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“Christian Bale…” by Caryn James Fires Up With Nothing to Burn

In response to Caryn James’s 534‑word review of Out of the Furnace on James on screenS

By ,

Caryn James’ “Christian Bale in the Brutal, Steel-Town Drama ‘Out Of The Furnace’” has the makings of a finely crafted textual assessment of its subject. Unfortunately, the forge burns a little too intense too soon.

Failure to build intrigue and anticipation spoils this work soon after it leaves the gate. By announcing her disdain early, she pretty much eliminates the allure or even the need for the audience to read further. Granted, should they do so, it is a wholly rewarding experience—provided it is taken on its own merits. The more likely outcome is the reader will garner what they need from the opening passages, and deem the remainder of the piece irrelevant.

This is truly a shame, as the literary ability Caryn James wields is undeniable. She definitely has a gift for enticing an audience and delivering the goods. The eloquent way she weaves her diatribe, providing lush detail throughout, never wavering from her purpose (which again, may be moot at this point), resuts in a completely engrossing and utterly satisfying read. If only she would channel that energy more efficiently instead of burning at full power from the outset, so as to manifest the suspense and intrigue expected in a piece like this.

Alas, this is not the case, and it all but burns “Christian Bale…” up from the inside out. Should the reader wish to sift through the ashes, they may find something of redeemable value here. But only if they are looking for an example of skillful writing squandered. Otherwise, they will find themselves cold and in the dark; fingers blackened with the charred remains of undermined purpose.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation