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Pencho15

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22 reviews in total 
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Morgenthau Trailer, 10 May 2015
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love to find, watch and rate rare movies in the IMDb, so whenever I have time I take a dive in the less voted films and see which of them I can find, that is how I ended up watching Morgenthau Trailer, which since it has no copyright can be found in YouTube and seen. The Morgenthau trailer is both one of the shortest and less voted films in 1942, it is a product of its time, being one of probably hundred of short films made in an attempt to get the citizens in the United States to buy war bonds to support the expensive war effort. There's not much you can expect for this shorts, no matter in which way they come, they are simply short messages that intend to rise your patriotic feelings and help the army.

I have seen dozens of those shorts, mostly in DVD extras, and out of all of them this is probably the worst of all. There is no much you can do to deliver the message, but if you are interested in this historical things, then you'll know most of them have something special in them, either a celebrity, or cartoon characters or even an attempt at a small story to show the need of your support. The Morgebthau trailer has nothing of that.

It simply shows us Henry Morgenthau, who was the United States Secretary of Treasure sitting in a desk and giving the audience a long explanation about how the war bonds were necessary to support the army. Well it's not actually a long explanation, since it barely lasts around two minutes, but it feels quite long. I don't doubt that mr. Morgenthau was good in his job, but he was a terrible communicator. I was watching this two minutes short willingly and genuinely interested in it, and despite that it was so boring it felt quite long, and I watched the time a couple of time to see how much longer it was going to be.

Besides the technical explanations, Mr. Morgenthau seems somewhat uncomfortable talking to the camera, and besides a close ups to his face and then back to full body there is nothing interesting in the way it was filmed.

I have serious doubts that this short convinced anyone in doubt about buying war bonds, in a way in which a celebrity or a cartoon could do it. Failing in this mission and boring me so that's why I rated it so low. The only reason to see it is historical curiosity.

Mexican baseball heroes, 25 December 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the summer of 1957 a children baseball team from the city of Monterrey participated in the yearly tournament of the Little Leagues in the United States. It was the first time that a foreign team was invited to participate (outside Canadians), and no one expected that the modest and poor team from south of the border would even win a game. This lack of faith in them was so big that the authorities only gave them a three day visa to enter the country anticipating a quick elimination. However, the team surprised everyone and they not only beat their first contenders. They kept winning until they managed to be champions of the tournament. It was the first time that a team from outside the United States won the championship, and also the only time in history that a team managed a perfect game.

The team that had left Monterrey with no one paying attention to them, ended up being known not only in their city but in all Mexico. And they became so popular that their achievement was taken to the big screen as soon as it was possible. The result is this movie, Los Pequeños Gigantes. The movie turned out to be quite interesting, and its value lies in the fact that it stars not actors, but the actual kids and the managers that won the championship a few years earlier.

Being a Mexican film shoot just a few years after the story it tells, you could think that the film would be quite partial. But I found it to tell a quite balanced story. Showing not only the complications faced by the team, but also their internal problems and the insecurity and fear they faced. All the film is narrated by the manager, César Faz, and I think his comments are the most valuable part of the film as they allow us to learn from first hand all the experience lived by this giants.

The kids make a fantastic job in front of the camera when they act their own experiences, which is quite remarkable considering their lack of experience as actors. And while I don't think any technical aspect of the film stands out, it is decent at every moment. The only thing that is horrible is the music. The song chosen as the main theme of the film is a typical Mexican children song called "Barco Chiquito". It is one of those songs that can make you crazy if you hear it over and over again, and that is just what happens here. It is tirelessly sang by all the members of the team as if it was an anthem, and after a while it becomes unbearable. The film would have been much better without it.

The film is meaningful for us Mexican viewers, as it recounts a story that can really motivate us. And while this sentimental tie with the movie may be lacking for everyone else, that doesn't mean it is not worth of watching. Baseball fans should be interested in getting to know the details of a historical game that may not be very well known. And for film lovers this is a chance to see a Documentary of a kind that is no longer done. A reenactment of the facts told by a protagonist today they would probably not be considered real documentaries. Another quite similar Mexican film is called Torero, which managed a Academy Award nomination.

Bad but entertaining, 4 October 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I ended up watching this Canadian TV movie for the sole reason that I saw that Lochlyn Munro was the lead actor, while he is not really known, I saw him when he was young as part of the cast of the short lived Hawkeye TV series, and I was pinched by curiosity about what he was doing ten years after that. I had no expectations about the quality of the film, and it turned out to be as bad as I was expecting, despite this I kind of enjoyed it. The plot is so simple, a passage to another dimension is opened and this act sets free a sphinx which, being responsible of protecting the passage, goes on a rampage to kill those responsible. The sphinx is not the only things that gets free, there's also an ancient curse that will destroy the human race, our only hope is a group made by a high school history teacher (Munro), his teenage daughter, a femme fatale which is also his ex-girlfriend and the leader of a government branch dealing with the supernatural. To stop the sphinx they will have to solve a number of riddles and collect a series of mystical stones hidden around the world.

I don't think no one watching this films thinks they are going to see something worth of remembering, but if someone does the very first scene, when the sphinx goes wild killing a number of people, should be enough to make clear the quality of the film. Bad acting and bad fx, the monster created with computer animation is terribly unrealistic and could be considered as a digital equivalent to the puppets seen in the worst sci-fi B movies. Sum to this that the two main characters are obvious copies of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, that the script is totally predictable and with every possible common place included: a traitor in the group, a very smart girl, a reluctant hero. I could also talk about the unrealistic settings and the absurd presence in every encounter with the monster of a couple of extras added to the group with the sole purpose of giving the sphinx someone to kill.

But despite all the bad things told, I must say the film is bad, but not terrible, and it didn't bore me at any moment. If you know what you are up to then you can also have a good time watching it, and I guess that's what the creators of the film had in mind, it is a bad film, but it is entertaining. If you are in a good mood and with the correct company, then you can have fun checking the inconsistencies of the plot, or some laughable stuff like anti-gravity guns; the genius teenager, with the ability to calculate with mathematical precision the exact second in which a ricocheting bullet will stop; or the sphinx transformation into a human, a moment in which it is played by a wrestler that made me remember Tor Johnson, an actor appearing in Ed Wood films.

To finish I must say that the way in which the monster is finally stopped does have a little bit of originality. To sum everything up this is a predictable adventure lacking in both economical and artistic resources, but if you don't take it seriously you may enjoy it. Watching a bad film from time to time is good, as I think it helps you put the good stuff in the right perspective. And if you are watching something bad, then its better if its something like this which despite its shortcomings is good fun.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Are you the favorite film of anybody?, 26 December 2013
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoy discovering rare films and voting for them in the IMDb, so sometimes I just look for a random short film, try to find it in the web and if Im successful I watch it and rate it. That's how I found Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? starring John C. Reilly. The black and white short film was written by Miranda July and directed by Miguel Arteta and then it was finished by Arteta alone after he broke up with July. The film is completely in black and white and it has a very simple but interesting idea, John C. Reilly is on the street making a survey to find out if the person he talks too think they are anybody's else favorite person. It's a great set up and while the characters interviews people you watch with interest waiting to see what will come out from this. However it all ends in disappointment. After a woman that gives a positive answer, a man that gives a negative answer and a third person that refuses to answer the film abruptly finishes, and I was left wondering what was the point of all of this? It feels like and unfinished piece of film that could have been something else but ended in nothing. For what I read the film has been given good reviews for posing an interesting question to viewers, and I found myself not only figuring what I'd answer, but also wondering if my favorite persons would think about me and give a positive answer if they were asked the same question. But that interesting question is all you'll take from this film. It would have been great if the story led somewhere because this had potential, but regretfully it just ended in a possibility and not in a reality.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
First adult film?, 29 October 2013
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A boring day at the job led to Me and my coworkers to find a box full of old magazines which we started reading to kill time. One of them was a sex special that, among other articles, had a section answering some questions and one of them was about the first adult film. That's as I learned there was an Argentinian porn film called El Sartorio.

Since I'm always interested in movie rarities I took note, and I was surprised to find the film available on the Internet, I watched it voted it and learned some things about it. It turns out there's no certainty about the year of origin of the film, and 1907 is only marked as the earliest possible, but there's something for which we have no doubt. El Sartorio ain't the first porn film in history, it is simply the oldest surviving. Its hard to track them but it wasn't long after the invention of cinema that adult films started being made, they were sold privately to clients and the producers and stars were anonymous. After a while censorship in Europe got stronger and producers started filming in American countries, were they made their adult films with actors that accepted minor wages. One of their favorite countries to do their work was Argentina, because their citizens looked European.

That's the reason for the south American country to have a porn industry so early in the XX Century. Apart from this history is there anything interesting in El Sartorio? well, its an adult film and you'll see not much has changed in that genre. A group of naked girls play in the forest, a satyr spots them and chases them he traps and has all kind of sexual relationships with her and they both end up fulfilled and happy. There's a variety of positions and close ups on genitals.

Due to the short runtime and to the wide availability of porn films to which we are used today, this rarity will hardly fulfill its initial goal but it still manages some arousal. But if you are interested in movie history and on rarities from the past then it's a very interesting watch. Let's face it, porn film have been part of movie history since its beginnings and will always be a part of it, if we had a wide availability of old porn films then this wouldn't matter more than others, but since it's one of a few silent porn remaining it's a very interesting watch to know how things used to be.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Cult Short Film, 15 July 2013
8/10

Bambi meets Godzilla? Not having the slightest idea that this film existed, one day, several years ago, I found it at the IMDb and my first reaction was of absolute incredulity; who could have filmed something so absurd? A very high ranking of 10/10 (which has naturally come down since that day) helped to increase my curiosity about this, and while it took me a I finally could find a copy of this film that today can be easily found around the internet.

bringing together a little deer and a giant atomic lizard certainly looks like something unimaginable, and for a person that has never seen this short before it can be hard to imagine what the hell will happen; the film is less tan two minutes long, and while you sit and watch Bambi placidly eating grass while the opening credits roll the expectation for Godzilla appearance grows and grows.

Finally the time comes, and while the result of the meeting is at first completely unexpected, once it finishes you have absolutely no doubt that, if Bambi could meet Godzilla that would definitively be the outcome. Once the surprise is over and if you watch the film other times the film is less funny, but for me it is still a great experience to share it with people that has never Heard about it , and enjoy their incredulity to the film existence and their reaction to it after their watch it which remembers me my first watching several years ago.

For managing to build suspense in just a couple of minutes and for making plausible a very strange idea, this short film deserves the cult film status it has attained. I recommend you to watch it to get a nice laugh. Animation is crude but it fits the film, and the few credits that are on screen also have a dose of humor. There are some other imitations of this film, but not one of them can be compared with this original and great idea.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Totally Unnecessary, 18 May 2013
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: this review also contains spoilers of Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969)

In 1969 a Canadian artist released a short film called Bambi Meets Godzilla. With simple drawings and no pretenses, his original idea was well received and eventually became a cult film despite its short runtime. For years that impossible meeting and its comical result has managed legion of fans and some of them have made unofficial sequels, so is the case of Eric Fernandes who made this other short, Son of Bambi Meets Godzilla What's behind this other picture? it simply takes the original idea of Marv Newland but it gives the story the opposite ending of the first picture. This is the first mistake of the film, it gives us absolutely nothing, all the originality of the 1969 film is lost in images that are modeled after the other work and it is completely lacking in freshness.

The second problem is that, while making Godzilla and Bambi meet seemed like something completely absurd, the outcome of the original short had an overwhelming logic, once you finished watching it you had absolutely no doubt that if the deer and the giant lizard had indeed meet that would have been the result. Here on the other side the things happening simply make no sense a deer using a rocket launcher to kill a lizard? sorry but that's not funny at all and no logic at any level. One thing that should be noted is that the original film, despite a tragic ending, had no real confrontation between the characters, Godzilla does not even notices the deer after crushing it (hence the title was meet not vs). Here on the other side Godzilla is coming with the sole intention of finishing off Bambi's son (and inexplicably failing several times). The great thing about the first movie was its innocence, and here they took it away turning it into something meaningless.

Finally it must be noted that the animation is lame. All the above gives us an empty work with the sole goal of giving a vengeance of everyone that was sad for Godzilla crushing Bambi and making it in a totally unfunny way. Without any doubt Fernandes made this in his computer, upload it to the internet and forgot about it, for some reason it was found and it ended up in movie databases. The only good thing to say about this is that Newland receives proper credit for its original idea that inspired this, an idea which was simply remade in a way that took away everything that was good about it.

Time traveling Luchadores, 11 March 2013
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mexican luchadores travel back in time and find themselves in colonial Mexico, where they try to get back to the present battling witches, Spanish conquistadores and Aztec warriors. Simply by reading the plot of this surreal film you have one certainty, there is absolutely no way this can be a good movie. Now, there are two kinds of bad films; those that are simply badly done and offer no reason to watch them, and those that are bad but turn out to be a lot of fun due to their inconsistencies and absurd. When you start watching Leyendas Macabras de la Colonia you are hoping to get this second kind of bad, but due to terrible acting, a plot full of holes and the attempt to make fun of itself it turns out to be a film of the first kind.

After opening with the obligatory wrestling scene, which is unnecessary, with ten minutes in which no story or character is developed, the luchadores Tinieblas, Mil Máscaras and El Fantasma Blanco join two ladies in the house of Tinieblas to celebrate their victory. There a cursed painting takes them back in time. That should be the cue for the mindless fun to start, but after some promising minutes in which the three masked men quickly dispatch a whole group of Spanish soldiers, and after we find Lorena Velázquez is an evil witch, the movie is incapable of keeping any interest.

Even for an absurd film like this the plot has too many wholes, we never know why the hell the painting was cursed, there is never a moment in which either the time travelers or the people from the past get some surprise about their situation, we spend a lot of time with the luchadores just walking around a house looking for a way in, we have to wonder why the hell Mil Máscaras and El Fantasma Blanco stand as simple watchers while his partner is about to be sacrificed, and after they manage to return to their time we miss any resolution to the story as they leave a wounded hero in the clutches of the witch which apparently can't be stopped, what happens to that? No one will know.

The acting is of course to bad, the main characters at least learned their lines, but there are a bunch of extras with nothing to do, the Aztec warriors are a bunch of fat people walking around in loincloths which makes a humiliating clothing for them. A group of Spanish conquistadores captured by the witch just walk to their cell with absolutely no expression in their faces, as if getting captured by supernatural forces was a daily event for them. And the two ladies that join the luchadores in their surreal trip (while given the chance to break the painting and taking them back to their time) serve no other purpose than showing up their bodies. Evidently they did not care to find real actresses for the roles and they just signed the first big breasted women that agreed to wear mini skirts and tight clothes.

All of this would be forgettable and funny if the film took itself seriously, but Leyendas Macabras de la Colonia commits the biggest sin a B movie can make, it tries to make fun of itself, therefore killing the chance of being actually amusing. For example the constant jokes about Tinieblas being a womanizer and a final wrestling match between Tinieblas and three over weighted Aztec warriors. A great B movie like Plan 9 From Outer Space are classics because they are in fact trying to make a great film, and all their mistakes are unintended, when a bad film is done with full conscience that it is bad and when it tries to exploit that to get laughs it usually fails as in this case.

This film could have been an absolutely classic for bad film lovers, but unfortunately the only thing that's good about it, is what we imagine we are going to see before we actually sit to watch the film. That's really a shame.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Worst than the first part., 16 January 2013
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To start I must say I had absolutely no interest in watching the first Sherlock Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr., judging by the trailers the film appeared to be simply another Hollywood blockbuster that would fill the screen with action scenes and visual effects with no other goal than making money. Visiting the theater with my family I couldn't avoid finally watching it and I was surprised and satisfied, indeed it was a movie made only to have a good time, but it turned out to be quite entertaining and a nice homage to the original character.

With this in mind I went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows expecting an equally good entertainment, but this time I was disappointed: the action scenes happen to often and are way to exaggerated, there are too many of the slow motion scenes present in many Guy Ritchie films, and the supporting characters did not arouse my interest.

This last point is were the movie disappointed me the most, Noomi Rapace character seemed completely failed to me, she had no chemistry with Robert Downey and I never had a reason to care for her, if she had been killed or disappeared at any time I wouldn't have cared at all. This is an absolute contrast with the Irene Adler of the first film, a very nice character played by Rachel McAdams, her love/rivalry relationship with Holmes was one of the best things in the first part, it was a real shame to see Irene die in the first scene and with her that well developed sometimes kinky, sometimes comical and sometimes romantic relationship thrown away; Noomi Rapace was great as a tough woman in the Millennium trilogy, but she should look for a different character and avoid doing the same every time, here she was didn't do it very well.

Regarding the action scenes, both the part were the bad guys try to kill Watson in a train, and the chase and shooting in the German forest were waaay too much, and in the last case it was even tiresome; I was just wishing they would get over with the slow movement that led nowhere, but it just kept going and going, there's no need to abuse a cinematographic resource.

One final complaint I have has to do with the final scene, while Holmes is playing a chess game with Moriarty, Dr. Watson and the Gypsy (Rapace) are trying to find a hidden secret agent who will commit a murder that will start a war, the problem here is that in the same room they are joined by Mycroft Homes, and as any Sherlock fan knows he is one of the most brilliant minds there are, eclipsing even his brother. It is simply unexplainable that he would simply wait for other to catch the agent when his observation skills would have solved everything quicker and with more certainty than Watson, it is natural that Jude Law and Rapace, as two of the main characters, should be the ones to play that important role, but the writers should have find a way to keep Mycrodft out of the room in order to avoid the nonsense of his passive waiting.

After this complaints it's time to mention the good points of the movie, first the relationship between Holmes and Watson works as well as in the first film and both Downey and Law give good performances, also I'd like to notice the work of Kelly Reilly, she plays Watson's wife and, in the absence of a good female character in the lead, she becomes the one that gives the relationship between the two main characters its best moments.

Another good part is the ending of the movie where Holmes and Moriarty fall down a waterfall to their apparent death. Those who know the character not only through movies, but also from the books will know that Conan Doyle killed Holmes that way because he was fed up with writing his adventures; however years later he was forced to bring him back due to the constant and never ending fan mail demanding him to continue the stories. In a genius nod to that fact, at the end of this picture Holmes appears alive and avoiding detection he writes a question mark after the words "the end" just typed by Watson in his memoirs, this way we are made to understand that, if their fans ask for it just as hundreds of readers did with Conan Doyle this Sherlock Holmes will also return. It is a very clever detail in the script, but I'm afraid (and I hope I'm wrong) that the people that will enjoy this film the most will not notice this smart reference at all.

This good things must be mentioned and recognized, but in my opinion none of them is enough to save a film that left me with no desire to see a third part: If you enjoy any blockbuster Hollywood releases or if you are absolute fans of Guy Ritchie you will enjoy this, but if you are looking for good cinema and something more meaningful avoid it. For me this Holmes can finish his days falling down that waterfall.

A weak ending to an entertaining series, 19 December 2012
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Canadian TV series Hawkeye, based on James Fenimore Cooper characters, and created in part to exploit the popularity of the movie The Last of the Mohicans, turned out to be of little success and it was canceled after just one season. In this last episode, The Return, the writers work on giving a ending to the plot (something many newer series, canceled after leaving the plot in suspense should also do), but unfortunately the result wasn't good and it turned out to be the worst episode of the series which, speaking on general terms, is amusing without pretending anything else.

Without a strict continuity from episode to episode, the story developed the relation between Hawkeye (Lee Horlsey) and Elizabeth Shields (Lynda Carter); this starts when Elizabeth's husband takes her to the wild frontier, a place were the few inhabitants live in a fort protected by English soldiers and in constant conflict with the french army and the native Americans. In the first episodes Elizabeth's husband is abducted by the Indians who plot with his brother, the captain of the fort, a situation that forces Elizabeth to stay on the fort on her own. During this time her relationship with Hawkeye, her protector, grows into a romance, and soon it is clear they are meant to be together. Ultimately the date of the husband is of little interest to the viewer, but, to close the story, in this episode we learn what happened to him.

The return of the episode title obviously is referred to the husband, who, after a year as a prisoner of the natives, has gone crazy and has resolved to get revenge on his brother and to kill Elizabeth. It is a little credible outcome and its only goal is to take the husband out of the way in order to give liberty to the two main characters to consummate their love.

The plot is also hurt by a little developed script which is filled by flashbacks of all the previous episodes. Probably the goal was to give nice memories of the best moments of the show, but instead the story feels incomplete, and it appears the writers were lazy to make something better for the last chapter. Ultimately the things we all knew were bound to happen happen and the whole chapter adds nothing to the series.

In general Hawkeye was entertaining and quite watchable if you are looking for an unpretentious adventure, I think it is a shame the show was unsuccessful since it could be extended for a second season, but the truly regrettably thing is that it has finished with such a mediocre episode. Consider this is not a show of the quality of the rest of the series.


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