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May Movie Preview: Spider-Man, Godzilla and X-Men OH MY!!!

by Leo Guerrero


This May normally marks the beginning of the summer movie season, but it seems that the shift may be on to spread it earlier (just check out how Captain America 2 is doing). So what makes this May any different?

It could possibly be the biggest month of all time in terms of box office receipts. So the Marvel movie craze seems to be reaching higher and higher and May will no doubt be any different.

May 2nd starts with The Amazing Spider-man 2. The story synopsis goes like this: A corporation creates super-powered beings and sends them against our web-spinning hero. So what makes him special? Spider-Man is one of those heroes who appeals to a wide audience because as he tries to beat his enemy, we discover his flaws and witness his strengths during the course of his battles.

May 16th brings about the biggest (literally) movie character. A classic retelling of the 1954 monster movie which reintroduces Godzilla to a modern audience. Monsters rise to destroy the earth and only Godzilla can try to stop them. Since his first appearance, Godzilla has been in a number of films where he fights aliens, monsters, and even robot versions of himself all to save the earth from destruction.

May 23rd ushers in X-Men: Days of Future Past which is based on the comic book story of the same name. The story goes like this: The present day government would like to control the growing mutant population by using robot sentries called Sentinels. However, the Sentinels become so good at what they do that they become self-aware and start to curb all people who have any mutant abilities whether those abilities are shown or possible in future generations. A band of X-Men then decide to go back in time to prevent the Sentinels from taking over the world.

May 30th is Maleficent which is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty”. Angelina Jolie looks amazing as the classic villain.

So there you have it. One jam packed month full of movies which will appeal to those young and old.

What movie(s) you do you want to see?

“Captain America: Winter Soldier” Kicking the Shield out of America

by leo guerrero


A lot of hype is making it’s way with the release of Marvel’s latest movie, Captain America 2: Winter Soldier. I’ve noticed that not many Facebook peeps have been revealing the ending or what happens in the movie. I’ll be focusing my review on the plot.

Here is the story: we find our hero, Captain America (played by Chris Evans), in the middle of an ops to save hostages trapped on a boat. So he, along with the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) get the hostages while we discover that the Widow has another mission: to retrieve the computer files from the boat. Those files make their way to Nick Fury (played by Samuel Jackson) who discovers that he can’t read them since they are locked. Nick then goes to an old political friend (played by Robert Redford) and asks that a hot, political platform involving launching airships to safeguard America be stalled while he starts to investigate how to view the files.

As Fury leaves the building and drives away, he gets ambushed and barely survives the attack. Battered and beaten, he makes his way to Cap’s apartment and let’s him know that SHIELD, the Government agency that runs security for the country, has been compromised. He gives Cap the files and tells him to trust nobody. As the story unfolds further, we discover how a secret assassin by the name of Winter Soldier, is involved with a more secretive organization called HYDRA. HYDRA, we learn, has been slowly controlling the government’s intelligence community over the years and their grand plan is about to become a reality.

So having gone over what the movie is about, the movie does a good job of interweaving the Marvel-based characters into real world scenarios. It will appeal to a wider audience such as kids who are looking for an action-based movie as well as adults who enjoy having many plot twists to keep them guessing. The powers that be at Marvel have a grand scheme up their sleeves of how to tie in all their movies while having individual ones such as this that are self contained, and stand on their own. The “summer” blockbusters seem to be spreading out more so during the year and Captain America 2 takes us on a wild ride! A must see!

Latino Film Festival Opening Night Film: Tango Glories (Fermin)

by leo guerrero


This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Latino Film Fest in Chicago. I had been seeing and reading about the vast array of movies that were going to make their way to our fair city. So having missed my Aunt’s birthday, I wanted to give her a unique present.

What could be better than going to the opening movie of the Latino Film Fest! (Happy Birthday, Tia Martha!) The movie showing was sold out with a buzz in the air normally given to red carpet premieres. The honorable Mayor Emanuel even gave opening remarks.

The movie presented was titled “Tango Glories (Fermín) / Fermín, Glorias del Tango”, and this was, in a word, Marvelous! The movie works it’s magic as we learn the story of an older tango dancer by the name of Fermin who has made many mistakes during his lifetime and now lives in a psychiatric ward constantly thinking back to his younger days of dancing Tango. As we see Fermin recollecting, the audience discovers how he was married and had a son, yet never found the time to spend with him. He had a close friend by the name of Centipede, who is also a magnificent tango dancer, and also had a way with women. The two eventually try to win the heart of the same woman with Fermin ultimately framing Centipede in the hopes of winning her.

Moving to the present, the audience is introduced to Fermin’s psychiatric doctor, Ezequiel, who instantly becomes engrossed in the ways of the tango as he listens to Fermin talk about it during their sessions. Eva, Fermin’s granddaughter, is a very exceptional tango dancer who cares for her grandfather yet is constantly told by doctor after doctor that nothing can be done to cure him. Until Ezequiel enters the picture. Ezequiel becomes not only committed to helping Fermin, but gets obsessed with the entire way of life of the dancers of tango. He learns how confident and passionate they are, yet how each have made mistakes in life, so much so that the tango has become their release in dealing with their problems.

Those movie goers who are seeking a film that respects family values, with some comedic timings and dramatic undertones thrown in all while witnessing what it takes to become a respected dancer of Tango will not be disappointed. This movie has set a high bar for the entire run of the Latino Film Fest showings and is a great kickoff.

All about the HTC One (M8)

by Alberto


How is everyone doing out there today. Today’s posts is all about the HTC One (M8). You might be saying to yourself right now hasn’t HTC already released that phone, technically it does feature the HTC One but this one is the HTC One (M8). This phone is unlike anyone that we have seen before.

The design is a uni-body metal design, no curves. It has the HTC Duo Camera it captures more light and more depth for your high quality photos and 2 front facing speakers that give your more better sound to listen to your music and see videos on the go. It features a Qualcomm Snap Dragon 801, 2.3 GHz Quad core processor also a 5 inch screen with a gorilla screen that makes in invincible against falls and anything that you want to put your phone through. Memory wise it has 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory on the phone. You can also add a micro-sd card and the most memory that you can add is 128 GB unfortunately that does not come on the phone and you have to go out and buy the memory yourself. The OS is the latest for Android it is 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0

You might be asking for a device like this how much is the price? Well AT&T is currently offering this phone for $199.99 with a 2 year contract. If you are not willing to commit for 2 years they can offer your a monthly plan which are as follows. The HTC One (M8) is available for $24.62 with AT&T Next 18 or $32 with AT&T Next 12. It is available for you right now. If you are interested in getting one for yourself. Go to your local AT&T store or check out the phone online on the AT&T site. Or better yet check out the video showing off the phone on the AT&T Mobile Minute.

“Jodorowsky’s Dune”: To Dream, and Almost Make Real, the Impossible Dream

by Alejandro A. Riera


Alejandro Jodorowsky may have not read Frank Herbert’s science-fiction classic “Dune” when he embarked on the great, big, mad adventure of adapting it to the big screen in 1973.

Yet, Herbert’s transcendental story of a young man, Paul Atreides, who, in his desire to avenge the murder of his father and the betrayal of his once-powerful family, undergoes a spiritual quest in the planet Arrakis that transforms him into the Messiah Muad’dib was a perfect fit for the Chilean surrealist filmmaker, avant-garde theatre artist, future comic books writer. For, after all, didn’t El Topo, the protagonist of his 1970 cult classic, undergo a similar spiritual journey?

Unfortunately, Jodorowsky’s take on “Dune” never saw the light of day. Almost a decade later, David Lynch would direct and Dino de Laurentiis would produce a laughable, cheesy adaptation of the novel. Almost two decades later, the Sci-Fi (now SyFy) Channel would air a more loyal mini-series adaptation of “Dune” and the following novels in the trilogy, “Dune Messiah” and “Children of Dune.”

Frank Pavich’s “Jodorowsky Dune” is a tantalizing look at what could have been one of the greatest movies or one of the greatest follies of the 20th Century. Jodorowsky managed to bring together a who’s who of established and up-and-coming talent for the project, some of whom would become his lifelong collaborators: graphic artists Jean Giraud “Moebius” and H.R. Giger; special effects technician and scriptwriter Dan O’Bannon; science-fiction artist and book cover illustrator Chris Foss. Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and David Carradine would play key roles in the film while Pink Floyd and French rock band Magma would write the score.

Jodorowsky towers above them as this irrepressible, confident, inspirational force of nature, one that would take no for an answer. He convinced producer Michel Seydoux to finance the film’s pre-production. He persuaded Welles to take on the villainous role of the extremely overweight Baron Harkonnen by promising Welles that his favorite chef would cook all his meals during the production. He agreed to pay Dali $100,000 per hour. He cast his son Brontis in the role of Paul and had him endure hours of grueling martial arts training. He berated the members of Pink Floyd for eating Big Macs while he was pitching them the idea and walked out of a meeting with special effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) because Trumbull was too full of himself. Jodorowsky was not only looking for the right talent: he was recruiting “spiritual warriors” who would join him in his mission to create the “most important picture in the history of humanity,” one that would have the effects of taking LSD without actually taking it. He wanted the movie to bring forth a new prophet.

Granted, neither Welles nor Dali are around any longer to corroborate Jodorowsky’s version of the events and we never get to hear Trumbull’s or even the surviving members of Pink Floyd’s side of the story. But Jodorowsky’s rambunctious, passionate telling heightens that sense of “what if” that permeates the documentary, a sense further underlined by the mind-blowing art work that Pavich brings to life through animation.

“Jodorowsky’s Dune” is a wonderful companion piece to “Lost in La Mancha,” that magnificent documentary about the unraveling of another potentially great film, Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of “Don Quixote” starring Johnny Depp as a modern day Sancho Panza who is thrown back in time to Medieval Spain where he meets Don Quixote (Jean Rochefort). Gilliam, like Jodorowsky, is an artist with a clear point of view, a vision, and he will fight against hell and high water to defend it. So much so that he has tried over and over again to revive his “Don Quixote” project. Jodorowsky, on the other hand, has transformed his vision for “Dune” into a metaphysical comic book universe —“The Incal Trilogy,” “The Metabarons” saga and “The Technopriests,” all available in beautiful hardbound editions from Humanoids Publishing.

Near the end of the documentary, Jodorowsky can no longer contain the anger he still feels towards those Hollywood producers that turned their backs on the project. He rails against the studio system, against its financial interests. The irony, though, is that a couple of years later, the studio system would begin embracing the type of multimillion dollar production that Jodorowsky and his team envisioned, and which have evolved into the franchise-driven system of today. Jodorowsky still dreams of his vision making it one day to the big screen, perhaps in the form of an animated film.

“Jodorowsky’s Dream” is more than a very entertaining story about an ambitious project, though. It portrays an artist who, at age 85, is as vital and relevant as ever. An artist whose first film in more than 20 years, “La danza de la realidad,” will be released this summer and who keeps writing some of the best, most out-of-this-world graphic novels in the market right now. In the end, thanks to the collapse of “Dune,” he discovered a new vehicle where he could express his ideas. One which allowed him to be far more productive and creative than any movie would have ever allowed him to be.

“Jodorowsky’s Dune” opens on Friday, March 28 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport.

Alejandro A. Riera is a film critic, blogger and media relations specialist. He writes about culture (Latino and non-Latino alike) and film in his blog and has worked as a Publicity Manager for the Chicago International Film Festival and the Chicago Latino Film Festival.



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