Compadres One of the things I'm hoping for this year is that the sensible public's reaction of horror to Trumpism will inspire greater efforts at international understanding among people of good will. Basically, I'm counting on the vicious pillorying of Mexicans to make more Americans interested in what actually goes on in that country and that culture. For instance, take a movie like Compadres, a bilingual Mexican-American production that includes a whole bunch of fascinating elements not immediately recognizable to us gringos. There's a cop jailed for a crime he did not commit. And an underworld kingpin who's the target of said cop's revenge. And a 17-year-old computer hacker who's the key to it all. Hey, hold on, Pancho – I can only take in so much unfamiliar input at one time. (Adding to the overall sense of disorientation, Kevin Pollak plays a character named "Tex.") Released last month in Mexico, the film has already made its way here. You know, just like Mexicans! (NR)
Elvis & Nixon With every year that goes by, we get just a little more confirmation that Dick Nixon was every bit as loathsome as we had always assumed. The most recent evidence was a revelation about Nixon's war on drugs: That PR initiative, White House lackey John Ehrlichman had admitted in his later years, was simply a pretext for marginalizing the black and hippie communities Nixon despised. No wonder the Dickster was so eager to conscript none other than Elvis Presley into the fight when the king of rock & roll showed up at the White House one day in 1970, eager to volunteer his services in getting dope off the streets. Elvis, now universally recognized as a pill-head, had his own ulterior motives: According to Priscilla Presley, he was trying to secure a government badge that he thought would help him confiscate plenty of contraband for his own use. We'll see how much of this gets covered in Elvis & Nixon, a historical drama about one of the most bizarre meetings in Oval Office history. Kevin Spacey plays Nixon, keeping that whole House of Cards thing going. As for the casting of Michael "General Zod" Shannon as Elvis ... well, just take it as proof that drugs are with us even to this day. (R)
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