Bless Me, Ultima - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bless Me, Ultima Reviews

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February 20, 2016
Bless Me, Ultima is a spiritual/religious movie about a old lady that comes back to her family and assists with healing both medical and spiritually. Now when I say medically i mean more like the herbal treatments.
The people in town hear of her being there and some of them are grateful and some of them are not so grateful.
The movie talks about religion,faith and science and how they all interconnect.
The movie and story are well told and the young boy that plays the lead role does a masterful job.
This movie does not only accept just the religious side of the argument but also asks questions of the missing pieces. It also discusses that if we dont have science and religion hand in hand then it cannot work.
Watch the movie and make up your own mind its well told.
It can be too much for the younger audience.
½ January 16, 2015
thought ð??­ full movie, great story about life, and the struggle between good n evil ð???
½ November 15, 2014
Good family movie and enjoyable story about the adventures of a boy's Grandmother and the magic she works.
August 25, 2014
The film poster says that it was based on the controversial novel. I don't know anything about that, but I feel it was referred like that for the marketing purpose. Anyway, it was a good, an unexpectedly good movie that came my way. Being a fan of the kids movie I loved it very much. Not only that, the diverged story with often the plot that meets fantasy and reality at a certain quantity was told in a great quality. It might be a story of the kid, but many stuffs were cruel and violent that I doubt does it fit for children to watch. As it set during just after the second world war, I think the harsh side of the story was extremely essential. And also being true to the book.

The story was narrated from the character Antonio who takes us back to his childhood days. When he was a 7-year-old kid, he lived in a small village of the New Mexico. He was raised in a farmer family who was well respected in the town. One day an old lady called Ultima comes to join his family to live forth. Soon Antonio and Ultima begin to have a close relationship. As a medicine woman she teaches everything about mending and curing. And as a wise woman she resolves Antonio's doubts over the good and the bad. As a sudden a conflict between Ultima and a witch family from the town begin to take a wing. As a little boy nothing much he can do than witnessing which brings the end of his narration.

''A man's destiny must unfold itself like a flower.
With only the sun, earth and water, making it blossom.''

It was from the first book of the four book series. And I am eager to know more about Antonio and his story of the different section of life. Hope they make those remaining 3 movies. This is a coming-of-age story and about a boy who is interested to become a priest which is well backed by his family. At the early age itself, he begins to learn the lessons with the help of the experienced hand. Kind of incredible journey of a little smart boy. The world he sees through his eyes was the story told about the human nature that collide between good and bad. The cast was not recognizable, probably I am seeing all of them for the first time. But the performances were very good. Apart from the boy and an old woman the remaining cast was also good. The movie was shot in the lovely places, captured beautiful dry landscapes, but there were a couple of scenes in the rain. Overall, a great movie, far from exhibiting the existing culture, but conflict remained the same. I feel like I must appreciate author as well this filmmaker to give such a nice movie.
July 15, 2014
Great and strange coming of age story
April 29, 2014
This was a wonderful story, but very heartbreaking.
½ April 17, 2014
I would not recommend. The majority of the actors inept, especially the leading "man". Although I acknowledge the fact that child actors cannot be held to the same standards that the adults can, I also see, all too obviously, that there were many more talented children that could have been chosen to play the part. The migraine-inducing sing-song voice of Antonio, made it, if possible, more difficult to become engaged in the film. Much of the problem, was not with the plot, although I cannot pretend to have enjoyed the book, but with the carelessness surrounding obvious details that, if done correctly, may have helped to fill the void left by the performers. Sadly this movie was a waste of my time, the only thing it did was provide far too many things for its viewers to criticize
April 1, 2014
Interesting look into Latino culture.
March 30, 2014
another winner from director carl franklin
½ March 24, 2014
It's worth watching. An insight of the mysteries of a culture and community through the eyes of a child.
½ March 17, 2014
Beautiful and enchanting story about a young boys relationship with his slightly mysterious grandmother.
½ January 11, 2014
Characters are just as I had imagined while reading the book although did lack the Golden Carp and Narcissos house scene too.
January 1, 2014
I've seen this in theaters & I had to own it.
December 15, 2013
Me recordo a mi Abuelita, ella era como Ultima, lo curaba todo y hacia las cosas mejor con fe en Dios, pero con fe en sus hiervas...or supuesto mi abuela no era curandera ni nada por el estilo, pero mi abuela curaba todo.
December 4, 2013
A diferencia de la anterior que vi, esta historia misteriosa y de encanto que me recuerda los tiempos de niñes, me ha conmovido y sorprendido. De esas historias que escuchabamos de nuestros padres y abuelos. Magnifica actuacion del niño y la anciana, sencilla y a la vez intrigante. Deberia destacar en premios, ya veremos.
November 28, 2013
Wonderful little known movie with a universal appeal of compassion and understanding. Very nice.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ November 11, 2013
They say that you can't make a good video game film, but what handful of people who are actually seeing this film say it's pretty decent, probably because this film is such a loose adaptation of "Ultima" that it's not about fantasy battles, but about a Mexican boy coming of age and finding his religion around the WWII era... or something like that. Jokes aside, this film has some pseudo-fantasy elements, and I've neither looked into the novel upon which this film is based nor the "Ultima" video game series enough to figure out just how different the premises are, but it's a safe bet that this book was not based on Origin Systems' "Ultima", because it was released almost ten years before "Ultima I", and is set in the 1940s on top of that. Ah yes, it's the 1970s... or 1940s, or whatever, back when music was actually good, so it's definitely a safe bet that this film isn't about the origin of the modern, Atlanta-based, post-hardcore metal band Of Machine, starting out with the days in which they were known as Bless Me, Ultima... or rather, before the days in which they were known as We Are Kings. Man, Of Machines sure changed their name out quite a bit, and you know what, they haven't gotten any better, but don't worry, fellow '70s nostalgics (I was born well after the '70s, but I'm a little crazy and think I'm older than I actually am, so there may come a day where I snap and actually think that I was a flower child or something, cat), because this isn't about angsty musicians' problems. No, this is yet more Mexican Catholic problems, folks, which would be fine and all if people who may need these messages were actually seeing these films, because no one saw "For Greater Glory", and they're sure not going to see this film. Either way, after a ten-year hiatus, Carl Franklin is back to directing feature films, and I'm glad of that, because by changing his route as a maker of films about minorities, he finally settles the debate the debate to see which ethnicity receives more attention from Americans: blacks or Mexicans. Just when you figured Franklin couldn't make any less money back when he was just worrying about black people problems, he does poverty in the Mexican culture no favors with this effort, which is a shame, because I like this film, and yet, I still have some complaints... the quantity of which I doubt is as substantial as the amount of complaints the Mexican and black communities would direct to me if people actually read my reviews, or at least were interested enough in this film to read a review of it.

A mess in a number of ways, the film can't even get a grip on its pacing, glossing over certain promising pieces of exposition, then proceeding to make up for time lost by bloating itself with a considerable excess of material, much of which runs together and ignites repetition, while just as much goes so far as to craft multiple full-fledged story layers and subplot that ultimately feel kind of superfluous, giving the final product more meat than it can hope to chew, what with its incoherency in pacing. You really do have to see this film to get an idea of just how all over the place it is, there is so much to focus on and so much unevenness that, after a while, you start to forget what all is happening, leaving focus to feel more absent than inconsistent, even though most every subplot keeps consistent with a certain major aspect: familiarity. It's hard to spot it, but if you look deeply enough into this story concept, there is some potential for relative uniqueness, it's just that it's seriously undercut by an execution that goes far along the opposite route, offering hardly anything that you've ever seen before within characterization, conflicts and overall path, which I will go so far as to say feel, not simply generic, but trite, possibly because conventionalism is mixed with a certain cheesiness that is found in weaker, but just as misguided dramas. At least as screenwriter, Carl Franklin bombards this effort with cheesiness, found primarily within questionable dialogue that waters down a sense of genuineness of storytelling, as well as within a blatant overemphasis on anything from dramatic depths or near-supernatural themes that strips film of much potentially intriguing ambiguities. There's enough heart to the direction and acting to endear, but with his script and, to a certain degree, directorial efforts, Carl Franklin cheapens this drama with subtlety issues so glaring that the final product typically feels like some kind of a TV film, if that, and does so with a certain ambition that saves the film about as much as it brings it to the brink of collapse. By that, I mean that Franklin's arguably overly palpable desire to carry this drama to effective heights charms enough to endear, but, at the same time, really draws your attention towards the many areas in which this film fails to fulfill its potential, probably by a long shot, for although there is enough done right, or at least done charmingly, to keep you adequately engaged, the missteps are so glaring that they all but ruin the final product as mediocre, at best. There's certainly a lot to complain about here, and I can't promise that you'll be able to get over the final product's problems, but for me, and apparently others, there's enough to this effort to endear and craft a pretty decent, if messy drama.

Mark Kilian's score isn't perfect, as it is consistently formulaic and all too often sentimental, not unlike most other components to storytelling in this drama, and yet, it remains heartfelt and thoughtful, so much so that it frequently livens things up on a general musical level, and has times in which it proves to be an effective compliments to the atmospheric depths of this opus, which is more powered by onscreen efforts which are perhaps just as heartfelt. Okay, now, the film is so messily handled on a directorial level that it should be relatively easy for a performance to slip-up under questionable hand of Carl Franklin, and sure enough, while the child performers who drive so much of this film are alright, they're not strong enough to carry this drama as much as certain other talents of today could, so it's a good thing that this very thematic coming-of-age character drama is so very reliant on the supporting characters, as they, while typically unsubtly drawn, go brought to life by inspired dramatic layers that offer the film some of its most endearing moments as a character drama. The character portrayals aren't that upstanding, but they're often more competent as driving forces for this opus than Franklin's written and directorial storytelling, which is kind of a good thing, I suppose, seeing as how potential needs to be done as much justice as it can get. As I've been saying, the interpretation of this subject matter is all but trite, but the subject matter remains worthy, at least on paper, being anchored by themes dealing with faith, as well as the first tastes of the harsh realities of maturity that change the lives of loved ones, and the youth who witnesses it is all. As surely as the onscreen performances are generally stronger than the offscreen performances, this film's story concept is more worthy on paper than it is in execution, and in a lot of ways, that's a shame, - seeing as how there's more to soak up here - but the fact of the matter is that you can, in fact, see the potential through all of the storytelling faults that undercut engagement value, thanks to moments in which storytelling really does pick up. Franklin is perhaps faultier as writer than director, but he still makes many mistakes as director, bloating the film with a sentimental emphasis which, I must admit, isn't wholly questionable, as there are moments in which it finds itself controlled enough to compel, drawing enough of the dramatic core to intrigue, while keeping pacing brisk enough to hold a fair degree of consistent engagement value, backed by a sense of ambition that may reflect shortcomings, but mostly charms. Were it not for such charm, you can take it to the bank that the final product would collapse into mediocrity, as it is just so messy and misguided, and yet, there are still some endearing strengths, and they go brought to life enough by Franklin's undeniable heart to keep the final product alive as decent, in spite of its faultiness, which may not be so easy to forgive for others.

In conclusion, pacing unevenness bloats focus with so much excess material that you also end up with narrative incoherency, which at least keeps consistent in genericism and cheesy subtlety issues that go stressed by an overwhelming sense of ambition which threaten the final product's decency, ultimately secured enough by enjoyable score work, good acting and highlights in direction behind conceptually worthy subject matter for "Bless Me, Ultima" to stand as a passably entertaining and sometimes engaging coming-of-age drama.

2.5/5 - Fair
November 7, 2013
?Bless Me, Ultima? is an emotional ride for the people who watch this movie. This is a great story for some mature audiences. The Bless Me, Ultima movie catches all of the emotion of the book with the fun of watching a movie. This characters and actors of the movie help the audience get the excitement and the sadness of the movie. The may be hard to follow for some if they haven?t read the book, because some of the parts have been left out, but for the most part all of it is there. ?Bless Me, Ultima? is still the greatest story of growing up that I have seen and read. The book is better at showing the challenges of life in more detail and when Antonio discovers the Golden Carp, and there starts the belief that there is not only one god but multiple gods. The movie is better at showing the emotion of the deaths of Antonio?s friends.
November 7, 2013
I enjoyed the movie Bless Me, Ultima. For those of you that have read the book, you will find that some parts are left out. I didn't like this. Because the golden carp was such a key factor in the book, it was weird to see it missing. When it was gone, Tony's struggle to choose a religion was somewhat diluted, but his struggle to find which family, Luna or Márez, he belonged to, stayed strong.
However, I liked how in the movie there was, obviously, a more vivid picture. You could see the characters' faces and reactions to everything much more clearly. Music, real pictures, and actual voices set the mood and made everything feel so real compared to the book.
Overall, I liked this movie. I love to read so I like the book better, but the movie was good too.
November 7, 2013
Vincent -1B- This movie was more realistic than the book because of its lack of magic and unrealistic dreams. This movie may have left a lot of things out, but this May have been necessary in order to make the movie. The book did well by making you feel as if you were in the main character's(Antonio's) shoes. The book was great and reminded me of my life as a child, and of how I lost my innocence. Although the movie moved through issues very fast, it still captured the loss of innocence theme that Anaya used so well.
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