Get ready to ride “low and slow” through La Mission.
La Mission takes place in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. The story follows Che (Benjamin Bratt) and his son, Jesse. Che discovers Jesse's homosexuality by finding some pictures in his son's room of him and his boyfriend at a gay club in the Castro, and struggles to deal with this part of his life. Che and his neighbor Lena, a young black student, also have a strange relationship that starts off a little hostile, as Che resents Lena for what she represents. Che is a good person, but he has a tempter and he struggles with accepting differences between people and their cultures. Che is a bus driver for MUNI and his real passion is low rider classic cars. He is an artist, a painter, and a restorer of classic automobiles. He is also a proud Latino man, and his family, community, cultural history, and his legacy are very important to him. His traditional values make it hard for him to accept his son, and although he is very proud of Jesse, his homosexuality is more than he can immediately handle. Jesse represents a new generation, one that is less macho and more open and honest, and while he appreciates his culture and his family's history, it isn't very relative to him as he lives his life his way and works towards leaving The Mission for UCLA.
This film is beautiful on multiple levels. The film is full of bright and colorful imagery, and the soundtrack is great. The acting is very good, and on an unparalleled level for Bratt. I definitely recommend La Mission to anyone looking for something moving, or anyone ready to deal with some heavy topics. Get ready to ride “low and slow” through La Mission.
On a side note, while not required, it is recommended that the viewer watch Blood In, Blood Out before watching La Mission- just to see Benjamin Bratt's career go full circle.
Youth In Revolt, based on the epistolary novel by C D Payne, is the story of Nick Twisp and all of the crazy things he'll do for love.
I was pretty jazzed about this movie, since I loved the book when it came out. Of course, the movie's plot only barely follow's that of the book, and there are more than a few changes to each character as well. However, I think the feeling of the book was captured well here, and that was what I enjoyed the most.
Michael Cera is pretty much Michael Cera here, but he's more Arrested Development-era Cera (heh) than Extreme Movie Cera, thank all that is holy. Zach Galifianakis is boring as usual- he never seems sure if he should be the straight man or over the top, and instead he teeters in the middle and fails to create characters. His slack is picked up by Ray Liotta, of all people, and Portia Doubleday and her Saunders family members are hilarious and leave you wanting more after each of their scenes. Fred Willard, in a rare performance, lays low in most of the film, but steals scenes even from Cera when he speaks up.
As far as events are concerned, this movie is rated R for multiple reasons. Nick's Fight Club-esq alter ego Francois is into blowing ish up, and he does it really well. Nick, on the other hand, is pretty much just good at being awkward, masturbating, and trying to get Sheeni to do it for him. Justin Long's character brings the drug content full force. Overall, there are enough WTF moments to make me think there should be a "Don't Try This At Home" warning on both sides of the film, and I would never recommend this as a movie for kids, or as a movie for parents to watch with their offspring of any age. Do watch it though, and glory in your lost youth as I did.
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