Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Sweet and heartbreaking. Luka Kain is perfect as the central character, and one can never sing the praises of Mj Rodriguez enough. The musical numbers come in a little awkwardly, but it works. I absolutely loved the film and know that it will stay with me.
This movie was written and directed by its star, Robert Benigni. The movie is almost two different stories, one a fanciful falling-in-love story as Guido (Benigni) meets and woos the previously engaged Dora (Nicoletta Braschi). Set in 1930's Italy, their relationship is whimsical, charming and extremely lighthearted. Once they acknowledge their love for each other, the film jumps ahead several years after they are married and have a young son. They are soon rounded up by the invading Nazi forces and sent to a concentration camp. The film's second act is the story of Guido as he does all he can to protect the innocence of his son, Giosue, through lies and tall tales about what is actually transpiring.
I absolutely loved this film, though there were a couple times that Guido's comical actions against the backdrop of the camps felt somewhat uncomfortable. But for me, the story transcended this discomfort. While Benigni was delightful, I found Nicoletta Braschi spellbinding. Her ability on several occasions to say so much, without uttering a single word, was magnificent.
This was a great film. Adventure, suspense and no-nonsense alpha dog San Francisco detective Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen)! Bullitt and his team are assigned with protecting a witness before he has to testify. While taking shifts protecting the witness in a run down hotel, the witness still ends up murdered. Bullitt has two days to solve the murder, while simultaneously being continually thwarted and subverted by the power hungry Senator Chalmers (Robert Vaughn). The story is tight, the pacing is great, the editing superb and the music… well the music is very much the late 60's. That's a compliment in every way possible! Given the period of the movie, I could almost envision sitting in the car with my dad and watching this at our home town drive-in!
This film was recommended after I posted my review of the French Connection. A friend noted that the famous car chase scene in the French Connection was surpassed only by the chase seen in Bullitt. I'm going to have to respectively disagree! Don't get me wrong, I can definitely see why the car chase in Bullitt is considered classic. It's almost 11 minutes of non-stop action through the streets and valleys of San Francisco that is staged and filmed almost to perfection. Almost. Bullitt's car chase is slightly marred by a couple instances of obvious fast-action camera assistance and some out of sequence editing. I didn't notice these trappings in the French Connection. With that said… I'm going to refrain from claiming one is better than the other and simply say that comparing the two is like comparing Barbecue flavored chips against Salt & Vinegar. They are both unique and delicious and they both can be enjoyed based on the moment!
This one is classic film noir from the second is starts. Premiering the same year as Gentleman's Agreement, both films are among Hollywood's first to deal with Antisemitism, though this one much less apologetically. It is a B picture that features some A list actors. Headed by three Roberts (Mitchum, Young and Ryan), the movie sets out to solve the murder of a Jewish guest in hotel where several GI's have been frequenting, and who are among the prime suspects. Gloria Grahame (a personal favorite) turns in an Oscar nominated performance as well.
Capt. Finley (Young) drives the hard lesson home, "That's history Leroy. They don't teach it in school, but it's real American history just the same." "Hating is always the same, always senseless. One day it kills Irish Catholics, the next day Jews, the next day Protestants, the next day Quakers. It's hard to stop. It can end up killing men who wear striped neckties. Or people from Tennessee."
Sadly it seems an American lesson we haven't learned from as some Americans still set out to spread hatred. The old targets sadly being joined by transgender people, Muslims and others some sixty years since this movie was made. As an interesting side note, the book that this movie is based upon (The Brick Foxhole) featured the murder of a homosexual, not a Jew. The Hay's Codes of the era wouldn't allow for a movie about homophobia so the victim was changed to a Jew, and the bigotry repackaged as Antisemitism.
Charming and sweet, while at the same time somewhat sad and uncomfortable. The story is about Sean (Matt Bomer), a young, white, recently single, physically appealing gay man who hires Ernesto, a Latino migrant worker, to do some house painting. Ernesto (Alejandro Petino) is older, married and a bit out of shape. Neither of them is bilingual but soon the relationship between this modern Odd Couple begins to morph, adapt and continually be misunderstood until it ultimately becomes misconstrued.
The under riding themes are important, and the acting and chemistry of the two main leads is a major plus. It has some truly laugh out loud moments, especially when Ernesto tries to explain to his wife each day how his workload is altered!
My one main criticism is that I never found Sean to be a likable guy. There are a couple revelations that come out about half way through the film that address this, but even after they happened I still found I just didn't really like the guy that much. That aside, it had a wonderful message about basic humanity and I laughed and was invested enough that I would rate it a solid B. I'm appreciative of the recommendation and consider it a viewing well worth the film's 98 minutes!