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Entries in Javier Bardem (17)

Friday
Oct052012

007 Things That Excite / Concern Me About "Skyfall"

Hi, all. I'm Deborah Lipp, half of the Lipp Sisters team at the Mad Men site  Basket of Kisses and author of six books, including The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book.*

Between today, which happens to be International James Bond Day, and the U.S. release of the 23rd official James Bond movie, Skyfall (opening November 9th!), Nathaniel has asked me to deliver a series on the subject of James Bond. We'll focus on lists of seven things — any seven things, provided they relate to James Bond, agent 007 of Her Majesty's Secret Service. And, because I'm generous to a fault, I'm going to start you off, this first time out, with a bonus list. So, without further adieu, here are 007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall as well as 007 Things That Concern Me About Skyfall.

*Note: If you want a copy of the book, please, please contact me directly

007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall

001 It's a James Bond movie. Let's get serious: If the buzz for the movie was terrible, if Ebert used both his thumbs to pan it, if it got the lowest rating in history on Rotten Tomatoes, I'd still be there on opening night, and probably the next night as well. And maybe the following week. And there would be vodka martinis chilling at home, and I know how to make them right.

It's a James Bond movie. Bond has been with me through my entire life, a guarantee of adventure, excitement, sex, and escape. I am, frankly, addicted to these movies, they are like a drug to me.

002 The return of Q. Bond movies have a tradition, and repeating certain formulaic aspects is a delight. Sure, some people want Thanksgiving without turkey, but some of us love the repetition of form, and for us, the return of a beloved character who has been there from the beginning matters a lot.

Q Trivia, Judi Dench, and terrible blonde villains after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb222012

Counsel Me This

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JA from MNPP here. Have you been following the rumor-mill over Ridley Scott's next movie? Until recently just the name "Ridley Scott" had become too encumbered by bad movies for me to get excited about what he was up to.  The last movie of his that I like without reservations is Thelma and Louise, 21 years old now. So I have worried that "the Ridley Scott of today" is on a fool's errand, returning to the world of the Alien franchise... does he have anything of that caliber in him now? But that trailer for Prometheus is so good, you guys. So good! I've seen it about a dozen times and it still sends chills down my spine. Granted it's only a trailer - the movie could still be a mess. But it's been enough to draw me back into Ridley-Scott-sville.
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Aiding in me caring about what Ridley's doing next is the fact that what he's doing next is the first movie script written by The Road and No Country For Old Men author Cormac McCarthy, and that the actor circling the lead has been Michael Fassbender. That's a double-pow of awesomeness that trumps any misgivings I might have regarding Ridley. The film's to be called The Counselor, and they're selling it as "No Country For Old Men on steroids." So basically this thing will ejaculate in your eye and then slap you across the face. It's that manly! From its brief synopsis it sounds like Breaking Bad or Weeds to me, only with a fancy-pants lawyer getting in over his head with the drug-business instead of a high school teacher or sassy widow. 
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Deadline reported last night that Fassbender has signed on for sure, and the actors they're looking at for the villain - and they can't help but foolishly conjure Javier Bardem's iconic turn as Anton Chigurh (don't set the bar so high right out of the gate, you guys) - are Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt. I'm Team Pitt all the way. He needs another good bad guy role right about now, and I'd love to see him go toe to toe with his Basterds co-star. What says you?
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Thursday
Nov032011

Live-Blogging the Bond 23 "Skyfall" Press Conference

I couldn't begin to tell you why I do the things I do but rather than make you watch all 28 minutes of the Bond 23 conference, I'm watching it for you; I'm a giver.

007 by way of 11/03

50th Anniversaries on their way!

0:01 As the press conference begins we're reminded that it's exactly 50 years ago today Sean Connery was officially announced to play James Bond in Dr. No (1962). Fun, trivia right?

1:15 The confirmation of the worst kept secret in London: the title is "Skyfall"... They don't mention this but that make Skyfall the second shortest Bond title ever (after Dr. No). The longest title is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. #uselesstrivia

2:02 EDITED TO REMOVE COMPLETELY GARBLED NONSENSICAL SENTENCE WHICH IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU LIVE BLOG. The film will take place in London, Shanghai, Istanbul, and has a heavy Scottish component. 

3:21 Not present at the conference but in the film Sam Mendes tells us are wispy wonderful Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes who are described in virtually the same way as playing...

a part I can't tell you about in scenes I can tell you nothing about"

4:25 The stars come out Berenice Marlowe, Naomie Harris, Dame Judi Dench (Mendes makes a funny "you won't have heard of her but i think she has a very promising career ahead of her"), Javier Bardem will play the villain and of course Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond 007.

5:53 Sam Mendes says he was a huge fan of Bond films (English schoolboys grow up with him) and he says the first one he saw was Live and Let Die (1973) which is, incidentally, one of the Roger Moore titles.

press conference attendees: Bardem, Marlowe, Mendes, Dench, Craig, Harris, Broccoli and Wilson

6:30 Lots of mutual back patting. Mendes loves Craig (he doesn't mention it but he gave Craig one of his first big American movie roles in Road to Perdition), the Broccoli estate loves Mendes, etcetera. Everyone loves everyone. 

7:35 Producer Michael G Wilson "No one really thought we'd get 50 years of Bond, let alone 23 pictures." They mention 23 a lot but it depends on how you count the films.

8:30 They will start shooting today... BOND GIRLS & SHIRTLESS BOND AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul102011

488 Days Until "Bond 23"

It's been three years since we last saw Bond, James Bond but his licence to kill never expires. Neither financial difficulties --such as those experienced by his parent studio -- nor frequent cosmetic surgery (Connery to Lazenby to Moore to Dalton to Brosnan to Craig) can retire 007. His licence will be renewed all over again on November 9th, 2012 or thereabouts. That's the tentative release date for the as yet untitled Bond 23.

Thankfully everyone's favorite secret agent will still look like Daniel Craig when he returns (and presumably Judi Dench will still be giving him orders). Javier Bardem will be the new supervillain. Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris are also supposedly joining the cast in roles both new and familiar (Yay "Moneypenny"!).

No word yet on the number of or identity of the new Bond Girls but they'd better be sensational if they're hoping to pull any attention from that very formidable quintet. 

Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) will direct and though he isn't a director that's known for using the same cast frequently, he has worked with his Bond before. Oscar-philes will note that Mendes was one of the earliest directors to give Craig a mainstream attention-grabbing part in Road to Perdition (2002).

It's all so fucking hysterical.
-Daniel Craig as Connor Rooney in Road to Perdition

It must have been hard to cast for Paul Newman's son given the legendary blue eyes. Craig's are crueler than Newman's but good call nonetheless, don't you think?

Are you excited for that the new Bond is back on track? What's your favorite of the 22 films? I've always been partial to Dr. No (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 but mostly for Michelle Yeoh) and Casino Royale (2006).

Tuesday
Jul052011

Biutiful Interrupted

It's not my habit to skip an Oscar nominee. But things happen. So it was that I missed Javier Bardem's Oscar nominated Best Actor turn in Biutiful (2010). This seems to happen to me about once a decade, so I've already used my "get out of jail free" card for the 'teens.... or the ten's... what are we calling this new decade? (In the Aughts the only nominee I missed was Tommy Lee Jones in In The Valley of Elah.) As the movie began with its somber first notes and black screen the words "Alejandro González Iñárritu" struck dread in my heart. I quickly remembered why I hadn't wept when the film had given me the slip before the nominations in January. Iñárritu's insatiable appetite for Miserabilism has been killing my mood since Amores Perros way back in 2000. I will forever be grateful that he introduced me to Gael Garcia Bernal but beyond that he hasn't done me favors.

I was no great fan of Babel and I openly hated 21 Grams. In fact the only Iñárritu I've ever enjoyed was the short film "Powder Keg" which is very typical of his oeuvre despite being a BMW commercial so maybe I can only handle his aggressive Feel Bad omnipotence in short doses?

It's not my preference to balk at a Reader Request. But this happened: as I began to watch the film, I suspected very quickly that I wasn't going to be able to handle it. A shot of Bardem's smiling face framed by wintry whites and cool blues immediately upset me; the saddest smile I've seen onscreen in many a year. Bardem is such a fine actor but more than that he has almost the perfect movie face, it's hugely memorable without being limited by its specificity: Is he handsome? Is he ugly? How can he be so imposingly monolithic in profile yet so human and fleshy head on?

I've always loved Javier Bardem but by the time his "Uxbal" was in a doctor's office getting a prostate exam and being an asshole about the needle for a blood test (is Uxbal a drug addict?) my mood was crashing. The last two funerals I've been to were both cancer related and one of them, very very recently, was for a dear friend's father who happens to be the exact same age as my own father (thankfully still with us).

I wasn't expecting the follow up scene, wherein Uxbal visited a funeral home where three little dead boys lay, one of them (ostensibly) haunting him. Nor was I expecting Uxbal to prey on the boy's family for money (something about his ability to commune with the dead -- fake or real?). By the time his sad looking son (like father like...) was having a bedwetting episode and Uxbal was pissing blood the next morning, I had to turn the damn thing off.


Note to filmmakers: never ever show a closeup of the contents of a toilet bowl. There are some things we see every day in real life that we need never see onscreen.

I looked at the DVD clock and realized I was only 20 minutes in and I had a full 128 minutes to go and opted for self preservation. I have been struggling with a particularly strong stubbornly escalating bout of depression and I didn't want to welcome more of it in. I had heard from the film's naysayers that the movie is relentless about piling on -- to the point of Job-like cruelty. And if cancer, addiction, poverty, ghosts, blood, and preying on grieving parents were just Iñárritu's opening reel gambit, it was going to be beyond my coping abilities in my present state.

I am not one of those sad and limited moviegoers who yearns for all movies to be happy -- a boyfriend of a good friend once complained about the sad movies we were dragging him, too "do you like any happy movies?" he asked in exasperation. And it's true that I do quite love a good tragedy. But I know my limit-testing buttons and Biutiful pushed nearly half of them in its first 20 minutes, including a peculiar uncommon one... toilet bowl closeups. Were I convinced that the world revolved around me, I'd suspect that Iñárritu was created in a lab just to test me. For this test, I have laid down my pencil and admitted defeat.

Have you ever fully intended to watch a movie and bailed from mood crashing?

Previous Reader Requests:
The Other Woman, The Rescuers and Beauty & The Beast