Pat Clark

Pat Clark: Modestans can read about Renner’s new film, but will have to wait to see it

Well, ouch.

Jeremy Renner’s new film, “Kill the Messenger,” is getting all sorts of press, great reviews, and the actor – now producer, as well – is doing any number of interviews to promote the movie.

Those interviews include one with his hometown paper – this very Modesto Bee that you’re holding – and yet the film will not be available in his said hometown region as it opens in limited release today.

(Insert angry emoticon here.)

Take heart, Modesto-area fans, the film is expected to open in wide release Oct. 17 and Oct. 24, so we should be able to see the drama about San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb and his series of articles in the 1990s that linked the CIA to 1980s drug smuggling in the United States. Renner stars as Webb and, as noted, the two-time Academy Award nominee is getting raves from critics.

So while we’ll have to wait – or drive 80 miles to a larger market region – to see the film, better late than never, yes?

Renner spoke to Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland about “Kill the Messenger,” the first film to come from his own production company, The Combine, and about his life. You can see her stories on both A1 today and at the center of this Scene section. We’ll come back with a review of the film in coming weeks when it finally opens here.

The Beyer High grad continues to be gracious to his hometown and to The Bee. But make no mistake, Renner is quite serious about keeping his private life just that, particularly shielding his new wife and their toddler from the glare of the rabid Hollywood media machine.

Nevertheless, Renner recently entered the Twittersphere – something he did reluctantly, according to an interview that aired Monday with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.”

I feel his pain. Although I’d set up a Twitter account myself about a year ago, I hadn’t tweeted nor even again signed onto the social media giant until a couple of weeks ago. Heck, I hadn’t even downloaded the app to my phone.

Still, one of the first people I started to “follow” – which sounds uncomfortably stalkerlike, doesn’t it? – was Renner. That’s where I found out he and I share something in common besides our hometown and our Twitter reluctance: a deep devotion to the San Francisco 49ers.

If I didn’t already like the guy, that revelation alone would have turned me around. Renner even narrated a six-minute video when the 49ers opened their new Levi’s Stadium a few weeks ago that focused on the team’s history and its potential.

I had a chance to interview Renner three years ago when he first showed up in the “Mission: Impossible” film series. Had I known then about his football fandom, we almost certainly would have swapped Niner chat. If I get another chance to talk to him in the future, you can bet it’ll be the first thing brought up.

So, does a guy who is in the public pop culture eye himself kind of dig the idea that he’s from the same region as the hotshot quarterback for his favorite football team? Maybe he’ll tweet about it sometime. Or, maybe he already did. I’m still not a frequent Twitter visitor, after all.


Speaking of actors and interviews, Ben Affleck spoke last week to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show about his new film, “Gone Girl,” in which he plays a man who becomes the suspect when his wife goes missing. Two or three times, Affleck likened his role to Scott Peterson, convicted of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son.

The next day, I was getting my hair cut just a few feet from where Laci Peterson’s sister was working. How difficult, I thought, it must be to have the single most horrific event to befall your family be a cultural touchstone for all of society. Years later – and to put that into perspective, Conner would be in his middle-school years now – the tragedy remains a media topic.

Nothing against Affleck – he has no more connection to the Modesto case than what he and the rest of the world viewed in the national media – but how bizarre to have it tossed out so matter-of-factly as a note of comparison more than a decade later.


On a much, much lighter note, someone asked me last week if I was sad that George Clooney had gotten married.

Seriously? Look, people, I’m all about the Clooney, but it’s not like I was waiting for him to land in Modesto and suddenly find himself hopelessly attracted to a short, pear-shaped middle-age woman in glasses and sweep me off my feet – and out of my own marriage. Good grief.

But I will admit, it was pretty darn cool to see that Bono – my other hopeless crush – was at Clooney’s wedding. Just proves that Clooney’s got good taste in friends. And vice-versa.

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