San Diego Latino Film Festival

The 23rd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival will take place from March 10-20, 2016 and will be held at both AMC Fashion Valley 18 and Digital Gym CINEMA North Park. The Media Kick-Off party was held at the Quad Ale House in downtown San Diego on February 25th and everyone had a blast catching up with filmmakers and movers and shakers of the film community. A great event to have in San Diego, especially being that San Diegans reside next to a border town that is rich in culture.


The films to be shown include a line-up filled with something to satisfy everyone’s tastes from features starring highly-acclaimed actors like Salma Hayek, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Rosario Dawson; also documentary films, short films and special showcases with focused films such as Cine Gay, Columbia!, and Frontera Filmmakers.

I had the opportunity to speak with Ed Cahan, the producer of one of the featured documentaries Club Frontera, which follows the players, fans, political figures and more of the Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles professional Mexican soccer team. He mentioned that this film will not only “shine a positive light on Tijuana,” but it will show people what a phenomenal impact this team has had on its city from economical to cultural. As someone who has grown up going to Tijuana on a regular basis, I am excited for other people to finally see and learn more about the great aspects of the city many people call home.

Club Frontera

There will also be lots of extra events going on that coincide with the festival like the Sabor Latino! Food, Wine, & Beer Festival on March 19th. The acclaimed chefs and vineyard owners were presented at the kick-off party and announced the Latin cuisine that will be served and the beers and wine that will accompany the food. Your ticket  includes unlimited tastings of beer, that’s enough to entice anyone to go!


Your encouraged to come out and check out the festival and catch a few films. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance, many are already creating buzz  and will more than likely sell out. See ya at the film fest!

Tickets and passes to the San Diego Latino Film Festival:

Sisters – Film Review


Film Title: SistersThe movie genre of forty something women coming of age has hardly been touched in Hollywood. Wait… that’s because older women should have their lives figured out while living in their white-picket fenced homes along with their beautiful Christmas card worthy family. Therefore the movies that could fall into that category are almost absolute. Sisters takes that notion and flips it on its’ head, giving viewers a funny, authentic and fresh look at women trying to find themselves while having a blast on top of it.

The premise of the film is simple, sisters Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate Ellis (Tina Fey); go back to their hometown of Florida when they learn that their parents Bucky (James Brolin) and Deana (Dianne Wiest) have sold their childhood home. They get upset that their parent’s never consulted them and must now go through their old rooms full of “priceless” 80’s items such as Care Bear pajamas, fuzzy slippers and pink dial-tone phone and boom box.

Maura is the more responsible one of the two sisters and walks around with inspirational note cards as a way to lift herself up from her divorce. On the other hand Kate, an aesthetician and hairdresser, can barely hold down a job and her own college-aged daughter, Haley (Madison Davenport), can barely trust her to be a dependable mother.

Film Title: SistersIn their childhood rooms, they drink copious amounts of wine out of teacups (naturally) and in reading out loud their old diary entries realize that the they had the exact opposite experience in high school from each other. Maura worried way too much about other people, she was the girl who held people’s hair while they puked at parties, while Kate was the life of the party, the girl who once scaled her parents’ fireplace in a drunken night. In that moment, they realize what they have to do; they need to throw one last Ellis Island epic party at their home.

Maura gathers up the nerve and invites over her cute neighbor James (Ike Barinholtz) and decides she will try to flirt with him and have a wild night for once. She also appoints Kate as the “party mom,” meaning she will have to make sure the house stays clean, no fires, no running through walls and will have to hold people’s hair while they puke, just like she did when they were teenagers.

Film Title: SistersPoehler and Fey are our generations Laurel and Hardy, they work so funnily against each other, that having one without the other seems unfathomable. Their comedic timing is right on the mark and I found myself literally laughing out loud through many scenes from beginning to end. The jokes worked well, they weren’t too crude nor were they too safe, they were just right for this type of movie. Had it gone either way, it would have felt either awkward or boring.

The cameos were excellent from Maya Rudolph, the high school mean girl to John Leguizamo, the ex-hot cool guy who now just hangs out by the liquor store and John Cena, the stone faced drug dealer. Bobby Moynihan stole many of the best scenes as the guy who tries really hard to be funny and liked but can’t seem to get it right. I can see him transitioning from Saturday Night Live to film sometime soon.

Film Title: SistersWhat I liked about the film was that these two women never needed to find a man to complete their lives, all they needed was the love and support of their sister. They were also never dumb-downed; instead they were smart, funny and witty.

This is not an Oscar-worthy movie of course, but it is the kind of movie that whenever it is on TV I am sure I will watch. Sometimes those are the best kinds of movies because they withstand the test of time and can always make us laugh. If you are not in the mood to wait in a huge line for Star Wars this weekend, then go see Sisters, you won’t regret it.


Film Title: SistersStarring:  Amy Poehler (Maura Ellis)Tina Fey (Kate Ellis)Maya Rudolph (Brinda)

Directed by: Jason Moore

Written by: Paula Pell (screenplay)

MPAA rating: R

Running time: 118 min

Rating: 4/5




Film Review: “Furious 7”

Furious 7



The outrageously fast movie, Furious 7, speeds through and takes over 2015 box office and continues to break down all laws known to physics with 137 minutes of logic-defying action sequences.

As expected, this latest installment to the Fast & Furious franchise is fun, exciting, and over-the-top. Admittedly, I was wide-eyed and on the edge of my seat during a number of crazy stunts.

Furious 7

There are two connecting threads in between the adrenaline infused scenes that connects us with the characters and allows us to become emotionally invested in them.

Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) memory loss creates tension between her and Dominic (Vin Diesel). It makes us feel that “the family” is broken in ways that cannot be easily fixed. It gives an underlying feeling of desperation.

Furious 7

Brian’s (Paul Walker) difficulty of adapting to home life away from danger is more than missing cars and racing; he actually “misses the bullets.” His wife Mia (Jordana Brewster) is afraid of hindering him by asking him to stay in his domesticated life but she’s also fearful of the danger that he longs for.

The revenge and counter-revenge elements moves from one scene to another. I had a little difficulty sympathizing with Diesel over Jason Statham because I’ve liked him since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

Furious 7

Nathalie Emmanuel as Ramsey as a brainiac hacker is a welcome sight to this testosterone-packed franchise. I love the banter between Tej (Ludacris) and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) about stereotypes of what hackers look like. Ramsey’s intelligent read about the dynamic of the group is interesting and amusing.

Furious 7

Some may point out that the fight scene between UFC Champ Ronda Rousey and Letty isn’t as good as with Riley (Gina Carano) but I think it’s impressive that they’re able to do the hand-to-hand combat scene in heels and designer dresses on a marble floor.

Paul Walker’s presence in the movie is eerie. He died mid-filming and most of the scenes are done with his brothers as stand-ins. The CGI is so well done that it’s creepy and distracting when you do notice.

Furious 7

I wonder why Hobbs’ (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) character took a backseat in this movie. He’s confined behind the desk and inside the hospital for the most part.

Furious 7

Essentially, as we’re told throughout the movie, it’s about family and friendship. Sometimes with huge automatic weapons as illustrated by Hobbs. It reminds us that part of loving family and friends is respecting changes that are necessary for their personal growth, even if it means we’re no longer going to be part of their lives.

What began as a story of L.A. car jockeys burning rubber and getting into fights just for the hell of it has become an international espionage thriller complete with villains straight out of comic books.

The franchise has already earned $3 billion worldwide and we will surely see Furious 8 in the near future. Furious 7 may not be an intellectually stimulating movie but it makes for a good night of fun. Let yourself go, leave your work and household chores and immerse yourself in a world where cars fly and you can drive at high speeds on the streets of Los Angeles without getting pulled over by the cops.

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Directed by James Wan. Opens April 3 at GTA theatres.

MPAA rating: PG-13 (for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language)

Running time: 137 minutes

Rating: 3/5