Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Written by Francis Ford Coppola.
Starring Vincent Gallo, Maribel Verdú, and Alden Ehrenreich.
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 7/2/09
Francis Ford Coppola does not work very
often anymore...and, it's safe to say, in the case of his new film "Tetro"..."The
Godfather", it is not.
In fact, I think it is fair to say now that
while Coppola was truly great in the 1970s--the first two
"Godfather" films, "The Conversation" and "Apocalypse Now"--his film
career as a director since then has been hit or miss. "Tetro"
is mostly a miss, but it's not for lack of effort...featuring
Vincent Gallo as a former writing prodigy named Tetro and Maribel
Mama Tambien" all those years ago) as the prodigy's live-in
girlfriend, the acting in "Tetro" is energized and often had me
really fired up.
But, here's the story--Tetro's brother
Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich) comes to see Tetro in his hometown of
Buenos Aires after no contact between the two for years.
Bennie discovers Tetro's blanketed writing ability and sets about
writing a play based on the unpublished works of Tetro...but, in the
meantime, there are flashbacks to Tetro's childhood, and some
possible dream sequences, and then random shots of people acting out
other memories like plays on-stage...uh. "Tetro" is
unfathomably long, mainly due to its delivery, because normally, I
can sit in a theater for two hours without a problem. But,
here? Man, this was agonizing! By the time Tetro and
Bennie are driving to Patagonia, I was looking for the proverbial
razor blade. Its mixing of languages didn't help me either
(everyone seems to mix their English with their Spanish); I also
couldn't figure out why the actor playing Tetro's father was also
playing Tetro's uncle, and maybe one other actor...boy, my head was
spinning during this one.
Bottom line--I should have skipped this
movie. But, the allure of Coppola was too much for me to
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard