Cine Las Americas 22 Review: MEDEA

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Costa Rica comes a provocative and shocking film that addresses the issues of women’s rights, sexism, and society’s complacency in addressing these issues. Writer/director Alexandra Latishev takes a realistic, slice-of-life approach to her presentation, but still pulls no punches when it comes to her messages. Medea is not exactly (in my opinion) a superbly executed feature film, but one whose story elements and images are utterly unforgettable.

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Cine Las Americas 22 Review: OCHO DE CADA DIEZ (EIGHT OUT OF TEN)

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

From Mexican writer/director Sergio Umansky Brener, comes this dark and gritty tale of vengeance that rings truthfully and accurately, based on the current state of crime and law enforcement in Mexico. Acclaimed actor Noé Hernández stars as Aurelio, a humble father and husband dealing with the recent killing of his teenage son at the hands of Mexican drug cartel. After unsuccessfully attaining the aid of local law enforcement, Aurelio decides to take matters into his own hands. While solely investigating the incident and seeking the people responsible, Aurelio finds soothing and comfort in the arms of a local prostitute (Daniela Schmidt) struggling to survive.

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Review: POKEMON: DETECTIVE PIKACHU

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Based on the Pokemon franchise and on the video game of the same name, this film adaptation does offer some entertaining comedy, mostly courtesy of the hilarious voice work by star Ryan Reynolds. Fans of the pop culture franchise are sure to find much enjoyment in the jokes, references and characters. As for the uninitiated audience members, there is enough solid world building and decent story telling to keep therm interested. Still, as the mystery begins to get revealed, the story begins to unravel a little. Detective Pokemon may be a fun and enjoyable film, but it definitely is not a game changer.

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Review: POMS

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 1.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

I sincerely hate to be the bad guy when it comes to tearing down movies about underdogs trying to overcome adversity, but this movie just doesn’t have much good to offer in terms of storytelling and character development. I am sure the filmmakers who conceived this attempt at feel-good entertainment had their hearts in the right place. However, all of their good intentions get undermined by a threadbare script and poorly executed filmmaking. For all of its loving intentions and plucky spirit, Poms just flat-out failed to win over this audience member.

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Cine Las Americas 22 Review: WINDOWS ON THE WORLD

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

On the second night of Cine Las Americas, Edward James Olmos and his son, director Michael D. Olmos presented this film which offers a fictional, but honest portrait of immigrant life in the United States amidst the backdrop of the 9-11 atracks in 2001. The movie gives its audience an intimate and emotional glimpse into the lives of immigrants who are willing to endure harsh conditions to come to this country and must often face an unfriendly reception during their stay here. Written by Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson, Windows On The World is a genuine eye-opener and powerful tale that resonates even more today.

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