Entertainment

These 10 Latino Films Needs To Be On Your Binge List For After Thanksgiving Dinner

Get ready for lots of food, lots of family, and lots of home time because it’s Thanksgiving weekend. Whether you’re hosting a feast, traveling to see family and friends or just enjoying some time off from work, one of the biggest holidays of the year deserves good TV and movies to go along with the turkey and stuffing. Think of a Thanksgiving binge-watch as a side you can’t overcook.

1. Coco

this movie focuses on the need to honor one’s family and tugs at your heartstrings. Perfect to snuggle up on the couch and watch with a hot cup of chocolate abuelita and recalentado.

2. Bellas de Noche

Or ‘Queens of the night’ in English, follows the story of five of the most famous showgirls in Mexico during the 1970s and 1980s (a time were nightclubs, cabarets and theaters dominated nightlife) as they reminisce on their past glory and fame.

3. Latin History for Morons.

John Leguizamo dives into the deep and heartbreaking history of Latinos in the Americas and traces 3,000 years of Latin History with his signature style of humor.

4. Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy

Comedienne Cristela Alonzo tackles Latino stereotypes, social norms and her mother’s tough-love parenting style. In her comedy special, Cristela reminds everyone why she is a boss babe, and one of the top Latinx comedians to watch.

5. Pachamama

his one is for the whole familia. The writers of the film Pachamama weaved a beautiful and timeless journey-to-hero story about a boy who goes on an adventure to achieve something greater than he is and showing that we could all believe in a little more magic.

6. Neruda

he movie introduces audiences to a flawed, opinionated Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco), the poet and senator who was forced into hiding in 1948 after the Chilean government swung from left to right. But it also includes a made-up figure, the ambitious investigator Óscar Peluchonneau (Bernal), to play the serious and rigid foil to Neruda’s flamboyant and creative personality.

7. Residente

This one’s perfect for the Calle 13 fans out there. Follow Residente, as he trots the globe learning more about the places he comes from and how his ancestors brought him to where he is today.

After having taken a DNA test, the 24-time Grammy Award-winning and Nobel Peace Summit Award recipient seeks to learn more about himself through the lens of others.

9. Aquarius

In this not-so-subtle jab at Brazil’s real estate boom, Clara (Sonia Braga), a longtime resident of a housing complex in Recife, Brazil, refuses to leave when developers come to take away her home. The businessmen may resort to cruel methods to try and push her out, but Clara is steadfast. As she begins to reminisce about her memory-filled years there, her fight to stay becomes a mission.

10. Our Last Tango

Once a renowned couple in the Buenos Aires tango scene, the dancers María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes split professionally after their marriage shattered. But after years apart, they reunite to reflect on their 50-year relationship for this Argentine documentary, which blends talking head interviews with stylish modern-dance and tango interpretations of Rego’s childhood and the couple’s relationship.

The Internet Reacts to Jennifer Hudson In the New Aretha Franklin Biopic Trailer

Entertainment

The Internet Reacts to Jennifer Hudson In the New Aretha Franklin Biopic Trailer

United Artists Releasing

On December 20th, the teaser trailer for the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” was dropped for the first time. The 44-second clip shows Oscar-Winning actress Jennifer Hudson silhoutted in front of giant letters spelling out the word “Respect”. We then hear the legendary lyrics: “What you want, baby I got it. What you need, you know I got it” almost completely in A-Capella, save for a few background singers. 

With the lights finally highlighting her face, Hudson is transformed into the Queen of Soul, standing alone onstage wearing a sparkling gold dress  and a wig fashioned after Franklin’s signature 60s-era bouffant ‘do. Unfortunately, that is all the sneak-preveiw the trailer gives us into the upcoming movie before quickly cutting to black.

According to the video’s description, “Respect” is “the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice”. The description goes on to explain that the hotly-anticipated movie will follow “the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom”.

The trailer made waves upon its release and has racked up almost 5 million views on YouTube as of publication.

Hudson has already proved herself as a powerhouse actress and vocalist, winning over the hearts of America in the third season of American Idol. She then further impressed the world in her star turn as Effie White in 2006’s “Dreamgirls”. For that role, she earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.Recently, on “The Kelly Clarkson Show”Hudson shared her gratitude at being given the chance to step into the iconic Queen of Soul’s shoes for a short period of time. “My [audition] song for American Idol was ‘Share Your Love With Me’ by Aretha Franklin’. To flash forward fifteen years later where I’m playing Aretha…She’s an iconic figure that we all love and respect”.

The role is a boon for Hudson, who was hand-picked by Aretha Franklin before her death to play her in the upcoming movie. According to Hudson, Franklin made the final decision after seeing her perform in “The Color Purple” on Broadway in 201_. “We were in talks a long time about me playing her,” Hudson told People magazine earlier this month. “So I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice.” 

The biopic has been in the works since at least 2010, when Franklin suggested that Halle Berry should play her in the movie.

The movie has been through many changes since then, cycling through many different potential cast members, directors, and producers. As of now, the movie is a star-studded affair that boasts a cast of household names like Forest Whitaker, Marlon Waynes, Audra McDonald, and Mary J. Blige. In addition, the movie has the distinct honor of being directed by a woman of color, “Jessica Jones” auteur Liesl Tommy. 

This movie has been long-awaited, as Franklin’s life was truly cinematic. Born in Memphis in 1942, Franklin was born to a father who was a pastor and a mother who was a professional pianist and a vocalist. Noticing her gift for singing, her father began managing her career at the age of 12 after she stunned her congregation with her show-stopping solos. By the time she was 21, she was already being crowned the “Queen of Soul” by her contemporaries. She is most famous for her chart-topping hits “Respect”, “Think”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”. She died of pancreatic cancer on August 16th, 2018 at the age of 76.

In general, fans on the internet heartily approved of Hudson playing The Queen of Soul in her official movie.

For once, the internet didn’t immediately disapprove of the casting of an upcoming movie.

This Twitter user summed up the general reception of the trailer perfectly: 

Sometimes, the best gifts are the ones we didn’t even know we needed.

Of course, some people joked about the tendency for Hollywood to white-wash films that are based on true stories:

Based on the cast and the director, we’re pretty positive that this movie isn’t going to veer into problematic territory. 

Of course, there were whispers of another Oscar on the horizon for J-Hud

If there were ever a role Hudson was born to play, it’s this one. 

This person made a snarky joke about Hudson’s less-than-stellar recent track record with movie musicals.

In Hudson’s defense, no amount of raw talent and impressive vocals could’ve saved “Cats” from its critical and commercial declawing.

The Trailer For ‘In The Heights’ Is Finally Here And It Looks Like A Latino Fairytale

Entertainment

The Trailer For ‘In The Heights’ Is Finally Here And It Looks Like A Latino Fairytale

WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

In the final weeks at the end of a decade that began with promises of a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway musical, “In The Heights.” Well, the full trailer is finally here and it’s more rico than we could have imagined. Fans have been waiting for the movie since 2008 when Universal Pictures announced their plans to adapt the musical for theaters by 2011. Universal canceled the project. Big mistake. Huge. Then, The Weinstein Company gained rights to the film. After Harvey Weinstein was canceled due to heinous sexual misconduct, Lin-Manuel Miranda removed Weinstein from the credits in 2017. Finally, Warner Bros won the rights to the movie in 2018 and finally, finally, a decade later, the trailer is here, and it’s delicious. It’s no accident that the trailer begins with the voice of a young girl asking, “What does suenito mean?” Each frame and verse will inflate your heart with the immense weight of hope that our immigrant parents and many of us carry to this day in America. Anthony Ramos answers la niña’s question: “Suenito? It means “little dream.” 

“That’s it? No story?” another little boy asks Ramos’ character, Usnavi de la Vega. 

CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

“Alright, alright everybody sit down,” Usnavi tells the children on what seems like the beaches of the Dominican Republic. “It’s a story of a block that was disappearing,” he tells the children, “En un barrio called Washington Heights. The streets were made of music.” 

As the music begins to play, the trailer swells to fast cuts, showing countless scenes and characters.

CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

We see Usnavi, named after the first thing his Dominican parents saw as they arrived in America – a ship with the sign US Navy open up his bodega and lock eyes with beautiful Vanessa, played by Starz’s Vida, Melissa Barrera. “These blocks, you can’t walk two steps without walking into someone’s big plan,” Corey Hawkins, who plays Benny, says. The trailer promises to be a story of a neighborhood full of dreams. “A dream isn’t a sparkly diamond. There’s no shortcuts. Sometimes, it’s rough,” Ramos tells the children.

Olga Merediz powerfully reprises her role of Abuela Claudia.

CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

“We have to assert our dignity in small ways. Little details that tell the world we are not invisible,” Claudia softly touches a traditionally embroidered tea towel as she confides in another woman. If you’ve had the privilege of watching the musical, you know how Claudia’s story goes. For the rest of you, we won’t spoil it. Rest assured that the massive production of the film does Abuela Claudia justice, as we see velas lighting the streets as neighbors raise their hands and march in her honor.

Miranda’s America in the early 2000s is far different from 2019 America, and it seems that Abuela Claudia may face a different fate in the film adaptation.

CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

“They’re talking about kicking out all the dreamers. It’s time to make some noise,” Gregory Diaz, who plays Usnavi’s cousin, Sonny de la Vega, calls his neighborhood to action. “This is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. The odds are against you,” we hear a lawyer tell Usnavi and Sonny. “But there’s a chance right?” Usnavi asks. From there, the trailer erupts into dance and song as we hear Ramos rap, “We came to work and to live here. We got a lot in common. DR, PR, we are not stopping until the day we go from poverty to stock options.” Intermingled we hear Merediz belt, “Every day, paciencia y fe” Usnavi and Vanessa dance in a club, a group of dancers perform in a classic Washington Heights fountain at the heat of summer, and the trailer’s final words: “Today’s all we got so we cannot stop, this is our block!” 

Fans are actually weeping at the release of the long-awaited trailer.

CREDIT: WARNER BROS. PICTURES / YOUTUBE

NPR Latino’s head journalist Maria Hinojosa tweeted, “I AM WATCHING ON REPEAT stuck on my plane and I can’t stop CRYING 😭❤️✊🏽!!!!” Another fan asks, “Why am I crying at a trailer??” while another says, “I might be full on bawling right now I can’t wait for this.” “Hydrants are open!!!!” tweets another knowing Washington Heights resident. This daughter of a Nuyorican is right there with y’all. 

“In the Heights” comes to theaters on June 26, 2020.

You’ll have to hold onto more paciencia y fe as we count the days until we can sneak mofongo and arroz con gandules into the theaters and watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s student project come to life on the big screen. When Miranda makes it, we all make it.

READ: We Finally Got A Peek At Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Casting Picks For ‘In The Heights’ The Play That Made Him Famous