Gyllenhaal, Renner shine
This week’s new DVD releases include two films that have top-notch acting performances overlooked by the Academy.
At times he seems driven by sociopathic tendencies, while other times his work borders on the madness of a great artist. The combination makes Bloom a character to be feared, but also the guy you want wading into the latest carnage to get the story.
Dan Gilroy is fearless in his writing and direction. He never backs off from making his main characters morally bankrupt and overly zealous when it comes to the job. These are not people to like as much as fear and respect for their lack of boundaries.
Renner finds the perfect beat to show the stages of Webb’s rise and fall. At the start, he plays Webb with the kind of optimistic enthusiasm writers have when they latch on to a big story. Just as quickly, Renner shifts to a reserved humbleness after his story becomes a sensation. What makes Renner’s work so masterful is that he’s equally as believable when Webb’s life and career crash.
Just as in movies like “Holes” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid, “ the key is how much moviegoers will like the movie’s central young star. Ed Oxenbould comes across as an average kid, a trait that must make his family happy but is not the best description for the person at the core of a feature film. The audience would be more sympathetic to Alexander if his own bad day was filled with more disasters.
The film never gets overly deep in its examination of generational and parental frustrations. It’s the dependable Moretz, Keira Knightley and Rockwell who get the most out of the script and make this production work.
Also new on DVD Feb. 10