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Tetro
DVD disk
05.10.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Tetro order download
Director:
Francis Ford Coppola

Actors:
Vincent Gallo
Alden Ehrenreich
Maribel Verdu

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Young Bennie heads to Buenos Aires to find his long lost big brother who left home and never came back. The family reunion is not what he expects however as the brother he knew is buried beneath immense frustration and anger and may be beyond saving.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Francis Ford Coppola is a renowned director but in my opinion heís washed his hands of mainstream productions since DRACULA. I hadnít heard of TETRO and would have never given the film a second glance had I not gotten it to review. Seeing Coppolaís name across the top had me raise an eyebrow and good as this film is (it grows on you) I needed to sit down with it two times to be in the right mood for it as the first twenty minutes or rather slow. That said, itís well the worth the wait if you give it a chance.

There is an immense storyline being thrown at you in this two hour film. This is no ďwho-dunnitĒ so as the pieces slowly fell into place I wasnít without a sense of confusion because you really donít know whatís going on or what the film is essentially trying to tell you at first. On the surface itís about family to be sure, with a younger brother seeking out his older sibling who left home promising to come back for him but never did. Thankfully itís nowhere near that simple of a tale. I totally dig the writer end of things as both brothers clearly have a genius gift when it comes to the printed page, though I will admit that Iíve never seen someone write a play in code as Tetro did (it was pretty cool though).

Visually this thing is epic. There is a smooth and very alluring feel to a polished black and white film. Iím not saying Iím a fan of the old school black and white pieces, but rather I do enjoy it when a filmmaker takes a gamble on this filming style these days. I particularly enjoy when a director or writer puts the obvious time in when it comes to the cover of their film or novel. As with this film, the cover depicts a key (and utterly spellbinding) scene from the film where the light is cascading off the mountains and reflecting in Tetroís eyes. This is magnificent and so much more compelling to me when I look upon the cover in retrospect. Itís very easy to be lazy and just throw on a meaningless picture, but doing it this way really speaks to me and I applaud it.

TETRO is not your run of the mill film and like I said, it might take you a little while to get into it but rest assured youíll be glad you did. The acting here is fantastic and really starts to shine as the many layers are pulled back. I donít remember the stripper scene from any version of FAUST that Iíve ever seen or heard of but I certainly enjoyed it. And though this isnít exactly Buenos Aires, the rich culture and mesmerizing scenery made me fall in love and want to go pack my bags (the forward women and or hot tub scene may have had something to do with it). This truly is a beautiful film.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Director Francis Ford Coppola and young newcomer Alden Ehrenreich guide us through the film. Ehrenreich seems to have had a good time and Coppola was more than happy to revisit the directing style that got him interested in filmmaking to begin with.

The Ballet: Here Coppola explains the usage of the ballet sequences that Bennie sees and feels emotionally throughout the film. A little odd in parts to be sure, but well done.

Mihai Malaimere, Jr.: The Cinematography of Tetro: Here they explain how critically important it is that the director and cinematographer both understand and have the same vision of each scene. The ability to feel the scene is clearly most important.

The Rehearsal Process: Coppola has a strict rehearsal process where he feels his characters need to become the actors portraying them and we get some feedback from the leads on what that was like. The manís a perfectionist.

Osvaldo Golijow: Music Born from the Film: Here we get a closer look at the score from the film and the talent involved. The music was haunting and truly beautiful.

La Colifata: Siempre Fui Loco (Iíve always been crazy): A look at the crazy and not so crazy ramblings from the asylum scene of the film. Iíve always thought the line between sane and insane was a thin one.

Fausta: A Drama in Verse: Another look at this filmís version of the play Faust. This is definitely my favourite version.

Previews: There are a handful of trailers here, all from Lionsgate.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There is definitely more to this film that Iím letting on as I donít want to spoil it, and though it may not readily seem like ďyourĒ type of flick I really do recommend it for that laid back evening in the near future. I definitely think it will surprise you.
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