Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sevier Crespo, Chino XL
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
: A modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliette w/a Latino flare. Angelina and Plato want to be together, but her brother has something to say about that! Tensions react a fever pitch, and before the night is over, one love... more »
Low-budget odd film with deceptive marketing
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 10/27/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"You would think with a name like "Barrio Wars" that this movie would be gang-specific and -heavy like "Colors" or something. Instead, this is a romantic tragedy. The "wars" refers to this movie's "Romeo & Juliet"-influenced fights between the Capulets and Montagues. Just as "The Street King" borrows from "Richard III," for some reason, directors think Latinos are a good vehicle for re-interpreting Shakespeare.
Under the Shakespearean influence, the lovers fall in love instantaneously. The dialogue is wondering and erratic. And lots of people kills themselves before it is all over.
The angry Latino man on the cover is not the lead. But yes, he is always seen in the open-chested flannel shirt even though days pass as his character appears and re-appears.
This movie has plot lines that make no sense. The actors have terrible timing with their line delivery. Oftentimes, you cannot hear the speaking over the background music.
For a low-budget feature, surprisingly, this movie has a quite suggestive love scene. (Of course, it's heteropatriarchal in that the woman is seen nude, but the man is not.) In one part, a father dismisses his son because he believes the son caused the daughter's suicide. When you compare this to a similar scene in "Boyz N the Hood" from ten years ago, you will laugh and laugh. In addition, the female lead and her female best friend have a lesboerotic dynamic that was capricious and solely meant for hetero male viewers' titillation.
A rapper known as Chino XL plays a supporting role where he is the tough-loving mentor of the rival "gang" members. He is beautiful; he totally could give the Rock a run for his money. It is a shame you never see this guy with no shirt on. I mean, if LL Cool J is always flexing his torso muscles when on camera, so should Chino XL! I hope he has the chance to do more roles.
But hey, at least actors of color are getting roles, experience, and exposure.Finally, I am a big believer that DVDs, especially ones featuring Latino actors, should have Spanish subtitles. This movie did, but it never mentions that on the cover. I think many Latinos who would have rented it if they knew the film was translated will miss out due to this error. York Entertainment should not make that slip again."