Reviewed by Humby:

Now and again a writer making his way in Hollywood gets his shot in the director’s chair. This time the writer is David Ayer, (Training Day, SWAT, U-571) and his directorial debut is HARSH TIMES. This is a semi-autobiographical tale of two best friends dealing with ‘harsh times’ living in the slums of Los Angeles. It has the same gritty feel that made the first half of “Training Day” a really interesting script.

It’s obvious that Ayer was born and raised in LA and that he really gets it in ways that I never will. His directing follows in suit as he creates a look for the film that is very gritty and real, but not distracting. He has a particular way with the tone and the characters, and I am really looking forward to seeing how he develops more as a director than as a writer.

The real reason to check HARSH TIMES out is the performances of the two leads, Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under”). Both of these actors are fantastic in this movie. I immediately bought them as best friends and understand how they come to these places in their lives. Bale, as usual, completely transforms into the character that he plays. He is a soldier back from the middle east and is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, which is ruining his chance at a life.

Rodriguez play a man that really wants to pull himself together and start a life for himself and his girlfriend (played in a small role by Eva Longoria). The problem that he faces is his best friend, who seems to do nothing but drag him down. It is an interesting look at friendship and life in that area of the country.

The movie runs nearly two hours, and could stand to lose about 15 – 20 minutes. With a little tightening and focus on structure, the emotional beats would be a lot more effective. I think that this will go through a couple more edits before it ever sees the light of day. In short, I enjoyed the movie, and would recommend checking it out on DVD.


Blogger Matt A said...

hey - nice write up, I'll be posting my review this week over at Darkmatters... I loved it and thought that Bale was astonishing!!
Wanna swap links?

6:56 AM  

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