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10.23.2007

TRIBU

Tribu
Directed and Written by Jim Libiran





First you think - - - City of God. Then you think - - - Tondo always had dibs. Late's better than never, then, and same might go for Jim Libiran's newfound career. Outdone by the upshots of vim and trickery City of God indulged in but not by the bang-on acting of non-pros, Tribu instead rubs itself raw in feral grit and builds up this primeval vigor - - - artless, graceless - - -that pumps blood into its pulse, not least when it lingers on its incessantly fascinating sociologies - - - the gangstas' home lives, the initiation rites, the breaks into freestyle . It does work more as anthropology , getting a little gangly and droning when it rewires itself as melodrama, faltering partly from brief lapses into gangsta soap cliche in its pursuit of poeticizing its milieu and partly out of trying too hard to tell us nothing we don't already know - - - inner city life is a culture of violence and a culture of poverty and a culture of boredom- - - and partly out of churning anticipation for a volcanic climax that's a no-show. The last, knee-weakening shot doesn't want for attack, though.

SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY

Superman Doomsday
Directed by Lauren Montgomery,Bruce Timm
and Brandon Vietti
Written by Duane Capizzi







Let's piss on a sacred goat, why not. The Death of Superman was a turd - - - the infantile nadir of deep continuity superhero eventmaking. You do sign up for Bruce Timm making a 75 minute OAV out of it because he seems to think so, too- - - and his design sense's got dynamic game, you get to dip your eyeballs in candy at least. Supercompressed like the way it is here only means it's crisper for having the flab cut out but does crank its pitch to a degree of hyper that only nerds in advanced stages of ADD would find soothing - - -don't kids breathe at the movies anymore? Within-budget upgrades still boom, though. Freeing themselves from feeding an event marketing brief and the repercussions of the outcome, Superman dying here is just another trope to play with for Timm and cohorts and less didactic for it, less in the grip of the buildup , more with the aftermath, where the story is anyway - - - the co-dependencies bred by superheroes in the real- - - and the resurrection engineered in the fray feeds everything of Dan Jurgens and cohorts to the sharks. Also, Doomsday gains a measure of pulpy arcana - - -who'd have thunk? - - -and gives good skirmish and carnage at that. And Luthor at his snakiest emits hard crackle, no Gene Hackman buffoonery here. The moment when he whips out a gun to shoot his assistant because he felt like it trumps everything the movies did wrong . The geek in me just wet himself.* * *