In just a few days, on July 24, the New York International Latino Film Festival will kick off in, obviously, Gotham. The fest has now released its film list, and I wish I could say that it is an amalgam of highly-reviewed fare that is worth giving up spending your summery, July days in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, none of the films listed on indieWIRE seem to be highly-regarded, by either reviewers or IMDb fans. Now, this could mean nothing for the enjoyment of some regular moviegoers, but I don't think we're talking about a "Wild Hogs" sort of scenario.

The fest is opening with Marco Kreuzpaintner's Trade. Cinematical has been covering the film since 2005, when it was called Welcome to America, and Milla Jovovich was co-starring along with Kevin Kline. Since then, Leeloo left the project, and we got posters and a plot. While the film's scenario sounds a bit unbelievable, it looked to be a potentially-decent treatment of the sex trade. However, if Variety's Berlin review is to be believed, it's unfortunately not worth the effort. Even Kline, who I consider to be one of those men who can make the most of anything, was said to have had "possible the most stark miscasting of his career." Ouch!

That being said, I'd probably rather see that than what was selected to wrap the festival -- the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony-starring El Cantante. I will fully admit that I just don't like those two, so putting them as starring vehicles in a film just makes matters all the worse. Fortunately, my predilection to run in the opposite direction when I see them won't keep me from a moving cinematic experience, again, at least if Variety's TIFF review is to be believed. Right at the top, the review describes the movie as "a virtual template for every imaginable cliche of the musical biopic." (Our Kim Voynar will be reviewing it on August 3, when the film opens, so stay tuned for her spin on the music biopic.) But these are reviewers, and many a film foible can be forgiven in the regular movie-going public. Or, at least, by fans of Anthony and Lopez -- which is probably why it's a headlining film. That being said, it's still great to see an increasing selection of Latino cinema, and hopefully next year will have a fest full of raves.
categories Cinematical