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|Index||82 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've been wanting to see this film for the last year. Without any wide release, I had to wait for a film festival to screen it. It is an amazing achievement for first time director Dito Mantiel. The story is so raw and heart wrenching that if it weren't actually true I would call it overly melodramatic. His portrayal of 1980's New York is so full of live and death that you fear for every step that these kids take down the street. Performances by all of the cast are extremely powerful, especially Channing Tatum who can barely be contained on screen. These kids are forced to become adults so fast that they have no choice but to stomp on each other, die or break away. By the end of the film it's no wonder why Dito made the heart breaking decision to leave all of it behind.
This is one of the best films I've seen in years. I can't even remember
the last time I left a movie feeling this way. I sat around for an hour
afterward reflecting on what I had just experienced. My life is nothing
even remotely close to what was portrayed but I left it feeling like it
was my own.
A powerfully moving film with performances that are nothing short of brilliant. It's actually very hard to believe that this is a debut for the director. I'm looking forward to great things from him. It's really a shame that this film doesn't have the credit it deserves.
This is a MUST SEE!
"My name is Scotsbag, and I'm going to leave this movie. In the recycle
Just watched it on the always-execrable Sundance Channel, and here are the 5 highlights of the film:
1.) ah, hold on... 2.) no, wait, um... 3.) almost had it... 4.) jeez... 5.) what was I saying?
On the plus side, the nudity was good, though more would have been better. But it was truly a shame that each character couldn't have been killed off; people this profoundly stupid are inarguably better off dead.
Excellent actors trapped in a vanity piece that was technically well-crafted but populated with characters who apparently escaped from South Park and Goodfellas.
"Aside from that, did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"
This is drama that explodes off the screen. All the elements are at such full potential that you have no choice but to become fully immersed in the story. Not only is it an impressive story, but so visually staggering that it reminds us what cinema can do. Overwhelmingly effective, "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints" delivers something special and has every right to rank alongside the work of John Cassavetes. You can also easily compare it to something like "KIDS" but you have to realize how much more is at stake within this story and the man who is telling it. Montiel's aesthetic creativity is not manipulative nor affected. It will challenge you relentlessly and honestly. A film experience of this caliber happens very rarely and I have to salute the filmmakers for this absolutely inspiring accomplishment.
i am certainly not trying to be combative towards the previous
reviewer, however, my view of the film is quite different. whether or
not this is an exact depiction of '85 Astoria, Queens is somewhat
irrelevant. it is, is supposed to be, a memoir. thus it is portrayed, i
believe, from a memory perspective. i won't tell you specifically why i
believe this, but it becomes apparent, i believe, stylistically.
i definitely give it a 9 out of 10
well i tried to keep this short and sweet, but apparently IMDb doesn't like that. so i'll talk about the weather, for fear of over-expectationalizing (my word) the film. today is somewhere in the vicinity of 80 degrees. 80 degrees! so i'm about to meet up with a friend and bust out my star wars: epic duels game in union square. it's a great game, regardless of it's star wars connection.
Unscripted 'actors showcase' mess with Scorcese imitation scenes and yet another another another deluge of retarded Noo Yawk gang behavior. It might be fascinating for anyone who has not ever seen THE WARRIORS or RAGING BULL or Saturday NIGHT FEVER any other copycat tedious droning of slum nonsense that has littered the screens for good and bad reasons for the past 30 years but this film is just stoopid with stoopid characters doin stoopid things again again again. Chazz Palimentari babbling on in the kitchen like he is attempting a Christopher Walken imitation... and yakking over the top of everyone else........... there is enough irritations to see you stomp from the theater in eye rolling anguish... or put your own foot thru your own TV. The glorious Dianne Weist is wasted yet again, the sensational and fascinating Channing Tatum is a goon here, and street scenes clearly improv are just tedious and annoying. What is Robert Downey Jr doing in this? Who owed who a favor? This is a sloppy film deliberately sloppy posing as street art. Well it is cinema graffiti and idiotic and offers nothing new. Awful. At several moments a script is actually put on screen as if to suggest this thing actually was scripted. Bugger off.
Reading most people's comments on here, I just don't get it. All these
positive comments must come from the cast and crew and their family
members. This move was god-awful and I would advise many not to spend
their time watching it.
Having lived in Astoria for many years, I can say that this movie is completely bogus. They set up Astoria as some poor neighborhood, and all the characters wear the same ripped clothing in each scene. But the undisputed truth is that Astoria has been a middle-class (presently very expensive) neighborhood since the 70's at least. So the basis of the main characters being poor and unprivileged is completely incorrect.
The dialog is hard to sit through, and incredibly slow moving. the editing is erratic and dizzying. the wanna-be artsy camera techniques are nauseating. This is a horrible movie, point blank. I have NEVER walked out of a movie in my life .. and this was so close to becoming the first one.
There are some movies which are made for a special group of people who lived at a certain place at a certain moment and they may enjoy them because they feel identified.But,for the rest of the people,the experience is not too satisfactory.That's what it happened to me with A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.There are some good elements on this movie but there are some important fails.First of all,I felt the screenplay very slow and tired.I think the film lacked of some dynamism which would have made the movie better.Plus,there are too much irrelevant moments which could have easily been deleted.So,all that elements,make the movie a little bit boring.For the good sight,the film has good performances.We can easily expect that from actors like Robert Downey Jr and Chazz Palminteri but the member of the cast who stands out is Shia LaBeouf who brings a brilliant performance.I had never paid very much attention to his career because of his generic performances on craps like Transformers or Indiana Jones : Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but,on this movie,he shows he can be an excellent actor when he wants.Also,this movie makes a good portrait of "pre-Giuliani" New York.A Guide to Recognizing You Saints is a difficult movie to recommend because it's a movie which was specially made to be seen by people who feel identified with the things that this film shows.But,I think I can give this film a slight recommendation,specially for the brilliant performances.
How many movies have we watched about New York natives? Most of us have
seen Little Italy in Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets." Spike Lee's
"Summer of Sam" shows us the South Bronx. There is the disturbing
"Kids" and "The Basketball Diaries," among others.
Dito Montiel's first film, written and directed by him from his book, shows us Queens in the 80s.
I do not have a thing for New York. I watched the movie to see more of Shia LaBeouf, who plays Dito as a teen. Robert Downey, Jr. picks up the character as an adult.
I also watched for the brief glimpse of Rosario Dawson, who plays his girlfriend, Laurie, as an adult. Melonie Diaz is Laurie as a teen.
Is it as good as the billing? After all, it did gather five wins and another seven nominations at various film festivals.
I haven't made up my mind completely. LaBeouf was great, I always love seeing Rosario Dawson, Downey seemed flat - without emotion. I guess you had to be there, and I wasn't.
its just a dead end actor's piece with horrible direction, sorta a stab
at indie film only with lucid (and run if the mill) typical Hollywood
the movie tricks you into thinking its real to life, but the truth is that life at least has explanations for events. further more how can you care about characters, whom appear only as the are with no explanations for how and who they are (only showing a father beat a kid in the street is lazy) its called basic story telling for a reason.
everyone just wanted to be involved in a "gritty real life drama" including the director himself. actors were drawn to it to try and get chops for dramatic exposure, like when Shia punched a wall in an audition.... gritty hardcore, just like black flag.
yes it showed disillusionment in youth but doesn't every hip hop/urban dance/rap movie show that, along with poor race relations. I mean at least ROLL BOUNCE had a real arc for the lead, without alienating the other characters, while building to an actual conclusion.
bottom line is this: reality is that all the characters were dragging the lead down, even the girlfriend or the Scott, they "get by" unhappily in how they all live. they only want support because they have no means to advance, anything but being ignorant leads them to confusion, just like any one trying to place a real story in this never ending plot hole of schlock. so just like anyone who'd watch this again, you like the lead would need to have a lot of balls (or no brains) to want to return to a life in Purgatory.
...and please make sure the editor never works again.
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