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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking to survive in a brutal environment...
"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...
Published on Jan. 10 2007 by M. B. Alcat

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 City Of God--One of the Best Films in the Past 10 Years, June 12 2003
One of the best films I've ever seen. This gritty, depressing, hardboiled crime saga follows the story of a young photographer and his experience in the ghetto's of Rio de Janeiro. I feel fortunate I was able to see this film in the theater, this is the type of film that will influence directors years from now. The violence is in your face and brutal, and the fact that most of the characters are under the age of 16 makes some of the scene's hard to digest. But none of the violence is gratuitous or unnecessary. Also the film is perfectly stylized in the Disco/Funk era of the 70's. The sound track is all Brazilian Funk and provides a great balance to the violence and crazy attitudes of all the gangsters. The story depicts the rise and fall of a 16 year old cocain king pin and his 12 year old cronies, all captured in photographs by the main character, who tries his hardest to rise out of the ghetto by means other than drugs or violence. What is even more incredable about this movie is that it is a true story, and most of the actors are real kids from the ghetto's of Rio. But the movie hardly relies on the fact that it's a true story to become ingagining, it really wasn't until the film ended that I realized that most of the events in the movie actually happened. The film is so well stylized you will feel as though you are watching an documentry of these events. A film you will not soon forget.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, June 12 2003
By 
Dustin Salyer (Ashland, ky United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
if any of you have seen gangs of new york and wondered if there is a movie that could possibly be better, then this might be the one. The only word that comes to mind is unbelieveable. The depth of the characters alone make this movie a movie you need to watch over and over. And i have read some of the negative responses. This is not a US movie. it was made by Brazilians and does no way glorify the american way. either way it is a movie that opens your eyes to the harsh reality of non-american cultures. if you have a problem with violence you may not want to watch this, either way, violence is everywhere and you need to deal with it. gracias
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not good for visiting friends, June 16 2004
By 
N. Siefers "el__duderino" (chapel hill, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I recently picked this video up from Borders on the way home from work and had a group of friends come over to watch it. I was really excited b/c the hype on this movie was huge. Every five minutes for he last two months people have been coming into the store and asking if it's out on DVD yet. Two out of six people that came over liked it.
I can only say that watching this movie is like going to a bad party where you meet a lot of people but don't get to know anyone very well. The party may be for some sympathetic cause like saving the environment or helping the homeless, but the people only talk to you about the cause. They berate you with cliche after cliche about how bad the environment is, stuff you've already heard before, then they go into how the destruction of the environment is indicative of some fault in humanities behavioral program, and as much as you agree and entreat them to tell you about themselves so you can relate to them as a person, they just stare you in the face and repeat statistics about the reality of industrialization. You leave the party with no new friends and the feeling that you weren't informed and that the people at the party aren't going to accomplish anything about the environment.
The director of the City of God threw this bad party. He introduces alot of potentially interesting characters and then immediately turns them into the same, faceless, evil hoodlum killer who gets killed by the same sword they lived by. You don't get to know anybody and the information extant in the film piece is hammered into you in the first half hour. This film has no entertainment value and ceases to be informative after the first 45 minutes. It has no entertainment value because you know what will happen to every character and every subsequent character is more empty than the first. It ceases to be informative because it repeats the themes established in the first half hour. Everybody knows that if you give little kids guns, indiscriminate killing will ensue. Everybody knows that people in ghettos all over the world turn to drugs to try and get back at society and/or get out of the slums. the error in this film is that it doesn't go beyond these premises and show us that these slums are geographically placed next to the richest areas of Rio in order to service the middle and upper classes with drugs, that there is a murder in Rio every half hour, that all the chic guns in Rio are supplied by foreign manufactures, that the cops are corrupt, that there is no way out of the ghetto if you are born there because of lack of education, that none of the dealers, despite trying to organize in the late eighties, actually made enough money to get out of the ghetto, that the dealers kept corrupt cops at bay, that basically this situation was created and tolerated by a large city turned evil by drugs, corruption and greed. The directors ambitions for this film are small and because of that you get a small movie with little character and a hellva lot of gunshots and flesh wounds. The special feature documentary is better than the movie just as the doc "Wad" is better than the movie wonderland. Also the director is Brazil's most successful director of commercials, so in my mind that decreases his credibility and makes me think that he secretly wanted people to be entertained by his depiction of gradiose violence and death.
peace
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally Honest!, Feb. 2 2004
By 
City of God is certainly one of the most exceptional foreign language films in movie history! The movie excels in every level. The captivating camera shots make a truly fascinating cinematography. Editing was brilliantly done with some Pulp Fiction influence added into it. No single actor's performance particulary outshine the most, but the ensemble performance, from the street kids to the crime masterminds, is remarkably convincing! The screenwriter made the story so suspenseful, bold and daring, that you would not want to miss a single scene. And the truly best aspect of the movie is its ingenious filmmaking. Watch out for the "apartment scene" where the genius director shows how one small apartment drastically transforms as its inahabitants change through the years.
I would not recommend the film though to people with a weak stomach. I must admit that watching this film was pretty difficult to me because i have no experience of residing in the slums or what other people calls "the ghetto." Everything might come extremely shocking if you are not aware of the reality drug trades and gang wars. There are very graphic violent scenes so watch it at your own risk.
I would recommend it though to people who wants to see something honest, bold and dare. It is one of the, or probably the, most brutally honest film you will ever see! What this film achieved is boldness, directness, and honest filmmaking at its finest!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE TRUE STORY OF RIO DE JANERIO, April 23 2004
By 
GHERI QUARENGHI (FT. MCMURRY, ALBERTA CANADA) - See all my reviews
I`VE SEEN THE MOVIE IN BRAZIL. GREAT MOVIE, TELLS THE STORY HOW RIO DE JANERIO DRUG SCENE IN THE FAVELA`S GOT STARTED!!!!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the emperor's new clothes, May 24 2004
By A Customer
i'm sorry, i just don't see a masterpiece here. even though all these poor children are murdered, in a world that doesn't care, the character developement in this movie was so poor that in the end, i didn't care either. this film might as well be a documentary because it makes little use of the power of art to incite our emotions. it did convey a feeling of hopelessness i guess and maybe that was the point, but it could have done so much more.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True tragic masterpiece, Sept. 9 2008
By 
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.
Stunning.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not "realistic" not "gritty" not "a masterpiece", June 21 2004
Seriously, some of the reviews here are a joke. This is Quentin Tarantino in Brazil, about as real as a "gangsta" video, and about as gritty as Steven Spielberg's recent pathetic attempts at serious cinema. Why anyone would think this collection of stupid video tricks surrounding non-characters would be masterpiece is beyond me. It's a film for critics, film students, and people who are eagerly awaiting Kill Bill vol. 3.
Every time an overhyped movie about street punks blasting each other comes along, there's always a horde of critics right behind it praising the director for his "brutal honesty." There's nothing even remotely honest about this film, and the brutality is about as affecting as newspaper article. It's like Disneyland for 10yr old gunpunks. Bam! Somebody dies. Bam! Somebody else dies. The only scene that had any emotional weight was where Lil Dice forces some 8yr old to shoot another 8yr old. If the entire movie had been like that it would have been brutal indeed. But the rest of the flick is your typical movie violence--sterile and emotionally flat. The viewpoint of a director who obviously never saw a street killing up close and personal and has no idea how to communicate that kind of ugly violence to an audience. Young hoods with cheap handguns don't manage to kill many people from 50yds away. They have to wound them and then go up and shoot them at point blank range, usually several times, often while the victim is screaming in pain, crying, or begging for their life. That's real violence, not the stylized jumpcut crap this movie offers up.
The DVD cover is also a cheat. Braga's niece Alice barely has a role in this movie and that role ends when Benny is killed, in the absolutely terrible strobe-light sequence which far from being brutal was just confusing and annoying. Her role is to be a Brazilian hottie for a few scenes, then to get lost because this movie really doesn't feel any need for female characters. They might get in the way of the gunfights.
The favela gangsters posing with their guns is also a cheat. You never get any idea of who these guys are, why they join up with the local drug armies, or that they have any personality at all. They're mannequins whose only purpose is to carry a gun around to make the battle sequences more chaotic. When they die, no one cares other than film critics snivelling about the horrible world that drugs and poverty have created. Well, yeah. Duh. But not every kid's response is to grab a gun, snort a line, and start firing. The director really has no idea what makes these kids different from the hundreds of thousands of other kids who *don't* turn into monsters. And yes, I haven't forgotten about Rocket, the emotionally vapid photographer who manages to make his way out of the slums by photographing the very violence that makes the slums a place to get out of. If the director was aware of that irony, he doesn't show it.
As any kind of social critique, this movie falls on its butt. Glowing filter shots, cool clothes, hip music, gangsters blasting away and talking about "victory." This is one long commercial for how fun the drug world must be as long as you're cool enough and violent enough to make it to the top of the heap before you get shot. If anything it will inspire future generations of favela killers to be just like the guys in the movie. I mean, look at how "cool" they are! Once again, the director could have made a powerful statement about the idolization of crime figures which creates a tragic circle that drags kids in thinking they'll be the next Lil Ze, only to end up dead. But, of course, he doesn't bother--it's much cooler to show another gun battle and a bunch of nameless/faceless corpses.
As for the hordes of kids running around carrying guns like it was .38 Special Day at the local elemetary school, the director is quite simply full of ****. Sure, there are plenty of young kids packing pistols in Rio (and many other cities as well) but they're furtive and scared in general and in no hurry to advertise themselves to the police or rival gang members. Nor are they the kind of steely-nerved warriors who can stand in the street and blaze away. Most run and hide and shoot from cover, if they even bother to stick around. When they kill it's typically a pack of them going after one or two other guys, or a couple of them robbing and killing an unarmed victim. Not these child armies the director seems to think are responsible for the constant drug wars in the favela. And when these kids *get* killed, it's frequently an older kid or an adult, a hardened criminal, doing the killing.
So if you like your masterpieces to be primarily fantasy-based adolescent tarantino ripoffs that are original only in the age of the cast, and your grittiness to be wrapped in clever camera tricks, this movie is for you. Otherwise, prepare to be disappointed because this movie packs all the emotional punch of the television commercials its director became famous for.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars masturbatory herd mentality, June 23 2004
By A Customer
nothing new here, ought to be packaged as "my first foreign film experience" for all the children writing such rave reviews without the smallest hint of freethinking criticism or knowledge of motion picture history. this is for people who think natural born killers is a cinematic landmark.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing you haven't seen before..., Sept. 30 2003
By 
High Duke (Zagreb, CROATIA) - See all my reviews
This film came soaring in on a massive tide of hype but, ultimately, failed to deliver. A major hit at film festivals worldwide, the film is supposedly representative of the burgeoning new film industry in Brazil. But if you've seen American films like "Menace II Society" or countless other ghetto gangsta flicks, this certainly won't offer any new surprises. The story contains a vast cornucopia of characters but concentrates mainly on two, one a leading underworld crime figure, the other a photographer who chronicles Brazilian ghetto life. The story has no real plot, but is a more a vast character study that sprawls all over the place. Inevitably, the gangsters' lifestyles leads to their early demises and we're supposed to shake our heads at the tragic waste of life. The cinematography is rather good, however, and seeing the Rio slums up close like this is interesting, but the premise is rather tiring. There is a large school of opinion that sees films like this as a vast reflection of the oppression that minorities face in the Americas, be it North or South. However, the self-destructive behaviour of the film's protagonists really doesn't invoke any sympathy. In the end, I was left feeling indifferent. The only thing I really learned from the film is that white middle-class college-boy liberal guilt extends beyond Canada and the US...it's also something that exists in Brazil. I'm sure the filmmaker's thought that they were delving into some deep subject matter here and that they were doing their duty as good little Marxists to expose the oppressive nature of their capitalist society, but in the end the only thing I was left feeling was 'so what?'. The only saving grace to this movie is the fine performances by the amateur actors, otherwise it's just an exotic foray into a familiar story...if an American made this film in New York, it wouldn't garner even half the praise that it got. An overrated work catering to pretentious cineastes who want to appear ahead of the rest of the pack.
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City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray]
City of God (La cité de Dieu) [Blu-ray] by Kátia Lund (Blu-ray - 2010)
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