A writer’s story, Jlo’s performance, and a CIA-assassin on the run
By Oliver Carnay

Three films I’ve seen during its media screening and still currently in release are – “Becoming Jane” from Miramax Films, Universal Pictures’ “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and the dramatic film “El Cantante” from Picturehous. Common in three films are solid performances from main lead actors, its well-scripted screenplay, and best soundtracks.

Becoming Jane, directed by Julian Jarrold, is based on the early life of famous author Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice), played by Anne Hathaway (Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diary) and her flirtatious affair with Thomas Langlois Lefroy, played by BAFTA-nominated Scottish actor james McAvoy. The movie, which is inspired by real events chronicled in the book with the same title (written by Jon Spence), is peppered with elegant costumes designed by Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and original soundtrack composed by Adrian Johnston.

(Photo by Oliver Carnay: Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez at the EL CANTANTE Premiere held at the Directors Guild of America)

El Cantante which had its Los Angeles Premeire on Tuesday (July 30) at the Directors Guild of America saw real-life couple Jennifer Lopez (who also served as an executive producer for the film) and husband Marc Anthony at the red carpet with guests Ana Ortiz, Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, Maria Conchita Alonso, Leonor Rivera, Lupe Ontiveros, and many others. At the Tip Sheet given to the media, David and Victoria Beckham, Tom Cruise, Jada and Will Smith were expected to attend but provided a “no-show.” Co-writer and director Leon Ichaso and co-star Manny Perez also attended. The film is the dramatic-biography based on the life story of Puerto Rican salsa pioneer singer Hector Lavoe (exceptionally played by Marc Anthony) and his passionate relationship with Puchi (in a bold and surprising performance by Jennifer Lopez). The film follows his skyrocket to the international fame, his unable to escape the allure of drugs, his attempted suicide, and the his untimely death from AIDS.

“The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third and purportedly final installment of the Jason Bourne identity saga is a pounding, pulsating-thriller that provides almost constant adrenaline rush for two hours. Matt Damon returns as the former C.I.A. officer in search of his own identity. Bourne dodges new, superior assassins as he searches for his unknown past while a government agent tries to track him down. Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Blood Sunday) is back in the director chair. The film also stars Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, Edgar Ramirez, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, among others. (“Bourne Ultimatum” photos by Josue Bustos/International Artists; “El Cantante” L.A. Premiere photos by Oliver Carnay/International Artists. More photos at Photo Gallery)