Raising Victor Vargas [DVD] [2002]

Fiercely independent and critically praised, Raising Victor Vargas is the kind of film that wouldn't receive any sort of special edition treatment, and that is precisely the case with this DVD from Columbia/TriStar. It really is a shame, since the sole supplements are nothing more than three trailers for other indie titles, All I Want, All the Real Girls and The Debut. Anything would have been entirely welcome, especially a commentary from first-time feature director Peter Sollett, but sadly, it's not to be. Fortunately, the transfer has more to offer. The anamorphic 1.85:1 image is relatively strong, displaying some interesting colors and, more importantly, the detail of the inner city. Some grain is evident, especially during the brighter scenes, but never enough to be a distraction. Finally, the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack, while not offering too much in the way of a sound field, does present the dialogue clearly. Surrounds wouldn't contribute greatly to this small film, so what is available is entirely sufficient.
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Special Features

  • Trailers
  • Closed Captioned


Raising Victor Vargas
Victor (Victor Rasuk), a horny teenager living on Manhattan's Lower East Side, has an afternoon rendezvous with a girl known as "Fat Donna" (Donna Maldonado). When his sister, Vicki (Krystal Rodriguez), finds out about it, she spreads word throughout the neighborhood, severely damaging what Victor thinks is his reputation. Then he and his best friend, Harold (Kevin Rivera) visit the public pool, where Victor spots the lovely Judy (Judy Marte), known locally as "Juicy Judy," and he decides to salvage his good name by pursuing her. While Judy is standoffish, Harold has better luck with her friend, Melonie (Melonie Diaz of Double Whammy). Judy's shy younger brother, Carlos (Wilfree Vasquez) agrees to help Victor get close to Judy if Victor will introduce him to Vicki. As Victor clumsily, but doggedly pursues her, Judy decides to let Victor think he's her boyfriend, in the hope that his presence will discourage neighborhood boys from harassing her all the time. Victor's strict grandmother (Altagracia Guzman) is furious when she learns that Victor introduced Vicki to a boy, and she also worries about his influence on his goody-two-shoes younger brother, Nino (Rasuk's real-life brother Silvestre). Writer/director Peter Sollett's feature debut is an expansion of his original short, Five Feet High and Rising, which featured many of the same actors. Sollett had his mostly non-professional cast improvise much of their dialogue. Raising Victor Vargas was shot by Tim Orr, who also lensed David Gordon Green's feature debut, George Washington. Raising Victor Vargas was shown at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and at New Directors/New Films. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Victor Rasuk
    Victor Rasuk - Victor Vargas
  • Judy Marte
    Judy Marte - 'Juicy' Judy Ramirez
  • Melonie Diaz
    Melonie Diaz - Melonie
  • Image coming soon
    Altagracia Guzman - Grandma
  • Silvestre Rasuk
    Silvestre Rasuk - Nino Vargas
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