August 24, 2016

Tag Archives: jeremy renner

“Arrival” Trailers suggest a serious science fiction contender

Last week, we got one of our very best looks yet at Arrival, what could be 2016’s big science fiction awards player. Yes, there’s also Passengers, to name one other, but this one has now dropped a few Trailers, so that puts it in the early lead. Boasting one of the most interesting directors out there in Denis Villeneuve, not to mention one of the most overdue for an Oscar actresses in Amy Adams, there’s some star power on hand. It’s always hard to pin down whether sci-fi will play with voters, but this definitely looks like an intelligent film that could have a chance for Oscar contention. You’ll see a Trailer below, but first…let’s discuss the movie itself a bit!
The film is a sci-fi drama centering on a well regarded linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Adams) who is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications when mysterious spaceships arrive on Earth. Working with counterpart in the operation Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), it is Louise’s job to figure out if these visitors come in peace. As the clock runs down, the possibility of war arrives, but also of scientific breakthroughs like never before. Villeneuve directs a script by Eric Heisserer (who adapted the short story by Ted Chiang called Story of Your Life), while the rest of the cast includes Michael Stuhlbarg, Forest Whitaker, and more. Music is by Jóhann Jóhannsson and Max Richter, while the cinematography comes from the emerging master DP that is Bradford Young. Suffice to say, the ingredients are here for something great.
There’s a ton of talent on display here, as I just mentioned. Not only is this a starring vehicle for Adams, it looks like a juicy supporting role for Renner as well. Factor in how Villeneuve has developed a following of late and the strength of the other behind the scenes players, and there’s certainly reason to be excited. Perhaps this will be too serious for its own good, or more of a commercial play overall, but you certainly can be forgiven for thinking this has a solid chance to split the difference and appeal to the Academy in some way.
Awards wise, Arrival definitely has a chance to be a contender in a number of fields, though nothing is certain. Look for campaigns in Best Picture, Best Director (for Villeneuve), Best Actress (for Adams), Best Supporting Actor (for Renner), Best Adapted Screenplay […]

Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders

Well folks, here we go again, as you might have guessed. It’s time for another category to get a somewhat in depth look at what/who its top contenders might be. I’ve gone over what this is a number of times, but in case you’re new to it all, here it is in short: it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet that you can use as you see fit in the months to come.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor.
Here now are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Liam Neeson (Silence) – I suspect just about any list of this sort will feature Neeson in the top position. Part of it is due to an apparent weakness of the category, at least at this early juncture, but most of it is because Silence is a huge contender and Neeson is due another nomination, if not a win. It makes too much sense not to have him number one, at least right now. Honestly, I suspect he’ll remain in the top tier all throughout the season. Until it screens or the precursors start honoring someone else, we know who the frontrunner in Supporting Actor is.
2. Steve Martin (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) – If there’s an alternative to Neeson right now, it probably has to be Martin. I’ve read the book Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, so I know that his part is an interesting one. He certainly deserves to be nominated if he knocks the performance out of […]

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” prepares for an epic big screen fight

Sort of quietly and without nearly the fanfare of some other properties, Marvel has seen their Captain America series of films become some of the most popular in their cinematic universe. With the release this week of Captain America: Civil War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) might very well have their biggest hit yet. High praise, I know, especially considering how well The Avengers did, but this seems to have a groundswell of support. From the newcomers joining the fray to seeing basically every hero go toe to toe, it’s an event film in the very sense of the word. For all the ways that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed not to satisfy audiences/critics, this one could be picking up the slack. It looks like a slam dunk blockbuster is coming our way.
A quick refresher for you all who might not be completely in the know about this one. The film, which is the third in the Captain America franchise (now a trilogy after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In some ways, this is essentially a pseudo sequel to that and basically an Avengers movie in everything but name. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy and the previous destruction caused by various heroes, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides of the law. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who have their own agendas. The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (who previously did Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will be doing the next Avengers sequel), the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who are Winter Soldier vets too), while the cast, aside from the aforementioned big players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl, among plenty of others. The Russo Brothers are obviously helming their second Captain America flick and have […]

“Captain America: Civil War” dropped a top notch new Trailer

Yesterday morning, Marvel delivered a powerful new Trailer for their upcoming blockbuster sequel Captain America: Civil War. Almost a pseudo Avengers film, this impending epic sees the beloved Civil War comic storyline adapted for the screen, another milestone/seminal moment for superhero cinema and its fans. The debut of the new Spider-Man in this Trailer would be big enough on its own for a post today, but the whole thing is strong enough to warrant a slightly larger read on it all. So, that’s just what we’ll be doing right now. It’s time to start getting excited for Captain America: Civil War in a real big way. It could wind up being something special.
The film, the third in the Captain America franchise (after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, while the cast, aside from the aforementioned players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt and Daniel Brühl, among others. The Russo Brothers are helming their second Captain America flick and have the next Avengers movie on their plate (a two parter, no less), so this is a big title for them, to say the least.
What has me so interested in this movie is how it’s potentially so many things at once. Not only is it our third Captain America installment, it’s as close to an extra Avengers film as we can possibly get, while hopefully restoring some goodwill after Avengers: Age of Ultron underwhelmed some folks. In addition, we’re seeing the introduction of two new major characters in Black Panther and Spider-Man, while really building full steam ahead towards the two part Avengers: Infinity War epic that will […]

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” begins to roll out worldwide

All this week, we’ve seen Marvel slowly begin to allow reviews to trickle out about Avengers: Age of Ultron, in advance of the global release this weekend, followed by the U.S. next week. So far, the early word has been pretty solid, with some out and out raves and almost no outright detractors. After how big a smash across the board The Avengers was, seeing the sequel apparently continue the trend is a solid sight to behold. Marvel continues their perfect record and comic book fans get another top tier piece of entertainment to enjoy. The summer movie season is about to begin folks…
You’d basically have to live under a rock not to be fully aware what this film is about, but at the off chance you don’t, I’m more than willing to provide a quick primer. Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and working not only as a sequel to The Avengers but also Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this flick sees the team of superheroes faced with a dastardly Artificial Intelligence named Ultron (voice of James Spader). As such, it’s up to Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemseworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to save the day. Hayley Atwell, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Colbie Smulders, and more return as well. Joss Whedon once again co-writes and directs. All told, it’s probably the largest scale comic book film to date.
What Avengers: Age of Ultron is doing now is setting up the next phase in Marvel’s giant plan, culminating in the next Avengers flick, which is a two parter. Sure, it’s a few years before Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 hits in May of 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 in May of 2019. Those films will basically result in a whole new direction for the company, or at least we assume. At the very least, they will mark Whedon turning over controls of the flagship Marvel franchise to veterans of Captain America: The Winter Solider and next year’s Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. They’ll be the big shepherds from here on out, with Civil War upping the ante presumably from Age of Ultron and whetting the appetite for both parts of […]

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON World Premiere

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Jon Favreau serve as executive producers. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015″
To learn more go to AVENGERS – AGE OF ULTRON
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Extended Movie Clip

Avengers: Age of Ultron interviews – Downey Jr, Hemsworth, Evans, Spader, Ruffalo, Johnasson, Renner

The 82nd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

As I mentioned last time out, this series has officially returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent (or now recent-ish) Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be attempting to do just that, time will still tell if it’s something that gets stuck with or not. Again, if nothing else, this continues to give you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks for this particular ceremony:
Best Picture – Up in the Air
The nominees here were A Serious Man, An Education, Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, and Up. The main snub here, in my book at least, was (500) Days of Summer, and I nearly went with the actual winner in The Hurt Locker, but Up in the Air was my #1 film of this year, so that made it pretty academic in the end.
Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
A history making and diverse category this time out, the field consisted of Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. I believe Marc Webb was snubbed for (500) Days of Summer and really wish that Reitman had come closer to winning, but when you come right down to it, I can’t argue with Bigelow. The first woman to ever win Best Director gets my vote here as well.
Best Actor – George Clooney for Up in the Air
Here the nominees were Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. The Academy missed the boat on nominating Sam Rockwell for Moon, but aside from him, I’d have to go for Clooney.
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan for An Education
The big snub to me here was Zooey Deschanel for (500) Days […]

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner – Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Marvel Studios presents ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series ‘The Avengers,’ first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ on May 1, 2015.
Cast:Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård with James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

The 83rd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks:
Best Picture – The Social Network
The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. My personal pick Blue Valentine wasn’t nominated, of course, so my number two pick is an easy one…The Social Network. Such a shame that it fell short here to The King’s Speech in real life.
Best Director – David Fincher for The Social Network
This category featured Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and David O. Russell (The Fighter), and yet the three most interesting choices in Aronofsky, Fincher, and Russell were passed over for Hooper. I’d change that though, and go with Fincher. Had I been given the power to vote for anyone though, I’d probably have gone with Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine.
Best Actor – Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
I didn’t intend to vote down the line for The Social Network, but so far it just has worked out that way. My personal pick Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine got snubbed, so I had to go to my second choice. The nominees here were Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech). It’s hard to argue with Firth’s win, but I think Eisenberg was slightly more deserving overall.
Best Actress – Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Honestly, I might prefer Natalie Portman for Black Swan, but I can’t resist the chance to give Blue Valentine an Oscar win […]

The tenuous nature of being an early Academy Award frontrunner

It’s hardly a brand new sentiment to express, but you really can never script Oscar season. No matter how you think the awards race is going to go, at least to some degree it always turns out different. This year is obviously no exception, so today I wanted to take a look at how the various frontrunner have changed throughout the season. In some cases, we’ve seen top tier contenders hold strong all year, but the frontrunners have shifted for sure. In a few instances, the early favorites didn’t wind up nominated at all. That’s just how the season goes. We’re deep into phase two now, so it’s a perfect time to look back at what things were like at the start of 2014.
Obviously, you never truly know what’s going to happen during an Oscar race, especially when you start out in the early days of the season basically just going on log line or pedigree. Every so often you can hit on one fairly early on (like Argo in my case, which was the rare occasion when I was out front on something), or at least suspect that it could turn into a winner (with 12 Years a Slave), but most of the time the ones you think will be nominees don’t even come close. It’s the uniqueness of trying to predict what a voting body will like a year in advance. As you’ll see below, some of the main Academy Award categories this year could have had a very different look to them than we ultimately had.

Take a look:
Best Picture – There was a time when Unbroken was thought to be almost unbeatable in the Best Picture category. Other non nominees heavily spoken of early on were Big Eyes, Fury, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Jersey Boys, and so on. Of course, once Cannes hit we all thought Foxcatcher was a surefire nominee, and we all saw what happened then. Boyhood was something I and many others figured would get in, but the frontrunner? Never in a million years would that have been a smart bet. Go figure.
Best Director – It’s pretty much the same her with Best Director. Names like David Ayer (Fury), Tim Burton (Big Eyes), Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Rob Marshall (Into the Woods), and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) were bandied about, but this appeared to be Angelina Jolie’s to lose […]

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