Posts tagged mexico

The Counselor

“The Counselor ” More Novel than Movie

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“More Novel Than Movie”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

The Counselor has so much going for it that you would think it has to be a successful movie, right?

The Counselor

Wrong!

First of all, it stars Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, and Rosie Perez, and of all the lineups of acclaimed stars in acclaimed movies, this is definitely one of them.

Second of all, it was directed by Ridley Scott, and of all the acclaimed directors who have won awards for their movies, he is definitely another one of them.

And third of all, it was written by Cormac McCarthy, who is an acclaimed novelist with many of his novels having been made into acclaimed movies, and of all the great screenwriters in the history of movies, he is a pretty good novelist.

This movie has three other things in it that are worthy of mention: a graphic sex scene, a graphic murder scene, and many scenes of too much talking and not enough action.

The sex scene involves a woman, a fancy car, and a man sitting in the front seat of the car watching, but it is more laughable than erotic.

The murder scene comes in an unexpected location, it involves an unusual device, but takes so long and shows such agony and pain and so much blood that it is more disgusting than effective.

And the scenes of too much talking that are also more philosophical than descriptive would be better read in a novel than heard in a movie. They sound as if they had been written by an acclaimed novelist instead of an acclaimed screenwriter.

Wait a minute! They were!

Anyway, here is the story. A successful attorney in El Paso, Texas, with a busy practice, a beautiful girlfriend, and an expensive car wants more, and so he gets involved in the illegal trafficking of drugs from Mexico into the U.S.

He meets with the necessary contacts he needs in order to arrange for a deal that involves $20 million of drugs to be shipped across the border on its way to Chicago, but as usually happens in the movies, something goes wrong.

Terribly wrong, disastrously wrong, and murderously wrong.

As a matter of fact, those are the very words that could be used to describe this movie.

The Counselor, as a movie, is a spectacular novel.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

2 Guns

“2 Guns” Has More Than 2 Laughs

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“More Than 2 Laughs”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

2 Guns stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as 2 guys who appear to be partners, but both of them have a deep undercover secret from the other one.

2 Guns

In fact, for the first half of the movie even the audience doesn’t know if they are cops, crooks, or both.

Washington plays Bobby Trench, sometimes known as Bobby Beans, and Wahlberg plays Michael Stigman, sometimes known as just “Stig.”

When the movie opens they rob a bank in Tres Cruces, Texas, even though Bobby has told Stig the advice of “Never rob a bank across from a diner that has the best doughnuts in three counties.”

And Bobby tells Stig that advice while they are sitting in the diner across from the bank before they rob it.

But then something happens that they didn’t expect, and we get a flashback to one week earlier in Mexico when a drug deal they were involved in didn’t turn out the way they expected, either.

The drug deal gone bad is their motivation for the bank robbery, but whereas they were expecting to steal $3 million of the drug lord’s money, they discover $43 million in the bank, and they don’t know whose money it is. Of course, they don’t really care.

Well, that much money can make you do crazy things, and Bobby and Stig do, which are also unexpected.

Also, the people whose money they stole want the money back, and they will do anything to get it back.

Anything.

And then we get double crosses, murders, shoot-outs, car chases, kidnapings, more murders, and more double crosses.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Mexico, Bobby and Stig even get caught in a cattle stampede, and they are given a deadline of 24 hours to turn over the money.

Only problem is, they don’t know exactly where the money is.

However, Stig tells Bobby, “I got a plan,” but when it appears that the plan didn’t work, Stig says that it was a brilliant plan if nobody expected it.

This excellent movie even has a Mexican standoff in it.

2 Guns ends with 2 good laughs, and a sequel might even already be in the works, which would be called 2 GUNS 2 or maybe 3 Guns if Bobby and Stig can find another partner that they don’t trust, either.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

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U.S.’s Mexican gray wolves threatened by inbreeding: Terra Infirma by Ron Baird

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Terra Infirma by Ron Baird
This former Colorafo State Forrest Service writer tells the truth about what is really happening to our environment in C1Ns Terra Infirma by Ron Baird.

Release of More Mexican Gray Wolves to Wild Needed to Stop Genetic Inbreeding

This Week Marks Four Years Since Last Release of Captive-bred Wolf

SILVER CITY, N.M.— To mark this week’s four-year anniversary of the last release of a Mexican gray wolf into the southwestern wilderness, the Center for Biological Diversity has called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to dramatically increase the number of wolves in the wild. This is needed to stave off genetic inbreeding, which scientists say may now be limiting the size and health of some wolf litters.

Under pressure from the livestock industry, the Service has ceased releasing captive-bred wolves into the wild in recent years. Unfortunately this means there’s little genetic diversity flowing into the fledgling wild wolf population, which compromises the ability of the 58 wolves in Arizona and New Mexico to grow healthily and sustainably.

“By starving the wild wolf population of new animals, the Fish and Wildlife Service is stacking the odds against their recovery,” said the Center’s wolf specialist, Michael Robinson. “Resuming the release of wolves into the wild is absolutely essential to overcoming inbreeding and ensuring the success of this wolf recovery program.”

All Mexican wolves in the world today stem from just seven animals captured alive from the wild in Mexico and the United States, the last one in 1980. After reintroduction of the wolves to Arizona and New Mexico began in 1998, the Fish and Wildlife Service had many of the most genetically valuable wolves shot or trapped on behalf of the livestock industry. Consequently the captive population will have to jump-start the wild population again.

“Too many wolves have been taken out of the wild, both by the government and by poachers. That’s a tragedy, and it puts the Mexican wolf’s future in jeopardy,” said Robinson.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

End of Watch Movie

“End of Watch” a Buddy-Cop Movie with a Twist

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“Buddy-Cop Movie With a Twist”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

End of Watch is a powerful, almost traditional buddy-cop movie, but the language is raw, the action is violent, and it has an ending with an unexpected twist to it.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play officers Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, who work in the Los Angeles Police Department as partners ane whose area that they patrol is the rough arena of South Central Los Angeles, which Taylor says has three major food groups: drugs, money, and guns.

When the movie opens, it is the first day back on the job for Taylor and Zavala after they were cleared by an investigation into a shooting they were involved in, and once they are out in their patrol car, Zavala says, “Dude, it’s good to be back, Man.”

Taylor has a recording device in his uniform for a class project he is working on, and so a lot of the footage we see is from the point of view of that device, which is called “found footage” these days, but don’t worry. The whole movie isn’t from that POV, but enough is so that at times the movie gets confusing.

So, we watch and listen to the good-natured banter between these two friends as they drive around the city between calls, we learn about their personal lives as they talk and even see some aspects of them at various points in the movie, and we witness many of the calls they go on and see just how rough and dangerous being a policeman in today’s Los Angeles can be, both for them and other police officers who are called in to help.

In addition to the commonplace calls that Taylor and Zavala make, the main story point is a turf war between two rival gangs, one composed of black people and the other composed of Latinos, who have connections with drug cartels operating out of Mexico and who are also involved with the trafficking of illegals being brought up from Mexico and kept in terrifying and dangerous conditions.

In fact, Taylor and Zavala stumble into the ramifications of the main story more than anything else, and once again we see how in movies situations can go from bad to the worst you can imagine.

End of Watch is terrific and get ready for the twist at the end.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.

Savages - Movie

“Savages” Bloody and Ironic

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“Bloody and Ironic”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Savages is the latest film directed by Oliver Stone, and it was also written by him along with Don Winslow, whose 2010 novel was the basis for the film.

The best-known members of the cast, but not necessarily the stars, are Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, and Salma Hayek, and the story is about a Mexican drug cartel trying to move in on the successful marijuana business run by two best buddies in Southern California.

Lively plays Ophelia, a spoiled young rich girl who goes just by “O” and who is the girlfriend of both Chon and Ben, the successful marijuana growers and distributors who have been best friends since high school and whose pot is considered the best in all of California, if not the world.

O also narrates the story, and more than once she says, “Just because I’m telling you this story doesn’t mean I’m alive at the end.”

If she is alive at the end, that would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

On the other hand, if she is not alive at the end, that would also be ironic.

One day Chon and Ben receive an e-mail video from the Baja Cartel in Mexico that shows a bunch of bodies with decapitated heads and blood all over everything.

Then they receive an e-mail from the cartel wanting to meet the next day. Ben is afraid of the Mexicans, but Chon says he is not afraid of them. Of course, Chon is a former Navy SEAL who smuggled the marijuana seeds back to the U.S. from Afghanistan that got them started in the business.

Chon and Ben check in with Dennis, a DEA agent who is less than pristine in his duties, and Dennis advises them to take whatever deal they are offered rather than decapitation.

However, when Chon and Ben meet with the representatives of the Baja Cartel, they don’t like the deal they are offered and tell the representatives that they will think about it and meet again in 24 hours.

Ben wants to get out of the business altogether, but before they can do anything, the cartel kidnaps O and holds her prisoner, which forces their hand, because they will do anything to get O back safely.

And the rest of the movie is just about anything.

Savages is bloody and ironic.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Casa de Mi Padre

“Casa de Mi Padre” Worth a Couple of Chuckles

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“A Couple of Chuckles”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Casa de Mi Padre is Will Ferrell’s latest comedy, and the first thing you notice is that the title is in Spanish.

The second thing you notice about the “House of My Father” is that the entire movie is in Spanish, but with English subtitles for the benefit of those of us who aren’t fluent in Spanish.

Well, not the entire movie, because there are a couple of American characters in the story, which takes place in modern-day Mexico, and they speak what the Mexican characters call “American.”

Ferrell plays Armando, the son of a rancher, and at the beginning of the movie, Armando and his two buddies, Esteban and Manuel, are moving some of the father’s cattle to a new pasture, and Armando says, “I hope nothing bad happens on the way home.”

Then they witness an execution that was caused by the nasty drug business that is going on in the country and which will have ramifications later on in the story.

When the three rancheros get home, Armando’s brother Raul shows up with his fiancee, Sonia Lopez. Raul is the son that his father always loved, and if we hadn’t already figured it out, we learn that Armando is not smart, and his father always tells him that.

Armando also has a secret that we learn when he and Sonia go out riding together and they arrive at the Pond of Seven Tears, where Armando’s mother died when Armando was a little boy.

Armando and Sonia take a liking to each other, and Sonia tells Armando that his brother Raul is in the drug business, but Raul doesn’t sell drugs to their fellow Mexicans, only to Americans.

Unfortunately, Raul is trying to do business in the territory of the most infamous drug dealer, Onza, who also has a close connection with Sonia.

Well, you can see a showdown coming up, can’t you? As well as a Mexican standoff and a final shoot-out that is all the funnier because the participants are drinking and smoking cigarettes at the same time as they are blasting away at each other.

The movie spoofs telenovelas and B-movies, production values, and anything else that Ferrell could think of while memorizing his lines phonetically.

Casa de Mi Padre has a good ending, of course, and is worth a couple of chuckles.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Casa de Mi Padre - Movie

Casa de Mi Padre – Movie Trailer

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Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) has lived and worked on his father’s ranch in Mexico his entire life. As the ranch encounters financial difficulties, Armando’s younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up with his new fiancée, Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez). It seems that Raul’s success as an international businessman means the ranch’s troubles are over as he pledges to settle all debts his father has incurred. But when Armando falls for Sonia, and Raul’s business dealings turn out to be less than legit, all hell breaks loose as they find themselves in a war with Mexico’s most feared drug lord, the mighty Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).

A Better Life Movie

“A Better Life” A Wonderful Film

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“A Wonderful Film”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

A Better Life is a terrific film that deserves as much publicity as it can get, because otherwise audiences will probably overlook it and not give it the attendance it deserves.

A Better Life

It also has a simple story that might not be popular, because it is about the relationship between an undocumented foreigner from Mexico and his teenage son, who live in Los Angeles.

Carlos Galindo has a steady job as a gardener working for another Mexican’s gardening business, and he sleeps on the couch in the living room at home so that his 14-year-old son, Luis, can sleep in the bedroom.

When Carlos finds out that Luis has missed 18 or 19 days of school so far this year, he asks him, “You want to end up like me?” to which Luis answers “No.”

Luis has some resentment toward his father, because he blames Carlos for his mother leaving them, whom Luis never wants to talk about.

Meanwhile, the man for whom Carlos works, Blasco Martinez, wants to retire, and he offers to sell Carlos his beat-up truck so that Carlos can have his own gardening business.

To Carlos, he wouldn’t just be buying a truck. He would be buying the American Dream.

However, not only doesn’t Carlos have the $12,000 that Blasco wants for his truck, but Carlos doesn’t even have a driver’s license, and if he ever gets stopped by the police, he could be deported back to Mexico. That is why Carlos wants to try to stay “invisible.”

Meanwhile, Luis gets suspended from school for fighting, and Carlos is concerned that Luis has a fascination with gangs and might even end up in a gang.

Carlos asks his sister, Anita, for a $12,000 loan, promising to pay the money back and telling her that if it works out, everything is going to change. He won’t have to work on Sunday anymore and can spend more time with Luis, if Luis wants.

Anita loans Carlos the money without telling her husband, who she says is the cheapest man in the world.

So, Carlos buys the truck from Blasco, but his life doesn’t change as he had imagined. Almost immediately, the truck is stolen, and Carlos and Luis have to try to get it back while staying invisible.

A Better Life is a wonderful film.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Due Date Movie

“Due Date” See It

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“See It”

DUE DATE could be dismissed as just another “odd couple, “buddy,” “road-trip” movie, but it is much more than that.

It is a very funny, often laugh-out-loud movie about two men forced to travel across the southern United States in order to meet separate deadlines, but I have a feeling that men will enjoy it much more than women will.

However, everyone can enjoy the talent of the two actors who play those two men: Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakas, who portray Peter and Ethan, respectively.

Peter is an architect, Ethan is an actor wannabe, and the story begins in Atlanta, where they have an unfortunate, but funny encounter at the airport departure curb.

Then they have another funny, but unfortunate encounter before takeoff on the same airplane to Los Angeles, and it just keeps getting better as it goes on.

Due Date MoviePeter and Ethan end up in a rental car and in a hurry to get to California, because Peter’s wife is about to have their first child and Ethan has a scheduled meeting with an agent.

Peter doesn’t want to share the road trip with Ethan, but is forced to, because as Ethan tells him, “I have all the money, the car, and the winning personality.”

Peter and the audience will agree on two of those reasons.

However, Ethan also has a dog traveling with him; glaucoma, which causes a side trip to buy some medical marijuana; and the ashes from his recently deceased father, which he carries in a coffee can.

Unfortunately, Ethan spends almost all his money on the weed, and now they are left with only $60 between them, and they have reached only Birmingham, Alabama.

There is a very funny scene in which they try to get some money wired to them from Peter’s wife; an even funnier scene in Dallas where they stop for help from Darryl, an old friend of Peter’s played by Jamie Foxx; and a scene that tops them all when they accidentally try to cross the border into Mexico, which ends fantastically hilarious.

When they reach the Grand Canyon, where they stop to satisfy Ethan’s wishes, they swap confessions in a touching scene until Ethan reveals the biggest confession of them all, and then we have one final mad dash to meet their . . .

DUE DATE. See it.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

The A-Team Movie

“The A-Team” Full of Sound and Fury

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“Full of Sound and Fury”

THE A-TEAM is based on the television series of the same name that ran from 1983 to 1987 on NBC-TV, except that the war references have been updated from the Vietnam War to the war in Iraq.

In other words, its target audience of teenage boys hadn’t even been born when the TV series was running, and the teenagers who enjoyed the TV show back then are in their 40s now and probably way too old to enjoy this tired, old retread of a knockoff.

The movie opens “Somewhere in Mexico,” and the leader of the team of renegade soldiers of fortune, Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, played by Liam Neeson, escapes death by dogs and travels “Somewhere Else in Mexico” to rescue Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, played by Bradley Cooper.

Face is tied up inside a pile of tires by the Bad Mexicanos, and when asked how he is doing says in his characteristic manner, “I’m living the dream!”

The A-Team MovieIn the meantime, B.A. Baracus gets his customized van back, which means something only if you are familiar with the TV series, and, of course, “B.A.” officially stands for “Bad Attitude,” but we all know the initials stand for something else.

And speaking of initials, the three of them find their fourth member in a hospital as usual, he is the pilot of the team, his name is H.M. Murdock, and his initials stand for “Howling Mad,” because he either is or isn’t.

At this point, the movie turns into nonstop action and a nonstop attempt at humorous jokes, what every teenage boy thoroughly enjoys.

Then we are told that it is eight years and 80 successful missions later, Jessica Biel shows up as Capt. Charisa Sosa, she has a history with Faceman, but they haven’t seen each other in three years, and she claims that her fondest memory of Faceman is leaving him.

And the main plot of the movie begins, which is for the team to stop a counterfeiting operation in Baghdad and which involves double-, triple-, and quadruple-crosses.

Of course, Hannibal’s catchphrase, “I love it when a plan comes together,” gets some mileage, too.

Now, I hesitate to use a reference from Shakespeare to talk about this movie, but I will.

THE A-TEAM is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but a waste of time.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

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