a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Jeremy Renner’

“Bourne Legacy” I Go Back Into a Movie House.

Yes, yes, I finally am conquering my fears of being in a big ole movie house and I returned to the cinema, AMC’s Lincoln Square, the one of the biggest movie complexes in NYC and I saw, much to my great surprise, “The Bourne Legacy” and even more surprising, I liked it!

I have been resisting the impulse to return to a public movie house since the tragedy in Colorado. ANOTHER one….And yes, for a while, a short while to some, but not to a film critic, I overcame my fear, and returned. And yes, things have changed.

Two policemen next to the press desk. Burly body-guard types checking bags more thoroughly, it seemed, than before. Taking people’s cell phones. But this was an all media screening, and except for the policemen, it was usual procedure.

Not having a cell phone, I just breezed on through and got an aisle seat. But I found myself checking the emergency exits as I sat there and waited and waited for the film to begin. And when it finally DID begin, I actually enjoyed it!

“The Bourne Legacy” was not my cup of tea, but I came out really quite thrilled and was totally engrossed in this terrific, highly paced, very well done actioner, starring Jeremy Renner now as Aaron Cross. No Matt Damon. He’s referred to obliquely, but not seen, except in passport file photos. And the stupendous Rachel Weisz, proves she’s just as much an action hero as her husband James Bond, Daniel Craig, of course. This film reveals that the duo have more in common than I ever imagined.

You can totally see them kicking ass together and foiling arch-villains in their future in tandem. And I was enjoying it so much, it took me totally by surprise, that I forgot whatever fears had kept me away from seeing anything in the past few weeks.

I love movies. I still love movies, and I am still capable of having them overwhelm me and absorb me, and RELAX me, in the most unexpected ways. “Bourne Legacy” really has it all, and Jeremy Renner, whom I’ve interviewed really comes through, once again, as simply somebody you care about. He brings to the “Bourne” franchise the same relatability that he brought to “The Hurt Locker.” He involves you. He’s not the handsomest movie star ever, but boy can those huge baby blue eyes pull you in. And Rachel Weisz! She kicks ass and karate chops and runs like a demon with the best of them. And the two of them together! POWERHOUSE! A new screen POWER COUPLE! And they rocked and owned “The Bourne Legacy” totally.
And I was very glad they did.

“Avengers” Has No Oscar Chances, Except Special FX, Maybe Sound

Well, dear readers, dear cineastes, I finally saw “Marvel’s The Avengers” and it was just what I was afraid it would be. A big, loud, cartoon. Garish. Overlong.Disappointing.  A two-dimensional ugh.

And I don’t see any Oscar chances for it except maybe in the Special Effects and the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories. A Best Picture, despite its’ huge international box-office, it’s not. Not a nominee even. The Academy historically doesn’t like this kind of film. Especially since it’s most effective character is a completely a cartoon, the Incredible Hulk.

Mark Ruffalo plays him amiably enough to start with, but the real character work(if you can even call it that) is when the Hulk turns  green with anger, and then, he’s, yes, a completely drawn cartoon.

Mixing all this animation, CGI, whatever, with the real performances of the rest of the actor, it makes them all seem puny by comparison. The one who comes off the best is Tom Hiddleston, of all people, playing the wildly camp, villainous Loki, brother of Thor, who yes, is once again enacted(if you can even call it acting. It’s more like grunting. So I guess you could say, en-grunted by Chris Hemsworth. And yes, he seems to be grunting more than the Incredible Hulk, which is, er, incredible.) Yes, Loki saves the picture as does Samuel L. Jackson who gives a stateliness and dignity to the eye-patched mega-brain Ned Fury. Was that even his name? There’s so many superheroes in this crammed, cramped movie I can’t even remember their names.

And Loki is the only screen villain in my memory who I wanted to see SAVED. Spoiler alert! And survive to the next installment. Hiddleston is a magnificent actor and his zest for the villainy of Loki was fun to watch.

Scarlett Johansson sticks out because she is simply the only woman front and center. As Black Widow, however, she has no  discernible super-powers whatsoever. Except maybe pouting.

Robert Downey Jr. is again on-hand to wise-crack his way to the bank as Iron Man. Is that really HIM when he’s in that iron helmet and suit or is that a body double? If so, he’s REALLLLY phoning this one in. Or was he a cartoon, ,too? Could be.

Jeremy Renner is totally wasted as Hawk-Eye, who only seems to have skill with a supersonic bow-and-arrow. And he can’t hide his embarrassment at being caught at the fuzzy end of the superhero lollipop with this dullest of characters.

It’s fun, only if you want to enjoy the air-conditioning and throw your mind away for something like two and a half hours.

It could perhaps have had more depth if there wasn’t so many g-damned superheros crowding out every shot.

It is really dispiriting to think that this movie has made so many millions of dollars.

Parsing the BAFTA’s Long List’s Supporting Asterisks

Ok, we continue. With the BAFTA’s Long List and their Supporting Actor and Actress asterisks. OK. Once again I have to thank www.awardsdaily.com and Sasha Stone for putting up the whole she-bang so that we can react to it. In astonishment or wonder or delight or all of the above.

The BAFTAs once again, I know I’m repeating myself, but yes, this IS an odd system. I lived in England for many, many years and went to school there, too. So yes, EVERYthing is a bit odd. A bit eccentric. But the British LIKE eccentrics. In fact, they are cultivated there and even celebrated.

I was told when I lived there that I was a British eccentric, too. And I thought that they were perhaps overstating the case, but now, I think they were completely right.

But I digress…

So the BAFTAs publish this LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNG list first (see www.awardsdaily.com Everyone MUST see Awardsdaily. It’s a must-read, especially that now that we are in the heat of Awards season.) And for the first time this year, since I am now writing this blog on almost a daily basis.

I now have the platform to write about these little details, these minutae of the Awards Seasons. I guess this is something I’ve always wanted to do, but never did. But now I am. It’s like a damn bursting.

And I never noticed it before, but the BAFTAs put an asterisk on the names of five actors and actresses in their LONNNNNNG lists in each category, of who gets the most votes.

I don’t know why THEY JUST DON’T PUBLISH the darn nominations, goshdarnit! And let up the suspense. But then, that’s probably precisely WHY they do it this way. To build up suspense. Interest. It’s Hitchcockian. But then of course, Alfred Hitchcock was British.

So in Supporting Actor we have ~ WITH asterisks ~

ANDREW GARFIELD – For that movie I will not name. He also got a Golden Globe nod, but NOT a SAG, which is probably more significant, in that he IS British, and so you’d expect him to turn up here. And the Hollywood FOREIGN press would go for him, too. However, the ACTORS did not which is significant. Garfield was also long listed for “Never Let Go” but not asterisked. And that film, as well done as it was, bombed on both sides of the Atlantic. But Andrew is this year’s Hot Young Brit, so yes, he’ll be nominated here, but I don’t think he’s going to be nominated for an Oscar. And I don’t think he’ll win the Globe either.

BOB HOSKINS– “Made in Dagenham” A beautiful, sensitive performance as the union guy who’s SYMPATHETIC to the women strikers. And no,  not  a chance. No Globe nom seals it.

CHRISTIAN BALE-“The Fighter” Yes, of course, he’s in. And he’s also British. Yes, he is.

GEOFFREY RUSH– “The King’s Speech” Yes, of course he’s in. Superb career performance

MARK RUFFALO-“The Kid’s Are All Right”- Well, yes, of course. A SAG and a Golden Globe nom, too, make him ALMOST a slam-dunk. But if the BRITISH are voting for him, yes, I guess he’s in. Though will the SWORM(Straight White Old Rich Men) like his kinda negative male character back in Hollyweird. We’ll see.

Also listed but not asterisked Jeremy Renner for “The Town” the SAGs switched him out for Andrew Garfield. Last year the SAGs were 19 for 20 matching the Oscar Nominations. Except for Maggie Gyllenhaal and I HAD HER!!!!!

Vincent Cassel is long listed to in this category for “Black Swan.”AND NO MICHAEL DOUGLAS!

 Justin Timberlake was long-listed but no Armie Hammer! Is Armie the total dark horse now? Guess so. His Winklevoss Twins is STILL the Best Performance in that goddamn whatzit.I really thought they were two different actors playing both twins!! I DID!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

This is the one category that even stumped the New York Times’ Oscar section. So much so, they didn’t even write about it in their OSCAR section of the Arts & Leisure section this past Sunday! This is reminding me of the year that Tilda Swinton won, in that it is a race that is all over the place. Tilda was the only actress to keep appearing on everyone’s lists, although she was never on the top. But she was on every list.

Do the BAFTAs asterisks clear things up? Well, yes, and no.

AMY ADAMS– gets an asterisk and for the first time we see her in this category this year WITHOUT Melissa Leo’s companion performance in “The Fighter” glued to her side. She’ll get an Oscar nomination for sure now. Though it looks like Leo MIGHT not get a BAFTA nod, when they FINALLY announce it. But it looks like Amy will. Good for her.

BARBARA HERSHEY-“Black Swan” !!!! Turning up for the first time on a serious list, she’s the performance that the Academy is more likely to honor than the SAG and Golden Globe nominated Mila Kunis. Hershey had a rangey, multi-faceted performance. Is SHE driving her daughter insane or is it vice versa? It’s the real central conflict and Hersey’s dynamic, frightening MOM-FROM-HELL makes it work. Think “What would the “Black Swan” be without her performance?” So she’s on her way to a BAFTA nod it seems. She’s got an asterisk.

HELENA BONHAM-CARTER – “The King’s Speech” Natch. The one to beat. Everybody LOVED the Queen Mum. EVERYBODY. And that love will lead Helena to the Bafta podium. She’s certainly going to be Oscar nominated and I hope will win.

LESLEY MANVILLE “Another Year” BRILLIANT performance, much lauded, FINALLY turns up somewhere. Neither the Globes, nor the SAGs nommed her. She was totally left out. Small British Indie, but the Academy LOVES Mike Leigh. Sony Pictures Classics has been campaigning her in lead and it’s been the biggest mistake of this year’s Oscars. BAFTA her own country says she’s Supporting. Maybe the Academy will too. And nominate her FINALLY. But so far she’s only won the National Board of Review for Best Actress then NOTHING ELSE. Poor Leslie Manville. ANOTHER victim of category confusion.

And FINALLY~ MIRANDA RICHARDSON in “Made in Dagenham” Much pre-season heat, but not nommed by either the Globes or the SAGS. BAFTA has asterisked her. So maybe she could turn up as a surprise, too.

LOOKS like there’s going to be A LOT of surprises in the Supporting Actress category. Melissa Leo is not even asterisked here. Though she’s listed. Ditto Jackie Weaver. Ditto Mila Kunis.

AND HAILEE STEINFELD IS LISTED AS A BEST ACTRESS CONTENDER!?!? Though she is NOT asterisked….So you see, she’s already splitting her own vote. The Academy might leave her off completely and I wish they would. But “True Grit” is a hit and it’s blowing up so big…

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