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Movie Review: Watch AMIGO Movie 2011 Megavideo Online

Watch AMIGO Movie 2011 Megavideo Online
We saw AMIGO (2011) at Cinema 5 of SM Mall of Asia on July 9, 2011. Obviously a low budget film produced by Star Cinema and Cinema8 (local film outfit) which stars Joel Torre with a casts of Hollywood actors Oscar Awardee Chris Cooper, DJ Qualls (CSI Crime Scene Investigation TV series), Garret Dillahunt (also of CSI Crime Scene Investigation TV series) and Yul Vasquez (War of the Worlds, American Gangster, The A-Team). Set in 1900 Luzon island during the Philippine-American War (1898-1902). A group of American soldiers sent to subdue a remote village with alliance to the rebel guerillas. Rafael (Joel Torre), the Cabeza del Barrio of the village, finds himself in the middle of the conflict as he plays the Amigo or friend to the American troops in order to protect the people of his village but is torn between compliance with the Americans and be the rebel sympathizer considering that his son and brother are rebels. Rafael finally wins the trust of US Lieutenant Compton (Garret Dillahunt) and the two build an appreciation and respect to each other. A village fiesta is permitted by Compton. Col. Hardacre (Chris Cooper), pissed from rebel attacks on another area, learned of Compton's fiesta permission and Compton's troop's laxity the following day he ordered stricter measures and tortures Rafael to confess whereabouts of the rebels. The scope of the movie is limited with confined spaces with the cast and extras numbering only 2 dozen I think making the film claustrophobic in feel. The art design of the period are limited to antiques without production values. The actings are splendid but the camera pannings and the script could have been more. Ending is unsatisfying and gave me a hanging feeling. John Sayles, the writer and the director, done his research wisely but fails to ignite some emotional impact particulary in the action scenes. I am disappointed with the film due to its limited resources and Academy Award winner Chris Cooper could have shine as the protagonist but the poor production values made his scenes flat and some laughable. I could have been proud of this film because of its Philippine historical theme but I can't ! Sorry. My ratings 2 out of 5 Biscuits ! P.S. - there were only about 11 of us inside the theater...all of the cinema goers were inside the fully-packed but lame Transformers 3 flick
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Amigo is written/directed by John Sayles, who has been nominated for two Oscars, both for writing, one for Lone Star, the other for Passion Fish. Watch the trailer. The writing may be fine, but it doesn’t appear to be very well acted/shot.

Summary: "Amigo," the 17th feature film from Academy Award-nominated writer-director John Sayles, stars legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre as Rafael, a village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War. When U.S. troops occupy his village, Rafael comes under pressure from a tough-as-nails officer (Chris Cooper) to help the Americans in their hunt for Filipino guerilla fighters. But Rafael's brother (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local guerillas, and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor. Rafael quickly finds himself forced to make the impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by ordinary civilians in an occupied country. A powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence, "Amigo" is a page torn from the untold history of the Philippines, and a mirror of today's unresolvable conflicts.

Acclaimed indie film director John Sayles takes a look into the Philippine-American War in Amigo (Friend). Set in a fictitious barrio (small rural town), the film explores the crashing of cultures in the Philippines at a time of great uncertainty. At that time, the Spanish had just lost control of the archipelago and the Americans were quelling the Filipino rebellions mushrooming to free the country. In the barrio in focus, all the Spanish, American, Filipino, and even Chinese elements of society come into play, with the local town chief Rafael Dacanay (Joel Torre) and his family caught in the middle.

Sayles is very deliberate in moving the story forward, with a great deal of attention in sharing what life was like in the Philippines then. However, I felt there was a slight imbalance between the movement of the plot and the exposition on Philippine culture-- the film came off as too slow. While there were notable actors in the film (Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt with Filipino actors Torre, Rio Locsin, Rey Lazaro, Pen Medina, and Bembol Roco), I couldn't help but notice the other actors sticking out because they were less compelling than the rest. Amigo is a well-crafted historical piece on Philippine society, but the slow story keeps me from enjoying it to the fullest.


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