Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Angel Of Light.

As director Leopoldo Laborde told me: he had a dream of having supernatural powers and when he looked in the mirror, he had become a demon. The Angeluz was born.

In Angeluz (also known as "Angel of Light"), we meet Miguel (Roberto Trujillo). Miguel wears all black clothes, has long hair and seems rather different than other guys his age. I don’t say this because he dresses a certain way, but because Miguel is actually a demonic entity called “Angeluz”. The Angeluz has unusual powers that end up killing a bully that was trying to mess with Miguel & his friend Luis (Jose Luis Badillo). After the death of the bully; Miguel hides away at home, fearing that something even more bad will happen again because of his true nature. Luis along with his little sister & his girlfriend Sandra find him and try to help him out, but things gets extremely complicated when the brother of the guy Miguel got killed goes after him. Miguel is also being looked for by a bizarre psychologist who knows all about the “Angeluz”.

I first caught Angeluz on krca-62 a few years ago and it really caught me by surprise since this was a very different Mexican movie. This wasn’t just another videohome that the tv channel normally would air, this was something much better than that. Sure the movie is still very low-budget looking, but when you look over that and watch the movie, you’ll see that Angeluz still tells a very unique, interesting story about demons & adolescents.

One of the main things about Angeluz I like are the characters. Be it the good ones and the bad ones, they’re all very unique & likable In their own way. The relationship between Miguel and his friends is very wholesome. They all care about each other and you root for them all throughout the movie. Tragedy does strike one of them (very early) and you feel the sadness over it. The supernatural/demon aspect of the movie is also quite intriguing. The movie builds up little by little with Miguel’s transition to full on demon and I love it. You know when they say someone is battling their demons? Well, this is exactly what Angeluz is about. Miguel literally battles with the demon that he truly is. Miguel however is a good person. He uses the powers he has for good intentions, but the demon in him wants to be full on evil and this is what Miguel tries to overcome.

The demon makeup was done fairly well since it’s quite creepy looking & all. Very post-punk/goth inspired clearly.

After hearing about Leopoldo Laborde given his big break by Hugo Stiglitz to make this movie (despite their visions for the movie being different from one another), I like the movie even more. Angeluz is entertaining from beginning to end. And I say this for both the version everyone has seen and to the director's cut as well. If you like movies about demonic entities, then Angeluz is a must watch. It doesn’t disappoint. Being an low-budget-indie movie, it’s still a very well made movie with its unique story & characters.

Angeluz is a high recommendation for sure. A must watch. 9/10.

watch the Director's Cut:

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jorge Luke's Reward.

Mobster Lorenzo (Antonio Tostado) (looking like Neo from The Matrix) has just exchanged some contraband for big cash to some Arabs whom all strangely look like characters out of The Matrix (as well). Suddenly, his partner Jacko (Gonzalo Sanchez) shoots up the Arabs & take the money & contraband back to their crazy ass boss Salgado (Jorge Luke). When Salgado finds out his wife has been screwing around with one of his men, he puts a hit out on her, her lover, his wife’s small daughter Regina (Natasha Dupeyrón) and even Lorenzo since Salgado feels no loyalty from him. Jacko then kills Salgado’s wife & her lover and sends out a gunmen to kill Regina and Lorenzo, but fails miserably. Salgado then offers a huge reward for the murders of Lorenzo and little Regina. Lorenzo hatches up a plan to escape to LA with Regina and so he seeks help from a woman called “La Guera” (Patty Alvarez) whom he’s worked with before. Along the way, Lorenzo steals a car from a young woman named Paola (Martha Acuña) who ends up helping him & Regina with their escape.

Recompensa (aka "Reward") caught me by surprise since I didn’t expect much from it. The story was actually pretty interesting and the characters/cast were rather interesting as well. Jorge Luke plays the quirky mob boss Salgado so well that it’s almost believable. Antonio Tostado was also really good as Lorenzo and you root for him throughout the movie since he’s such a good guy despite technically being a criminal. Natasha Dupeyron was about 9 years old when Recompensa was made and this was her first movie ever and she played her role quite well. 

Now what made Recompensa intriguing for me is just the overall tone & the way the characters act & even look. When the movie opens up with the Arabs meeting with Lorenzo, it is so, so bizarre since the Arabs truly resemble Matrix characters. You know what I mean right? All dark clothing & corny sunglasses, etc. Futuristic looking shit for sure. When Lorenzo & Regina are on the run, they change their clothes to be more discreet and its all beanies & caps and baggy clothing. Its so hilariously 2000’s. The movie also gets funny at times and it’s completely random but hilarious. For example, there’s these 2 cops who are truly some bizarre dudes and one always mistakenly calls the other “chief.. I mean comandante”. Jorge Luke naturally brings humor to the movie as well with the things he says and does. It always comes natural to him in movies and I love it. 

Now Recompensa is a crime movie & all, so of course there’s plenty of action. Nothing mind-blowing keep in mind, but there’s enough guns firing & fist fighting to keep the movie entertaining. The fight scene near the end is rather corny, but nevertheless quite fun. The supermarket parking lot scene is hilariously fun as well. Let's just say little Regina really liked being pushed in the shopping cart all while mobsters are running after her and Lorenzo.

Recompensa is a decent little crime movie worth a watch. It’s a fun watch and as I said before, it’s oddly funny at times and the characters are quite likable. Those Matrix-looking Arabs were something else though. Maybe they’re from another world and everyone just assumed they were Arabs. I don’t know. What I do know for sure is Neo chose the red pill. I think. Honestly though, I never watched The Matrix in full. 5/10.