Tag: Mark Ruffalo

MOVIE REVIEW | ***B&D SUNDAY FLASHBACK*** Now You See Me (2013)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Lazy, terrible, ineffective, clunky, downright crap.”

See Me
OK, so it’s only August but I’m calling it. Now You See Me is the worst movie of 2013 that I’ll see. That’s not to say it’s worse than the latest Wayans Brothers joint, or The Great Gatsby. I’m sure they’re worse, but I’ll never actually see them. Now You See Me has the honour of actually suckering me in, causing me to commit almost two hours of my life to this train wreck. Hey, maybe this movies is magic… Black, evil magic.


I’m not sure what’s less convincing in Now You See Me, the premise that magicians are treated by adoring crowds like rock stars, or that floppy hair and a few days without a shave make Jesse Eisenberg a badass. So, Eisenberg is a slight of hand specialist, Woody Harrelson is a hypnotist, Dave Franco plays Matt Damon’s character form the Oceans franchise and Isla Fisher wears a series of short skirts. Together, they are, the Four Horseman! But the cast doesn’t end there. We also have a slumming Mark Ruffalo, the French broad from Inglorious Basterds and some stellar cheque cashing performances from Michael Cain and Morgan Freeman. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***CLOSING DOWN WEEK*** The Brothers Bloom (2008)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “Even for all its faults, I still enjoy The Brothers Bloom and think it fills an important spot in Rian Johnson’s increasingly impressive filmography.”

Bloom 1
Recently, in my neighbourhood, I saw something that’s all too common these days. A video shop that was closing down. They had a big sign out the front, “4 movies for $10”. I looked in my wallet, saw $30 and decided I wasn’t leaving that shop until I found 12 movies I thought were worth having on my DVD shelf. Some were movies I’d seen before. Some were movies I had a vague idea about and thought would be worth the $2.50 gamble. Some were oddities I’d never even heard of, but they looked interesting enough. So, thank you, Network Video Brunswick West. I never rented anything from you or even had a membership, but I did find some cool, interesting and mysterious things on your almost empty shelves.

“The trick to not feeling cheated is to learn how to cheat.”

A decade ago, Rian Johnson was an unknown who’s first movie became an indie, underground hit. Setting a hard boiled, 50s noir in a modern day high school was the kind of premise that could have so easily played as a cheap gimmick. But Johnson’s straight faced commitment to the premise, and an awesome lead performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, resulted in Brick being possibly the best noir movie of the new millennium. Now, Johnson is living the dream of any movie nerd who grew up in the 80s or 90s as he’s busy on set, making the next Star Wars movie. In between, he directed some of the most visually amazing episodes of Breaking Bad, and he made the awesome time travel sci-fi actioner Looper.


But it hasn’t been all accolades and movie geek love. Because I remember being excited about his follow up to Brick, until I heard one bad review after another. I still watched The Brothers Bloom when it was new to DVD and thought the reviews were unfair. But I didn’t love it enough to really think about it again in the years since. But once I saw it on that video shop shelf, I immediately knew I needed to revisit it. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Spotlight (2015)

Spot 1
They knew and they let it happen!

A director or writer I like is often more than enough to make me interested in seeing a movie.  One or two actors I like is often more than enough to make me interested in seeing a movie.  A subject matter, regardless of who made it or who’s in it, is often more than enough to make me interested in seeing a movie. Spotlight was directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy.  Spotlight stars a massive ensemble cast that is an almost ‘best of’ collection from all of the great performances of the last few years. Spotlight is built around an important and interesting true story.  Oh, and Spotlight has carried immense Oscar buzz ever since it started to appear on the festival circuit half a year ago.  That’s a lot for Spotlight to live up to.


In 2001, the staff of the Boston Globe is getting ready for the arrival of their new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber).  With stories of cutbacks at his previous papers, Baron’s reputation precedes him in the worst way.  Within the Globe is the Spotlight department, a team of investigative journalists, headed by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), who work on long term, secretive stories, that even their bosses don’t always know the details of. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Shutter Island (2010)

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“Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”

Martin Scorsese has never made a bad movie.  That’s the kind of Scorsese fan I am.  I truly believe that.  And even when I don’t necessarily love a Scorsese movie, like, say After Hours, or New York, New York, I blame myself, not Saint Marty.  Or, in the case of New York, New York, I blame his coke dealer.  But I firmly believe he’s one of the greatest film makers of all time.  I even love Gangs of New York.  Yeah, I said it.


Even when you ignore the hallowed classics, like Taxi Driver, or Raging Bull, or Goodfellas, the middle ground stuff by Scorsese standards, is still better than almost any other movie you’ll ever see.  So when I call Shutter Island middle ground, it’s only when using Scorsese as his own measuring stick.  Because in the big scheme of things, Shutter Island is first class horror, suspense, psychological thriller stuff. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** All the King’s Men (2006)

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“Listen to me, you hicks! Lift up your eyes and look at God’s blessed and unfly-blown truth. This is the truth! You’re a hick. Nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself.”

2006, a time when America was balls deep into the reign of a president in the pockets of oil companies and any other corporation who might be able to make a few bucks out of war in the Middle East.  I’m sure for the movie studio, making a movie about political corruption, based on a famous novel that had already been turned into a classic movie, seemed like a sure thing.  Add to that an all star cast, and I’m sure it surprised more than a few people when it ended being a $42million loss.  Well, it turns out, All the King’s Men is better than the box office receipts would have you believe.


Sean Penn is Willie Stark, an altruistic everyman who only wants the best for his state of Louisiana.   When the current administration, represented by Tiny Duffy (James Gandolfini) notice he’s gaining grass roots support, they decide to embrace his popularity and make him one of their own.  One step ahead, Willie double crosses Duffy and sweeps the next election, becoming the most popular Governor in the state’s history…  For the time being. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Foxcatcher (2014)

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“Coach is the father. Coach is a mentor. Coach has great power on athlete’s life.”

When Bennett Miller made Capote, I remember I liked it and thought it was a reasonable enough choice for its Best Picture nomination and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Best Actor win at the Oscars. But it’s not a movie I thought about much after it’s time past, and I’ve never felt the need to see it again. But Miller’s follow up, Moneyball, really made me take notice of the director.


It wasn’t about playing baseball, it wasn’t even about coaching baseball, it was about the back room dealings of managing baseball. That sounds pretty boring, add to that the story’s other a major aspect, maths and stats, and it really is shocking how entertaining Moneyball ended up being. Entertaining enough that when I heard Bennett Miller had a new movie on the way, I was immediately excited for Foxcatcher. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Begin Again (2013)

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“Musicians for the most part are monosyllabic teenagers who really don’t have a whole lot to say.”

Six or seven years ago, writer and director John Carney made Once, a guerilla style musical about musicians in Dublin who fall in love, but can never follow through with it. It was pretty much a perfect movie, and while I’ve only seen it twice, it’s a movie I still think about often. And a soundtrack that has been on regular rotation on my iPod ever since. So, when I heard Carney’s follow up was also about musicians, also shot in a similar style, I was kind of excited that he was back, but also a little worried that it might be a pale imitation of its predecessor. Luckily, it was a fear Begin Again never justified.


Mark Ruffalo is Dan, a former music business king maker. But now, he’s slipping. His wife (Catherine Keener as Miriam) has left him, his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld as Violet) barley talks to him, and his record label partner (Mos Def as Saul) fires him from the business he helped build. Drunk and almost at rock bottom, he stumbles across Gretta (Keira Knigfhtley), playing at an open mic night. Dan is immediately blown away by her music and decides Gretta is his ticket back to the top. (more…)

***2013 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Now You See Me

See Me
OK, so it was only August but I called it.  Now You See Me was then, and is now, is the worst movie of 2013 that I saw.  That’s not to say it’s worse than the latest Wayans Brothers joint, or The Great Gatsby. I’m sure they’re worse, but I’ll never actually see them. Now You See Me has the honour of actually suckering me in, causing me to commit almost two hours of my life to this train wreck. Hey, maybe this movies is magic… Black, evil magic.


I’m not sure what’s less convincing in Now You See Me, the premise that magicians are treated by adoring crowds like rock stars, or that floppy hair and a few days without a shave make Jesse Eisenberg a badass. So, Eisenberg is a slight of hand specialist, Woody Harrelson is a hypnotist, Dave Franco plays Matt Damon’s character from the Oceans franchise and Isla Fisher wears a series of short skirts. Together, they are, the Four Horseman! But the cast doesn’t end there. We also have a slumming Mark Ruffalo, the French broad from Inglorious Basterds and some stellar cheque cashing performances from Michael Cain and Morgan Freeman.

Seriously, how do you convince this many people to make something this craptacular? I assume Eisenberg took the role purely because he gets his name first and his picture biggest on the poster. For Franco and Fisher it’s probably the biggest budget, most high profile movie they’ve ever been a part of, I get it. Freeman and Cain have a history of making any old shit if the money’s right and also, they’re old and probably a bit demented by this stage. But Ruffalo… Why, Ruffalo? Why?!?! You’ve already got the Avengers franchise to pay for that beach house, you don’t need to lower yourself to this garbage.

You know what makes a good twist? It’s something you never saw coming, but the second it does, you can’t believe you didn’t call it in the first scene. A really great twist even holds up on repeat viewings when you start to see clues that make you feel like even more of an idiot for not calling it in the first scene. Lazy, terrible, ineffective, clunky, downright crap twists do none of that. Lazy, terrible, ineffective, clunky, downright crap twists like that in Now You See Me just whack in a reveal at the end with none of the ground work to make it effective. I can think of two other characters who have just as much right to the “twist” and the movie still would have made just as much sense. If, when the big reveal drops, you can think of several other characters who have just as much right to that reveal, that does not a good twist make.

Wanna see a movie with a cool twist? Watch Fight Club, The Sixth Sense or a million other better movies. Wanna see Eisenberg and Harrelson passively, aggressively bounce off each other? Watch Zombieland. Wanna see Michael Cain in a decent movie about magicians? Watch The Prestige. Wanna see Isla Fisher look hot? Google it. Wanna see Dave Franco do something? Nah, probably not.

Now You See Me
Directed By – Louis Leterrier
Written By – Ed Solomon, Bioaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt