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The Lost City (2005)
This movie sucks!
OK, so we all know Andy Garcia is a very strong opposer to the Castro regime, a true US *buddy* (as he should be, since it's the country which pretty much gave him everything he has) therefore his one-sided view of the Cuban Revolution was something that everyone who knows a little bit about him had to expect. He couldn't have chosen better characters to prove his own point also a wealthy family whose main source of income was a nightclub (an entertainment for tourists and Americans who owned businesses in Cuba and lived there...the actual Cubans had no access to such places), I mean, OF COURSE they were gonna be hurt by the Revolution. Now don't get me wrong I don't doubt it all happened "more or less exactly", if you know what I mean, the way it's depicted in the movie. I just think that the people supported the new regime so enthusiastically and some still do for a reason. I am no fidelista, but I don't condemn the old guy 100% either.
If this was the whole problem with this movie though, it could still have been good. Even a movie with an incredibly more terrible premise can be a masterpiece just look at Leni Riefenstahl's work, most notably "Triumph of will" and "Olympia". What makes "The lost city" a terrible movie is the fact that it's cheesy almost to the point of being ridiculous (the love story/all the dialogue/the "sentimental" music played over the "emotional" moments) and the acting is less than stellar and that is me being nice. Inés Sastre is specially terrible, which surprised me as I remember having liked her in "Um amor de Borges". No. Andy Garcia's movie's just simply awful, regardless of how he deals with the Cuban Revolution. Bill Murray's always a hoot to watch, but if you like the guy "Lost in translation" and "Broken flowers", just to mention more recent titles, are much better choices. Cuban music's your thing? You don't need "The lost city" go watch Win Wenders' fascinating documentary "Buena Vista Social Club".
Hey Andy I still like you man, better luck next time!
En la ciudad sin límites (2002)
Can bad music ruin a good movie?
I saw "En la ciudad sin límites" a couple of months ago in the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and I left the movie theatre with mixed feelings about it...I mean, the story is very interesting and interestingly told and all the actors are very well (gotta love Geraldine Chaplin and a very hot and talented Leo Sbaraglia), but hey, nothing in life is perfect, right?
The movie begins with Sbaraglia's character, Victor, re-joining his family in Europe after years of reclusion in Argentina. His father Max (Fernando Fernán Gómez, superb) is dying - and losing his mind-, so the three sons and their mom Marie (Chaplin) have to decide what to do with the family business. It doesn't take too long, though, for Victor to find out that Max's so-called delusions are based on secrets buried in his past, so the estranged son embarks on a desperate journey to uncover the whole story to allow his father to die in peace - even if it means he has to go against the rest of the family.
SOUNDS good? Well, not actually..."En la ciudad sin límites"'s score might be one of, if not THE worst in the history of moviemaking. Seriously, it exaggerates the moods, creates (or at least tries to create) emotions which are totally different from the ones the images and script pass...a total disaster. But if you can get past that, you won't be disappointed, given that the subplots are also very very interesting and the ending, though not entirely unpredictable, fits like a glove the critic to the traditional, high society.
I saw "Les invasions barbares" ("The barbarian invasions") a few weeks after "En la ciudad sin límites" and the two have lots of similarities, though the Canadian film exchanges the suspense/mystery factor for a political tone. I know a lot of people will want to kill me, but if it wasn't for the terrible music, I'd say the Spanish movie's better, 'cos quite frankly I don't know what's all the fuss about "Invasions", seriously. I'm 21, but a friend of mine who's the same age thought it was amazing and, on the other hand, my mom, who's 47, didn't think much of it - that proves it has nothing to do with age. I don't know, for me, it just didn't bring anything new...but I shouldn't be talking about it here...
Well, anyway, I say go see "En la ciudad sin límites" if you have a chance. I gave it a 7 out of 10 because of the score, but the movie itself is a solid 8 or even a 9. Two thumbs up.