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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie although very sad and tragic
Pinero is based on the life of puertorican playwright, actor and poet Miguel Pinero. His life from early childhood was a constant struggle for survival since his father abandoned his mother (played by the great Rita Moreno)when he was a small boy. Pinero turned to a life of crime while still in his early teens and served time in Sing-Sing for arm robbery and stealing...
Published on March 10, 2004 by Carlos Rodriguez

versus
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A SAD PORTRAYAL OF MY BROTHERS LIFE
I GIVE THIS FILM TWO STARS, ONE FOR MR.BRATTS PERFORMANCE,THE OTHER FOR THE MS.MORENOS THEY BOTH CAUGHT THE ESSENCE OF MY
MOTHER &BROTHER,THE REST OF THIS FILM [was not very good],ITS FULL FOR UNTRUTHES,IN THE FILMS CREDITS THEY THANK THE PINERO FAMILY
KNOWING FULLY THEY NEVER REQUESTED,OUR INPUT, IT WAS SOLEY
MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPLOITING HIS MEMORY...
Published on October 10, 2002 by FLORENCIO RIVERA-PINERO


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie although very sad and tragic, March 10, 2004
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
Pinero is based on the life of puertorican playwright, actor and poet Miguel Pinero. His life from early childhood was a constant struggle for survival since his father abandoned his mother (played by the great Rita Moreno)when he was a small boy. Pinero turned to a life of crime while still in his early teens and served time in Sing-Sing for arm robbery and stealing cars. While on the inside Pinero turned his anger and frustrations to writing short stories which later became plays such as his most successful and controversial play "SHORT EYES" which was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play in the late 70's. Pinero also started a theater group in jail and perform for the other inmates plays that he had written. Joseph Papp, the legendary theater producer read Pinero's play "SHORT EYES" and decided to produced it Off Broadway while it became a success despite is limted run.
I have never been fond of Benjamin Bratt as an actor but in this movie he did an excellent job and really transformed himself into the character. This movie is a bit strong and somewhat harsh since it depicts the reality of the character. Miguel Pinero was not only a convict but a drug addict who took heavy doses of cocaine and would inject large quantaties of heroin on his arms. Pinero lived the life of a bum through out his life and even as he reached moderate success as a playwright he still hard a tough time fighting his inner demons. He died in 1988 at the age of 40 of Aids (I believe) after he overdosed on more heroin.
This movie is not for everyone but it is a good movie whose main character lived a very sad and tragic life and just as he lived life on the edge he ended his run on earth the same way.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style and Promises , Unfulfilled, July 29, 2002
By 
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
There is so much to like about this film PINERO that once the movie is over you sit staring at the screen or the TV wondering why you just don't care. The main character Miguel Pinero was a gifted artist and a pungent voice for independent thinking. The portrayal by Benjamin Bratt is first class acting, surely some of the finest work this underrated actor has done. The supporting cast is excellent. The cinematic effects are bewitching to behold. Why doesn't it work? I think part of the problem is the quality of sound, the levels of speaking often buried in noise so that straining to follow the dialogue becomes annoying. The sexual innuendoes in the flashbacks of Pinero's youth are well handled, but then comes the major ommission of Pinero's bisexuality. Yes, few Hollywood actors or writers want to deal with gay issues with doumentary topics. But part of Pinero's magic was his own balancing of his attraction to young teenage men as well as to women. It enriched his poetry, his plays, his presence. Why leave that out of a filmed biography? This could have been an absolutely gripping film that contained the courage of Pinero. But alas, homophobia wins out again.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A SAD PORTRAYAL OF MY BROTHERS LIFE, October 10, 2002
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
I GIVE THIS FILM TWO STARS, ONE FOR MR.BRATTS PERFORMANCE,THE OTHER FOR THE MS.MORENOS THEY BOTH CAUGHT THE ESSENCE OF MY
MOTHER &BROTHER,THE REST OF THIS FILM [was not very good],ITS FULL FOR UNTRUTHES,IN THE FILMS CREDITS THEY THANK THE PINERO FAMILY
KNOWING FULLY THEY NEVER REQUESTED,OUR INPUT, IT WAS SOLEY
MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPLOITING HIS MEMORY &LEGACY, I HAVE
A 2HOUR VIDEO OF MIKEY, TALKING ABOUT HIS LIFE MADE 6 MONTHS PRIOR TO HIS DEMISE THAT ,MR.ICHASO NOR ANY AT THE FILM COMP.
WANTED TO SEE. THEY WERE MAKING THEIR VERSION,MIKEY,S LIFE
PS THEIR 10 BROTHERS & SISTER NOT 5,AT LEAST THEY COULD GET THAT RIGHT.
IT ALL BULL,,,,.SUGAR WAS NEVER, THE LOVE HIS,LIFE,ALGARIN
WAS NOT AT HIS DEATHBED,THEY HAD PARTED WAYS YEARS AGO,,
THIS ONLY DOES A A DISERVICE TO HIS MEMORY,LEGACY, HIS FAMILY
THAT ENTIRE,FILM COMPANY & ICHASO SHOULD BE ASHAMED IT ,ITS
GARBAGE, SOON ILL BE RELEASING THE VIDEO ,AND MIKEY WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD, A DISGUSTED BRO...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miguel Piñero, 150614, February 2, 2004
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
After his father abandons his family, Miguel Piñero starts a journey that will take him through the lowest and highest points imaginable. Miguel was prayed upon by perverted adults in his childhood, became a drug addict, and ended committing a series of crimes and going to prison (prisoner 150614). During his stay in Sing Sing a visit by his mother urging him to make her proud motivates him to start writing a play about life in prison called Short Eyes, which will be his first step towards stardom.
Life after prison did not change much, he was successful as a poet and writer, but his personality made him return to his bad habits. His belief was that a painful and troubling life results in devotion to the truth, and therefore allowed him to write in such an exceptional way.
The movie shows the particular relationship Piñero had with some of his friends, two of which appear as particularly prominent, Miguel Algarin and Tito Goya; the former a professor at Rutgers, the latter a partner in crime and drugs. This also shows the duality that was present in other aspects of his life. There are several other manifestations on this duality throughout the movie, for example Miguel had a "stable" relationship with Sugar, his girlfriend, but he also had amorous relationships with other men.
The style in which the movie is presented corresponds well with the inner turmoil Piñero experienced. There is an interesting use of alternation between black and white and color scenes and the action keeps moving forward and backward in time without any clear array.
The performance given by Benjamin Bratt is extraordinary. I do not like this actor particularly, but in this case I have to acknowledge he fitted the role perfectly. He also performed extremely well in the parts in which it is required from him to recite poems.
This is an amazing movie and I think everyone should see it. Nevertheless, if you are uncomfortable with non-linear sequence in the action, or are not interested in the least in poetry, it would be better for you to skip it. On the contrary for those of you that have watched and enjoyed the show "Def Poetry" in the past, this movie will be memorable. The poem in the last scene will give you goose bumps and leave you breathless!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story of a great Puerto Rican writer, April 12, 2003
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
"Pinero," written and directed by Leon Ichaso, tells the story of Puerto Rican playwright Miguel Pinero. Benjamin Bratt turns in a charismatic performance as the title character, and is ably supported by an outstanding group of fellow actors. Pinero's story is told in a fragmented style, and Latin music effectively accompanies the story.
The performances in the film are really special. Mandy Patinkin is a powerful presence as theatrical figure Joseph Papp. Giancarlo Esposito plays writer Miguel Algarin, and he has superb chemistry with Bratt. And I was particularly moved by Rita Moreno's portrayal of Pinero's mother; one scene between her and Bratt is particularly heartwrenching.
The film covers many important aspects of Pinero's life: his time in jail, the opening of his landmark play "Short Eyes," his Puerto Rican/"Nuyorican" identity, and more. Ichaso paints his canvas with some powerful and disturbing visuals.
Despite the many good aspects of the film, I didn't find it wholly satisfying; in a sense I find Pinero the man even more of an enigma after seeing the film. But this is still a film well worth seeing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Bratt Is Phenomenal!, July 23, 2003
This review is from: Pinero [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Benjamin Bratt gives as good a movie performance as I have seen in years in his portrayal of Miguel Pinero. When he is on the screen, which is most of the time, you cannot take your eyes off him no matter what is going on or who else is involved. I don't know much about Pinero and the action is sometimes difficult to follow--for me going constantly from black and white back to color added nothing to the movie either-- but in spite of these weaknesses, Bratt by the sheer brilliance of his acting makes this movie quite an experience and well worth your time.
Mr. Bratt is certainly an actor not to be dismissed lightly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the voice of the nuyorican poets, October 7, 2002
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
He was a poet & an actor more so he was an artist, this film captures the essence of this brillant writer. Benjamin Bratt
becomes Pinero, you see pinero's spirit take on that of bratt.
It's hard to believe there isn't much on Miguel Pinero's life,
finally with this Film we get an window into the world of this man and his poetry. see this film with an open mind
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bratt is amazing, October 14, 2003
By 
Michael Bolts (superior, wiusa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pinero [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Bratt is simply amazing as Pinero and I really liked this movie. you should watch it. not for every taste though but a great retelling of a man. im not gonna tell you about just watch it and think what you thought about it and im saying I recommend it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where�s Tom Wolfe when you need him?, December 6, 2002
This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
Leon Ichaso has directed an artistic masterpiece. The music track is downright fantastic. Aesthetically, this film deserves not to be ignored. Americans of Puerto Rican descent, though, should be enraged at "Pinero." Is a convicted criminal who terrified and abused his victims an ideal representative of this ethnic group's artistic heritage? "Pinero" prompts one to recall Tom Wolfe's brilliant 1970 essay "Radical Chic and Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers." The author held up to ridicule those wealthy guilt tripped Liberals who encouraged the Black Panthers to make fools of them. The late poet-actor was a foul mouthed thug with enormous talent that mostly went to waste. Needless to add, the white Liberal establishment loved enduring his abuse and adolescent behavior.
Pinero's inability to exercise self control over his unruly appetites rendered him incapable of honoring commitments and developing healthy relationships. Benjamin Bratt's Academy Award worthy interpretation shows us a Pinero who mastered the art of victim politics. He did not look upon the United States as a beacon of hope and opportunity. Pinero instead perceived this great nation as an emasculator of his manhood and creative juices; an authentic Puerto Rican supposedly cannot be a real American. Fine performances are given by many members of the cast. Talisa Soto is perfect as the woman who cannot abandon Pinero even when it becomes obvious that he is a lost cause. The role of Miguel Pinero's mother is wonderfully carried out by veteran actress Rita Moreno. Mandy Pantinkin and Giancarlo Esposito also deserve honorable mention. This movie is a must see for those desiring to further understand the nihilistic American artists of the later half of the twentieth Century. "Pinero" may not be for everybody, but it easily earns five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, April 26, 2006
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This review is from: Pinero (DVD)
This drama contrasts the transcendent nature of Miguel Pi?ero's art with the dark struggles of his life. The director seems to suggest that art gives the strength to struggle - perhaps to even break free.
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Pinero
Pinero by Leon Ichaso
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