Posts Tagged ‘Javier Bardem’

The Quest for Poseidon’s Trident

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Directors: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg

Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, David Wenham, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stephen Graham

Viewers can be forgiven for thinking that they are on a spectacular Disney theme park ride, when watching the highly entertaining opening sequence of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge co-directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge was released in South Africa, Europe and the UK under this title but is also known as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in America possibly for trademark reasons.

This fifth installment of the hugely successful Pirates franchise which made stars out of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, not to mention cementing Johnny Depp’s status as a massive box office drawcard, is maximum entertainment. Depp’s performance as the wayward pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was Oscar nominated back in 2003 for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

As the film opens we see Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, Gods of Egypt) as Henry Turner conversing miraculously underwater with his trapped father Will Turner played again by Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End).

Henry makes a pact to find Poseidon’s Trident which will undo all the curses which have befallen pirates and sailors alike in the turbulent waters of the Caribbean, thus freeing his father from his watery confinement.

Under another such curse is Salazar, the archetypal villain wonderfully played with a Spanish accent by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) who is a ghostly pirate trapped for eternity in an unholy state keen on exacting revenge on every pirate and sailor he encounters, more specifically Captain Jack Sparrow who he blames for tricking him into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, cursing his Spanish crew forever.

After an attention grabbing opening sequence involving a chaotic bank robbery on the British controlled island of Saint Martin, Captain Sparrow reluctantly gathers his crew again including Henry Turner and newcomer Carina Smyth played by Kaya Scodelario as they escape the island and set sail in search of the elusive Poseidon’s trident. The bloodthirsty Salazar has made an unlikely pact with another of Sparrow’s enemies Hector Barbossa wonderfully played by Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine).

While Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is fantastic entertainment with alluring special effects, the plot and direction is occasionally ambivalent lacking a unity of vision in certain sequences.

Besides the swashbuckling, the cameo appearances and a relentlessly fast narrative which taps into a pervasive Pirates mythology which subscribes to the notion that they are outlaws, reckless and merciless, this version of Pirates of the Caribbean is worth seeing especially since it deftly introduces the franchise to a younger audience with the love affair between Carina and Henry, promising of more sequels to come.

Perhaps the action might seem implausible or downright fantastical, but Pirates delivers on its franchise promise and gets a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Fans of the previous films, will enjoy this version especially the welcome re-appearance of its most notable anti-hero, the rum-sipping, wise-cracking and perverse Jack Sparrow played with suitable delinquency by Johnny Depp.

61st BAFTA Awards

THE  61st BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 10th February 2008 in London

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

atonement

Best Film: Atonement

no_country_for_old_men

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men

there_will_be_blood_ver2

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – There will be Blood

la vie_en_rose

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

michael_clayton

Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

this_is_england

Best British Film: This is England directed by Shane Meadows

juno_ver3

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody – Juno

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly

Best Adapted Screenplay: Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Costume Design: La Vie en Rose

lives_of_others

Best Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others (Germany) directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Source: 61st BAFTA Awards

 

Calvary Rebounded

The Gunman

gunman

Director: Pierre Morel

Cast: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca, Peter Franzen

Taken director Pierre Morel brings to cinematic life an above average thriller The Gunman based upon the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette pairing Oscar winners Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) together for the first time.

Set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, England and Spain, Penn plays an off the books Mercenary who is unwillingly hired to assassinate the Minister of Mines in the DRC after his announcement that the war torn country would be limiting foreign owned mining companies from operating in the ravaged but mineral rich central African country formerly the Belgian Congo.

gunman_ver5Dubbed operation Calvary, once the assassination takes place in 2006 Terrier was to leave the country and the continent and also that of his love interest, NGO worker Annie played by Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

Fast forward eight years to 2014 and Terrier is targeted back in the DRC by some mean looking machete welding men and soon hightails it back to London after a narrow escape. Back in England, he confronts the mastermind of operation Calvary, the shady British businessman Cox played by Mark Rylance (Anonymous, The Other Boleyn Girl).

Terrier soon realizes that all the men involved in operation Calvary have been killed only leaving himself and boozy Spaniard Felix played by Bardem. The action thankfully moves to the fabulous Catalonian capital of Barcelona where things really heat up as Trinca realizes that her former flame is alive and well. After a very bloody shootout in a Spanish villa, Terrier travels to the British protectorate of Gibraltar to finally confront the real culprit in this scandalous and dangerous international cover up.

Unfortunately director Pierre Morel’s film The Gunman despite having two A list actors in it, suffers from the wait of its own importance and does not nearly come close to such masterpieces as the brilliantly directed Fernando Meirelles thriller The Constant Gardener based on a John le Carre novel.

The Gunman has all the right ingredients including shady Multi-Nationals plundering Africa’s vast mineral wealth, a covert operation which went horribly wrong and a doomed love affair which is finally reconciled.

gunman_ver4Penn gives an impressively muscular performance as the mercenary Terrier but Bardem and even Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba (Mandela, Pacific Rim) are wasted in this overlong meandering thriller which despite the exotic locations could have been neatly edited. The script needed an incisive treatment by Oscar winning scriptwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Rush).

The Gunman is an average thriller and although at times exhilarating lacks a clear vision and less contrived plot, although the bullfight sequence at the end certainly is inventive. Recommended viewing for those that enjoyed The November Man and The Constant Gardener. Look out for cameos by Ray Winstone (Noah, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Finnish actor Peter Franzen as the crazed gun for hire.

65th Golden Globe Awards

65th Golden Globe Awards

The 65th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television of 2007, were scheduled to be presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on January 13, 2008. However, due to the Writers Guild of America strike, the traditional awards ceremony did not take place;[1] instead, the winners were announced at a news conference at 6:00 pm PST on that day (02:00 January 14 UTC).

Golden Globe Winners in The Film Categories:

atonement

Best Film Drama: Atonement

sweeney_todd_ver3

Best Film Musical or Comedy: Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

there_will_be_blood_ver2

Best Actor Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis – There will be Blood

Best Actor Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

la vie_en_rose

Best Actress Musical or Comedy: Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose

away_from_her

Best Actress Drama: Julie Christie – Away from Her

no_country_for_old_men

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

im_not_there

Best Supporting Actress : Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly

Best Director: Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Foreign Language Film – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France, USA)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/65th_Golden_Globe_Awards

2004 Venice Film Festival

2004 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as the Biennale di Venezia takes place annually
in late August, early September and is the oldest Film Festival in the World.

Winners of the 2004 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –

 vera_drake

Golden Lion (Best Film): Vera Drake directed by Mike Leigh

3iron2

Silver Lion (Best Director): Kim Ki-Duk – 3-Iron

sea_inside

Best Actor – Javier Bardem – The Sea Inside

Best Actress – Imelda Staunton – Vera Drake

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_International_Film_Festival

 

2000 Venice Film Festival

2000 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as the Biennale di Venezia

takes place annually in late August, early September and is the oldest Film Festival in the World

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_International_Film_Festival

Winners of the 2000 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –

TheCircle

Golden Lion (Best Film) – The Circle directed by Jafar Panahi

Silver Lion (Best Director) – Jafar Panahi for The Circle

Before Night Falls

 Best Actor – Javier Bardem – Before Night Falls

Goddessof1967

Best Actress – Rose Byrne – The Goddess of 1967

2010 Cannes Film Festival

2010 Cannes Film Festival Winners

 cannes festival poster 2010

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival were as follows: –

Uncle Boonmee-Poster

Palm d’Or: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

On Tournee-poster

Best Director: Mathieu Amalric for On Tour

Biutiful

Best Actor: ·  Javier Bardem for Biutiful &

La_nostra_vita

 Elio Germano for Our Life (La Nostra Vita)

Certified Copy poster

Best Actress: Juliette Binoche for Certified Copy

Poetry_film_poster

Best Original Screenplay: Poetry  written and directed by Lee Chang-dong

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Cannes_Film_Festival

80th Academy Awards

80th Academy Awards

24th February 2008

Oscar Winners at the 80th Academy Awards

no_country_for_old_men

Best Picture: No Country for Old Men

Best Director: Joel & Ethan Coen –No Country for Old Men

there_will_be_blood_ver2

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – There will be Blood

la vie_en_rose

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

michael_clayton

Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

juno_ver3

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody – Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men

counterfeiters

Best Foreign Language Film: The Counterfeiters directed by Stefan Ruzowitsky (Austria)

Best Documentary Feature: Taxi to the Dark Side directed by Alex Gibney and Eva Orner

atonement

Best Original Score: Dario Marianelli – Atonement

Best Cinematography: Robert Elswit – There will be Blood

elizabeth_the_golden_age

Best Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne – Elizabeth: The Golden Age

bourne_ultimatum_ver2

Best Film Editing: Christopher Rouse – The Bourne Ultimatum

golden_compass_ver2

Best Visual Effects: The Golden Compass

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80th_Academy_Awards

Razor Sharp 007 is Back

Skyfall

Super Suave Spy Back on his Home Turf

From Shanghai to Scotland, Skyfall, the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise is both an intriguing espionage thriller closer to a John le Carre novel, yet beautifully retaining all the quintessential 007 traits which have made all the Bond films the most successful franchise in cinema history from fast cars, exotic locations, dangerous animals and naturally nubile Bond girls leading the smartly suited spy to the evil villain who is always masterminding destruction, mayhem or in this case, revenge.

*

There was much anticipation leading up to Skyfall as it also marked 50 years of James Bond, when the first Bond film burst on the screen in 1962 introducing Sean Connery as Bond in the exotic Dr No. Whilst a lot has changed in 50 years, the essence of Bond as a suave, international spy chasing after megalomaniac villains in far corners of the globe has always been the same. In Skyfall, whilst there is more angst explored in the relationship between Bond and M, there is an equal share for the hideously brilliant villain, Raoul Silva, played with psychotic panache by Oscar-winner Javier Bardem who is hell bent on revenging M, head of Mi6 for allowing him to be captured by the Chinese as the British relinquished Hong Kong in 1997.

*

Skyfall also marks a departure from other Bond films in that there is less exotic locations outside the UK but more British based action which is equally thrilling especially the Tennyson quoting assassination sequence in Westminster or the brilliant explosive climax at Bond’s long forgotten Scottish family estate Skyfall in rural Scotland.

What really raises the level Skyfall is the brilliant direction by Sam Mendes of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road fame, who not being an action director brings more dysfunctional characterization and interpersonal twists to the Skyfall narrative complimented by the brilliant acting talents of Bardem apparently handpicked by Daniel Craig to play the villain and of course Dame Judi Dench as M, Bond’s shadowy, yet tough mother figure. All Bond’s mother issues are resolved in Skyfall along with coming to terms with a tragic childhood in the remote Scottish highlands.

50 Years of 007: The Actors Might Change but the Characters Remaining Intriguing…

*

Skyfall is superb yet not conventional multi-layered Bond film crisply shot by Roger Deakins’s excellent photography especially noticeable in the Shanghai Skyscraper sequence, and while the action sequences are not as outlandish as some of the previous more bizarre Bond films such as Moonraker or The Spy Who Loved Me, this is the threadbare, recession hit 21st century and not the lavish late 1970’s.

Daniel Craig holds his own in his third portrayal as Bond and is more comfortable in this iconic role as a razor-sharp, still sexy and slightly jaded spy always ready for action. From a fabulous attention-grabbing chase scene in Istanbul to the wonderful opening sequence which is both lethal and seductive, choreographed to British singer Adele’s gorgeous rendition of the themesong: Skyfall, viewers are promised a seductive, slick and emotionally engaging Bond film.

*

Of particular note is the engaging encounter between Bond and the ruthless suggestive villain Silva, an expert internet hacker in an abandoned island outside the Special Administrative Region of Macau. The scene between Craig and Bardem is absolutely superb with Javier Bardem using the full range of deviancy as the enemy of Mi6 and a ruthless hypnotic villain. Skyfall is razor sharp cinema, occasionally funny and essentially British and promises not the end of a franchise but an elegant re-alignment of the Bond universe for the Second Decade of the 21st century living up to the charming Bond family motto, The World is Not Enough….

Eat, Pray, Love and Indulge…

Eat Pray Love

Successful TV series Glee director Ryan Murphy’s big screen adaptation of the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller Eat Pray Love staring Julia Roberts as a New York writer who decides to embark on a years journey of spiritual discovery is infused with a luminous glow from the opening scene in luscious Bali.

No such thing as a guilty pleasure – just indulge!

Whilst any self-discovery novel is difficult to bring to the big screen especially as Elizabeth Gilbert writes about her own experience on a years trip to Italy, then India and finally Indonesia, Julia Roberts delivers a fine performance as Liz relishing in the exotic locations and a wonderful supporting cast which seems to improve as the 2 and a half hour film progresses.

Eat

The Italy section is superb and the locations especially Rome, the Italian actors and naturally the food are sumptuous and particularly easy on the viewer making the Eat section utterly enchanting.

Pray

Whilst Murphy tried to imitate the opening sequence of Slumdog Millionaire in the India section, the most moving part of the film is a standout character performance by Richard Jenkins as Richard from Texas.

For in the novel, Eat Pray Love, Richard from Texas was a character written with such accuracy and obvious charm that I kept wondering which actor would fill that part. Jenkins does a superb interpretation of a middle-aged American who has literally lost everything landing up at the Ashram to clear his mind and an overwhelming sense of guilt.

Love

The final section of Eat Pray Love, set in Bali was fascinating but after Italy and India, felt a tad faded although the scenery is still ravishing. As far as adaptation goes, the film sticks very close to the novel and Julia Roberts does a hugely impressive task of managing a character that has travelled not only literally across the globe, but also spiritually from a discontented New Yorker escaping an ugly divorce to a woman who has found serenity and peace as she discovers love again in a most unlikely man. Javier Bardem whilst always gripping to watch, gave the impression he was not quite comfortable in such a largely commercial film as Eat Pray Love. Bardem is more at home in edgier roles playing the Spanish seducer in Vicky Cristina Barcelona or the psychopathic killer in No Country for Old Men or the gay Cuban poet in Julian Schnabel’s Before Night Falls.

Bardem’s role as Felipe the love interest for Liz in the Love act of the journey lacked edge and panache in a role that was as unclear in the novel as it appeared in the film. Although watching Roberts and Bardem together was certainly interesting more for the lack of sparkle than the effort the two actors put in to contrive to make their romance believable.

Best scenes in the film are most certainly in Rome (all the sequences are exquisite) and the delightful meals Roberts character is served puts Babette’s Feast to shame. Worst scene in the film was the ending, but I’ll leave that up to the viewer to decide. Most consistency in Eat Pray Love was the varied choice of actors who played alongside Julia Roberts as her character travels the world, from Billy Crudup to  the shamefully underutilized James Franco to Richard Jenkins and finally to Javier Bardem.

As for it being a woman’s movie, not really as regardless of one’s gender anyone who has ever desired to travel or more importantly decided to take a year off from the monotony of urban living and responsibility and see countless exotic locations could surely identify with Liz’s journey. Eat Pray Love should feature at the Awards season if not for Julia Roberts most certainly for a supporting actor nomination for Richard Jenkins. Whilst it is no Razor’s Edge, Eat Pray Love will find many ardent fans the world over.

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