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PHOTOGRAPHY

BATTLE IN HEAVEN

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 95 minutes, interview, theatrical trailer, select scenes from Japon, and Tartan trailers

STUDIO: Tartan/ Palisades Pictures

RELEASE DATE: 5-9-2006

BATTLE IN HEAVEN is a challenging film. Sometimes it shows you parts of Mexico as if you are living there mixed in with the story of Marcos, a driver for the General's daughter- Ana. He knows her secret. Ana works at a high end brothel. One day, Marcos confesses to Ana that an infant he and his wife kidnapped had died. She tells Marcos he must turn himself in after having sex with him. BATTLE IN HEAVEN has an ugly honesty about it. It portrays sex like it is while showing the beauty in it. Some people may be offended by it and object to it and just call it pornographic. BATTLE IN HEAVEN is like the type of film that Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky would have made if he was Mexican and did a film that wasn't overlong with a sexual undercurrent mixed in. Carlos Reygadas is a unique director.  His films uses non-actors and he tries to be honest with his films. Not everyone will be ready for his films or maybe some of those will never embrace any of his work as a filmmaker.  He tries not to hammer a message like SECUESTRO EXPRESS.  He shows Mexico City better than SECUESTRO EXPRESS ever showed Caracas. It is also a film about a man's search for salvation and trying to deal with the horrible things on his mind.  Plus the one music piece played at the end and at other parts of the film is powerful.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is good, but the look of the film makes it looks like it has been filming using digital video cameras.

AUDIO: Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround, Spanish 5.1 DTS

Subtitles: English

The audio is clear. The sounds of the street and the rain immerse you in the world of BATTLE IN HEAVEN.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The original theatrical trailer for BATTLE IN HEVEN is included in addition to previews for ANATOMY IN HELL, SUPICIOUS RIVER, and 9 SONGS. Five scenes from the director's first film, JAPON are also on the DVD The highlight of the extras is a 33 1/2 minute interview (in Anamorphic Widescreen) with director Carlos Reygadas and actress Anapola Muskadiz. It is in English and gives you all the information you need to know about the film from the sex scenes to film productions require 20 permits (translation- multiple permits) to film in Mexico.

FINAL ANLYSIS: BATTLE IN HEAVEN is honest beauty. Thwe film has an honesty that some people won't recognize. If you love interesting or challenging movies, maybe you should check out BATTLE IN HEAVEN. Be warned it includes graphic sex and is for mature audiences only.

this review is (c)5-3-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com  and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com