Jeremy Renner

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ is possibly the best in the series

‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ continues to up the ante for spectacular set pieces. More importantly, this is the fourth script penned for Tom Cruise by McQuarrie, who understands how to maximize Cruise’s particular skill set. Their collaboration, along with stunning cinematography and a solid supporting cast, makes this, arguably, the most entertaining entry in the series.

Last Night on Late Night, 5/4/15

Last night on late night, Letterman talked about retirement with President Obama, Conan sat down with Avengers’ Jeremy Renner and Silicon Valley’s T.J Miller, Fallon made an 80s music video with Jack Black, James Corden did a 5 minute “best scene” green screen of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies with him, Kimmel talked about being Manny Pacquiao’s very own “Justin Bieber”, and at The Daily Show, producer Brian Grazer shared his thoughts on his book and career.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ sacrifices fun for action, with mixed results

The Avengers clicked with both Marvel fans and general audiences because we loved watching these massive egos clash for the first time. It was the perfect blend of action and attitude, and its mastermind, Joss Whedon, was handed the golden ticket to Marvel’s keystone franchise. The long-awaited sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, shows the strain of trying to be bigger-and-better while still indulging the subtle pleasures of its predecessor. It succeeds, just barely, on the strength of a talented cast and our fondness for these characters. Still, it’s a decidedly somber affair that will turn off casual fans, and it stands as the most impersonal, and arguable weakest installment of Marvel’s vaunted “Phase Two.”

‘Kill the Messenger’ lacks a compelling message

If you can imagine Nixon resigning in the middle of All the President’s Men, with the remainder of the film dedicated to Woodward and Bernstein fighting their editor, you have a pretty good idea how Kill the Messenger plays out. It’s not a bad film, but it is a sloppy one that squanders a firecracker start and a terrific performance from Jeremy Renner. As Gary Webb ponders whether to publish his inflammatory story, he is advised that, “Some stories are just too true to tell.” Such is the case with some scripts, which, in their admirable haste to relate the truth, forget the requirements of compelling storytelling. If you want to find the heart of Webb’s story, you’ll have to dig a little deeper.

NYFF 2013: ‘The Immigrant’ has great melodrama, superb acting, but plays way too safe

The Immigrant, set in the dusty landscape of 1920s Manhattan, focuses on young Polish immigrant Ewa (Marion Cotillard). She’s separated from her sick sister at Ellis Island. After being denied from her uncle and struggling to raise money for her sister’s medical bills, Ewa finds herself at the doorstep of shady burlesque manager Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix), who grows fond of her innocence.

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