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City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray]

Alexandre Rodrigues , Matheus Nachtergaele , Fernando Meirelles , Kátia Lund    Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray] + Amelie [Blu-ray] (Version française) + Shawshank Redemption (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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Adapté d’un best-seller de Paulo Lins, tiré de faits réels, City of God est la première réalisation du tandem brésilien Katia Lund-Fernando Meirelles. Percutant et inventif, le film, co-produit par le cinéaste Walter Salles, confirme également la bonne santé du cinéma sud-américain.

Construite dans les années 60 dans la banlieue de Sao Paulo, la cité de Dieu est une favela gangrenée par la violence et le trafic de drogue. Sous les yeux de Fusée, gamin déterminé à se créer un avenir dans la photographie, la cité en expansion devient le terrain d’une guerre civile entre deux brigands, Petit Zé et Manu Tombeur, secondés par leurs gangs sans pitié.

Sorte de Scarface revisité par un Wong Kar Wai fan de samba, City of God est un film ambitieux, parfois choquant mais réellement solide. Retraçant avec une cohérence stylistique impressionnante l’histoire de la cité des années 60 à nos jours, il montre de près l’effondrement moral et social de toute une génération en proie à la pauvreté, à quelques kilomètres d’un Rio touristique de rêve. Sans concession, tirant profit d’images très dures pour susciter la réflexion, il a l’intelligence de ne pas glorifier la violence. Malgré quelques longueurs, mais dynamisé par une audace esthétique époustouflante, City of God est le fruit d’un réel talent de mise en scène et remplit avec justesse le rôle social que le cinéma peut avoir à jouer. – Helen Faradji.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking to survive in a brutal environment... Jan. 10 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"City of God" ("Cidade de Deus") is the story of a boy, but also the story of a "favela" (Portuguese word with similar meaning to slum or shantytown) on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. That shantytown is called "Cidade de Deus". Throughout this extraordinary movie both the boy and the favela grow, albeit obviously in very different ways :)

The boy is Rocket (Buscap' in Portuguese, played by Alexandre Rodrigues), who is born in Cidade de Deus and grows up before our eyes living in it. He is quiet and easygoing, just a non-violent person seeking a way to survive in a brutal environment. Rocket ends up doing exactly that through his passion, photography, that ends up making him an intermediary between the local gangs and the press. He is also the narrator of this movie, the voice that accompanies us throughout many of the stories that "City of God" has to offer...

The other main character of "City of God" is the "city" itself, that starts merely as a couple of houses, but that grows immensely as years go by. The activities in which its inhabitants are involved also change, from petty robbery to organized crime that involves drug dealing and arms trafficking. We see Li'l Z' (Z' Pequeno in Portuguese, played by Leandro Frimino), one of the boys that used to play soccer with Rocket, grow up to become a murderer and a drug lord, someone that makes his own laws. The same happened with others, but Li'l Z' probably represents to most dangerous kind of sociopath that the favela can produce. Rocket and Li'l Z', same circumstances, different persons, different choices. Who says that where you lives determinates how you are and what you do?. This is an excellent example that that is not always the case...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"City of God" is a masterpiece, quiete simply. I don't know the names of the actors, but they all distribute amazing performances. Lil Zee is probably one of the most terrifying villains in movie history, because you see how he begins his sadistic lifestyle and how it brutally ends. Rocket is a very important role too, because he tells the story. Don't be fooled, "City of God" isn't a gangster flick of an action movie. It's a dramatic portrayal of life in the slums from a different direction. Rocket deals with love, pain, betrayal, denial, and talent(he's a skilled photographer).
The scenes are haunting, but also beautiful in a way. The scenes are realistic. I won't give you the plot because you probably know what it's about if you're looking it up. Even though Lil Zee and Rocket are the two main characters, the supporting characters are very important. Carrot, one of the other druglords, and Benny, Lil Zee's best friend are both really well played performances
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hello, the blu-ray edition don't have SPANISH subtitles, like you can read at the back cover.

The video quality is regular, you can choose English or French subtitles but can't see the movie without subtitles.

The DTS-MA audio track ir very good.

This movie is excelent, but this blu-ray edition is not.

Regars, Juan
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Transfer Of A Great Movie Sept. 7 2010
By kyle g.
I won't comment about the movie itself, but rather the film transfer & blu-ray presentation by Alliance....The AVC encode sports solid colors & grain structure that are in keeping with the theatrical experience. The bitrate peaks at about 33mbps, with the average falling within the 25mbps range. Also, a much appreciated menu with scene selection is included in this release. The aspect ratio on this blu-ray is 1.78:1, while the theatrical release sported a ratio of 1.85:1. Subtitles appear to be from the original theatrical release, and the included documentary has been ported over in SD from the North American dvd. As for audio, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master track makes good use of the film's score and sound effects, while appearing to be an ample improvement over the more common dvd.

In all, it would be extremely difficult for a US release to top the quality contained on this disc. Having seen the film 4 times during its theatrical run I can tell that this blu-ray from Alliance is one of their most faithful to date.

Highly Recommmended!
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2.0 out of 5 stars BLUE-RAY isnt working... April 10 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The DVD isn't working, it lags every few minutes and the screen freezes, I have tried using 2 different blue ray player as well as a PS3 and it does the same thing on all the above. Is there any way I could receive another copy...?
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Though filled with dizzying violence and brutality (things I usually frown upon in films) City of God is one of the best films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. The violence and brutality is necessary in this film in order for the story to be told the way it was intended to. This film is a true depiction of an impoverished community where there are very few legitimate ways out and also very little value placed on human life. In the tradition of films like Francesco Rosi's "Salvatore Giuliano", City of God takes a true story and tells it with realistic acting and visionary film-making. After watching City Of God modern day film makers should really question their work and decide if they're really putting their talents to use for the better of humankind. It's about time film makers stopped entertaining and started to educate the viewer on injustices in this world. Hold off 300 million dollar productions of fantasy films and show the world some things that really need to be changed.
City Of God is not just a film, it's stunning portrayal of corruption, greed, and how desperation in poverty can lead to senseless violence. It achieves something way more powerful than just being labeled as "a work of art." What could that be you ask? Watch for yourself and see.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies Ever
Seriously. Check out the reviews here on Amazon, IMDB (top 20), or wherever they sell this film. That's a masterpiece. And what they show in the movie is real. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2010 by Dante Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars True tragic masterpiece
This true movie will shock all the way trough this rough and blessing story. And show how mean can be the men in theyre path to accomplishement.
Published on Sept. 9 2008 by Felix Antoine Coutu
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 star movie 5 star bonus documentary
CITY OF GOD does pay off in the end but I think that the bonus documentary has more relevant meaning to it. But the movie is a TOUR DE FORCE of CINEMA no doubt about that. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2004 by H S Marks
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY AMAZING
I thinks its one of the best films I've ever seen. I don't think you will ever see something as amazing as this film. It left me speechless. Read more
Published on July 26 2004 by Vara Kulasingam
5.0 out of 5 stars A Frightening, yet Uplifting Masterpiece
City of God is disturbing. It gave me chills seeing coked up juvenile kids putting bullets through other kids' heads, and a ghetto neighorhood which offers no hope whatsoever to... Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by S. Sommerville
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Side Of A Great People
For those who think Rio isn't any worse than the likes of LA or any other US city,watch the DVD extra. Read more
Published on July 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The Documentary Included on the DVD is just as good
This movie is excellent, in every way. What is so good about this DVD is that it comes with a documentary in the special features that is one of the best I've ever seen. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Pearse O'Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars There are no words.
This is based on a true story, as I understand it.
There are no words for how it made me feel. Sad? Cheated? Triumphant? Mournful?
Maybe wounded is the best word. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Kimberly Smith
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