KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the Olympics from Rio de Janeiro dominating the airwaves, we thought we would take a look at the “Marvelous City” from a cinematic point of view. Here are three exceptional movies available on DVD or for digital download that provide another perspective.
1) CITY OF GOD (R)
“City of God” shows the side of Rio you’ll never see during the Olympics. It’s a very disturbing but beautifully acted crime drama that shows the difficult life many are forced to live in the slums of Rio. It’s a very violent but artfully crafted film.
One of the best movies ever made. Forget the Godfather and forget Scarface. This is the best gangsta film ever made and it’s truly gangsta. Intoxicating, sexy and scary. Its realness comes from the cadre of mostly non-professional actors who seal the deal. It ain’t all grimy. The scenery is beautiful and there is well played love story that drives the narrative forward. The Brazilian Office of Tourism may not endorse “City of God” but any lover of cinema knows that this movie is the truth.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags
2) BLACK ORPHEUS (PG)
“Black Orpheus” is a classic 1959 film that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. It’s an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice but set in Rio during Carnaval. It’s got a terrific soundtrack that popularized bossa nova music worldwide.
It’s powerful and beautiful and musically on another level. Artistically this film was light years ahead of its time.
RUSS: 5 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags
3) FAST FIVE (PG-13)
Okay, “Fast Five” ain’t a great movie, but it’s fun and filled with hot cars and hot women set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most exotic and beautiful cities. It’s best to think of it as a science fiction film because the cars regularly defy the laws of physics. Better yet, don’t think about it at all. Just take it as a Rio travelogue.
I love this movie more than school kids love recess. And there is a reason why “Fast Five” was a global smash. This franchise has always been ahead of the curb when it comes to the casting of diverse talent but “Fast Five” took that issue to the next level. Thanks Vin Diesel. Not to mention the amazing action and car stunts that all take place with Rio as the jaw-dropping beautiful backdrop. This is the movie the Brazilian Office of Tourism wants to endorse. And the movie fans loved around the world.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
“Like” Fox 4 Screening Room on Facebook!
Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news!
What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.