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Very, very poor - SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Imagine a horror movie for 12 year old girls, not very exciting right? now imagine this 12 year old girlie horror made in Spain and produced by a TV channel...what you get? a cheesy romantic horror sort-of-vampire movie sci-fi channel style but with an abyssal budget.
Spanish actors are poor as always, dialogs are non existent, the film is boring, very boring, overlong, badly executed and with no final twist as redemption.
Not much more to say, with a screenplay sub par with Buffy vampire slayer, Supernatural or Charmed with unnecessary touches of Evil Dead or An American werewolf in London, all mixed up in the worst imaginable way.
Don't waste your time, nor your money.
Café solo o con ellas (2007)
As always happens with Spanish directors they seem to be more worried in showing beautiful naked young girls than in telling a good story, "Cafe solo o con ellas" (Coffee black or with girls) is nothing but a poor "American Pie" wannabe Spanish style which means more sex, poor jokes, abysmal acting and an absurd story...so what we get is nothing but a useless (and tasteless) pile of dump.
And so the Spanish industry goes, releasing this sort of movies in summer,trying to compete with big blockbusters like Spiderman 3; POTC:AWE or Transformers...
Save your money (and time) for a real movie.
Boring, overlong and pretentious
Just suffered the 2 hours and fifteen minutes of ALATRISTE (which means in English SAD WING, very sad movie indeed).
Where to start? the cast...apart from Viggo the rest of the cast are the Spanish actors(?) we have already seen in dozens of sub-erotic-comedies, socialist political acts and painful TV movies. We already know that these actors are not good enough, when they try to be dramatic they only can be pathetic (yes, I mean wooden Eduardo Noriega, cold as ice Ariadna Gil or overacted Juan Echanove. I'm sorry for Viggo, but after this film he will be approached in a "different" manner by the big Hollywood studios.
The script is confusing and the dialogs are cheesy most of the times...imagine a "Cyrano De Bergerac" with poor dialogs! Arturo Perez Reverte seems to be happy enough with the insulting amount of money he received for the rights of his Alatriste novels...who cares then?
ALATRISTE is going to be a disaster, is overlong, boring and, worst of all, pretentious, wants to be a historic thriller but also a romance, a action movie but with the feel and the "qualité" of the overproduced french movies...obviously too much for clumsy Agustin Diaz Yañes.
How much will the hype last?...the answer is easy...only this weekend, in Christmas 2007 you'll have it on the TV. Now you know it, save your money.
Uneasy but necessary
Caudillo by Basilio Martin Patino is a critic (but respectful) documentary about the life and times of Francisco Franco, people who says that it's all about fascism and propaganda do so because they haven't seen it.
Martin Patino is not a fascist, he's not very interested in politics either, and this film is part of a trilogy about Spain after the Civil war. The other two films are "Canciones para despues de una guerra" (Songs for after a war - devastating documentary against war and totalitarianism's) and "Queridisimos Verdugos" (Beloved executioners - a brutal documentary about death penalty in times of Francisco Franco) he doesn't take part, he only shows images and play music from the age...that's all, and Caudillo works in the same way, gives you images and sounds (as off voices) and you have to create the image of the world known dictator in your head.
An uneasy job, but its worth the effort.
Mágica aventura (1973)
Classic Spanish animation
Magica aventura (Magic adventure) is a completely new lecture of the classic tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Forgotten and unavailable for decades this essential (multi-awarded) piece in history of Spanish animation has just been released on DVD (in Spain) with loads of extras that make it a must buy for collectors.
I remember vividly when I saw this film for the first time, it was a Sunday matinée in a small town in the Spanish Pyrenees, I was 4 and I still can feel the magic, now I'm 34 and I've seen it many times more since then.
Sure the animation is dated, but that's the point , that's why it is a classic!!! and kids wont notice, forget about the violent cartoons of today, this is a children's film, as clean as it should be, friendly, warm and unforgettable.
A classic for children of all ages. You shouldn't miss this one.
Pecos è qui: prega e muori! (1967)
Exotic and funny
Apart from the dreadful south American dubbing of my DVD I must admit that PECOS CLEANS UP (AKA Pecos and the treasure of Moctezuma) is a good way to spend 90 minutes, if you are into Spaghetti westerns this one is a exotic rarity that you don't want to miss.
Imagine the only descendant of Moctezuma who rules a gang of ruthless bandits and lives inside an Aztec pyramid craved on a lost canyon, that's the villain...now imagine that the lost gold of Moctezuma is somewhere in a cave and our hero (and three mariachis) are the only ones who knows where to find the treasure, there's also a map and a bunch of soldiers...strange story for a western? sure, but it works fine and is also a movie for the entire family, not much violence, total absence of sex, some funny jokes and bloodless shootouts make the movie suitable for kids and probably they will enjoy it a lot.
Good for a matinée.
Réquiem para el gringo (1968)
Weird and entertaining
"Requiem para un gringo" is the kind of eurowestern that is hard to define. The main character is dressed in a Leopard suit...but he's also an Astrologist!!! Apart from that, the story is simple as in many westerns vengeance is the only point, but not the usual vengeance, I wont say much, don't want to spoil it...I gave you a clue already.
L. Merino, the director, was more interested in horror and sci-fi than in westerns, maybe that is why this film looks (and works) as an horror film in many moments, which makes it much more interesting and bizarre, the dialogues are somewhat silly, but the camera work is very rich and the acting is good enough, as you can imagine the movie is full of stereotypes as it was made in Spain in the late sixties "golden age" of Spanish westerns. Marisa Paredes (Pedro Almodovar's favorite actress) appears in this film (at the age of 18) more beautiful than ever, but also check out for other beautiful women...
Must say that I enjoyed the movie a lot. Don't miss this one if you have the chance.
Not really a sequel...
Watching "La noche del terror ciego" and "El ataque de los muertos sin ojos" (original Spanish names for blind dead 1 - 2) on the same night is the easiest way to find out that both movies have really nothing to do with each other but the blind zombies.
On the first movie templar's eyes are eaten by crows, on the second they are blinded with fire, but also some of the actors that died in the first movie appears with different names on the second (which is confusing at times), forget about the creepy ending of the first "episode" this one starts with a fiesta on a villa near the knight's castle. Probably because the second movie is nothing but a "remake" of the first, even using some footage from that one, repeating some situations and even some dialogues, so it's not really a sequel...but is big fun anyway and still worth watching...not on the same night if possible.
Disappointment, that's the word that fits best to what I felt when watching Episode III. Reasons? there are lots, beginning with dozens of movie "references" (from Titanic to Frankenstein passing through Bram Stoker's Dracula or Aliens...to name just a few), cheesy acting, poor script and last but not least PAINFUL Spanish dubbing...
We have seen it all before, we know about the perfect CGI graphics and the massive battles, we all know what is going to happen in episodes IV - V and VI , we also know about the POOOOOOR acting...so there's no place for surprise, no place for excitement and probably no place for real entertainment, the film is boring, the soundtrack is messy, the movie goes very fast or too slow...a big disappointment, a poor ending to a legendary movie saga...forget episodes I,II and III and stay with the real thing.
Van Helsing (2004)
KATE BECKINSALE I LOVE YOU!
I wont discuss with anyone what VAN HELSING should have been, I'll discuss what it is...and it is a TERRIFIC piece of entertainment, an over the top action-adventure flick and, above it all, it also is the confirmation of Kate Beckinsale as the horror-film diva of the 21st century, the most beautiful, exciting and powerful presence seen on the screen since Barbara Steele.
VAN HELSING is the sort of film I loved when I was 12...now I'm 32 but I still love this sort of movies if they are done with this concept in mind...The special effects are probably the best ever seen on a movie like this, the cast is almost perfect, splendid music and the screenplay...screenplay? who needs a screenplay when you are having so much fun?