TITLE: ---

WRITER: ---

 

SUBMITTED TO:                                                     ANALYST:  Anna
SUBMITTED BY:                                                      DATE: June 30, 2008
AGENCY/COMPANY:                                            LOCATION:  New York City
FORM/LENGTH:  113p                                           CIRCA: 1974/present
DRAFT/PUBLISHER: Vista Clara, 02-12-07               GENRE:  Action/Drama

LOGLINE : The Velez brothers, each trapped in lives of drugs and crime, have to find out if they are trapped by their bloodline or if escape is possible.

COMMENTS : This movie follows two products of a home in which the weak do not survive. Its harshness and violence puts it squarely in the action genre, but it also includes a sensitive scene between the brothers, a clever resolution, and the make-good attitude that makes it an interesting drama. A standard shoot-em-up/junkie movie is punctuated with real feeling.

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Premise
Characterization
Dialogue
Storyline

 

                                                                                                               

SYNOPSIS:

HECTOR, the father of the Velez family, raises cocks for the ring. He’s tough and will use whatever force necessary to get his way. He tries to teach his sons, BOBO (RICKY) and especially NESTOR, the elder, the values important in breeding for fighting. When he tries to teach Nestor to stand tall, like a man, Hector ends up slipping from the roof, holding on to Nestor for dear life. Nestor eventually lets go, realizing both his and Bobo’s lives were threatened by trying to hold on to their heavy father.

That was 1974. In present day, Nestor is a hit man- one so good he’s called Fate. Ricky, who we discover later is an older Bobo, has become a louse, mooching off two Bohemian girls, JEWELS and MELISSA. He steals his mother’s Social Security checks as well as any jewelry he can get his hands on, and cashes everything in at a pawnshop to buy more drugs. He doesn’t know this pawnshop is also a hangout of his older brother, and his brother ends up the owner of a gold cross, of sentimental importance to Melissa.

In the meantime, MAMÁ VELEZ has completely lost grip with reality, after dealing with losing her husband and young daughter, ROSA, to a blood condition. She sits in a dirty apartment, listens to old records, and occasionally has episodes that involve throwing flower pots off the roof. The only person who really takes care of her is the building’s SUPER, a genial guy who is the only person besides Nestor to attend her funeral. For most of the movie, however, she does not recognize the adult Nestor, remembering him only as a child. In her final scene, she explains to Nestor what she considers the inherent weakness in the family’s blood.

Ricky and the girls continue sexing and drugging themselves, and we see a bit of emotional attachment develop between Ricky and Melissa. Things progress in typical junkie rhythm- from stealing from friends to sleeping in makeshift drug dens under a bridge. Nestor becomes more involved in his life of crime, becoming the target of police and criminals alike.

After Melissa’s disapproving parents come in to find Jewels dead, Ricky runs out. Nestor finds him in a stupor and takes him to a storage unit, after leaving clues for the police leading them there, along with the evidence that condemns his criminal enemies. Nestor shocks Ricky with his truth, that their blood is bad and they must end their family’s cycle. He hands Ricky his keys, combination to his safe (Mamá’s birthday), and tells him to take his life, to start over. Once he convinces Ricky, Nestor kills himself, both brothers’ hands on the knife, but neither one’s fingerprints.

The criminals arrive, just in time to miss Ricky, see their mark is already dead, and get caught by the police. The last scene is Ricky writing to Melissa, explaining how he has cleaned himself up, can never be with her, and returning her gold cross.


COMMENTS:

The premise of breeding for strength is an interesting idea, although the juxtaposition of the brothers and the cocks is only used in the beginning and end. There could be more clues throughout the movie, although it does lend to an exciting ending.

Past this stamp of originality, other parts of --- are typical of the genre- the race from the police, the spiral of the junkie. There is one especially playful scene between Ricky and the two girls, in which they drive through town in reverse. This causes them to unintentionally bump into Nestor while he plies his trade, revealing the connection between the two as Nestor later describes the incident.

Nestor is simply a good guy, who visits his mother even though he avoids her in her insanity. His dog-like loyalty is endearing, but there is no explanation as to how he deals with killing for a living, besides the scene with his father in the beginning. We are given few clues to his inner workings, despite many pawn-shop conversations with Deuce, the owner who was also his cellmate. Apparently, Deuce had never even heard that Nestor had a brother.

Ricky is a believable addict- charming when he wants something, yet having no qualms stealing from his friends. He seems to develop a conscience with regards to Melissa, although there is no resolution between him and his mother.

The two Bohemian girls- Melissa and Jewels- are not especially engaging. In the beginning, their dialogue is not quite true to form, but past that their scenes degrade into hair collections, threesomes, and drug use. While the focus is obviously on the two brothers, the two girls could be further developed- the only thing we really know about them is that Melissa is rebellious and must defy her conservative parents to move in with Jewels and Ricky.

Also, Jewels’ death seems tacked on, neither properly introduced nor dealt with. Melissa’s parents burst in one morning to find her there, lying next to Ricky and Melissa, dead with a needle in her arm. She should at least be found in the bathroom, adding suspense to the scene as well as accounting for the mess that a drug overdose entails. Also, after Jewel’s death we do not see Melissa, and have no sense of resolution with her character.

It is hard to paint insanity well, and this movie does as good a job as any other. There is a method behind Mamá’s madness, and she has one scene at the end of her life in which she explains herself, which serves to further the message of the movie effectively.

The resolution, in which Nestor wraps up his own loose ends and gives Ricky a new start, could be considered too neat, but comes out hopeful. The beginning is intriguing, the end is fitting. Beside what has been already mentioned, --- could use some polishing in the middle, which primarily sets up the end as the criminals, cops, and young addicts run around, escalating their own situations. While exciting, this section (about pp55-90) has too little entertaining aspects.

The other characters of the movie: Deuce, the policemen, Rizzo (a crime boss who runs a bar), are fairly straightforward. As Deuce is dealt with a lot in this movie, it would be nice to see his character experience some kind of guilt (which is hinted at on page 21 when he says, “This whole thing is wrong.”).

In general, this movie has potential to be a touching shoot-em-up, dramatic enough to be a date movie yet exciting enough to attract the younger male audience. At present, it contains just one or two too many criminal twists and turns, time which could be better spent giving depth to the established characters.