Entertainment

25 Classic Latino movies everybody Grew Up With

Despite how interesting, fascinating and important they are, Latino stories, haven’t always received the attention they deserve when it comes to films and mainstream media coverage.   Fortunately for us, as kids, and even now where we’re still learning to grow into ourselves, there were a few movies that depicted classic Latino stories, families, and people.

Here are 25 classic films about Latinos that most of us grew up with!

1. “Spy Kids”

Spy Kids / Dimension Films


This film about two kids who discover their parents are spies was the ultimate film back when it came out. Fans of the show watches as two kids took on the role of spies in order to save their kidnapped parents. Starring a pretty all-star Latino cast including Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo and Alexa Vega.

2. “Tortilla Soup”

Tortilla Soup / Samuel Goldwyn Films


It was hard not to get sucked into this TV favorite about sisters trying to grow under the watchful eye of their father. Starring Héctor Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors and Elizabeth Peña.

3. “Fools Rush In”

Fools Rush In / Columbia Pictures

After a one-night stand in Vegas, a Las Vegas-based Latina discovers she’s pregnant with a New York City real estate agent. It might not have been totally parent-approved, but you know snuck this one in for all of the romantic and funny moments when abuela wasn’t watching. Stars Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry.

4. “Mi Vida Loca”

Mi Vida Loca / Sony Pictures Classics


Young Latino women evaluate their lives as gang members in Echo Park, Los Angeles in this film. Starring Angel Aviles and Seedy Lopez.

5. “La Bamba”

La Bamba / Colombia Pictures


This biographical film is about the life and career of Chicano rock ‘n’ roll star Ritchie Valens. Starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens in a classic case of Hollywood brown face.

6. “My Family”

My Family / New Line Cinema


A film that depicts the three generations of a Mexican family that emigrated and settled in East Los Angeles. Starring a young Jennifer Lopez and Jimmy Smits.

7. “Selena”

Selena / Warner Bros.


This film about the young Texan music legend has become a cinematic classic. Starring aJennifer Lopez and Edward James Olmos.

8. “Stand And Deliver”

Stand And Deliver / Warner Bros.


When an L.A. high school teacher becomes pressured to control his classroom of tough students he decides to challenge them with higher math. Starring Edward James Olmos.

9. “El Norte”

El Norte / PBS


The independent drama about two indigenous kids who flee Guatemala in the 1980s. Starring Zaide Silvia and GutiérrezDavid Villalpando.

10. “Born in East L.A.”

Born In East L.A. / Universal Pictures


The American comedy is about a Mexican-American who becomes mistaken for an undocumented immigrant and is deported. Starring Cheech Mari and Daniel Stern.

11. “American Me”

American Me / Universal Pictures


This biographical crime drama depicts a fictionalized account of California’s Mexican Mafia. Starring Edward James Olmos who also directed the film.

12. “The Sandlot”

The Sandlot / 20th Century Fox


“The Sandlot” wasn’t entirely a Latino film, but it did have a pretty epic Latino character. The film starred Mike Vitar as Benny “The Jet” Rodrigues.

Read: 25 Iconic Latino-Directed Movies That Will Feed Your Soul

13. “Por La Libre”

Por La Libre


This film follows Rodrigo and Rocco as they journey from Mexico City to Acapulco to accomplish their grandfather’s last wish. The film touches on key notes on family and sexuality.

Read: 24 Fuego Scenes In Latino Starring Movies That Are Way Better Than The “Fifty Shades” Series

14. “I Like It Like That”

I Like It Like That / Columbia Pictures


The Bronx-based comedy follows the highs and lows faced by a young, poor Puerto Rican couple. Starring Lauren Vélez and Jon Seda.

Read: 20 Romance Comedy And Drama Movies Starring Latinos To Stream Over The Weekend

15. “Raising Victor Vargas”

Raising Victor Vargas/ Samuel Goldwyn Films
Fireworks


This depiction of life in the early 2000’s in New York City’s Lower East Side explains what it’s like to grow up in a large Latino family. The film stars Victor Rasuk and Judy Marte.

16. “Hangin’ With The Homeboys”

Hangin’ With The Homeboys / New Line Cinema


The quintessential coming of-age tale depicts the everyday lives of four men from the Bronx over the course of one night. Young John Leguizamo stars.

17. “Mosquita Y Mari”

Mosquito y Mari / Sundance Film Festival)


This film follows two young Chicanas and explores the experience of being a queer woman of color. Venecia Troncoso and Fenessa Pineda star.

18. “Zoot Suit”

Zoot Suit / Universal Picture


Daniel Valdez stars as Henry Reyna a man at the center of a Pacheco gang. The film has the Zoot Suit Riots and World War II as its backdrop.

19. “The Best Things In The World” (2010)

The Best Things In The World / Warner Bros. Pictures


This movie tells a family’s experience as they deal with divorce and their father’s coming out. The Brazilian film follows the family over a one-month period and stars Francisco Miguez and Caio Blat.

20. “Confissões de Adolescente”

Confissões de Adolescente / Sony Pictures Entertainment


Lovers of “Tortilla Soup” will love this tale about a band of sisters while helping their father. The film is based off of the diary entries of Maria Mariana, who also stars.

21. “The Way He Looks”

The Way He Looks / Vitrine Films

This film based off of the 2010 short film, “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone,“ follows a blind teenager and his best friend Giovana as they explore the terms of their relationship. Gilherme Lobo stars as a blind high school student who struggles to gain his own independence.

22. “The Year My Parents Went On Vacation”

The Year My Parents Went On Vacation / Buena Vista International


Exploring the themes around politics and familial discord this film follows a young boy and his obsession over the World Cup.

23. “Lake Tahoe”

Lake Tahoe / Berlin Film Festival)


When Juan crashes his family car into a pole, his attempts to make amends leads him to a series of interesting characters.

24. “Like Water for Chocolate”

Like Water for Chocolate / Miramax Films

Despite her heart and will, Tita is a young girl  raised to believe that as the younger daughter in her family she will never be with the man she loves. This romantic film based on a Laura Esquivel novel stars Lumi Cavazo.

25. “McFarland USA.”

This 2015 sports drama stars Kevin Costner and Maria Bello in a depiction of the true story of a cross country team. The team from a mostly Latino high school trains to win a state championship.


Read: One Rumor On Twitter Has The Internet Debating If Camila Cabello Can Act Well Enough To Be In ‘West Side Story’

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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