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New Movie Reviews

"Manda Bala (Send A Bullet)" DVD

by Steve Anderson
thevideostoreguy@columnist.com

You know, I knew there was something weird going on down in Brazil. After a recent move by one of their country's judges to completely ban in every way, shape and form imaginable the game Bully--and I mean "ban" as in "from the entire country" ban--something struck me as wrong.

Then I watched the half English / half Spanish language documentary "Send A Bullet" and then I KNEW something weird was going on.

"Send A Bullet", you see, is the story of crime and corruption and plastic surgery in beautiful, extremely dangerous Brazil. Including segments from one of the country's leading plastic surgeons, who pioneered a way to make a replacement ear graft in two parts from rib cartilege where before it took like eight, as well as a kidnapping victim, the owner of a frog farm--yes, I said "frog farm", and yes, you can actually grow frogs for export--and an "entrepreneur" who goes by the name Mr. M and drives a bulletproof car, "Send A Bullet" will tell us more than we ever really wanted to know about Brazil's many, many problems.

The film, which is apparently legally constrained from being shown in Brazil for fairly obvious reasons (like it makes them look like complete morons who can't manage crime in their own country), is actually pretty eye-opening, if a bit dry. I had no idea--not one!--that it was somehow just UNIMAGINABLE to drive in Sao Paulo without a bulletproof car. See, when I think of "unimaginable" in driving, I think, like, it's UNIMAGINABLE to drive without my pants on. Or maybe it's UNIMAGINABLE to drive without my Dave Barry books on tape. The idea of it being UNIMAGINABLE to drive without a car that will deflect small arms fire, now that's UNIMAGINABLE.

The fact that politicians in office are exempt from civilian courts in Brazil is also a huge eye-opener that I bet lots of politicians up here wish were the case. Forget it, boys and girls, not a CHANCE.

But while all of that is definitely true and eye-opening, it's also extremely dull. Cohn's method of filming translators in the same shot as the people he talks with is tiresome at best. I don't need to listen to the actual Spanish. No hablo Espanol, Senor Cohn. I don't speak Spanish. For all I know these guys are telling you what a spectacular moron you are and your translators are making it all up. But at any rate, roughly half your movie is incomprehensible to me, and that definitely doesn't make for good watching.

However, what you're showing is definitely new and unique--honestly, I had no idea that one single government agent (allegedly) stole roughly three billion dollars in government money by himself. That's kinda amazing. Normally it takes whole corporations to steal that kind of loot.

So if you're jonesing for dry, fact-laden data about Brazil's hugely corrupt government, and don't mind listening to people speak Spanish, then "Send A Bullet" is just what you've been waiting for.

 

Manda Bala (Send A Bullet)
**
DVD

Directed by Jason Cohn

Written by Jason Cohn

Produced by Joey Frank, Jason Cohn, Jared Goldman

NR
2007
82 mins

 

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