Impressive film about young man fighting for a better life.
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 10/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"20 year old Angel is "The Good Boy" (2005), devoted to his single mother, working at a dead-end job as a mover, and chasing his dream for fame and fortune as a professional boxer. Problem is that the dream seems further and further away each day, while his girlfriend keeps hinting he should be doing more with his life, and threats of foreclosure worry his mother. Just in time comes Vidall, a persuasive older man who knew Angel's deceased father and also had a past with his mother, who offers the boy a new career path ... as an apprentice bank robber.
This impressive film is essentially a coming-of-age drama, showing Angel's inner struggles between continuing his boxing career and taking the seemingly easier path to quick riches. It's also a story about loyalty, to family, mentors and friends, whom Angel values above anything else in his own life. The direction and photography are brilliant on this Spanish film (original title "Segundo asalto"), and the acting first rate, especially the adorable newcomer Álex González as Angel, as well as veteran actor Darío Grandinetti in the role of Vidall.
PictureThisVideo seems to have marketed this widely on gay video websites, when there is NO GAY CONTENT WHATSOEVER (but a fair amount of homoerotic scenes involving Angel/Alex). The liner notes on the DVD also seem to imply something between Angel and Vidall that isn't there. Not rated, but would be an NC-17 due to graphic sex scenes. Film is in Spanish with English subtitles. DVD has actor interviews (dubbed in English), photo gallery and brief behind-the-scenes short. Zero stars to PictureThisVideo for manipulating its gay customers, but the film itself does actually deserve a full five stars out of five."
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE GOOD BOY ( aka SEGUNDO ASALTO and ROUND TWO) is a superb little film from Spain, written by Imanol Uribe based on a story by director Daniel Cebrián. For some reason the film was marketed in the US as a gay themed movie, probably because of the poster/DVD jacket of star Álex González' finely trained torso. Viewers should be alerted that this is not a film with a gay theme but instead a film that focuses on the universal theme of coming of age, this particular time in the seedy sector of South Madrid. With a cast of fine actors well directed by Cebrián this is a superbly woven tale that makes no judgments, but instead encourages the viewer to participate in viewing the struggles of a young lad who wants to make a better life for himself and his single mother.
Angel (Álex González) devotes his time and hopes for success as a boxer under the guidance of his father-figure trainer Paco "El Tigre" (Pepe Oliva), a man who is idealistic and wants Angel to win the big fights when he is physically ready, not when the fight can be 'bought'. Money struggles at home and emotional struggles set the stage for the entrance on Vidal (Darío Grandinetti), a mysterious ex-boxer who has returned to Spain from Argentina, has occult bonds with Angel's family, and introduces Angel to the underground world of crime. Angle's needs to provide for his mother and to attempt to rise in the world encourage him to participate in a bank robbery with Vidal. Once bitten by the bug of easy money Angel bonds with Vidal, brings in his best friend to join in the easy money , and marches toward what will become a tragedy. How Angel rationalizes his diversion from his passion for the boxing ring to the seductive world of Vidal's design leads to an ending of the film that is left open to the viewer's decision as to Angel's future. The final scene is one of great beauty and emotional power - boxing in the ring becomes a subtle metaphor.
Boasting a strong cast of actors, this film succeeds on many levels: it is a solid story with an open ending, it is beautifully photographed by Gonzalo F. Berridi to heighten the mood of the film, and the accompanying musical score by Iván Miguélez maintains the flavor of the sparing. This is a very fine Spanish film that deserves a wide audience. In Spanish with English subtitles. Grady Harp, October 08"
Bank Robbery Story
De Omnibus Dubitandum. | Latin America | 11/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Its a Bank Robbery Story with a few mild plot twists. Its ok but nothing to write home about. Again, you do not need to buy this video. I would rate it a C+ at best a B. Nudity: only one shower scene with a few butts. No Sex. And in case you were wondering, it is not a Gay move. Well acted but the plot is uninteresting and the little secret that you discover at the end is truly very, very, very little. Ho Hum."