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ACCION: Reviews

ACCION: Reviews (78)

Skyfall *****

25 Oct 2012 Escrito por

Skyfall, the best Bond of Daniel Craig, Bardem best villain of the saga. A reebot of reebot was Casino Royale.

Death and resurrection. That is the central issue addressed by the third installment of Daniel Craig as James Bond, completing a trilogy, ending a cycle, making an original and complex exercise reboot of the reboot. I mean, Casino Royale was already a reboot or relaunch the character of 007. And now this movie not only marks the end of the relaunch, but it raises a new starting point for the character, form a cycle to rewrite the adventures of agent licensed to kill.

Hence, the film can be easily divided into two distinct parts and complementary. In the first, from the exciting beginning of persecution until Bond's encounter with the villain played by Javier Bardem, have common history in the age of 007 Daniel Craig: persecutions, sharp and decisive action, melee fights that convey brutality bond with the girls to lie, and the rest of the seasonings that blend adventure and intrigue film that has always characterized the cinematic journey of the character. There are even exotic trip to Shanghai, Macao, etc. Proper of the saga. But from the moment that Bardem, who does not appear in the first part, makes an appearance, the film begins its shift to something else with a clearly more and more serious. The entry into this other narrative territory, which is not usual in the series of 007, in which Bond girls no longer but a story of "mother-son" very interesting between the agent and his superior, M (Judi Dench) is follows the sequence in which the resolution is given to one of the "Bond girls" of putting this issue head on a glass of whiskey ... Met and a hallmark of the entire film franchise agent licensed to kill, and also opens the door to something else. Incidentally, the way Bond looks at the life of the girl in a monologue that is a verbal flashback to introduce the female character in record time and with maximum economy and media footage narrative plane against plane, is a lesson good use of the resources of the script.

The first sequence of the villain played by Bardem in the headquarters of MI6, plus cleverly echo the style of some of the productions that have marked the spy genre in fiction in recent years in tv shows like Alias ​​or Nikita, culminating a physical transformation possible, not fantasy, and because of that much more terrifying, the antagonist, completing the presentation of the same tones that recall both Hannibal Lecter as the Joker in The Dark Knight movie which has much in common Skyfall its narrative pace and constant twists exhaustion points of the narrative able to renew itself and maintain viewer interest impeccably in key moments. It is no coincidence that this change in tone occurs in London, rather than in a more exotic and distant location, and that one of its high points is a chase in the underground of the British capital is a kind of version 007 of the William Friedkin propose persecution for The French Connection. Later the film provides us with another new surprise, from that key urbanite action movie to a western approach in Scotland with the storyline moves into its denouement, and coming to some scenes in the wasteland that link directly with visual proposals for opening credits with the song of Adele, which are among the best in the Bond series. The sequences in the wasteland illuminated by the flames are the realization of the promise of the protagonist's journey to the underworld that was already in such claims and are a perfect example of the careful and stylized visual resolution and accompanying aesthetic proposition 007 in the adventure and shines in other sequences that seem to pop visually to contrast with the more realistic tone of the rest of the story, as the fight melee in Shanghai, with silhouettes in neon, or that deserted island where inhabits the villain, a sort of Chernobyl in the Far East, monumental setting also recalls the outcome dreamlike creations in Inception and somehow honors the island of Scaramanga, the villain of The Man with the Golden Gun. That leads me to emphasize that the winking homage to the past of the character through several objects and references to other installments of the series also show the elegance and styling of this release celebrating the 50th anniversary of James Bond, without hindering the narrative before the contrary serve as appropriate reinforcement thereof. The Walter PPK pistol, the martini shaken, the Beretta, Aston Martin, Miss Moneypenny ... are echoes of other deliveries, but also reaffirm that statement of principles for survival Bond character as an icon of popular culture and action movies, and the series itself. It is a statement of principles that can be summarized in one sentence script: "old dog, new tricks", but also in that nod to the past by establishing the headquarters of MI6 in the former headquarters of Winston Churchill during the Second World War, Tennyson's poem reciting M and also, why not?, in the figure of the bulldog British flag adorning the head table 007 and a final message contains very clear to the agent. This alludes to another essential element of this new installment of the series of 007 with the death and resurrection: memory.

Or what is the same: death and resurrection of Bond, reboot the reboot.

I left for last a resounding applause and a warning.

The applause is for Javier Bardem, who with all due respect to those who have preceded him in the risky endeavor of being a Bond villain in the series, has set the bar very high in this area. So high that I dare to qualify as the best villain in the entire series. It is difficult to find the nuances that Bardem has given this kind of character with a tendency to fall into the topic and the formula in other former antagonists of the series, despite having had it with notable actors involved in this plot. What happens is that Bardem and look again demonstrates its curious mixture of overwhelming talent, pure animality released film that knows no clichés and formulas and re-develop a very complex terrain work, although he does flow with an apparent ease of minimal gestures and indications fluids, small details and situations seemingly conventional topical like throwing a grenade into a building.

Never had James Bond villain opposite a competent and disturbing than this.

The notice is also related to the role of Bardem: must see the original film to appreciate the work of the actor. I've seen well in the press pass. I do not know what will happen with Bardem's voice dubbed in Castilian copying, but notice that if the trailer is the same, it has nothing to do with the original. So do not be guided by that trailer.

In conclusion: a five-star delivery within the series of 007.

Miguel Juan Payán


Alex Cross ***

09 Oct 2012 Escrito por

Alex Cross, entertaining reboot and prequel to the adventures of Detective Alex Cross by James Patterson.

The reboot of the adventures of psychopathic murderers expert Alex Cross FBI adapting the novel by James Patterson Cross, I found it as entertaining and compelling as some of the previous adaptations of the stories of the movies Patterson starring Morgan Freeman. Rejuvenate the central character and bring into the past, telling how he started his career in psychopathic murderers hunting is a strategy that has already been implemented as standard in Hollywood franchises and here offers the same opportunities for landscape renovation without sacrificing the claim commercial previous adaptations. It's a perfectly legitimate way to work in an industrial environment and considering the film as entertainment product of evasion and served the public with some art but basically the same soul that qualifies a fast food restaurant or a production industry chain anything.

More and more commercial movies drowning in formulas such exploitation. But Alex Cross actually works very well, and even has several interesting issues to consider.

The first is the construction of his history working with the idea of ​​opposition and opponents. The first twenty minutes of projection remarkably complacent strike us with the characters and situations, but they are only a preparation for what comes next. And what comes next is usual in the series of detective stories with intriguing clues that usually qualify terrifying novels featuring Alex Cross: absolute extinction of all that complacency to sift the characters' lives brutally about the hour of footage and put the story in a different key, more action than intrigue. The theme of the contradiction is the starter of all time: the chase continues with a slow (and quite topical) chess scene in jail, the protagonist happiness alternates with the presentation of the villain, and within this , the abandoned church houses an extreme manifestation of violence in street fighting combat, whose squalor had the luxury decorated with blue and white colors of the next scene. That game with the sets back at the end of the film to the confrontation sequence protagonist / antagonist in a theatre about to fall apart.

Along with these features, the director of this reboot prequel to approach, Rob Cohen, has scrupulously respected both the pace and approach essential keys of intrigue in the previous films in the franchise, namely: Kiss the Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) and Along Came a Spider (Lee Tamahori, 2001). So all the syrup poured over plot and characters in the first minute film reveals itself as a flypaper trap in their idyllic perfection that lies ahead a last section of the most active and interesting history, which comes to hunting and confrontation with the murderer, until a final vocation has clearly opened the door to a possible franchise.

So this story set in Detroit, before Cross joins the FBI, is a successful entertainment under the action film, played with that tone of tragedy that characterizes type bestseller novels characters and retells most interesting as his murderer, the executioner, the monster of the story, the Butcher of Sligo, played in a remarkable record by Matthew Fox, who in my opinion is the best of the film.

Along with all that and completing the puzzle, a partnership role or fellow sufferer but effortlessly filling his usual solvency Edward Burns, a few scenes topical as several of marital bliss, comfort the weeping girl, and devoted mother Confessor of the sins of the son ... And generally a topical puzzle "made in USA" to tame the saga of Alex Cross away from the edges more bitches of films like The Silence of the Lambs or Seven. It always has and it is repeated on this occasion.

So to finish watching this film it's clear that both of James Patterson novels like the movies that suit remains pitch that species domesticated disguised conservative mood false liberalism whereby the protagonist dialogue can become an avenger long as you are clear that this is allowed only in extreme circumstances and following a common good. Frankly, I prefer to style the typical argument Dirty Harry, John Wayne or Punisher, according to which makes it pay. And the pay bloodily. Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. Without smokescreens Pharisaic or right-thinking liberals. It is something that has always bothered me the character of Alex Cross: the guy just exercising avenger, but goes beyond progressive for life. Liam Neeson prefer distributing firewood without explanation in any of the two parts of Vengeance.

Why I insist that the most interesting is the villain, since his first appearance, that fighting all topics ballast accompanying the rest of the film, gets to float the argument and make it a spectacle worthy of escape and entertainment.

Miguel Juan Payán


Sinister ***

08 Oct 2012 Escrito por

Sinister lives of the mixture and references. It lives in the world of self-citation of the horror genre in all its variants.

We present the following key Paranormal Activity with images of murder filmed in Super 8, the formula continues entering the serial murderer and summoning echoes of Red Dragon, tour into the bowels of the paranormal in Amityville Horror-style homes , and before we know it we are deeply involved in a plot reminiscent of Kubrick's The Shining, especially the situation of its protagonist. All served with scares that revolve around music beats and sound. Playing well with the dismissal of the public as the main tool to keep our interest. And introducing a curious variant application of flashback through the images of murder style home movies filmed with a visual style The Blair Witch Project.

Sinister festival is presented as a reference, a puzzle that plays various clubs and working on a construction background or everyday elements with terrifying significance, as the super-8 home movies, pictures of the girl, the computer screen. The director manages to make the most of even a mower and a cardboard box where objects have traveled the protagonist family move.

His vagueness argument is not a bug, but a tool topical and predictable, but also quite functional, to keep an eye on what is happening on the screen. Maybe not so much for fear of what might happen to the protagonists, who are increasingly more to remind us of The Shining, and because we strive to figure out what kind of story you want to tell us the film eventually and what key the many forms of narrate what is disturbing horror films we place ourselves.

Jumping well from the police to the intrigue, suspense at the unsettling, disturbing as sinister and uncanny to the terrifying, the film gives us a kind of tour of almost all possibilities, tricks and wields topics horror films today, including pre-Christian Satanism. So if in principle somehow reissues Red Dragon, that first vicissitudes of Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, changing criminal profiler for expert novelist investigate unsolved crimes, has the guile to change the formula of The Shining when clichés and generic platitudes accumulation begins to accrue on the first formula to make it impracticable ... and begins to exploit the keys more sinister formula applied in the Kubrick film.

In this sense the narrative construction of the film reminded me of Tarzan the Ape jumping from one vine to another. Grab a formula until exhausted, and then jump to the next to do so. This procedure, which may sound easy but it is not at all, is clearly and fully commercial opportunist, but requires a steady hand to keep the pace of the story, and certainly Sinister boasts that good pulse. You will not have anything new or anything real in it, but as a way to entertain from fear without bringing anything new to the genre, just exploiting what we have seen many times, certainly deserves the prize of our attention and interest. It is indeed a film to analyze as a mechanism of overexploitation of the topics getting the best results to be expected considering that really has nothing new to offer.

It referred to the deal, the effectiveness is imposed on all components, but certainly all rests on the shoulders of its star, Ethan Hawke, who spends the movie trying to give a personal touch to a character sewn topics and traveling from the one played by William Petersen or Edward Norton in either adaptations of the novel Red Dragon and the character of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Considering the repetitive nature of his character, I think Hawke does a better job than some can get by selling warn that troubled writer harassed and handled like a puppet by the monstrous threat of history. This work along with an end unceremoniously and crude, are the two factors that have led me to put three stars to this topic completely terror exercise but get some scares and concerns grow surely satisfy the most fans of the genre. I like to have the guts to impose this ultimate shear.

As for the threat, I can not say much about the monster in question without gutting the argument to the reader, so that attention to who has not yet seen the film, announced that after these lines I will reveal a spoiler. Made the announcement, here we go ... NOT READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN YET AND DO NOT WANT TO KNOW SINISTER A REVELATION OF ARGUMENT.

The main problem is that the film has more sooner or later have to deal with the revelation of the true identity of the threat. It's the moment of truth. The turning point of the whole story. And when it comes, I think it's a way out as good as any to accompany the rest of the topics that make up the film. I actually caused some hilarity think that this year we have had the opportunity to see in The Possession a version of The Exorcist changing Catholic demonology and exorcism by demons and exorcisms Jews as unique display of originality. So you see how the ultimate threat from Sinister is a Babylonian demon made me think how far the writers think back to when seeking supernatural threats in the history of human religions before noses den and if arrivals caves on that journey of finding religious terrors of our ancestors will go beyond the Homo sapiens sapiens dating back to supernatural fears of Australopithecus, which might be even more interesting than the demons that we offer are proposing horror films in recent times.

Miguel Juan Payán


The impossible, great direction and actors work without false melodrama. Good film that dignifies the disaster genre.

Based on a true story, yes, conveniently makeup for film and changing some things and names to find an easier international distribution, something perfectly legal from the business point of view (remember that film is primarily an industry), Juan Antonio Bayona again hit the mark as it did with The Orphanage. Both films have in common the same theme, the family. They also share the same approach: mix the characteristics of a certain genre director staff look on his characters. The result is a curious alliance between the keys of commercial cinema and art house films that effectively keeps Bayona in balance and complement at all times. Both films also have in common a great job of its actors. This is essential to the way in which arises Bayona tell his story, keeping close to the characters, in this case even more strongly next to The Orphanage, because it is not fictional creations, but characters inspired by real people. Respect is imposed without abridging freedom in no time director to build the dramatic moments. Rather the opposite is true: it is respect for the characters and the real tragedy is portraying what makes a key to tell the story. This respect for the real tragedy of the tsunami in Thailand and its protagonists imposes a tone of sobriety in the treatment of plot and character that prevents any excess or free melodrama. Thus, the film is coated with a likelihood the more terrible because it is more believable. And so it is more mature than any other exercise of the generic formula for disaster film shot so far. The sobriety and maturity of the film derives much of that respect for the subject, which ends up being also a respect for the audience who are not harassed in an attempt to wrest tears by way of hyperbole banal tragedy that often characterizes other doomsday movies.

Of course The Impossible has a spectacular and impressive scenes of the tsunami, the sea invaded the land and get customized protagonists experience through sound and visual approach and planning that extends in duration and intensity that brief point of the matter Clint Eastwood gave us in Hereafter. For ten minutes we witness the brutal experience of being washed away with Mary, the mother who plays Naomi Watts, and her son Lucas, played by Tom Holland. The sound and images team up to make us feel in the water.

But it soon becomes clear that, contrary to what happens in the cinema of catastrophe, the disaster itself here is not the protagonist, but the trigger for the real story, which is an adventure of survival and overcoming adversity without tears easy or epic resonances. Quite the contrary. Bayona choose a spectacular visual planning which does not fall into the trap of being carried away by the sheer magnitude of the disaster until it became a spectacle. Because his subject are people at all times, not just characters.

This respect is also the origin of three moments that set the tone of maturity and strength of the film. The first reaction shows a child's horror at seeing the destruction in the body of his mother and immediately after a moment of embarrassment to see the naked breast. The second gets put on the throat when the parent calls the grandfather of his children. The third is a kind of funeral song by those who perished in the disaster, which were never found, the memory of the fallen that each player will always through those words and objects. Memory is, how fragile is shown in the general public as spend a few days of the tragedy and a new tragedy explodes somewhere else, because even in this neighbor of our society sympathize soon tires to mourn the dead themselves and shows avid and voracious in seeking new catastrophes. Those three moments collected the real success of The Impossible and the resolution of other sequences and visual talent director to work with the camera panning and blurring the separation between the audience and the characters to situate almost within the film itself. It is worth noting here the work of directing actors, which has managed to get the greatest naturalness even the younger cast members. In that sense, the two younger brothers are an example of simplicity in which involvement not appreciated that sometimes makes the children in the film interpretations. Children this movie really look like children, not monsters wiseacres. As Tom Holland with Naomi Watts as a perfect duo, fully capable of hitting within living hardest times the characters they play. Holland reminded me of two other great works of young actors, Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun and Jamie Bell in Billy Elliott. And to be honest it's hard to think of an intense moment of wasted talent in the filmography of Ewan McGregor as he plays with a phone in this movie.

I do not deny that the film has a plot tour somewhat limited, but I think that also work to your advantage. The credibility of the story would be lost unnecessarily prolonging the footage or introducing more situations and scenarios. It is more likely as we are presented, focusing on the arc plot development of the experience of these characters in the first person.

This truly is an intimate story in a spectacular setting.

On the other hand is not as morbid as it might have been, and even if viewers can not be separated from the tissue, not a film that seeks to tear easily. In conclusion: a great job.

The impossible is fully exportable, fully effective for all audiences, anywhere in the world.

Miguel Juan Payan


Resident Evil: Retribution. More video game and less film. All action, little dialogue, pure visual spectacle without argument.

The fifth installment of Resident Evil has decided to permanently remove the mask and does not walk by the branches. Those who come to see it will find less film and more video game. Whole saga is that, by way of visually expressing both his plot formula and the convening of new and familiar characters, is closest to the approaches of the game that inspired the film saga. That is an option in the proposal that the managers of the franchise have decided to ask the public at this time. It runs on our own accept the proposal or not. I did not like that, although you've enjoyed the visual display, that boast of constant action and 3D, especially in the scenes that link directly to the end of the previous film and especially in its first half, with that confrontation with the giant types. Also I liked to see Milla. I always like. It is a pleasure for my eyes. And above all, is consistent with its own internal proposal.

Aware of its limitations has brazenly decided to embrace nature as a variant of the video game, without complexes or deception. A definitive streptease franchise.

However it is the weakest of the series, which to my taste is a perfect example of what is happening to commercial cinema in recent years. So Resident Evil ever leaves me less satisfied as a film and every time I'm more interested as movie phenomenon and thermometer of mutation and impaired action film hybrid benefit of evasion and other forms of entertainment, such as the comic , the video game, television or video clip.

The funny thing is that Resident Evil: Retribution is fully consistent with itself and voluntarily defined by their limitations, and fully accepting his true nature. Their faults are a choice of their creators, not unintentional errors. For example there is no intention to raise a solid script. Quite the contrary: blatantly copied the narrative structure of a video game, minimizing the argument to make it a transition from one level to another, or what is the same, of a replicas of Moscow, New York, Tokyo ... to the next.

Nor try to create characters or conflict between them. Instead, recruit clones engaged indiscriminately attack each other and may even switch sides constantly freaking profane viewers in the series, even including a prologue explaining everything that happened in the previous installments. In this sense, the sequence in which Alice and girl enter the assembly of the clones is a declaration of principles, and a wink, do not know if voluntary or otherwise, on the phenomenon of exploitation film become in franchise hits screens today.

This poses a risk to the film making much of an army of characters hyperactive clones whose only motivation seems to be pulling the trigger, they automatically lose dramatic interest for the audience. No dramatic tension throughout the film, devoid of plot and dialogue under very goofy in which Alice repeats again and again the girl the same question: are you hurt? ... Another risk that brings with this formula of denial of all construction for hyperbolize dramatic action is the saturation. The action sequences strung with no plot conflict leading to a depletion of public attention, it is difficult to engage with the story and characters and thus becomes completely passive subject barely participates in what is shown on the screen. The action needs to breathe with moments stronger narrative structure, need a conflict to build the argument, even as minor as it exhibited the Resident Evil saga in its four previous installments. The action by action, no plot or dialogue, leading to the fatigue that is felt especially in the final fight on the ice.

I understand that the aim was to give the fans to the franchise and the game a succession of anecdotal moments in which Resident Evil: Retribution behaves like a kind of cinematic echo of the game, incorporating characters such as Leon or Ada, recovering to Rain and putting Jill Valentine again Alice... but so the pace and tone of the film just having the same problems as Underworld: the Awakening or Ultraviolet, another film starring Milla Jovovich: the action and visual spectacle filled him and devour everything without giving rest to the viewer or let a story breathe is reduced to mere anecdote argument in its most basic and close to the game: the characters have to go from point A to point B . That's all.

Hopefully in next installments recovered something of the tone disturbing the first film and leave of side the hypertrophy of the fast-paced it is leaving the series quite naked of attractions, but it's an entertaining spectacle of action and violence harmless, without terror as a companion, or at least become one motif in this explosive cake where reigns the easy trigger that makes me wonder if that picture of the outcome of the end of the world, which has the epic lacks the rest of the story, not is a snapshot of one's death or commercial film final mutation in a complement of videogame or any other form of entertainment.

Disturbingme, isn't it?

Miguel Juan Payán


Frankenweenie, great tribute to horror movies. Tim Burton rejuvenated and redeemed from poverty of his later works. The new version of Frankenweenie is better than The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride and I liked it better than the last work of Tim Burton as director in real image, Dark shadows. I've never been a given and unconditional admirers of the director, although I admit that in his filmography has several great films among which Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Mars Attacks. However, in its new version of Frankenweenie brings together the best features of the director's talent for mixing humor and horror, almost childlike naivete and extreme sarcastic maturity, which are the elements I am most interested in his filmography.

Return to appear in this production some of the spirit of freshness and revolution against more conventional film traditions that informed their early films, The Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, breaking with what has become predictable in recent films times. The reunion with his past as a creator, with the dog returns from the grave in imitation of Frankenstein is a perfect balm for Burton can overcome the devastating consequences of his conversion in a kind of creative institution, a cult director of expected and even require a series of platitudes. Frankenweenie has allowed even laugh at his own tics, such platitudes of his films, with the same elegance mixed with a hint thug who are the best of his best films. The satire of the horror genre, characters and titles cult of fear in film, plans continuously on this beautiful animation production in black and white, which Burton pulls a great game bridging visual aesthetic with classic films Universal of the thirties and forties as directed by Tod Browning and James Whale, versions of Dracula or Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Burton even allowed to go beyond the tribute to those visions of terror and subjected to the discipline of the black and white version of Dracula in color produced by the British production company Hammer Films and starring Christopher Lee, a magic moment when we shows parents of the protagonist watching this movie on your TV. It is a poetic nod to the fans, a tribute as slick as that makes a perfect picture of Vincent Price in the science teacher that stimulates the imagination and curiosity of his young students with experiments, while openly criticizing parents for having a closed mind. Enter director pitch and one of the recurring themes of his films, who is none other than the celebration of childhood opposed to the loss of imagination and innocence that occurs among adults. The brief but forceful address parents throwing science teacher is thus one of the best jokes of the film.

But also winks festival which also echoes occur reserved Bride of Frankenstein, Godzilla and Gamera or Gremlins, the director uses as a great final fireworks to complete his fable, complementing a start like something out of Toy Story, Frankenweenie is the best of its fluid narrative rhythm, without bumps or forced trepidations, clothed with simplicity and truth that always accompanies the great classics. Particularly striking is the ability to isolate environmental Burton and characteristics of contemporary cinema to find your own way and personality of its history it developed to a group of characters who deserve to be among his most accomplished. Children protagonists of this story are a happy meeting between the great characters of classic horror and now everyday we can find in any school today. In his soul, both visual and narrative, and in these characters somewhere between the everyday and the fantastic, Frankenweenie has a lot of Edward Scissorhands.

Frankenweenie film is also full of small details that are great moments of cinema, as the eschatological cat prophecies, the echo of the endearing young Igor or the manner in which the protagonist's father convinces his son to go to the baseball game and not become a freak of science. Fun, crazy, exciting, uninhibited. So often the best films of Tim Burton when released from the label of cult director that both he weighs his film sometimes. In Frankenweenie Burton rejuvenates as creator, returns to his roots and complete one of his best works.

Miguel Juan Payán


Taken 2 ***

27 Sep 2012 Escrito por

Taken 2. A sequel that does not disappoint, although it is less frenetic than the first.

The first installment of Taken was pleasantly surprised by his unabashed proposal unapologetic action film, ready to exploit a conventional argument making the most of his protagonist. See Liam Neeson, with all his talent and his presence on camera, become a kind of version of the type-series of characters that are iconic actors starring in action films such as Steven Segal was refreshing. Now the sequel to that film tries to repeat the move. Deleted the surprise factor, Taken 2 goes to exploit what we already know of its protagonist, the vengeful father, when the hunter becomes the prey. The novelty, if any, is in the location where the plot unfolds, Istanbul, and the fact that this time the protagonist share the ordeal with his wife and daughter at the same time.

More relaxed than the first installment in his boot, this second film seems to take things more calmly when presenting the characters and before the outbreak of the action, but has the same success in making the simplicity of a powerful approach ally to tell their story and cleverly exploit Neeson's ability to sell any kind of story. On occasion I mentioned already that the actor is now something like a kind of John Wayne that by itself can sustain any kind of argument only appear on screen and look for others faced with a nasty temper.

The formula works on Taken 2 is the same as has been applied to the operation of the charisma of the main characters from the film when the discovered that powerful weapon to sell stories that are the stars. In the previous movie we needed to submit Neeson's character, but it does not. Just for us to consider: What will happen when these poor guys angry Liam Neeson? This is similar to what happened with Bruce Willis in Die Hard sequels, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, with Stallone in Rambo, with any John Wayne movie in his later years, with Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry´s films, with Charles Bronson embodying the avenger in Death Wish saga ... The spectator goes to the theater expecting to see what happens when one of these action movie star is brought to unleash their just revenge who dare bother anyway. Ultimately, the key is predictability. The good thing is that Taken series protagonist is one of the best actors of his generation and has also proved remarkably competent action sequences. Neeson's talent as an actor is what sustains the situations that your character is gone, for topical or that seem implausible. His charisma and star before the camera does the rest of the work in the action sequences.

The most common in action movies is that it is the action itself, the visual spectacle, what we "sell" the story. In Taken 2 the key to this franchise is the solvency of solidly Neeson to build his character in everyday moments that sustains all the nonsense string of exciting action sequences that follows. Because in this case, as in the previous film, once the mechanism is triggered action starts, it will not stop until the end of the film. So the start, those first moments of history are most important and which establish the difference Taken franchise over other proposals for action movies coming to theaters.

Neeson is in charge of all his personality to give this formula avoidance, distancing it from the average of such shows often offer commercial cinema. Neeson just makes people accept the unacceptable ellipses of this saga. In the first installment, the jump from the end of the rescue boat to arrive at the airport in the United States, without consequences for the protagonist despite the havoc that organizes in Paris. In this second installment of ellipsis between entry into the U.S. embassy in Istanbul, and then the rescue mission. We accept these and other improbabilities because Neeson sells us his character and history to the creditworthiness of a John Wayne by selling Rio Bravo, El Dorado or The Sons of Katie Elder.

You could blame Taken 2 that vision of reality ethnocentric American style, whereby insecurity and fear always live abroad and are automatically canceled when you enter the U.S. Embassy. Also this second installment has lost the bitterness that accompanied Neeson's character at the start of the previous film and provide an environment chooses happier. But, let's face it: we all know what we want to see in Taken 2. The approach is the same as with Mercenaries 2, Die Hard 2, and so on: we went to see Liam Neeson's character gets angry and starts to distribute firewood until his tired hand. We want the bad guys are very bad, unquestionably evil. We want to give them a beating Neeson and retrieve their relatives. In short: we simply evade with a simple plot formula. We paid for it and at the end of the film we get what we were promised.

Miguel Juan Payan


Looper *****

24 Sep 2012 Escrito por

Looper, gem of science fiction. The equivalent of Blade Runner for 2012. Among the five best films of the year.

Kansas. 2044. A hired murderer repeated phrases of French armed with a shotgun while waiting for a time machine from the future to bring you their next victim.

And that's just the beginning of one of science fiction fables more complete, interesting and evocative film has proposed in the past twenty years. Built on a script full of twists and that is enriched in situations and characters as the film progresses. A script whose complexity reminiscent of other notable works written for the film, as L.A. Confidential or The Dark Knight. Among its outstanding features highlights the alliance of a single exposure, typical of genre cinema, associated with a deepening of characters and situations that leaves the viewer enough material for your own reflection. To this we must add one of the most skillful mix of genres samples that cinema has given us in recent years. The start of the story is set in a futuristic cityscape but basically associated with black film, with characters reminiscent sporadically to American Psycho. But one of the plot twists we are suddenly in a Hitchcock thriller type, with the game of time travel and a landscape reminiscent fields in Kansas that memorable action sequence with the plane chasing Cary Grant in a classic master of intrigue, North by Northwest. And at a later stage the fabled falls squarely within the Western formula, with characters like Kid or the gunmen who persecute the protagonists. And it is at that stage where this movie full of wisdom and winks film moviegoers, we propose another generic reference as a gesture of complicity with the viewer, that plane with the girl leaving the tree trunk, as did Van Heflin in one of the westerns that draws on visual and story Looper, the classic Shane. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the Alan Ladd gunman who arrives in the life of this girl and her son haunted by a violent past and pending bills to adjust ...

One would think that after so much generic proposal, both as regards cinephile wink and turning to classics like Blade Runner, North by Northwest, Shane ... the film already has it all said and discussed ... but no. In fact, the entry in the account of the character of the mother and child are the starting point of another storyline supplementary weft that will lead to a touch of horror and science fiction with mutant that has much in common with Terminator. That last reference complete this sci-fi fable whose central theme, as will be explained in the end, is the redemption of the different characters.

So the first thing that stands out in Looper is its rich storyline proposal.

But it also has the best character that Bruce Willis have proposed in recent years his best work in the genre of science fiction, even better than Twelve Monkeys. A character who is part of a two-headed leadership frame comprises Gordon-Levitt and Willis, each in his timeline, which contributes to the richness of the plot. This dual role also allows both the character of Gordon-Levitt as Willis, while remaining protagonists meet simultaneously and at different stages of the plot the role of antagonists. They are both heroes and villains. They feed each other bringing new twists to the plot, and continue to grow as characters. The same applies to the mother and the child, whose history imposes a change in tone without breaking the whole story of that puzzle.

Looper progresses from simple to complex. It grows as they grow all their characters. It's a story that contains another story which in turn contains another story ... The proposal is so rich in characters, situations and environments that automatically after leaving the theater you feel like seeing her again, to warn new aspects of its plot and learn more about the world split into multiple timelines presented to us. A world that is built on the slopes and fringes that have been cleverly scattered throughout the plot. This is essential in science fiction.

I refer to such issues as the gang of outlaws armed with revolvers which they are named, or the attacks of the homeless, creating a landscape ranging from the United States back to the times of the Great Depression and then to western. In this regard it is interesting to pulse between country and city, rural and urban environment that is configured as a key essential visual and narrative of the film.

Another example of the script fringe that leverages the theme of the mutants, and how just passing in the main plot, becoming a single stroke in the first part of the story into something essential to the end of it which is reaching increasingly frantic pace, with the final match and the subsequent outcome western approach which reminds visual elements applied to the outcome of Seven.

All this results in a tribute to the science fiction genre and moving between Blade Runner, Twelve Monkeys and Terminator, built as a perfect example of hybridization of genres in which we also detected a powerful influence of paranoid futuristic tales Phillip K. Dick.

Miguel Juan Payán


Cosmopolis ***

21 Sep 2012 Escrito por

Cosmopolis, hypnotic, cryptic and demanding. Also the more pedantic Cronenberg film. A challenge for adventurous palates moviegoers. In Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg is a double harakiri. The first is of a commercial nature. A calculated risk. Has signed starring Robert Pattinson, actor popular for his work in the Twilight series that probably will drag the followers and supporters of it contributing positively to the collection of the first weekend of the film. But once inside the theater the approach is so distant and alien to the teen vampire saga that can be catastrophic among fans of the actor. It should be noted therefore that Cosmopolis is the opposite of Twilight. It must be said that Robert Pattinson plays most difficult of his career so far and convinces in this very complex work that should raise a twist to his career and definitely get off the teen idol tag. But you can put together a mess when teenage Twilight fans match the movie fans of David Cronenberg and the readers of Don DeLillo, author of the novel on which the film is based. Sparks can because they are two totally different audiences. And I'm convinced that David Cronenberg, a director who has given most provocative films in the last three decades, much amused by the situation.

The second harakiri Cronenberg practiced in this film has to do more with their own approach to devising the same without making any concessions to the viewer. At first glance, gives the minimum Cosmopolis film with maximum dialogue, which inevitably results in an unnecessarily pedantic exercise. The film must be film and preserve and impose their own criteria and nature when adapting a work from another medium. However, Cronenberg leans prestige in this film speak on any other elements and the result, plus highly theatrical, is a punch to the jaw of the patience of the viewer.

Cronenberg has been put on display one of those movies with hypnotic qualities that do not catch all kinds of viewers but manage to pick up their networks to a kind of spectator willing to live vocationally film as an intellectual rather than visceral experience. Even when addressing genre films, Cronenberg has always throw challenges the viewer to force him to make a trip more rich and interesting film than one would expect at first. Movies like Rabid, Shivers, Scanners, Videodrome and Dead Ringers are good examples. Cosmopolis belongs to his most unclassifiable movies collection and stimulants such as Naked Lunch, Crash and Spider. But in my opinion it lacks the visual nerve of them all. In Cosmopolis provocation capacity of these films has been replaced by a pedantic exercise highbrow cutting in which the director and the film seems to have caught the cold and autism your main character.

Leaving the press pass, I commented to a colleague that had seemed pedantic. And he replied, with great judgment, "Cronenberg has always been very pedantic". Right. It's pedantic, but we conquered from provocation and nonsense, revealing the darkest of human nature. This is from the darker truth of our nature.

In Cosmopolis such pedantry is not offset by the truth that had Naked Lunch, Crash and Spider. And the truth is in my opinion the essential key art. The only character who has some nerve and some truth is the murderer of the cakes, which itself deserves a movie more than the total cretin we have to share the whole story.

As for sex and flesh, two essential condiments of the pedantic narrative structures of Cronenberg to conquer in the past, neither convinces Cosmopolis. In this film the sex is absent and against all odds no nearer to the action, but it takes us away. Sex loses carnal quality, healthy sweat perverse and shared by lovers who became revolutionary and provocative gesture in other director's films. I assume it is a choice to define itself Cronenberg your main character, but there is a scene Cronenberg hundred percent that goes to show that even the director is asking and needing something more than life in his film: exploring prostate and bottle squeezed between the legs of the collaborator is a scene of sexual liberation. Similarly, the other one hundred percent Cronenberg scene of the film, the attack on the guest on the television program, is a release of another essential tool in Cronenberg's films: violence .

I understand that the director is choosing to opt for that distance and that coldness, that autism defined by isolation of the protagonist suicide, but I think the parade has killed highbrow truth that could have led to a much more complete picture, vivid and interesting . Cosmopolis is an interesting journey for adventurous moviegoers and forged in the difficult challenge of the films, but from another perspective can be torture less delicious than other pedants to those before us this talented director, one of the best in the history of cinema.

Although the protagonist is a jerk isolated hypochondriac and autistic tendencies, let all this spreading to the movie itself seems like a bad choice. What works well in literature may not necessarily work well in cinema. And cinema is the realm of the image, not the kingdom of the word.

Miguel Juan Payán


Stolen ***

20 Sep 2012 Escrito por

Stolen, competent entertainment exploiting the Die Hard formula 3 and 4.

Simon West play it safe and Stolen grossing film honors products that enjoyed as a spectator in his childhood and youth. Is very clear that the client is the public and the public must be given first entertainment. West always works on the exploitation of already known formulas that should be updated as each story. In the classic Hollywood would have been an effective and competent craftsman in the studio system able to deal with almost any genre along the lines of the formulas of exploitation. Never risk. You will know what works for the largest audience possible and knows how to sell the proposal from the credits, which in this case have reminded me of heist films of the seventies, although the film commenced the shooting go the other site. Where do I go? Precisely where indicated by the title of her film, which in the U.S. poster tagline leaves everything even clearer: 12 hours. 10 million. One daughter kidnapped. And then the title: Stolen. So and so is the film behaves throughout their footage: blunt, direct and effective.

West does not beat around the bush. Pull the formula of the last two installments of Die Hard, and adjusts the actor with his debut in his first job as a director, Con Air, back in 1997. Know that the shot does not fail. West grew up in the seventies as a spectator watching Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and Burt Reynolds raise any argument, weak as it was, by their very presence. And he has to Nicolas Cage. Lighten the footage from the Die Hard but otherwise is playing on the same field. A type starter Italian Job and progression Cellular elements interspersed with a ration of rescue mission against time with Nicolas Cage in plan John McClane (Bruce Willis in Die Hard: revenge). The protagonist enlists the help of the authorities, but no use for it, but it allows the story to be lightened with the partnership of love / hate about while away the sausage FBI agent played by the great Danny Huston ("What I admire not mean I like"), which manufactures a character Walter Matthau style in the seventies, for example in the first version of Pelham 1,2,3 or The Laughing Policeman. There pretty girl, the stunning Malin Akerman, but no time to fling sentimental (an astute decision). There villain tribute curious background of the monster of terror as an agent of chaos, but without going over (reborn and alienated, and looking like a heavy metal star rundown). There stupid cops who are no better than to show off the plate. And always remains faithful to entertain first objective of the whole thing.

Also want to break here a plea of ​​Nicolas Cage and against prejudice against his work. For many clubs that criticism of Nicolas Cage and many questionable movies that earn this man in his spotty career, is still an actor amply competent and able to fill the screen with charisma that have movie stars given to action the cause. I also recall that this man won an Oscar for his work in Leaving Las Vegas, where many critics and analysts of the films that made him the wave. In many sequences that movie got the same talent that goes into The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off , Lord of War, and other adventures his character more exciting. What happens is that these are action movies, escapism and entertainment, without complexes. And that seemingly opens the door to a devaluation excessive criticism of his work.

Nicolas is not and never has been a bad actor. Just accept make films very bad because it takes years rather disoriented and dragging serious economic problems that force you to hyperactivity counterproductive to his career. The guy does everything, and does everything in almost everything. Not averse to almost nothing. But still a talented actor. And in recent months has staged a pretty interesting movie, Seeking Justice, directed by Roger Donaldson, a good director of intrigue and filmed as Stolen in New Orleans. Both are a pretty decent proposals, each of its kind.

Interestingly in both films the role of the city battered by Hurricane Katryna, some of whose claws show themselves in the streets yet, has a prominent role, although it is more pronounced in urban as Stolen.

Filled with nods, the film employs the most resolute action film tricks and evasion of the eighties and nineties and thus wins the viewer's complicity, perfectly aware that you are viewing the application of a formula, which does not care if formula that keep you entertained. We have an action prologue, theft of money, which raises the theft postponed (gold), to pull it later. And we do not care to implement tricks already well known, like the surprise, which finally is such that thieves are not where they appear to be, or that final shot with the two girls passing by the cemetery.

The false deception is part of the movie signed pact with the viewer, in which entertainment and evasion are first on the surprise. It's a director's choice in terms of a contract signed with the viewer perfectly lawful. This same story, without changing the script, could be counted on key closest to black cinema, harder and sinister characters and situations (for example, not have to work hard to turn this story into a sinister tale with monster included narrating the plot from the point of view of the kidnapped daughter), but the director has chosen to follow a path of least resistance and pay particular tribute to the action movies of the eighties that he has worked in film and television nineties and the year 2000 onwards. The key to how we should interpret the film is its villain. An antagonist which has been built to consciousness as a caricature of the topics of gender and villains in the exaggeration of that characterization as common place gives us the key to his true nature as a satirical homage to a movie that only aims to entertain the audience.

Miguel Juan Payán


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