Friday, April 29, 2005

NetFlix Movie: City of God - 4/28/2005

First off let me say that I am not a big fan of movies with sub-titles, when I watch a movie I like to focus on the pretty moving pictures, NOT reading! With that being said, this movie was well worth the extra effort of reading. "City of God" is a Brazilian movie that is based around a boy named Rocket who grows up in the most dangerous and poorest section of Rio de Janeiro. This movie takes you for a journey of his life and the people that surround him.

The movie starts off with a gang of hoods chasing a chicken with guns, we then see Rocket crossing paths with the hoods and the the gang leader Lil Ze. From here it flashes back to Rocket's childhood and shows how the main characters into he movie become who they are. The movie shows people doing what it takes to survive in the slums, some turn to crime, some try to work. But no matter what life is hard and temptations are all around. Even though Rocket keeps his nose clean and stays away from the gangs, he still finds himself in constant run ins with the wrong crowd.

City of God is narrated by Rocket and goes well beyond his story. We see how lives in the slums intertwine and how one action affects everything else. This movie is gritty and raw with a lot of violence. But definitely a must see.

Kieran Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

NetFlix Movie: Riding Giants - 4/20/2005

Riding Giants (2004) is a must see movie, plain and simple. This documentary about the history of big wave surfing is an incredible journey into the lives of men who risk their lives for fun. Directed by Stacy Peralta, who was a skateboard star back in the day, Riding Giants takes us deep into the historical elements of the beginning of modern surfing. After watching this movie you will love larger than life characters like Laird Hamilton and Greg Noll.

Granted, the reason why I put this movie into our NetFlix que was because of my fondness for surfing and the surfing culture. However, this movie goes way beyond "hanging ten" and takes you along for a historical journey with awesome visuals and interesting facts. Riding Giants should be seen for the amazing footage of the best and worst mother nature has to offer at the very least.

Just see it!

Kieran Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

NetFlix Movie: Real Women Have Curves - 4/25/2005

We watched this semi-independent film Sunday night since Desperate Housewives wasn't on. Obviously this was my wife's choice, but I am glad we watched it. It was a heart warming tale about a chubby Mexican girl (Ana) who lived with her family in a poor section of L.A. She just graduated high school and wanted to be somebody, but her mother and environment was holding her down. The movie used her weight issues as a way for her to accept who she is and where she is from. In the end she went off to College, despite her mother wanting to her to stay home and work in the factory. She even got busy with a rich skinny white kid! Now if that isn't heart warming I don't know what is!

My favorite part of this movie was when they were in the factory sewing on a hot day. No Fan can be used because it would blow dust onto the clothes. Ana proceed to start a revolution against wearing clothes in a hot factory. This led to 4 very heavy set women stripping down to their underwear and comparing body flaws....oh yeah!

Kieran Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

NetFlix Movie: Raging Bull - 4/25/2005

I was home alone Saturday night and was pumped to watch Raging Bull. This movie was made in 1980, starred Robert De Niro and was directed by Martin Scorsese. Bobby (as his friends call him) won the Oscar for his portrayal of tormented fighter Jake "Raging Bull" LaMatta.

I was completely let down watching this "classic". I can understand why Bobby got the Oscar however since his acting really stressed how troubled Jake was. The movie itself however jumped from one scene to another without much connection. After the movie I was left with a feeling that I didn't really know much more about Jake than the fact he was a nut case. In a movie about a boxer you would expect the fight scenes to stand out...They didn't. Raging Bull even had some nice Soprano type Mafia undertones but never really went anywhere with that either.

I would have to say there are two definite highlights to this movie. The first being how Joe Pesci had a great ass-kicking scene, like in Casino, he beat up a guy with a car door. You HAVE to love a guy who is 5'5' taking care of business like that. The second highlight(more like lowlight) of this movie is how they completely ignored the moral and legal issues with Jake leaving his wife for a 15 year old! Ummmm hello? The movie just kind of made it seem like it was no big deal...so basically you watch Jake seduce a 15 year old girl and next thing you know they get married and have babies.

In summary I learned the following about the famous boxer Jake LaMatta, he: was a wife beater & cheater, loved underage girls, beat up his own brother, was insanely jealous, was a complete ass to everyone, had a head as hard as a rock, did stand up comedy after he stopped fighting, took a dive in a fight so he could get a title shot and a raging racist/womanizer.

Kieran Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)