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The Price of the American Dream II (2008)

Following in the footsteps of the first film, "The Price of the American Dream II" continues the story of Laura Munoz who has grown considerably older and is now a single mother with four ... See full synopsis »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Laura Munoz
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Manny Munoz
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Carlos Munoz
Nichole Otero ...
Alex Munoz
Jesus Valdez ...
Daniel Munoz
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Chepo
Julian Trujillo ...
JC
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Paco
Matthew Palmer ...
Grieving father
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Rebecca Watkins
Rima Krisst ...
Ms. Stolesen
Dennis Foulkrod ...
Basketball Coach
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Eddie
Martin Barela ...
Meno Munoz
Rosalie Traina ...
Counselor Kerry (as Rosalia Triana)
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Storyline

Following in the footsteps of the first film, "The Price of the American Dream II" continues the story of Laura Munoz who has grown considerably older and is now a single mother with four children after the death of her husband Chendo. As a result, Laura moves her family from Los Angeles, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico in hopes of gaining a better life for herself and for her children Manny, Alexendra, Daniel, and Carlos. However, life proves to be just as hard in a new state when Manny and Alex begin hanging out with the wrong crowd including the fact that Carlos is now constantly getting in trouble at school and Daniel is even trapped in the middle of it. It seems the price of the American dream has only risen higher since Laura first found it.

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Drama

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Release Date:

February 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lean Like a Gangster  »

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Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
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Connections

Follows The Price of the American Dream (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Girl
written and performed by CUETE YESKA.
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User Reviews

 
As the price rises higher.
18 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

As my previous review would attest, I would've never known about the first film had The Price of the American Dream II not gone into production here in New Mexico. I was absolutely blown away by the story and production values of the first on such a low-budget but wasn't sure if the part II could possibly live up to the first. Was I wrong.

The film continues the story of Laura Muñoz (Julieta Ortiz) now in a struggling situation after the murder of her husband Chendo. With the help of her brother Meño, she moves her four children, Manny, Carlos, Alexandra, and Daniel from Los Angeles to a small town in New Mexico hoping to recover and move back. But soon Manny and Alex begin hanging out with gangsters of the area with Carlos and Daniel struggling to stay away from such things. But Laura also faces her own temptations at gaining back money when her boss attempts an affair. It's only further proof that the price of the American dream has risen.

This film soars above the first part, though it could easily be seen as a stand-alone film. The entire cast, including the six leads which brings in Hollywood actors Julieta Ortiz and Luis Arrieta, is a great ensemble of experienced, first-timer, and local unknown actors. In knowing the history of the making of the film, it is amazing what is done on-screen if you have any doubts. Nichole Otero and Nathan Sanchez who play two of the younger Muñoz children shined on screen above and beyond. They were able to bring out their true talent in the film in itself because at the time, all three were first timers.

Including production, the film never loses sight of the big picture. It took what it had made it even better. Director Michael Amundsen worked to the best of his ability and beyond to give the film the production values that show up on screen. Though it takes place in a small town this time around, the action the story brings in and the situations the Munoz family faces ultimately sets the story into a rolling motion that never takes a moment for you to breathe.

Many who have seen number one thought of this along the same lines when it is a completely different film in script, story, and production. From parties to gang violence and even car chases, Price II will surprise anyone. From locations in the wind-swept New Mexico, the film can also be seen as a work of art in the differences of culture. The darkness of the underground life of gangs to the seemingly bright regions of reality.

Another thing that caught my attention was the music. From the beautifully arranged original soundtrack to the rap songs incorporated into scenes of the film. Composed gorgeously by Rich Ragsdale, the written soundtrack was my favorite part from the low strumming of an acoustic guitar to the sound design from an electric guitar much like the moodiness of 21 Grams. Laguna Productions standard of film-making have risen incredibly over the years. Their usual fare has brought forth such films as these as well as great films in the past that continue to entertain audiences. I hope we can expect more like this.


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