopher Nolan (“Memento”), Jonathan Nolan (“The Prestige”)

Is it possible for a film so saturated in hype to be blinding even to the most objective of viewers? With “The Dark Knight” sure to break a few box office records this weekend, it’s no surprise that a visionary director like Christopher Nolan can create such an immensely dim and entertaining crime drama masked as a superhero movie. It’s easily the best comic-book movie of the summer, but to call it more than that is the overstatement of the year.

The accolades, of course, start with the late Heath Ledger’s fiendish and amazing performance at Batman’s nemesis the Joker. Ledger is right on cue as the soulless clown who robs banks alongside his gang of criminals. It’s a completely different portrayal than that of Jack Nicholson from the 1989 version. It’s not better or worse, but it is distinctive and memorable.

Christian Bale returns to form as the most ruthless Batman of any that came before him. Torn between his responsibility as a vigilante crime fighter in Gotham City and settling down with Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is now more interested the newly elected district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart, who is later burned to become Two-Face) than billionaire businessman Bruce Wayne.

As in “Batman Begins,” Nolan has recreated the denseness of a city on the brink of chaos in “The Dark Knight” and it permeates through the entire film. It’s a real-world story with comic-book tendencies and Nolan is the one that is able to mold the two genres together to produce a sort of hybrid crime thriller.

There are moments in “The Dark Knight” where the screenplay has some opportunities to really sideswipe the audience, but chooses some easy way outs of a few intense situations. Where the film could have ended up becoming macabre and transformed the Joker into an incarnate of evil, it bows out and leaves him on a level of likability.

Overall, “The Dark Knight” wowed, but didn’t have a lasting effect despite it’s full-package delivery. That’s usually what happens with summer blockbusters, even when there as impressive as this.

Nestor Carbonell – The Dark Knight

June 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

It’s not an everyday occurrence to see yourself in the most anticipated blockbuster of the year, but that is just where Latino actor Nestor Carbonell (TV’s “Lost”) found himself this summer.

In “The Dark Knight,” the second film of director Christopher Nolan’s visionary Batman franchise, Christian Bale returns to form as the Caped Crusader and is pitted against the psychotic Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger.)

In the film, Carbonell – who is Cuban-American – plays the Mayor of Gotham City.

Tell me how you got involved with the project.

I was given some material last year and told it was going to be for [director] Christopher Nolan. So, I just prepared for it and went in and read and it went well. But I didn’t hear back from anyone for two months so I assumed they had found someone else. Then, I remember I was in Hawaii working on the season finale of “Lost” and I got a call from my manager and he said, “Hey, I got a call and Christopher Nolan wants some tape on you.” I said, “Really, for what part?” He said, “The Mayor of Gotham City.” Two days later, I got the offer. It was a dream call.

I’m sure you had seen “Batman Begins” before the audition, so what was it about this project that made you want to be a part of it?

What I loved about “Batman Begins” was that [Christopher’s] work is really grounded in truth even though it’s a superhero movie set in a fantastical world. I also liked that it was a psychological thriller. It wasn’t your typical action movie. It really dealt deep into the darkness behind the man in the cape.

What does it take to play a politician in a dark, fictional city like Gotham?

I talk to Christopher on the set about it and basically the mayor is a guy who went into politics with good intentions and wanted to reshape Gotham and restore law and order. He was quickly met with the grim reality that things weren’t as easy as he though they would be and he might have to compromise his principles. Although we are fighting against the same enemies, he doesn’t promote vigilante behavior like Batman.

I know most of your scenes are with Gary Oldman (Lt. James Gordon) and Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/Two-Face), but did you get to work with Heath Ledger at all?

I had a little bit of interaction with him in a couple of scenes, but it was quite minimal. But he did something really interesting in one scene in particular. I announcing something to a group of police officers and they cheer and he sort of mocks the celebration in a very sardonic way. It wasn’t scripted and is a real insight in how free he was in the role.