It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
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The film creates a perfect balance between action and depth of basic needs, in the midst of an infertile atmosphere.
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Had read somewhere that this HBO production was engrossing, a good detective story...HBO has such a good reputation when it comes to drama, that I thought this was a good one to watch... First episode: It really bugged me that the two detectives investigating the address of the mysterious caller don't call for backup...Then, in a flashback, the shrink convinces the young student, who is shaking in his boots,to return with her to talk to the killer...I couldn't continue with the story after that...How stupid is this shrink? That unbelievable action turned me off completely...And I had read such good things about this series...Maybe I didn't give the film a chance having watched so little of it...But after reading and watching so many mysteries of this genre, I can spot a lemon...The script is weak, the acting average...
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Frank Dudley Berry, Jr.
There are some creative moments in this disaster, but they are negatived by a plot arch that contains more holes than a serving of Swiss cheese. Above all, the ramshackle story only moves forward because of some of the most feeble-minded police work you will ever see. Some examples, which are also spoilers:In Episode 5, the villain has been thwarted in his scheduled murderous plans. Enraged, he threatens to kill someone near and dear to the detective Renzo. Now, Renzo is unmarried and childless, and lives with his widower father, a paraplegic in a wheelchair. This is his only relative - the only person who could conceivably be 'near and dear'. Does Renzo deduce his dad is the target? Ah . . . no. In fact, he doesn't even wonder about it. There is actually dialog -'who could he mean?' 'Who will be next?' Etc. Unintentionally comic, which is not where you want to be in a mystery.But it gets worse.By Episode 8, the police have id'd the killer. He turns out to be a patient of the psychologist who is implicated (incidentally, the dumbest psychologist in the history of drama, one who got a kid killed by persuading him to re-enter a hostage scene, because the the hostage taker was her patient and 'i will control him'. The scene of her persuading the frightened adolescent to return to the control of the hostage taker is unimaginably dumb, and repeated several times). The killer has a scheduled appointment - in an office on the second floor without an elevator. He has already murdered about seven or eight people in incredibly sadistic ways.Do the police stake out the building? Nope. A few of them are stationed on the stairs, warned by Renzo to 'be sure'. (WHY???? Some other person may be keeping the appointment?) The killer shows up, and - of course - gets a drop on everyone, holding a knife to the psychologists's throat. He then manages to escape ON FOOT, while the terminally stupid Renzo embraces the psychologist, not bothering to call for fill and back-up units. The other police officers presumably are still waiting in the adjoining offices - because Renzo never manages to alert them to the event, even AFTER the killer has made his escape.This goes way beyond pardonable police error or bad luck. It is moronically stupid, and converts 'Epitafios' into one of the dumbest genre shows of its type ever made.
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I'm re-watching the series on DVD and love it just as much as the first time. Yes, the body count gets ridiculously high, and I can't believe there wouldn't be more detectives working on such a high-profile case, and Renzo would have been replaced around victim #10 or so, but all the characters have so much passion! Also, as a writer, I'm fascinated when other writers break rules, like bringing in a central character (Marina) fully halfway through the series. And how often is the dramatic and romantic lead a paunchy little guy with a bald spot? My favorite character is Renzo's dad, who is smarter than everyone else in the show put together, including his son. Does anyone know if there's a second season out there?
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I discovered Epitafios by accident when it first aired on HBO Latino. (HBO really dropped the ball by not promoting it better.) I was immediately hooked and have watched all 13 episodes numerous times. It also introduces many talented actors previously unknown to American audiences. There are many, many things I love about this series... First of all the plot is intricately woven with lots of suspense - who will be next and why?! Secondly, I love that the actors lacked the slick fake polish of Hollywood. These characters smoke, they curse, they make mistakes but they have real souls, depth and feelings. Julio Chavez does a wonderful job portraying Renzo, the ex-cop with a tortured soul. He doesn't need much dialog... the tender touch of a his hand to Laura's face, the tiredness in his eyes, a shrugged shoulder all speak louder then words. The character isn't a perfect man and doesn't pretend to be... he cares, he hurts, he loves... Julio brings him to life and makes him real. (I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that his open shirts were an incredible turn on!) Be sure and check out some of his other work, "The Red Bear", "Senora Nadie" and "A King and his Movie" are all out on DVD. Argentina and it's people have lived through some very hard times - I read somewhere they are all addicted to coffee and psychoanalysis. It seems a shame that such a "rich" country suffers so. Hopefully things will change for the better, perhaps through the film industry... Reflection on the past is important but hope for tomorrow is time better spent.I've seen several movies from Argentina and there is something haunting and alluring about the old crumbling buildings and the people. Amid the hopelessness there is still beauty and life. People there are not willing to lay down and die. I'd love to see it in person and hope to see more on screen in the mean time.