Customer Reviews: Chico & Rita Collector's Edition (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD/CD Soundtrack Combo)
Oct16 Amazon Fashion nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Electronics Holiday Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 Halloween Candy Cozy Knits Book 2 or More Hours of House Cleaning on Amazon bajillions bajillions bajillions  All-New Echo Dot Starting at $89.99 All-New Kindle for Kids Edition Frank Sinatra Shop Cycling on Amazon Save on select ClickTight convertible car seats

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Watching this nostalgic love letter to Cuba, jazz, and enduring passion unfold, I was struck by how little the medium of animation is used to tell serious adult stories. "Chico & Rita," therefore, benefits greatly from this straightforward and unorthodox approach. Had the exact same screenplay been filmed with live actors, I think the tale might have been equally compelling. But there is something about the simplicity and beauty of the hand drawn passages that really evokes an artistic vibe. And as the movie is an homage to an era, a culture, and an art form, it's fascinating to see this world come alive as if from thin air. "Chico & Rita" was Oscar nominated as Best Animated Feature in 2012, and it is truly a must-see for lovers of quality adult entertainment. A visual treat with its earthy pallette, the movie also boasts an impressively colorful soundtrack that recalls the jazz age in vibrant detail. Lushly romantic, I think those that adore "Chico & Rita" will be rapturous in their praise. But it isn't necessarily a movie for everyone as it unravels as much from mood as from the actual story.

The actual plot spans many decades from the streets of Cuba, to the clubs of New York, to the movie sets of Hollywood, to the seedy motels of Las Vegas. Seriously, I had no idea that the movie would have such a grand scope or such a broad narrative. An elderly Chico, a former piano man, hears one of his songs on the radio and it causes him to reflect on a long and tumultuous relationship with his true love Rita. Rita, a sultry singer, worked with Chico before setting upon a life of fame and glamour--but their two paths were constantly intertwined. Although madly in love, the two never seem to connect in any meaningful way for an extended period. But despite all their mistakes and the physical obstacles in their path, there is always an underlying hope for a happy ending. The two seem fated to be together, but fate may not be enough to overcome tragedy. Melancholy, sweet, and unrelentingly romantic, the film still maintains a refreshingly hard edge throughout.

Spanish director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) has a sure handle on the tone and cadence of the movie. As I mentioned, the mood of the piece is just as important as its narrative. And the music really helps to capture the spirit of the story telling. From genuine jazz riffs to English language ballads, everything fits perfectly. Although I did love the movie, it does tend to get a bit rushed as the years spiral by in quick fashion. So after a detailed beginning, certain sequences can seem a bit choppy. The pace is so luxuriant and leisurely, I thought some of the time shifts were a bit jarring. But it's a small point in the grand scheme of things.

Limited Edition Collector's set: This 3 disc compilation has the DVD, the Blu-ray, and the soundtrack. If you love jazz, I suspect you'll be interested in purchasing the soundtrack so this might be a convenient way to get both the movie and the CD at a combined price point. Also included (and quite fascinating) is a sixteen page excerpt from the source material, which happens to be a graphic novel. It's a cute, if not particularly substantial, addition. I'd have loved a bit more, but I guess they didn't ask me. Overall, though, an easy recommendation. About 4 1/2 stars, an impressively adult endeavor. KGHarris, 9/12.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 7, 2013
Like the jazz standard, Chico & Rita has both heart and soul. At its core it is a love story between the two title characters, who are both perfect for each other and imperfect, which makes it hard for them to make beautiful music together (in more ways than one). It is also a love story about jazz, and in particular the jazz scene in Havana and New York right after World War II. But it also illustrates the impacts of racism and the Cuban revolution and how these collective actions can damage the pure love between a man and a woman.

Chico & Rita fall for each other, and most viewers will fall in love with the two of them, plus several of the other characters, especially Chico's sidekick Ramon. When they are playing their music and moving to the beat, the effect is joyful. There is quite a lot of great music in Chico & Rita from a variety of jazz giants of the era, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Woody Herman. For jazz fans, this might easily be the best movie soundtrack in years.

The animation is a joy to behold. Although the characters are fairly simply drawn, there is often a gorgeous amount of detail in the background, right down to the era- and location-appropriate advertising signs on buildings. As I think back to the street scenes in Havana, I almost recall them as real-life pictures rather than drawings. Several times there is a 3-D effect as the perspective changes and the scenery adjusts appropriately, as though a camera were moving through space. The animation does not imitate any other studio's style, and it truly is a work of art.

But it is ultimately the storyline that gives Chico & Rita its strongest emotional pull. Although I felt there might be a few flaws, including what Rita does with the second half of her life, I can accept them. Chico & Rita are characters that viewers will fall in love with.

If you are at all a jazz fan, or a music lover, or someone with an interest in Cuba, or someone looking for a good love story, then I highly recommend Chico & Rita.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 29, 2012
I saw the movie "Chico & Rita" three times in Los Angeles, once with the director,Fernando Trueba at Landmark. Chico is one of the most visually rich and romantic movies I have seen in a long time. I mentioned this movie to a dear friend, and he got the graphic novel. I had never heard of the term graphic novel, but I was told it was all the drawings from the movie done by Javier Mariscal and Mr. Trueba. Since then, I have hunted for the DVD online, but one day lo and behold I came upon the graphic novel. I immediately ordered it, and when it arrived, it made me cry..the drawings and the text, like an adult comic strip made me mentally revisit the beautiful film I love so much...It is soooo cool to read the story and see the exquisite rendering of each scene. I will treasure this book, like I did viewing the movie, and like I do the cd that my friend gave me...What a grand piece of art the book is!
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
One day while flipping through Netflix I came across this title and decided to watch it. Best decision ever!

This is a wonderful animated movie with an amazing sound track. It's a love story about two Latin performers and their music. I am not going to say more than that. There is a little bit of nudity but nothing over the top that you wouldn't see in a regular Hollywood movie.

I decided I wanted to own this movie that's my reason for buying it. And this combo comes with a CD of the music which makes it even more special and a worth while buy.

Shipment arrived as expected, no surprises. I am very happy!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 22, 2013
I have always loved Latin jazz. I appreciate the Cuban sound since I was a little girl growing up in the 50 and 60. The romantic story line enhanced the music as well as providing a little historical education. Once again we are shown how deep love can be. I really loved this movie and have shared with my friends who had also enjoyed the movie. After, this movie made for fantastic conversations over mojitos, Bacardi and coke, and jack Daniels. Brought up old memories.
If you grew up or is a fan of Latin jazz in the 50s and 60s you might enjoy this movie.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 19, 2014
Great graphic novel about star-crossed lovers who just keep missing one another. The question is will they ever cross each other's path long enough, and at the right time, so that everything can fall in place? Will it last? Enjoyed the book so much that I can not wait to purchase the animated film!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2012
You get a BD, a DVD and a CD with the OST of this wonderful animated film! The box does not specify the region, but it played fine on my Panny BD palyer. Included is a 25 minute making of the film with interviews and technical info, very interesting if you like such things. Highly recommended!!! The price was also great ($17). As a bonus there is an excerpt of the graphic novel. Pure joy. If you like bebop this film will be a real treat as it is a true historical testament of the musical scene of the 40's/50's and how the Cuban musicians played a vital role in what later would be known as Afrocuban music. Cameos by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Chano Pozo and others that you would recognize on the spot! I could go on and on, but please judge for yourself.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2013
This is an excellent sister to the movie. I liked that when I introduce friends to the movie they can hold in their hands this book and see the characters and lives again. I currently have it as a coffee table piece... Love how Javier brought Havana to life via art and music... Viva Cuba

~ Caridad
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2012
Love found, love lost, intrigue, betrayal, redemption. It's all here, coupled with a beautiful jazz soundtrack that just enhances the visually stunning animation. From the late '40s era in Cuba, the film takes us on a journey across the world to the present day using jazz as a denominator and love as a host. With cameos from jazz musicians gone by, this film flows with life.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 24, 2012
Let me keep it short and sweet. Having seen the film and being taken away by it, I was interested in all the mediums of the story. I bought the CD and the graphic novel. For the typical graphic novel reader, this book isn't for you. It is merely the novelization/companion of a beautiful animated film rather than a stand alone graphic novel. For those who want the imagery and scenary of the film in print form, this is for you.

The reason why I gave it 4 stars is because it works perfectly in the medium of novelization or companion but if you are looking for the solid story, it is better to see the film for many aspects of feelings (especially the music) are executed better in the film.

Like I said, if you were a fan of the movie, the art, and the story this is for you. I highly suggest to buy the CD as well so you can fully immerse yourself in the story.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse