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Bad Day to Go Fishing

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jacob van Oppen, the former strongest man on earth and his crafty manager, Orsini, make a good living by traveling around small South American towns, organizing wrestling exhibitions in run-down theaters. Once this oddball pair disembarks at the village of Santa Maria, business really kicks off: the local newspaper sponsors the fight and helping hands placard posters announcing an open call for a worthy adversary. Ever so resourceful, Orsini knows how to find the right combatant, but fishing in Santa Maria could lead to a bigger catch than he d hoped for.

Bonus features include a complementary short film, Director's Statement, and Bio, amongst other features.


WINNER - 10 Awards - Uruguayan Film Critics Association
WINNER - Best Actor - Mar del Plata Int'l Film Festival
WINNER - FIPRESCI Prize - Sofia Int'l Film Festival
WINNER - Free Spirit Award - Warsaw Int'l Film Festival
WINNER - Best New Director - Brooklyn Int'l Film Festival
Official Selection - Montreal World Film Festival
Official Selection - Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival
Official Selection - Pusan Int'l Film Festival
Official Selection - Sao Paulo Int'l Film Festival.
Official Selection - NYU Latin American Film Festival
Official Selection - San Diego Lantino Film Festival
Official Selection - San Juan Int'l Film Festival ----

Alvaro Brechner's ambitious debut is something like a retro THE WRESTLER by way of the Coen brothers. --Jordan Mintzer, Variety

Engagingly quirky! --John Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter

Official Selection - CANNES FILM FESTIVAL (Critics Week) --Film Movement

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Piquer, Jouko Ahola
  • Directors: Alvaro Brechner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FOJN96
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,556 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on March 3, 2011
Format: DVD
(special thanks to Film Movement for sending me a screener!)

Bad Day to Go Fishing has nothing to do with fishing. Let's get that out of the way now, because it came as something of a surprise to me. Rather it's a story about a con artist, wrestling and hope in a small Uruguayan town.

The film stars Gary Piquer as Prince Orisi, a man who claims to be from Italian nobility. How this squares with him traveling on a bus around South America is something he hopes no one asks. In his company is Jacob, Jouko Ahola, a former professional wrestler who has recently fallen on hard times. Together they travel around offering people the chance to wrestle against Jacob. Anyone who lasts three minutes gets $1000. That the matches are staged comes as no surprise.

When they arrive in the small town of Santa Maria, Orisi contacts a strongman type and offers him money to be in the fight and lose. The man agrees, then gets arrested for drunken and disorderly behavior. This leaves Orisi without competition for Jacob. Up steps a young woman whose husband, known as the Turk and famed for cutting off a man's ears, is willing to wrestle. His wife is seriously interested in the money, and the fact that Orisi doesn't actually have it is something of a complication in his life. Add to that the fact that his wrestler seems to be cracking up and it sounds like life is about to become very interesting for Orisi.

I've seen at least one person say this is like The Wrestler if it were directed by the Coen brothers, and I can absolutely see that. It's got their visual style in spades, and characters that would not be out of place in one of their movies. It's a wonderful film to look at, beautifully written and nicely paced. It's an incredibly good film and one that I highly recommend!
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Format: DVD
I've been a fan of the Film Movement library of indie and foreign movies releases some time now, and when I saw this one recently, I had to pick it up. I didn't know much, ok, nothing, about the movie beforehand, and that's fine, I'd like to be surprised (good or bad).

"Bad Day to Go Fishing" (107 min; originally released in 2010) is a great "little" film out of Uruguay, of all places. It brings the story of small-time hustler/impresario Prince Orsini who travels around small cities with his "world champion" wrestler Jacob Van Oppen to stage the fighter training, and eventually meeting a challenger who stands to win $1000 if he can stay with Van Oppen for 3 minutes in the ring. The movie opens beautifully with a chaotic scene, and one of the fighters badly hurt (we won't know who). After the opening credits, the movie settles in Santa Maria, a remote town where Orsini and Van Oppen arrive for their next "kill". But soon things become more complicated as it turns out that the eventual challenger may in fact be a super-fighter himself. I don't want to say much more about the story line, you'll just have to see it for yourself, and I promise you, you will want to, and you won't be disappointed.

The acting is all-around top-notch. Gary Pliwe, who plays the Orsini character, reminded me of Robert de Niro/Harvey Keitel 30 years ago, and is just superb. Kudos as well to the writing and directing of this movie. One of the best I've seen recently, and yet another reason why I keep looking forward to more Film Movement releases. Highly recommended
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wow, such a good movie with great directing and acting for what is ultimately (in the States at least) a totally unknown film with unknown actors. Set in South America, the movie is billed as a Spanish film with english subtitles. However, the two main characters (Europeans running a wrestling grift) speak English to each other most of the time so the subtitles are sporadic.

This is not really a wrestling flick, and not quite the black comedy some are calling it. As one critic notes, it's like a Coen brothers movie in some ways, but much more subdued and not as intricate. That's not to say it is a simple film either; it strikes a nice balance between leaving you guessing in just the right spots but not being overly contrived or difficult to follow. The movie gives us interesting and unique characters with well executed and spot-on acting. Almost everyone is perfectly cast.

The film revolves around a con job, but the wrestler of the duo (real life strongman Jouko Ahola) is not entirely in on it. He is an aging athlete past him prime with some medical conditions that, while at their beginning stages, will obviously cut short both his career and life. He holds out hope for a comeback, which conman Gary Piquer is more than willing to tap into and feed off of. Piquer plays like a cross between a young Deniro with hints of Robert Duvall and Alfred Molina The Perez Family and is particularly good. The fiance' of the townsperson who "challenges" the champ for $1000 is also a scene stealer even though she does not say much.
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