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|51 reviews in total|
ANDALUCÍA CHICA is a poorly done homage to the great singer Antonio
Molina, who died four years after this film was made. The intention, I
guess, was to make a nostalgic story where Antonio doesn't play
himself, but Curro, a man from Andalucía who visits Catalonia and meets
different people from the title's 'Andalucía chica' (Little Andalucía),
migrants from the south of Spain who now live in Catalonia. Obviously,
Curro sings like Molina (although in very unfortunate playbacks) and
people are amazed, even a group of detectives, girls and business men
who follow Curro everywhere, but are never properly developed so their
part in the film is really confusing.
Add to that the amateurish way to shoot the scenes, with people in the streets watching the cameras, the use of non-professional actors who simply can't deliver their lines and the fact that Molina, like many singers, wasn't a good actor. There is supporting work of many known actors like Raquel Evans, Santi Sans or Víctor Israel (whose career never ceases to surprise me), whose presence is the only thing interesting. The rest, however, is complete rubbish.
The ideas are there and the basis for a good film, but this ANDALUCÍA CHICA was done without care and is an awful disgrace to the excellent artist Antonio Molina.
In the early 80s there were in Spain many films done by then popular
children music bands, a little market of movies that lasted briefly and
that were clearly dominated by the most popular band: Parchís.
Another one of those bands, less popular, was Regaliz and this LA REBELIÓN DE LOS PÁJAROS was their first film. The movie, which is a rather good ecologist tale surprisingly well told and acted, does something very smart which most Parchís films didn't; it doesn't base its quality and plot 100 % in the band. Sure, Regaliz is there, they sing and dance and act, but the movie is filled with many other things which make it interesting.
First of all the plot, the sudden disappearance or death of all birds in the city and how this reacts, a very original one in this kind of films, not perfectly executed, but that leaves you intrigued. And then the many actors that do a remarkable job: Jorge Sanz, then a child actor, who proves he was already talented, Assumpta Serna playing the nice and warm dance teacher, Alfred Luchetti and Montserrat Carulla as the strict yet loving parents of the Sanz character and many other performers, veterans or not, whose parts are sometimes of the blink-and-you-miss kind: well known genre actors like Mir Ferry or Victor Israel, Catalan people like Inma Colomer, Llatzer Escarceller, Josep Lluís Fonoll, Joan Pera and a big etcetera. There are even cameos of well known soccer player Quini and her daughter and a nice part for Arianna Grañena (who later played Eugenio's daughter in UN GENIO EN APUROS) as Sanz's little sister, she should have made more films.
All in all, a competent attempt and mix of an ecologist message, musical numbers and showcase of talented performers. As I say, I was surprised...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A "thing" like "Una rosa al viento" can't barely be called movie, being
as it is so dead and with nothing that can interest any viewer. More
than a film it's an homage (or auto-homage) to the already old and
retired Xavier Cugat, more about his talent finder side that his own
life; obviously, something with these characteristics is unwatchable,
the hour and a half it lasts is filled with a silly plot, and really
awful scenes like one where Cugat remembers a musical number he once
saw shown in parallel with some kind of dreadful dance made by the main
character, a young girl and also a brief cartoon with Cugat and his
humor at his worst.
Any hint of character development is inexistent and the homage aspect makes everything on-screen (like the ending) unbelievable. Terrible and dumb movie, with with at least one good thing: Alfredo Landa, that even in this mess is fantastic as usual as the young girl's father. Avoid completely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the rules that exploitation films (being about sex or horror)
should follow is to go straight to the point without wasting time with
other things; the intentions of those movies are clear and the possible
interest of the audience lies in those intentions.
"L'affittacamere" is another one of those awful Italian comedies that are nothing more than a mix of cheap eroticism, where the cute girl gets naked over and over, and gross humor. The problem here is that gross humor is the main subject here and in this kind of film that's unforgivable.
Gloria Guida is the cute girl (actually the only one) who inherits a mansion with her sister that they will use as a hotel; during the movie many guests arrive, some of them really weird, and their interactions with the girl is what the plot is about. There are delirious things like a judge obsessed with signing on female body parts or the junkie police dog, but 100 % of the movie is completely unfunny and the nudity is almost non-existent. Terrible.
Catalan cinema has never been anything special when compared to the
rest of the films made in Spain; it has good actors, writers and
directors and sometimes something really good is done (like "Amic/Amat"
or "El perquè de les coses"), but normally the overuse of many boring
subjects like typical comedies makes this cinema become bad.
"Primats" is not the exception, but a good proof of that. It's a peculiar and original comedy, but a very unfunny one, it's a reflection about sex and love, but completely empty and finally an adaptation of a story from Quim Monzó but that nothing has in common with his talent and personality. The director, Jover, tried to innovate and that is to be praised, but you have to know how to do things right and he doesn't. The results and unbearable.
Another one of the terrible productions from the worst period of
Spanish cinema, awful but with a couple of good things. The plot is
your typical erotic stuff, a doctor that feels sexually attracted to
his beautiful nurse and that begins a relationship with her. Of course
this is just an excuse to show Cantudo and a couple of other actresses
in situations more or less erotic.
The good things I mention is that the movie is shot in Pamplona during the San Fermín days and it can be seen as a good documentary of the time about that tradition. So, between so much nudity and emptiness, you can see shot on first hand and with a film camera, the "chupinazo", the "encierros", the arrival to the square, etc. A peculiar characteristic that makes "La trastienda" not a film to discard completely if only because of that footage. The rest, as I said, is horrible.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The subject of a person away from the world and that suddenly opens
himself to it has been done a lot of times in the movies, there's
"Nell", "Bad Boy Bubby", etc. "Blue Skies Are a Lie" begins like a
modest version of the subject in the same way "The Quiet Earth" was
about the end of the world, showing a man that for 7 years hasn't left
his home and whose only contact with the outside world is a mail-woman
that brings him food, medicines and stuff he needs for his work (he's a
This first part of the film is very typical, though very interesting, showing the relationship between the two characters and scenes like one where he's forced to leave the house. But where the movie shows its greatness is in the later part, where we see how the main character really is, what is his origin and why he decided to lock himself in the house, because of how painful and cruel the world is for him.
"Blue Skies Are a Lie" is a tremendous film, very hard if you think about it and realizes that this man ends up like that because of us, because of the world, not unlike Henry from "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer". A brilliant film, not without flaws, but excellent.
You can tell by watching this movie that Marcello Mastroianni wanted to
depart from his image of romantic lead and that although "Il momento
piu bello" has a love story, the film goes by different paths. So I
guess Mastroianni was satisfied.
The problem is that this movie doesn't really know where is going, as I say it looks like the love story is the main theme here, but soon it turns into some kind of documentary about painless births, pregnancies and more stuff about maternity (I know, it sounds absurd). The film is watchable because of the two main characters who have real chemistry (after all is Mastroianni we're talking about) and some moments really well done, but more than a feature film it looks like an educational film for pregnant women. An advice: forget about 80 % of the movie and focus in the love story, there lies what's good about it.
Fernando Colomo keeps using the same comedy pattern in practically
every film he does; this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because
sometimes it works perfectly and the lack of originality isn't noticed.
In this case the results are simply decent, the usual mix of romance
and bitterness with funny moments that worked so well in "Bajarse al
moro", but that here never gets to fascinate like it did in that movie.
The film follows a plot structure already seen and done a thousand times and frankly, sometimes it gets boring and tiresome. The movie works because of some really good moments, excellent secondary characters (like Cámara) and a very good cast. But obviously the film won't make history.
In this movie something happens that also occurred in Urbizu's previous
film, of similar title and identical subject, "Cómo ser mujer y no
morir en el intento" (How to be a woman and not die trying) and is that
the same message that carries the film (clearly feminist) is introduced
in a forced and not very real way, making the characters that surround
the main protagonist (in both movies Carmen Maura) simple archetypes
based in clichés, being the main character the center of the Universe.
All this in a film that pretends to invite to think makes that what we're being told we don't believe it at all. On the other side, and also like in the previous film, there are enough strictly cinematic elements to make the movie interesting; the subtext supposedly is about a successful woman in spite of all the difficulties she goes through, but all this isn't portrait very good.
The movie is almost saved by the actors. Maura, Antonio Resines, Fernando Valverde and Irene Bau are excellent. 6 out of 10.
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