Sunday, April 18, 2010



The hometown crowd couldn't have been more excited to see familiar places (and, judging by the hootin' going on, faces) on the Castro's big screen. I agree with Guardian writer Dennis Harvey's take on the film -- its broad emotions and overblown musical cues often lend it a TV movie feel. Also, there's never any doubt that Bratt's tough-guy-with-a-past character, Che, will learn to accept his recently-outed teenage son. But Bratt the director makes clever use of the neighborhood's many murals as street-scene backdrops, and having Che be employed as a Muni driver (naturally, he pilots the 14 Mission) is particularly effective. The film has some overwrought moments, but it never feels truer to life than during scenes featuring Che's longtime group of friends. The men share deeply felt bonds -- frequently masked, of course, by shit-talking and an unyielding obsession with car culture. (In a nifty touch, some of the film's gorgeously detailed lowriders were parked in front of the Castro after the movie.)

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