Movie Reviews

bellview--i love movies

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

Movie Awards
2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup



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 Verdú (from "Y Tu 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  Bennie discovers Tetro's blanketed writing ability and sets about writing a play based on the unpublished works of Tetro...but, in the meantime, there are flashbacks to Tetro's childhood, and some possible dream sequences, and then random shots of people acting out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 resist...stupid Justin!!

Rating:  Rental


Comments?  Drop me a line at


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 "Office Space"). 

"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, 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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 07/02/09