Giancarlo Giannini

Giancarlo Giannini

Giancarlo Giannini Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS

Quantum of Solace Review


Weak
When Daniel Craig was announced as the next 007, the collective groan from the Ian Fleming faithful was almost loud enough to drown out the uniform shrug of the post-modern moviegoer. Where once he was the mightiest of Cold War icons, Britain's own James Bond has been marginalized by a combination of contemporary moviemaking and PC social posturing. Every few years, producers retrofit the franchise to match the perceived interest level of the ever-shrinking demo. After the excellent reboot in Casino Royale, Craig's second stint as the celebrated secret agent, Quantum of Solace, is as confusing as its title.

While still on the hunt for the people responsible for the death of his gal pal Vesper (this installment picks up mere minutes after the end of Royale), James Bond (Craig) discovers a plot by energy tycoon Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) to corner the market on the world's most precious natural resource. It is part of a much bigger scheme by Quantum, a notorious criminal syndicate, to influence events in the world. They include the overthrow of the current Bolivian government, the installation of former military dictator General Medrano (Joaquin Cosio) there, and a continued stranglehold on world intelligence. Under the suspicious eye of MI6 director M (Judi Dench), Bond sets out to uncover the plot, determine the purpose of Quantum, and get revenge. He is helped by a young Russian girl named Camille (Olga Kurylenko). She has her own personal motives for getting even with these villainous bad men.

Continue reading: Quantum of Solace Review

The World premiere of the new James Bond movie 'Quantum of Solace' held at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square - Arrivals

Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond Wednesday 29th October 2008 The World premiere of the new James Bond movie 'Quantum of Solace' held at the Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square - Arrivals London, England

Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond
Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond
Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond
Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond
Giancarlo Giannini and James Bond

Joshua (2001) Review


OK
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua (2001) Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

Seven Beauties Review


Extraordinary
Lina Wertmüller's most complex film is also one of her funniest and most touching. While it's a Holocaust film at heart, Seven Beauties sprawls across a decade or so in the history of Italy. The hero -- if you can call him that -- is Pasqualino Frafuso (Giancarlo Giannini), the sole boy in a family of eight kids, a fact that has clearly caused him some stress as a youth.

Pasqualino ends up killing one of his sisters' (the beauties) boyfriends, winds up in prison, transfers to the loony bin, and finally escapes by agreeing to enlist in Mussolini's rising Italian army. He's shipped off the the front and quickly captured by the Germans (yeah, they're allies, don't ask) and sentenced to a concentration camp. And yet Pasqualino survives it all, never really succumbing to the horrors that surround him at every turn. Most of the film plays out during his time in the camp, with flashbacks telling us how he got to where he is now. The effect is something like Slaughterhouse-Five.

Continue reading: Seven Beauties Review

The Seduction of Mimi Review


OK
This early Wertmüller work isn't among her best, and it's stuffed full of characters and scenes that would be written off as broad cliche today (complete with a raving mad Giancarlo Giannini, his hair flying wildly in every scene). But it's worth watching if for no other reason than to witness its eye-popping and horrifying final love scene, with Giannini "seducing" a very large housewife, in all her glory. It's hysterical and sad at the same time.

Continue reading: The Seduction of Mimi Review

Shadows in the Sun Review


Weak
It's one of the oldest tricks in the movies: If you've got a tired story, hide it under some gorgeous scenery by setting the film in an exotic locale. Tahiti, Paris, Niagara Falls. In this case, it's the most cliched of exotic locales: Tuscany. Why, entire films have been made about the joys of Tuscany (Under the Tuscan Sun, anyone?), with only the slightest of nods toward anything resembling a plot.

Shadows in the Sun isn't as bad as that monstrosity, though it's clear why this film merited a direct-to-DVD release. The whole thing's been done before, a lot: Slick, ambitious book editor (there's such a thing?) is tasked with luring a recluse into writing another manuscript. Naturally he falls in love with the daughter of the crusty writer. Joshua Jackson is the editor, Harvey Keitel is ingeniously cast as the writer, and Claire Forlani is the love interest. And there you have it. Of course our editor will learn a thing or two about life ("Take it easy, bro!") and the editor will exorcise his copious demons.

Continue reading: Shadows in the Sun Review

Casino Royale (2006) Review


Excellent
After four decades, 20 feature films and five actors in the leading role, the James Bond franchise finally gets... an origin story?

You'd think it unnecessary, as 007's trademarks by this point have been burned into our memory. We know the trained assassin's drink of choice, his preferred mode of transportation, and his willingness to invoke the hard-earned license to kill when dangerous situations arise.

Continue reading: Casino Royale (2006) Review

Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) Review


Unbearable
It seems that David Lynch's adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic science fiction novel Dune (1984) wasn't enough to convince people that this classic works far better on the page. At least that box office fiasco packs in some interesting Lynchian perversions. Besides, how can you go wrong with a cast that includes Patrick Stewart, Max von Sydow, and Alicia Witt as a bald, pint-sized, knife-wielding child? Let me tell you something, buddy -- you can't top that! Maybe it ain't Herbert's vision of Dune, but it's fun at parties.

So someone in the Sci-Fi Channel marketing department thought that they'd be able to create the definitive version of the novel, making much ballyhoo over it in the press. "This is the way Frank Herbert intended it!" Yes, yes, I'm sure he was precisely thinking of static, made-for-television sets lifted from Star Trek: The Next Generation, bathed in nauseating greens, oranges, and fire engine reds.

Continue reading: Frank Herbert's Dune (2000) Review

Joshua Review


OK
Movies produced with the support of religious or pseudo-religious groups typically employ one of two structures to get their message across: 1) Outsider comes to a sleepy town and wakes it up with his message of love and compassion or ability to perform miracles. Or 2) Armageddon arrives, the saved ascend to heaven, and the poor saps left on earth suffer through hell.

Fortunately Joshua is the former, and it's probably the most mainstream release to ever make it to theaters. With stars Tony Goldwyn, F. Murray Abraham, and Stacy Edwards, this is a classy production. Not only is the acting credible and the production values high (they even trek to Rome for the finale), but the story isn't all bad either. It's actually pretty simple: A man named Joshua (Tony Goldwyn) wanders into the sleepy town of Auburn one evening, rents a barn to live in, and promptly starts rebuilding the recently-burned-down Baptist church, unbidden by its parishioners. Meanwhile, the local Catholics take an interest in the cryptic man, employing him to carve a wooden statue.

Continue reading: Joshua Review

Swept Away (1974) Review


Good
Fully titled Swept Away... by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August, the classic Swept Away has the rich and blonde Raffaella (Mariangela Melato) and the poor and scraggly Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini) washed ashore -- swept away, if you will -- on a deserted island in the Mediterranean Sea.

It's Gilligan's Island, writ small. Seriously, it is! The movie boils down to petty squabblings between the two Italians. When they're on the yacht, with Raffaella's friends and Gennarino's crewmates, she treats Gennarino like dirt, complaining about overdone pasta and all but making the man wash her underwear.

Continue reading: Swept Away (1974) Review

Darkness Review


Terrible
I love road trips. Not because I'm especially fond of sitting in my car for days at a time, but because with each passing mile a promise is fulfilled. Every hour behind the wheel draws you nearer to your destination, and along the way you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. But, though paperback self-help writers may tell you otherwise, the journey itself is not enough. You have to actually get somewhere to make the whole trip worthwhile. And if, at the end of a day's travel, you haven't gone anywhere at all, you've wasted all your time and a whole lot of gas.

Like a long road trip to nowhere, Spanish director Jaume Balagueró's Darkness is miserable, frustrating, and hard on the buttocks. Though the film's run time is a mere 102 minutes, the psychological impact of wasting precious money and energy staring at the screen and waiting for something -- anything -- to happen could take years off your life.

Continue reading: Darkness Review

Seven Beauties Review


Extraordinary
Lina Wertmüller's most complex film is also one of her funniest and most touching. While it's a Holocaust film at heart, Seven Beauties sprawls across a decade or so in the history of Italy. The hero -- if you can call him that -- is Pasqualino Frafuso (Giancarlo Giannini), the sole boy in a family of eight kids, a fact that has clearly caused him some stress as a youth.

Pasqualino ends up killing one of his sisters' (the beauties) boyfriends, winds up in prison, transfers to the loony bin, and finally escapes by agreeing to enlist in Mussolini's rising Italian army. He's shipped off the the front and quickly captured by the Germans (yeah, they're allies, don't ask) and sentenced to a concentration camp. And yet Pasqualino survives it all, never really succumbing to the horrors that surround him at every turn. Most of the film plays out during his time in the camp, with flashbacks telling us how he got to where he is now. The effect is something like Slaughterhouse-Five.

Continue reading: Seven Beauties Review

Man on Fire (2004) Review


OK
An overstuffed, pricey, and smashingly gorgeous bag for a variety pack of clichés, Man on Fire represents director Tony Scott taking somewhat of a step backwards after fun, spry thrillers Spy Game and Enemy of the State; but damn if he doesn't try his hardest to make it all mean something.

In the film (a remake of a 1987 flick of the same name) Denzel Washington coasts through his role as John Creasy, your average ex-undercover operative now saddled with a drinking problem and a yen for his own death. His buddy from the bad old days, Rayburn (Christopher Walken), now a wealthy Mexican businessman of ill repute, gets Creasy a job as bodyguard for the nine-year-old daughter of Mexico City industrialist Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony). The average parent might have noticed that Creasy might not have been the best man for the job, seeing as he drinks, is temperamental with the daughter, and tries to off himself one lonely night. But the girl herself, Pita (Dakota Fanning), takes to crusty old Creasy anyway, saying to her mother (Radha Mitchell) that "he's like a big, sad bear" and filling her notebook with moony scribblings about how much she loves him. Creasy finally warms up to Pita, an irresistibly personable ball of energy as played by Fanning, who also brings a powerfully adult presence to her scenes with Washington, complementing his character's world-weariness: they're like the only two adults in a world full of corrupt, venal teenagers.

Continue reading: Man on Fire (2004) Review

Cq Review


Weak

At once an homage to and a spoof of two signature styles of late 1960s cinema, "CQ" is an enjoyably eccentric entry into feature filmmaking by a writer-director who has the art form in his blood -- Roman Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola's son.

The title refers to an old Morse Code and ham radio signal sent to seek any kind of response ("seek you"), and it's reflective of the movie's main character. An ambivalent aspiring filmmaker (Jeremy Davies) seeking inspiration in 1969 Paris, he's torn between his desire to make a conceptual, black-and-white New Wave art film and his day job editing a studio's cheesy, sexploitive "Barbarella"-like B-movie.

Gritting his teeth over silly science fiction by day, he spends his nights locked in his bathroom, burning through miles of "borrowed" film on rambling autobiographic monologues while his live-in girlfriend frets in frustration. Davies' dilemma comes to a head when the manic director of the sexy sci-fi flick (played with comedic panache by Gerard Depardieu) is fired over creative differences.

Continue reading: Cq Review

Giancarlo Giannini

Giancarlo Giannini Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS