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Genres are DramaBiogra Produced in 2001, USA
Available Quality: DivX, DVD, iPod
Rating: 6.2 out of 10 (973 votes)
|Benjamin Bratt||Giancarlo Esposito||Rita Moreno||Mandy Patinkin|
|Talisa Soto||Michael Wright||Nelson Vasquez|
The life of Miguel Piero (Benjamin Bratt), a cult Puerto Rican playwright, poet and actor, is portrayed in the movie. Born in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, he grew up in the slums of New York City. Before he reached the age of 20, he had been sunk in vice. He was a drug addict with a long criminal record but his talent gave him a chance to give up a reckless way of life. He achieved fame by writing his first play Short Eyes which was nominated for six Tony Awards and won two of them. He co-founded the Nuyorican Poets Caf, created the spoken-word poetry, wrote five plays and played some small movie roles. However, he continued to be a drug addict and was in love with a woman of pleasure. Bohemian lifestyle was his passion risk was second nature to him. He was a New York idol who preferred walking on the razors edge.
25 May 2013
Seems to be missing something
As well acted as Pinero is I think their is a serious flaw in the film aswereally do not find out why Pinero is so self destructive and cannot hold ajob. We see in flashbacks that he was abused but thats only scratching thesurface. Who was this guy? We really don't find out but Benjamin Bratt isexcellent. A career changing performance.Also, I've always liked Michael Wright. He's been typecast to death andhas done a lot of junk but I've never been disappointed by any performancehe's given and he's good in this film as usual.
24 May 2013
Fragmented, favorable glorification of drug use and prison life.
The film distractingly switches between black and white and color, as wellas time. It goes from the present to the past, and back a number of timesthrough the feature. We are shown how several individuals live in the drugenvironment(ending up in prison), getting the feeling we are to be sorryforthe way they have lived their lives.The dialogue is filled with four letter words. Maybe that's the languagethat is used in this community, but it seems to add little to the contentofthe story of this man's life.If there is a message in this film, it's the wrong one. Drugs and prisonsseem glorified and accepted as a way of life. We all have choices. Thepeople depicted in this film, for the most part, made the wrongones.
14 May 2013
my top five movies of the year
Pinero definitely makes it to my top five movies of the year 2001. It's oneof the best movies I have seen. I completely dived into the story of thismultifaceted artist who lived his live with drugs and poems, success and thestreets of the Lower East Side.Benjamin Bratt gives an astonishing performance - far off the "nice"characters he used to play. I completely bought into him being Pinero. I didnot for one second think about him as Benjamin Bratt - he is Pinero with allhis might.
14 May 2013
Focuses on the less interesting part of the whole story.
I'm not an expert on Pinero or even on the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. However,what I do know is that the Poets Cafe was the first place for Nuyoricanstoreally celebrate their experiences--of being caught between worlds, ortraveling between them. Sure, the experience on the "Loisaida" oftenincludethe down and out, but the spirit of protest is a strong element in much ofthe poetry of this time, adding depth to the shopping lists of ways tosurvive on the street. Not all the poets had pathetic lives such asPinero,either. This side of the Poets Cafe, and the poetry movement of the70s/80s,is not evident in the film.This said, the movie isn't really about the Poets Cafe. It's about Pinero.But if you're going to do a biography on someone who was so passionate,you're going to be tying together their personal conflicts and struggleswith what they stood for, and I couldn't find much of this element in themovie. Instead, Pinero seems to undermine the fighting cause, if there isone presented here, with his attitude, which is most often driven by thesearch for (or coming down from) drugs. Okay, so he needs a liver, too,andhis mother died. At least the film stops short of having him point fingersat those events as responsible for his behavior. Instead, he does the mostdamage to himself. But, as other commenters point out, you're leftwonderingwhy the tragedy was story-worthy, especially if you don't know the storyofthe Poets Cafe and how influential and popular it still is. If you knowthestory of his life, then I suppose it's nice to see it honored formally,butI think the movie cheapened it. If the failures of his life were afunctionof being nuyorican, tell us so. If they don't have anything to do with it,tell us how being nuyorican, or starting the poets cafe, didn't save himfrom his human weaknesses.Excellent acting, strange production, nicely juxtaposed story line--thoughit jumps back and forth in time, it feels like a poem, and you experiencethe gist. It's the story that grated on me and left me curious--how DID heever get the place started if he was such a "bad boy"?
08 May 2013
My sister is madly in love with Benjamin Bratt, so we high tailed it out tothe city to see this flick when it finally came to ourparts.Benjamin Bratt was pretty darn good in this flick. I dug it. No complaints.It was just so sad to see how Pinero's life ended...but he seemed to wantitthat way. Artists seem to think that, unless they are suffering...theirartis for nothing.There might have been maybe two too obvious moments...but rather brief andnot enough to ruin the honesty of the flick.
07 May 2013
Too much about too little
A tour de force by Bratt, "Pinero" tells the story of NYC dwelling drugaddict, poet, jail bird, playwright, thief, and actor Miguel Pinero in abusy cacophony of sight and sound which trades kinetics and verve forcontent, clarity, and humanity. In short, the flick plays out like justanother screwed up junkie artist bio which doesn't crawl into the Pinerohead to flush out the questionable humanity of the enigmatic protagonist.Afilm with limited appeal, low entertainment value, and poor coherence.(D+)
02 May 2013
A Well-Acted Biography, Worth Your Time
Wonderful photography and locations. Great acting performances all around,with a special shout-out to Rita Moreno. Soundtrack by Kip Hanrahantranscends all. Whether you respect Pinero or not, it's a detailed, loving biography. Ilearned from it. Would it be better in chronological sequence? So many films these dayseschew chronology; I sometimes wish the DVDs would include multiple edits,including the director's edit, and a chronological edit.If you like this, I'd strongly recommend Panic In Needle Park. PINP makesyou interested in the (fictional) characters and their fate, whereas this(probably factual) film may leave you indifferent.I saw it for free, from the public library.
02 May 2013
The music is very much a character in filmmaker Leon Ichasos Piero
The film PiÃ±ero is poetry in itself. The film's music - the songs, the beatof the tunes, the score - is very much an integral character in the tellingof the life and times of Miguel PiÃ±ero. It is really energetic in spite ofthe grim aspects of PiÃ±ero's life. Writer-director Leon Ichaso put togethera structured montage of PiÃ±ero's biographic snapshots with his works: plays,TV dramas, poetry readings, intermingled with signs of the times of 60s, 70snews clips: Nixon stepping out of Air Force One, Reagan dodging hisassassination attempt on his life, image of Ayatollah and political crowds.A brief lifetime of 41 years (PiÃ±ero was born December 1946, died June 1988)delivered in a most artistic, poetic, and musical way with the right mix andpacing - almost too fast as PiÃ±ero himself disappeared as life ends. Yet itwas probably a full life in spite of it all: had a tenacious nurturingsingle mother, streetwise boyhood with abuse experiences, drug addictions, aheavy smoker, a thief in and out of prison life, and a poet, playwright,actor, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poet's CafÃ© with dear friend MiguelAlgarÃn. The film goes back and forwards between life on the streets, scenesin a prison, scenes on a stage, and poetry exchange on rooftops, to PiÃ±eroalone and with strangers (what would happen if he did get a kidneytransplant?) To him, life is a stage, a play, a poem and very much viceversa. Bravo to writer-director Leon Ichaso! Technically behind the scenes: filmeditor David Tedeschi - the exquisite seamless Black and White scenesimmediately followed by color scenes and continuously in and out of colorand B/W - it's amazing! Along with the selection of lively Latin songs andthe film score by Kip Hanrahan, Claudio Chea's cinematography, no doubt,adds to this ensemble piece of work. The talented group of actors (withGiancarlo Esposito as Miguel Algarin, Talisa Soto as Sugar, Rita Moreno asMiguel's mother, Mandy Patinkin as Joe Papp) complement Benjamin Bratt'sbrilliant portrayal of Miguel PiÃ±ero - heart-warming in spite of the darkshades of PiÃ±ero's life. It's great to be able to see Bratt in a role thathe can truly stretch and show his soulful acting.I thoroughly appreciate the film in all its fullness - wholeness. Somehowreminds me of Clint Eastwood's "Bird" 1988 (also a brilliant portrayal byForest Whitaker as Charlie Parker, with a memorable heart-wrenchingperformance from Diane Venora as Chan, Parker's wife), a hard medicine (noteasy to swallow) film of a Jazz genius, also short-lived (born 1920, died1955); 160 mins. long but worth seeing.
23 April 2013
Good Movie, not in a hollywood kind of way, though.
This movie is a wonderful depiction of the artist. While I see howsome could see him as a shallow a**hole, I think this actuallygives his character more depth. While the hollywood frame workfor great guys doesnt fit him, it does fit the more Kerouacesquemodel of post WWII existential fatalism. The shots were nice andthe editting good in a pomo kind of way. While this movie isnt foranyone who saw titanic more than once, it is a wonderfulretrospective of an artist and his face to face, 24/7 battle with deathimbodied in love, for his people, his place, his friends, butunfortunatly not for his self.
22 April 2013
As a person of color who is also a SLAM Poet, i went to see this moviesimply because Pinero was so very influential for the art form. Hiswork is beautiful and truthful and often it is that which is killing usthat inspires us to write. Bratt does a good job...initially it takestime to warm to his portrayal (his supermodel good looks)....but hedoes well. Well directed. Great badge of authenticity with other actorswho lived through the time. A commendable attempt at production by JohnLeguizamo and company. If you really want to hear some beautiful, rawand real words, then this is the movie for you. If you are middleAmerica, and unwilling to open your eyes to this world that is so veryreal and part of the fabric of America, then perhaps you should forgetabout it.
09 April 2013
sweet and salty
I just finished watching this movie and I can't stop thinking about it..this is raw very raw..his writing precious..words are just deliciously spit out of his lips..his life is something else..chaoti...maybe some content may offend some viewers..but the poems are good..not good for little eyes at all..just crude raw reality of an addict with a enormous talent..
08 April 2013
His essence was beyond his worldly capabilities and he suffered for it.
I think Pinero (the film) is a credit to the filmmaker and a testamentto Pinero himself. I did not know of him before I saw the film but wasquickly drawn in to the world of a man suffering from the collectiveguilt of humanity. He is depicted as being every kind of being onecould be, most importantly a truthful one. From this I believe he died.Not from drug use but by using himself as an example, with the resultsbeing painful enough for him to go to drugs in the first place. He hadextreme vision and let people see it through sincere eyes, thetrademark of a great artist. I see some reviews where people think thefilm goes off in all directions without covering the heart of whoPinero was. To this I do not agree. I think the film leaves a lot tothe imagination while covering his vast personality (an excellenttechnique to keep the audience thinking). A mix between who he was, andwhat he wanted. Perfect for someone to be introduced to for the firsttime. Which is what I think Leon Ichase was trying to do, introducePinero to me. Thanks Leon. One of my favorite and most inspirationalfilms.
30 March 2013
Intense dramatic performance by Benjamin Bratt. His credibility in his role as Pinero has surpassed anything else that he has done.
30 March 2013
See it with an open mind
The critics generally were not kind to this film, but I submit that inmostcases their middle class roots are showing. Anyone with a serious interestin urban America in the '70s should see it. The visual style is jagged andhyper but that fits the subject matter aptly. The effect on the viewer isyou either pay attention or get lost. Also, this is clearly not a moviethat's interested in creating a cardboard hero, but do we need another oneof those? The filmmakers are keen on showing Puerto Rican influence on NYculture, an influence so deep that it's often ignored.Benjamin Bratt did receive some kudos for his acting, but he deservednominations. In the short documentary on the DVD, he mentions that in histeens he saw the film of "Short Eyes" and was frightened by the subjectmatter. He also mentions fear when offered the Pinero role, because hewouldbe playing a real person. This must be one of the notable cases where anactor overcame some fear to turn in an astonishing portrait.I hope I've suggested a few of the reasons to see this film. Among otherthings, it casts doubt on the mainstream as we've come to knowit.Pinero would have liked that about it....
28 March 2013
Poets ? They're a bit gay aren't they ? Usually they're middle classand middle aged and they get ripped off by scam merchants who postadverts saying " Send us your poetry submissions for our best sellinganthology book of erotic poetry and don't forget to enclose $30 foradministration costs " In short there's nothing less cool than poetrybut Miguel Pinero made the genre cool , streetwise and sexy and hedeserved a far better biopic than this I'd never heard of the guy until I saw this movie . A remarkable lifestory of a man who spent time in the big house and soon achievedcritical acclaim via his plays and poetry . He wrote a play calledSHORT EYES set in a prison , a play that was turned into a film . Justout of curiosity I went to this site and looked it up . The phrase "short eyes " is American prison slang for a child molester the lowestof the low in any penal system . It's also a movie that IMDb reviewershave greatly praised . Now why did I have to visit this site to findout the remarkable story behind the making of the film ( Check out thetrivia page on SHORT EYES - I guarantee you'll be amazed ) if I waswatching a biopic on the play write behind it ? By trying to show us how cool and streetwise the eponymous character isthe director/screenwriter fails to show us anything about Miguel Pinerothe man apart from that he swore and took a lot of drugs which hardlymade him a unique individual . The story slips in time and space , fromcolour to monochrome and has characters appearing and disappearing in ahaphazard manner . Miguel Pinero made poetry the new street culture andhe probably deserved a better film telling his life story
28 March 2013
the best bio-pic Ive ever seen
Benjamin Bratt shows great courage playing Puerto Rican poet Miguel PiÃ±erowith all the dark aspects of his character but managed to convince me withhis brighter side as well. The movie is itself a piece of art, almost apoem, following the life of PiÃ±ero at New York's Lower East Side during theseventies and eighties. PiÃ±ero's poetry and writing made him famous - hisplays were commercially successful and he wrote and acted for "MiamiVice" -and was essential for the rise of the "Nuyorican" culture. The cast isfabulous all the way, especially Giancarlo Esposito and Rita Moreno comeacross as tremendously warm hearted best friend and mother who won't giveupon Miguel despite his difficult personality and way of life. The film wasentirely shot in digital video, giving it a street style appearance and agreat touch of reality. The time structure is challenging and the use ofboth black&white and color make it a visual treat.A MUST SEE and my favorite for next year's best actor academyaward.
21 March 2013
Could see no reason...
I was eager to see Pinero, liking the actor Benjamin Bratt. I thoughtit might be similar to other Hispanic themed films, like 'Before NightFalls', or 'The Sea Within' - both films that I enjoyed.Unfortunately, that is not the case here. The film falls short onseveral levels. I thought Bratt overacted, more times coming off like aswaggering quasi-cool Hispanic Matthew McConaughey (and I don't thinkwe need another one) rather than a 'street wise' urban poet.His Pinero character does not have one shred of likability to him, andhis art apparently does not age well, for I found the poetry he createdsomewhat shopworn. Like others, I could see no real reason that thisguy was an important character or artist, or why exactly he was a 'NewYork sensation'.The directing style was also confusing. It's probably just me, but Iwas sometimes not sure what decade I was in, what action was being'staged', and what was actually happening in real time. This jump cutediting also seems a bit dated as well.In short, I still like Benjamin Bratt (not that he needs anendorsement), but I did not find this to be a good film.
20 March 2013
A great story, a great performance, an average movie.
They'd do well to replace the words 'Director's Cut' with 'Director'sSlice'. I was fascinated by Miguel PiÃ±ero's life, inspired by hispoems, and blown away by Benjamin Bratt's performance, but the directorand editor conspired to mug an otherwise good movie.Put simply, Leon Ichaso tried to use an "edgy" style to mimic PiÃ±ero'sedgy life and it's agonizing to watch. I've come to accept the conceitof the fractured narrative, but I just can't stomach the unendingjump-cuts, unnecessary camera refocusing, and worst of all the switchesbetween professional-looking color film and the sort of push-button,digital, black & white that I associate with low-budget TV shows. Ifany of this was innovative I'd accept it as the director's prerogative,but even in 2001 it wasn't the least bit innovative.As I said it is a good story and Bratt exceeded my expectations by apower of ten. I actually recommend 'PiÃ±ero' strongly, it's an enjoyableand worthwhile film that deserves to be seen. I just wonder what itcould have been if MTV's shadow wasn't looming over it.
08 February 2013
BRATTS BEST YET
PINERO (2001) *** Benjamin Bratt, Giancarlo Esposito, Mandy Patinkin,TalisaSoto, Michael Wright, Rita Moreno, Robert Klein, Fisher Stevens (cameo).Bratt shines as fiery Puerto Rican poet/artist/addict Miguel Pinero, whosestints behind bars led to a second life as a gadfly controversial Beat poetwho became the underground artiste scene's cause celebre until his untimelyyet doomed death at the age of forty to cirrhosis of the liver. (Dir: LeonIchaso)
08 February 2013
Solid acting by Bratt et al
When my friend asked after the screening, "Would you recommend this film?"Ihad to pause and think as my mind raced through a list of potentialcandidates. I ended up saying, "I really liked the film!" and reservedtheanswer to the question until later. This film is for the serious moviegoerwho has confidence to let the film pull the viewer along its path asthingsresolve themselves in the story. With competent direction, the charactersand images mimic the story itself and add depth of our own emotion thatmatches that of Pinero's as he lived it.