Alberto San Juan

Alberto San Juan

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Sleep Tight [Mientras Duermes] Review


Excellent

Even though the central character is somewhat undefined, this film is a thorough creep-out, playing on our vulnerabilities while making the villain the most sympathetic person on-screen. Balaguero is one of the directors behind the [Rec] series, and knows how to unsettle his audience with atmospheric, skin-crawling sequences that are made especially visceral due to the realistic acting.

An impressive presence in the prison thriller Cell 211, the Bolivian political drama Even the Rain and as a drug kingpin in the Miami Vice movie, Spanish actor Tosar stars as Cesar, the likeable doorman at a creaky Madrid apartment block. But he secretly despises the residents, and is quietly destroying their lives, tormenting an elderly woman (Martinez) and her two beloved dogs, brutally threatening a young girl (Almeida Molina), and casting suspicion on mother-and-son cleaners (Fernandez and Morilla). But his biggest plan is for Clara (Etura), the sexy young woman in flat 5B. And while her boyfriend (San Juan) is away on business, he lurks in the shadows of her apartment plotting something unspeakable.

Director Balaguero keeps the film on low boil, refusing to explain everything in the plot while quietly twisting the moody tone. Every scene is a bundle of insinuation that suggests something truly nasty, and it's refreshing that Tosar never tries to make us understand what Cesar is up to: we see why everyone likes him, and also why they should be terrified of him. We only ever get a vague idea of his overall plan, but the things he does along the way are sinister enough to keep us nervous. As are hints that he may have done this before.

Continue reading: Sleep Tight [Mientras Duermes] Review

Km. 0 - Kilometer Zero Review


Very Good
It's a steamy summer afternoon in Madrid, but no one is taking a siesta. On the contrary, the 14 main characters in Km. 0 are on the prowl, looking for missing mates, quick hookups, or the simplest carnal satisfactions, all before the sun goes down.

The chosen meeting place for all these brief encounters: kilometro cero, the marker in Madrid's central plaza from which all highway distances in Spain are measured. It's a convenient meeting place, too convenient, in fact, because when so many strangers pick the same spot to meet, there are bound to be plenty of cases of mistaken identity and screwed-up assignations. One could easily argue that there are enough tangled plotlines here for several interesting films.

Continue reading: Km. 0 - Kilometer Zero Review

The Other Side Of The Bed Review


Weak
Terribly ill-advised, this film combins a sex romp with a musical -- and neither side works very well. A sextet (or so) of Spaniards couple in various combinations. After they've got their rocks off, they espouse absurd theories about JFK, Marilyn Monroe, and the modern world. Then it moves on to song and dance numbers (with some truly awful singing and questionable dancing). This is all meant to be whimsical and not-serious, but it comes off as pathetic and sad. Basically, they forget that in a good sex comedy, the emphasis is on comedy.

Continue reading: The Other Side Of The Bed Review

Alberto San Juan

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Alberto San Juan Movies

Sleep Tight [Mientras Duermes] Movie Review

Sleep Tight [Mientras Duermes] Movie Review

Even though the central character is somewhat undefined, this film is a thorough creep-out, playing...

Km. 0 - Kilometer Zero Movie Review

Km. 0 - Kilometer Zero Movie Review

It's a steamy summer afternoon in Madrid, but no one is taking a siesta. On...

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