Tag Archive: mark ruffalo


‘Thor: Ragnarok’

 

Tessa-Thompson-as-Valkyrie-in-Thor-Ragnarok

So we all agree this was fun right?  Good.  So this will be an ‘actor’s review’…

If one thing bothered me consistently, it was Idris Elba.  Not as an actor or a character, but ‘how is Idris Elba the movie star the sixth wheel in this?’  Having said that, I’m sure one ‘third sequel on a Marvel franchise’ paycheck is equal to ten ‘leading man in movies only film geeks see’ paycheck (and that’s being extremely generous.  So it is what it is.

For we Adler disciples, seeing Mark Ruffalo inhabit all the best parts of Brando (just becoming the character, even in a popcorn movie) is a joy.  And in a time of deconstructing our Hollywood idols, by all accounts he’s a nice guy who is genuine in his social activism.  So double cool points.

Speaking of people ‘above’ being in movies like this, Cate Blanchett has always been in that tier right behind Meryl Streep in ‘she can play anyone convincingly’, so watching her ham it up for two hours was joyful too.  Really, this whole movie was well written and casted.

And as far as Tessa goes…beyond being a bad ass…using the ‘proper’ English accent, well…

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So yeah, all the recommends for this one.

 

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CHRIS: And here to present the next two awards, here is Academy Award nominee Emma Stone, and the Associate Producer of ‘Trojan War,’ Malik Aziz!

(audience applause as they take the stage)

EMMA: An outlaw trying to survive in a room of seven Hateful men. A woman supporting and coming to grips with her husband’s changing sexual identity.  A partner trying to reel in one of the greatest creative minds of the last century. A few of the great performances from this year.

MALIK: That’s right! And you know what else they all have in common?

EMMA: (awkwardly fidgeting) Um…what?

MALIK: They’re all nominated tonight for Best Supporting Actress!

EMMA: (relieved) Yes. Yes!

MALIK: Wait, what did you think I was going to say?

EMMA: Nothing. Nothing.

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Viklander – the Danish Girl

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Who Should Win: Probably Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Who Will Win: One of this year’s ‘It Girls: Viklander

Who I’m Cheering For: A small chance based on the movie that McAdams wins, and she’s pretty solid in everything (including last year’s True Detective).

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Who Should Win: Hmmm.  I could make a case for Ruffalo. I could make a case for Rocky.

Who Will Win: Everything’s lined up for Sly, and if Mike and Ryan are happy for him then I am too (I guess).

Who I’m Cheering For: 

 

emma

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – the Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Who Should Win: Hm.  Meryl is the definition of ‘legacy nominations’, I felt like Laura Dern’s character was more important to the story than the actual performance.  I’d argue Arquette’s was really a lead performance, so that leaves two.  I’d barely put Keira over Emma because of what each character meant to the story that was being told.

Who I’m Cheering For: As I noted in my reviews, both Keira and Emma showed things in their performances that were new (and good).  I’d be happy for either of them, but…

Who Will Win: Has Patricia Arquette lost any award yet?  I don’t think so…

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall – the Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Who Should Win: It would be really hard to go wrong with any choice this year, but really Simmons stands above the rest.

Who I’m Cheering For: The first ballot Character Actor Hall of Famer of course!  Go J.K.!

Who Will Win: The worthy ‘congrats on a great That Guy career’ star of the moment, J.K. Simmons.

‘Foxcatcher’

 

foxcatcher

Very sad and disturbing, but all in an entertaining way.

Like the other nominated movies that are ‘based on a true story’, you can Google the real people and get all the broad strokes and facts of this story.  The beauty of the dramatization in Foxcatcher is in the deadly three way relationship between the Schultz brothers (played by Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum), and their sponsor John Du Pont (a worthy Oscar nomination for Steve Carell.)

A brief setup of the film: the Shultz brothers are world class wrestlers.  David is the elder, the All-American hero with a pretty wife and two lovable kids.  Mark has also made a name for himself, but has forever lived in the shadow of his older, more popular brother.  In walks creepy heir John Du Pont with dreams of sponsoring the 1988 Olympic wrestling team, and away we go…

What everyone is talking about with this film is one of our great funny men playing the ‘loser’ card not for laughs but for villainy.  Like all three dimensional heels, there’s a degree of sympathy built into the story (and why is there always a domineering, disapproving mother, in this film played by Vanessa Redgrave?).  All that said, when we get to the end (which you probably know going in), it’s still a really heartbreaking conclusion.

Not a story to watch for ‘fun’, but one of the year’s better films I have to say.

The Kids Are All Right

The opinions I’ve heard about The Kids Are All Right have run the gamut from ‘great indie film’ to ‘whatever word is the opposite of misogyny.’  It got a Globe nomination for Best Screenplay and on the whole I’ve heard good things so I had to check it out.

I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing, but I think there’s some value on all the opinions I’ve heard, good and bad.  The premise (a pair of kids who were the products of an artificial insemination seek out and find their biological father) is filled with landmines, while being original at the same time.  What starts in the first act as a lighthearted 21st Century “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, takes a rather interesting (and for my tastes too convenient) turn halfway through the story.  The turn didn’t ruin the film for me, I just thought there were other ‘conflicts’ that could have been used.

That said, the three main actors all did a great job creating sympathy for their characters.  Mark Ruffalo plays ‘the Dude’ who suddenly finds out he’s created this family, and now in middle age wants to be a part of it.  Julianne Moore plays the slightly more free-spirited of the two Moms of the family; with Annette Bening getting the rather thankless role as the ‘head’ of the family, who comes across as a hardass until well into the third act.  Surprisingly none of them were nominated for the Globes though in this film where they all have fairly equal screen time, they may have been seen as an ensemble no one outshined the other two (which I can’t argue).

Good, quiet film that may or may not pick up momentum the next couple of months.  We’ll see.