Christian Charles Philip Bale is ever the Welshman, in name and origin. He was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire on January 30, 1974, but grew up in Oxfordshire, England. A man of diverse influences, he also grew up in California and Portugal.
Bal was raised in a milieu of entertainers. His mother is a former circus performer and his great uncle is a former actor, while one of his sisters is a musician, and another an actress and theater director. Both grandfathers were part-time actors, and one of them doubled for John Wayne twice while shooting in Africa. But it was his father Davis, a commercial pilot, who pushed the boy to pursue acting as a career by becoming his manager.
One of the most underrated actors around, Christian Bale is ready for his closeup. Few know his name, and those who recognize it have a hard time placing him. But few actors have such a fiercely loyal fan base -- and his work merits it.
Christian Bale was a child star who developed with little-known cult movies, gaining a small following along the way. With roles like that of "Laurie" in Little Women he won the hearts of ladies, and with American Psycho the awe of everyone else.
Not many actors have such a venerable devotion to their work as Bale has shown, and with a heart of solid gold, he spends much of his time supporting many causes.
Christian bale in The Nerd
Before that, Bale had only tinkered with acting, thanks in part to his director sister. By the age of 9, he had appeared in a number of commercials, including one for Pac-Man cereal in Britain. One year later he made his stage debut in London's prestigious West End in the play, The Nerd. His co-star was none other than comedian Rowan Atkinson, of Mr. Bean fame.
Christian bale in Empire of the Sun
By 1986, Christian Bale had already appeared in a made-for-TV movie called Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. After a miniseries and a minor movie, Bale's defining role had arrived; he beat out 4,000 other actors for the lead part in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987). For Bale's work, the National Board of Review created a special award for him: Best Juvenile Performance.
While it seemed like things were looking up for the young actor, he only felt discouraged by the experience and media attention, and withdrew from acting as a result.
Christian Bale in Swing Kids
But another great actor, Kenneth Branagh, persuaded Bale to act again and gave him a small role in his version of Henry V (1989). In 1992, after 10 intense weeks of dance and martial arts training, Bale starred in the musical Newsies, followed by Swing Kids, a movie about the underground swing movement in Nazi Germany.
In the mid-'90s, Winona Ryder handpicked Bale for the part of Laurie in 1994's Little Women, and the following year he lent his fine-tuned voice to "Thomas" in the Disney production of Pocahontas. Things slowed down with a string of movies that hardly made a bleep, including Metroland (1997), Velvet Goldmine (1998) and Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999), in which he portrayed Jesus of Nazareth.
Christian Bale in American Psycho
But 2000 turned out to be Christian Bale's year of glory. In American Psycho (based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name), Bale starred as deranged yuppie murderer Patrick Bateman, emulating the literary character's painstaking cosmetic and exercise regimen. He was briefly cast aside when Leonardo DiCaprio showed interest, but incidentally, Leo backed out and Christian was back in.
For three years, Christian Bale lent his talent to substandard work like 2000's Shaft, 2001's Captain Corelli's Mandolin -- also starring the stunning Penelope Cruz -- and 2002's Reign of Fire. But he showed just how dedicated a thespian he is with The Machinist (2004), after having lost 63 pounds by eating only salads and apples, and drinking non-fat lattes. Apparently, Bale smoked like a chimney and would down whisky on the nights before shooting, in order to dehydrate his body and look extra emaciated.
Christian bale is the new Batman
Taking a leap into the world of blockbusters, Bale stars in 2005's Batman Begins, a prequel and that also stars Morgan Freeman and Katie Holmes. Bale will round out 2005 with Terrence Malick's The New World, and can add Harsh Times to his resume in 2006.
Christian Bale is married to Sandra "Sibi" Blazic; the couple, who met on the set of Little Women when Blazic was Winona Ryder's personal assistant, welcomed a daughter to the world in March 2005. Christian also made news when his father, who has since passed away, married feminist icon Gloria Steinem in 2000.
Bale lives wherever he happens to be shooting, but divides his time between the U.S. and the UK. He is devoted to many causes, including Ark Trust, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Foundation, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the Redwings Sanctuary, the Happy Child Mission, and a school for street kids in Rio de Janeiro.
Personality & talent
Christian Bale's dedication to his craft is staggering. When formulating how to make Bale look withered in The Machinist, director Brad Anderson thought baggy clothes, and some camera and lighting tricks would do. Bale went way beyond the call of duty, living off coffee and cigarettes for weeks in order to lose 63 pounds.
This points to a man for whom stardom is a by-product of his work, not the main goal. It's as if the celebrity trauma he suffered during his child star days gave him a complete disregard for fame and recognition. As many performers can confirm, once you stop caring about what your audience thinks, you perform that much better.
Unique to Bale is his razor-sharp ear. In just about every movie on his resume, he has used a different accent; it is said that he used his natural British voice only once, in the 1997 movie Metroland. With such dedication to his roles and a compliant voice, there are no limits to what Bale can do onscreen.
Accomplishments & fame
Despite having more than 20 projects to his name, Christian Bale retains cult star status. His fans chat to no end about his virtues on the Internet, but few moviegoers will recognize his name. This may very well change once he makes the leap into the blockbuster realm as Batman.
But fame is hardly the measure of one's accomplishments these days. Christian Bale has been a consistently solid actor in every film he's been involved with. His first big movie, 1987's Empire of the Sun, made him a star. The pressures of fame being too much for a young boy, Bale stepped away, but was soon encouraged by none other than Kenneth Branagh to continue.
That turned out to be a good move, since it resulted in some defining movie roles in early '90s fare like Newsies, Swing Kids, Little Women, and Disney's Pocahontas in 1995 (as a voice talent, of course). But Bale's true talent was finally revealed in 2000's American Psycho, in which he portrayed disturbed yuppie egomaniac Patrick Bateman with eerie perfection.
He again rocked the critics with 2004's The Machinist, losing 63 pounds and actually self-inducing insomnia to make his onscreen neurosis totally believable. In 2005, everyone will know Bale's name when he dons the cape left behind by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, and stars as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. Christian Bale will also appear in 2005's The New World and 2006's Harsh Times.
Review by Gokhra
For those of you not familiar with the actual book this was an early 80's cult series that was adapted for BBC radio. Later it became a 1984 video game as well as a 90's DC comic as well. It's an unbelievably wacky four part story that is inappropriately termed as a trilogy. That goes to show that silliness is the books main theme and it excels at it. I managed to get my hands on only the second episode at the British Council Library. You would think they would have the other episodes but sadly not.
Douglas Adams' silly, sci-fi classic "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has been made into a movie and luckily did not turn into a goof. into
Worlds are created at a factory as we find out later in the movie. That also provides one of the movies visual highlights. Basically we earthlings are not all that mighty as we like to think. Worlds are quite dispensable as you shall see.
The hero is a mild-mannered Englishman named Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman, from the BBC's ''The Office"). He traverses the universe in his bathrobe because Earth was destroyed before breakfast. It turns out that while Arthur was fretting about a planned highway bypass running through his house, a Vogon Constructor Fleet (some kind of alien race) is about to put a galactic bypass through the planet as a whole. Earth perishes not with a whimper or a bang, but a soft, silvery whoof.
The movie has a prologue about dolphins which according to the film are the second most intelligent species on Earth, just above humans (see the film to learn who's smartest). The dolphins have been trying to warn the Earthlings about the planet's impending doom. All their efforts, however, are mistaken for entertaining water acrobatics. So far that should give you a thorough idea as to how crazy the plot gets.
Because of the construction of the intergalactic freeway billions die but our hero is saved by friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def), who is actually an alien visiting Earth to research a new entry for the universal best-selling book, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Just when Arthur thinks his Thursday morning can't get any worse, he and Ford face torture at the hands of bloated galactic bureaucrats, the Vogons. The Vogons look like slimy potato sacks which is pretty much what they are -- and they write poetry bad enough to liquefy a listener's brain.
Of course they are then promptly rescued by the insane, two-headed president of the universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell), and Trillian ("Elf's" Zooey Deschanel), an Earth girl who previously rejected Arthur at a cocktail party.
Then there's the theory of Infinite Improbability Drive, which pops travellers from one side of the universe to the other and briefly transforms their spaceship into a giant apple, or a rubber duck, or a chrysanthemum, before letting it resume its normal state. The movie's just like that constantly changing into something visually enticing and fun.
There's a lot of inside humor for purists but newcomers won't be alienated, as the script tends to cater to Hollywood formula instead of Adams' inspired anarchy. The romance between Arthur and his fellow earthling Trillian (Zooey Deschanel) is actually allowed to become serious in the movie. Perhaps this represents leaning toward box-office inevitability.
That said, new, shoehorned-in scenes with John Malkovich as Beeblebrox's arch-enemy are priceless, even if they don't make much sense in story terms. But that's the case. Adams' cult books were less about story than deliriously silly, laugh-out-loud jokes on the page. The new version of "Hitchhiker" doesn't quite capture it all but then again you can't really expect a movie to capture al that's written on paper. You can't help but love this story.
Finally the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 has been properly analysed by unbiased experts. The results are far from what Sony and Microsoft has actually claimed. It's not shocking, really. Only clueless fanboys believed their hype anyway. The companies claimed the next consoles are going to be twenty to thirty times more powerful than the current ones. Yeah, right. Actually, they will be merely two to three times better and both of these would have pretty much the same amount of power. Now it makes sense how they're able to sell these machines within 400 dollars. The analysis is done by the brainy folks at anandtech.com and you can read it at [doiop.com/anandtech]. (Reading the entire tech discussion may cause gouts of blood to jet from your ears.)
More analysis: Nintendo's Next-Gen strategy
Gaming-Age forum member Chittagong (is this dude a Bangladeshi?) has posted a surprisingly thought-out and coherent take on Nintendo's next-gen console strategy. [doiop.com/ninty] It's just an opinion, but it's an unusually thoughtful one, especially for a topic that tends to turn even the most rationale person into a raving fanboy.
The poster's basic premise is that Nintendo realizes it's not number one in the console market, and doesn't really care. Instead they are focusing on making good games that attract specific gamers and not worrying about beating the competition. [Found in Kotaku.com]
Before proceeding to the usual links, take a look at the picture with this article. If you see some matchsticks, then I can say it's my photography. Do you like? (It was taken with a cam-phone, so the image quality isn't that high.)
The links are available at my blog [niloywrites.blogspot.com] so that you don't have to type the links up.
The GTA Blog
My fourth site. It's a cool new blog about San Andreas in which I explore the game world and post pictures and snide comments on weird, funny, whacky, offensive... basically anything that's interesting and can get unnoticed by casual gamers. ROFL-inducers are plentiful in the site, but just like the game, the site is not for children.
I want a game that gives you [psychological-disorder]
Yet another classic found in Kotaku! This article was actually swiped from PointlessWasteofTime.com and was written by the same guy who wrote the now kinda famous Gamer's Manifesto (link coming up below). David Wong starts out his rant on the ultimate war simulator with this beauty of an intro:
"Like my Grandpa always said, there were no naked human pyramids in Starcraft.
There were no whiny anti-war Hollywood types or questionable war motives or granola-munching human shields. I'm starting to think that even Command and Conquer: Generals, a game so "realistic" it took a NASA-built Quantum supercomputer to run it, has left me woefully unprepared to fight an actual war."
What Wong wants is a real, real time strategy. One that "will give me a stress headache after an hour and an ulcer after a week. I want to identify experienced players on the street by their Thousand-Yard Stares."
What follows is a humorous and deviously insightful attack on the stupidity of real world war and real world war protestors. Read it, love it, live it.
By the same guy who wrote the previous classic, Gamers's Manifesto is a list of "20 things gamers want from the seventh generation of game consoles." Fantastic stuff.
Possible screenshot from GTA 4
This interesting shot was posted in Kotaku last week. It might not be real, but it just could be. When you have a gameworld that's two to three times bigger than San Andreas and looks this beautiful, you know that it's PS3 at its greatest. Either that or it's just the next GTA title.
Another PS2 Fan Struck Down by God
In a vulgar display of power, God struck down on another kid, playing on his PS2, in the UK. This (dumb) kid was also playing during an electrical storm, as a result of which, he was struck by lightning, and blowing him away and having his roof catch fire. Unfortunately, no news on his controller or whether he was killing hookers in GTA. [From BDgamer.net/?itemid=19124]
Apropos of Something comic remixes
Some pretty fantastic remixed comics from website Apropos of Something. More at [doiop.com/apropos2]
Iifaros Experimental Flash Gallery
38 smooth examples of odd and interactive Flash animations. They all sort of feel like experiments on those black touch-screens on the Enterprise.
Fantastic meaningless interactive flash animation. 668 kb.
This Sites Unseen has about 15 links and of them 4-5 are from Kotaku! Whoa! I guess some of you might feel a bit bothered about it, but it's just that I try to point to important/interesting gaming stuff as soon as they appear, and no other site features these as beautifully as Kotaku.