Entries in Jeremy Renner (9)


Wind River- review


“Wind River” (2017)

Directed by Taylor Sheridan

Starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen

Running Time 107 Minutes, Rated R.

4 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com


“Sicario” and “Hell or High Water” are two films that are both on my in my Top 10 Films in each of their respective years, and “Wind River”, no doubt, making my 2017 list.  What do these films have in common? Taylor Sheridan.  Sheridan wrote all three of these films and makes his directorial debut with the gritty heart wrenching “Wind River”.  Sheridan can finely paint the environment that his well defined written characters are entrenched in.  He showcases his characters solving the injustices usually the “white man” have perpetrated and has a penchant for short but brutal standoffs that end violently.  Every one of his films pack an emotional wallop, and “Wind River” is no different.    


The film opens with a young woman running barefoot in the deadly cold climate of the open Wyoming frozeness.  This woman is later found dead in the snow by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert, played by a very stoic Jeremy Renner.  Cory knows the girl's father (played by outstanding Gil Birmingham) and tells him the horrific news, news that he has had to endure himself losing his daughter only recentlyl to similar circumstances.  Cory is a hunter and vows to his friend that he will find who did this.  Turns out when a young female F.B.I. agent Jane Banner (played by fellow Avenger Elizabeth Olsen) is put on the case, she quickly realizes that his skills are necessary to solve the case.  

In both Sicario and Wind River, Sheridan gives us strong female characters of power who are placed in settings that they may be in over their head but gives them intelligence and a backbone to proceed through.  Olsen, like Emily Blunt, has a quiet but assertive power behind that pretty face that too often gets dismissed.  Sheridan does gives another fine gift by not forcing our two leads to fall in love with each other when the story serves it not.  I was on the edge of my seat as the story escalated quickly to the climax.  Sheridan puts you in a world unbeknownst to most, and isn’t that why we go to the movies.  Go to this movie.  

Psalm 34:18



Arrival- review


“Arrival” (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Starring Amy Adams,  Jeremy Renner,  Forest Whitaker

Running Time 116 Minutes, Rated PG-13

5 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

Whomever decided to release this film directly after the election is a genius.

Speaking of genius, Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” is just that.  With how increasingly difficult it is for a world to communicate with each other, even though technology has granted us so many opportunities for it, how cathartic it is for a story to come along that shows immense benefits reaped from such a noble endeavor that is communication.  And cathartic this film is, the heavy hurt of such treacherous communication from this recent election (from BOTH sides) lifted, if not temporarily, but in essence, show how it could be cured.  Film is so beautiful in the way it can do that... if so inclined.

Villenueve’s “Arrival” introduces first contact with extraterrestrial life the same way many of us came to find out about 9/11.  Silently frozen to our television screens watching something of this magnitude start to unfold.  That’s how Amy Adams’ Dr. Louise Banks, an expert linguist, finds out about it, as her students are missing from class glued to the television showing 12 skyscraper spacecrafts that have landed in 12 separate areas of the globe that have no known pattern as to why.  Dread and fear are most people's first reaction, and the longer they hover there with nothing happening only allows the human race to dread and fear.  It’s human instinct to fear what we don’t know because we’re worried that what we have will be taken away from us by the unknown, and so we often feel obliged to strike first as a protection mechanism.


Within days of the arrival Dr. Banks is met by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) who recruits her and her top linguistic skills to go to Montana where one of the ships are located and take on trying to figure out why the aliens are here and what their intentions are.  There, Dr. Banks pairs up with physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and in an absolutely stunning shot of the ship's first introduction, get to work trying to talk to them.  The ‘them’ are two squid-like creatures that Ian names ‘heptapods’ due to their seven symmetrical tentacles.  Quickly, Dr. Banks figures that understanding won’t come from the audio sounds of their language for which we have no way to derive anything from, but rather, the written word which when put down becomes an actual object that can be deciphered.  

The intelligent sci-fi is rewarding, but it’s the human story that amazingly pulls it all together and to the next level.  The film opens with Dr. Banks rehashing her daughter’s life and eventual way to soon demise.  This storyline is more than just a subplot and way more than just a device.  For me it was a new way of telling a story that much like Dr. Banks I had to learn a new cinematic language as the story unfolded, and at times I felt the fear, the dread, but eventually an immense joy of what we as humans are capable of.  You have to be reminded of that sometimes, and “Arrival” not only reminds you but celebrates it.

I was once again reminded of just how good Amy Adams is.  There is such sorrow yet such hope evoked that her character's journey is a spectacular one, one that few actresses are able to accomplish.  

“Arrival” is also a spectacular journey, that very few films are able to accomplish.    

James 1:19



Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation- review


“Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” (2015)

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie

Starring  Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner

Running Time 131 Minutes, Rated PG-13

4 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com


Allow me to indulge in my usual Tom Cruise rant if you will.  There is no actor I look forward to and enjoy more than Mr. Maverick himself.  For me, there is sincere anticipation that is nowhere to be matched in the actor spectrum.  Cruise’s intensity and clarity that he uses with surgeon-like skills make for the most rewarding screen appearances, and with age he is mastering being wholly likeable doing it.  No character of his embodies that more than Mission Impossible super spy Ethan Hunt, and after Brad Bird rejuvenated the series with the truly fantastic Ghost Protocol it became Christopher McQuarrie’s (“Jack Reacher”) turn to light it up with “MI: Rogue Nation”.  Light it up McQuarrie and Cruise did, giving us a crowd pleasing action romp with twists and turns that harken to the good old days of spy thrillers.

Cruise is famous (duh) for his ‘must-do’ attitude when it comes to doing his own stunts, and the trailer moneyshot of his hanging onto a transport plane taking off (which is just amazing to watch) isn’t the climax as you might think but merely just the opening act.  It’s here Hunt is passionately trying to take down an anti-MI spy agency called The Syndicate, but with no support from other government agencies, led by Alec Baldwin as the disapproving CIA head, the US Senate shuts it down and makes Hunt military enemy number one.  


Hunt’s superhuman determination and his few allies (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames) are pitted up against The Syndicate’s leader, creepily played by Sean Harris, who has the uncanny ability to use ‘human nature’ against all those who oppose.  McQuarrie gets a much bigger budget with this Cruise picture and does a very fine job of making the most out of his action pieces, but not because of spectacle but because McQuarrie excels with character development which in turns makes us care about every bullet fired at our heroes.  Special props to Rebecca Ferguson who pops out of her tv background and absolutely gives a star making performance as the is she/isn’t she ally of Hunt.  Ferguson isn’t going to have a problem getting roles from now on.

Rogue Nation also has what most spy movies lack- intrigue…, well that and Cruise, and for those reasons alone the fifth entry in this series is impossible not to like.

Rogue Nation also has what most spy movies lack- intrigue…, well that and “this”, and for those reasons alone the fifth entry in this series is impossible not to like.

Luke 1:37


Avengers: Age of Ultron- review


“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Directed by Joss Whedon

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo

Running Time 141 Minutes, Rated PG-13

3 Mitch Heads out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

It’s really not fair.  The first Avengers film was a hefty experiment where a big studio took a chance and said we’ll have all these (so many) different superheroes, give most of them a couple of their own films, and then bring it all together in one massive film to tie in all their previous storylines and then add on top of it.  We all know it now as the Marvel Universe, but that big studio along with director Joss Whedon pretty much pulled off that miracle and pulled it off superbly.  Avengers was critically very well received and also became the third highest grossing film of all time- not too shabby.  My point being that it’s not fair the amount of pressure and high expectations chained to this super sequel’s feet.  But those expectations are unavoidable, and with that, I thought that “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was pretty good, I guess.


Basically the lowdown is that The Avengers open the film by taking back Loki’s scepter from Hydra, and before Thor has to take it back to his planet, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to make A.I. from it.  Good news is that they succeed, but the bad news is that the A.I. becomes Ultron (voiced by James Spader) who comes to realize that the only way to help out mankind is to exterminate them.  Ultron enlists the help of the ‘enhanced’ Avenger hating siblings Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who is really, really, fast and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) who can do mind control.  Eventually, Avengers come together, Banner goes all Hulk and they almost unband, Ultron wants to make a eastern European city a meteor (the city flies, duh), and a huge battle ensues between good and evil at the end.  This is not your first Marvel rodeo so you get it.

There’s so much going on in this Universe that in Age of Ultron you can feel the convolutedness every time they are referencing something to the past and as they’re setting up something for the future.  More than a few times in this film I needed a Marvel Encyclopedia to keep up with it.  Wait, how many Infinity whatchyamacallit stones are there?  What is S.H.I.E.L.D up to now?  And beside Paul Bettany getting promoted to more than his voice, what and who the heck is Vision?  It can all be a bit maddening, but other times when you’re watching fantastic battle sequences, great CGI work, and awesomely hilarious superhero banter, you realize how simple and great the pleasures are that this film has to offer.  Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye finally gets some character depth and also gets some of the best lines; “The city is flying, we’re fighting robots- and I’ve got a bow and arrow.”  As he tries to enlist some into the Avengers.  With moments that good, I’m onboard till the end.  

With moments “this” good, I’m onboard till the end.

Ephesians 4:16



Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters- review

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton
Running Time 88 Minutes, Rated R.
2 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

Shotguns were invented in 1850; 1915 for the first safe grenades (ones you can throw), the first revolving machine gun didn’t come about until 1884, and the first record player wasn’t invented till 1877.  

These are just a few of the anachronisms used in the Hansel and Gretel reboot that was first published by The Brothers Grimm in 1812. Future gadgets, plenty of F’bombs, and a touch of gratuitous nudity are supposed to bring “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” to new edgy life for 2013 audiences, but instead, we’re left with not enough action, uninspiring advisories, and main characters void of the charm and snappy one liners needed for spoof fare such as this.   

Sadly, Jeremy Renner must have been put under a powerful dark spell and told that this could be another franchise for the two time Oscar nominee as he and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia, Quantum of Solace) are two parts of this massive dud that’s probably going to be just one and done.  Renner and Arterton play Hansel and Gretel; leather clad grown ups of the siblings who were left by their parents and nearly eaten by an evil witch in her candy house.  Now witch bounty hunters, they find themselves pitted up against a grand witch (Famke Janssen) who needs to kidnap 12 total children for a spell that would give witch’s the upper hand against humankind.

Directed by the Tommy Wirkola, the film doesn’t have the cleverness and humour he was able to display in his Norwegian horror hit “Dead Snow”.  Wirkola’s “Dead Snow” was very funny; successfully combining Zombies and Nazi’s with many obvious references to Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead”. In “Hansel and Gretel”, he continues his affection to Raimi with an “Army of Darkness” shoutout to one of the witch’s, but this reference, the action/witch combo, and pretty much the whole feel of Hansel and Gretel fall flat.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters may be a spin on an old fairy tale but the only thing it did was work as a bedtime story and put me to sleep.  

the only thing it did was work as a bedtime story and put “this” to sleep.  

Exodus 22:18


The Bourne Legacy- review

The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Directed by Tony Gilroy
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton
Running Time 135 Minutes, Rated PG-13
3 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com

“There was never just one”.  That tagline is all you need to keep the very popular and profitable Bourne series going.  The torch is passed from amnesiac Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, to the starting to think for himself Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner.  It turns out Bourne wasn’t the only Treadstone government enhanced superspy; Cross is one of nine other “participants”.  From the opening scene where Renner shows off a grizzled and ripped Cross, we find out he’s a cut above the others breaking some sort of crazy Alaskan scavenger hunt record by two days, that includes some wrestling wolves that could teach Liam Neeson a thing or two.  

I have a love/hate with the Bourne series.  I know Paul Greengrass is a respected director, but I don’t like his shaky-cam style. It completely takes me out of the action.  Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the previous three Bourne films, writes this one as well but takes over as the director.  Like his previous directed film, “Duplicity”, Gilroy has a way of overcomplicating things.  Gilroy’s script takes the very long road to say that Jason Bourne’s arrival to N.Y.C at the end of the third film has set the Treadstone program back and must eliminate its “participants”.  There’s so much C.I.A./special ops/government jargon at first it’s easy to get confused, good thing the stellar cast of Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton doesn’t need words to convey to the audience what’s going on.  

Rachel Weisz is Dr. Martha Rearing, one of the programs medical researchers who developed and doses out the meds that keep Cross as physical and intelligent as he is.  After an office slaughtering that leaves her as the lone survivor, she is forced to stop being so naive about the bigger picture of what she does.  An excellent action sequence in her house brings her and Cross together, where he can help keep her alive and she can take him to factory where the meds are that he’s jonesing so bad for.  

“The Bourne Legacy” is in the right hands with Renner.  After breaking out in “The Hurt Locker”, he’s tagged along in “The Town”, “Mission Impossible 4”, and “The Avengers”, but now shows he can do big box office on his own here.  Renner’s strong stoicness mixed with that damaged soul type gives us a lot to chew on with hopefully more courses to come.  Legacy is at its most interesting when Gilroy cuts the fat.  If there is a next one and Gilroy is helming, then I wouldn’t mind a bit more action and lot less jargon.  

I wouldn’t mind a bit more action and a lot less “this”.    



Marvel's The Avengers- review

“Marvel's The Avengers” (2012)
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
Running Time 142 Minutes, Rated PG-13
4 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com

You’re gonna have fun watching the summer blockbuster tentpole that is “The Avengers”.  You just are, plain and simple, you’ll probably go through your whole bag of popcorn, but you definitely won’t get up for a refill.

So this is how it’s done folks.  A big box office film that has six super heroes running around, learning how to be a team while trying to protect Earth’s demise from an angry adopted Norse god with a powerful alien army behind him.  If I read that premise next to the fellow Chris Evans’ “The Fantastic Four” super hero plotline, then it might sound just as silly as that super dud, but worry not true believers, “The Avengers” succeeds almost on all accounts.   

Joss Whedon, the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” gets the reigns to a budget he’s never come close to and pulls off the Marvel universe marvelously.  Whedon’s impressively concentrated effort of direction and dialogue is never wasted with the sick talent of actors who convey a magnanimous amount of pathos even while wearing tights and body suits.  He makes the 3D pop as we’re spoiled with his spectacular action sequences while delivering his superb brand of Whedon humor, and his ability to never forget why these characters are here in the first place.

All the familiar good looking faces team up for this action juggernaut and even a new one.  Robert Downey Jr. reminds us how this big budget wheel got started, dazzling us with his charismatic Tony Stark/ Iron Man.  His snarky ‘always with the last word’ quips are so so funny, (to Thor) “No hard feelings Point Break, you’ve got a mean swing.”  Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor the god of thunder from not so under. Chris Evans is the more thawed out Dudley Do Right WW2 war hero Steve Rogers/ Captain America, while the less shown Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner get beefed up roles as deadly chic assassin Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow and bow sharpshooter Clint Barton/ Hawkeye respectively.  

Rounding out the fab team with pea green hue is Bruce Banner/ The Hulk played by it’s third actor Mark Ruffalo. The Hulk and The Ruffalo come close to stealing the show by succeeding where Eric Bana or Edward Norton did not.  Turns out that less Hulk is more and Whedon and Ruffalo are able to convey the dark tortuous side of the genius Banner and the fear that is accompanied when the unstoppable force of The Hulk is unleashed.    

Little known British actor Tom Hiddleston (War Horse) is vibrantly menacing as Loki, who suffers from a severe case of the little-brother-complex to Thor.  Hiddleston is a key example of where the excellent casting of all the earlier Marvel films pay off.  Hiddleston chews Whedon and co-screenwriter Zak Penn‘s at times Shakespearean banter.  There is a great scene where Whedon once again uses his angle of voyeurism as Loki must first have an audience of his future minions before he will bring down his opposed Avengers.    

Cobie Smulders from tv’s “How I Met Your Mother” looks out of place, coming off as the other female face that isn’t Scarlett Johansson with dialogue that only serves to push operational techno-mumbo jumbo and dangers that lie ahead.  I was a bit sad to see Jeremy Renner’s ferociousness neutered even though it’s all for the character’s sake. The Avenger’s getting to know each other phase takes a while, but the humor is so daft that it’s easily forgivable.  

Whatever small complaints this viewer had, it compares not to the congrats.  “The Avengers” is the best Marvel film since the first Iron Man, and may be the most fun you have at the theaters all year.  Just remember to buy the extra large popcorn.  

Just remember to buy the extra large “this”.  


1 Timothy 2:4


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol- review

“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” (2011)
Directed by Brad Bird
Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton
Running Time 133 Minutes, Rated PG-13
4.5 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com

Man, I do I like me some Tom Cruise (keep your jokes to a minimum).  There’s a certain pride to take when you stick with a talent no matter how low their public popularity drops and they reign supreme again.  I never wavered with my admiration for Ben Affleck when he was better known as ‘Bennifer’, I certainly never wavered when Michael Jackson was better known as ‘Wacko Jacko’, and when Mr. Cruise was jumping on couches and denouncing the pharmaceutical world, I still would have payed double admission to see any of his films.  That’s because talent rises to the top, and in the case of the fourth installment of Mission Impossible series, Tom Cruise's talent rises to the top of the world's tallest building in one of the most spectacular action sequences you’ll ever see.   

Tom Cruise reprises his role as agent Ethan Hunt this time under the direction of Brad Bird.  Bird, known for his amazing run of animated films, The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, makes a peculiar choice for his first live action film with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  I’m glad he does as Bird’s high level ingenuity has a live-action fantastic feel of “The Incredibles”.  Along with Cruise's focused yet fancy free performance, Bird makes Ghost Protocol not only the best film of the series but easily the best action film of 2011.  Forgive the movie reviewer cliche jive, but MI:4 is a non-stop thrill ride that had me on the edge of my seat and riveted by numerous kick-butt high-octane action sequences.

After Ethan Hunt is framed for an act of war when the Kremlin is blown up, the whole IMF (Impossible Mission Force: I did not know that) is ‘disavowed’, AKA ghost protocol. This makes Hunt and his small team rogue agents with the mission of stopping a terrorist by the name of Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) with the ambition and means of purification through nuclear holocaust.  His team consists of lone returner Benji (Simon Pegg), daftly delivering the lighter moments, newcomers Jane (Paula Patton) the femme fatale, and the mild-mannered Brandt with some juicy character secrets that’s played by the ever-surging Jeremy Renner.  

Fast paced and well crafted, make sure you see this in IMAX, not since the Dark Knight has the format been so effective.  Speaking of so effective, Tom Cruise’s sheer intensity is unmatched in Hollywood.  As I wrote previously, there is an amazing gut-wrenching action sequence that has Cruise climbing the outside of the worlds tallest building in Dubai 123 stories up.  Cruise is literally doing this death-defying stunt and it pays off 123 folds.  Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has these electrifying moments to spare along side a mission that isn’t “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” confusing to follow but challenging enough to keep you entertained through all the twists, turns, and revelations.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a mission you should definitely accept.
“This” is a mission you should definitely accept.



The Town- review

“The Town” (2010)

Directed by Ben Affleck

Starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall

Running Time 124 Minutes, Rated R.

4 Mitch’s out 5

Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com

The next Clint Eastwood?  I dare say Ben Affleck is on his way.  Affleck follows up his critically acclaimed directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone”, with the supremely effective heart-pounding bank heist drama “The Town”.  After most probably calling up some favors to get a good cast (or using his talented brother Casey for “Gone”) in his first two films, it’s the actors now who will be begging to be on the next Affleck picture.  Ben Affleck has shown such a feel for crafting high tension drama with great writing (need I remind you he has Oscar for it with “Good Will Hunting”) and an eye for getting an authentic feel for the surroundings.  What Scorsese and Allen are to New York, Affleck could be to Boston. 

On the south side of the bean town is Charleston, the bank robbery capitol of the world.  Bank robbery there is a trade, a trade that Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) has known since his days after being a young drafted hockey player didn’t pan out.  The film starts out with a heist in which Doug leads a crew that includes his childhood friend and a two-striker James “Jem” Coughlin (played by last year’s Oscar nominated Jeremy Renner).  Out of protocol, Jem takes the bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) as a hostage.  After finding out Claire resides a mere four blocks away from the crew, Doug takes it on himself to keep an eye on her. 

As Doug falls for Claire, his sloppiness gives F.B.I. Special Agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) the lead on Doug’s crew.  At times, the movie goes down Cliché Road but “The Town’s” cast is so talented, it’s able to take the road less traveled, keeping us riveted.  Affleck smartly adds the perfect dashes of levity giving us time to breathe throughout the film’s dramatic and dark layers.  In one great scene, Doug gives chivalry a new meaning when he and Jem rough up some “townies” that have been giving Claire a hard time on her walk home from work.  The studio may have told Affleck the film has to have guns and bank robberies but he fills the rest in expertly with  an authentic look into an environment and the players that make it up.

Not only does Affleck bring it behind the camera but also in front.  As Doug, Affleck shows the ache of someone who sees the vicious cycle that his sins have created and someone who longs for better.  Jeremy Renner is scary good playing the violent loose-cannon that at times stares with dead eyes and who spent nine years in prison vowing to never go back.  When Jem runs into Doug on a secret date with Claire, I held onto my cherry coke nervously, not knowing what would happen next.

Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Christina Barcelona”) shows the post-trauma of Claire well.  As for the other supporting cast, Blake Lively from TV’s Gossip Girl takes a great leap to the big screen, Pete Postlethwaite is tactfully revolting as crime boss Fergie, and Chris Cooper doesn’t need much screen time to blow you away as Doug’s incarcerated-for-life father.  If I had one casting gripe it would be Jon Hamm as the cocksure special agent, he doesn’t screw it up but doesn’t add much either.   Compare what Mark Wahlberg does in “The Departed” to what Hamm does here and notice the huge difference.  I have never seen his Emmy nominated performance on “Mad Men” but so far, I have yet to see his appeal. 

For a split second “The Town” begins to drag and has you wanting to look at the time but that’s when Affleck reels you right back in with the exciting climax that has you guessing, trying to figure out how it’s going to play out from one second to the next.  “The Town” is a success for Affleck and for moviegoers.  Go see “The Town”.

Go see “this”.

Exodus 20:15