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Flash Movie Review: The City of Your Final Destination

If Omar Razaghi, played by Omar Metwally (Rendition, Munich), rang my doorbell; I would not answer the door. To tell you the truth, unless I am expecting someone, I never answer the front door. In this intriguing movie, Mr Razaghi traveled all the way to Uruguay without giving any prior notice. Having received a grant to write an autobiography of Latin American author Jules Gund, doctoral student Omar was hoping to get approval from the deceased author’s family. Showing up unannounced at the author’s estate, Omar was met by the resistant widow Caroline, played by Laura Linney (The Savages, Mystic River). Besides her, living at the house was what Omar believed was Jules’ mistress Arden Langdon, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia, I’m Not There). The third person Omar had to convince was the author’s gay brother Adam, played by Anthony Hopkins (Thor, Hannibal). But as the student, Omar learned more than what he expected. The cast played well off of each other, each putting in a strong performance. Laura Linney stood out for me playing the bitter wife. Her steely stare could easily send a shiver down one’s spine. Beautifully filmed, this drama played out like a slow steamy day, perfect for one’s emotions to brew and steep.

 

2 2/3 stars — DVD

Flash Movie Review: La Mission

In the Latin community, so I have been told, the males need to be machismo, manly. I do not buy that, but I am aware that there is a strong focus on being a family. We can all assume that when a child is brought into this world, whatever their parents’ backgrounds, they will love their child unconditionally. If only that were really true. I have witnessed the horror of a child being kicked out of the house by their parents, because they announced they were gay. These parents only loved him as long as they believed he was straight. What made this situation worse was how the parents had nothing to do with him from that day on…until they found out years later how successful their son had become in the business world. Then all of a sudden they tried re-establishing a relationship with him. For these reasons, I was intrigued when I saw the trailer for this movie. In the mission district of San Francisco lived Che Rivera, played by Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality, Law & Order-TV). He was an ex-con, recovering alcoholic and a single dad. Respected by some, feared by others; Che’s world spun out of control when he discovered his son Jes, played by Jeremy Ray Valdez (Constantine, All She Can), was gay. Though this story can and has played out in many ways, I felt having the setting take place in a hyper masculine, Hispanic neighborhood gave the conflicts more intensity. Benjamin and Jeremy did a wonderful job of acting, in spite of several undeveloped scenes. Even if I had never known about my friend’s parents, I would have still found this dramatic film to be a truthful story. In my world, love is either an all or nothing proposition.

 

2 3/4 stars — DVD

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