A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life.
Sarah Michelle Gellar,
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Two lost souls: she a con-artist in L.A.; he a puppeteer in San Antonio have the same dream linking each with the other. He travels to L.A. to find this woman he has become obsessed with. ... See full summary »
A pregnant teenager flees her abusive mother in search of her father, only to be rejected by her stepmother and forced to survive on the streets until a compassionate stranger offers a hopeful alternative.
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In a dark and decadent area of São Paulo, the exiled Americans Sinatra and his son Paul own a brothel. Paul is a compulsive gambler addicted in cocaine and his father is married with the former prostitute Angie, and they have a little son. When a client is killed by his wife in their establishment, they find a suitcase with drugs. In the night that they have scheduled a negotiation with African buyers, their African liaison dies while having sex with the travesty Nazda. Sinatra proposes to the Nigerian dishwasher of the brothel, Wemba, to travel to the harbor of Santos, close the business with the drug dealers and in return he would receive a large amount. Wemba accepts but while returning to his car in the harbor, he is attacked by two smalltime thieves and passes out. His lack of contact with Sinatra and Paul leads to a sequence of misunderstandings with a tragic end. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I picked out this stinker in a hurry. The synopsis on the DVD cover seemed interesting at first glance. Scott Glenn was in it. But most of all it was set in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Exotic locations fascinate me. Big mistake!
The plot revolves around the owner of a brothel (Glenn) and his degenerate son (Brendan Fraser). The clueless pair stumble across a suitcase full of heroin, plot to sell it and divide the loot. We soon find out the coke-head son plans to double-cross his father. The tale is complicated by the sudden, unexpected death of their co-conspirator, a cocaine-launderer whom the father replaces with a dishwasher he hastily recruits from his brothel's kitchen. The story goes downhill from there.
The plot is shot full of holes. As a consequence, I was tempted to pull the DVD and watch cable news. Instead I stuck it out. Another big mistake.
Virtually every character in the movie is brain-dead and morally twisted. Fraser and his cronies are about as stupid and believable as the Keystone Cops or the Three Stooges. There is no character development, possibly because characters drop in and out of the story for no apparent reason (destiny?). Consequently, the action is contrived. Predictably, a bunch of characters are destined to be bullet-ridden, but by the end of the film, who really cares?
To make matters worse, the script is a poorly written piece of junk. Characters repeat themselves time and time again, either because the writer thinks we're as dumb as his characters or he wanted the film to last more than five minutes. As a result, the actors either sleepwalk (Glenn) through their role or play it so over the top (Fraser) as to be farcical. All the other actors similarly struggle with the poor script and weak plot.
What is the point of this pretentious tripe? It's hidden, no doubt, somewhere in the taglines ("You can escape anything but your destiny," and "Where life is cheap... and hope is priceless."). If you can make something out of that nonsense, you're wiser than I. This movie is pure fluff.
Oh, and since all the action takes place at night, Sao Paulo, Brazil is nothing but a dark, yellow-orange blur. They could have filmed this crap under sodium vapor lights in the streets of East LA and you couldn't tell the difference.
I rate it one star because this dreary journey is thankfully short and finally does end.
14 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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