Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Born in East L.A. (1987)

Director: Cheech Marin

Starring: Cheech Marin, Paul Rodrizuez, Daniel Stern, Kamala Lopez, Jan-Michael Vincent, Lupe Ontiveros, Urbanie Lucero, Chastity Ayala, David Perez, Neith Hunter, Larry Blackmon, Tito Larriva, Geoffrey Rivas, Eddie Barth, Jason Scott Lee, Carol Stoddard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A Comedy Bordering On Insanity

Plot: Rudy (Marin) is an American of Mexican descent who is caught up in an immigration raid on a factory. Deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant, he has no way of proving that he is in fact an American citizen, and is forced to rely on his cunning to sneak his way back home.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I honestly thought this was going to be a dumb comedy but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's got some genuinely hilarious moments, a great social and political message and heart.  Rudy is a great, likable character and Marin brings a lot of life to him and the picture.  The scenes with Javier (Rodriguez) and the Jesus painting that's covering up the phone and answering machine are hilarious.  I liked that Rudy gives in to his situation in Mexico with Jimmy (Stern) and how he works hard to earn the money he needs for Jimmy to smuggle him across the border.  Jimmy takes advantage of Rudy and Rudy knows it but works extra hard rather than try to cheat Jimmy in some way.  And then there's his relationship with Dolores (Lopez) which was handled nicely.  Probably my favorite scene was the prison tattoo scene.  Great comedy.  And how about Marin's singing and guitar playing?  I was impressed except for the title song which is annoying (I don't care for Bruce's original version either).  It's a good flick but there are several things that go unanswered as if there was a lot cut.  I'm OK with having bits going unresolved because we don't have to know everything and sometimes it's alright to have a funny bit put in a film just because it's funny, whether it gets fully explained or not but then this picture felt like there might have been more to it.

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