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As an opinionated cinephile, I love to review movies. I began sending reviews to a few friends, but interest has grown over the years. Now you can find many of my reviews in one spot!

-Jay



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6/18/16

Spy Time

What a great way to wrap up the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival: A Golden Space Needle Award to Best Director Javier Ruiz Caldera for his delightful "Anacleto: Agente secreto" (English captions). Submitted by Spain, this award-winning comedy has it all: scenery, vehicular mayhem, appealing actors, drama, romance, humor, gunfire and a bit (or two) of blowie uppie stuff.

Caldera's cast:
  • Imanol Arias ("Paper Birds" which I HIGHLY recommend!) is Anacleto, super spy, always impeccably dressed, cool, impossibly capable and, unlike his role model James Bond, a loving father. (You didn't see THAT coming, did you!)
  • Quim Gutiérrez ("The Last Days") is Adolfo, his slacker son. Adolfo has a job with a security firm, but we quickly realize his heart isn't in it. He hasn't even bothered to get a driver's license.
  • Alexandra Jiménez - Katia is a doctor who finds her relationship with Adolfo has become too boring. She feels like his mother, not his lover, so she has taken a job as a medico far, far away.
  • Berto Romero - Martin is Adolfo's best friend, but he always forgets Adolfo is allergic to nuts.
  • Carlos Areces - Every hero needs a good villain; Vázquez is perfect. Long ago, our hero captured him, so he has spent the past 30 years stewing in prison; he's packing a grudge.
The opening sequence is shot in an area that looks like South Dakota's Badlands, even though we know it's in Spain. When our hero finally arrives at spy headquarters in Barcelona, we can see the tacky effects of budget cuts!

Our movie-loving audience loved the secret passwords and laughed at the references to American films, like "Lethal Weapon" and "Die Hard." We smiled at our hero's cover job (he delivers for a delicatessen), and we also chortled at the young couple's apartment with their furniture by Ikea. In fact, a hex key (Allen wrench) has a big impact!

I can't find a general release date, so all I can do is recommend that you watch your entertainment pages. By the time that happens, you will have forgotten what I said, so there won't be any spoilers. I promise, you won't be disappointed.