Julián Torralba is a former movie stuntman in Almeria, Spain. He and several of his colleagues, who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain, now are reduced to doing stunt ...
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Álex de la Iglesia
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Álex de la Iglesia
José Antonio Álvarez
Julián Torralba is a former movie stuntman in Almeria, Spain. He and several of his colleagues, who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain, now are reduced to doing stunt shows for minuscule audiences on the decaying set built for those old Westerns. Julián wrestles with dark memories of the death of his son, also a stuntman, and with estrangement from his daughter-in-law Laura and her son Carlos. Carlos, a young boy, becomes intrigued with his late father's life and runs away to join Julián and his band of has-beens. There Carlos is initiated into the rambunctious life of these hard-drinking faux cowboys. But when Laura, a powerful executive looking for a new site for a tourist resort, learns that Carlos has joined the hated Julián, she moves to destroy even this remnant of Julián's once-proud career. Julián and the cowboys decide to fight back the only way they know how. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Álex de la Iglesia wanted Clint Eastwood to play himself in the film. He even offered to move to Los Angeles to shoot Eastwood's part. Eastwood, who was then working on the production of Mystic River (2003), was forced to turn down the offer. See more »
The man who takes the officers gun continues to shoot even when the gun is clearly out of ammunition. See more »
In Madrid, the boy Carlos (Luis Castro) never gets satisfactory answers about the life and death of his father and also about the work of his grandfather and former stuntman Julián (Sancho Gracia) from his executive mother Laura (Carmen Maura) and from his grandmother Rocío (Terele Pavez). While traveling on vacation to a ski station, Carlos escapes from the group of students and travels alone to Texas-Hollywood in Almeria, Spain, to know Julián, who works with his colleagues making shows in the decadent set of the old Western for small groups of tourists and telling his participations in movies like "Patton" and mostly as the stunt of Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's trilogy "Per un Pugno di Dollari", "Per Qualche Dollaro in Più" and "Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo". When the bitter Laura discovers that Carlos is visiting Julián, she decides to buy and destroy the studio using the place for a tourist resort. However, Julián buys eight hundred bullets to protect the village with his unemployed mates.
With "800 Balas", the cult director Álex de la Iglesia makes homage to those that made the desert film studios Texas-Hollywood in Almeria and to the end of the Spaghetti Western Era. The engaging dramatic comedy has great performances, well-developed characters and an unexpected tragic conclusion. I regret the absence of the cameo of the real Clint Eastwood, but Constantino Romero does a good job; and the corny change of decision of Laura in the end of the story, typically to give a commercial end to the great story. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "800 Balas" ("800 Bullets")
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