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The Joker is born! A masterpiece.
The most important supervillain has a perfect dramatic biographic movie I did not imagine that DC Heroes would ever allow to be made. Deep, shocking, sometimes quite sad, very well developed, it shows a credible and socially serious backgrounded path of an outcast in an individualistic capitalist ill society towards sociopathy. It is the most realistic film ever made for a superhero universe. Not only the existence of the Joker, but also dangerous Gotham and the murder of the Waynes make much more sense now than in the usual simplistic moralist explanations. Superb movie! Amazing Joachin Phoenix!
Netflix decided to waist time instead of making an important documentary
Important issue, nice footage, could be a nice documentary... but it is a horribly edited and unfocused piece that aims to make spectators waist their time instead of just telling well that important story. It is boring even for politics affictionates like me. They made interviews with important people, such as former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and guerrilla spokesman Subcomandante Marcos, but they could not capture useful quotes, leading to nothing.
A punch on my expectations, a waiste of a great opportunity
Off course the issue of this TV series is quite interesting: traditional fights from different parts of the world. The approach of showing culture and people's lives and not only fighting techniques is also the best choice, in my opinion. Therefore, seeing this TV series in Netflix brought me high expactations. However, it failed miserably. Most of episodes are too superficial, and boring host Frank Grillo makes everything worse with his vanity and narrow mind (he is the worst element of the series). The narrated text is often full of prejudices, with silly self-help moments (particularly in the first episode, the one on Mexican boxing, the worst of them). Cinematography work is excellent, the best thing in all documentaries. Interviews are generally uninspired, even though important people have been interviewed: most of them just said obvious and superficial things, nothing out of conventional wisdom (the episode about Senegalese laam has the best interviews, and it is my favorite; it has the worst IMDB rating because many people became angry about the bad choice of not showing the end of the main fight). My ranking of episodes, from best to worst: Senegal > Thailand > Israel > Myanmar > Mexico.
The best episode of a TV series which brings more expactations than it delivers
In spite of not showing how the main fight finished (what is indeed an anti-climax), it was a nice documentary, the best episode of quite irregular Fightworld series. As a matter of fact, the least the arrogant host Frank Grillo appears, makes stupid analisys and disturbs the documentary, the better it is. Cinematography, as in all episodes, has high quality. The text is not bad and full of of conventional wisdom (and prejudice) and self-help, as in most of previous episodes. Interviews were more interesting too.
Films, sweepers, and corruption busters
A non-linear and somewhat experimental documentary. This short film has been launched after Fernando Collor de Mello has been elected president of Brazil and is a movie clearly of opposition to his government. Collor reminds in many ways demagogic former president Jânio Quadros, who weirdly renounced not much time after he had been elected, opening the crisis that lead to conservative military coup in 1964. Jânio Quadros had a sweeper as a symbol of cleaning the country and fighting corruption - the struggle against corruption in common as a political speech that deceive real programmatic intentions, and Collor would also emphasize it. Sweepers have been made of destroyed films. Collor would destroy Brazilian cinema industry. Quite innovative and political short film.
A Flying Jatt (2016)
Slapstick Sikh Superhero
This is a Punjabi slapstick superhero movie, better than the other Bollywood superhero flick I have watched: Krrish. By the powers of the menaced sacred tree, the martial arts children's teacher is turned to a Sikh superhero with extraordinary reflexes (but still clumsy, anyway), superspeed (among other moments, there is a copy of Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past), invulnerability to shooting, fast healing, flying (though without losing his fear of heights, what always allows gags), superbreath... and the uncontrolled ability to get for some seconds the skills of other people whose picture he touches, such as playing violin as his rival teacher or sexy dancing such as Sunny Leone. Although silly in general, quite campy, there are some funny moments and the hero is charismatic. The film is not bad, but there are obvious problems: cheesy aesthetics, happy people dancing with no deed for story, cliché kitsch soundtrack, overacting, a recurring bad Bollywood formula meets stupid slow motion exaggeratedly used in superhero films. Story is also too much simple, predictable, not innovative. Wrestling toxic supervillain is not very good because actor is a sportsman/pro fighter and not a real actor. The other antagonist, the businessman, is much somewhat interesting: a lovely father but a harsh greedy businessman.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The worst Spiderman movie
Just the last two sentences of this review may be considered as spoiler. Let's begin: This is the worst official Spiderman movie ever produced. Indeed, it is much more a mix of a silly high school film and a Iron Man film. This Spiderman has very little of Spiderman. First of all, instead of having extreme reflexes, he is quite clumsy, what is nonsense and made the film a bad slapstick comedy. Besides that, what the hell is that Iron Man-like suit with many powers not traditionally related to the spider? Therefore, the fact that this is not really a Spiderman film is bad enough not to consider it a good movie. Though, there are many other problems: most of the action scenes are confusing (like the scenes Transformers franchise bad recent films use to have), there is an excess of jokes with more than 90% of them being bad and silly, acting is unconvincing for most of the main roles (Michael Keaton is clearly an exception)... The movie gets better in the final part, but it is definitely not enough to save it. SPOILER ALERT: By the way: MJ's name is Michelle? Really?!
Real history, with no heroes
The movie shows who has been the man Joaquim behind the character Tiradentes who entered Brazilian History. To say more, the film shows what was Brazil in colonial times. Mud, blood, sweat, slaves, natural chats, blacks, natives, mestizos, Portugueses, power relations. Camera does not show the distant sight of historian, but, moving, it throws spectator in that real Brazil which does not make Brazilians proud, in spite of gorgeous cinematography. Even though the story is romanticized, this is a real History, with no heroes. Slavery was the rule, corruption and exploitation were the way things happened. Blacks and Indians were not much more than oxen or horses, although human relations could have various paths and their position could change according them. Direction is amazing, as the film shows impressive control from innovative filmmaking to quite natural speaking in good dialogues.
O Porão das Condenadas (1979)
Bad Brazilian Neo-Western
This is a bad Brazilian Neo-Western, in a story that does not take place in USA or Mexico, but in Brazil (in the small town Avaré, 270 Km from São Paulo) during late 70's. It is a quite typical revenge story in the genre: the father of the main character has been murdered by rich criminal landowners when he was a 4 year-old child in 1947 and he gets trained for three decades to kill them. All actors are horrible and dialogues are unintelligent. The villains are only shown as traditional elitists in the very beginning, but afterwards the become (or this trait is revealed) mobsters, owners of brothels and casinos, and also misogynists and sadists (the scenes of torture and rape are grotesque). Sexploitation appears as it was common in almost all Brazilian movies from those years.
Luz Obscura (2017)
A waste of fantastic testimonials
The testimonials are amazing (both the ones which show how the New State in Portugal destroyed families and the one that describes torture from political police PIDE) but the way director chose to show them is very problematic. The usage of pictures is generally a way of compensating the lack of recorded moving images, but she chose to show very little the three siblings who speak. That made the film too boring for the so interesting testimonials she had in her hands. Besides that, there was no convincing usage of those pictures (perhaps the only exception is the change from a picture of the mother before and after prison), what becomes more serious as the same images were shown for a long time without any change to another one. Basically, a blind could enjoy more the movie than those who also see. Director also shows interesting footage of nature, not always very clear, and with no literal meaning - that was nice and could really work, if it happened for much less time!
Memória em Verde e Rosa (2016)
A true history of samba and its metamorphosis
This documentary is amazing, one of the best movies I have watched as a portrayal of Brazilian culture ("culture" understood in broad sense, not only as art). The film is beautiful and moving, but also technically precise, as has a very consistent historical research and a very careful cinematography. The pace is also quite appropriate, with many interesting and moving stories and testimonies. The movie shows the history of samba and of slum (traditional Mangueira is the samba school and the neighborhood shown, but, besides being interesting itself, the film's conclusions may apply to other samba schools). It is a surprising element of the film, for most of the people, the origin of samba as something of outlaws and bums, despised by society and haunted by law enforcement officers. Situation changes as well known singers keep in touch with samba composers and record their songs. Further changes happened while middle class began to attend samba school parties in the slums and while composers who did not belong to the neighborhood because responsible for most of the songs in carnival parades. As these parades were turned into big business, also samba lost the leading role to the allegorical cars (floats). The movie worth seeing and deviates from conventional exoticism and obvious narratives.
The first live action Batman!
Surprisingly good! Much better than I could expect. It is very well filmed and there are very nice action scenes, particularly for a production from the 40's: footage of fighting, climbing, spying, falling down, disguising... Although lightly plump, Lewis Wilson not only did a good job as the dark knight but also had one of the best representations of Bruce Wayne ever in my opinion, as the fake playboy. Batman was already frightening on the eyes of the criminals, as he intimidated them (the bat's cave has been created for this movie serial, though it was not his back office yet, but kind of a psychological torture and interrogation room, accessed through the clock). Batman fights a lot, most of the time against two or three thugs, but he is far from the skillful martial artist he would become in future versions; indeed, he receives lots of punches and loses the fights a lot of times, not dying by luck. There was already a charming black car, though it was not properly a batmobile, but a 1939 Cadillac, generally driven by Alfred. Douglas Croft was a typical Robin, and although his visual was true to the character, we got accustomed to the hair and the mask of Burt Ward decades afterwards, making his upright curly hair and his pointed-nose mask a bit strange. Batman and Robin were already skillful investigators, but there are two very important differences in their way of working against crime: first of all, chief of police has Bruce Wayne as a partner in law enforcement, although he does not know Batman's secret identity and has a dubious position on his vigilantism; besides that, the dynamic duo works much time spying without their masks, as Bruce and Dick, using the superhero personas much more for combat. This version of Bruce Wayne had great acting skills, like Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent, and could disguise himself deceiving even people who know him very intimately. There are other differences from more recent versions concerning other main characters. Instead of commissioner Gordon or chief O'Hara, Gotham police counted on chief Arnold. Linda Page was Batman's love interest, before the creation of Vicki Vale and other crushes. Butler Alfred appeared for the first time not as fat but as slim, what became his usual representation ever since. The main criminal here was a Japanese scientist, in a quite obvious usage of the character in order to support USA foreign policy (what always happened with the most famous superheroes, not only due to that World War); unfortunately the way characters referred to him was often racist and xenophobic against the Japanese people. The repetition of the same formula - criminals phone to the victim pretending to be someone else and setting up a meeting, but Batman and Robin suspect and go there to save the day - bores a little, as it is too much recurrent and the movie serial is too good to insist in a so simplistic solution. The same may be said about the too many times villains believe that they have killed Batman; once or twice it is OK, but in every episode?! As a matter of fact, the movie serial is nice and entertaining, but it would be better if edited shorter as a feature-length film. It worth be watched, anyway, for sure.
A Hollywood superhero movie out of the exhaustingly repeated fomula
Funny dark humor, very sarcastic about superhero movies in a way Hollywood does not use to be. As there are jokes all the time, not all of them are nice, but many are. The first half hour is excellent. The rest of the film is nice, but does not keep the same level. There are also some too obviously predictable scenes. The main villain, Ajax, is a major drawback, as a much better actor was needed to be casted for this important role. The usage of visual effects is extreme but very well done, with interesting outcomes (as the opening credits and scene show). Violence is also extreme and not taken seriously, in a way Tarantino's films are the main examples.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Far from the awesome comic book's level, but a nice animated film anyway
The adaptation of astonishing Alan Moore's comic book is far from having the same excellence and strength, but I strongly disagree with most critics who consider it bad. It is still a very nice story, very well animated. In spite of agreeing that Barbara Gordon's story added in the first have of the movie is disconnected to the killing-joke second part (although I consider it a nice strategy to highlight the character's own story before showing her fate in the tragedy), I think it was a fine addition. The humanization of the Joker was also very well done. On the other hand, his craziness, so dire in other animated films, is not that remarkable here (while it reached its higher point exactly in this comic book).
Justice League of America (1997)
Underrated innovative superhero spoof comedy sitcom pilot
This was a pilot of a TV series that has not been approved. It uses to be panned as a ridiculous film with the worst costumes and visual effects ever. That is very unfair. To begin, it has a different format relatively to other comedic superhero movies, as it is a sitcom. And, although not brilliant and often silly, it works, with funny moments and some good ideas. The special effects are not very good, but you can find worse in many low budget motion pictures and in most TV series until the 90's. The idea of showing testimonials in between the story as if it were a documentary is also nice, a quite creative innovation. People use to prefer to see the same conventional formula than innovations; that is a shame. This was a pretty nice attempt, which unfortunately did not have the chance to be produced with a higher budget.
I changed my opinion about this movie
When I watched this film for the first time I hated it passionately, considering it as an aberration. Years afterwards I watched part of it again on television and had a completely different opinion. It is a quite innovative film for the genre, with some smart dialogues. Visual effects are no bad as I considered for the first time (well, some of them are, like the horrible CGI master demon); the way Spawn's black costume appears and connects to his body is nice. The blue clown demon Violator seemed to be awful when I saw images of him before watching the movie; after watching it for the first time I thought it not good, but still the best thing in the film; now I consider him a very funny and interesting character.
Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)
Perhaps the campiest spoof ever
This is neither a great film, nor an important one. Nevertheless, it is far from the ridiculous movie I was waiting for. It is a spoof, a quite anarchic and experimental spoof, and no one can judge this movie not taking it on consideration in the first place. Acting is bad and the movie is neither amusing nor artistically sophisticate to deserve a high rating. Though, there are some funny moments (the best gig is the way Rat Pfink deals with his black cape) and it is not a bad movie after all. The film can be divided in two - the first half without the masked heroes and the second one with them fighting the gang - and the sudden change from one to the other is quite weird. Indeed, it was not intended since the beginning by producers. Campiness is absolute, as is expected by a parody of an already campy franchise (60's Batman and Robin).
Brazilian spoof of The Wizard of Oz, with some surprising ups and many downs
This is very irregular spoof of The Wizard of Oz, with some ups and many downs, which clearly overcome the former. One of the major drawbacks is the horrible edition work. The beginning of the three men in extreme poverty was surprising and nice, although not all the slapstick was good. I did not like only the anthropomorphic caracara falcons. Mussum and Zacarias's versions of Tin Man and Scarecrow were nice and preserving the traits of thee two characters from "Trapalhões" humor crew. After the crew comes to Oroz town, though, there is a nonsense fight between Didi and the coward Lion, who besides not being a lion challenges him, what is not expected for a coward (Dedé Santana, as usual, is not funny and acts badly). The judgment sung in Northeastern Brazilian "repente" style, though, was extremely good. The homage to "2001: a space odyssey" was quite unexpected and interesting. Anyway, it is impressive how strong was social critic in this child film, something quite unusual: not just an empty denunciation of the poverty and drought in Northeast, but also a grievance against the purchasing of votes, against the traditional power of landowners, against the idea that you may starve and die by thirst but not steal food, and against the view that water is a commodity. On the other hand, sexism and sexploitation (that were so extreme in Brazilian cinema) appear in the completely unnecessary exposure of women butts when the story moves to Rio de Janeiro, despite it was a film made for children.
O Fuscão Preto (1983)
The big black beetle and a bizarre love triangle
Off course Fuscão Preto (Big Black Volskwagen Beetle) is neither a top film, nor a conventional one, but it worth attention. Released in the same year of "Christine", it also depicts a live frightening car (not a lovely one such as Herbie). Though, instead of killing people, the big black beetle behaves improperly because he has a crush on Diana (perhaps the character's name was inspired in the British princess, as they look similar and the royal wedding happened just two years before). Diana is also seduced by the car, but there is another guy interested on her: no, not her fiancé, but the horse tamer. Therefore, there is a weird love triangle, and the man with whom she is engaged with is not a victim - indeed, he is engaged with Diana only because of money and has another lover. Then, in spite of some bad acting and camera, the movie gets better after some time developing this bizarre "love pentagon". The film mixes different genres, such as B horror, romance drama, campy comedy (Zé Coqueiro is silly but funny), and action thriller. It is also important to mention that the actress in the leading role (acting badly, as her trademark) is Xuxa Meneghel, in her second feature-length film. Since her other movie from that year, she began to work only in child films and TV shows, and became very famous. After some time, uncomfortable with her sex appeal in the beginning of her career, she made everything to avoid people from watching her two first films: this "Fuscão preto" and the best of them, "Amor, estranho amor" ("Love Strange Love"), where she has sex with a young teenager. Both became very rare, and that is a shame, as they are, for sure, the best movies from her entire career.
A Noite do Vampiro (2006)
A Nosferatu from São Paulo: perfect animated short comedy!
What a brilliant short animated film from Brazil! In an expressionist São Paulo, we may explore the intimate life of a Nosferatu, which uses not to be shown in books or movies about vampires. The monster will have problems when he meets another blood-sucker! Everything is extremely nice in these six minutes that worth more than most of feature length films. Story is extremely clever and make spectator laugh all the time. Animation is very well done, heavily inspired in German Expressionism, as a spoof/tribute comedy. Crazy credits and intertitles are also hilarious - at least for Brazilians, as they make several references to popular culture and foreigners may not understand many of those jokes. The drawing style and action merge old silent movies and modern surrealist cartoon in a very amusing way.
8MM 2 (2005)
With better actors for the main couple, this could be a very good thriller
The story is nice, but the main couple (Johnathon Schaech and Lori Heuring) is so irritating! Indeed, the beginning of the movie (before Zita Görög in the pool) is one of the worst I have ever seen in a film, with bad acting and poor dialogues. It gets better, as the thriller has an entertaining story, until the end, but all the long dialog scenes do annoy throughout the movie (differently for the more action-oriented ones). Other actors do a good job, particularly those whose characters are involved in sex industry, such as the pornographic photographer and the brothel mobster owner. As a matter of fact, all the red-light underworld scenes are very nice. Some of the most famous hardcore stars from Hungary have (nude) cameos or minor roles.
Ponto Zero (2016)
A masterpiece of Brazilian cinema
Beautiful, sensitive, distressing. The very first feature-length film of José Pedro Goulart is a masterpiece of Brazilian cinema. Cinematography, edition, acting, screenplay, everything is perfect and above the ordinary. The images and camera angles captured for this film are amazingly innovative and audacious. The alternation between reality and his mind also worth being mentioned. The movie subject may be described as the difficulties and challenges faced by a boy with psychological problems and very dysfunctional parents. He finds in driving his father's car the path to freedom he does not have in his life. Though, the hardest challenge will come, and he lacks maturity to deal with. The only person who may make he goes on is himself.
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Not any given motivational American football movie
This could be one more well made motivational American football film, like Jerry Maguire, Remember the Titans, Rudy or Varsity Blues, but it is even more, as it also deals with many other important issues, such as: business over all, media effects, family relations, age conflicts, vanity, health problems. The minor drawbacks are the excess of unnecessary nude butts and some scatology, but, on the other hand, the film may also be praised for its edition innovations. Al Pacino is fantastic as the coach (as everybody may expect), but Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid and Camerin Diaz also do a great job. By the end, one more sample that this is not any given conventional American football movie.
Big budget, awful outcome
The very first minutes are interesting, but soon the movie shows that it will be a waste of time and money. Why the scenario looks like a theatre stage? Why does Theseus fight like martial artists or Jedi knights? What the hell are those gods' bizarre golden helmets? Why it is so hard for Hollywood making films about Greek Mythology, which is much more interesting than their average action movie crap screenplays (a serious epic about Titanomachy could be awesome!)? Indeed, the film is entirely based in assumptions contrary to basic Greek mythology traits, such as the idea that the god may not interfere in human lives. As a matter of fact, there are obvious Christian or modern Western values mobilizing characters instead of ancient Greek ones. The films has many serious mistakes and just copy what all the other empty blockbusters do: excessive slow motions, generic motivation speeches, video game ultra- violence.
Orgulho de Ser Brasileiro (2013)
Unbelievably biased conservative documentary
This awful documentary is unbelievable. It is, for sure, one of the worst movies I have ever watched. It is astounding how the producer and director (an anchorman of conservative radio programs) dared to select a so biased group of interviewees to explain Brazil, some of them clearly unable to produce a complex analysis - from politicians such as ex president Cardoso (who abandoned his past reputation as an important sociologist to become a rancorous newspaper commentator) and presidential candidate Marina Silva (as Cardoso, she is also a fierce opponent of the governments which had been ruling the country for a decade) to irrelevant upper-class Brazilians living in the United States (curiously, perhaps aware of their controversial participation, the synopsis in the official website describes the film as "Just real. Made by Brazilians. With no foreign interference."). No social movements, no progressive intellectuals, no slum or countryside people appear on screen. The outcome is obviously elitist, right-wing, bitter to then Federal Government, with almost only unsophisticated testimonies. The elegant rooms where most of the interviews happened are a metaphor of how far from Brazilian people this movie is. If you want to know more about Brazil, its complexities, what was going on there by the end of the first decade of XXIst century, I strongly recommend you to look anywhere else.