LA ORIGINALS (2020)

Directed by: Estevan Oriol
Written by: Brian Maya & Omar Quiroja
Cinematography: Francisco Pugliese
Editor: Sofia Belgeri, Guille Gatti & Jonathan Smeke

Featuring: Mister Cartoon, Estevan Oriol, Brian Grazer, Cypress Hill, Eminem, Scott Caan, Snoop Dogg, Michelle Rodriguez, Travis Barker, Clifton Collins Jr, Theo Rossi, Terry Crews, Wilmer Valderama, George Lopez, Danny Trejo, Paul Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant, Ryan Philippe, Eva Longoria, Shepherd Fairey, Paul Rosenberg, Mark Hoppus

Photographer Estevan Oriol and artist Mister Cartoon turned their Chicano roots into gritty art, impacting street culture, hip hop and beyond.


Seeing the culture grown around the two subjects and being part of it. Allows you to constantly feel like an insider throughout this documentary.

As we watch and get to know them as they earn an education. Traveling and getting to see the world. While being backstage with rising hip hop artists. Where we are not supposed to have access to. So this is a rare glimpse. 

Luckily they seem to have taken plenty of pictures and videos to archive it all and through this and their talent that became an art they were able to find fortune and fame. Through their raw natural Talents. As well as become style Gurus and artists themselves. Even bigger than some of the ones they worked for. 

They never had to sell out. They might have had to travel outside of their comfort zones, but they built a business while there and bring others from there to their own comfort zone and made then travel and pay to be there. If not part of it shone somewhat on them to be part of the culture. As they make Keep making money off of the beauty and art of their own culture around them. 

Giving back somewhat, but finding Their way in the world through what they enjoy doing.

Traveling outside of their comfort zone seeing the world. They end up helping each other out from being trapped mindset. Letting them then see beyond their environments as they come up.

Even if they found more access exposing their surroundings and showcasing beauty in the every day and gritty. That there is an amazing art in places some choose not to look.

Mister Cartoon helped tattooing from being a niche into a true art form and given a sense of pride. Helping it more become part of the mainstream. 

He finds fame because of his art and access to rappers who show off his handiwork as he provides original pieces on Their skin. Which ends up becoming his canvases and starts a fad and provides a need. So that it is a rag to riches story. Directed by one of the subjects.

So some subjects are glossed over like Estevan’s drug addiction. Which is more mentioned then delved into. As this is more a congratulatory glossy documentary. The success we see we their loved ones but again never get too deep into those relationships.

There are plenty of celebrities throughout. Some are surprising like producer Brian Grazer who we never know why or what his connection with them or any of the story.

Feels like you are enjoying their company. Though they are tight-lipped you more see and hear about their actions. 

Luckily Estevan seems to have had the Vision to film everything early. This is what helps put them on the map and luckily for us get to see this archival footage from backstage and onstage as we know can’t be there but can witness as he seems to get the best shot each time. We wonder how. 

It’s dramatic and meaningful how many you have to go through to get that perfect one. That you won’t find out there Perfectly addressing the handling, maintenance, and control of their business 

It also shows that they might have helped start gentrification of their neighborhoods by setting up shop there and giving access to more and more young hip crowds of people who decided to start buying up cheaper properties around them. As they helped build up the neighborhood. 

It also shows How they try to give back and help less fortunate around them.

Grade: B 

THE ASSIGNMENT (2016)

Directed by: Walter Hill. Written by: Walter Hill & Dennis Hamill Cinematography: James Liston. Editor: Phil Norden

Cast: Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Anthony LaPaglia, Ken Kirzinger, Caitlin Gerard, Zak Santiago, Anthony Griffith

After waking up and discovering that he has undergone gender reassignment surgery, an assassin seeks to find the doctor responsible.

In the past this films plot might have been considered high concept, but now while a kind of interesting idea. It ends up becoming more of a who cares situation. That other then it’s

Story the rest feels heavily cliched and hard hitting just to go through the motions. Where after awhile you don’t care about anything happening.

it’s a shame Michelle Rodriguez finally Seems to have found the right role. Even with a well known action director Walter Hill. As she seems to be more interested in action roles in her career and ends up usually being a supporting player. Here she has the lead role.

Though it offers her nothing new or that strong as far as material or quality.

As for the sex change her character goes through. Even before she looked like she was in. Make drag and had a supposed chiseled chest and body hair. Once she has the sex change in the movie it just looks like she shaved and grew a chest. Which makes the scene when she meets up with an old conquest who barely recognizes her all the more u intentionally funny.

It seems interesting in these films the worse punishments the main characters go through is to be forced to love life as a female. The film tries to present that as only cruel considering the character but the movie seems to have that attitude.

The film plays somber and never seems to have enough energy to keep the audience interested. As it tries to have a jazzy mood but comes off as more a typical straight to streaming thriller.

The progressions which are animated to make us beleive they are in bigger major Cities and locations seems inspired by the dvd cut of his move THE WARRIORS. Which have animated inserts during scenes.

The film Seems to want to be a frantic character price with a thriller impact but feels tone deaf. That tries to be different and wants to say something but feels so misguided

Michelle Rodriguez speaks liek she is InnA 1940’s gangster film which only shows that the film is aspiring for many things and is making no sense and not in a bar shit crazy way but in an embarrassingly bad way.

Sigourney Weaver seems to be a one not villain whose beliefs and actions seems there only because there has to be a reason for all of this and writing it off as an experiment seems so trivial.

Largely, the film s boring as when there are action sequences they go by so quick and without any excitement. Even towards the end, With such an esteemed cast one would expect better.

Grade: F

MACHETE KILLS (2013)

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Cinematography & Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
Written By: Kyle Ward
Story By: Robert Rodriguez & Marcel Rodriguez
Editor: Robert Rodriguez &  Rebecca Rodriguez 


 Cast: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Amber Heard, Demian Bichir, Michelle Rodriguez, Vanessa Hudgens, Sofia Vergara, Alexa Vega, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Tom Savini, William Sadler

During an operation of a Mexican Cartel, Machete Cortez and Sartana Rivera intercept the criminals alone, but another group arrives and a masked man kills Sartana. Machete is arrested, accused of killing his beloved Sartana and Sheriff Doakes hangs Machete. But the President of the USA Rathcock pardons and recruits Machete to kill the revolutionary Marcos Mendez that has threatened the USA with a missile with a bomb. Machete goes to San Antonio to meet the Miss San Antonio Blanca Vasquez that will be the liaison between Machete and President Rathcock. Then Machete goes to the brothel of Madame Desdemona to seek out the prostitute Cereza that is Mendez’s mistress. Machete meets Mendez and learns that his heart is connected to the missile and only the arm dealer Luther Voz is capable to disarm the bomb. Now Machete needs to bring Mendez to the USA in less than twenty-four hours and save his new country in a dangerous journey with betrayals.

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WIDOWS (2018)

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Directed By: Steve McQueen
Written By: Gillian Flynn & Steve McQueen
Based On “Widows” By: Lynda La Plante
Cinematography By: Sean Bobbitt
Editor: Joe Walker 

Cast: Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Liam Neeson, Lukas Haas, Jon Bernthal, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Ann Mitchell, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin J O’Connor 


 “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica, Alice, Linda and Belle take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.


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