Lisboa (1999) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's notes in white:

Lisboa, or Lisbon, is a workmanlike thriller.

Traveling salesman Sergi López is on his way back to Portugal, when he picks up a middle-aged woman hitchhiker, Carmen Maura. She desperately wants him to take her to Lisbon, but won't say why. He discovers a gun and some jewels in her handbag. When she faints at a rest stop, he checks an address book in her purse, and calls her family. As the story unfolds, we learn about an ultra-creep of a husband, a father that goes along, and the murder of her husband's business associate and his family. We further learn that both she and her daughter have slept with the business associate. The question is, who will survive, and will the bad guys get turned in? 


Laia Marull (Fugitives), shows her breasts twice, and most of her buns in a thong.

DVD info from Amazon.

widescreen letterboxed, approximately 2.2:1, weak transfer

Scoop's notes in yellow:

As Tuna has pointed out, the Spanish film industry is a world leader in many ways, especially when it comes to character-based films with lustrous photography and set design.

As far as plot-driven crime thrillers - well, that's another story. Based on this film, they are approximately four decades behind American TV. In fact, it looks like they just took one of the better old Mannix scripts and adapted it. It would be in the middle of the road among the zillion or so of these things churned out annually in the American DTV market. Stock characters, conventional plot twists. Yawner all the way, and poor DVD to boot.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

  • Carmen Maura was nominated for a Goya for her performance.


The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: As near as I can tell, the film played the International festival circuit, and was a direct to vid in the US.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. It is a decent genre film, and no more. A better transfer would have helped. (Scoop: agree completely with the C-. And barely that high. Either the film or the DVD transfer is burry and undersaturated, and the film itself isn't up to "made for HBO" standards. Only for genre nuts. If you aren't a complete thriller addict, skip it. In Spanish, subtitled.)

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