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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Possibly One of The Greatest Films I've Ever Seen
"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,...
Published on July 10 2004 by lilking101

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING - Blu-ray wrong lenguages information on back cover
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
Published on March 10 2011 by Juan Mabromata


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5.0 out of 5 stars Work of Art. Realistic. Needs to be seen., June 9 2004
By 
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
I don't normally gush about movies such as this. I'm also not a fan of ultra-violence. "City of Dreams," however, deserves the accolades and the attention.
If you know someone who's lived in Brazil ask them about this movie or about the life of the impovershed in Sao Paulo or Rio. The added information will make the impact - the realism - of this film that much greater.
The camera angles and editing are manic at times. It matches the mood of the film. Guns, violence, panic, passion, life and death. The story is not told in a straight line. Think Memento crossed with The English Patient with the storyline of Goodfellas and The Gangs of New York. For good measure add in a heavy dose of reality. The film depicts, at least in part, a true story and is (more importantly) quite factual in its overall depiction of the reality of gang and drug violence in Brazil.
On the DVD there's an added bonus of a documentary that looks at the entire hopelessness of the situation. Brutal gangsters, corrupt cops, violence, and a society that uses the whole sordid mess to control a huge impoverished populaton with no options. A senior member of the police with decades of experiences admits to all of this - states quite bluntly that the state must use this form of represssion in order to prevent chaos. He also points his finger at US and Swiss gun makers who send their weapons to Brazil to be used by the gangs. He points out that the US can send troops to Colombia to shut down the source of the drug trade in the US - why can't he come to the US and shut down Colt which sends AR-15s to Brazil? It's a legitimate point, one that will likely make some uncomfortable. While Brazilians are mostly to blame for their plight, it doesn't help that multinational corporations profit and manipulate the situation. They are part of the problem.
This is a movie that must be seen. It will alter your view of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gangs of Rio De Janeiro, June 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Thanks to Charles Murphy for his heads-up re the DVD. I'll be sure to look for the Brazilian version.
I haven't seen the DVD yet. This review concerns the movie I saw in the theater.
This is a great movie, on a par with Scorsese's "Goodfellas". It is exactly what "Gangs of New York" was supposed to be: a tragic tale of two generations of gang life in the slums of a huge, sprawling, hopeless, lawless city. Whereas "Gangs" got lost in a phony story with miscast actors, "City of God" is a perfect recreation of its subject matter. We see all the characters grow up in these squalid surroundings, and everything they do makes sense, tragic sense. We watch in horror as people get sucked into a dead-end life of crime, while a lucky few escape. We see the whole thing come round and then go full circle again. We understand at the end that the whole senseless, bloody thing will go on and on. The old monsters get pushed aside by the new monsters they helped to create. And it will keep on keeping on. Another generation, another mess. Humanity will never learn from its mistakes.
This is a movie that sticks with you. After you've seen it, you won't forget it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How cool is Benny?, June 1 2004
By 
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Ask yourself if you like films? If yes, then you'll love this. If no, then what the hell are you reading this review for. First of all, the camera trickery and Scorcese style sporadic flicks, freeze frames and flashbacks are superbly executed and work naturally within the framwork of the film. They only drive to make it stylish. Style amongst ghetto slums can only be cool. Add to that some cool as a cucumber Brazilian samba tunes, 70's throwback songs and general cool songs. Add to that the character "Benny" - the coolest guy put on celluloid in 2003. He isn't the main character, but he dominates the screen when he is on. And you start to really understand his plans and subsequent plight.
We witness a world that we won't ever be a part of, and won't ever truly understand, and we are taken on a shakesperean story of epic proportions, even though the setting is a Rio favela isn't "epic" in essence, it is made epic by the sprawling time frame and vast array of characters. This is what we learn at GCSE Geography, about poverty and the struggle to get free of the slums, only here it's simply irresistible. The story was adapted from a novel by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the area and witnessed the lifestyle firsthand.
80's cool, 70's even cooler, cool characters, cool music, cool story, cool cinematography.
Subtitles? Didn't notice!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, one of the best films you'll ever see!, May 3 2004
By 
Rodrigo Llamozas (the last cubicle at the end of the hall...) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
It's hard to describe a movie like City of God. It's not a documentary, but its grittiness makes you feel like what you're seeing is real. It's based on a true story, but it's hard to believe that events like the ones shown in the film actually can happen. It's hard to not relate and care for some of the characters even though most of them are murderers and drug users or traffickers.
City of God, or Cidade de Deus, is a brilliant, if brutal, film. First time director Fernando Meirelles brings to life a story of a group of boys who live in the slums of Rio de Janeiro in the 60's and 70's. Life there is tremendously hard and most kids end up as criminals, using and trafficking drugs, and carrying guns and shoothing each other like its their birthright.
Meirelles succeeds in bringing a vibrant and dynamic direction to the story, with a fantastic use of editing and music. But the thing that brings the film to life is the performance of all the actors, some of which are actually gang members and inhabitants of Rio's slums. Their acting is right on the spot, and because most of them (if not all) are unknown to the audience, they literally become their characters.
It's been compared to Scorsese's Goodfellas, and I think that's a fair comparison, not only because of the subject, but also because of the use of editing and the intertwining of stories. The use of narration by the main character is also similar.
This film was nominated to four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Meirelles, Best Adapted Screenplay for Bráulio Mantovani, Best Editing (brilliantly done by Daniel Rezende) and Best Cinematography.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ripped from the headlines, April 19 2004
By 
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
For anyone who thinks Fernando Meirelles' "Cidade de Deus" (City of God) might be a bit melodramatic and over the top, consider the lead paragraph from this recent (April 17, 2004) news story from the Financial Times:
"While tourists sipped caipirinhas in Rio de Janeiro's exclusive Leblon district during the Easter holidays, machine-gun fire echoed from the scenic hills above. A turf war raged between rival gangs trying to dominate the nearby Rocinha favela - and its drug market estimated at $3m per week - and at least a dozen people were killed. Since then the police have killed Luciano Barbosa da Silva, the drug lord known as Lulu, and 1,200 officers have been occupying Rocinha."
If you've seen the movie, you know that story is life imitating art. 'City of God' scores on two levels - the story itself is gripping and jaw-dropping, but the technical achievement of the film is also worthy of note. It scored a Best Director Oscar nomination for Meirelles. It's easy to see why. From the opening scene (which also doubles as one of the closing scenes) of a mad scramble through the favela to chase down a fleeing chicken, to a shocking robbery gone bad at a local motel, to a party to toast retiring drug lord Benny, to Lil' Dice's moment of truth, it's just one amazing sequence after another. I just think of the coordination it must have taken to pull together the scene depicting Benny's going away party. The depth of action in that 10-minute or so sequence is so rich, it'll take 10+ viewings to pick up all the details Meirelles has crammed in there.
This is an amazing movie worth seeing a couple of times or more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CIDADE DE DEUS, April 2 2004
By 
J. COSBY "ZePequeno" (SF, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
Simply put, this is probably one of the single most significant films ever released, and (so far) undoubtedly the most important film of the 21st century. You know, I won't bog you down with technical and story details, 'cause you don't want to read those again. But the film is packed to the gills with so much rich detail and believably realistic acting from no one's residing in the very "favela" that is the film's namesake, which inherently implies that it warrants something uniquely special. Any misanthropic gutterpunk in the US can hate our government because of what it deprives its citizens, but you know what? They haven't seen this movie; they have not known true and calculated governmental neglect.
But, I'll just let these facts speak for themselves: "Cidade de Deus" has remained in Bay Area movie theaters for going on fifteen months straight, the controversy of the film's failure to gain entry into the 2002 Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category heralded delayed critical celebratory nominations for the following year, in which it garnered every single important nomination excluding "Best Picture". And the film is Brazil's number one all-time money maker. That not enough? The film's reception and high accolades are also responsible for the Brazilian government prompting socioeconomic reform. This is what I mean when I use the term "significant," and I don't use it lightly.
The direction is beyond craftsmanlike, the cinematography exemplary, the screenplay is crisp, layered, and cleverly nonlinear without ever making the viewer play catchup. And the editing... oh, man, the editing. It won the British Film Award for Editing back in 2002, and in case you don't know, that is a granddaddy prize for technical film achievement.
The film boasts maybe one of the strongest senses of place I've ever witnessed in film. This film takes place INSIDE that world; the world does not take place around the film, if that makes any sense.
If you want to watch something that will teach you about the forgotten corners of the world even more than being uncommonly entertaining and violently riveting, this is the film to wake up with. I cannot offer a higher recommendation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Story Very Well Told, March 19 2004
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
When I decided to watch "Cidade de Deus", I was rather hesitant. Although I had heard positive comments for the film, there were several things that were putting me off: The shoot-em-up story did not sound original, the actors were amateur, the language and location were not so familiar. However I devided to give it a try.
Well, it proved to be a very wise move by my side: "Cidade de Deus" is simply an excellent film. The story might not be that original but is very interesting and very well-told. The "amateur" actors are superb, and perform much better than many professional ones. The language and location may not sound familiar at the beginning, but the masterful director soon gets you quickly entwined with the environment; in fact, he is maybe the greatest asset of this production, as he does an excellent job in providing us with a top-notch direction.
What you see is sometimes so surreal (a poor ghetto community totally isolated from the "normal" parts of Brazil, small children toying with drugs and guns, people showing a complete lack of respect for human life, etc.) that you tend to think it is a bit exaggerated. Sadly, it is not: The story is true, and many if the actors that play in it are actual inhabitants of this kind of ghetto communities. The film should awake many of us who sometimes tend to feel that our comfortable lives are the norm in this world, when in fact they are rather the exception.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best original movie eith great charecters., March 7 2004
By 
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
This is one of the best movies out there and tells the story of ghetto life in rio de jinero through the eyes of professional photographer, Rocket. Life has been though since the city of god has been runned by self proclaimed boss, Li'l Ze. He took over the buisness after shooting two members of the legendary 'hoodlum trio', the best and greatest young thieves if the city of god. The story takes us through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s when a great charecter hoping for peace, benny was shot dead in his farewell party as he was leaving the game of crime and drugs to live with his girlfrind outside city of god in a quiet farm. Later then brews up a rivalry between Li'l Ze and a new charcter, Knockout Ned who fight to the end as two of the biggest gangs in the city of god brought it to the streets of Rio. With a shocking ending and terrific screen play, this movie has earned its spot as the greatest adaptation play of all time, ending the reign of a ruthless druglord and a man sought on revenge. This is City of God through the eyes of a great charecter keen on survival, Rocket.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully merciless, March 4 2004
By 
kiki (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
this is one of the most amazing pieces of cinematography i have ever seen. it is beautifully shot and put together including still frames and interweaving stories to give the true passion and emotions that rule the gangwarfare and overall life of the slums in rio.
the actors although are hardly known deliver their roles so well that it is hard to think that it's just a film and not actually really happening there in front of you. the honesty of the narration and the fact we see the lives of the characters evolving makes us feel like we could really be living their lives with them. it draws you in like no other film has ever done because you see both sides of the war and can really appreciate yet never fully know the hardship that many people have to face daily. it is almost impossible not have loyalty to the lives of the young hoodlums we are introduced to and love immediately; especially the infamous trio whose smooth talking and childlike innocence in their petty crimes will win you over instantly. A hood never stops they just take a break, this film never stops enticing and enthralling you it takes a break. each story is separated by freeze frames alowing you to contemplate on the last and prepare for the next even more brutal scene.
I dont think it's fair to compare it to films such as goodfellas just because it too is spread over a large time period as i feel that Cidade de Deus is like no other. it is one of my favourite films that i've ever seen due to its ruthless honesty in portraying the slums in brazil and because of the simple yet stunning camera work and direction. Its not like other films that try to reflect the lives and harsh reality for people in the world, it really captures the passionate characteristics of the hispanic culture and the soundtrack just adds to this emotive piece of cinema.
The frantic and precarious lives are revealed to us decade by decade whilst throwing in extra shots from the past which suddenly help us to piece together all the events as the storyline evolves.
I don't have one bad thing to say about this film it was electric yet calming, perilous and urgent and altogether absolutely beautiful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars City of God - a vicious pursuit for a better life..., Feb. 28 2004
This review is from: City of God (Sous-titres français) [Import] (DVD)
In the 50s and 60s outside Rio de Janeiro the Brazilian government isolated the poor by building a huge ghetto a distance from Rio de Janeiro. The ghetto turns into a sizeable city that continues to grow as more people are bussed into the poverty of the area. The film pushes a message of where there is poverty there are also dreams of something better. The two common means to achieve these dreams are either hard work or escape of the cruel reality through drugs. The later choice is the common alternative as it is easier to obtain and offers a quick fix to the problem, since hard work that pays enough to escape the ghetto is difficult to find. As the story begins, the audience is introduced to the young boy Buscapé, the narrator, whose brother is a member in a small gang called The Tender Trio. Buscapé tells a tale of the how ideas lead to the quest for the "better something" as The Tender Trio seeks the holy grail through robbery. However, these robberies seems futile as the real money lays with those who control the drugs. As drugs become more accessible the drug dealers begin to control their own territories, and in Buscapé's story the greed for more leads to a bloody path lined with murder and tragedy. Through Buscapé the audience is enlightened about the birth of violence which is related to the drugs and greed in the city called the City of God. City of God is a strong and disturbing film as it depicts young children being victims of the violence or as the actual assailants as the gangs demands the loyalty. In addition, the films message is enhanced by terrific cinematography and a well written story, which is based on true events and individuals. City of God offers a brilliant cinematic experience that will not escape the mind of the audience as it pulls the audience through a painful story that continues to take place in the ghetto outside Rio de Janeiro where one person dies every 30 minutes from violence.
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