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"Che" Criterion Films 3 DVD

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Brandi Dye
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Posts: 4676

« on: February 12, 2010, 11:19:36 am »

"Che" Criterion Films 3 DVD Set to be Released on January 19th. Advance Order Discount (Including Shipping). Benicio del Toro Stars in This Steven Soderbergh Directed Biopic of Che as Cuban and Then Bolivian Guerilla Leader. Illuminating.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Starring Benicio del Toro as Che's Review (excerpt)

"Far from a conventional biopic, Steven Soderbergh's film about Che Guevara is a fascinating exploration of the revolutionary as icon. Daring in its refusal to make the socialist leader into an easy martyr or hero, Che paints a vivid, naturalistic portrait of the man himself (Benicio del Toro, in a stunning, Cannes-award-winning performance), from his overthrow of the Batista dictatorship to his 1964 United Nations trip to the end of his short life. Composed of two parts, the first a kaleidoscopic view of the Cuban Revolution and the second an all-action dramatization of Che's failed campaign in Bolivia, Che is Soderbergh's most epic vision."

Watch the trailer for "Che" here .


•High-definition digital masters, supervised and approved by director Steven Soderbergh
•New audio commentaries featuring Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
•Making “Che,” a new documentary featuring Soderbergh, producer Laura Bickford, actor-producer Benicio del Toro, and writers Peter Buchman and Ben van der Veen
•Interviews with participants in and historians of the Cuban Revolution and Che's Bolivian campaign
•End of a Revolution, a short documentary made in Bolivia right after Che's execution in 1967
•“Che” and the Digital Cinema Revolution, an original video piece looking at the RED camera and its effect on modern film production
•Deleted scenes
•Theatrical trailer
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Amy Taubin

"Del Toro is, to put it mildly, astonishing as Guevara -- not only is he a dead ringer physically (with the right facial hair and clothes), but he exudes a quiet charisma, literate intelligence and power that make you see exactly why someone might follow him if they agreed with his politics. No one else in the story really gets to stand out, but Del Toro simply IS the cast all by himself."

BuzzFlash got an advance preview of the DVD release and found this an unexpectedly remarkable film. It's not dogmatic or ideological or preachy; but rather it is a thoroughly believable portrait of Ernesto "Che" Guevera beginning with his recruitment by Fidel Castro in Mexico, through the successful guerilla war with the Batista military, and his death by gunfire in Bolivia.

Director Soderbergh uses cross-cutting between the growing Castro guerilla movement from its exile in Mexico to its triumphant entrance into Havana and an appearance by Guevara at the U.N. in which he articulates his political philosophy in Part I. Part II covers his much more challenging and ultimately unsuccessful effort (given both cultural differences in Bolivia and the full weight of CIA and South American counter insurgency efforts)in South America.

This is a long film that mixes thoughtful personality revealing passages with action-packed engagements between guerillas and the military. It's fascinating to those interested in how Castro and Guevara strategically beat a U.S.-backed dictator, and also provides insight into how revolutionary goals are not always "exportable."

Filmed primarily in Spanish (with subtitles), the film has an authentic feel. Soderbergh understands that even revolution has its pauses, that patience is often as necessary as action, which is a good way of describing how it feels watching such an epic film.

Based on Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

For a superb portratit of Guevara's youthful political conversion, BuzzFlash highly recommends "The Motorcycle Diaries."
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