The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 102 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s):Spanish Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, English SDH
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella, Jessica Mas
Written & Directed by: Carlos Cuaron
Music by: Felipe Perez Santiago
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 25, 2009
"A family divided"
When a talent scout gets stranded in their tiny town, brothers Beto (Diego Luna; Milk, The Terminal) and Tato (Gael GarcÃ*a Bernal; Bad Education, Babel) are discovered and whisked away to Mexico City to play for the big leagues where they quickly achieve fame. Beto is nicknamed "Rudo" for his hotheaded goalkeeper style and Tato is called "Cursi" for his peculiar scoring technique. But success leads to excess as Rudo descends into gambling debt and drug abuse and Cursi is distracted by beautiful women and a second career as a pop singer. Having come so far, will the siblings remember their original goal: building a home for their mother?
Rudo y Cursi is a rags to riches to rags tale that is reminiscent of similar style films that depict the meteoric rise and fall of those incapable of handling the stresses, freedom, fame and money that can be associated with professional sports. What makes this film different and more enjoyable is in the telling. The story revolves around two brothers that hail from a small town in Mexico. They work on a banana plantation and play soccer for recreation. Beto is a foreman at work and goalkeeper on the field. Tato is a budding singer (his true passion), but enjoys playing soccer as well. Their relationship is a prime example of the term sibling rivalry as they compete at everything which includes vying for their motherÂ's affection. Life in their small town is a daily financial struggle but they get by okay. Beto loves to play soccer but his first is to gamble. This has lead to problems between he and his wife. When the opportunity to go to Mexico City and try out for a professional team presents itself, the talent scout (who also narrates the story) visiting their village, can only take one of them. The decision as to who will go will be made by a penalty kick (Beto in goal and Tato attempting to score). Tato has no real interest in turning professional but does see potential in it leading to the opportunity for a singing career. Beto dreams of soccer fame and asks Tato to aim his shot to the right so he can block it. Tato agrees but unfortunately for Beto he never specified to whose right it should go. The kick goes in when Beto dives to the wrong side. Tato is declared the winner and selected to return to Mexico City with the talent scout. Beto blames Tato and figures he did it in purpose in order to trick him. The incident serves to drive a deeper wedge between them as Tato heads for fame in Mexico City. After an opposing team develops an opening for goalkeeper, Tato (now nicknamed Cursi because of his post goal celebration dance) contacts the talent scout and insists that the position be offered to Beto. Beto accepts and sneaks off without telling his wife or family where he is going.
Cursi has turned into a star over night and has captured to attention of a beautiful TV show host (Mas). The two begin dating and Cursi falls in love with her. His instant fame provides him the opportunity to sing and he does a cover tune/video of Cheap TrickÂ's ÂI want you to want meÂ. Beto arrives and quickly establishes himself as a premiere goaltender with an aggressive style that begins a string of shutouts that approaches a record and earns him the nickname Rudo. This is the point in the film where we begin to see the effects of obtaining too much too soon and how those of limited experience and fortitude begin to break down. Both men encounter public pressures to excel on the field. Drugs, women, gambling, reckless spending and violence only add more fuel to the fire. Beto and Tato both dream of building a beautiful house on the beach for their mother, the question is, will they survive their new world long enough to see it through?
This isnÂ't an in your face style of comedy but is more of a satirical spin on this genre. It portrays the vices and temptations that can plague unsuspecting athletes in the dog eat dog of professional sports. But is also draws interesting caricatures of these two brothers who want very different things in life but canÂ't see the forest for the trees in terms of how to achieve them while maintaining personal balance. It is a lesson they come to learn but that lesson comes at a price. The film is told in a narrative style as told by the talent scout. I liked how it was done as it filled in gaps and provided perspective that otherwise could have been missed. Both Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal gave credible performances and the script was well conceived and executed by director/writer Carlos Cuaron. I found the filmÂ's theme and characters to be both interesting and poignant. Its message was direct yet simple and its lightly based levity was just enough without seeming to water down the tone of the story.
The rating is for pervasive language, sexual content and brief drug use.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Rudo y Cursi comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Classic Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.8 mbps.
This high definition video presentation isnÂ't the type that will blow you away but it appears to faithfully render the filmÂ's elements. Images are clean with consistent rendering that brings out enough subtle refinement in close up shots so that they appear well resolved. Long range visuals are not as resolute which results in objects in backgrounds lacking definitive clarity and depth. Primary colors arenÂ't especially vibrant but the earth tones that permeate the sequences shot in the Mexican village are well balanced and visually pleasing. Blacks are stable with average depth and fair gradational quality. Flesh tones are well delineated with discernible highlights and lifelike depiction. Grain is present in visibly fine layers that provide natural texture. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack delivers crisp, full bodied dialogue in a mostly frontal presentation that offers a few splashes of light ambience through the surround channels. There is limited low frequency detail mixed to the subwoofer but in this film there really is little call for it. The blend of airy music, voices and sound effects through the front channel speakers was rendered with excellent clarity, limited but fair dimensional perspective and average depth. The audio never came across as thin or dynamically starved and based upon the elements in the recording sounded just fine.
- Commentary with director Carlos Cuaron & actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna
- Making of featurette Â- 27 minutes
- (HD) Q&A with director Carlos Cuaron & actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna Â- 71 minutes
- 6 Deleted scenes
- Music videos Â- ÂI want you to want meÂ with versions by Juana Molina and Gael Garcia Bernal plus a Karoke version
- Turn off your cell phone! Â- Faux ad featuring Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal in character
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- (HD) BD Previews:
- Coco before Chanel
- It might get loud
- BD-Live enabled
Rudo y Cursi pulls no punches and delivers a solid story that transcends genre lines in order to convey this wonderfully conceived, executed and enacted film about two brothers who ultimately learn that blood is thicker than water. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony featuring satisfactory audio/video quality and a well rounded set of bonus supplements that compliment the film. It is well worth checking out and easily worth the cost of a rental.
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