In the early 90´s, up until the late 90´s, i was actually a fan of Snoop Doggy Dogg. Looking back at how i looked like at that time, i looked like a choir boy, coming straight out of the closet at Oxford University. Wait....that came out the wrong way. Anyway, i used to do the Snoop Dogg dance, waving my arms like a drunk seagull. I think i still have some of those records left somewhere. It was around this time, i made a decision. I am going the metal way, and i did. I felt home with Slayer, Sepultura, Slipknot, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, and so many others. But if there was one thing that stayed in my mind, from my hip hop era, i loved the cars that Snoop Dogg had in his videos. You know the bouncing ones, that bounced faster than Tila Tequila´s jugs. I also remember that Dr. Dre of course used them in his videos. Even if i don´t follow hip hop in these days, i do remember some of those classic Snoop albums and his music videos. Actually, i did listen to Eminem also for a while, at the top of his career. And his film 8 Mile turned out to be actually surprisingly good. Films based on hip hop subjects have been around for a long time. And there have been some films that have given us quality acting. How many of you saw the film Straight Outta Compton, based on the story of the hip hop band N.W.A. A really good film, that shows how rough it actually was in America, back in the early 90´s. I think director F. Gary Gray did a really good job, capturing the 90´s hip hop scene, with some really good acting performances from the cast. If you have not seen it, i suggest you rent it on blu ray. There are of course other great films to suggest. How many of you remember the film Hustle & Flow from director Craig Brewer ? Also a really good film, with strong acting performances, especially from actor Terrence Howard. Earlier when i mentioned the bouncing cars, i think it is pretty clear that The Fast And The Furious franchise have proved, that cars in films does still make money. Car movies have gone a long way since Smokey And The Bandit with Burt Reynolds, and there are many different car films to choose between. In spring time this year, i was hearing about a smaller film called Lowriders on the web page Dailymail. I knew nothing about the film itself, but once i saw the poster with the fancy car, i became curious. Would this be another street gang film, or something completely different ? I finally got a chance to see Lowriders, just to explore if this could be something interesting. Is this one of the biggest surprises of this year, or is Lowriders only worth to end up down into a toilet ?
Danny ( Gabriel Chavarria ) is a young street artist in East Los Angeles. His passion for graffiti is done in a bad way, and he ends up in trouble with the law. His father Miguel Alvarez ( Demián Bichir ) get his son Danny, and his friend Chuy ( Tony Revolori ) out of jail. Miguel runs his own business, building Lowrider cars. He give his son Danny a chance to work, as a real man. Meanwhile, Dannys big brother Francisco " Ghost " Alvarez ( Theo Rossi ), tries to be a bad boy, and impress everyone with his rough lifestyle. Their father Miguel is ashamed about his son Francisco, and want nothing to do with him. Danny still tries to be around his big brother, even though he is in bad company, with bad people. When Dannys father Miguel is shot down, his life is about to take a very different turn. Danny knows he have to grow up, and take responsibility of his family. But is it too late for his big brother Francisco, living the dangerous lifestyle that he is stuck inside?
From the first moment i heard about the film Lowriders, i did not have any high expectations. Maybe because i did not know if i wanted to see the film. But after hearing some positive reactions, i thought i might as well give this film a try. And i have to say, i did not expect this film to be any good. It turns out that Lowriders does have some important things to say. This is not a hip hop film, let´s be clear about that. This film is more about family relationships, how to handle life, on the streets of rough neighborhoods. You could also this is a film, that tries to show you the passion that some mexican americans have for Lowrider cars. The best part of the film, is without a doubt the character Miguel Alvarez, performed by actor Demián Bichir. He is the most interesting character, who have lived a rough life. You can tell that the cars he make, with his team, means everything to him. And in some ways, he is more passionate in his cars, than in his 2 sons. Eva Longoria is also good as the mother Gloria Alvarez, who tries to make sure that the family sticks together, and make sure her husband Demián is focused on making good decisions. Lowriders actually reminds me of the 1993 film Blood In Blood Out in some ways. That film also had a lot of family issues, but in Lowriders it is more on a deeper level. You don´t get to see lots of violence, or shoot outs, instead this film is more focused on a different approach on mexican culture in America. I would have liked to know more, about the past of Miguel, because he seems to have been through a lot of hard times in his past. You don´t really get to know many details, and somehow i think that Lowriders would have been even more interesting if we found out more on his life. However, as the film goes on, you do get a sense that director Ricardo de Montreuil have found a tone, that works well with this culture. He capture the passion of Lowrider cars, and the people who dedicate their lives to make these cars come to life. Also a soundtrack that fits into the style of the film as well. This is not a film that probably will not fit everyone´s taste, especially if you have no interest in car culture. But, if you enjoy dramatic, and realistic films, then Lowriders might get you hooked up. I am surprised to say this, Lowriders is better than i expected.
If you can´t see Lowriders in theatres anymore, have no fear, the film is out the first week in September on VOD and dvd.