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Luchadores on Grimm

 

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Grimm season 5, episode 13 went way into Luchador wrestling territory in the epic episode “Silence of the Slams.” We got three Latino guest stars in the main story and a shoutout to the Olmecs. Muchos spoilers ahead!!!

Goyo (Joseph Julian Soria) is a young luchador who is tired of losing to his opponents in the ring. The fights are fixed so that “good guy” Mayordomo (wrestler Chavo Guerrero, Jr.) always wins while Goyo’s avatar Kawama is paid to lose. We first see Goyo visiting his luchador maskmaker Benito (Danny Mora) who, after unnecessarily shaming Goyo for not knowing Spanish, tells him he can make a winning mask. Goyo thinks the price is too steep, but after losing yet another fight (and getting more Spanish shaming from his boss), goes back to Benito and orders the mask.

After Goyo leaves we see, surprise! Benito is a creepy kind of Wesen, Víbora Dorada,  that makes magical masks by paralyzing Wesen, then skinning their faces off while they’re still alive. He then uses a Santería ritual to transfer the Wesen’s powers to the mask wearer. The mask has rules however: Goyo can never wear it outside the ring. Of course, he does… and that’s when his problems begin. The mask makes him violent and eventually grabs hold and doesn’t let go. At this point Rosalee is called in to perform a ritual to remove the mask. As Rosalee is the show’s science officer, this totally works but Goyo is left with psychological scars and a future trial for murder.

All in all a solid Grimm episode, with the monster-of-the-week plot outshining the B story of Eve & Company. Also, Goyo’s story briefly touched upon how he gets harassed for not speaking Spanish, an issue not commonly seen on television but business as usual within the Latino community.

It would have been awesome if Benito somehow got his masks from already dead Wesen because he seemed like a character I’d want to recur, perhaps helping Rosalee expand her Santería skills. His method did make for the grossest moment of television I’ve seen all week though.

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Moved to Tumblr and Twitter!

Thanks for visiting. I’m posting over on Tumblr and Twitter now. I also post on the Facebook page. Not sure if I’ll revive this WordPress site. In the meantime, you have three places to keep up with Latinos in Sci-Fi!

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Shorts, Adventures of the Wishing Rock (Movie Review)

Raising Hell

Shorts (2009) is a Robert Rodríguez  family film narrated by a boy who finds a rock with mysterious powers, and this leads him and his neighbors into more trouble than it’s worth.  The film focuses on different characters at a time in separate “shorts” that tie together. Basically each short shows how different characters use and abuse the wishing rock. The narrator, Toby Thompson, lives in Black Falls Community, at the center of which is Black Inc., makers of the all-in-one gadget the Black Box.  The Box is a phone, a vacuum cleaner, a pet groomer, and a shredder, amongst thousands of uses. Unfortunately the Box is facing stiff competition from imitation products and Black Inc.’s owner, Mr. Carbon Black, is on a rampage to get the Black Box upgrade out to crush the competition.

The film uses the Black Box as a glaring metaphor for all that keeps us from connecting in real life with our friends and family. While the parents and teachers are distracted by their jobs and black boxes, the kids are running around making dangerous wishes. The movie has its amusing moments for us adults, but mostly it is silly fun for kids. The timeline isn’t straightforward so it keeps you interested. There are some great performances by the children, especially Jolie Vanier (playing Helvetica Black), and by veteran actors James Spader (Mr. Black) and William H. Macy (Dr. Noseworthy) as the company germaphobe.

Check out the trailer:


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At the End of the Spectra, Colombian Supernatural Thriller (Movie Review)

Frak, this TV doesn't have cable.

Al final del espectro (At the End of the Spectra) is a 2006 Colombian thriller set to be remade in the U.S. in 2010. If you like movies similar to the Japanese version of The Ring, you’ll enjoy this film. I’m not sure Espectro (Spectrum or ghost) needs to be remade, but I do like that the same young Colombian director Juan Felipe Orozco will direct the Hollywood version. It is set to star Nicole Kidman in the main role, so this is great Hollywood exposure for Orozco. He not only directed Espectro, he also co-wrote it with his younger brother Carlos Esteban Orozco.

The lead, Vega (Noëlle Schonwald), is a young documentary filmmaker who due to recent tragedy is sunk in a depression. Apparently in Colombia being depressed means you should move into a creepy apartment by yourself to recover. Vega’s father is played by Kepa Amuchastegui, whom I recognized as the “Mr. Meade” from the first Ugly Betty, also a Colombian original. Daddy takes Vega to an apartment building at the beginning of the movie. She promptly gets security cameras installed to satisfy (and feed) her paranoia. Vega’s floor mates are a raving alcoholic, her rebellious daughter, and a creepy bug-eyed neighbor with a Doberman. Vega shuns socializing with them to remain isolated in her apartment. That’s when her visions begin. The more time she’s alone, the more she sees and hears things she tries to explain to herself so she doesn’t think she’s going crazy. Now an agoraphobe, Vega tries to solve the mystery of her apartment via endless hours watching her camera monitor and digging through things left by the previous tenant all with increasing paranoia and tension.

The film starts off slowly so if you feel like it’s dragging on a bit, don’t worry. It’ll pick up and then you’ll regret turning the lights off. Like I did.

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Benicio del Toro in The Wolfman (Trailers)

Benicio on a Very Bad Hair Day

Benicio on a Very Bad Hair Day


I am very excited about seeing fellow boricua (and Oscar winner) Benicio del Toro in the upcoming werewolf movie The Wolfman, especially now that the new trailer is out. It looks great! Considering that Anthony Hopkins and genre giant Hugo Weaving are also in the cast, it’s going to be hard to wait until February 2010 for this film. I haven’t seen the 1941 original movie so I hope fans of the first film enjoy it too.

Del Toro has also been in other genre productions, most memorably as Jackie Boy in Sin City .  Hopefully we’ll see him again soon in more sci-fi or fantasy titles.

Here’s the latest trailer:

And the first trailer in case you missed it:

Pictures at the official Universal website are definitely worth a look (click on Images).

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