Miss Bala Review - Compelling, Intense, A Wild Ride

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Miss Bala, from Sony Pictures Entertainment, brings to the screen a wild, fast action, south of the border ride as a weekend with family turns into a life or death race as two rival cartels fight for dominance.

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Miss Bala stars Gina Rodriguez, Christina Rodlo, Anthony Mackie, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Matt Laurie, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Abarca, Lilian Guadalupe Tapia Robles, Aislinn Derbez, Omar Ayala, and Thomas Dekker.

The film begins with wide angle shots of Los Angeles, big, bright, the city of dreams and narrows to a room where Gloria, played by Gina Rodriguez, is finishing some make-up sketch work experimenting with new looks.


Alita: Battle Angel Review - Four Stars! Stunning Special Effects, Performance Driven Roles, Solid Story


Today she is working LA Fashion Week. Attempting to show the Makeup supervisor her work, he explained "you're not paid to think, you're paid to work."

No matter this weekend, as we find out, she is headed to Tijuana to help her Godson's sister, Suzu, played by Cristina Rodlo, prepare for the Miss Baja California Beauty Pageant. The two girls, who haven't seen each other in some time are reduced to giggling, giddy girls as they catch up.

Heading out to rub elbows with the powers behind the pageant they end up in a club, The Millennium, when all hell breaks loose and a rival cartel gang shots up the place. The two girls are separated.

Gloria ends up sitting in a diner all night waiting for her find to telephone her when she finally tries to get help from the local Mexican police. The tension continues to build as she is taken to some remote location by the cop who is on the take.

Forgetting she is in Mexico, where everyone has alliances she does the one thing she is warned againstas she begins to give a detailed statement of the shooters. Before she has a chance to react she is grabbed by Cartel members.

Finally she is delivered to a cartel safe house where Rosa, played by Lilian Guadalupe Tapia Robles, who doubles as both make-up artists and madam for this house.


Serenity Review – A Modernized Noir Thriller With All the Right Bait


This is the second time we meet, Lino, played by Ismael Cruz Cordova, as he explains to Gloria, her situation, as he gave her ten seconds to leave the club and forget she ever saw them, has dramatically changed.

Now, in order to save her friend she is forced to perform several tasks. The first one she is told to drive a car to a location, park very close to the curb, and leave. The car is loaded with explosives and the house is a DEA safehouse.

She ends up escaping her chaperone, Poyo, played by Ricardo Abarca, Lino's lieutenant and runs into an American DEA Agent Brian Reich, played by Matt Laurie, who shows her pictures of the bombing and explains as much as we want to believe you, unless you work for us, your headed to the US prison system.

With the ruthless cartel leader Lino on one side and the DEA on the other, Gloria is slowly being squeezed. Her next task is to run a shipment of cocaine across the border. She manages not to raise any suspicion and delivers the drugs and cash to Jimmy, played by Anthony Mackie, who explains she has to tell Lino there is a DEA mole in his organization.


Close Review - Fresh, Intense, Tangible Action, Solid


Long past the point of no return, Gloria, from Los Angeles, an American citizen who just wants to find her friend realizes if she wants to make it home alive she needs to depend on herself.

This is where Miss Bala shifts from victim to avenger.

As drug cartel movies go, and unless they are the epic urban legend films, they tend to be told from a male point of view and easily sliced into parts. Miss Bala, brings a strong protagonist to drive the narrative and while she tends to depend on the alpha males running the show for the first half of the film, when she does take charge the film explodes.

Set predominately in Tijuana, and filmed in locations surroudning the city, with the raging turf wars, drugs, free flowing US dollars and ongoing corruption, and as we are told in Tijuana war is in the streets, there are no good guys only those who pay more.

The story, written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, is solid. The unfortunate commonality surrounding mass shootings and other gang related violence is played with authenticity. It's almost as if going into the film one expect the cookie cutter version of drug cartel films and that is not what audiences will get.


Celebrity Interview: Vicky Jewson, Director of Close talks on Making the Film; Casting and The Process


The scenes are fresh, presenting a deeper more genuine look at life inside the cartel. The merciless life, where everyone is expendable, where the bala, the bullet, settles everything. The cast, which is predominately of Latin decent, and may not be household names, are world class. 

Even as so much is going on the story essentially revolves around the two main cartel figures, Ismael Cruz Cordova, (Lino), and Ricardo Abarca, (Poyo) and Gina Rodriguez (Gloria).

These three carry the story and the acting is authentic. Bringing the emotion to the screen, fear or calm in the face of a hostage situation, elation over the kill, the antithesis of normality, and the twisted mental stakes as the cartel duo lead double lives, (in their own mind) of hero and mercenary. While they may be typed for awhile, as even the best actors are, they'll break through it.

Miss Bala, a fast action, kick ass and take hombres story, with enough compelling intrigue to last throughout the entire film. From beginning to end the film continues at a heightened pace, intensifying until the climatic ending.

Miss Bala opens February 1, 2019. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Columbia Rape Accuser Continues Protest Project

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Columbia University rape accuser Emma Sulkowicz, determined to have her accused rapist suspended from the Ivy league University maintained her vigil of protest, and carried a mattress the symbol of the weight and burden rape victims carry daily to the 2015 Class Day Ceremonies.

     
  • Protesters Line The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Route

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Protesters lined the streets of Manhattan's Upper West brandishing signs against the hate rhetoric of President elect Donald Trump and in solid support of Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as environmental and clean water concerns and the Dakota Pipeline.

     
  • CasaSandra introduces, for Thrill Seekers and the Adventurous, The Art of Whale Shark and Fishing Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CasaSandra, the luxury and artistic boutique hotel situated in Holbox Island, Mexico, introduces ‘The Art of Whale Shark and Fishing Experience" for the adventurous who are looking for the once in a lifetime thrill, without bypassing to the comforts of a luxury resort holiday.

     
  • Serenity Review – A Modernized Noir Thriller With All the Right Bait

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Serenity, from Aviron Pictures, presents a modernized noir thriller complete with the femme fatale in need of rescue, the jilted ex, the abusive new husband, heartache, justice and freedom and building a life created out of circumstances.

     
  • Twenty-Six, Including Six Lawyers, Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Immigration Fraud Schemes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; George Venizelos, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Raymond W. Kelly, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (NYPD); and Patricia A. Menges, the Director of the New York Asylum Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced today the unsealing of nine indictments.

     
  • Butcher Boys Review – Serving Up Frenzied Graphic Horror

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Butcher Boys” from Greeks Productions, Kitchen Sink Productions and Texas Chain Saw Massacre writer Kim Henkel, brings to the screen a deeply dark, shockingly graphic horror ride into the depth of modern Satanism.

     
  • MyRegistry Revolutionizes the Wedding Registry Process

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    MyRegistry.com, a virtual one stop wedding and gift registry, revolutionizes the gift giving process with its effortless registration process, ease of use, and global reach allowing well-wishers, from anywhere, to shop at the brides local and noted favorite retailors.

     
  • SONY Pictures Entertainment Pulls The Interview

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has decided to scrap all plans for distribution of the James Franco Seth Rogan comedy slated for a Christmas Day release due to unsubstantiated terror threats allegedly made by a North Korean government loyalist.

     
  • Juliet, Naked Review - Charming Romantic Comedy About Love in the Modern Age

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Juliet, Naked, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents a quirky story of internet romance as a reclusive rocker, his biggest fan and his girlfriend, find the lost art of sincere writing becomes the passion that pulls them together.

     
  • Capella Pedregal Offers Unparalleled Service and Ambiance for a Sophisticated and Intimate Destination Wedding

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Capella Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas’ premier luxury resort, provides an idyllic environment for celebrating a couple’s love.  Set amid soaring cliffs and sweeping ocean vistas, the resort offers backdrops that evoke romantic art masterpieces.  

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Mueller Report, Pence Tours Nat’l Disasters, Immigration, Assange, POW Day, SL Crisis, 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump returned to Washington, after touring his Border Wall, launching an explosive campaign against democrats who backed the collusion investigation, calling it both an attempted coup and an attempted take-down of the President.

     
  • Jayson Brunsdon Spring Collection - A Destination of the Imagination

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Australian Jayson Brunsdon previewed his 2008 Spring/Summer collection at New York's IMG Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week seducing the audience with his alluring visions of the famed Far East.

     
  • Former Presidents, World Leaders, Pay Tribute To George H.W. Bush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the news that former President George H.W. Bush had passed away, a steady stream of accolades praising the leader as a humble, dedicated, public service, who remained faithfully dedicated to his family, his wife and the life they built.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: PRIDE Director Matthew Warchus Talks on Honoring the Real Life Events Behind the Feel Good Film of the Season

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Pride" from CBS Films, BBC and Pathe, brings to the screen a triumphant feel good film highlighting the 1980's British Miner's Strike and the Gay lifeline that rescued them from the squeeze the government had planned.

     
  • Op/Ed:The Fall Out From Harvey Weinstein Continues

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Entertainment Industry is facing its second major sexual assault scandal, in  as many years, with the shocking revelations that everyone seemed to have known, or heard about, and seemed to be generally accepted as commonplace.

 

Login Form