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Amores Perros (English Subtitled)



Three different people are catapulted into dramatic and unforeseen circumstances in the wake of a terrible car crash: a young punk stumbles into the sinister underground world of dog fighting; an injured supermodel's designer pooch disappears into the apartment's floorboards; and an ex-radical turned hit man rescues a gunshot Rotweiler. From Mexico City's mean streets to its posh high-rises, no one is exempt from destiny.

Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal
2 hours, 34 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've recently gone on a foreign language film binge, and this one settles with the cream, near the very top. Plot wise, there are three stories that interconnect on the basis of a big car accident, and each revolves around dogs and their owners. The first piece is about a guy who lusts after his older brother's wife while also making big money in dog fights. The older brother gets more and more angry while at the same time the younger brother has made an enemy at his side job. The second story is about a middle aged man in the magazine industry who leaves his family and moves in with a beautiful model. Things get hectic when her lovable ball of fluff disappears beneath a hole in the floor and won't come out. The final tale is about an ex-professor turned radical turned nearly pennyless hitman who wanders the streets with his group of trustworthy dogs. Things change for him when he unknowgly nurses a very dangerous mutt back to health. Now, these stories may not sound intrigiuing at first, but the strengths lie in the tone, cinematography, acting, and atmosphere. Give it a chance, and I think everyone can take something positive from the experience. Of course, this takes us to the WARNING: THIS FILM CONTAINS BLOODY IMAGES OF DOG FIGHTING. The question is, can you handle this sort of thing? I was prepared, and it wasn't as bad as I thought, but if you go in expecting Fido and Lassie frolicking in the hills at sunset, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. In the form of mauled carcasses. Yep, quite nasty. But consider the fact that the animals were trained and not harmed, and that the rest of the movie is excellent, and you should be able to bear it. Also, this film has many levels, and warrants repeated viewing, thus making it a quality purchase. BUT--because of the dog fights, I can't just flat out recommend that everyone buys it on a whim. If you're not sure, RENT IT FIRST. Otherwise, it's a guranteed positive experience.
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Any of those who would dismiss this movie for its allegedly senseless violence or because they feel it's a pale imitation of Pulp Fiction simply do not understand Mexican culture. Violence, verbal or physical, proliferates in Mexican culture; I think many of the reviewers (mostly overly sensitive gringos, I would gather) who are uncomfortable with this movie would probably be equally uncomfortable with the Mexican view of life inherited from the Spaniards--i.e., the fatalism, the grim resignation to the frequent ugliness and brutality of life, and a sort of crude vivacity. Pienso que estas personas que no les gusta México no tienen cojones. But then again, most people want illusion not reality at the movies, which brings up the next point.
As for the Pulp Fiction charge, this movie bears about as much relation to that movie as Picasso, in his early, rough stage, does to Andy Warhol's soup cans. In Amores Perros, the violence, and, hence, the feeling, is real; in Pulp Fiction, it's trendy posing. We cringe at the gore and we giggle at the jokes, then we forget the whole pop culture soufflé Tarantino has served up. The people in Amores Perros are blood and guts--crude, yes, and occassionally ugly, but there's no doubt they're the real thing. Quentin Tarantino has never delved this deeply.
I give this movie four stars instead of five because it's still at times subject to a youthful impetuousness that fits the first story beautifully but not the other two. It's not quite great, but it's still mighty impressive. And the middle story about the model losing her leg and enduring a romantic crisis with her lover is in the end rather tiresome--it's undeniably felt by the actors, but it seems like tawdry bourgeois angst or an episode from a melodramatic telenovela next to the urban blight and horrors of the first and third stories.
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Format: DVD
This Mexican film is so good that it was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001. It's a true drama in every sense of the word and even at 153 minutes, it held me captivated. There are three stories, and each of them could be a full feature in its own right. But they interconnect by a chance traffic accident. And each character's life is affected by it in different ways. All the stories have to do with love. All the stories have to do with death. And all the stories have to do with dogs. In fact, in each story, the dog is as much as a character as the people.
The first story stars Gael Garcia Bernal, who later became well known for his roles in "Y Tu Mama Tambien" and "The Crime of Padre Amaro". He wants to earn money to run away with his young sister-in-law who is being mistreated by his brother. And so he uses his dog in dogfights. The film opens with a wild chase scene in which he is fleeing from a competing dog fighter. That's when the accident occurs.
The second story is about a beautiful model and her lover who leaves his wife and children for her. She has a dog, which she loves as if it were a child. She is injured in the accident and becomes wheelchair bound. When her little dog gets trapped under the floorboards in her new apartment, the story escalates.
The third story is about a homeless man, a former revolutionary, who makes his living as an assassin. He owns several dogs and rescues the fighting dog from the accident. As the story moves along we discover that his has abandoned his family years before. His grown daughter thinks he is dead and has no idea that he follows her around.
This is a very simple outline of the story but it is much more than that. Each character is deeply developed and I felt I was inside of each of them.
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