Tag Archive: jake gyllenhaal


Prisoners Trailer

UK Release Date: 4th October 2013

Stars: Denis Villeneuve (director), Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano.

Plot: A Boston man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend.

Even if you watch just the first seconds of the trailer without reading the synopsis, you can tell that Prisoners is not going to be a film that makes you cry with happiness. Watch it all and you’ll soon realise that what Prisoners is planning on doing is making you sit there pulling your hair out begging Hugh Jackman not to do everything that he does.

With coming up to seven films as Wolverine, it’s easy to forget that Jackman is an incredibly versatile actor. And with an October release date it looks as though Jackman has Oscar nominations in his sights again as Prisoners seems like a story that is going to resonate with a lot of people and the performances are going to have to be groundbreaking in order to convey such a threatening tale.

Paul Dano must feel a bit of an outcast being as though Jackman, Gyllenhaan, Davis, Howard, and Leo have all either been nominated or won an Oscar, while Bello has two Golden Globe nominations to go with that. However, he is a talented young actor who should hold his own.

Prisoners looks like a journey full of suspense. You get the feeling that there must be a twist to the story at some point. And whatever happens, it seems doubtful that Jackman’s character is going to have a happy ending.

Let’s get straight into it. American Bullshit. That was the original name of the film that Christian Bale has recently signed on for. The now untitled movie originally had Bale set to lead the ensemble cast but he dropped out, and now he has jumped back into the movie. When Bale dropped out he was replaced with the frankly quite obvious replacement Jeremy Renner. It has been announced that Renner and Bale will now both be in the project so everyone’s a winner! The film also stars Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper and will be directed by David O. Russell who previously worked with Bale on The Fighter.

Paul Dano, fresh from Ruby Sparks and Looper this past month has now signed on to what should be another film that will see positive press and Dano is fast becoming into a very recognisable and reliable face in the world of movies. The latest project he has signed on for is a revenge thriller entitled Prisoners. Prisoners is about a Boston man who kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend. Hugh Jackman will be playing the lead role with Jake Gyllenhaal and Oscar winner Melissa Leo in support, so not half bad casting really.

A movie currently in production that is causing quite a stir is Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. The reason for all of the attention on this project is because it revolves around a woman beaten up and found in an alley, then cleaned up by a bachelor who finds her and along the way she recounts all the details of her sex life from when it began up until her 50s (why?). And it has been announced that Lars Von Trier wants the sex scenes to be completely real – he wants his cast to ACTUALLY have sex on film. Anyway, this week has seen Uma Thurman sign up to a cast that already includes Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf.

And finally, after all of that casting news there is some absolutely ridiculous news coming out this week that after the unsuccessful Battleships film, Hollwood execs are now planning to turn several other games into big blockbusters. Along with a Monopoly film, which has been in the works for some time now, an Action Man movie is being planned (which should lend itself to the medium more easily than others, perhaps). But the weirdest news is that a Hungry Hippos movie is being planned. It’ll be interesting to see how that one turns out.

UK Release Date: 23rd November 2012.

Stars: David Ayer (director), Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Cody Horn, David Harbour.

Plot: Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.

From the writer of such crime and action films such as Training Day, The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T comes his latest film which is written, directed and produced by this man: End of Watch. Based on his previous films the action should be handled pretty well and will probably be placed above character in the order of prominence.

However, judging by the trailer, End of Watch seems to place more importance on character development and relationships that any of Ayer’s previous work so this could be a step in the right direction. Gyllenhaal and Pena play the two cops who come under attack by the drug cartel and hopefully their chemistry will be believable.

If the film is entirely shot in the same way as the trailer, with the action scenes sliced together with scenes that look like they are from a cop documentary then I would be very interested to see it. But the trailer seems to split itself into two halves. In the beginning it looks like a more realistic and real life look at the work of police officers, then it turns into just a generic action cop film. I think that once you’ve seen so many cop films they all become the same.

Saying that though, I do think End of Watch looks pretty good.

Rendition (2007) Review.

Rendition is a thriller, released in 2007 to mixed reviews. It centres on a CIA analyst who begins to question his assignment after witnessing an unorthodox interrogation at a secret detention facility outside the US. The film is based on the true story of Khalid El-Masri who was mistaken for Khalid Al-Masri.

It features a cast of many big names: Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard (who spends most of the film looking incredibly similar to Ewan McGregor), Meryl Streep and J.K. Simmons and is directed by Gavin Hood who is also responsible for ruining a fan favourite Marvel character’s origins in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The performances of the above are not that bad and that is the highest compliment I can pay them, however the performance of Omar Metwally who plays the man mistaken for a terrorist is absolutely fantastic; he completely steals the show.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s character is very two dimensional. I like Gyllenhaal as an actor and when he turns it on he really does turn it on, but here in Rendition something is lacking. His character is poor and nothing can really bring him to life. Witherspoon’s character is just irritating from start to finish while Sarsgaard’s character seems useless. The heavyweights Simmons and Streep aren’t used nearly enough. The character development and characters in general need to be better written and are not well rounded or even that likeable.

Some of the torture scenes in which Anwar El-Ibrahimi is treated horrifically by the American government are when this film comes into its own. They are very well filmed and recreated and clearly a lot of research went into making those scenes authentic and they do, at times, become very hard to watch because we, as the audience, know that the victim is innocent.

My biggest problem with Rendition though is its genre. Thriller. Here’s a little piece of advice; you can’t call a film a thriller when it isn’t even thrilling in the slightest! A thriller, in my opinion, needs to have a mystery, it needs to have shocks and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Rendition fails to do this majorly. There are parts of the film where it seems as though the director is trying to build up sympathy or the characters or try and give a subtle shock to the audience but it only plants the seeds for a plot twist and the seeds never really come to fruition.

When I sat down to watch the film I had read what it was about and was anticipating something very entertaining as I was impressed with the storyline and the cast but as the film grew on (from what was a very boring first half into a mediocre second) I soon came to realise that I was not watching the film I had hoped. Rendition was a let down; an anti-war film that never really takes off.

Having read around the film I know that it has its fans but I just can’t imagine myself wanting to watch it again.

My Rating: 4/10.