May 30, 2013
A terribly boring last journey to death. Frankly, I lacked patience with this film.
August 29, 2008
Nothingness is the path to victory and in any constant public reactions,this would be the doomsday of most motion pictures.I will admit that Reygadas uses no script whatsoever,but why should i erase his ability to project a serene environment in a hostile manner?
May 28, 2011
The only thing this movie does well is showing animals being treated like shit. What a piece of garbage...
July 29, 2009
Señor Reygadas, your name might be cool to me, and you may have made some esoteric avant garde work in the future, but Japan has the stench of "Tarkovsky fanboy" and you've wasted my time with your amateurism and questionable sex fetishes. Next you'll be filming lesbian interracial midgets, I bet.
August 14, 2009
I rushed for this one as soon as Battle in Heaven went to the top of my provisional list. There are many typical over-eager first-time director moves, but overall Reygadas nails it. I've traipsed off by myself to some rural pueblito to get drunk and be self important on more than one occasion, and he definitely nails it. There are of course the Tarkovsky influenced camera moves (completely abandoned in Battle in Heaven), but Reygadas films a reality outside of himself while Tarkovsky films self-interiors. The 15 minute disintegration into documentary near the end of the film is extraordinary and took steel balls from a first-time director. The dude literally interrupts his own narrative climax to a show a bunch of drunk mexican extras bitching about their maltreatment in the making of the film. I've never seen anything like it. I just hope Reygadas doesn't abandon Mexico like most of his other New Mexican Cinema comprades have.
January 29, 2010
Currently and for the past two years, this has been my choice for the worst movie that I've ever watched. There was just enough hope embedded in the "story" to keep me from ejecting the DVD and walking away shaking my head and cussing softly under my breath. I kept hoping that it would get better or develop into a real movie, but alas I was so wrong. Mother of Saddam Hussein, this was a horrible, horrible, horrible movie.. . and I watched every single second of it.
The lead character was impossible to like; he even despised himself (his only saving grace during the whole film). The shaking camera, repeatedly taking endless, tedious looks at grass and pavement and walls was an artsy effect that gave me a headache, over and over again. It kind of reminded me of the times I forget to turn off the video camera and walk around with it hanging from my neck recording my feet. Unlike the film Japon, my clumsy mistakes were never acclaimed to be cinematic magic.
I'm not some PETA wannabe, but there were some really graphic scenes featuring cruelty to animals that were just pointless and stupid. Come on, what is the point of choking a puppy, you ignorant shmendrik. If you wanted to choke something, you should've choked Mr. Reygadas, the man who directed this stinker. And the final scene with the defiled old woman with her stolen bricks being carried away by rail... that final, endless shot of the tracks leading up to the train wreck must have lasted 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. By the time we finally arrived to the scene of the final carnage, I envied those lying dead among the spilled bricks.
Pappy Bob's pedestrian opinion: Worst movie of all time. It was pretentious, boring, cruel, pointless, and pretentious (I know, but it was sooooooooooo pretentious). I've already put a condition in my last will and testament forbidding the distribution of my final assets to any descendent who fails to swear an anti-Japon oath upon my demise.
August 2014 Update. This is still the worst movie that I've ever seen.
July 24, 2014
The PC police are at work here. I was led astray by AO Scott (NY Times) and Manohla Dargis (LA Times). These two reviewers usually are very accurate in their movie reviews. This time I think the emperor wore no clothes. This is one of those Art Films that has very little story and leaves more questions than it answers. I found very little to recommend.
Our nameless hero travels to a remote Mexican village to shoot himself. We have no idea why. He stays a few days with an elderly widow. There are some vague references to Catholic Christianity. The widow has a name/nickname that references the figure of Christ. Our hero finds occasion to lay upon his bed in a Christ on the cross posture. The mountain scenery that was purported to be strikingly beautiful; was mostly dry and rocky. There were some distant valleys that appeared to be green farm fields.
The story moves at a glacial pace. Events take place. And, we have a not surprising ending.
This movie might appeal to Catholics, people with a fondness for Mexico, or those with an existential bent of mind. It was not for me.
I do not recommend it.
November 13, 2013
Japón es la historia de un hombre que está decidido a terminar con su vida, pero en el transcurso, durante el tiempo que pasa en un lejano pueblo, sufre una transformación y un redescubrimiento personal que lo harán cambiar de parecer. Es la muestra de que la esperanza existe. Es la muestra de que el arrepentimiento y la renovación son posibles. Con bellas imágenes (a pesar de tener una especie de filtro o un trabajo de corrección de color horripilante), interesantes secuencias y sin muchos diálogos, Reygadas demuestra el proceso de conversión y purificación de un hombre y el reencuentro de su amor por la vida. A pesar de contar con varios puntos a su favor, sobre todo en el aspecto ideológico y en su mensaje, posee varios aspectos perjudiciales, como el ritmo lento no muy bien empleado y la utilización de actores amateur que en varias ocasiones arruinan el flujo de la cinta y le restan credibilidad a lo que sucede en pantalla.
Es una película que podría parecer simple y poco profesional, sin embargo, es una cinta compleja y hasta simbólica que puede dar cabida a diversas interpretaciones.
No fue de mi completo agrado, pero este filme es definitivamente un trascendental paso para Carlos Reygadas.
September 29, 2009
This movie is a self indulgent waste of time. Can't believe it has so great reviews. Probably people don't know the language but the acting and (very few) lines are extremely bad.
May 22, 2005
Beautiful movie inside and out -especially is you have ever ventured off the beaten path in Mexico and liked it! You can sense that the director really has a love an appreciation for the people and flavor of the country. The film is visually rich and raw.
December 27, 2003
A PRIMITIVE MYTHOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS UNDER STORY
...EVERYTHING IS USELESS....JUST FOLLOW AND UNDERSTAND SYMBOL AND IS THE PERFECT ART CREATION...BRAVO
December 8, 2003
i had just typed my whole commentary for this film and it gave me a "page not found error" grrr... stupid piece of shit
well what I have to say is that this is easily one of the most visionary and compelling films I've seen this year (so far)