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Scott Cooper transitioned from small-time actor into big-time director when his debut film Crazy Heart earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Oscar in 2009. It has taken five long years for his follow-up film, Out of the Furnace, to be made and released -- and that was partially due to Cooper's insistence that Christian Bale play the lead role of Russell Baze, a long time steel miner in rural Pennsylvania struggling to make the best out of his life.
Russell has a beautiful girlfriend named Lena (Zoe Saldana) and works hard to make the lives of those around him better, checking in on his ailing father every morning before work and bailing his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) out of his gambling debts even though he doesn't really have the money. Rodney has been on four tours to Iraq and has no interest in following in his brother's footsteps of working for a living. »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Now playing in theaters is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace. Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker. For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Harrelson and Cooper. They talked about the way they collaborated to flesh out Harrelson's character, the film Cooper was trying to make, the characters, deleted scenes, and more. Hit the jump to watch. Woody Harrelson and Scott Cooper: How the film shows characters that are having the layers peeled off. Cooper talks »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
The movies persist in giving us an outdated view of women
Ed Helmore's welcome article further underlined the woeful position of women in the film industry ("The naked truth: Hollywood treats its women as second-class citizens", In Focus).
There are also still questions to be raised about the representation of women in films. In fact, women rarely appear as women – they appear as sex objects or as ersatz men – sometimes both at once.
I like a strong female lead as much as the next person, but so often that female acts and talks exactly like a man and is surrounded by men – though she is usually allowed to have sex with the male lead at the end of the movie. When can we acknowledge that women do interesting, thrilling, beautiful, unusual, brave and clever things without having to inhabit a "traditionally male" role? Worst of all, the man-woman has now become a cliche, »
43-year-old Scott Cooper didn’t direct his first feature film until he was 37. 2009′s Crazy Heart scored Jeff Bridges his first oscar, and it also made Cooper a director on the rise. The film cost only $7m and went on to earn more than $47m worldwide, making it both a critical and financial smash. That’s not a feat we see often, but for Cooper, he couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming result for his debut. His follow-up, Out of the Furnace, is an entirely different kind of film, featuring an ensemble cast, life and death stakes and suspense. Before it premiered at AFI Fest last month, one of the producers compared Out of the Furnace to The Deer Hunter, inferring that they didn’t set out to make a film that goes down easy. The talent in attendance clearly stated their intention: they wanted to make a movie about America. Not »
- Jack Giroux
Is anyone a better movie actor right now than Christian Bale? (Okay, I’ll give you Daniel Day-Lewis… but it’s close and getting closer.) The 39-year-old Welshman is fully in his prime, demonstrated most recently by two powerful performances landing in the heart of Oscar season. The flashier role might be in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, which doesn’t open until Dec. 20. In Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which opened Wednesday and expanded Friday, he plays the good-intentioned ex-con whose pursuit of justice — after his ne’er-do-well brother (Casey Affleck) goes missing — puts him on »
- Jeff Labrecque
Willem Dafoe delivers a finely drawn performance as a small town bookie in Out of the Furnace, Scott Cooper’s dark and gritty drama set in a struggling blue-collar Pennsylvania steel town. A local lowlife with connections, John Petty (Dafoe) is part of the community and friends with steelworker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) and his brother, Rodney (Casey Affleck), an Iraq vet struggling to transition back to civilian life. Petty knows the brothers have fallen on hard times, but Rodney is into him for quite a sum of money, and business comes first. Opening December 6th, the film also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana and Forest Whitaker. In an exclusive interview, Dafoe talked about how his sense of trust in Cooper combined with the strong script and an impressive cast was a big draw, why he enjoys playing characters that are conflicted and full of contradictions, what inspired him to »
- Sheila Roberts
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Running Time: 1 hr 56 mins
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Plot: Russell (Bale) tries to pull himself together after leaving jail while his brother (Affleck) gets involved with a dangerous gang leader (Harrelson) from the mysterious Pennsylvania backwoods.
Who’S It For? Fans of Bale’s acting palette, and those looking for a strong film during award season that isn’t eager to please.
In a current seasonal trend of lead men experiencing masculinity in crisis, Bale provides a presentation of such that comes with less of the fanfare of something like, oh, let’s just say for example, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. He shows the thoroughly Texas actor among others the more fortified elements behind a transforming performance, all while still managing the everlasting force that is one popular actor’s constant mojo. »
- Nick Allen
The method actor has played the iconic Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" and re-energized the beloved Batman with Christopher Nolan. He's become almost deathly thin for some films, like "The Machinist," and added dozens of pounds for others, like "American Hustle." With an Oscar under his belt for "The Fighter," Bale hardly has to prove he's more than just a blockbuster star. One of the best actors of his generation, he's now back on the indie scene in the dramatic "Out of the Furnace," opening this Friday, December 6.
"Out of the Furnace," Scott Cooper's follow-up to 2009's award-winning "Crazy Heart," stars Bale in a contemporary tale of heartbreak set against the backdrop of the Rust Belt. Bale plays Russell Baze, a mill worker in a »
- Jonny Black
As a musician, songwriter and producer, T Bone Burnett has left his mark on the recording industry in indelible fashion. Yet over the past decade in particular, he’s also burnished his reputation and widened his circle of admirers through much work in film — continuing a collaborative relationship over several movies with Joel and Ethan Coen, serving as the music producer on “Walk the Line” and “Across the Universe,” and winning an Academy Award as part of his work as a producer, songwriter and composer on Scott Cooper’s “Crazy Heart.” His latest big screen endeavor is one of his most challenging. For the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” set against the backdrop of the [ Read More ]
Time to retreat from the bright, twinkly lights and good cheer of the holiday season and fall into the grim world of film noir. But we’re not traveling back to the time of big sedans and even bigger fedoras. That’s the era that first inspired that phrase with classics like Detour, D.O.A., and Gun Crazy. They, in turn, inspired several modern-day full color tributes beginning in the 1980′s with Body Heat to One False Move. Out Of The Furnace is set over the last few years, but instead of a bustling metropolis its backdrop is a dying small Pennsylvania town. And the big scores aren’t jewelry stores and banks, it’s crack and meth. While the flick’s in color, the mood is just as dark as in those old black and whites. Very, very dark.
For most of film noir thrillers, the main hero is just an honest, »
- Jim Batts
Written by Brad Inglesby and Scott Cooper
Directed by Scott Cooper
In the last few years, American filmmakers have turned to the bleak parts of the country, both to explore the sharp, darkened corners of our current psyche, and to depict a world stuck in the past. Films like Winter’s Bone, Killing Them Softly, and A Single Shot, among others, attempt to mine pathos for what amounts to a forgotten stretch of the nation, peopled with hard-bitten survivors desperately trying to get by and possibly escape. And now we can add to this list the tightly wound thriller Out of the Furnace. It is a film set in the present, but one marked by the past, both in its storytelling and visual presentation.
Christian Bale, mostly, avoids going over the top and instead opts to play his character, Russell Baze, as something close to a ghost walking the earth. »
- Josh Spiegel
Now playing in limited release and expanding nationwide this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace. Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker. For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Christian Bale. He talked about knowing when he has to do a project, his character in the film and his thoughts on what kind of movie it is, what it was like working for Terrence Malick and how Bale used gopros on set to film some of the movie himself, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
"When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose..." A reference to that famous line from "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan might seemingly be more at home in a review of Inside Llewyn Davis, the early 1960s folk music odyssey from the Coen brothers. But it holds truer of Christian Bale's character in Out of the Furnace, the new ultra-dour revenge film from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. Bale plays Russell Baze, a shopworn, salt-of-the-earth man of few words. These days, Russell is coming by his grizzled demeanor honestly, working long days as an unassuming handyman, scraping lead paint from door jams and dealing with old gutters while up on ladders. An honest day's work is the limit of his aspirations. He's...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Four years after the release of Crazy Heart, director Scott Cooper brings another chilling story to the screen with Out of the Furnace. The film, which hits theaters this weekend, journeys into the heart of a fading America as it follows two brothers raised in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Fresh off four brutal tours of duty in Iraq, Rodney Baze (Casey Affleck) returns to his hometown to reunite with his oldest brother, Russell (Christian Bale). When Russell lands in jail, Rodney tries to make ends meet and soon finds himself in dealings with the leader of a ruthless crime ring (Woody Harrelson). When Rodney goes missing shortly after Russell gets out of prison, Russell must enter a violent world to save his brother. While promoting the film at the AFI film festival, director Scott...
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In telling the story of a fundamentally decent man's descent into violence and retribution, Scott Cooper's “Out of the Furnace” plants its cues of chilly neo-noir in the claustrophobic corners of America's Rust Belt, and then nearly gets away with its own high-minded meditations. Loyalty and consequence collide in the “Crazy Heart” director's sophomore feature (from Cooper's rewrite of a script originally by Brad Inglesby), but while those themes eventually result in payoffs that are noticeably muted and confused, the film is luckily powered by a powerful trio of performances at its core, and a unique, unpredictable structure that constantly reframes the action in a compelling way. What seems like five years pass in the film's first 30 minutes, and it makes a point to show that the change being touted on the 2008-based television screen hasn't come—or if it has, it's for the worse. In the economically dire steel town of Braddock, »
- Charlie Schmidlin
“Out of the Furnace” may be this generation’s movie that shows a family’s struggle from the ill effects of the Iraq war and the Great Recession.
Director Scott Cooper’s powerful drama has an all-star cast that included Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana. There’s no question the acting is nearly flawless with this cast.
The revenge film is about when a younger brother mysteriously disappears in the Appalachian Mountains after a bare knuckle fight. His older brother takes the matter into his own hands for justice.
Latino-Review was present at the press conference late last month to discuss about the film.
Questions asked from the press ranging from characters motivation, Braddock’s setting and the cast chemistry.
“Out of the Furnace” is currently released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It will be expanded nationwide tomorrow.
- Gig Patta
This weekend, Oscar Isaac navigates the early 1960s folk scene as he determinedly searches for success in "Inside Llewyn Davis," and Christian Bale proves a brothers' bond has no limits in the dramatic "Out of the Furnace."
The newest Coen brothers' film, "Inside Llewyn Davis," stars Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, and Carey Mulligan as aspiring folk musicians in 1960s Greenwich Village. The story follows Davis (Isaac) over a one-week period as he traverses the local music scene and attempts to make a name for himself, all while staying true to his art. "Inside Llewyn Davis," the Coens' first film since 2010's "True Grit," has been making the rounds on the festival circuit since May, when the film premiered at Cannes and won its Grand Prix award.
- Jonny Black
Christian Bale often oscillates between two acting modes. First, there's Christian Bale the big-screen populist, who springs up in the likes of "Terminator Salvation" and the three Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movies with cocksure swagger and something wounded underneath. Then there's Christian Bale the serious actor, who starves himself for "The Machinist" and "Rescue Dawn" and makes all other actors feel like they simply aren't doing enough earnest morphing for their roles.
Both of those modes are on display in "Out of the Furnace," the new film from co-writer/director Scott Cooper, whose last film, "Crazy Heart," won Jeff Bridges a long-deserved Oscar. Bale is clearly gunning for the same recognition here (more on that in a minute) as a steelworker who seeks to untangle a mystery involving his Iraq War veteran brother (Casey Affleck, wonderful as always), looking into the iffy hills of the Appalachian backwoods to find answers. »
- Drew Taylor
Over the past few years Woody Harrelson has become one of my favorite guys to sit down and chat with. In his latest feature Out Of The Furnace, he plays a vicious character and he does so perfectly. Of course Woody is a fantastic actor, but Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) is an incredible filmmaker as well with a very unique voice. With this film he challenges expectations and makes for very personal cinematic journey. Sitting down with the two talented fellas, we discussed the extremely »
Scott Cooper didn.t mess around when it came to constructing the tone of his new film Out of the Furnace. From the very first scene . which features Woody Harrelson.s character verbally and physically abusing his girlfriend at a drive-in movie . the movie envelops the audience in an incredibly dark world and doesn.t let go until you.re well on your way home from the theater. And that was exactly what the director was going for. With the film now out in limited release and set to expand on Friday, I recently had the chance to sit down one-on-one with the Crazy Heart director to talk in depth about his latest work. Read on to learn not only about the incredibly dark tone, but also the interesting period setting of the film and where the filmmaker started putting together the all-star cast. After Crazy Heart, I.m sure »
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