I love the last month or so of the year. You have Thanksgiving, my birthday, Black Friday, Christmas, loads of paid time off… and Sundance festival announcements. Yep, it’s time that again to start planning my trip over to Park City to see some of Sundance’s slate of indie films. In the last week or so, the majority of the films have been announced in the competition and out-of-competition categories. Not much to go on right now, but there are some pretty good potentials to look forward to based on summaries, initial movie stills and filmmakers/screenwriters/actors attached. Here is my short list of films that are on my radar come January:
Two Mothers / Australia, France (Director: Anne Fontaine, Screenwriter: Christopher Hampton) — This gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendship charts the unconventional and passionate affairs of two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Cast: Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frechevile. Why I want to see it: Complex subject matter to tackle and an interesting one to see how it all comes together without it being too contrived. Plus, I constantly am looking forward to Naomi Watts matching her performance in 21 Grams, one of my favorite movies of all time, where she was simply great.
…or “How Marvel got alot my time and money”
Let’s just say I was determined to watch the movies in the Marvel-verse that I hadn’t already seen before enjoying The Avengers. I had already seen both of the Hulk movies (the Edward Norton version definitely coming out on top), Captain American (which was pretty damn good), and the first Iron Man (blah). I just had to finish the movies out…
Thor (Friday, 5:30 pm). One of the best movies I never wanted to see. I attribute it all to Chris Hemsworth’s charming appeal.
Iron Man 2 (Friday, 7:30pm). A franchise that continues to cater to the role Robert Downey Jr was born to play. He has mastered the art of snarky and makes it oh so funny, yet just I still can’t really get into the movies for whatever reason.
The Avengers (Friday, 10:00pm). A little slow out of the gate and not enough Jeremy Renner, but a super-fun movie with a cast of characters that are great to watch whether they are playing nice or at each other’s throats. Ruffalo is definitely my favorite onscreen Hulk to date, Pine cracked me up with the red boots he sported in every screen, loved the on-screen bromance between Hulk and Iron Man, and (dare I say it) Black Widow had me intrigued.
Pop Culture Randomness (Marvel edition):
To me, Jeremy Renner is just plain exceptional. I first took notice of him in a couple of independent movies only a few years ago, but already he has joined the ranks of Leo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ryan Gosling as one of my favorite actors of my time. I think that’s saying alot for a man who has struggled in the acting game for so long and has only just began to have his big break in Hollywood around the age of 40. He’s comes across so intense, so focused, and so consumed with his characters that you get lost in them too. He has consistently churned out some many really powerful performances in such a short time, it’s incredible. He is definitely one my list of actors I hope to meet one day. I only hope that he doesn’t get too “Hollywood” and stick close to the independent roots that have served him so well. So here’s to Jeremy Renner and his many great futures performances I’m anticipating (Bourne Legacy!). I give you my top five favorite Jeremy Renner performances to date. I highly suggest anyone of these movies for your viewing pleasure.
#5: The Avengers (2012)
I just saw this movie this weekend, and while it can be said that Renner didn’t have a big role as Hawkeye in this box office giant, he was credible as a loner and trained assassin, intensely determined, and created for his enigmatic character enough intrigue that I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Hawkeye (and Black Widow) sequel (or maybe more aptly, a prequel).
#4: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2010)
Enter semi-suave Jeremy Renner as an IMF agent initially posing as an mild-mannered analyst. He was a great on-screen match for Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, holding his own against this iconic character. For me, he brought the cool and the ease that balanced out the group dynamic and was probably the best thing the film had going for it.
And of course there is more from the list I have already started…
21. You never know what twisted things are going on in someone’s head. [Being John Malkovich]
22. Sometimes you have to live alittle. And if a quick tempered Spanish woman says she thinks about killing you, beware. [Vicky Cristina Barcelona]
23. Never. underestimate. anyone. [The Usual Suspects]
24. The quest for perfection can only lead to personal destruction. [Black Swan]
25. In every moment, there is a possibility that someone’s life will collide with yours. Plus, a dead body that drops seemingly out of nowhere onto your car has to have a rich backstory. [11:14]
26. Some teenage boys have too much time of their hands its scary. [Funny Games]
27. Family drama is oddly similar in any language. [2 Days in Paris]
28. Limber up; you never know when the ability to run long distances will come in handy. [Run, Lola, Run]
29. Love that goes unfulfilled, no matter the couple, can be heartbreaking. [Brokeback Mountain]
30. Sometimes a kid is wiser than the teacher. [Half Nelson]
Until next time…
Surprise, surprise. It has been announced that Joss Whedon’s The Avengers will be screened on closing night of the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28th, ahead of its May 4th theatrical opening. As a tribute to “local heroes”, the festival has invited some of NYC’s finest - police officers, firemen, first responders, and military personnel - to attend the screening as special guests and have a change to meet the cast.
With the choice of the Judd Apatow comedy The Five-Year Engagement opening the festival and this latest move by the festival programming to secure of the most anticipated summer blockbusters for the closing, this year’s festival will be sure to get more press than in past years. As you may know, movies like The Avengers isn’t the usual fare for Tribeca but with the movie in the hands of Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) it may be an interesting match. Joss Whedon, for the most part, always finds ways to connect to his indie fan base so big ups to him though I’m sure he is reaping the benefits of all the exposure.This should be one of the hottest tickets in town come April, folks, so plan on getting one if you can.
“Look, you can’t blame me for trying to hide the fact that I had an affair with her. I know that it’s not the most honorable thing to cheat on your wife, but that does not make me a murderer.”