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Amores Perros [Blu-ray]
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Centred around three different stories, this film is set in the heart of the troubled and ever-changing Mexico City. Octavio is unlucky in love and has a major crush on Susana, who is married to his abusive brother Ramiro; Daniel is a successful editor who has left his wife and kids to live with Valeria, a supermodel, in her penthouse apartment; whilst El Chivo is an ex-con turned hitman who is being paid to kill a rich businessman, against the wishes of his scared young girlfriend.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's striking Amores Perros is the film Pulp Fiction might have been if Quentin Tarantino were as interested in people as movies. A car crash in Mexico City entwines three stories: in one car is Octavio, who has been entering his dog in fights to get enough money run off with his sister-in-law Susana; in the other car is Valeria, a supermodel who's just moved in with her lover Daniel, who has left his wife for her. As Valeria struggles to recover from her injuries her beloved dog is lost under the floor of the new apartment. Professor-turned-revolutionary El Chivo, who has been living as a derelict/assassin after a long prison sentence, rescues Octavio's injured dog from the crash. All three learn lessons about their lives from the dogs.
Amores Perros opens with chaos, as Octavio and a friend drive away from the latest dogfight with the injured canine on the back seat and enemies in hot pursuit, then hops back, forward and sideways in time. It's a risky device, delaying crucial plot information for over an hour, but the individual stories, which weave in and out of each other with true-life untidiness, are so gripping you'll be happy to go along with them before everything becomes clear. Inarritu is a real find, a distinctive and subtle voice who upends all your expectations of Mexican filmmaking by shifting confidently from raw, on-the-streets violent emotion to cool, upper-middle-class desperation. A uniformly impressive cast create a gallery of unforgettable characters, some with only brief snippet-like scenes, others--such as Emilio Echevarria as the shaggy tramp with hidden depths--by sheer presence.
On the DVD: The anamorphic presentation, augmented for 16:9 TV, is of a pristine print and shows off the imaginative cinematography (with non-removable yellow English sub-titles). The soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 and there are 15-minutes' worth of additional scenes with commentary by Inarritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga (evidently the surviving trace of an entire feature commentary available on a Mexican DVD release), explaining why they were cut. With a behind-the-scenes featurette, a poster gallery, three related pop videos (two by Inarritu) and the trailer (and trailers for other Optimum releases) the special features offer a more than adequate addition to Amores Perros. --Kim Newman --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"I switched it off because of the dog-fighting". Get a grip, it's not real.
"Unrewarding blah blah" by one budding pretentious film crtic. Not high-brow enough apparently(!)
Buy it, it is a must have for anyone. Toning it down to satisfy the popcorn-Hollywood induced crowd would've ruined the films gritty, unpolished feel which heightens its realism.
The smattering of awards which 'clog up' the case are all richly deserved.
I originally bought this film as I am one of the few people who have only recently been made aware of the great talent of Gael Garcia Bernal. Ok, so he's quite easy on the eye, but the characters of Octavio (Gael), Valeria and Chivo take you on a rollercoaster of a ride as you follow their stories of love and the ensuing pain associated with it. Three stories beautifully written and brilliantly woven together, this film is character driven and boy do you feel you've journeyed with them.
I wholly recommend this film, there wasn't any customer review and I bought it on a whim and Im glad I did. So good, I even wrote a review about it. Muy bien!
If I'd read the most recent reviews of it here, I probably wouldn't have watched it - and if I'd turned off in the first few minutes (as I felt like doing) because of the dog fighting, I'd have missed one of the best films I've seen in a long time.
I'm not going to break the story down for you - just to say that the negative reviews I've just read here have infuriated me into writing a note of my own. I love animals, I'm one of these idiots who ends up feeding the local strays every time I go on holiday - but not everyone does.
If you're looking for something pink and fluffy to watch, then don't watch this. It's gritty, highly moralistic but also a rollercoaster of love, lust, fear, heartbreak and adrenaline, with some fantastic, realistic characters thrown in for good measure. Try it... Next on my list are more by the same director.
The manner in which the brutality is portrayed in this film makes it horrific and demonstrates to the viewer the full consequences of the violence in a way no Hollywood film has ever done. It traces several seemingly unconnected storylines that are pulled together with ruthless vigour, leaving you stunned at the climax.
Trying to write a plotline would take ages, purely and simply because there's just so much going on and we look at so many lives and way in which these characters interact with one another, this film is directed by the same person that made both Babel and 21 Grams, but if you thought that one/both of these have alot going on, then it's nothing compared to this film, add those two together and double it and you may just be there!!!
Simply put it's like a giant jigsaw puzzle being put together piece by piece and gradually the director reveals a new and exciting part of the puzzle and I can honestly say that it could well be THE best direction and editing I've ever seen in a film and I don't say that lightly to say the least.
All of the performances are spot on, all of the stories are interesting, the timeline in the film does go back and forth, but at no point was I confused, if anything if made the film even better trying to work out how this and that fits in the the rest of the film.
I can't deny that I was riveted to this film,this has to be one of the very best foreign language (Spanish) that I've had the pleasure in watching, maybe even THE best and if you don't mind watching a few dog fighting scenes at the start of the film then this is very highly recommended.
This phrase is uttered at an important stage of this superb film by one of the main female characters to her lover and this is the underlying theme linking together the three threads of the storyline of "Amores Perros". All of the main characters are driven off the straight and narrow path by love ,lust, jealousy and greed and their plans for the future are mocked as their lives become cursed by misfortune and tragedy.
The fulcrum of the plot of "Amores Perros" ("Love is a Bitch" or perhaps "Love is Damned" depending on your translation) is a car crash which links together three separate stories. The first story is about an affair between one brother and his brother's wife set against the vicious background of fierce dog-fights, bank robberies and car chases, the second is about an ill-fated relationship between a supermodel and an adulterous magazine editor and the third is about a former guerilla turned vagrant/assassin who lives in solitude with his dogs , traumatised by his family break-up ,focusing all his love on the daughter who has been told he is dead.
"Amores Perros" is similar in structure and atmosphere to films like "Pulp Fiction" , the "Three Colours" trilogy and "21 Grams". The cinematography and soundtrack is first rate as is the acting and characterisation. It is a very powerful, visceral film which grips the viewer throughout and I liked particularly its clever use of the "dog" symbolism , where the main characters took on the characteristics of their dogs and vice-versa. This symbolism was at its most exquisite in the second story when the model's fluffy lapdog gets trapped under the floorboards with rats, paralleling the fall from grace of its homewrecking owner. I also liked the disjointed structure of "Amores Perros" ,fluctuating around the pivotal car crash between the present, past and future ,slowly tying all the different strands of the film together. A really top quality film on all levels.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having had to write a university essay on this and still loving it proves how fantastic this film is. 'Amores Perros' is a must-watch.Published 13 days ago by Emily Meredith
Love the way it all comes together....my fav for years, might watch it laterPublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
amazing film! amazing story, love this director, if you haven't seen this, but it!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent film, concerned with love and obsession. Unfortunately, be warned it is a bit gory, particularly if you're a dog-lover.Published 2 months ago by Richard