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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Watching the dedication of Jorge Ameer

5/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
18 March 2007

Now and then we see early films by a well-trained and well-educated writer/director and enjoy the journey from amateur to professional status. Jorge Ameer has been actively and consistently making films since 2000 (with an earlier 1994 work) and it is therefore disappointing that he has not been able to garner financial backing to step beyond the low budget status that grounds his latest feature CANTADORA IS FOR LOVERS. Why is that happening? For starters Ameer needs to assign the writing of his screenplays to others, find a competent cinematographer with the right equipment to step beyond the video state, and spend time with his actors in rehearsal and polish before the film is committed to the can. This particular film demonstrates all of those flaws. The story - an engaged couple Mike (Vincent De Paul) and Maria (Christina Antelo) arrive on the off-Panama island of Cantadora where they are warmly received by host Gabriel (Tony Sago) - has a good setup, but very quickly turns into an impractical love triangle with the bifurcated aspects of each character skipped over so quickly that the progress of the interrelationships just falls flat. Gabriel is gay and manages to swoop Mike off for a hike on the island Gabriel 'knows like the back of his hand' only to 'get lost' and spend the night on the beach where some very rusty and insensitive attempts to show attraction and rejection are shown. Barely questioning the previous night's events Maria works back into the vacation and touches of ambiguity fizzle like water on hot rocks. It seems Ameer wants to explore bisexuality but just doesn't understand the conflicts well enough to place words in the mouths of his actors.

Each of the actors is attractive and at the beginning of the film there is hope that they can also act. But the script and the filming and direction prevent this little travelogue crew from sinking with the sunset. Maybe next time....Grady Harp

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A great journey--"Contadora is for Lovers"

10/10
Author: SAM Bradshaw from United States
22 December 2006

Rather enjoyed "Contadora is for Lovers". The cast worked very well together!! It had the feeling of "Blue Lagoon" and "Summer Lovers". The film worked for me. I felt for each one of the characters. I would have like to have seen more of Gabriel, Mike, and Helen partying on the island. I think that they are a fun bunch. The island and the place they stayed looked really nice... Is that a real hotel??? Overall it was a moving story. Very good performances by the actors. It was visually enjoyable to watch!!! Also Gabriel's boss was very concerned about him. She portrayed her character with great sincerity!! She was like a mentor and friend that help him with his decisions. I enjoyed her performance!!! Overall a great movie!!

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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

"Contadora is for Lovers" Stands out with great performances!!!

10/10
Author: boxerdz from United States
21 December 2006

I agree the movie has many brilliant moments!! Very well directed by Ameer!!!! I disagree with the comparison to "The House of Adam". Like every film it is about personal taste. "Contadora" is an exotic locale film with a Latin feel. "The House of Adam" is a "Rustic Big Bear" American tale. YES--both are love stories. The only commonality is the director, screen writer, producer Jorge Ameer. I also strongly disagree with your perception of Mike - Vincent De Paul (PS: You spelled his name wrong in your review and writers had noticed your other comments about him) in so much as that his performance I thought was genuine... Really the writing is somewhat stilted.... The writer director I read is Brazalian born and Panama native. I believe that English is Jorge Ameer's second language. So , of course the phrasing of the script is generic ... I think that De Paul, Sago/Santiago (as you commented) and Pietrangelo were great as an ensemble. But back to De Paul he is very much the brooding emotional guy. OK he has a nice face and stuff but his performance should in no way be discounted... Also in the story he is coming to grips with the struggle between his fiancé and the feelings that the Panamanian host is feeling for him. He comes off as conflicted and emotionally distraught. He reacts in the movie with great truth. It appeared very natural and unrehearsed to me. Is that not the basis of great actors. In the movie you are seeing his raw behavior for the first time.... All three looked very realistic and un staged to the viewer. They were existing in the moment and experiencing their journey. I had noticed from your other comments that you had written that you are setting up a platform for "The House of Adam" against "Contadora is for Lovers". I think that is somewhat wrong. Each film by the same director should be judged on their own merits. Also I think that Ariztical Entertainment who is distributing "Contadora is for Lovers" is a great company. They select quality films with great performances. They are certainly building bridges in getting films out their with unique subject matters.. This film is for sure one of them. PS: LAY off of De Paul I read other user comments and have seen his work and he is a good guy!!! Vincent is a "Natural" Leading man not just a pretty face!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Recommended

7/10
Author: sean-1025 from United States
27 August 2007

Contadora Is For Lovers is the second Jorge Ameer movie I've seen. I think Mr. Ameer handles his subject matter with honesty and sensitivity. To be sure, Contadora Is For Lovers has some rough camera work and dialog that would benefit from reworking, but his ability to tell a story is refreshing when compared to the canned big budget product offered by the larger studios. On the night I watched Contadora Is For Lovers I also watched Perfect Stranger which for all the millions that went into it and the "acting talents" of its' stars was ridiculous. I preferred Mr. Ameers' movie. I am looking forward to seeing his next film The House Of Adam which appears to have had more of a budget for him to work with. I have become intrigued with this young film maker and I expect that he has bigger and better films in his future. Contadora Is For Lovers is well worth watching even if you are not a student of film. It is a testimony to what can be done with little more than talent and a desire to make movies.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Fun & frolic on the Island of Contadora

9/10
Author: jasonmckensey from United States
4 February 2007

This is a great film for anyone thinking of visiting Contadora Island off the gulf of Panama. It's one of those film where you wish you were there with the characters frolicking and sunbathing while treating yourself to a massage and Pina colada. It's a very simple story yet fun and enjoyable to watch. I believe most will be able to empathize with the Gabriel character. I felt for him. His plight and his inability to find someone available leads him into impossible relationships. Apparently, its not the first time he's gotten involved with couples since his boss warns him about getting involved with people who are unavailable to him. He chooses to ignore her good judgment and ends up in the same predicament as she forewarned him. The film does a great job showing us how we are all creatures of habit. However, I was very surprise by the reaction of the fiancé. All in all a good little film. If I ever have the time and money to go anywhere, Contadora (Panama) will be first on my list.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Shockingly Bad Movie

1/10
Author: sdallenhou from Houston, Texas USA
10 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From one of the stars stumbling over his first line in the movie to the sophomoric script to the bad lighting and jerky camera movement, this film delivers a product that you will swear was made on a $23 budget. Even the parts that were intended to be provocative were immature in both script and execution.

The premise was interesting--but every aspect of the film failed to deliver. The actors playing the main characters were attractive enough to engage the imagination, but all of the acting performances were on a part with the terribly script, directing, sound, lighting, videography, and editing. It's incredulous that a movie about budding bisexuality would have what were supposed to be sex scenes with nothing close to sex even being simulated. We were dumbfounded.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A fascinating mess

Author: LuvSopr
20 October 2011

The budget for this film was clearly low, and, if the very clumsy travelogue scenes are any indication, was probably even lower than we might imagine (most of them are OK but there's this hilariously bad scene where the film stops dead so Tony Sago can force out a lengthy history lesson of Conatadora). I think even a low budget can be overcome by a strong enough script. Unfortunately a very promising idea -- a young couple change the lives of an emotionally wounded man and he does the same for them -- goes out the window early on. There is no development for Renee Pietrangelo's character and you get the impression she's only in the movie because they thought a three-way relationship would get more attention than a gay romance. Her reactions to what happens with her fiancé (Vincent De Paul) and their host (Tony Sago) are bad camp which would make Joan Crawford blush. There are no scenes where Renee properly deals with the idea of her fiancé also desiring men, and there are no scenes where Renee falls for Tony Sago. You may come to the conclusion she has undiagnosed mental problems.

In the acting sweepstakes, Vincent De Paul, who looks a little like soap star Thom Bierdz, is often wooden, but has some moments towards the end of the film. He is better when he isn't given meandering speeches about the meaning of life.

Tony Sago, when not given scenes that show distress or whining, impressed me. He's very smiley, which doesn't quite work with what the character is supposed to be early in the film, but he has a good screen presence and believably plays bashful.

The first scene with the three of them is infantile and I'm not sure how it ever made it past the script stage. The second is much better.

Probably the strongest scene in the film is the one where the two men go for a swim. It may be a cliché, but at least clichés are reliable, and the actors have a good chemistry.

The funniest scene is at a restaurant table, halfway through the movie. You have to see it for yourself.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fresh, unique and not predictable

8/10
Author: migster888 from Southern California
16 April 2007

Definitely enjoyed this film! So many twists involved - makes you want to be in the film and join the cast! Vincent's performance felt real and refreshing. What a beautiful man - inside and out! Shows that he cares about his work and the same time one can see that he truly enjoys acting. Definitely picked the right man for the part! I can relate to this film as I had similar experiences. We all have these bisexual tendencies and or had caught up with it it one time in our life, right? I liked how the film gave historical facts about Contadora - definitely gave a light to the name of the film. Thanks for the entire cast, especially Vincent's performance for keeping my afternoon entertained! Is there a part two coming soon?

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

light entertaining travelogue

10/10
Author: luciavalentinoCC from Dallas, Texas
12 February 2007

Definitely entertaining and worth watching. The acting was on the lean side, but all in all, the film did have its moments. Unlike many of the reviews I've read here, I'm in no way related to the director, but I did like this film. I did not even know there was a place called Contadora, much less it be an island off the coast of Panama. I found the storyline to be original, fresh and well developed. This story retold with a large budget and stars would make a terrific remake. I did like the scenery, locales and dialogue. The DVD extras include a special of the filmmakers next project "House of Adam". It looked interesting and will look out for it when it's released.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Awful, awful, awful

1/10
Author: gwoof from United States
11 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, is this a bad movie. Really, really bad. Acting is stilted, dialog is trite, camera-work is amateurish. They seem to be doing everything possible to keep you from caring about these characters. The actors are sexy, sure, but they do everything they can to make you NOT care about them. Did I mention the production values? The sound is god-awful. You hear clunks and wind and background conversation -- everything but the dialog. They really could have used a SteadyCam, too. The camera constantly bounces around, suddenly lurching off to the side. The acting is so unconvincing as to be comic. There's nothing virtually nothing to recommend this movie.

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