Tag Archives: Djimon Hounsou

Unlawful Entry

DESIRE, PASSION, LUST… IT’S A DEADLY GAME OF OBSESSION. 

After being attacked by an intruder, a couple (Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe) are helped by a friendly LAPD officer (Ray Liotta)… but he develops an obsession with the wife. One of many psychopathic thrillers that washed over us in the early 1990s, this one targeting an obviously vulnerable situation: what do you do if a cop sets out to ruin your life? Russell and Stowe are likable as the Carrs, but Liotta is the real star of the film, eerily effective as the trustworthy cop who slowly reveals just what’s going on beneath the surface. Very formulaic, but still exciting thanks to the cast and good details, like the music score.

1992-U.S. 111 min. Color. Directed by Jonathan Kaplan. Music: James Horner. Cast: Kurt Russell (Michael Carr), Ray Liotta (Pete Davis), Madeleine Stowe (Karen Carr), Roger E. Mosley, Ken Lerner, Deborah Offner… Djimon Hounsou.

Trivia: Remade in India as Fareb (1996).

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

RAISED ON THE STREETS. BORN TO BE KING. 

Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is transported from Londinium to the sword Excalibur along with other young men as part of King Vortigern’s (Jude Law) attempt to find and kill the rightful heir to the throne. Another fanciful attempt, this time in 3D, to give the King Arthur tale a new spin but as much of a letdown as the 2004 film. Starts out promisingly, with flair and a sense of humor, just as Guy Ritchie did in Sherlock Holmes (2009). The last hour though loses its way completely in over-the-top sorcery and an uninvolving fantasy formula. 

2017-U.S. 126 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Guy Ritchie. Cast: Charlie Hunnam (Arthur), Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey (Guinevere), Djimon Hounsou (Bedivere), Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana… Mikael Persbrandt, David Beckham.

Trivia: Alicia Vikander was reportedly considered for the part of Guinevere.

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Amistad

FREEDOM IS NOT GIVEN. IT IS OUR RIGHT AT BIRTH. BUT THERE ARE SOME MOMENTS WHEN IT MUST BE TAKEN. 

In 1839, enslaved Africans take over La Amistad, a Spanish ship heading into American waters, and kill some of the crew; after being caught by the Navy, the Africans end up in court. After making Schindler’s List (1993), Steven Spielberg tackled slavery with this reality-based story, painting it as a forerunner to the Civil War. Historians have questioned that, and there are several other credibility issues here. The greatest problem though is the film’s lack of dramatic heft; it’s long and talky. Still, John Williams’s music is powerful and the film has great performances, especially Djimon Hounsou in his breakthrough.

1997-U.S. 152 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Debbie Allen, Steven Spielberg, Colin Wilson. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: David Franzoni. Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski. Music: John Williams. Cast: Morgan Freeman (Theodore Joadson), Anthony Hopkins (John Quincy Adams), Matthew McConaughey (Roger Sherman Baldwin), Nigel Hawthorne, Djimon Hounsou, David Paymer… Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgård, Anna Paquin, Jeremy Northam, Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Trivia: Ejiofor’s film debut. Former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun plays a judge in the film.

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Legend of Tarzan

A NEW THREAT AWAITS.

In the late 19th century, an English nobleman (Alexander Skarsgård) returns to the Congo that he left behind a long time ago on a mission to investigate suspected Belgian slave trade. Tarzan has returned to the big screen many times before, and in different shapes; this 3D adventure doesn’t change the basic formula too much, although it turns its hero more decisively into a fighter against the colonization of Africa. Skarsgård has the right look for the part and is aided by advanced visual effects that bring life to the jungle and all its creatures. Exciting action scenes, but it doesn’t translate to the movie as a whole.

2016-U.S. 110 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by David Yates. Cast: Alexander Skarsgård (John Clayton III/Tarzan), Margot Robbie (Jane Porter Clayton), Samuel L. Jackson (George Washington Williams), Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent.

Trivia: Emma Stone was allegedly considered as Jane.

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Elephant White

SET YOUR SIGHTS ON REVENGE.

elephantwhiteAssassin Curtie Church (Djimon Hounsou) clashes with gangsters in Thailand who have turned teenage girls into prostitutes; one of them (Jirantanin Pitakporntrakul) becomes his ally. This action movie from the Ong-Bak (2003) director went straight to DVD. Its attempt to take on a very serious issue is compromised by the simple fact that it’s dull and poorly made, with bad guys who are as uninteresting as Hounsou’s character. Kevin Bacon is supposed to deliver comic relief (with a British accent), but it’s for naught.

2011-U.S. 91 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Prachya Pinkaew. Cast: Djimon Hounsou (Curtie Church), Kevin Bacon (Jimmy the Brit), Jirantanin Pitakporntrakul (Mae), Weeraprawat Wongpuapan, Abhijati “Meuk” Jusakul.

Trivia: Alternative title: Rogue Kill.

8.gif kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

howtotraindragon2A few years after the events of the first movie, Hiccup and his village are drawn into a battle against a conqueror who knows how to trap and control dragons. A sequel just as ambitious as the first entry. We follow Hiccup as he transitions into adulthood and its responsibilities and challenges at the same time as his mother (wonderfully voiced by Cate Blanchett) makes a dramatic comeback. Emotional and dark at times, but there’s also a rich adventure at breakneck pace with loads of 3D thrills and many new colorful dragons. Funny and exciting confrontations between the mysterious conqueror, the village and Hiccup’s mother.

2014-U.S. Animated. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Bonnie Arnold. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois. Music: John Powell. Voices of Jay Baruchel (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III), Cate Blanchett (Valka), Gerard Butler (Stoick the Vast), Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill… Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou.

Golden Globe: Best Animated Feature Film.

Last word: “I was asked by Jeffrey Katzenberg to start coming up with ideas while we were still doing the final sound mix on the first film. I have a very distinct memory of fleshing out the first outline in a little notebook, sitting at a picnic table that overlooks a baseball field at Skywalker Ranch. There I kind of knew the building blocks of it […] To me the next act of this trilogy was always going to be Hiccup defining himself against the very powerful force of two domineering parents, in a way.” (DeBlois, Collider)

4 kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

FuriousSeven

VENGEANCE HITS HOME.

fastfurious7Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew are targeted by the brother (Jason Statham) of their latest nemesis, who wants revenge. Horror director James Wan’s first action pic firmly takes this franchise into Mission: Impossible territory, but forgets basic rules. We have to believe that the good guys are actually in danger – otherwise, what’s the point? Elaborate action scenes, including a marvellously insane chase midway through, and it’s fun watching Dwayne Johnson turn into a complete comic-book character. Goes a little too far, but the filmmakers do give Paul Walker a proper send-off that is emotional and true to his character (and the actor).

2015-U.S. 137 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by James Wan. Song: “See You Again” (performed by Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth). Cast: Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson… Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, Gal Gadot.

Trivia: Alternative title: Fast & Furious 7. Walked died in the middle of shooting this film; his performance was completed with the aid of his brothers Caleb and Cody, as well as digital reanimation. Followed by The Fate of the Furious (2017).

5 kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Seventh Son

WHEN DARKNESS FALLS, THE SON WILL RISE. 

seventhsonAging knight Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) finds a new apprentice (Ben Barnes) whom he will train to fight Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), an evil witch who can take on the shape of a dragon. This adaptation of a fantasy novel will look very familiar to fans of the genre and it has nothing that makes it stand out, even though the cast has a few big names. Bridges tries to give his deceptively meek “spook” a degree of quirkiness, and some of the action is well varied and fun to watch. But the story is a big shrug and the 3D effects pointless.

2015-U.S. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Sergei Bodrov. Novel: Joseph Delaney (“The Spook’s Apprentice”). Cast: Jeff Bridges (John Gregory), Ben Barnes (Tom Ward), Alicia Vikander (Alice Deane), Julianne Moore, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams… Djimon Hounsou.

6 kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Guardians of the Galaxy

WHEN THINGS GET BAD, THEY’LL DO THEIR WORST.

guardiansofthegalaxySomewhere in outer space, a human pilot (Chris Pratt) lays his hands on an orb that contains powerful forces and is immediately hunted; along the way, he befriends a motley gang of warriors and adventurers. Another mighty Marvel adventure in 3D, but this time with heavy emphasis on comedy. That is its salvation, as the film gets a big boost from its laidback style, golden oldies soundtrack and charming performances from the actors who play the ragtag bunch (and in two cases provide voices to irresistible CGI creatures). The action and the villains are strictly Marvel-formulaic, but it’s still fun.

2014-U.S. 121 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by James Gunn. Comic Book: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning. Cast: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoë Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan… Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro. Voices of Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel. Cameos: Josh Brolin, Stan Lee. 

Trivia: Followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017).

5 kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Stargate

IT WILL TAKE YOU A MILLION LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME. 

Egyptologist Daniel Jackson (James Spader) joins a military team led by Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell) as they enter an alien device called Stargate that leads to a planet far away that’s ruled by what seems like the Egyptian sun god Ra. Director Roland Emmerich apparently came up with this story back when he was in film school and it has certainly inspired others who have continued to turn this Stargate universe into something resembling the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. Still, in spite of decent production values and performances, this is highly mediocre science fiction.

1994-U.S.-France. 119 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Roland Emmerich. Screenplay: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich. Music: David Arnold. Cast: Kurt Russell (Jack O’Neil), James Spader (Daniel Jackson), Viveca Lindfors (Catherine Langford), Jaye Davidson, Alexis Cruz, Mili Avital… Djimon Hounsou.

Trivia: Alternative version runs 128 min. Followed by two TV series, one live-action (Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)), one animated (Stargate Infinity (2002-2003)).

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Gladiator: Best Kind of War Porn

WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY.

 

Gladiator is one of those films that opened as early as May, without all that much fanfare, and then kept building until the Oscars many months later where it went on to win the Best Picture award. That is a rare thing these days among Oscar winners, which are generally released much later in a year. Gladiator also helped resurrect director Ridley Scott’s career, launched Russell Crowe as one of Hollywood’s hottest stars and inspired works such as TV’s Rome.

The year is 180 AD. Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Crowe) and his army are defeating the barbarians of Germania. Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), who has known Maximus for many years, congratulates him and makes him an offer. He can’t rely on his son, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), to succeed him; he doesn’t have it in him to be a strong and wise leader of Rome. Marcus wants Maximus to be a temporary leader before power of the state is returned to the Senate. All Maximus wants to do is go back to his family in Spain, but he won’t fail Marcus or Rome. However, when the dying Emperor tells his son that he shall not be his successor, Commodus is heartbroken and smothers his father to death. That gives him the opportunity to strike at Maximus since no one else knows about Marcus’s decision. The general is arrested, but escapes his own execution only to find his wife and daughter murdered in Spain. The broken Maximus is eventually found by slave traders who take him to North Africa where he’s trained to become a gladiator. Maximus eventually returns to Rome as part of a group of gladiators that will fight in the greatest arena of them all – the Colosseum. The new gladiator becomes a sensation, but it doesn’t take long for Commodus to learn the real identity of the famed “Spaniard”. As the Emperor ponders his options (he should kill Maximus, but the crowds do love him…), Maximus reignites former friendships and begins to conspire to overthrow the usurper of Rome’s throne.

Rome as never seen before
One is easily reminded of old films like The Fall of the Roman Empire and Spartacus it’s the same kind of power struggles, but director Scott used modern technology to recreate Rome in a grand way that had not been seen before. One gets a sense of the size of the Colosseum and why it was such a compelling place to visit, but also how brutal the games inside were. The opening sequence, the battle in the Germanian forests, is a shocker; it is a lesson in Roman warfare, exciting and chillingly bloody. It is indeed war porn of the highest order, portrayed in earthy tones. One shouldn’t make the mistake of trusting too many details in the script; the writers have based the characters loosely on real people, but changed things as they saw fit. Crowe is however the perfect guy to portray the perfect hero, a general who is a wise, courageous, strong and principled leader. Phoenix on the other hand plays the complete opposite, a man who is cowardly, conspiratorial, bloodthirsty and even incestuous; it’s easy for the actor to chew the scenery a bit, but he’s nevertheless very effective. The stars are ably supported by the British pros, including Oliver Reed in his final performance. Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard’s score takes turns being muscular and emotional; it fits the movie perfectly.

Strength and honor, that’s what it’s all about. One can scoff at the platitudes and the pompous masculinity, but the film is so powerful that it is likely to inspire not a few members of the audience into thinking that if they could they would stand with Maximus on the battlefield.

Gladiator 2000-U.S. 154 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Douglas Wick, David Franzoni, Branko Lustig. Directed by Ridley Scott. Screenplay: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson. Cinematography: John Mathieson. Music: Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard. Art Direction: Arthur Max. Editing: Pietro Scalia. Costume Design: Janty Yates. Cast: Russell Crowe (Maximus Decimus Meridius), Joaquin Phoenix (Commodus), Connie Nielsen (Lucilla), Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou… Richard Harris, David Hemmings.

Trivia: Also available in a 171 min. version. Mel Gibson was allegedly considered for the part of Maximus.

Oscars: Best Picture, Actor (Crowe), Costume Design, Visual Effects, Sound. BAFTA: Best Film, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design. Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture (Drama), Score.

Quote: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” (Crowe)

Last word: “Originally we went to Germany to shoot the opening scenes, then relocated to the UK when we discovered that a section of forest near Galway airport was going to be razed for construction. The owners of the land said it would be cheaper if we burned it down than if they cut it down, so they said ‘come in and do what you like.’ We were able to shoot a lot of the film there, and did the entire opening in just three weeks. Any time you change locations, you’re costing yourself a great deal of time and money, so it helps if you can contain it.” (Scott, The Hollywood Interview)

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Island

THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE.

theislandThe year is 2019 and Earth is a contaminated place; few have survived the disease and they’re hoping to get to The Island, a paradise… but does it really exist? The screenwriters warn against cloning humans and a future society where cameras watch every move we make. The script is relevant, but director Michael Bay is more interested in high-octane action. You get your highway chases where cars fly in every direction, and slo-mo images of macho men stepping out of choppers. Often fun to watch, but the movie is too hollow and drawn-out.

2005-U.S. 136 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Michael Bay. Cast: Ewan McGregor (Lincoln Six Echo), Scarlett Johansson (Jordan Two Delta), Djimon Hounsou (Albert Laurent), Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi, Michael Clarke Duncan.

6 kopia

 

IMDb

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)