Havana 1957, "Sin Capital of the World" - Mafia run nightclubs, sex, drugs, booze and gambling. President Batista heads a dictatorship benefiting wealthy Yankee corporations; student ...
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Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, ... See full summary »
Behind the facade of a beautiful urban home, a combination of complacency and bad investments has left power couple Ben and Gail disconnected, resentful and just about broke. When the ... See full summary »
A lesbian, an aspiring actor, an aspiring singer, a low-class marriage, a neighborhood community and 2 renowned directors have memorable less-than-24-hour-long experiences while living in/visiting the capital of Cuba.
In Havana, transsexuals Odette, Juani and Malú wait for genital surgery - performed by European top surgeons and organized by the president's daughter, Mariela Castro. Castro is leading a ... See full summary »
In November 1958, the American teenager Katey Miller moves with her parents and her younger sister to Havana. Her father is an executive of Ford expatriated to Cuba, and Katey is an ... See full summary »
Havana 1957, "Sin Capital of the World" - Mafia run nightclubs, sex, drugs, booze and gambling. President Batista heads a dictatorship benefiting wealthy Yankee corporations; student radicals rally with the poor, and revolutionaries. Ruben Velez, a young cop believes in law and order where his fellow officers control the population with torture, intimidation, and murder. His partner, a dirty cop cold-bloodily murders a student and Velez's outrage is met with indifference and a warning: play the game or suffer the consequences. Juliana a beautiful Tropicana dancer identifies the corpse of a dancer whose murder Velez investigates. Juliana, a mobster's lover, feeds Velez inside information on the mob and its business---is she carrying out some elaborate game? Playing off the cop against the mob? Or is she falling in love with Velez. Written by
I had high hopes for this movie, especially given the glowing review by a previous reviewer, and perhaps I went into it with my expectations too high because of that.
My impression as I watched was that it had beautiful scenery, terrific sets, locations, props and actors. Visually, it was quite fantastic in an eye-candy sort of way. I thought the camera work and lighting were quite nicely done.
But the acting, to me, was not beautiful at all. From my point of view, it was quite stilted, stiff, dialogue delivered as if read from cue cards by students of over-clear enunciation school. It just didn't come off as natural to me, and kept me from immersing myself in the story, unfortunately.
When one actor's work in a film comes off as unconvincing or amateurish, I put the blame on that actor. But when it's a problem with all or nearly all of the actors in a film, I put the blame on the director, and that's the case here.
The story itself was mediocre, standard-fare good-cop-surrounded-by-bad- elements stuff, with no real surprises or notable twists to speak of, unless you're very new to the genre, which I'm not.
In the end, it's nothing I'd care to see again and, knowing what I know now, had I missed it, that would have been okay too.
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