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Porque el amor manda (2012)
I saw some of this telenovela in Mexico nearly 6 months ago
I saw some of "Porque El Amor Manda"("Love Rules")when I was in Mexico(Hermosillo, Sonora)back in October. During some of that trip which was from October 8-12, this telenovela had just premiered by Televisa and was shown on "Canal de las Estrellas's" Hermosillo affiliate. But I only saw bits and pieces of the novela during that time. Now, nearly 6 months later, "Porque El Amor Manda" is now being shown here in the U.S. on Univision. Although it's been shown here in the U.S. for a few weeks, it seems good so far. The actors and actresses such as Fernando Colunga, Blanca Soto(in her Televisa debut), Carmen Salinas, Julissa, Alejandro Avila, Jorge Aravena, Erick Elias, Violeta Isfel, Kika Edgar, Ruben Cerda, Ricardo Fastlicht, Ricardo Margaleff, Ninel Conde, and Maria Elisa Camargo, I've seen act in other telenovelas from Televisa and maybe Venevision, RTI-Telemundo, and maybe RCN in the past and are pretty good actors and actresses as well. The theme song which is performed by dance group 3 Ball MTY who have the hits, "Intentalo" and "Besos Al Aire" is good and just as catchy as their aforementioned hits. And like many telenovelas from Televisa, "Porque El Amor Manda" is a remake. The original version was entitled "El Secretario" and was from Colombia and produced by Caracol productions. I've seen some of the first episode of that original version on Youtube for which I did notice the similarities between the original Colombian version and its Mexican counterpart. But I'm pretty sure that Telefutura will probably air "El Secretario" on that network sometime in the near future. Like I said before, "Porque El Amor Manda" seems pretty good in the short time that it's been shown here in the U.S.A. and I'm waiting to see how the rest of this telenovela turns out during its duration as well.
Carlito's Way (1993)
The "so-called" sequel to Scarface
Just like "Casino" has been considered the "so-called" sequel to "Goodfellas", in my opinion, "Carlito's Way" is basically the "so-called" sequel to "Scarface." The reasons for that explanation is because of the stars and similar story lines of each movie. With "Goodfellas" and "Casino", both movies starred Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci and were directed by Martin Scorsese. When it comes to both "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way", both movies star Al Pacino and were directed by Brian De Palma. And even actors that played minor roles in one movie appear in some capacity in their counterparts. Also in the past, there were weekends were I would watch both sets of movies together but on separate days from each other. But of course, there are differences between "Tony Montana" and "Carlito Brigante." "Tony Montana" was basically a Cuban refugee hoodlum who along with other Cuban refugees, arrives in Miami, Florida during the "Mariel Boat Lift" in 1980 and within a few years becomes the top drug lord in Miami and uses cocaine as a source of power. But that particular drug also contributes to his downfall in the end. With "Carlito Brigante", he's a Nuyorican(Puerto Rican New Yorker) ex drug lord who returns to the streets of New York City in 1975 after serving 5 years of a 30 year prison sentence. Now planning to live a legitimate crime free life, he also tries to rekindle his relationship with Gail(Penelope Ann Miller) that he had before his imprisonment. But there are two causes to Carlito's downfall. The first is his lawyer, David Kleinfeld(Sean Penn)who not only has a very bad cocaine addiction but is corrupt and is also a retaliatory target of incarcerated Italian mob boss, Tony "Tony T" Taglialucci(Frank Minucci), another one of his clients. Carlito's second downfall is "Benny Blanco" who is a young, inexperienced punk who is trying to rise up in the drug trade by trying to surpass Carlito and is played by actor/comedian John Leguizamo, respectively. But in the end, is it Carlito himself that contributes to his downfall just for having a loyal trust in Kleinfeld and Pachanga(Luis Guzman), an old friend from his past. "Carlito's Way" was released in 1993 for which it was 10 years apart from "Scarface"(which was released in 1983). And another difference between each movie is the musical score. With "Scarface", the score was conducted by Giorgio Moroder and was synthesizer based. With "Carlito's Way", the score was conducted by Patrick Doyle and was more symphonic/orchestra based. But the soundtrack also consisted of songs from 1970's Disco groups such as KC and the Sunshine Band, The O Jays, The Hues Corporation, The Bee Gees, LaBelle, etc. that fit the time period of the movie(1975). And the soundtrack also consisted of songs from Latin music artists such as Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, and Santana as well. And besides the other aforementioned actors, the other actors that comprised the cast such as James Rebhorn, Viggo Mortensen, Adrian Pasdar, Joseph Siravo, Richard Foronjy, John Ortiz, Ingrid Rogers and the late Argentinian comedic actor, Jorge Porcel(in his only American acting appearance) also put in good performances in this movie. And besides Al Pacino, other "Scarface" alumni such as Al Israel(Hector), Angel Salazar(Chi Chi), Cesar Cordova(Cuban cook), and Mike Moran(Nick the Pig)also make brief cameos in "Carlito's Way." Just like he perfected the Cuban accent for "Tony Montana" in "Scarface", Pacino perfects the Nuyorican accent for "Carlito Brigante" in "Carlito's Way", even if he is an Italian-American actor. Although "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power" was, in my opinion, a good prequel starring Jay Hernandez as a young "Carlito" in his early years, it will never compare to the original film from 1993. "Carlito's Way", in my opinion, is another great gangster film that should be included in the ranks with "The Godfather" trilogy, "Once Upon a Time in America", "Goodfellas", "Casino", "A Bronx Tale", and of course, "Scarface"(both versions from 1932 and 1983/Al Pacino respectively). Also, look out for a director's trademark that director Brian De Palma left in both movies that involves a gun that includes a silencer and an arm in a sling. Of course, both "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way" have to be watched together side by side to find that director's trademark along with its symbolism.
El juego de la vida (2001)
Currently watching "El Juego" on Telefutura.
I remember stumbling upon an episode of "El Juego de la Vida" when I was channel surfing one afternoon in September, 2002 and settled on KMEX-34(Univision's L.A./Southern California affiliate). What I saw of that one episode looked good. And after watching that one episode, I decided to start watching this novela. Although "El Juego" had been on for sometime, I continued to watch it but I would only watch it whenever I got the chance. This telenovela introduced me to the many actors(young and old) that comprised the cast such as Valentino Lanus, Ana Layevska, Sara Maldonado, Luis Gimeno, Mariana Karr, Tina Romero, Raul Araiza, Jr. and others for which I would see them act in other telenovelas post and even pre "El Juego de la Vida." For a long time, I had hoped that either Univision would re-air "El Juego" in their late night "Grandes Historias" series or Telefutura because that subnetwork of Univision usually re-airs old telenovelas from Televisa all of the time. And I even looked out for a DVD of this novela for a long time as well. Unfortunately, either network or a DVD of "El Juego" came about. Sometime this past August, I was able to watch "El Juego" on Youtube. I was glad I was able to see the novela from the beginning on this website for which I was able to watch the first 20 episodes. Then about a few months ago, I got word through the website, "Telenovela World" that Telefutura would re-air "El Juego de la Vida" on weekday mornings at 8 a.m. After receiving that information, I was happy that it was returning to TV and I even had the novela set to record on my DVR. And although I saw the first 20 episodes on Youtube previously, I decided to start watching the whole novela again for which I'm also glad I have the opportunity to watch "El Juego" from start to finish. "El Juego de la Vida" was not only the first telenovela for teens that I saw(others such as "Clase 406", "CLAP", "Rebelde", "Codigo Postal", etc. would follow afterwards) but this particular telenovela got me to become a fan of watching telenovelas in general(from either Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia) as well.
Pasión de Gavilanes (2003)
My first Colombian Telenovela.
I first saw "Pasion De Gavilanes" back in the spring of 2004 when we finally got Telemundo on my satellite provider(Dishnetwork at that time) at my house. The only two actors that I was already familiar with were Mario Cimarro and Paola Rey. The rest of the cast such as Danna Garcia, Natasha Klauss, J. Alfonso Baptista, Michel Brown, Kristina Lilley, Juan Pablo Shuk, Jorge Cao, Zharick Leon and Ana Lucia Dominguez, I would become familiar with during and after this novela. During its original airing, I watched the novela on and off. Then when Telemundo re-aired "PDG" on weekday afternoons in January, 2005, I started watching the novela seriously. During that time, I became a serious fan of "PDG" that I bought the soundtrack CD and I even bought the DVD of "PDG" when it was released in 2006(although a lot of footage from the TV version was taken out of the DVD). And "Pasion De Gavilanes" was the first telenovela that I ever watched that was from Colombia. Up until "PDG" came along, the majority of telenovelas that I've watched were either from Mexico(Televisa) and Venezuela(Venevision). Sure, I was already familiar with Telemundo. But with "PDG", I became familiar with RTI and Caracol(the Colombian production companies that produced this telenovela for Telemundo). And I also know that "PDG" was a remake of "Las Aguas Mansas" which was released in either 1994 or 1995. And I also saw "Fuego en la Sangre" which was the Mexican(Televisa)remake of both versions that was shown on Univision in 2008 and re-aired on Telefutura in 2010/2011 and is also available on DVD as well. And, in my opinion, that version was good too. All I can say about "Pasion De Gavilanes" is that it was a very good telenovela and hopefully it can be known as one of the best telenovelas that has aired on television.
Estudio 2 (2005)
One of my favorite TV shows.
Estudio 2 is definitely one of my favorite TV shows. I've been a fan of "E2" for about four years(2008) now. And I've also gone to live tapings of the show which is out in Burbank, Ca. for the past two years as well. The music is great, along with the comedy skits and the "Machete" singing contest. But the best part of the show, in my opinion, are the dancers. A lot of the dancers that have been on the show since I've been watching it till now, have come and gone especially some favorite dancers of mine. But only a few favorite dancers of mine such as Elena, Raven, and Tabitha have been on the show the longest. And since I've been going to live tapings the last couple of years, I've been given the opportunity to see and meet a lot of stars and comedians of Spanish TV, whether it be from Televisa, Telemundo, Venevision, etc. And I've also liked some of the music of the groups and artists such as Banda El Recodo, Banda MS, DJ Flex, etc that have appeared on the show the last couple of years too. I know that Estudio 2 has been on TV since 2005, I just hope that the show goes on for many years to come. And I've also had fun attending live tapings the last couple of years even though they can be a struggle to go through at times.
Amores verdaderos (2012)
Canal De las Estrellas(Mexico: TiJ y Hillo) y Univision(U.S.A: Ca.)
I've been aware of "Amores Verdaderos" since mid to late August of this year when I was doing research for a project on Televisa for a business class I was taking around that time at my school(DeVry). While I was doing that research, I stumbled upon a promo picture for the telenovela that had Eduardo Yanez, Erica Buenfil, Sebastian Rulli, and Eiza Gonzalez(although she was very unrecognizable). I had a feeling this telenovela was new because it wasn't being shown here in the U.S.A because of the "Canal De las Estrellas" logo on the picture. I finally had the opportunity to see some of this telenovela on a recent trip to Mexico last month. I saw a tiny bit of the novela when it was being shown on a TV at a restaurant that was inside the airport in Tijuana on Oct. 5 and I saw about 5 episodes in Hermosillo the following week(Oct. 8-12) for which both cities were showing the novela on their own local affiliates of "Canal De las Estrellas." That small number of episodes that I saw looked good but I figured it wasn't going to be shown in the U.S.A. for a long time. That is until Univision started showing promos for "AV" the last few weeks on KMEX-34(L.A./Southern Ca. affiliate of Univision) for which I was surprised that it was already going to be shown here in the states right away. This telenovela does have a pretty good cast besides the aforementioned actors and I did see last night's episode which was good but I'm also hoping to see how the rest of "AV" is during its duration. And I'm also glad that Venezuelan actress, Marjorie De Sousa who's not only one of my favorite telenovela actresses and who get's HOTTER in every telenovela that I see her in, is acting in "AV." And it is also her second telenovela with Televisa(her first was "Mariana De la Noche") as well. Of course, this telenovela is a remake which was originally titled "Amor En Custodia" and was originally from Argentina and was also remade in Colombia and Mexico but from TV Azteca. But I'm going to see how this version turns out during its duration on Univision here in the U.S.