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Harsh Times [Blu-ray] [2005] [US Import]

Christian Bale , Eva Longoria , David Ayer    Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Eva Longoria, Freddy Rodríguez, Chaka Forman, Tammy Trull
  • Directors: David Ayer
  • Writers: David Ayer
  • Producers: Christian Bale, David Ayer, Andrea Sperling, David Gorton, Jesse Felsot
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Dec 2010
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041SI7AM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,982 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Bleak as its South Central Los Angeles setting, Harsh Times is like a suicidal vortex swallowing men who ought to know better but can't stop their self-destruction. Christian Bale stars as Jim Davis, a stressed-out, former Army Ranger who becomes a very bad influence on his weak-willed buddy, Mike Alvarez (Freddy Rodriguez of Six Feet Under). Together the two meander through streets at night, getting drunk and stoned, finding trouble for its own sake and inviting danger as a ritual of machismo bonding. Mike's wife, Sylvia (Eva Longoria), a lawyer whom Mike, working as a telemarketer, put through school, is repelled by Jim and watches in pain as her spouse chooses a downward spiral over renewal and redemption with her. When Jim's application to join the L.A. police is turned down, he leads Mike into pure anarchy. An impractical change of fortune doesn't help any, and first-time director David Ayer, who wrote the screenplay for Harsh Times years before his script for Training Day, goes to some lengths, dramatically and visually, to convey Jim's unhinged condition. The dreariness of it all, and a sense that Bale has constructed--but not exactly lived in--another in his gallery of lost, misfit souls, makes it hard to connect with this film. Still, it is hard to turn away from these desperate and dangerous characters. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular 24 Nov 2006
Format:DVD
I saw this film, not really knowing too much about it. Though I've always been a keen admirer of Bale, I thought this was going to be some kind of shoot em up action film, which would be good entertainment, but little more! I could not have been more wrong! Bale gives an incredible preformance, and he keeps you gripped throughout the entire film. Rodriguez was an unknown quantity to me, and I did not overly know what to expect from him, but he also delivers! The supporting cast do a great job as well! The film builds itself up so well, and you know right from the word go, that this film is heading to an amazing climax! It can be tough to watch, as it builds up a head of steam. But nonetheless, and incredible film!!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Times are Harsh 27 Jun 2007
Format:DVD
I watched this a while back and find myself still thinking about it. Christian Bale delivers one of the best performances of the year.

The film is a rites of passage/coming of age movie, It tackles themes of corruption, love, loyalty, frindship and responsibility. Bale plays a former US Ranger back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan and with more than just a few screws loose, he's a changed man.

We follow him and his best friend as they try to get jobs, do drugs, get drunk, and teeter on the edge of that precipice between being layabouts and responsible adults. There's plenty of laughs along the way but as the movie draws to a close the mood darkens and there is more than one scene in this that will have you wincing or just staring at the screen wide eyed. Bale's performance is just tremendous he is just a bundle of energy and you can't take your eyes off him because you never know what he will do next, his character is in turns funny, scary, crazy and ultimately tragic. The remainder of the cast, which includes Eva Longoria, are all good but can't help but be overshadowed by Bale.

The movie is an indictment of our culture and how messed up our priorities are, the choices we make, the choices we are given. It was written by David Ayer, who wrote Training Day and he directed it as well. This is in some ways a similar movie. it tackles similar themes from a slightly more askew angle. It' a great movie, it has its slight faults but theres plenty to appreciate. If you like intelligent, adult fim making this is worth checking out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard Viewing 16 July 2011
By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This is a most unpleasant film, with splendid acting, in which as viewer one is dogged always by the fear that it is all going to go wrong for the characters. The director keeps taking us to the edge and pulling us back. But the patterns of self-destruction, the realities of learning to live a civilian life, and the criminalisation of pretty much everything young men want all contribute to a film lived on the edge. Great stuff, but I think I'll take in a couple of Harry Potters to recover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking performance by Bale 14 July 2011
Format:Blu-ray
By now you should know that this is a film about how a soldier honourably discharged from active duty, struggles to adapt to life as a 'civilian', bur the beauty of this film is that this issue is tackled very obliquely, respecting the real complexity of the issue and the ability of the viewer understand. Ostensibly, this is a film about male friendship, one that very closely follows the structure of 'Training Day'. Bale plays Jim, the ex-soldier, who's trying to get a job in law enforcement. He picks up his pal, mike who's being badgered by his Missus, Eva Longeria, to grow up and find a job. Jim is a bad influence on mike, encouraging him to smoke weed, drink and generally goof off, rather than find work. What unfolds is a fascinating love triangle involving all three aforementioned characters with mike being pulled between bale and longerias characters. During the unfolding of this drama we get glimpses into the heart of darkness that bale brought back with him from afghanistan, as well as the peace he is trying to find. Bale is masterful. Before i saw this film I thought he was overrated, but in this mvie he has you, by turns, scared of him, disgusted with him, sympathising with him, rooting for him and feeling sorry for him. It's amazing. It's also thenlittle things, like the military precision with which he irons his shirt. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Barry HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray
As a follow up to the brilliant "Training Day" - "Harsh Times" delivers much of the same visceral punch.
But as of February 2014 - it is only available in the USA to my knowledge.

But the good news is that it's not Region-A locked as some titles are - but REGION FREE - so will play on UK machines.

Bit of a missed classic worthy of your attention - and it's relatively cheap too...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I"m glad I had sub-titles. 10 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is a very good film with an exceptional performance by Christian Bale as most reviewers have stated.
As an older person and being British my problem is with the dialogue: most of the banter between the main charactors sounded like a cross between hip-hop and Carribian Rasta which was difficult to follow.The sub-titles helped.
I think Americans would be more comfortable than Europeans with the vocabulary.
Having said that it"s still an interesting film with Bale playing a doomed ex-soldier trying to deploy into civilian life despite his considerable demons.
Excellent support from all the cast but Bale carries the film throughout.
Recommended, but I needed the sub-titles.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it.
This movie isn't out of this world, but it is quite interesting and compelling. Christian Bale does a fantastic job too.
Published 14 months ago by Ahmed El Bahja
5.0 out of 5 stars "..AWESOME.."
Outstanding film with one of the best performances ever by Christian Bale, worth watching just to see him play his part in this film. Read more
Published 24 months ago by S. Drury
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Got this DVD very quickly and at a very low price. No scratches, perfectly genuine DVD. Enjoyed this excellent movie straight away.
Published 24 months ago by d
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty realism
Best movie Ive seen for ages. Had me glued to it from start to finish. All the leading actors put in stellar performances, with Christian Bale being exceptionally good in the lead... Read more
Published on 5 July 2011 by Agent Cooper
3.0 out of 5 stars ......" I'm a soldier of the apocalypse, man! "......
Harsh times is a film about two close knit friends in South Central LA who are both hoping for career defining moments so that they can turn a new leaf. Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2010 by Current Account
5.0 out of 5 stars infernal and indignant indictment on iraq
my favourire hollywood movie from last year is an ifernal indictment to the damage caused to the american psyche by an illicit and immoral war in iraq ,its the best comment to... Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2009 by doctor oz MB,MRCP
4.0 out of 5 stars HARSH MOVIE THAT LEAVES AN IMPRESSION - VERY VIOLENT IN PARTS, AND...
Uncompromising movie, which could best be described as a mix of Training Day in it's cinematography & locales, and Fight Club in it's central themes. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2009 by Adam Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Harsh Viewing
This film is crazy.I admit while watching this film it did make me want to have a few beers and smoke a little dope lol i love watching this film with a hangover , the ending bit... Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2008 by David Byrne
3.0 out of 5 stars Harsh Times
Former soldier Jim David (Bale) returns from Afghanistan hoping for a career with the LAPD. The only problem is that he is psychologically scarred by his brutal battlefield... Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2008 by R. Mullaney
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