Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Movies: September 11 - 17

Yo Soy Boricua, Pa'Que Tu Lo Sepas! (2006): Rosie Perez makes her directorial debut with Yo Soy Boricua, a documentary look at Puerto Rico and the history of the island and how it relates to America. This is both a historical look at Puerto Rico as well as a personal one. Rosie is on camera for a portion of the film, talking with her family (sister, cousin, other assorted relatives) about being Puerto Rican in America and how they understand what being Puerto Rican means, but she also interviews other Puerto Ricans in America. The film is a mix of the personal and the historical. The historical side deals with the origins of Puerto Rico and how the United States became involved and what that involvement has meant for the small island, once a nation now a commonwealth. The film covers the mistreatment of its citizens and how Puerto Ricans have been able to fiercely maintain a sense of identity and pride in their culture. Yo So Boricua, Pa'Que Tu Los Sepas! (which means "I am Puerto Rico, Just So You Know!") is a very informative film, but also entertaining as Rosie and her family work well as talking heads walking through their neighborhoods and culture.

(1973): This early film of Woody Allen is, to put it simply and unscientifically, weird. Woody Allen plays a health food store owner who went to the hospital for a common procedure and woke up 200 years later in an unrecognizable America. Since he is the only person who isn't recorded and "in the system" a group called The Underground wish for Allen to do some work on their behalf against the government. There is quite a bit of slapstick humor in segments that look like they are from a silent film (quirky fast paced music, no vocals, and Chaplin-esque action) and the dialogue is quick one line jokes from Allen which are not understood by the other characters because he is from a time they don't understand. Sleeper is better than perhaps it should be, but it is so out there and there doesn't seem be a real storyline that I can recall, it is something of a mixed bag. Sleeper marks the first collaboration of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.

Angels in the Outfield
(1994): This cute family baseball movie features a young boy in a small orphanage who prays that the hapless California Angels could somehow win the pennant because his father said they would be a family again when the Angels win the pennant. The father, the adults can tell though the boy could not, meant that they won't be a family and that becoming a family is so unlikely that the Angels would win the pennant first. God, or perhaps just some angels listened to the prayer and begin to help the baseball team make plays they never could have made and the team starts to win (This is a Disney movie, do you think I'm spoiling anything here?). The boy is the one person who can see the angels (Christopher Lloyd is "Al", the angel who speaks with the boy). Danny Glover plays the angry coach of the pitiful Major League ballclub (Matthew McConaughey, Tony Danza, and Adrien Brody have smaller roles in the movie). This is a very cute, fun, and family friendly movie.

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