Archives for posts with tag: movie reviews

margaritaWhat better way to celebrate your margarita holiday than with a movie set in viva la Mexico?  Here are my picks for the best Mexican-inspired movies, all a bit odd yet fun.

  1. The Mexican: I love the cast in this movie, especially Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini.  Despite the shooting and chasing on Brad Pitt’s side, this is a movie about love, all centered around this folkloric Mexican pistol.  The big personalities, the twisting story, the colorful landscape, the Mexican folk music, it all creates a vibrant movie that’s a lot of fun to watch and definitely leaves you wanting your own crazy adventure south of the border.
  2. Once Upon a Time in Mexico: This is another Mexican-inspired flick with a killer celebrity cast, all in their archetypal roles, including Johnny Depp (as usual, playing an unusual, darkly humorous character), Antonio Banderas (as the romantic hero) and Salma Hayek (as the seductive, gorgeous sidekick).  Plus, there’s Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias, Willem Dafoe, and more amazing actors.  The storyline here is also chaotic, gritty, gory, corrupt, and yet still romantic (which seems to be the continuous image portrayed of our neighboring country).
  3. The Ruins: This is certainly not the ambassador movie for Mexico.  However, I love a good horror movie, and this one is original (despite the almost laughable villain), suspenseful and cringe-inducing.  As with many horror-tourism flicks, it follows four young adults who follow a fellow traveler into the Mexican jungle to climb a remote Mayan ruin.  Immediately, they are trapped by locals atop the ruin and forced to survive the mystical killers that dwell there.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

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waste-landEarth Day‘s coming up soon, and while you can plant a tree or clean up your town, you can also just open up your mind to new points of view on the environment with award-winning documentaries.  My list of environmental-themed movies are multidimensional movies layered with social issues.  Plus, if you’ve got a Netflix account, these are all instant-streaming movies you can easily find.

  1. Dive!: This documentary is first and foremost about feeding everyone, more than it is about saving the environment.  They look at the issue of hunger around the world from the perspective that we already have so many resources that we waste.  So, instead of figuring out how to produce more food (and thus, draining our environment), they look at facts and figures about the food wasted daily at top grocery stores in our country.  The numbers are astonishing, and the first-person look at dumpster diving is amazing, as well (who knew you could feed your family healthy food from trash, that otherwise would be filling up landfills).  From an environmental perspective, it’s a smart move to evaluate what we already have and make simple changes to utilize it better.
  2. Encounters at the End of the World: This movie is primarily about the beauty and wonder of the icy, foreign continent of Antarctica, but any movie that reminds us of the wildlife and complicated ecosystems that we share the world with is an environmental film, too.  The narrator and director, Werner Herzog, so poetically progresses the story, complementing the wondrous setting.  You also get to know the surprisingly bohemian band of scientists and workers that make this isolated, harsh environment there home, seeing through their eyes, as well, what makes it so precious and worth protecting.
  3. Waste Land: If you only see one movie on this list, please make it this one.  This is very much a multi-layered movie, about waste and landfills, poverty, culture, second chances, art, and so much more.  The heart of the story is the Brazilians skimming the world’s largest dump for recyclables, people described as at the end of the line.  Literally tossed away to the landfill like trash, they get a second chance at motivation and inspiration when Artist Vik Muniz holds his hand out to the garbage and asks them to assist him in a new art project.  Just as they helped recycle things once disposed, they get a new outlook on life as they help Muniz create their own portraits out of trash.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

rango-movieYou can now see “Rango” on Netflix’s instant streaming.  This 2011 animated flick stars Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher as desert animals in search of water for their Old West town.

Here are just three reasons why you’ll want to watch this fun flick:

  1. Animated Depth: The CGI animation colorfully portrays the sandy, gritty, dirty town and critters, making it fun to spot the different weathered, whiskered, scaly animals peering from underneath torn hats and pacing through the town.
  2. Critic-Approved: Critics generally gave this movie the thumbs up for the interesting change of scenery, oddball characters, mature humor, and well-done animation.  Even my favorite critic, Roger Ebert, gave it four stars for the developed character profiles, as well as the authentic homage to and creative take on classic Western films.
  3. LOLs: It’s got humor for everyone, one of those great animated movies that obviously caters to children but also sneaks in witty, sarcastic lines geared towards adults, too.

I also love the southwestern Tex-Mex flavor, too, from the mariachi band of owls narrating the film to the soundtrack featuring bands like Los Lobos.  This is the perfect movie to watch right now on Netflix as we anxiously await the sunny summer ahead.

Image courtesy of Flickr.