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Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Kickboxer 3: The Art of War

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

tn_kickboxer3KICKBOXER 3 is one of the movies I watched for the Super-Kumite but had to turn it into an exhibition match due to its lack of tournament. This is a pretty enjoyable one though with a weird mix of sports movie and violent shootout movie. Also it deals with sex trafficking just like the last movie I reviewed. (Don’t worry – it’s against it.)

check out my review in this week’s OUTLAW VERN PRESENTS over on Daily Grindhouse.

Elite Squad 2

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

tn_elitesquad2aka ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN (title on American poster)
ELITE TROOP 2: NOW THE ENEMY IS ANOTHER ONE (bootleg-sounding literal translation)
ELITE SQUAD (title on marquee at the Uptown in Seattle)

ELITE SQUAD 2 (as the subtitle on the title screen says) is the 2010 follow-up to the 2007 Brazilian police epic. Same director (Jose Padilha), still writing along with Braulio Mantovani (CITY OF GOD). Wagner Moura returns as Nascimento, head of B.O.P.E., the paramilitary police unit that fights the drug gangs in the favelas of Rio. This is supposed to be quite a few years later, because the baby that was born in part 1 is now a sullen teenager. Luckily they don’t make Moura wear old man makeup or anything, they just ask you to go with it.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Brazilian Brawl

Friday, August 5th, 2011
"Brothers, we need to have a serious talk."
“Brothers, we have to have a serious talk.”

Once again browsing the action section in a video store has led me to a strange movie that I never heard of before. This way of life is rapidly crumbling. When everything is piped into our faces on demand we won’t have to stick with our risky bets. We’ll click on something and if it seems shitty we’ll click on something else and not give it a chance to turn interesting. In fact, we’ll probly just turn it off and watch porn instead. So we will never see BRAZILIAN BRAWL.

But in my world, where you gotta actually go outside, travel to a building, pick out the movies to watch and physically transport them back to your home, you’re gonna invest the time to try to give the thing a chance. And you are gonna watch BRAZILIAN BRAWL from beginning to end (about one hour) because you could not resist renting the movie with the cover that shows a guy doing a flying kick with two guns and the words “STARRING THE WORLD FAMOUS MARTIAL ARTS MASTERS THE MACHADO BROTHERS. THESE HOMBRES THROW DOWN.” (read the rest of this shit…)

Elite Squad

Friday, April 8th, 2011

tn_elitesquadELITE SQUAD is a 2007 Brazilian movie about BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais), the titular squad of Brazilian military police. They’re basically a special forces unit, but unlike in the U.S. their job is to go after their own citizens. If you saw CITY OF GOD you know how the drug gangs control the favelas of Rio, so you can imagine what the supercops would have to be like in that world. They wear berets and they got a logo straight out of STARSHIP TROOPERS. (read the rest of this shit…)

Besouro

Friday, March 18th, 2011

tn_besouroHere’s a nice surprise, just something I found at the video store that I never heard of before, sounded interesting from the description on the box and it turned out it was. BESOURO is another movie based on the life of a legendary martial artist, except not an Asian one. This is a Brazilian film about a capoeira fighter.

The movie takes place in 1924. A narrator tells us that it’s less than 40 years after slavery ended in Brazil, that Africans are still treated like shit, that their religions and the practice of capoeira are outlawed. The setting is a small settlement where mostly African-Brazilians live, but they work in the sugar cane fields for an asshole white Colonel who uses the n-word more than 50 Cent does (played by Michael Richards [no, not really, but wouldn’t that be weird though?]). (read the rest of this shit…)

Party in Rio

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

tn_partyinrioCITY OF GOD, CITY OF MEN and NEWS FROM A PERSONAL WAR got me interested in what’s going on in Brazil. For further research I decided to check out this video I’d always meant to see, an enlightening travel documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger visiting Rio De Janeiro during Carnaval.

You young people probly think Schwarznegger is merely the governor of California who used to star in great movies like COMMANDO and TOTAL RECALL, but in fact he is also the former Mr. Universe and notorious horndog. This was 1983, after CONAN THE BARBARIAN but before THE TERMINATOR, and it’s the sort of video that probly mostly played after midnight on Cinemax.

(You young people probly think Cinemax was merely a channel that showed movies. In fact it was what kids used to see boobs before the invention of the internet if they couldn’t find their dad’s stash of Playboys.) (read the rest of this shit…)

City of God and News From a Personal War

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

tn_cityofgodSomehow I made it to the futuristic year of 2010 without ever seeing CITY OF GOD. I don’t know, just one of those things I never got around to, like skydiving or owning a house. But hey, the rest of the world: you were right! This is a good one.

You remember it: Crime in the slums of Rio De Janeiro, etc. The filmatism is frantic: alot of quick edits, handheld cameras, montages with lots of closeups, even some bullet time-esque rotating cameras. Occasionally it’s disorienting (especially since I’m trying to read the subtitles) but I think it’s closer to Scorsese energetic edits than, you know, that slapdash post Michael Bay shit we keep getting. And in contrast with many of that type it’s not slick or digital, it’s grungy and organic. It’s shot on location in the real favelas, with a cast mostly of real slum kids. So it looks like nothing you’ve seen before. (Except CITY OF GOD, since you all saw it a long time ago. Sorry, I’m catching up. Or SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, since they used pretty much the exact same approach, just in a different country.) (read the rest of this shit…)