Posts Tagged ‘Antonio Banderas’

Magellan’s Gold

Uncharted

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Steven Waddington

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Gangster Squad and Venom director Ruben Fleischer delivers a slick and glossy adventure film Uncharted set in New York City, Barcelona and the Philippines featuring the man of the moment British star Tom Holland as Nathan Drake opposite Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Fighter) as Victor Sullivan.

Based upon the Playstation action adventure video game, Uncharted tracks the adventures of the treasure hunter Nathan Drake as he searches for his long last brother whose last words are “Things are lost but not gone”. Nathan gets ensnarled into an international search for the Spanish explorer Magellan’s gold which is rumoured to be somewhere in the Philippines archipelago.

Drake teams up with trickster Victor Sullivan as they track down an infamous gold and ruby encrusted ancient cross from a swish auction house in New York City to Barcelona as the duo come across an array of equally dodgy characters including the wealthy Spaniard Santiago Moncada wonderfully played by Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) the mysterious Braddock played by Tati Gabrielle and the gruff Scotsman played by Steven Waddington (The Last of the Mohicans, The Imitation Game).

While the first half of Uncharted takes a while to get going, the onscreen chemistry between Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg is mesmerizing particularly as it is mostly the extremely buff and energetic Tom Holland fresh from his hugely successful blockbuster Spiderman: No Way Home that performs most of the outrageous stunts from dangling from light fitting in Manhattan to sky diving out of aeroplanes with sports cars over the Philippines.

The second half of Uncharted is pure entertainment much like a real action adventure story and is worth seeing. While the script of Uncharted is not superb, it’s also not meant to be as this is a film based on a video game. The main idea is to have the live action characters embodied on screen by two extremely likeable actors who should attract a large audience.

Clearly Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg had loads of fun making this film and ensuring that audiences leave the cinema with a smile on their face as the closing credits role on. And be sure to stay beyond the ending for a hint that Uncharted will be the start of a franchise.

Look out for a captivating Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer as the love interest of Nathan Drake.

Uncharted is basically an Indiana Jones for the Instagram generation and which better actor to put in lead role than the gorgeous Tom Holland who proves he can hold his own in a big budget action film which doesn’t involve spandex or CGI.

Fabulously entertaining and packed with action and adventure, Uncharted gets a film rating of 7 out of 10. Recommended viewing.

Have a AAA Day

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front

It’s always good to get the same director and writer back for the sequel. In this case director Patrick Hughes reunites with screenwriter Tom O’Connor for the even crazier sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard with 2021’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard reuniting the cast of the original: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson who star in what is best described as a globetrotting action movie on speed.

If viewers need pure and unadulterated escapism, then get to the cinema now and watch The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with a supporting cast that includes Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) as Reynold’s character Michael Bryce’s mentor Senior and Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) as the evil Greek Villain Aristotle Papadopoulos.

This crazy foul-mouthed action films starts off with Michael Bryce having therapy for his trauma after realizing that he is a failed bodyguard and then soon Bryce is reunited with Sonia Kincaid, played with a mad cap brilliance by Salma Hayek on the Italian resort island of Capri. Sonia is desperate to find her estranged hitman husband the equally foul-mouthed and violent Darius Kincade played by Samuel L. Jackson who had no trouble reprising this role.

The violence and mayhem inducing trio are soon recruited by an Interpol agent Bobby O’Neil wonderfully played by the macho Italian-American actor Frank Grillo (The Grey, Captain America and the Winter Soldier) to stop psycho Greek shipping tycoon Papadopoulos played with a lavish sophistication by Banderas who is intent on destroying Europe’s complex digital infrastructure, causing the EU economy to collapse.

The action in this film is completely over the top, punctuated by some really cool plot points such as the continually battered Michael Bryce sending voice notes to his future self, wishing him a AAA day.

As the outlandish story jet sets around Italy from Portofino to Florence to Rome, the action sequences are crazy and unoriginal, even borrowing an exact series of action scenes from The Spy who Loved Me.

Besides the bad language and often incoherent script, the only other highlight are the brief scenes that Hayek and Banderas share together reigniting their blazing screen presence first developed in their 1995 film Desperado directed by Mexican director Robert Rodriguez. Then of course there is the ultra-funny Ryan Reynolds who is hilarious as the bruised Michael Bryce who appears to survive every assassination attempt under the Tuscan sun.

Catch this crazy spy spoof The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard only in cinemas now which gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10. This is classic Millennium studio content which sells box office tickets and attracts the big stars to their action adventure films.

2019 Cannes Film Festival Winners

Palm d’Or:  Parasite directed by Bong Joon-Ho

Best Director:  Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes for Young Ahmed

Best Actor:   Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory

Best Actress:  Emily Beecham – Little Joe

Best Screenplay:   Celine Sciamma – Portrait of a Lady on Fire

It’s a Zoo Out There

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Jessie Buckley, Harry Collett, Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, Rami Malek, Marion Cotillard, Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Carmel Laniado, Kumail Nanijani, John Cena, Frances de la Tour

(from left) Dog Jip (Tom Holland) and Dr. John Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) in Dolittle, directed by Stephen Gaghan.

Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder) takes on the mischievous role of Victorian animal doctor John Dolittle who has an amazing ability to communicate with animals which includes a menagerie of beasts and birds including a timid Gorilla, a Polar Bear and a bossy Parrot voiced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Howards End) in the heart-warming film Dolittle which is definitely an ideal film for parents to accompany their children to.

Dolittle is a delightful film if slightly boisterous at times with a really simple plot about a young boy named Tommy Stubbins played by Harry Collett who accidentally shoots a squirrel and then takes the poor creature to the infamous Dr Dolittle to seek his assistance. Stubbins is roped into assisting a young and comatose Queen Victoria played by Jessie Buckley (Judy) by a Lady Rose played by Carmel Laniado.

Both Stubbins and Lady Rose ask for the assistance of the eccentric and reclusive Dr Doolittle wonderfully played by Robert Downey Jr to assist in finding the source of Queen Victoria’s condition.

Soon Dr Dolittle and Stubbins plus the menagerie embark on a nautical adventure to a mysterious island to find a cure for Queen Victoria but along the way they get stranded in Montevideo, an exotic island run by the crazy King Rassouli played by Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) who also happens to be Dolittle’s belated father-in-law. Doolittle’s gorgeous wife Lily Doolittle has mysteriously vanished.

While Dolittle’s storyline is slim, it really is a fun filled film about a doctor who has the amazing ability to talk to animals with an overall message of conservation and appreciation of animals which the younger generation will be able to enjoy.

The villain in Dolittle is Dr Blair Mudly marvelously played by Michael Sheen (Frost, Nixon) and there is also a cameo appearance by Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) as Lord Thomas Bagley who is suspiciously watching over young Queen Victoria’s supposed demise.

Dolittle is a raucous animal film with a fantastic voice cast including the talents of Oscar winner Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Tom Holland, Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List) and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) which all help bring the screen animals to life with vitality and without the pretensions. The visual effects are extraordinary.

Dolittle is recommended viewing, a crazy fun-filled family film with a fabulous cast of characters and animals and is suitable for the entire family.

Dolittle gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is by no means a masterpiece nor does it pretend to be cinematic gold. It’s a light enjoyable adventure film filled with sufficient animals to populate a zoo.

Old Dogs of War

The Expendables 3

expendables_three_ver18

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, Dolph Lundgren, Victor Ortiz, Terry Crews, Glen Powell, Ronda Rousey, Randy Coutoure, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Randy Coutoure

 expendables_three_ver4

Sylvester Stallone reunites with all his 80’s action hero stars for a reminiscent action adventure film culminating in Zorro, the guy from Lethal Weapon along with Arnie, Indiana Jones and of course Rambo all fighting it out on the big screen.

The Expendables 3 is a fun action romp with lots of old and new cast members following on the success of the two previous films which basically gave a very flimsy premise for all these aged action stars to have an onscreen reunion amidst blowing everything in sight. The fact that all 3 Expendables movies is always released on South African screen during woman’s month is ironic to say the least. One has to satisfy the male population some how.

expendables_three_ver7

Stallone plays Barney with Jason Statham as Lee Christmas who along with the rest of the Expendables cast add some new younger and savvy crew led by the cocky Smilee played by a buffed up Kellan Lutz who has come along way from the Twilight Days. Together both crews set out to destroy the evil and manic arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, wonderfully played by Mel Gibson, a former Expendables co founder and now nefarious and ruthless criminal with a penchant for expensive art.

expendables_three

As the action moves swiftly from all the usual international honeymoon spots like Mogadishu, Somalia to Armenia, (actually Bulgaria) in the film, The Expendables 3 does not pretend to be anything more than popcorn fodder with loads of action some witty one liners and a flimsy plot thrown in. Its also a fantastic chance for Wesley Snipes (The Blade Trilogy) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) to redeem their forsaken Hollywood careers along with Antonio Banderas (The Legend of Zorro) and more importantly Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon).

The real question is what was Harrison Ford doing in a film like this? Surely he made enough money as Indiana Jones or is this a revival pending the next Star Wars Trilogy where Ford is rumored to reprise his role as Han Solo (40 years on!)

The Expendables 3 is great entertainment if viewers enjoy a bunch of old dogs of cinema blowing things up and getting the bad guys. There are some amazing stunts, the narrative is flimsy punctuated by some hilarious moments provided by Banderas, Snipes and of course Oscar Winner Mel Gibson.

expendables_three_ver14

It is also evident that clearly the 2008 economic recession is still affecting Hollywood if all these actors from the eighties and nineties still need to take part in sequels. The main thing is, at least they haven’t retired and are still entertaining audiences 30 years later as the cinema was packed when watching this action flick. Recommended viewing for serious action stars and clearly not aimed at female audiences despite the presence of female wrestler Rhonda Rousey who adds some glamour to this aged group of bandits.

Watch out for Kelsey Grammer (last seen in Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Bonaparte, a sort of mercenary recruiter who is always good value.

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