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A fencing Jason Isaacs--in tights, no less!! Sorry--a historical drama concerning machinations and maneuverings in the court of Spain's Philip II, erstwhile husband to England's Queen Mary Tudor and dispatcher of the ill-fated Armada. Velvet and ruffed collars. Unfortunately, it appeared only sporadically in theatres, and is tough to find even on DVD.

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Chari910
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All Reviews here

Post by Chari910 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:39 pm

Not so good... :-(

From VARIETY:

There's a lot of pomp in "The El Escorial Conspiracy," but little if any circumstance. A good-looking big-budgeter about intrigue and betrayal in 16th-century Spain, the project is holed by a shaky script that pushes its cardboard characters through often far-fetched situations. Pic's defects, including poor dialogue and oddball casting, leave what was a decent idea on paper looking like second-rate tube material. Marketing should ensure initial good biz for the Sept. 5 home release before it fades due to word of mouth; offshore prospects are limited.
Pic opens in the magnificent surroundings of Toledo Cathedral, where, during a service led by priest Mateo Vazquez (Jordi Molla), slimy, ambitious nobleman Antonio Perez (Jason Isaacs) and the princess of Eboli (Julia Ormond, resplendent in eye patch) get it on in a side room.

Perez and the Duke of Alba are vying for the favors of Philip II (Juanjo Puigcorbe), who is troubled by developments in the Low Countries governed by his half-brother, Juan of Austria.

The half-brother's personal secretary, Juan de Escobedo (Joaquim de Almeida), returns to Spain from Flanders, and, in a scene that smacks of second-class soap opera, he catches Perez and the princess in flagrante and steals a document detailing a plot against Philip.

Meanwhile, in a subplot, a love story develops between the innocent Damiana (Blanca Jara, the helmer's daughter) and aging sheriff Espinosa (Jurgen Prochnow, in pic's most convincing perf). After the secretary Escobedo is killed and Damiana is accused of attempting to poison him, Vazquez and Espinosa hook up to search for the killers.

Screenplay's idea of what people were like 400 ago seems derived from other period pics, with only Prochnow evoking real emotion, although the mostly Spanish cast struggles to rise above the stereotypes and yards of over-explanatory dialogue.

Isaacs and Ormond strut and swagger convincingly enough, but other roles, such as Italian nobleman Tiepolo (Tony Peck), feel superfluous.

Suspense is also in short supply. Pic feels like a series of set pieces strung together, though some are impressive. Lush orchestral score is exactly as expected.

Pic was made in both Spanish and English versions. Dubbing on Spanish version caught was poor.


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kjshd05
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Post by kjshd05 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:17 am

thanx Char, I was just going to post this...
indeed, not a good review, at all...

Hatsuan
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Post by Hatsuan » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:46 am

We have to like the movie that we will be who we are going to see her, not to people that they pay to him for criticizing...
Some time ago I saw a movie that I liked muxhísimo and nevertheless, the critiques were the worst ;-)

Thanks Char^^

catloveyes
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Post by catloveyes » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:35 am

Thank s for this review Char....we must hope for the best.

I will still want to see this as I agree in that so many times a reviewer pans a movie and I love it!!

Hugs,
Kate

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Marie
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Post by Marie » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:19 am

I still want to see it also - if just for the scenery (hey I really was talking about country side - but yes OK Jason qualifies too!)

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kjshd05
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Post by kjshd05 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:23 am

LOL, Marie, we luv 2C that scenery...LOL :woot

for me, it's the costumes and yes, the areas of Spain where it
was filmed...

I agree, critics can be harsh, so I never listen to them...if there is a
film I want 2C, I go and judge for myself.... :cool:

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Helen8
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Post by Helen8 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:21 pm

slimy, ambitious nobleman Antonio Perez (Jason Isaacs)

Smile when you say that, Buddy. :bat That's why we want to see this movie, despite you! And the scenery, and the costumes, and the architecture, and the lush music . . .

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Post by Angel Tavington » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm

I still want to see it, I love historical movies, period.

And I'm sure Jason is great as Antonio Perez :bat







~me

Gillian
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Post by Gillian » Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:14 pm

Smile when you say that, Buddy.
LOL!

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Post by Sea Lion Woman » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:47 pm

Variety NEVER likes any movie. Most of the reviews I've read from Variety are negative.
But it doesn't matter. Variety can...go suck an egg!

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Post by Chari910 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:27 pm

One member (Sun) on the British board got to see the film at the premiere


http://jasonisaacs.proboards54.com/inde ... thread=674

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kjshd05
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Post by kjshd05 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:48 pm

thanx Char that was an interesting review....from the UK board..

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Post by Gillian » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:57 pm

Thanks, Char. It's always interesting to read what goes on at these premieres.

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Helen8
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Post by Helen8 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:28 am

Mayor goes crazy for Julia. Can't blame him. She looked stunning at the premiere.

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Post by Hatsuan » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:00 pm

Critical these are for those that it is necessary to be grateful... Tomorrow I'm going to be going to see the movie, already I will give my opinion of if I have liked it or not....

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