Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Benjamin Bratt, Giancarlo Esposito, Talisa Soto, Nelson Vasquez, Michael Irby
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Tells the story of the explosive life of a latino icon the poet-playwright-actor miguel pinero whose urban poetry is recognized as a pre-cursor to rap and hip-hop. After doing time in hard-core sing-sing for petty thefts a... more »
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"Puerto Rico...My Heart's Devotion..."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 12/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is a lightbulb moment in Leon Ichaso's "Pinero" in which Miguel Pinero (Benjamin Bratt)in Puerto Rico for a poetry reading, poetry performance really, is scolded by a man in the audience, (and I am paraphrasing here):
Besides the Rum and the Beaches and the weather what do you really know about Puerto Rico and it's problems? You pick and choose what you want from Puerto Rico to fuel your disgusting, angry tirades. You call yourself "NuYorican" as if you are a race of people apart fom those of us who call Puerto Rico our home....
What's ironic is that Pinero goes on an "angry, disgusting" tirade by way of answering the man's pointed questions and concerns; thereby, sustantiating what the man has said. Up to this point, Ichaso has painted a romanticized, subjectively removed portrait of Pinero: his celebrated charisma, his radiant personality, his way with both men and women. But the gentlemen in Puerto Rico snaps us back to the reality of what fueled Pinero's life: his idealization of his childhood Puerto Rico and his subsequent longing for that time in which, he felt life was beautiful and all was well.
Ichaso has chosen to romanticize the trajectory of Pinero's life, through the use of beautifully shot black and white flashbacks and vibrant color "now" scenes. He sets Pinero up as an achetype for all the poor artistic souls who find themselves slaves to their own celebrity as well as to drugs and alcohol. In this sense this film is very similar to "Basquiat" of a few years ago. Both Basquiat and Pinero had very troubled childhoods involving all manner of degradations and problems. Both were extremely talented people who let themselves fall victim to what is now a cliche : the tormented artist who escapes through the use of drugs or liquor or both. Think Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, Capote, Kerouac, Lautrec or Verlaine to name a very very few. They, like Pinero were full of an artistic fire that inevitably consumed itself, little by little, as it created.
Smack dab in the center of this film is the towering performance of Benjamin Bratt as Pinero and his accomplishment cannot be denied. He's handsome, charming, magnanimous, charitable to a fault, infuriating and pathetic. You wouldn't want him in your life but if he was...you wouldn't want to get rid of him either.
I would think that this is the part of a lifetime for Bratt and he plays it like it's his last.
Talisa Soto is radiant and sexy as Sugar, Pinero's girlfiend and Rita Moreno's indomitable spirit as his mother infuses the entire film with good cheer and pride.
"Pinero" is not a perfect film but it certainly has what very few films have....an all consuming lifeforce that affirms as well as questions our place and function here on earth."
A SAD PORTRAYAL OF MY BROTHERS LIFE
FLORENCIO RIVERA-PINERO | FLORIDA | 10/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I GIVE THIS FILM TWO STARS, ONE FOR MR.BRATTS PERFORMANCE,THE OTHER FOR THE MS.MORENOS THEY BOTH CAUGHT THE ESSENCE OF MY
MOTHER &BROTHER,THE REST OF THIS FILM [was not very good],ITS FULL FOR UNTRUTHES,IN THE FILMS CREDITS THEY THANK THE PINERO FAMILY
KNOWING FULLY THEY NEVER REQUESTED,OUR INPUT, IT WAS SOLEY
MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPLOITING HIS MEMORY &LEGACY, I HAVE
A 2HOUR VIDEO OF MIKEY, TALKING ABOUT HIS LIFE MADE 6 MONTHS PRIOR TO HIS DEMISE THAT ,MR.ICHASO NOR ANY AT THE FILM COMP.
WANTED TO SEE. THEY WERE MAKING THEIR VERSION,MIKEY,S LIFE
PS THEIR 10 BROTHERS & SISTER NOT 5,AT LEAST THEY COULD GET THAT RIGHT.
IT ALL BULL,,,,.SUGAR WAS NEVER, THE LOVE HIS,LIFE,ALGARIN
WAS NOT AT HIS DEATHBED,THEY HAD PARTED WAYS YEARS AGO,,
THIS ONLY DOES A A DISERVICE TO HIS MEMORY,LEGACY, HIS FAMILY
THAT ENTIRE,FILM COMPANY & ICHASO SHOULD BE ASHAMED IT ,ITS
GARBAGE, SOON ILL BE RELEASING THE VIDEO ,AND MIKEY WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD, A DISGUSTED BRO..."
Style and Promises , Unfulfilled
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is so much to like about this film PINERO that once the movie is over you sit staring at the screen or the TV wondering why you just don't care. The main character Miguel Pinero was a gifted artist and a pungent voice for independent thinking. The portrayal by Benjamin Bratt is first class acting, surely some of the finest work this underrated actor has done. The supporting cast is excellent. The cinematic effects are bewitching to behold. Why doesn't it work? I think part of the problem is the quality of sound, the levels of speaking often buried in noise so that straining to follow the dialogue becomes annoying. The sexual innuendoes in the flashbacks of Pinero's youth are well handled, but then comes the major ommission of Pinero's bisexuality. Yes, few Hollywood actors or writers want to deal with gay issues with doumentary topics. But part of Pinero's magic was his own balancing of his attraction to young teenage men as well as to women. It enriched his poetry, his plays, his presence. Why leave that out of a filmed biography? This could have been an absolutely gripping film that contained the courage of Pinero. But alas, homophobia wins out again."
A great movie although very sad and tragic
Carlos Rodriguez | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pinero is based on the life of puertorican playwright, actor and poet Miguel Pinero. His life from early childhood was a constant struggle for survival since his father abandoned his mother (played by the great Rita Moreno)when he was a small boy. Pinero turned to a life of crime while still in his early teens and served time in Sing-Sing for arm robbery and stealing cars. While on the inside Pinero turned his anger and frustrations to writing short stories which later became plays such as his most successful and controversial play "SHORT EYES" which was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play in the late 70's. Pinero also started a theater group in jail and perform for the other inmates plays that he had written. Joseph Papp, the legendary theater producer read Pinero's play "SHORT EYES" and decided to produced it Off Broadway while it became a success despite is limted run. I have never been fond of Benjamin Bratt as an actor but in this movie he did an excellent job and really transformed himself into the character. This movie is a bit strong and somewhat harsh since it depicts the reality of the character. Miguel Pinero was not only a convict but a drug addict who took heavy doses of cocaine and would inject large quantaties of heroin on his arms. Pinero lived the life of a bum through out his life and even as he reached moderate success as a playwright he still hard a tough time fighting his inner demons. He died in 1988 at the age of 40 of Aids (I believe) after he overdosed on more heroin. This movie is not for everyone but it is a good movie whose main character lived a very sad and tragic life and just as he lived life on the edge he ended his run on earth the same way."