Tag Archives: Jeremy Renner

Arrival (2016) Film Review

Twelve alien spaceships appear and are hovering in various locations around the world. Countries are working together on how to communicate with these strange creatures and among them are a high-level linguistics professor, Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner). Over a series of long, drawn out sessions, they establish some kind of communication, but does it mean what they think it means?

I kind of get why people might like this, but I was bored. It was sooooooo slow, and while there was some beauty in the filming, I just didn’t get it. Plus, it has a ‘twist’ – at least, I think it was a twist. For me, however, I had no engagement with any of the characters; I didn’t care about the aliens or why they were there. I was somewhat intrigued by the concept of what a world does when aliens are hanging about and what we might actually do to attempt communication – in fact, the more I think about this, the more fascinated I am. I think it’s because so much sci fi have some kind of auto translating thing to avoid the whole concept of cross species communication.

Arrival won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Denis Villeneuve), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Production Design.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016) Film Review

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There are these superheroes who go around and save the world against terrible horrors – like giant alien worms and the like. And behind them, they leave destroyed cities, dead civilians and people are not happy about it. So, the world wants to set a restriction on them – make them responsible to a panel. Some of the heroes, notably Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) are for this – he is feeling particularly guilty from the last film. Others, like Captain America (Chris Evans) are against this, concerned that they would become puppets for bad guys. And then there are problems, and they all fight, and it gets exciting.

I love it. They’ve thrown in some new guys, like Spiderman (Tom Holland), and brought back loads of the originals. Notably, the Hulk is missing, and I want him back, but I’ll still enjoy all the fun and ridiculous stuff that this film gives me. And I’ll watch more in the future!

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Film Review

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Man creates a robot with artificial intelligence that then threatens the existence of humans. What a refreshing and new concept! Oh, sorry, was that sarcasm? See, my problem with this film is just that I saw it only a few days after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. And after seeing something with that grit and darkness, the Avengers just seem stupid and whatever.

So, in this film, the man is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) and the robot is Ultron (voiced by James Spader). And the robot uses the internet to expand and take over everything. Then there are the side stories. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) surprises them all by having a wife and kids and a life that most of them had written off because of their superhero-ness. There’s some romance brewing between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and we all want that to happen. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are just standing around and being buff with the odd sarcastic comment here and there.

Look, I liked it enough, but I am totally aware that the studios have various sequels and stuff for all of these films set up for the next ten years or so, and I feel like they should be better than this. But that could be just the Mad Max factor. Here’s a challenge – I know you’ve got all these films written, and there is a lot of stuff that probably is expected to tie in with the comics. But how about we do some decent stuff with Black Widow, and let’s get some better female characters. And heaps more. And not like that one that Gwyneth played who simpered around in tiny denim shorts and ended up in bed with Tony Stark. Let’s all be better at this, hey?

 

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Mission Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol (2011) Film Review

Mission Impossible Four

Everyone knows I love a good Hollywood blockbuster, blow ‘em up, smash ‘em up type movie, and that’s exactly what this is. Lots of fantastic explosions with bits flying toward the camera, lots of Tom Cruise running, lots of masks being ripped off and hidden technology and all that kind of stuff. What more could I want?

A bigger screen, really. Boo to Palace Cinemas (who I usually love, but this is a definite mark against them) for putting such a big movie in a tiny cinema with a tiny screen. Having said this, I am actually not sure that I would have made it through the climbing-on-the-tower scene in a larger cinema, but that is unimportant. If you are going to take my money for a blockbuster, put it on your big screen. Complaint over.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the previous installments – you don’t really need to know who they work for or why. This film is Tom Cruise at his best. He doesn’t need to smile much, but rather can just stand around looking intense. Jeremy Renner does a great counter-intense character and Paula Patton plays the token strong woman well – although it does feel like her character is only there to wear the short skirts and have a catfight. Note to action movies – we want more strong women. Like those in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Long Kiss Goodnight.

Mission Impossible Five is apparently to be released next year. I will definitely see that one in a cinema with a decent sized screen.

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North Country (2005) Film Review

North Country

After leaving her abusive partner, Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) takes advice from her friend Glory (Frances McDormand) and gets work in the mine. But she finds that the small group of woman who work there are putting up with appalling sexual harassment, from simple comments through to violent acts. Eventually, she can take no more and must try to stand up for herself, but faces the violent anger of the men of the mine who are annoyed and angered by the presence of women in the workplace.

It’s based on a true story, and it is surely impossible to watch this film without becoming angry. So much of the harassment that takes place in the workplace during the film could be seen as just jokes that the women should just laugh off – and indeed, much of the time they do. But it is horrible to watch just how nasty and abusive the men get – and that they feel totally entitled to act like this against the women and have full support of management, right to the top. It’s a heartbreaker of a film with fabulous cast.

North Country was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Frances McDormand).

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The Town (2010) Film Review

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Charlestown, Boston. There are a group of guys who pull bank jobs, and they are quite good at it. However, things don’t go quite so ace on this last one and they end up taking a hostage for a short while. Bank worker Claire Kessey (Rebecca Hall) is trying to recover from her experience and being interviewed by FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) when she meets Doug MacRay (Ben Afffleck) and a relationship begins. Little does she know that Doug was one of the robbers, and he was checking to see if she remembered anything. Then he and his partner in crime, James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner) are forced into another job by local heavy Fergus ‘Fergie’ Colm (Pete Postlethwaite) and things get more tense.

Ben Affleck directed this film and it was really fabulous. Strong story, not the most totally original (see On The Waterfront for some quite strong similarities in the relationship between the bad criminal and the good lady), but it is a good take on this. I really enjoyed the way the worlds of the film are created, and the way the characters totally inhabit the world. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Town was nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Jeremy Renner).

 

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American Hustle (2013) Film Review

 

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Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is a con artist who falls for Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and they develop a whole set of scams. Then in steps FBI agent Richie Di Maso (Bradley Cooper) and the plays they are running are no longer their own – and become more and more ambitious.

David O. Russell’s last film was Silver Linings Playbook, and while I enjoyed watching it, I felt an emptiness at the end, as though I’d been sucked in to think that was a good film when it just wasn’t. I was a little concerned going in to this film that I would find the same problem, and thank goodness not. This is a truly excellent film. The writing is very strong, with twists that I didn’t pick (and loved that aspect). The characters were wonderful, with some of the most repulsively wonderful clothes and hair, although I was a bit distracted by Amy Adams’ boobs. I am not a fan of Christian Bale, which I think is because many of the parts he has played are extremely creepy and unlikable. Apart from Batman; I think he was perfect in that. His portrayal of Irving Rosenfeld is brilliant. A lesser actor may have relied on the weight gain, mysterious hair and creepy glasses, but Bale showed the deeper emotions of the character,  both in a subtle manner and, when required, with the force of a sledgehammer. Add in the magnificent Jennifer Lawrence, a brief moment of Robert De Niro, Louis C.K.  and Jeremy Renner and you got a cast.

American Hustle won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (though I think it is a drama, not a comedy or a musical. A drama a laughed in, but certainly a drama), Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Amy Adams), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is a Motion Picture (Jennifer Lawrence) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Christian Bale), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Bradley Cooper), Best Director – Motion Picture (David O. Russell, Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell). It was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Christian Bale), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Amy Adams), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Bradley Cooper), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Directing (David O. Russell), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Production Design and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell). It was nominated for BAFTAs for Best Original Screenplay (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell), Best Film, Best Leading Actor (Christian Bale), Best Leading Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence, Best Production Design, Best Make Up/Hair and Best Costume Design.

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