Jaime Sanchez

Jaime Sanchez

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Beach Red Review


Excellent
If you've ever been curious where Terrence Malick stole his flashback-infused war film The Thin Red Line from, check out Beach Red, a clear influence for the picture in more ways than one. What starts off like any other war film (storming the beaches at Normandy, an examplary series of special effects for 1967) rapidly turns on its ear, as the various soldiers are developed via flashbacks to their lives at home: Families, girlfriends... director Cornel Wilde shows us that soldiers are people too, and that war is more than just a few bullets traded on the battlefield. Remarkably soulful for a war movie from 40 years ago, Beach Red is underseen but highly worth watching.

Piñero Review


Good
Talented and tragic historical figures often make for riveting drama, particularly if the aforementioned individuals leave the scene way before their time. This certainly can be said of Puerto Rican playwright-poet-actor Miguel Piñero, the drug-addicted protagonist of writer-director Leon Ichaso's impassioned but uneven biopic Piñero.

Benjamin Bratt is provocative in the role of Miguel Piñero, the troubled and disillusioned force behind the notable work Short Eyes, produced during one of Piñero's incarceration stints in the mid '70s. Bratt effectively exudes the pain and anger that transcends some posturing material, with a portrayal as lyrical as the throbbing beat of the movie's Latin-induced soundtrack. While the propensity for audiences to get caught up in Piñero's wayward world of instability is almost inevitable, the movie follows an uncharted path by trying to reinforce the demons without really being perceptive about Piñero's undeniable skill as a writer. The cliché about creative minds who become consumed by their art is almost a manipulation here. The film is valiant in the way it strides for that redemptive note as it tries to make us accept (and understand) his premature death of cirrhosis in 1988.

Continue reading: Piñero Review

The Pawnbroker Review


Excellent
Sidney Lumet's direction is not the highlight of The Pawnbroker -- it can be heavy-handed and self-conscious at times -- but Rod Steiger's searing portrayal of a freed Holocaust victim trying to make a living as a pawnbroker in Harlem is unforgettable. Steiger's Method acting is dead-on, offering up a character so wracked by the past that he's barely functional in the present: So he places the love of money over all else in his life. Lumet's use of awkward flashbacks to the concentration camps, actually hinders the storytelling rather than help it.

The Wild Bunch Review


Extraordinary
I am one of the few surviving appreciators of second bests. In hindsight, my second biggest crush in high school ended up being a much better person and is in fact the only person from high school that I keep in close contact with. Your second best is always the sneakier one, the more interesting and mysterious one. You've studied your favorite, your best, with the gumption and know-how of a private detective. You know them inside out. However, the second best is just a little less known, shrouded in an enigma; it's so irresistible that you sometimes forget why the first one is your best or favorite, but then you snap back in. If you're looking to get married soon, more than likely you will cheat or at least make out with your second favorite at some point. This is the way of the world, get used to it. It's all good news for The Wild Bunch, which happens to be both Sam Peckinpah's second best film (Straw Dogs is better) and the second best revivalist western ever made (after Unforgiven).

It's even got William Holden's second best performance (he was better in Network). He plays Pike Bishop, the head of an outlaw gang of ace criminals. We are introduced to the gang when it is nearly 10 men strong, but after a gunfight with Thornton (Robert Ryan), Pike's old partner turned bounty hunter, there are only six. Relentlessly chased, they quickly take an offer to hold up a train and steal 16 crates of rifles from it. They return to the Mexico town, still being trailed by Thornton. The only Mexican in the gang, Angel (Jaime Sánchez), insists on taking one crate so that the general who hired him won't take over his village. When they return to the general, they give him the crates and he gives them the money, but not before taking Angel and torturing him for trying to arm his village. An argument between Pike and his closest comrade, Dutch (Ernest Borgnine), sparks a return to the general's compound and stand off between the five remaining outlaws and the general's army, which consists of roughly 200 men.

Continue reading: The Wild Bunch Review

Jaime Sanchez

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Jaime Sanchez Movies

Piñero Movie Review

Piñero Movie Review

Talented and tragic historical figures often make for riveting drama, particularly if the aforementioned individuals...

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The Wild Bunch Movie Review

The Wild Bunch Movie Review

I am one of the few surviving appreciators of second bests. In hindsight, my second...

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