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La Bamba (1987)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Writer/director Luiz Valdez, actors Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales, and executive producer Stuart Benjamin Rating:8.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on May 23rd, 2009:Find all reviews by frankasu03
This is a very enjoyable listen for both fans of early rock n' roll and latino filmaking. The director obviously had a passion for this material for many years. Lou Diamond discusses, at length, the artists such as "Los Lobos" who helped make his performance as Richie valenzuela so vivid. The group also points out some of the anachronisms that are expected when making a movie about the late 50s in the late 80s. But the star of the commentary is Esai Morales. From his turn on NYPD blue, he struck me as an earnest fellow. Not so. His comments, however inappropriate, are laugh-out-loud hilarious. I think he views his character "BOB" as a bit of a cult hero, if not a character right out of a looney tunes short. Some of the innuendos and throw-away remarks had me laughing as hard as when I listened to robert Downey Jr and Val kilmer cut it up on "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." Trust me..It's a lark
Commentary 2: Writer/director Luis Valdez and producer Taylor Hackford Rating:10.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on February 22nd, 2016:Find all reviews by frankasu03
Superb track with the always reliable Director-Producer Hackford, who is actually joined by the Director's Brother Daniel Valdez. See, Daniel and Taylor go back nearly 20 years, as both were interns in Los Angeles radio. They had always imagined doing a biopic about Richie Valens, and when Hackford had success with such smashes as "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), Daniel came-a-calling. But, it took some intrepid studio chairs like Frank Price at Columbia to allow a "latino" picture starring "unknowns" to be made. Hackford seamlessly calls attention to the on-screen action while detailing all of the steps necessary to produce "La Bamba." The music, courtesy of "Los Lobos" and Carlos Santana, the painstaking recreation of music palaces from yesteryear, and recreating iconic rock personalities using current pop-rock musicians. Loads of credit is heaped on all involved, with Hackford calling "La Bamba" the most successful "All Latino" Hollywood production. Now, to be fair, this commentary was recorded in the late '90s. Perhaps, "La Bamba" has been surpassed since then ("Spy Kids," really?). But, a solid point is made in comparing this film to "Selena" from 1997. This film embraces the tragic ending, while the latter bypasses it. Bold choice by Luis Valdez and the filmmakers on that front. This is a great commentary. No pauses in the entire track, and just a trove of trivia about Southern California "Chicano" culture, 'Rock n' Roll' music, and the discovery of fresh new faces in the '80s glut of "high-concept" fare. 10/10