I know that most people will consider this opinion as heretics, but I think this a bad movie. Despite the good cinematography and the many great actors. The script is an undevelopped and confusing mess, partially in a hurry, partially simply shallow, exceding in its chaotic expressionist improvisation. It is pretensious but lacks deepness and a more sophisticated social political critique. Dialogs are just bad. Technically, sound is also quite flawed. Edition is unjustifiably harsh sometimes, with abrupt cuts. Many scenes are partially documental, as they were shot with few actors and many extras who were indeed common people who ignored that the situation was fictious (it may work but is moral questionable). The only really good part is the small segment in which there is a kind of mockumentary about Porfirio Diaz. To resume, "Enhanced earth" is world-wide celebrated but seriously overrated.
Ponto Final (2011)Quite different. And good
8 April 2021
Innovative and unconventional, this movie certainly does not please all spectators, but I liked it. It has a theater look, both in its dialogs and sets, full of symbolism and unrealistic aesthetics, combining them with interesting cinematography and soundtrack, and non-linear edition. Sometimes its texts seem literature, sometimes its scenes remind a mockumentary. The first half of the film has a very thrilling and strangeness atmosphere, what is quite intriguing. However, it loses that fantastic atmksphere as characters' background stories are being unveiled. Anyway, the experiences with unusual sets, angles, lights and shadows go on, and so does the playing with words and symbols. Worth watching. Unique.
Sepultura Endurance (2017)Metal endures
6 April 2021
Good documentary on the history, origins, demergins, changes and challenges of one of the most important and acknowleged metal bands in the world, from Brazil. History of Sepultura is interesting even for non hard fans. Big foreign stars from hard rock give their testimonies on how important Sepultura has been being. Crises inside the band are openly discussed. Worth watch it and shake your head.
Panca de Valente (1968)Braziliam Western spoof, irregular
5 April 2021
Brazilian Western spoof. Its beginning, both in animation and in the first scene, was very promising. Afterwards, exaggerated slapstick is mostly not fun. However, besides some nice moments (clever cartoon-like ones), the movie has merits, such as cinematography, soundtrack and the outlaw band of Costa-Larga. The whole conception of the film is nice, although the outcome is irregular. Anyway, having a good director (Luiz Sérgio Person) and some high quality actors (Átila Iório, Joffre Soares...) helps even when it comes to a campy comedy under military dictatorship censorship. Many elements from Western movies appear, such as cattle stealing, the train, riding though the river, gang assault in town, shooting practice on bottles, crosses on the cemetery, nobody wanting to be the next sheriff. The saloon brawl, however, is replaced by a piwing brawl. Yes... quite campy...
Birth of the Dragon (2016)Unfair attacks, much better than people say
4 April 2021
Nice action film with good fight scenes and two parallel and interwined stories: the rivalry between Bruce Lee (and his self-knowledge path) and Wong Jack Man (and his atonement towards reaching inner peace), and the mission of a white kung-fu student to free a beautiful slave of local Chinatown mob (and also his learning). The movie has been harshly criticized as brainwashing, due the importance of the white character McKee in the story, and as historically inaccurate. Honestly, it is not fair. At least in its final cut (I know many scenes with him have been deleted), the movie does not have McKee as the leading role, being both Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man at least as important as him, and probably more. Besided that, even if he were the main character it would not deviate from most Hollywood productions referred to Eastern cultures. On inaccuracy, neither real story is uncontroversial, nor it is a rare case of ficcional events added due artistic needs. As a matter of fact, I believe that spread disappointment comes from elsewhere: the unsatisfied expectation of having a whole story centered in an idealized Bruce Lee. Indeed, it is not, and I consider the script as more interesting than that. Here, Bruce Lee is arrogant and vain, before completing his character arc and becoming a better and more balanced person. That character can reminds (differently from this fictionalized Wong Jack Man) a mix of Cobra Kai Sensei Kreese and boxer Floyd Mayweather. To resume, story works, and it obviously semi-biographical. If you want to know what is the only real (although not serious) problem of the movie, it is portraying a dangerous and powerful mob in which gangsters (almost) do not use guns! If you like martial arts films, this worth be watched. There is no flaw that you will not see in other movies from this genre, and its qualities overcome it.
Gosford Park (2001)British society
4 April 2021
A long, slow-paced and atmospheric thriller, which carefully explores social sctructure in early XXth century Britain, while unveils a story of crime and elitism through its numerous characters, portrayed by a top-class casting.
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)One more great film by Woody Allen
4 April 2021
Excellent romantic comedy. Great laughs, very clever dialogs, charming atmosphere, smart script that makes you change your kind many times, as if you were the character. Woody Allen did it again! Colin Firth has an excellent performance, and Emma Stone obviously goes well too.
Almoço Executivo (1996)Falling Down in São Paulo
3 April 2021
Im the restaurant, friends talk about the movie "Falling down". Traffic is not better in São Paulo than in Los Angeles, and then the consequences come. I do not know if she is right that, in "Falling down", the victims are all "Chicanos" and Chineses. Anyway, outside situation is reversed. Amusing short film, the very first directed by Marina Person, who would eventually make an excellent documentary on her father and awesome feature movie Califórnia.
Person (2007)A (deserved) tribute from daughter to father
3 April 2021
Very good documentary about a great filmmaker (who, however, died early and did not make so many movies) and theater director. It is made by ine of his daughters, Marina Person, and has very good quality interviews, footage and edition. The films shows his career, his family life and his personality as narrated by many skilled people who worked with him.
Pagliacci (2018)Unfortunately, not a great film
1 April 2021
The film is fragmented and does not tell the story. It lacks a more consistent narrative, being impressionist but without providing proper atmosphere. It is, except for very few moments, neither funny nor moving, despite being about clowns. Interviews are mostly uninteresting and footage is generally not representative. Unfortunately, the documentary is a little boring and did not work, although clowns deserved a better outcome.
Perfect Agreement (2013)Sad break-up
1 April 2021
Very visceral film, based in a theater play, on the sad and depressing end of a marriage. Once a happy relationship, it accumulated frustrations and secrets which suggest that the break up should have happened much before. Very good actors, Bomtempo and Freeland are a couple in real life, and have a perfect tuning. Then, outcome is solid and convincing as predictable.
Perfect Agreement (2013)Sad break up
1 April 2021
Very visceral film, based in a theater play, on the sad and depressing end of a marriage. Once a happy relationship, it accumulated frustrations and secrets which suggest that the break up should have happened much before. Very good actors, Boitempo and Freeland are a couple in real life, and have a perfect tuning. Then, outcome is solid and convincing as predictable.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)Beautiful film, harsh reality, awesome actor
1 April 2021
Innovative film on que black question, mostly based in good dialogs, but also with awesome cinematography, art direction, edition and very good usage of special effects (as a support to aesthetics and to the atmosphere, and not as a compensation of a shalow script as it is recurrent in Hollywood). It is really something hard to accept that Chadwick Boseman is not here anymore. What a skilfull actor, always with remarkable performances and portraying very diverse characters. Cinema lost too early an artist who had the skill to become one of the greatest ever.
Rio Babilônia (1982)A week in Rio Sodom and Gomorrah
31 March 2021
Erotic film (it is not even a softcore...) directed by Neville D'Almeida, with a slight political background (businessmen smugglers with connections with military dictatorship, the death squad, lack of freedom of the press, social inequality...), a light overview of different sides of Rio de Janeiro (from luxurious Copacabana Palace hotel and Ipanema beach to the slums and prostitution in Lapa), and a lot of orgy. It is well filmed (although sometimes it becomes a little kitsch), but the script is a chaos, with implausible and disconnected situations and undevelopped characters. It seems to be Neville D'Almeida's intention, as a way to portray Rio de Janeiro as Sodom or Gomorrah. However, as a film, it does not work so well.
On the Milky Road (2016)Kusturica does it again!
29 March 2021
Amazingly filmed (opening scenes are particularly awesome) magic realism dramatic comedy by master Kusturica shot in a beautiful landscape wth some brutal moments. You have the bloody Bosnian war, a love triangle, a musician milkman (Kusturica himself), animals doing a lot of unexpected stuff, dancing parties with frenzy music and shooting guns, a deadly giant clock, a wacky former gymnast... Most eyes may have been directed to Monica Bellucci, but it was charmingly pretty and funny Sloboda Micalovic who caught my attention. Kusturica makes a unique colorful and sometimes surrealist cinema.
Amada Amante (1978)A Brazilian gem from late 70's!
27 March 2021
Good dramatic comedy in which a naive and conservative family from countryside faces lust in Rio de Janeiro. The clash of habits impact their lives. Sexist hypocrisy emerges. It is one of the best Brazilian movies from the 70's I have watched. Off course there are some prejudices which were common in those years, and overacting of part of the cast was a recurrent problem in Brazilian cinema. However, qualities overlap by far those drawbacks. Cláudio Cunha goes very well on direction, and Rogério Fróes, Sandra Bréa, Luis Gustavo, and Neuza Amaral have excellent performances. I am quite impacted by the shocking hilarious end.
A Serpente (1992)Director tried something different, the outcome is just weird
25 March 2021
Overacting, colourful, fragrant lights, theater-like sets, dissonant drummy soundtrack, modern creepy dance with almost nude bodies, lack of linearity, unusual frames. Quite weird experimental adaptation of a Nelson Rodrigues play. Seeks more sensations than storytelling. Shows archetypes avoiding any realism. In my opinion, not a good experience, unsuccessful aesthetic outcome. It is more theater than cinema, without the advantages of both arts. There are some excellent actors and actresses, but the film is just bizarre.
Stand Up Guys (2012)You have already watched it, but it amuses
25 March 2021
Moderately amusing, not special, not more than this. Retired gangsters are the good guys here, in a life trap in the hands of quite bad guys. If it is the last night of the life, they will party. As they do not have bubble gums, they will kick ass.
An angel in Bahia
23 March 2021
Very moving film, quite well acted (good casting) and filmed. Sister Dulce seemed to be really an angel. Indeed, this is neither an apologetic movie on the Catholic Church, nor a critique against it. It is a film in favor of solidarity, compassion, goodness, wherever they are.
O Doce Esporte do Sexo (1971)Five characters in a comedy of manners and sex
22 March 2021
Unusual film in which one of the most important Brazilian comedians ever starred a pornochanchada (softcore comedies whoch were hegemonic in Brazilian cinema in the 70's). As a matter of fact, there is some nudity but it is not properly a softcore film (the segment The Tournament makes it very undisputable), but a comedy about sex. It is divided in five independent segments, in which Chico Anysio has different roles. All of them may be labeled as comedy of manners, with some slapstick or quasi-surrealist elements (the first of them, The Appartment, is very Chaplinesque). The movie is not hilarious but you can expect some gags and amusement. Many great Brazilian actors have minor roles in one of the five short films which compose the feature movie.
Não Toque em Meu Companheiro (2020)Not as fluid as previous Ramos's movies, but it brings important political lessons
22 March 2021
Although perhaps not as fluid as previous documentaries from director Maria Ramos, this is certainly also a very important political film. It is considerably didactic too, as its subject may be harsh sometimes. Departing from a group of bank employees in state bank Caixa who had been fired by neoliberal attacks by Collor de Mello government, and whose struggle made it possible to be hired again one year later, the documentary compares that horrible moment for workers with the present dangers under Bolsonaro. It is a film on trade unionist struggle, on public service, on the way neoliberalism imposes itself to every element in society, on public interest v. profit, on solidarity v. selfishness and naive ignorance. One of the younger employees in Caixa bank, who appears discussing with the trade unionists, exemplifies quite well how much population is uninformed, and misguided by neoliberal mantra that is repeated everyday in mass media. As it becomes clear, all those who fight for a better world have this double challenge: explaining and convincing the mass, and struggling against the criminal who use power and governments (sometimes by legal means) to damage public interest and social justice and spoil the country in order to get private profit.
A Public Opinion (1967)Expressionism
21 March 2021
While there are very good narrated lines, cinematography is excellent, and there are nice funny and smart filmed moments, the general outcome is boring and too expressionist, lacking focus. Testimonies are uninteresting and empty. Whereas it somewhat confirms the assumption about middle class, it also leads nowhere. Anyway, it is quite curious that the man who had directed his very first film aiming to criticize ordinary middle class people, Arnaldo Jabor, developped similar mediocre conventional wisdom opinions.
Motorrad (2017)Motorcycle slasher drom Brazil
21 March 2021
Atmospheric slasher with interesting shiny black and white or low-saturated cinematography. However, although it does not deviate from a usual problem in the genre, it has much more style than substance. While not informing about who/what are the four dark bikers may be disappointing, there are other questions which simply are not very plausible: why the hell they did not try to fight before? Is that serious that they had no curiousity about looking under their helmets?!