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Jeffrey Nachmanoff Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jeffrey Nachmanoff Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2013/01/18 at 12:00am

The Last Stand

01.18.2013 | By |

The Last Stand

The Last Stand’ is exactly what action movies from the decade of the 80’s felt like – fun escapism that put a smile on your face. So far, this is the most fun movie from the first 3 weeks of January and from the looks of it, only Sly Stallone’s ‘Bullet to the Head’ might equal it in entertainment value anytime soon.

 

The premise goes like this: the leader of a drug cartel (Eduardo Noriega) busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his inexperienced staff (Luis Guzman).

 

Amongst all the buzz of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming “back” to movies in a lead role, I can’t ignore how 40% of the lead cast is Latino. It’s a treat when I go see a mainstream Hollywood film and see this many Latino actors getting major face time. 

 

Let me begin with Luis Guzman. He has to be close to breaking the record with the most amount of film appearances ever. The man is ubiquitous and seems like every action or comedy film can use the services of someone like Guzman. He’s a solid character actor that derives laughs just on his physical presence and the delivery of comical dialogue tailored to him. Then we have Genesis Rodriguez who feels she’s like a movie or two away before she hits star status. In my opinion, she’ll succeed Jennifer Lopez as the next Latina mainstream star. She has the looks, the comic timing, the charm and most importantly, the ‘It’ factor, in other words, the magic. Rodrigo Santoro is a veteran actor with versatility. He travails from drama to comedy to now action. There’s not much he can’t do. He also looks like he jacked up for this film only making him more attractive to casting directors. Then you have Eduardo Noriega who is one of Spain’s most respected actors. If you get the chance, catch him in ‘El Lobo,’ Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and Alejandro Amenábar’s ‘Tesis’ and you’ll see why Noriega is the real deal.

 

One note not to be ignored are the Latino roles. A criticism I’ve usually had has been Latino actors usually cast as criminals, thugs, maids, etc. But apart from Noriega playing the cartel boss, Guzman played a cop (typical, but honest), Rodriguez and FBI agent, and Santoro a ex-military soldier. It’s not ideal, but it’s a work in progress and improving year to year. What is bizarre, though, is that producers approved the hiring of non-Mexican actors to play Mexicans. The worst being Noriega who is from Spain. Santoro is from Brazil, Rodriguez from Venezuela and Guzman from Puerto Rico. I guess Hollywood thinks we’re all the same species. 

 

One critical element of the feature that isn’t necessarily seen, but felt, is the action tempo. South Korean director Jee-woon Kim, he of one of the best Asian films I’ve seen in a long time, ‘I Saw the Devil,’ manages to integrate seamlessly all the thumps, bangs and smacks in a rhythmic choreographic tempo. And it is this element that allows the action sequences to flourish and the comedy to be enjoyed. The timing, the pace, the beats are all in-synch in nice blend of action comedy that provides a wonderful exciting experience at the movies. 

 

In regards to Schwarzenegger’s personal performance, he can still deliver a punch in his one-liners and he can still carry a movie. If you had put Ron Perlman or a Lyle Alzado type in his place, this would be lost somewhere in the bottom feeders of my Netflix Instawatch. How does ‘The Last Stand’ rank amongst his films? Not in the Top 10, but above ‘The 6th Day’ and ‘Red Heat’. 

 

Go see it. It is a very funny movie and the entertainment value is thru the roof.

Alex Florez

By

2008/12/16 at 12:00am

Traitor

12.16.2008 | By |

Rating: 3.0

Rated: PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language.
Release Date: 2008-08-27
Starring: Jeffrey Nachmanoff,
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country:USA
Official Website: http://traitor-themovie.com/

 Go to our film page

We know someone is either betraying a friend, a country or a principle – that we obviously get from the title. But who and why is something that’s buried deep enough in the film to keep us guessing and wondering how clever the filmmakers can actually get with this.

In some ways, ‘Traitor’ is the classic espionage film that mixes and matches modern day headlines to construct a plot where Americans continue fighting terrorism all across the world.  To its credit however, it manages to personalize the story of its protagonist to a certain degree, stripping the film of the politically sententious rhetoric that so often make these films come across as propaganda.

Deceptively, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) plays Samir Horn, a former U.S. military operative who is linked to illicit activities in the middle east.  When an FBI agent (Guy Pearce) heads the investigation, he begins to track Horn’s every move slowly uncovering the truth behind the massive conspiracy he’s been a part of.

Ultimately, the film is about a man trying to do the right thing for the right reasons, or his own convictions, but also about how wrong things can go in the process.  In Traitor, that man just happens to be a Muslim American who finds himself in the middle of the conflict with hard decisions to make.  However dangerously close the films comes to being about religious extremism and how far people will go for what they believe in, it is very careful with its commentary on the matter. 

With a story that’s so rooted in politics and religion, the filmmakers actually manage to say very little about either subject. Both a good and a bad thing depending on how you look at it.  Its moral ambiguity may frustrate some but alleviate others just tuning in to watch bombs being disarmed at the last possible second.

The film’s strong performances (save for Jeff Daniels as the veteran CIA contractor with a personal agenda) almost do the impossible: make it cliché-proof.  Unfortunately, it is what it is: another spy thriller mirroring the ever present war on terror.

Alex Florez

By

2008/08/28 at 12:00am

Traitor

08.28.2008 | By |

Rated: PG-13 for intense violent sequences, thematic material and brief language.
Release Date: 2008-08-27
Starring: Jeffrey Nachmanoff,
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: USA
Official Website: http://traitor-themovie.com/

Go to our film page

Traitor

We know someone is either betraying a friend, a country or a principle – that we obviously get from the title. But who and why is something that’s buried deep enough in the film to keep us guessing and wondering how clever the filmmakers can actually get with this.

In some ways, ‘Traitor’ is the classic espionage film that mixes and matches modern day headlines to construct a plot where Americans continue fighting terrorism all across the world.  To its credit however, it manages to personalize the story of its protagonist to a certain degree, stripping the film of the politically sententious rhetoric that so often make these films come across as propaganda.

Deceptively, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) plays Samir Horn, a former U.S. military operative who is linked to illicit activities in the middle east.  When an FBI agent (Guy Pearce) heads the investigation, he begins to track Horn’s every move slowly uncovering the truth behind the massive conspiracy he’s been a part of.

Ultimately, the film is about a man trying to do the right thing for the right reasons, or his own convictions, but also about how wrong things can go in the process.  In Traitor, that man just happens to be a Muslim American who finds himself in the middle of the conflict with hard decisions to make.  However dangerously close the films comes to being about religious extremism and how far people will go for what they believe in, it is very careful with its commentary on the matter. 

With a story that’s so rooted in politics and religion, the filmmakers actually manage to say very little about either subject. Both a good and a bad thing depending on how you look at it.  Its moral ambiguity may frustrate some but alleviate others just tuning in to watch bombs being disarmed at the last possible second.

The film’s strong performances (save for Jeff Daniels as the veteran CIA contractor with a personal agenda) almost do the impossible: make it cliché-proof.  Unfortunately, it is what it is: another spy thriller mirroring the ever present war on terror.

 

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