Tag Archives: Matt Lauria

Cinema Dispatch: Miss Bala

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Miss Bala and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Releasing

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

I somehow managed to survive January, but that month was so bad I’m ready to just write off February and maybe even March if I get the slightest bit saltier.  What can I say?  Getting sick twice, watching dreck like Escape Room, and even trying to justify my enjoyment of movies that EVERYONE ELSE seems to have deemed to be terrible has done little to improve my mood over the last thirty days, but who knows!  Maybe things have FINALLY turned a corner and I’ll regret being this despondent at the start of February when I go see… whatever this movie is!  Seriously, I didn’t even know this movie was coming out until three days before I went to see it, and I couldn’t gleam the slightest thing from the title or the poster.  At least with The Kid Who Would Be King which is another movie I knew nothing about until right before its release, you can kind of get a grasp on the general idea from the overly descriptive title and the poster having a bunch of kids wielding swords and makeshift shields!  ANYWAY!  Does this mysterious feature turn out to be a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, or will it turn out that ignorance was truly bliss after seeing this movie?  Let’s find out!!

Gloria Fuentes (Gina Rodriguez) is a makeup artist in California who frequently travels to Tijuana so she can see her friend Suzu Ramós (Cristina Rodlo) and her little brother Chava (Sebastián Cano).  This time however she comes with purpose as Suzu plans on entering the Miss Baja California pageant and could use Gloria’s expert makeup skills to make her truly shine in the competition!  Sadly things don’t go quite as planned when Gloria and Suzu go to a nightclub that ends up getting attacked by the Las Estrellas gang led up by Lino Esparza (Ismael Cruz Córdova).  Once the dust has settled, Suzu has completely disappeared and Gloria is kidnapped by Lino’s men as she saw too much and could now be a threat to them.  Under the threat of death, she becomes an unwitting participant in further gang violence and is headed for a life of nonstop coercion if she cannot find a way out and hopefully find Suzu in the process.  The best chance she seems to have is a couple of DA agents led by Agent Reich (Matt Lauria) who want to bring her up on terrorism charges due to her involvement in those unwitting crimes, but give her an out if she can plant a bug on Lino which will hopefully be enough to keep THEM from destroying her life before Lino does it first.  Can Gloria find a way to escape these overwhelming forces that can utterly destroy her at the slightest of whims?  Whatever happened to Suzu, and is Gloria simply chasing her tail by trying to find her in between coming up with a plan to escape and simply surviving this horrific situation she’s been forced into?  Why is it that bad guys ALWAYS mess with the wrong person?  You’d think just once they’d find the right person to mess with!

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“I could have just spent the rest of my life being a makeup artist, but NOOOOO!  You just HAD to tick me off!!”

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