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HTF REVIEW: "Chasing Papi" w/ Screenshots!



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#1 of 9 Adam_Reiter

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Posted August 25 2003 - 08:59 AM

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Chasing PAPI







Studio: 20th Century Fox

Year: 2003

Rated: PG

Directed by: Linda Mendoza

Film Length: 80 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: Full Screen 1.33:1 & Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 on reverse side. (Double Sided, Single Layer)

Audio: DD 5.1 (English) Dolby Surround (Spanish) Subtitled in English and Spanish

Bonus features:
-English/Spanish Commentary by Director, Cinematographer and Cast
-English/Spanish DVD Menus
-"Making Of" Featurette
-Bloopers & Outakes
-Music Video: "Chasing Papi" by Huey Dunbar Featuring Fat Joe
-Theatrical Trailer

Release Date: August 26, 2003









Movie......



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This movie sure was a lot different than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a Latin "hot and bothered" sex flick. I guess it would have helped if I bothered looking for the PG rating. Thankfully, this movie was a comedy. Overall, it was on the underside of "OK". I guess I'm not really a fan of Latino themed films. The title of "Chasing Papi" comes from "Papi Chulo", which is loosely translated "Handsome Daddy" in English. Its also be translated "perfect man" or "player".


This is the movie description from the back of the DVD cover. Handsome advertising executive Tomas "Papi" Fuentes (Eduardo Verastegui) is truly, deeply in love.....with three gorgeous women in three different cities. There's prim-and-proper Patricia (Jaki Velasquez) in New York, lovely Lorena (Roselyn Sanchez) in Chicago, and spicy Cici (Sofia Vergara) in Miami. But when all three arrive in L.A. to surprise Papi at home, the situation doesn't just heat up, it Explodes! Filled with beautiful bodies, hip Latin rythyms and plenty of passion, Chasing Papi will leave you cheering!"

The movie starts out showing us the relationships between Tomas and the 3 girls. First up is Cici in Miami. She is the most boisterous and wild one out of the bunch. The comedic jist of this movie is established right in the beginning when Cici is at a club with Tomas. Cici leaves for a moment and another girl sits down and starts flerting with Tomas. When Cici comes back, we see her fiery side as her threatens to beat up the girl sitting sitting with Tomas. She then tells Tomas that if he ever cheats on her, that "La Llorona" will get him. Right then, Tomas imagines Cici turning into "La Larona", and she morphs into this screaming, zombie-looking woman. This is funny because there are a few times that Tomas sees "La Llarona" throughout the film when he is particularly feeling stressed out and guilty about having three girlfriends. FYI "La Llarona" is the Latin version of "Bloody Mary".

Next see Tomas showing up unexpectedly to Lorena's office in Chicago. Lorena is a lawyer that fights for poor Latino's. The director portrays her to be very intellectual and low on self confidence as far as her looks go. (kind of funny due to Roselyn Sanchez being one of the sexiest women in Hollywood) Here Tomas and Lorena read a book together and become "intellectually passionate".

Tomas then shows up in New York to surprise Patricia at her very rich parents home. She is the typical rich snobby girl that wines about pretty much everything. Her mother is played by Maria Conchita Alonso. Patricia ditches her mother's party downstairs after some coaxing from Tomas, and the two go riding off on a motorcycle.

These opening sequences set the tone that Tomas is actually very in love with the three women. Tomas is a sincere character that cannot choose between the 3. Thankfully the directors did not portray him to be a slick, Latin "player" type. I really do not care for those kinds of characters and would have been tortured to watch such a movie. However, you end up feeling sorry for the guy. Every scene he is in, he has women goggling from every vantage point. We even have gay guys hooting and hollering for him and nuns that are contemplating leaving the sisterhood. So he is like this major stud, yet none of the ego or attitude. Bravo!

The first problems of the movie arise when the three ladies all come to L.A. to surprise Tomas. They all sneak in to his house, one by one and go to different rooms. All the noises they make in the house, lead them to believe it is Tomas, and not the other girls. A very funny scene is where they all bust out into the main room flashing their lingerie, and then start freaking out and screaming. They of course then realize that Tomas is dating all three of them. They go there separate ways, vowing not to see Tomas again. Shortly thereafter, Tomas comes back from the doctors where he was prescribed tranquilizers. One by one, the girls come back to the house. Tomas is so stressed he keeps popping pills and eventually passes out. Freaked out by a snooping FBI agent that followed Cici up from Miami, the girls make a getaway with the limp Tomas and drive to a hotel. There they plan on waiting for Tomas to wake up, so that he can finally choose which one of them he wants to be with.

As a side note, the car that Cici dove up from Miami is her co-workers, convict boyfriend's car. She is supposed to deliver the car to some thugs in an LA parking lot. This is why the FBI agent has been following Cici. When the girls get to the hotel, there is a Latino beauty pageant going on and Lorena is mistaken for Miss Puerto Rico. So they wisked away to an all expenses paid hotel room. Cici and Patricia then leave to deliver the car, while Lorena is rushed off to do pageant stuff. They leave Tomas in the hotel room. The car is delivered, but we find that a bag of money is missing from trunk. It turns out the money bag is the exact same one as Patricia's. So they all go back to the hotel to get the money, and they find Tomas has been taken (by the FBI) and that they must deliver the money at a certain time at a nearby festival.

Throughout the course of the movie, the girls really bond and become friends. They also gain self-confidence from doing things they would never have done otherwise. Cici always dreamed of being a dancer, and she gets on stage and dances at the festival. Lorena participates in the beauty pageant and realizes she is an intellectual AND beautiful woman. Patricia realizes she can do things for herself and finally starts realizing how to be independant. The three women eventually feeling good about themselves and gaining self confidence through various happenings in the movie is the main theme, I feel. Seeing how there is not much else than this in the movie, I can’t really say anything more without giving away the ending.

One thing I thought was cool is how they introduced some scenes with a cartoon look, the then faded into the real-life scene. I always have liked that type of effect in movies. It's different. I must add, this movie feels incredibly short. I know its 80 minutes, but it almost felt shorter than that. It just flies by (and not necessarily because you are having fun)


Picture...
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Picture quality for this DVD was on the bad side in my opinion. This was obviously a low budget film, and looks like it recieced a low budget transfer. Heck, I never even heard of this film until it showed up at my door.

They main problem is the grain. This transfer is big on grain. It is highly noticeable, especially in indoor scenes with light walls as a background. If you watch this movie close to your TV, or on your computer, you really notice it. Because of this grain, the movie has a soft look to it. Outdoor scenes look a lot better, however. You can also pause any scene throughout the movie, and see that the frame looks bad. The frame will be very grainy and have a "pixelated" look to it. Especially if you use the frame by frame slow-mo, you can see what I am talking about. I have to give it a 3 (2.5), being the most critical for the grain. If watched on a projector, it may be more like a 2. However, on a smaller TV, it may not be such a big deal. I would just expect a better transfer this day and age.

Color seemed pretty good for the most part, and skin tones looked accurate. If there wasn't the heavy grain, the picture would probably look very nice. Hopefully you can see what I am talking about with the screen shots. Notice the backgrounds

Screen Shots:

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Picture Rating:
Picture: 3 / 5
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Sound...
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Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Spanish Dolby Pro Logic


The sound was pretty good. Dialog was bold and clear. I don’t ever recall having to turn up the sound for dialog. Voices for the most part stayed anchored on the center channel. The entire movie was mainly the front 3 speakers. The rears and sides would only lightly get action to add ambience when the music kicked in. I'd say the sound was good for the type of movie it was. Pretty much the only LFE activity is when the music is playing.

The music sounded really good. It was bold and clear. I hope you like Latin music, because it’s playing non-stop throughout the movie. I found the only time the music was way too loud and had to be turned down, was when you back out to the menu screen. The music is definitely pumped up a few DB's on the menus.

I did not listen to the Spanish track.








Sound Rating:
Sound: 4 / 5
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Extras...


This DVD has a few extras. I'd say it’s a nice amount considering the movie probably didn’t make a whole lot of money.

Commentary

To be honest, I couldn't hang with the commentary. Even though you choose "English" you still get Spanish w/ English subtitles most of the time. I lost interest very fast. I don’t prefer to read subtitles for commentary. About the only things I picked up from the little bit that I listened to is that Eduardo (Tomas) said that Sofia (Cici) was a bad kisser, and that the director mentioned how they specifically made Tomas to be a sincere character and did not want him to be a "player-type".

Todo "Everything” Papi

This was a "Making of" featurette on the Widescreen side of the disk. All other features were on the Full Screen side. It consisted of cast interviews with the girls, and Eduardo. Also interviews with first time Director Linda Mendoza, and Producer Forest Whitaker. Each section was titled. For instance, "Cast", "Director", "Scoring", ect. Running time 20:40.

Papi Lite: Blooper and Outakes

This is pretty self explanatory. Nothing hilarious. Running time of 4:10.


Music Video

Huey Dunbar featuring Fat Joe. I did not care for the song or the video. Typical of a rap video however, lots of eye candy. Running time 3:57


Music Promo

A promo for the music soundtrack.











Extras Rating:
Extras: 4 / 5
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Menus...







Here are some screen shots of the menus:
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Conclusion...



The movie was horribly average. A few funny moments, but that is about it. If it weren't for the sincerity of the Tomas character, I would have really not liked it. The movie had too many complexities and didn’t flow well. Plus, the ending was a real letdown. Considering it's a lackluster movie, and not a very good transfer, I am sure purists will stay away from this one. However, if you were a fan of the movie, I'd say it’s a pretty nice little DVD package. Be thankful it's not a barebones release.





THIS HAS BEEN,

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#2 of 9 Yumbo

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Posted August 26 2003 - 08:56 AM

I was entertained by it. lots of eye candy...looked and sounded good.

#3 of 9 Carlo Medina

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Posted August 26 2003 - 10:48 AM

Man, if only it was rated R... Posted Image

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#4 of 9 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:41 AM

Great review!

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#5 of 9 Todd_B

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Posted August 27 2003 - 08:03 AM

Great job w/the review and we'll probably be renting this one Posted Image

Todd B
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#6 of 9 Gary->dee

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Posted August 27 2003 - 08:02 AM

Hey uh Adam, is there any way you could give us some more screenshots of this chick?
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#7 of 9 Adam_Reiter

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Posted August 27 2003 - 12:26 PM

Sorry, that was just a teaser so that you could rent it and see the whole sequence with the girls scantily clad.

#8 of 9 DaveMcS

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Posted September 04 2003 - 06:14 AM

www.sofiavergara.com oughta help you out there !!

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#9 of 9 Gary->dee

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Posted September 04 2003 - 09:02 AM

Schwing! Thanks, Dave. Posted Image

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