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Movie Review: ‘Miss Bala’

Do not come after Gloria Fuentes or her friends!

Directed by Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke from a script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Miss Bala does a good job bringing forth a strong female Latina lead, who can do it all – from applying a perfect contour to handling an AK-47.

Gloria Fuentes is a makeup artist from Los Angeles, who finds herself trapped in a cross-border drug enterprise.

Miss Bala is a remake of the Mexican crime drama action film by the same name, which premiered back in 2011 at the Cannes Film Festival.

Gloria Fuentes (played by Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez) travels to Tijuana to support her childhood friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo) as she enters the Miss Baja California beauty contest. After a shootout at a Tijuana nightclub, Suzu is nowhere to be seen. Gloria, desperate to find her best friend, is forced to work for the head of a drug cartel, Lino (Ismael Cruz Córdova), who offers his help. As if she wasn’t in enough danger, D.E.A agent Brian (Matt Lauria) threatens to arrest Fuentes if she refuses to go undercover and reveal Lino’s plans to him.

The intense hour-and-forty-four-minute story focuses on Gloria’s personal story – a Mexican-born, California-raised young woman, who is an outcast in her native land. Along with that, the viewer is presented with a low key of love story – Lino develops an emotional connection with Gloria, as he also grew up in California, just like her. The question of him possibly becoming a better man for her finds its resolution at the very end.

A few things can be said about Gina Rodriguez’s character. What is worth mentioning is that doesn’t see complicity as the primary path to survival. Gloria never gives up on the chance to find her friend, she constantly weighs her options and makes crucial decisions.

Overall, if you like women-led action movies, Miss Bala is worth watching. The movie is packed with many plot twists and numerous shooting scenes.

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Film

The Matrix 4: Laurence Fishburne Won’t Be Back as Morpheus

Laurence Fishburne has confirmed that he won’t be reprising his iconic role as Morpheus. The 59-year-old actor revealed that he “has not been invited” to return.

According to The Wrap, Fishburne told New York Magazine that he was never approached about joining the upcoming Lana Wachowski’s sequel. “I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great,” Fishburne commented. “It is probably the role that I’ll be best remembered for, which is great; it’s not the only thing I’ll be remembered for, which is better,” He concluded.

As a reminder, Fishburne first portrayed Morpheus, the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar, in the original 1999 film alongside Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. The two are set to return for The Matrix 4 (working title) with Jada Pinkett-Smith.

Joining the movie, which details are currently under wraps, are also Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Jessica Henwick.

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Film & Television

Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is the World’s Highest-Paid Male Actor

Forbes magazine named Dwayne Johnson, AKA the Rock, the highest-paid male actor for the second year in a row.

The former wrestler turned Hollywood superstar reportedly earned $87.5m between June 2019 and June 2020, including the $23.5m he made for Netflix’s upcoming thriller Red Notice.

Johnson’s Red Notice co-star Ryan Reynolds came second on the list highest-paid male actor’s list with earnings of $71.5m. Among his movie deals were $20m, also for Red Notice, and $20m for Six Underground, another Netflix film.

Coming in third place is actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, who earned $58m, while Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel came in fourth and fifth place respectively.

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Film & Television

‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Reboot In the Works

The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is making a return with Bel-Air! The one-hour project is based on Morgan Cooper’s record-breaking fan film (more than 7.5 million views to date) that reimagines the classic 1990s sitcom based on Will Smith’s journey from the streets of Philadelphia to his uncle’s mansion in Bel-Air as a drama. Per Deadline, Bel-Air  “will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions, and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”

Cooper will direct and co-executive produce Bel-Air. Showrunner Chris Collins (The Man in the High Castle, The Wire) will co-write, executive produce.

The project is being developed by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television and is currently being pitched to multiple streamers, including NBC’s Peacock, Netflix, HBO Max and Amazon.

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