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Cobra Verde (Widescreen)

Klaus Kinski , King Ampaw , Werner Herzog    Unrated   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.95
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In their last film together, director Werner Herzog drew from actor Klaus Kinski a performance that grounds Kinski's volcanic passions with a new gravity--perhaps age was bringing Kinski down to earth. He plays Cobra Verde, a notorious Brazilian bandit, whom a plantation owner hires to keep his slaves in line. After Cobra Verde impregnates all his daughters, the owner and the authorities conspire to send the bandit to Africa to reopen the slave trade. They expect him to be killed, but through a mixture of his own cunning and the volatile politics of West Africa, Cobra Verde ends up leading an army of women to overthrow the king. Cobra Verde is disjointed, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth watching. Kinski is magnetic in scene after remarkable scene, and though the whole isn't satisfying, the parts certainly are. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Herzog does a spaghetti western in africa July 15 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Good Movie full of lush scenery and color about a bandit who beomes a slave trader on the coast of Africa, starring an out of control Klaus Kinski, As Herzog said Kinski brought something offensive to this film that the director didn't like.. Herzog would have liked to have shot the final scene first to drain Kinski and settle him down. as Herzog said, the film is unfinished and there are shots he'd rather take out. I didn't get the topless native girls singing and the hunchback dwarf cantina scene but it's a Herzog film it's a grand metaphor for something! you don't see much happen til a wide eyed raving Kinski leads the amazon warriors to battle but the end result is disappointing check out how fast a 60 year old plus Klaus can move tho.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "The slaves will grow wings..." Oct. 6 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Werner Herzog has said that he's not happy with the way "Cobra Verde" turned out. Since I don't know how it was supposed to turn out, I can only give my opinion of the finished product.
Klaus Kinski (in his last starring role in a Herzog film) plays a Brazilian cattle rancher forced into poverty due to a drought and a death in the family. He spends some time as a gold miner, but when he is cheated by the paymaster he takes up a life of crime and becomes the almost comically-feared bandit "Cobra Verde".
He almost-accidentally becomes a foreman to the owner of a sugar plantation; when he falls afoul of the man by impregnating his daughters, the plantation owner decides to appoint him as a vice-regent in West Africa, in the hope that he will get himself killed in the process of reviving the slave trade. Unfortunately for everyone, Cobra Verde is resourceful enough to accomplish his mission-- just before the British destroy the slave trade for good. Cobra Verde is cheated again, and he dies in a futile attempt to sail a slave ship back to Brazil.
Again, I don't quite know what the problem is-- all the actors and actresses are fantastic, Herzog achieves epic results on a small budget, the photography and music are beautiful, and the story is powerfully moving. I've decided not to worry about it. The film has some amazing moments: the 360-degree pan at the beginning, the woman who seduces Cobra Verde during a thieving raid ("Your money or your life!" "My life."), the lone holdout from the Brazilian stronghold, the mad African chief,... and the beautiful girls singing a ceremonial song at the end, all build up to an amazing viewing experience. Herzog's films have this quality of almost adhering to a formula, but they let a bit of random strangeness through-- just like real life. I don't think Herzog has anything to worry about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cruelty and Conquest Aug. 23 2000
Format:VHS Tape
As many other films and characters created by Werner Herzog, Cobra Verde explores the extent to which cruelty and obsession can lead an individual to his own moral and human defeat. Settled in some west African country, the film is a recreation of the horror of the slave trade embodied in a charatcer, astonishingly played by Klause Kinski, whose amorality and thirst for absolute power equal the madness of characters such as Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre. Like these other two films, also Cobre Verde explores the darkest side of human mind and soul with a clear reference to a very precise historical experience. The three characters share the same obsession for domination and conquest which proves to be fatal to many individuals including themselves. The last scene of the film is absolutely mesmerizing and, at least to me, unforgettable. Cinematography and photography are superb. It is sorprising that it is almost impossible for those who would like to see this film again to find it anywhere to rent it out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars KInski and herzogs final film together! Feb. 8 2002
Format:DVD
I thought the film started a little slow,but quickly this movie picks up momentum and ends in a big explosion! KLaus Kinskis acting in this film is absolutely brilliant and manically ferocious! Kinski makes us all believe that he is the revered bandit ,Cobra Verde! When Kinski charges past the sacred snake on the ground to kill the african king, we see the rage in his face and voice and we cheer him on,go Cobra verde! This film also has some of werner herzogs best cinematography,comparable to Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. A lasting collaboration between 2 film giants of world cinema!
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