Colombiana (2011) Zoe Saldana Almost Dressed Assassin

Colombiana 2011 poster
Watching the 2011 film Colombiana again, I noticed that Zoe Saldana as assassin tends to be “almost dressed” in most of her killing scenarios if not throughout most of the film. Not having access to the original Luc Besson script leaves the viewer wondering why bad apples must be killed with the star exhibiting either copious amounts of bare leg or exhibiting erect nipples. With no real reason for her attire, apart from the all back leotard worn by Saldana’s character, Cataleya, when she executes the chap in jail, it seems that the director was intent on utilizing Zoe’s innate and natural sexiness to cover a multitude of sins.

Not to complain, Saldana is gorgeous, even her Avatar character Neytiri was beautiful and that was a CG construct of the actress, but director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, Taken 2 & 3) does seem to overdo it a bit. The Colombiana director may be trying to make up for his lack of finesse in the fighting scenes. If one reads the message boards at IMDb, Megaton is not a popular choice for action films and the vitriol spewed about the final fight scene between Cataleya and Marco in the bathroom in Don Louis’s CIA safe house, is pretty impressive.

More impressive in fact than the fight scene itself according to the complainers. Despite overall disappointment in the battle, the film itself is pretty entertaining. The first part dealing with the young Cataleya seeing her mother and father shot to rag doll ribbons by Don Louis’ Marco and company. The child then slams a razor sharp knife in Marco’s hand before telling him she wants his boss dead before escaping Parkour style out of the flat window.

After An exciting chase through the city the 11 year old makes her way to Chicago and her tio, uncle, who she asks to train her as a killer. Fast-forward 15 years and Cat has grown up into Zoe Saldana and she is busily assassinating bad guys while working as a tag serial killer to flush Don Louis out of hiding.

The film has a great cast and it was fun seeing Callum Blue, aka Mason in Dead Like Me, as the CIA jerk who does not want to help anyone out until the female assassin has him in her sights. While Colombiana is entertaining it is not overly so.

This may be down to Olivier Megaton’s inability to orchestrate action scenes with a believable edge or it could just be that Luc Besson should direct his own films. Either way, the actors do an adequate job performing their various roles. None more so than the young girl who played the juvenile version of Cataleya, Amandla Stenberg. This young lady acts her little cotton socks off in her first film role. This same youngster went on to melt hearts with her performance as the doomed, and plot important, Rue in the 2012 film The Hunger Games. She is now working on television’s Mr. Robinson as a series regular.

It is the “discovery” of Stenberg that may well be the best part of Colombiana. Not to dismiss Saldana’s work as the grown Cataleya. I enjoyed the movie quite a lot and felt that despite Megaton’s apparent “hatchet” job on the fight scenes, the actress performed well in the awkwardly shot scenes.

This one is a 3.5 out of 5 stars and could have been a full four but for the fight scenes and the fact that Amandla was not in more of the film. Not to mention that Zoe could have been a bit more covered up when working as the killer later on. We know that the woman is a beauty there was no real need for so much attention to her great figure, not that her fans did not appreciate the “show,” it still made no apparent sense.

12 May 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

Leonard Nimoy LLAP No More

Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Leonard Nimoy, the man who maintained an image as cultural icon across several generations, is gone. The talented individual who signed off on his Twitter feed with LLAP (Live Long and Prosper) will do so no more.The 83 year old actor became a household name in the 1960s when he portrayed Spock, half human, half Vulcan, who was the first officer on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in “Star Trek.”

The character became a hit with audiences, although not with producers who wanted the role written out of the show. The show struggled to find enough fans overall but Spock became so popular that the show’s touted star, Bill Shatner, was a little put out that the Vulcan got more fan mail than he did. There were rumors of quibbling between the two stars when the show was on its short three year run.

Later on, in the 1999 comedy “Galaxy Quest,” Tim Allen and Alan Rickman would play character’s based upon Shatner and Nimoy, respectively, and both did a brilliant job parodying the “rumored” relationship of the two.

Nimoy became so connected to the role in Roddenberry’s space opera that it was shocking to see him without the “elf” (or satanic as the producers called them) ears of his character. The actor was, however, believable in whatever role he played.

Whether he was a villainous “mercenary” gunslinger (1971 “Catlow”) or a shrink (1978 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” [remake]) he was entertaining and watchable. But it was Spock that Nimoy was best known for and while he would leave the logic bound alien behind in his twilight years, most notably in the 2009 – 2012 television science fiction show “Fringe.”

Leonard was rushed to hospital with severe chest pains last week and this morning the world learned that the multitalented performer had died at home. Nimoy tweeted more than a year before his hospital visit, in January 2014, and told his fans that despite quitting smoking over 30 years ago, that he had COPD and he should have quit sooner. He ended his tweet saying “Grandpa says, quit now!” and finished, as with all his missives on Twitter, with LLAP.

That the actor had a “love/hate” relationship with his character on “Star Trek” in the beginning was a well known fact, back in the day. His two autobiographies related his search to “live” or come to terms with the consequences of being Spock, the first “I Am Not Spock” was followed later with “I Am Spock.”

One thing is certain. Bill Shatner has more than a fair share of those who worked with him in the TV series and the films who do not get on with him. Shatner is a larger than life character off set who makes no apologies for his opinions or for stepping on the toes of others. As he has aged, he has mellowed very little and is still one exciting individual to witness at conventions. Leonard Nimoy, on the other hand seems to have more than his fair share of friends from both small screen and large.

Nimoy, apart from spending a lot of time directing, doing one-man shows and playing Spock in various mediums, had become a sort of elder statesman for Science Fiction and “Star Trek,” as well as an almost mythic pop culture icon. It only takes the sound of the actor’s voice to bring back memories of his performances as the Vulcan so loved on screen.

The perfect example of this was the screening of the 2009 Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and Zoe Saldana “Star Trek.” Watching the film in England, when Spock (Leonard) starts reciting the “boldly going” speech at the end of the film, I was engulfed in goosebumps and the rest of the usually reserved British audience stood up in the theatre and cheered.

The loss of Leonard Nimoy at 83 is devastating. It almost feels like the spirit of Spock has died and in essence it has. The actor was the one who brought the half-alien character to life. It was his embodiment of the role that made the pointy eared chap so real. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and wife Susan and we will all miss those LLAP tweets from the man himself.

27 February 2015

The Book of Life: Zoe Saldana and Ron Perlman Have Something For Everyone

The Book of Life: Zoe Saldana and Ron Perlman Have Something For Everyone

Reel FX teams up with Twentieth Century Fox to bring the animated feature The Book of Life to screen and the film has something for everyone, including Ron Perlman and Zoe Saldana who make a great double act for all ages. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, co-written and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez the movie starts in modern times with five students who are, as a hapless museum tour guide puts it, the detention kids.

Zoe Saldana Pole Dances for Three

Zoe Saldana Pole Dances for Three

Zoe Saldana uploaded an Instagram video showing her and hubby Marco Perego pole dancing, although in Zoe’s case she was doing it for “three.” The 36 year old Guardians of the Galaxy star proved that despite carrying twins she was able to swing a little on a very public pole. She and Marco both had a go on the shuttle at Dulles International Airport which was filmed for posterity and posted on her Instagram account.

Zoe Saldana Pranked by Simon Pegg on Star Trek

Zoe Saldana Pranked by Simon Pegg on Star Trek