|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
City of Men(2007)
Best buddies Acerola and Laranjinha, about to turn 18, discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas.
For more about City of Men and the City of Men Blu-ray release, see the City of Men Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on August 2, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Douglas Silva, Darlan Cunha, Jonathan Haagensen, Rodrigo dos Santos, Camila Monteiro
Director: Paulo Morelli
» See full cast & crew
City of Men Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, August 2, 2012
Brazilian director Paulo Morelli's "Cidade dos Homens" a.k.a "City of Men" (2007) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Studio Canal. The only extra on the disc is a standard behind the scenes featurette with raw footage from the shooting of the film and short comments from various cast and crew members. In Portuguese, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Like Fernando Meirelles' City of God, Paulo Morelli's City of Men offers a fascinating look at life in Rio's dangerous slums. Morelli worked as producer in the similarly titled TV series with Meirelles, which ran on Brazilian TV from 2002 to 2005.
Best friends Ace (Douglas Silva, Blindness) and Wallace (Darlan Cunha, City of God) have never met their fathers. They miss them and often talk about them. Both also truly believe that their lives could have been a lot different if they had real families. They try to stay out of trouble but this isn't easy as most of the other boys in the favelas are members of different gangs.
Life in the slums is relatively quiet until one day a local kingpin, Midnight (Jonathan Haagensen), is challenged by his right-hand man, Nefasto (Eduardo 'BR' Piranha). Most of the boys and young men in the area are immediately forced to pick a side and a bloody gang war erupts. The side that prevails will control a beautiful hill and the drug trade around it. Other kingpins from nearby hills also chose sides.
Meanwhile, Ace is left alone after his wife accepts a job in another city and quietly packs her bags, while Wallace is directed to a man who may or may not be his father. As the two boys try to figure out what to do, Midnight and Nefasto's men begin killing each other and paralyze the slums.
The film is raw and gritty, and most of the time as intense as City of God. Once the war begins, one gets a real sense of how chaotic and dangerous life in the favelas is - some people try to hide as best as they can and pray, while others simply leave everything behind and head elsewhere. And practically no one expects the police to enter the favelas and restore order because they are paid to stay away.
Yet on the beach just across the hills people swim and have fun. They are completely unaware that a mini civil war is under way in the favelas - at least not until the news networks begin reporting. Morelli's camera often zooms around and shows that life there still follows a familiar rhythm. Needless to say, all this feels incredibly surreal.
Another film that captures this surreal reality very well is Jose Padilha's Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, the follow up to the Brazilian director's highly controversial Elite Squad about a group of commandos led by a brave captain which regularly raid the favelas. The tone and message of Padilha's film, however, are very different. In Elite Squad: The Enemy Within there is a degree of nihilism that is incredibly disturbing.
City of Men was lensed by cinematographer Adriano Goldman, who also collaborated with Cao Hamburger on his award winning drama The Year My Parents Went on Vacation and Cary Fukunaga's excellent Sin Nombre. Goldman often favors extremely vivid colors and blown out contrast as well as erratic camera movement which give the film a very appropriate raw look and further enhance the already very tense atmosphere.
The film is also complimented by a strong soundtrack by Antonio Pinto (Walter Salles' Behind the Sun, City of God).
Note: In 2008, City of Men was nominated for Best Special Effects Award at Rio de Janeiro's Cinema Brazil Grand Prize.
City of Men Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.84:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Paulo Morelli's City of Men arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Studio Canal.
The film essentially has two entirely different looks. The first favors blown out contrast and oversaturated colors that make certain sequences looking very harsh (see screencaptures #1 and 6). Clearly, these are stylistic adjustments that imitate some of the flashbacks from Fernando Meirelles' City of God. The second favors more natural colors and contrast levels (see screencapture #5). However, many close-ups still look quite harsh and at times unusually crisp. It is important to note here, though, that neither the harshness nor the crispness are related to excessive sharpening/edge-enhancement. The film simply has a very unique raw look, which compliments the tense atmosphere very well. Despite the contrast and color fluctuations, detail is very good, particularly during the daylight sequences. There are no scratches, debris, flecks, or cuts to report in this review either. Some extremely light banding is present during a couple of scenes, but overall this Blu-ray release does offer a solid upgrade in quality over the Lionsgate Films R1 DVD release of City of Men. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
City of Men Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Portuguese LPCM 2.0. For the record, Studio Canal have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a good enough reason to recommend replacing your DVD release of City of Men. Most of the shootouts are short but very intense. A couple of the nighttime chase sequences are also very effective. Admittedly, there isn't a great deal of surround activity and the overall intensity of the lossless track does not match that of recent action productions, but depth and crispness are indeed very good. (If you enjoyed the rawness of the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track from City of God, you will appreciate this one as well). The dialog is crisp, clean, and stable. The English translation is very good.
City of Men Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
City of Men Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Paulo Morelli's City of Men is a raw and intense film that has plenty in common with Fernando Meirelles' City of God. I think that the latter is a slightly more focused and overall better executed film, but both are very much worth seeing. Studio Canal's presentation of City of Men is very good. It would have been nice to see some new supplemental features, but the featurette included on this release was also the only extra on the old R1 DVD release which Lionsgate Films produced not too long ago. RECOMMENDED.
City of Men Blu-ray, News and Updates
• City of Men Blu-ray - December 20, 2011
The UK branch of Studio Canal will release on Blu-ray director Paulo Morelli's Cidade dos Homens a.k.a City of Men (2007). The film is produced by Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles, whose acclaimed City of God (2002) is already available on Blu-ray, also via ...
City of Men Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
City of Men Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to City of Men Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.