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octavio.teixeira

octavio.teixeira

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Reviews written

since 13/03/2007

28

Letters From Iwo Jima (DVD) 31/05/2007

"Do not expect to return home alive..."

Letters From Iwo Jima (DVD) 31.May.07 Please allow me a little introduction to put you in the picture (If you’re not bothered about what previously has happened relating this review (and you’re completely entitled not to), please just skip this paragraph, and you can find the start of the movie review there, thanks): Firstly I started by writing this review to cover both “Flags of Our Fathers” & “Letters from Iwo Jima”, and as it was my first movie review (my second in general), I assume that covering both movies I could post it under both titles. Of course I should have read the “Instructions Manual” first, but I didn’t, and so I just posted it. Well it wasn’t long before I started getting some “Off-Topic” and “Not-Helpful” ratings stating that “double-posting” wasn’t allowed. Of course these ratings came from those few members around here that think they own the place, others, wiser and so far more understanding, just sent me a kind message alerting me of my mistake and advising me the best thing to do; Which I did and for those wise members, here again I express my gratitude. I was determined not to rewrite the reviews till I read a great piece of advice by Christianfilmcritic entitled “How to Become a Ciao Millionaire”, and if you’ve had the chance to read it already you should easily understand why. So here we are… The Speaker enters the stage…: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the public can I please have your attention… This comment goes for all of you, the wiser and the less wise (or ...

Flags of Our Fathers (DVD) 31/05/2007

The only heroes were the ones who didn't come back

Flags of Our Fathers (DVD) 31.May.07 Please allow me a little introduction to put you in the picture (If you’re not bothered about what previously has happened relating this review (and you’re completely entitled not to), please just skip this paragraph, and you can find the start of the movie review there, thanks): Firstly I started by writing this review to cover both “Flags of Our Fathers” & “Letters from Iwo Jima”, and as it was my first movie review (my second in general), I assume that covering both movies I could post it under both titles. Of course I should have read the “Instructions Manual” first, but I didn’t, and so I just posted it. Well it wasn’t long before I started getting some “Off-Topic” and “Not-Helpful” ratings stating that “double-posting” wasn’t allowed. Of course these ratings came from those few members around here that think they own the place, others, wiser and so far more understanding, just sent me a kind message alerting me of my mistake and advising me the best thing to do; Which I did and for those wise members, here again I express my gratitude. I was determined not to rewrite the reviews till I read a great piece of advice by Christianfilmcritic entitled “How to Become a Ciao Millionaire”, and if you’ve had the chance to read it already you should easily understand why. So here we are… The Speaker enters the stage…: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the public can I please have your attention… This comment goes for all of you, the wiser and the less wise (or ...

Kill Bill Vol.1/Kill Bill Vol.2 (Box Set) (DVD) 26/05/2007

The vibrating sound of revenge...

Kill Bill Vol.1/Kill Bill Vol.2 (Box Set) (DVD) Master Quentin couldn’t get out more surprised from that meeting with Miramax’s “Big Boss” Harvey Weinstein, where he found out that after all his new masterpiece will not only be one movie but actually two… Not that the idea had never crossed his mind before and one hour after receiving Weinstein’s suggestion, Tarantino knew exactly were to split the movie. “Kill Bill” is a movie you will want to watch in one go, so just prepare yourself and find 4 and a half hours with absolutely nothing to do (the movies actually only add up to 4h07m but you may need to stop for natural reasons like cold beer in the fridge…). Why watch it in one go? When I first watched volume one of “Kill Bill” I was simply in a state of elated bliss, (now you only have to multiply that by two…). But all that excitement wasn’t only because of the cinematography, the games with the camera, the fighting scenes, or the delicious references to the pop culture that intersect any of Tarantino’s movies, but because soon in the first volume you can identify an epic characteristic that will be confirmed in the second. When I say epic, is not in the way you would apply the word to movies like “Lord of the Rings”, where the heroes’ saga is seen like something colossal from the visual point of view. I use epic here in a way that the story of “The Bride” overtakes the character’s seek for revenge. Again we are in the presence of a reconstruction of a hero’s myth, in this case, a fallen hero. And why ...

Jackie Brown (DVD) 19/05/2007

Santa's got a brand new bag...

Jackie Brown (DVD) The first scene of "Jackie Brown" seems to rediscover something lost somewhere in time, something that seemed to be forgotten by the cinema and which absence transpires an amnestic sensation, immemorial. Tarantino gives the idea that he is discovering it, and in cinema it's always the intention that counts, what you print and make apparent. Not the mosaic wall or the airport corridor; these pieces, just like Master Quentin chooses to shoot them, aren't more than inertia, a weight the contemporary cineaste cannot escape. It's absolutely necessary to fold them, implode them... It seems for a moment that the director wants to show what cinema had to learn with plasticity already did it, completely; even maybe a little too much, I could add here. (It's important to focus that Tarantino worked on the simple fact that, after reaching its 100th birthday, cinema is no longer only the register of a historic image, but starts being the actual story of that image).There was the need of another explosion, one that could revive the movement, one that could bring back to the cinema the “working image”. The decor doesn't abandon its status of “dead nature” until the apparition of Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) on the screens. There's in this body - the body of a lady that symbolizes and comprehends the simple fact that some movies just “exist” -, the shapes regain a movement that cinema - and only cinema - can give them… So, after all who’s Jackie Brown and what is she doing ...

Reservoir Dogs (DVD) 12/05/2007

"Hey, what's going on? Can you hear that...?"

Reservoir Dogs (DVD) Je suis malade. Last night… 4.30am… Something is wrong with me, I can’t sleep. Tired I am, of trying… With a sudden jump I get out of bed, just to, dizzy, fall straight on the floor. Tripping on myself I manage to stumble to the bathroom and wash my face, and it was then that I realize something is definitely very wrong with me! I’m not one of those people with an illness addiction, very rarely I get out of my natural physical condition, so, what’s happening to me today…? Deeply staring at myself in the mirror, I remembered a soundtrack that would certainly help me get through this… “Lookin’ back on the track for a little green bag, Got to find just the kind or I’m losin’ my mind”: I’m losing my mind! – Voices wouldn’t stop calling me… “Lookin’ for some happiness, But there is only loneliness to find, Jump to the left, turn to the right, Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind…” I’m sick. I can’t walk. The floor is always cold and I, standing there, admiring that climatic stability – “my life is not lost, it isn’t…!” I thought in calling for someone, but it’s too early… this lack of communication makes me feel like that old man without ink left to write uses his own blood to finish the script… My body wants to give up; I don’t have too many minutes left… On a last effort I hold myself to the sofa and turn the TV on… No images though, I turn off the antenna tired of the public TV crap(!), only my movies can save me now, and there it was… smiling for my disgrace, like ...

Spider-Man 3 (DVD) 07/05/2007

You knew this was coming, didn't you?

Spider-Man 3 (DVD) I wish I had some popcorn, but as I don’t, I’ll have to satisfy myself with my beloved can of Foster’s… Now I’m ready to go, I press the play button and instantly close my eyes (to absorb it properly!) and it’s when it starts, the phenomenal music of Danny Elfman, in his own and particular style: symphonic, involving and emotive, defining only by itself characters and situations. In two simple words, always genial! Now I can open my eyes again… Just looking to this fabulous cast, I am already convinced that it will be worth a trip to the cinema. Just proving that there are still casts with a handful of credit… … “He said it was my fault, didn’t he?” Avi Arad pandiculates in his new office, home of the new founded Avi Arad Productions, not too far where he used to “clock the card” as Marvel’s Chairman and CEO. On his table, leaflets pile up; on the walls, posters of productions based in “his” heroes and in frivolous creations like “Bratz” and “Castlevania”. “I’m not calling him. Maybe it’s really my fault.” The “him” Avi refers to is director Sam Raimi. Months earlier, when questioned why he chose Venom, Sam pointed the finger at the producer, that had said the new movie needed to please the request of the younger fans, exactly, the inclusion of the “anti-spider”. Case closed. Not that Avi was reluctant in accepting the “blame” for anything that refers to Spider-Man 3, which erupts in the most ambitious adventure of ‘Spidey’ on the cinema. He, actually, couldn’t ...

Q & A 05/05/2007

Just don't let the bastards grind you down...

Q & A It should be around 00:30 last night and here I was, reading and rating what this “universe” has to say… Irony of the destiny I came across ElLeon’s last review (you may want to take a look, interesting…). Anyway, he based his Q&A on a 2001 version and the questions seemed so cool to me that I thought doing the same… Don’t create too many expectations, or you can end up disappointed… 1. What is your middle name? Which one? Ok, I tell you all of them then… “Miguel S. de Pimentel”. 2. How big is your bed? King Size, we need to fit all when the children wake up… 3. What are you listening to right now? Johnny Cash, “Country Classics”, just great… 4. What are the last 4 digits in your cell phone number? What do you want to know that for?! If you want the entire number ask me… (Four digits… ah!) 5. What was the last thing you ate? Hmmm… I’m here for so long that forgot to eat… I know what I’m drinking! interested? 6. Last person you hugged? My beautiful fiancée… (I have to hug her every time she comes around otherwise she starts asking me if I’m marrying the computer… sure you know what it is...). 7. How is the weather right now? It’s ok, not too cold. And that’s enough about the weather, that’s what people talk about when they don’t have anything else to say… (And it’s getting late…) 8. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? I wouldn’t say talk, but the last time I used the phone was this morning around 11 to call the DWP, just to ...

Domino/A Man Apart/A History Of Violence (DVD) 02/05/2007

The Good… The Bad… & The Undecided…

Domino/A Man Apart/A History Of Violence (DVD) † What you are about to read is a review on a box set that could easily be described in a simple word: Violence…! But as I spend more than 300 minutes watching it, I think I will tell you a bit more about it… Was it worth it? You will soon find out… † “Domino” (2005) - “There is three kinds of people in the world: the poor, the rich, and everyone in between… My name is Domino Harvey…” (2/5). Tony Scott is the personification of everything we hate about today’s Hollywood, wouldn’t he be the creator of the blockbuster concept, when he directed “Top Gun”, back in 1986. But there’s something about him that catches my attention and maybe that’s the reason why one of my favourite “worst movie ever” is “The Last Boy Scout” (1991)… “Domino” is an action thriller freely adapted to the true life of Londoner Domino Harvey, who gave up her career as a model to become a bounty hunter; Domino was the only daughter of Lawrence Harvey (Lithuanian-born actor, mostly famous for his roles in “Room at the top” (1959) and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962)) and supermodel Paulene Stone. The role of the statuesque Domino is played by the beautiful Keira Knightley, and the similarities end up here; everything else on this movie is an intrinsic gangster thriller, with non-stop action, a bit of humour by the middle, some hallucinating “trips” and even a strip-tease… Domino Harvey was a “weird” woman. Soon in life she swapped her easy life for another one a lot more exciting. ...

Bruce Almighty (DVD) 29/04/2007

Welcome to my world...

Bruce Almighty (DVD) As I've been doing for the past two weeks or so, yesterday evening, while choosing which movie I was up to, I had a request of my lovely daughter; Being almost more excited than I am with “Daddy's letters” as she likes to call the reviews, she wanted to be part of this one, and of course, I have to please my little baby... “So be it, you choose the movie and daddy writes the “letter”, and in the end you can write a little yourself...” Among a few hundreds of movies we have on those dusty shelves, and after excluding all the “Princess Stories” and “Christmas tales” (I will keep those last ones for the right season), she chose... “Bruce Almighty”… “Bruce Almighty”...! Are you sure? Alrighty then..." After the catastrophic results obtained with "The Majestic" (2001), with a loss around the $40m mark, Jim Carrey returns to the comedy in a third collaboration with Tom Shadyac (the first two were "Ace Ventura" (1994) and "Liar Liar" (1997)); As usual Carrey is not afraid to adventure himself in dramatic projects and this time his versatility will award him a position among the ten more profitable actors in Hollywood, as this comedy has broken audience records all over the world. It's a simple family comedy, with humor for all ages; it has, however, a PG-13 rating, mostly because a tiny little bit of sexual content (of course it's up to the parents to decide) but if your children are under 7 they won't understand what's going on, if they're older you may get a couple ...

Flatt on Victor Plus More - Lester Flatt 28/04/2007

"I'm not leaving without you...!"

Flatt on Victor Plus More - Lester Flatt “Dreamgirls” adapts a successful Broadway musical show in the beginning of the Eighties, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, and based on Tom Eyen’s book and lyrics (both already dead). The story finds its inspiration in the foundation and progression of Motown Records (Jamie Foxx plays the role of Motown’s director) and, particularly, in the Supremes’ creation and success (The Dreams in the movie). We don’t obviously see the Broadway show, but, in the movie, everything is a reason to create a song-atmosphere, to hear the excellent and vibrating R&B, Soul and Disco songs and music. With great interpretations, especially from Jennifer Hudson (Effie White), it is worthy to hear (and see, because in Jennifer’s face and body there is something else): “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, where in sublime despair she screams…“I’m not leaving without you!” and the fabulous “One Night Only”. But that is about the songs. And the movie is a musical. Well, serving the musical is supposed to be director Bill Condon and his adapted screenplay (Condon has worked mostly as a screenwriter, and has already won two Academy awards, one for “Gods and Monsters” (1998) and the second for “Chicago” (2002), another musical). Just like in “Chicago”, this movie is about a musical backstage (like in the musical’s good old days) and it is recurring (is about what happened back then on stage, as by the looks of it nothing similar to a musical is probable to happen ...

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (DVD) 28/04/2007

Welcome to the party...!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (DVD) Can a film noir have hot colours and be a comedy? Can a screenwriter direct an excellent movie at the first attempt? Can Val Kilmer perform as a gay cop? Well the answers in this case are: yes, yes and… yes! "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is Shane Black's debut movie. The name probably doesn't sound familiar, but I can tell you he is a follower of the buddy movie style, and the creator of scripts like "Lethal Weapon" (1987) and "The Last Boy Scout" (1991). The production of Joel Silver and a reduced budget (Warner Bros. was willing to produce the movie with a larger budget if Harrison Ford were to play Gay Perry, the detective) proves to be of extra value and attracted a trio of actors in their comic moment. Robert Downey Jr. plays Harry Lockhart, a little thief that by irony of the destiny becomes an actor. After a failed robbery, while running from the police, Harry finds himself "trapped" in the middle of an acting audition. Suddenly the "new talent" moves from the "tuff and no bulls**t" New Work to the "immoral and cruel" L.A., pompous by parties, partnering with a virile cinema consultant, that works as a private detective and whose name, not by coincidence, is Gay Perry (Val Kilmer). Not very far of the character he played in "The Singing Detective" (2003), is up to Downey Jr. to narrate the movie in the tradition of the most refined film noir… well… more or less… Remembering Dan Dark ego's key question in that movie: "Who's the woman?... ...

Crash (DVD) 26/04/2007

Its ok Daddy, I will protect you...

Crash (DVD) Paul Haggis’ (screenwriter of “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)) debut movie is an urban tale, in a mosaic of multiracial characters living in Los Angeles. After seen his own car robbed, Haggis used the experience to write this story and this is the starting point for a movie that could begin with: “Once upon a time…” Jean and Rick Cabot (Sandra Bullock and Brendan Frasier) are forced out of their car under the threat of a gun by two black guys, Anthony and Peter Waters (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Larenz Tate) that, minutes before, discuss about the injustice of the racial stigma in L.A. city. The robbery generates a series of events and coincidences, involving a group of people from different nationalities and cultures representing the Angelenos’ community. The police give the order to pursue the black Lincoln “Navigator”, exactly the same vehicle owned by Cameron and Christine Thayer (Terrence Dashon Howard and Thandie Newton) that are later stopped by Officer John Ryan (Matt Dillon) and his rookie partner Officer Tom Hansen (Ryan Phillippe). Ryan orders the couple to step out from the car and humiliates them under the incredulity of Hansen. Rick Cabot is a district attorney seeking a new mandate, for what he’s hopping to get the votes of the African American and Hispanic communities. While trying to reveal himself as racially sensitive by not following up with the complaint on the carjacking, he’s pressurized by his wife, Jean, whose anger against the ethnic ...

Sin City (DVD) 25/04/2007

There's no justice... without sin...

Sin City (DVD) Between love and hate, “Sin City” is a movie that divided the public and the media’s opinion all around the world (why??!)… I personally just love it, I love the first, and I’m almost sure I’ll love the second… The doors of (Ba)Sin City are the entrance for a distorted and violent world, with criminal politicians, corrupt cops and beautiful, I mean, beautiful women. A world with a natural hate for females, chauvinist and sexist, where the way these girls dress leaves little space for your imagination (not that you’re not a creative person, but they’re really only half dressed…), and they don’t hesitate a second to defend themselves; resuming, just the crucial ingredients for a graphic novella. Why a “graphic” novella? This is a story where the heroes & villains don’t die unless they want to. In Sin City, the audacious characters are shot, run through, electrocuted, and after bleeding “white”, they just play an “extra life” and carry on with their rescue missions… And in the middle of all this “remix”, what most seduces in the movie is the absolutely faithful way that Robert Rodrigues transfers to the screen, Frank Miller’s comic-books. And I think that about this, even those that hate this movie, agree with me, relating to its techniques this movie is a masterpiece. It is a cinematographic revolution, the reinvention of film noir… cinema made by computer, shot digitally with the actors performing in a “green room”. A cinema technically thought… A movie ...

Shopgirl (DVD) 23/04/2007

What are you searching for?

Shopgirl (DVD) From all the movies I had the opportunity to watch in 2006, “Shopgirl” was probably, my biggest surprise. The fact that Steve Martin adapted his own best-selling novella (becoming this way, screenwriter, producer and one of the actors), soon got my attention and curiosity, but nothing made me think it could be such a powerful movie… The story happens in L.A., but not in the side we are used to seeing, happens in the anonymous side of Los Angeles, the side without any connections to celebrities or the film and entertainment industry. It happens in the “lonely” side of L.A., the same side once described by Anthony Kiedis in the US hit-single “Under the Bridge” (Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, 1991), transferring the movie, immediately, to a higher level. It is in that Los Angeles that we find Mirabelle (Claire Danes) who works in a glove’s shop, Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman) a salesman that Mirabelle meets at the laundrette and with whom she dates a few times; and Ray Porter (Steve Martin), a successful business man that will conquer Mirabelle’s heart thinking she’s aware, he is not looking for a long-term relationship. And what does connect in first place an “innocent” girl from Vermont who moves to L.A. trying to become an artist, but struggles to adapt herself to the “big” city; an immature man, maladroit salesman who aspires to become a font artist one day; and a very rich man in a mid-age crisis? Well, all three are enormously ...

Modern Belly Dance Music from Lebanon, Vol. 1 - Emad Sayyah 22/04/2007

"No sins of Man will go unpunished... Amen..."

Modern Belly Dance Music from Lebanon, Vol. 1 - Emad Sayyah From the African-American film Director, Producer and Screenwriter John Singleton (“Boyz N the Hood” (1991) and “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003)) this movie has all the ingredients to be a good action film. The problem is it pretends to be a bit more than that… The drama progresses around four adopted brothers that reunite at their mother’s funeral, executed during a pretence armed robbery. The unusualness of being physically different, two of them are white and the other two are black, is one of the elements more explored in the movie. Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flannagan) is portrayed as a caring woman, a social assistant that during her 30 year career only came across four lost causes, four delinquents so far gone she couldn’t find any one to adopt them, so she did it herself, and raised them like brothers. Of course, they don’t become exemplar adults otherwise the movie wouldn’t be very funny… Bobby “Michigan Mauler” Mercer (Mark Wahlberg) is the oldest and the “craziest” of the family. Just released from jail, he arrives to Detroit with thirst of revenge and drags his three brothers to a sphere of violence; Angel Mercer (Tyrese Gibson) is a former marine and a playboy, always trying to impress the girls; Jeremiah Mercer (André Benjamin) is a family man and the most reasonable of the brothers; And Jack “Jackie” Mercer, is the youngest one, always trying to be as bad as his older brothers. “Four Brothers” could be a great movie. But it isn’t. The dialogues are ...
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