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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Foreign > Argentina > Crime > A Red Bear

A Red Bear (Argentina, 2002)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: B-



Argentina is seeing a possible new cinema rise up, and though the long-term implications of this are uncertain, Adrian Caetano’s A Red Bear (2002) offers mixed results.  Bear is the nickname of the title character (Julio Chavez) who has been in prison for years.  When he gets out, his daughter who was newborn in his first days behind bars does not know him, his wife is with another man and the same criminals are still very much alive.


We have seen and heard this story dozens of times before, but to the film’s credit, it tries to show Argentina’s dark side as much as possible.  Too bad that is not enough to stop the predictability, but the acting of the well-casted cast helps and Caetano has some energy to apply to the tale.  Another problem is the issue of masculinity, which is not typical here.  It is a tough guy world, with more than a few gay males being as weak as the more book-wise characters.  That is cliché and is harder to dodge than any formula.  Ultimately, A Red Bear is an interesting if not altogether successful film from a potentially budding cinema.  We look forward to seeing more.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is not bad, but has some detail issues, though the color is consistent.  Cinematographer Willi Behnisch (under the name Jorge Guillermo Behnisch) does a nice job of capturing all kinds of angular sections of the city of Buenos Aires, which benefits the film.  There are few clichéd shots.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds off of the original analog Dolby SR theatrical sound, which is not bad and has some healthy surrounds.  Extras are slim, with five trailers, one for this and the rest for other First Run releases.  Too bad there is not more analysis or some interviews.  Maybe next time.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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