Quiz: How Do You Handle Conflict?

Photo courtesy from http://counsellingandmediation.com.

Photo courtesy from http://counsellingandmediation.com.

written by Stephanie Hernandez 

Handling conflict can either make you look like a total spazz or as if you are cool, calm and collected. Whether you yell and scream at top of your lungs or excuse yourself to get your thoughts together, what you do says a lot about you. Are you curious to see what category of conflict resolution you fall under? Take the quiz and find out how you handle high pressure situations.

When confronting a problem with friends or family, which are you most likely to do?

a)         You tend to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself.

b)         You speak in a loud and demanding voice.

c)         You use sarcasm.

d)         You express your feelings clearly and appropriately.

Which of the following do you relate to the most?

a)         “People never consider my feelings.”

b)         “I’m right, you’re wrong.”

c)         “Oh my god, I love you……..not!

d)         “I can’t control others but I can control myself.”

 

If a friend talks behind your back, you _____.

a)         Hold in the pain and anger and wait for it to fade.

b)         Confront and yell at them in front of everyone.

c)         Spread a rumor about them.

d)         Talk to them in private and tell them what bothered you, in a calm and respectful way.

 

When your parents tell you to clean your room, but you really don’t want to, you _________.

a)         Clean while mumbling your frustrations quietly to yourself.

b)         Scream to your parents and tell them you’re not doing it.

c)         Tell them you are going to clean it in order to get them off your back, but the truth is you’re not going to do it.

d)         Listen to you parents because you understand that your room should be cleaned.

 

When you witness someone being mistreated verbally, you ______.

a)      Watch and hope that someone else stops the situation.

b)     Get involved quickly and harass the abuser, because that’s what they deserve.

c)      Know it’s wrong but don’t do anything  about it, and you later tell your friends all about it.

d)     Approach the situation in a calm matter and try your best to communicate with the abuser to calm them down.

If you answered mostly A.

You are passive.

Being Passive makes you avoid expression, opinions and/or feelings to those around you. You don’t do well with confrontations, and it means that you do not respond well to anger and tend to hold things in. This buildup of emotion can be harmful if you bottle it in, because it can get overwhelming and might lead to an outburst.

If you answered mostly B.

You are aggressive.

Being aggressive means you mostly care about your own feelings instead of others. Be careful with being aggressive because it may lead to disrespecting others without even realizing it. You tent to be confrontational, but sometimes you can  be physically or verbally abusive to others for the sake of being right/feeling superior.

If you answered mostly C.

You are passive aggressive.

Being passive aggressive is a combination of being passive and aggressive. You do not like face-to-face confrontation, but you act out of anger in subtle and indirect ways — like being sarcastic or making back-handed compliments/comments (like indirectas). 

If you answered mostly D.

You are assertive.

Being assertive is something everyone should strive to be. You are clear about your feelings and communicate them in a respectful way. You make your needs known without violating the rights of others.

Most people are a little passive, aggressive, passive aggressive, and assertive in different areas, but, in the end, most of us tend to lean towards one side a little more than the others. When handling conflict, always remember that you’re never alone. Talk to your parents or counselor for help.

Review: Rio 2

rio_two_ver6_xlgAs a sequel to the first “Rio” movie, this movie takes place three years later when Blu and his three kids with Jewel, another macaw, returns. Their “humans,” or owners, Tulio and Linda discover the flock from which Jewel comes from. They thought that their macaws were the only ones left in the world. As they investigate this circumstance, they encounter many obstacles such as Nigel, who wants to knock down the rain forest and build stuff which would result in killing wildlife. The new characters in the sequel to “Rio,” which screened in 2011, create a different plot from the first movie.

The message behind the movie is great for both adults and younger ones. Its message is about love and acceptance. This family friendly movie is entertaining for everyone because of the animation, the comedy, the message, and the enjoyment parents will find in seeing their kids take pleasure in the catchy tunes and colorful scenes. The amount of musical numbers adds to the attraction of the film because of its comical animation and entertaining motions and phrases. The 3D animation adds to the adventure and becomes a different take on the well-known family-friendly movie. The film does, however, contain the typical villainous plot which makes it, in a way, predictable. But this type of plot is still enjoyable because the story told in this movie is one that most families and children will enjoy. We all love happy endings so the overall plot of this sequel will be sure to please the audience.

This colorful and vibrant movie is a must-see for children and adults alike! The animation is very appealing to the eyes and keeps your attention throughout the movie. The colors and animation itself is reason to watch this movie, along with the humor that appeals to all tastes. Make sure to grab some popcorn or other favorite snack to enjoy with this movie with family and friends. Even if you think that this movie may be only for smaller children, give it a chance and let your inner child come to life with this adventurous and exotic film!

Quiz: Do You Know Your Mamá?

Latinitas El Paso - Mother and Daughter Workshops

Latinitas El Paso – Mother and Daughter Workshops

Do you spend enough time with your mom to know her likes and dislikes? Do you frequently have to ask her what she wants for her birthday or Mother’s day instead of knowing exactly what she wants? Some people say they know their mom like the back of their hand, but do they really? Take this quiz and find out if you really know your Mom!

1. When you’re shopping for a gift for your mom, what do you do?

a. Ask her what she wants

b. Get her what she’s been wanting

c. Call your dad to see what she wants

d. Buy her a gift card

 

2. When your mom gets home tired, what do you do?

a. Make noise all around the house

b. Make her a tea and clean the house

c. Nothing

d. Dirty dishes because you know she’s cleaning them

 

3. If your mom says, “I’m craving a chocolate” what do you do?

a. Say “me too”

b. Go to the store and buy her favorite chocolate

c. Go to the store and buy the first chocolate you see

d.  Say “well, go get one”

 

4. As soon as your mom gets home from work, what do you do?

a. Keep watching TV

b. Greet her, help with her bags, and ask how her day was

c. Ask her for money to go out

d. Tell her to make you food

 

5. It’s your mom’s birthday and when she wakes up you:

a. Tell her to be quiet, you’re trying to sleep

b. Make breakfast for her and tell her happy birthday

c. Yell across the house happy birthday because you don’t want to get up

d. Ask her when her birthday is

 

6. When your Mom says “I’m too tired to clean” you:

 a. Say “me too”

b. Clean for her, she’s had a long day

c. Do Nothing

d. Get mad at her because it’s so messy

 

7. You walk into your moms room and you see her struggling with heavy boxes and you:

 a. Tell her to put her back into it

b. Offer to help her right away

c. Tell her to call someone to help her

d. Tell her she’s weak

 

8. Your Mom asks you for a favor, and you:

a. Whine and stomp around

b. Offer to do it for her

c. Say you’re busy

d. Tell her to do it herself

 

9. You get home from school very hungry and you tell your Mom:

a. “I’m hungry, make me something!”

b. “Let’s make some food together”

c. “Buy me some food!”

d. “Why isn’t there any food!”

 

10. Your Mom is going on a trip for work, when she’s boarding the plane, you:

a. Tell her to bring you something

b. Say you Love her and to be careful and hug her

c. Say bye

d. Say “Finally!”

 

Now that you have finished this quiz you can look below to see where you stand, and how well you know your mom. If you’re on the good or bad side, if you need to work on some things. Good Luck!

Mostly A’s or C’s

Sometimes you make an effort to be nice to her or do something sweet for her, but you’re missing important things about her!

Mostly B’s

You know your mom like the back of your hand! You know exactly what she wants, exactly what she likes, and you always go the extra mile to make her feel loved, congratulations!

Mostly D’s

A little bit on the heartless side I would say. You know your mom is a person, she exists, but you don’t know exactly WHO she is. Pay more attention to her, spend a day with her, talk to her, and appreciate her, you only get one mom!

Quiz: Which Superhero are You?

460px_x_259px_female_superhero_used_for_Physics_Coursera

Photo Credit: Coursera.com

Have you ever wondered why you don’t have super powers? Or why you sometimes do so much for others that you should become a superhero? With this quiz, according to your personality you would be the super hero you fall under. But don’t forget, you might not be super, but you can always be someone’s hero. Enjoy!

 

1.  If you are faced with an evil villain, which super power would you use first?

a. Purr at them

b. Fly above them ready to attack

c. Use your power to create thunder

d. Get out neat gadgets

 

2. You start getting ready for crime-fighting, what costume are you wearing?

a. Tights to move around in, flexible

b. A tiara and a skirt

c. You have a long cape

d. Gadgets in your belt

 

3. What is your favorite quote/catch phrase?

a. “As I was saying, I am a woman, and I can be taken for granted”

b. “There are times when faith is all we have to rely upon on”

c. “Are you ready to be blown away?”

d. “Nothing will go wrong in my watch”

4. What type of movie/personality is your favorite?

a. Sarcastic, Witty, Change in worlds

b. Reliable, God-like

c. Action

d. Drama, technology-driven

 

5. How do you like to work?

a. Alone by choice

b. Alone, but always willing to help someone

c. With a team that benefits from your powers

d. With a team completely different from you, or alone; your choice

 

6. Who is your biggest enemy?

a. Everyone that comes in front of you

b. A jealous Cheetah

c. Evil Mutants

d. Abyss an enslaver

 

7. What type of hair do you have?

a. Short and black

b. Long and black

c. Short and White

d. Different Lengths and Red

 

8. If you could work with any other superhero, who would it be?

a. Batman

b. Thor

c. Wolverine

d. Hawkeye

 

9. What type of shoes do you wear when you’re fighting the evil?

a. Heel Black long boots

b. Long Red Boots

c. Heel Black short boots

d. Black Combat Boots

Now you are all done, look below to find out what superhero you would fall under according to your personality! Good Luck!

 

Mostly A’s

“Somebody say fish? I haven’t been fed all day!” You are a Cat Woman! Fearless, sarcastic, a cat and fish lover! You like to work alone, but that doesn’t make you feel lonely, it’s just how your personality is. You’re not ashamed of who you are, and when you’re feeling like someone needs your help you can always be counted on. Even if you don’t like to work with anyone else, at times you like to be side to side to Batman, your ally.

 

Mostly B’s

“Of all people, you know who I am . . .  who the world needs me to be.” Wonder Woman! You’re a feminist icon, fighting for justice in all. You do not like the criminals in the world, you are full of integrity and are always trying to do what is right.  You are a Warrior Princess and a believer in faith and relies on help of the Gods, and certainly would be an ally with Thor the Demi-God.

 

Mostly C’s

“Move back, it’s about to get windy.” You are Storm! With your long cape, silver-gray hair and your white eyes, you make storms happen.You like to stand out from the crowd, make them notice you, and you wish the best to your loved ones. Even though you make bad weather happen you know you can always turn the skies back around with our friendly personality and a unique smile. You are a great ally with wolverine and x-men.

 

Mostly D’s

“I’ve got this.” Black Widow! Brave, great gymnast, and awesome gadgets to use in the scene of the crime! You think you can solve everything on your own with no help, but sometimes you need someone to rescue you instead of you saving them. Remember that being helped does not mean you are weak, it means you are not alone. You show a tough face, a feisty look, but in the inside you are as fragile as glass. You know you can always count on your ally Hawkeye and the marvel avengers.

Review: The Lego Movie

the-lego-movie-2014-05Watching the previews to this movie, one may think that this is merely another movie for little kids—preferably boys. However, being that this movie is about Legos, it also caught the attention of those who are older as well—even teenagers. Most teenagers, even girls, play with Legos! Legos are a part of many teens’ childhood, and it’s always nice to be reminded of that wonderful, carefree time. The Lego movie definitely did it’s job in this regard!

The main character, Emmet Brickowski, is known in the “Lego world” to be a “normal” guy because of his “normal” job and his “normal” life. The movie shows the mundane tasks Emmet does everyday, including exercise and buying over-priced coffee. As a construction worker, he is a hard worker. One night, after he was done with his shift, he discovers a mysterious object called “The Piece of Resistance” and meets a girl named Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks. She explains to him that the one who finds “The Piece of Resistance” is the one who is identified as “The Special.”

Emmet, being the “normal” guy, wants to have such an honorable title. However, he finds it difficult to live up to this title. He is given many responsibilities with this title, the biggest of which he is to save everyone from President Business and his evil schemes. In order to accomplish this, Emmet needs to learn to break away from the “instruction manual” and learn to act spontaneously rather than only by what he is familiar with.

With the help of his friends and other outside sources, he is able to prove to himself and to everyone else that he is not merely a “normal” guy. He helps everyone see that anyone can be special no matter what others may think of them or by what they think of themselves.

This movie is a good family-friendly movie and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It includes the typical love story, jokes that are funny to a variety of tastes and there is surprising to twist at the end—everyone enjoys a good plot twist! From the cities to the vehicles to even the water, everything is made out of Legos! This movie is a must-see and the themes—anyone and everyone is special in their own way and that there is nothing you can’t make out of Legos—this movie will keep you laughing while enjoy some good family time.

Do You Wanna Buy a Snowman?

Do you wanna buy a snowman? Now you can with the new DVD release of Frozen. Disney’s new animated feature has captured audiences internationally. Overall, Frozen earned more than 368.6 million dollars in the box office and re-released a sing-along version in theaters. Now the time has come to bring Frozen into your home.

Frozen_castposter

For those who have not seen Frozen, the movie follows the story of Princess Anna of Arendalle and her sister, Queen Elsa. Elsa was born with magical icy powers. One day Elsa’s powers accidentally set off a winter storm leading Anna to brave the icy weather to save the kingdom from an eternal winter. Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff, a mountain man, and his reindeer, Sven, and an adorably hilarious snowman named Olaf. Together, they set off for a very cool adventure that you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Frozen stars Idina Menzel as Elsa and Kristen Bell as Anna. It is co-directed by Jennifer Lee who also helped write the story of Frozen. In an interview, Jennifer Lee said her perspective of being a woman at the screenwriting table helped her male co-writers see some stereotypes they were writing. Because of that, her presence at the table helped shaped two of the most independent princesses (who do not need a prince to rescue them) Disney has ever had.

If that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are five reasons why Frozen is awesome.

  1. The Princess: Anna is a fearless optimist who believes in the power of true love. Anna is a strong protagonist in the movie whose bravery is quite admirable.
  2. The Queen: Elsa is also a strong protagonist who was taught most of her life to conceal her powers out of the fear of being “too dangerous.” This twist on the cliché villain makes you think twice on why people may do certain things.
  3. The sidekick characters: As mentioned before, Kristoff and his reindeer, Sven, are great characters that provide comedic relief to the dangerous adventure. Olaf, the snowman, is also a comedy relief for the audience and has the capability of melting your heart, even if you are snowman.
  4. The Songs: Okay, the songs are awesome. You’ve probably heard the covers of “Let It Go” and “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” over and over, but don’t be fooled. These songs are very catchy and very well-written. All the songs were written by the dynamic husband and wife duo, Bobby Lopez, three-time Tony Award Winner, and Kristen-Anderson Lopez.
  5. The Animation: The animation of Frozen is really quite remarkable if you are movie buff and know all the camera angles. Even if you are not, the animation is appealing to the eye. Some may dare to say it embodies the same essence as other famous Disney classics. The animation is listed here on the top five reasons to see Frozen because Walt Disney’s start in animation was a magical experience for audiences.

Add this new Disney classic to your collection on Tuesday March 18th, 2014.

Review: JLo ft. Flo Rida – Goin’ In

Here’s what one Latinita had to say about JLo’s and Flo Rida’s music video.

jennifer-lopez-goin-in_thelavalizard

Name:Angelisse (Lissy)
Your Age:
13
Your City & State
El Paso, Texas
What artist, band or album are you reviewing?
Jennifer Lopez and Flo Rida- Goin In Music Video
How would you rate it?
3 stars: Average
What do you dislike about it?
I believe J-Lo’s dancing could of been a little better. The choreographers should have been paying attention to how Lopez could keep up with the background dancers, how she should be dancing in each costume, and simply just making sure the choreography was dazzling instead of focusing on how much they show her butt.Somewhere in the music video a car starts bouncing up and down randomly. I didn’t get it. It just didn’t play in to the music video for me.
How does listening to this music make you feel?
The song is great! It makes me feel like I want to get up and dance!I love in the music video her glitter lips and the use of neon and vibrant colors. Puerto Rican pride! That was definitely shown here by Jennifer and Flo Rida.
 Who are your favorite musicians?
Panic! At The DiscoRhiannaKaty PerryAvril LavigneP!nkSkrillex

David Guetta

Nicki Minaj

Demi Lovato

 

Top 5 Christmas Movies

Christmas is approaching and what better way to set the move than to snuggle up with a Christmas classic. Here are five Christmas classics that are guaranteed to make this holiday season just a bit warmer.  So huddle up with the relatives and pass the time with five of the best Christmas movies ever made!

elf-movie-posterElf (2003)

Rating: A+

“I just like to smile,” Buddy responds when asked why he always appears so happy. “Smiling’s my favorite.”

If you arrived in your town after 30 years at the North Pole, what do you think might surprise and delight you the way that simple things like dogs, escalators, and revolving doors amazed Buddy?

Elf,  directed by Jon Favreau, tells the sugary story of Buddy,  a highly energetic and naïve man, who thinks he’s an elf. After a lifetime of enjoying a joyful existence cobbling toys at the North Pole , Buddy is shocked to learn that he’s not an elf, rather a 30-year-old grown man with a  real human father in New York City who doesn’t know he exists. So, knowing only what he’s learned from the elves, but determined to find his father, Walter (Kames Caan),  Buddy sets off to New York.

Will Ferrell is perfect for Buddy’s character.  He flawlessly depicts a genuine affection for this Buddy’s character.  Moreover, as a former “Saturday Night Live” star, he clearly has no qualms about making a fool of himself.The best thing about his performance is his lanky cluelessness that has an enduring sweetness that makes you want to protect him from all the rude New Yorkers that make fun of him.

At first, Walter thinks Buddy is nuts when he shows up at his publishing office  claiming to be his son dressed up in elf suit, but after Buddy passes a DNA test, Walter has to accept him and takes him home to meet his family.

A memorable scene from Elf is when Buddy mistakes a short man for a dwarf at his dad’s office. Obviously, the man gets offended and “dares” Buddy to call him a dwarf once more. Buddy, unaware of the sarcastic tone in his voice, instead ingenuously obeys the man’s wishes and keeps calling him a dwarf.

Elf feels a little too cheesy at the end, but what do you expect? It’s a Christmas movie! Without a doubt, it is a must-watch for the whole family.

A Christmas StoryA Christmas Story (1983)

Rating: A

“You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Nine-year-old Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) was tired of hearing that line. All he wanted for Christmas was a Red Ryder BB gun.  While using various schemes to convince his parents to get him this gift, he continually bumps into objections from others, all adults, saying:

“You’ll shoot your eye out.”

Directed by Bob Clark,  A Christmas Story has a quality that no other holiday film can boast:  the perfect amount of nostalgia. That quality has made it one of the season’s most beloved motion pictures.

When Ralphie asks his mother (Melinda Dillon) for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, she refuses. Next, Ralphie writes an essay about wanting the BB gun for Miss Shields, his teacher at Warren G. Harding Elementary School. However, to his misfortune,  Ralphie gets a C+ and Miss Shields warns him of shooting his eye out. Later, Ralphie asks a local department store’s Santa Claus for a Red Ryder BB gun, and Santa tells him the same thing  every adult has been telling him.

This appealing film is based partly on short stories from In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, a collection of short story memoirs and semi-fictional anecdotes by humorist  Jean Shepherd. Apart of the authenticity of the period details, the film manages to capture timeless details of childhood.  Shepherd’s writing is very particular: he knows exactly how to use a phrase to evoke a memory.  Moreover, regardless of one’s age or religion, there are so many moments in the film that are universal and relatable.

A memorable scene of the film occurs towards the end, when the family’s Christmas dinner is exactly the opposite of what they had planned. Nevertheless, instead of being disappointed or bitter, they embrace the change of plans as a delightful and funny adventure to enjoy remembering in future Christmases. Their reaction should be seen as a positive lesson to all families.

MV5BMTM2NzgzNTk2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjUxNjUyMQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000)

Rating B+ 

High atop Mount. Crumpet, the Grinch ( Jim Carrey) bitterly observes the residents of Whoville preparing to celebrate Christmas. The Grinch was born in Whoville years ago, but he was rejected since childhood due to his scary appearance. Ever since then,  he has learned to hate Christmas.  

Full of such enchantment and holiday spirit, the Grinch is among one of the best Christmas movies due to its heartwarming message of acceptance. Based on the Christmas classic by Dr.Seuss, this is the story of a Christmas-hating Grinch who tries to steal the holiday from the Whos by taking all of their presents and decorations. Moreover, it becomes the personal goal of Cindy Lou Who to try to change the Grinch’s heart, and show him the true meaning of Christmas. However, eventually, the town of Whoeville and he come to realize that he never broke their Christmas spirit.

Without a doubt, Jim Carrey masters the role of the green, mean, and  furry creature. He plays the Grinch as an overgrown kid who never got his candy and is now going to make the world pay for it. Not only that, he add his own twist to the classic character—Carrey’s Grinch is too animated and goofy compared to the classic animated character of the TV show. Still, he makes us sympathize with the Grinch’s dilemma.

Apart from Carrey’s stellar performance, the production design is also quite spectacular  in the film.  Whoville is a magical and colorful place that reflects the spirit of Christmas.  As imagined by production designer Michael Corenblith, is the most magical setting since Dorothy landed in Munchkinland.  For instance, ingenious shapes (candy canes, hairstyles); bright colors (houses); and stylish structures (archways, bridges, stairs and spirals); are all elements of the production design that embellish the ostentation of Whoville.

Interestingly enough, Whoville is meant to be a distortion of a society wrapped up in consumerism and materialism.  It is a town that symbolizes such a level of superficiality that only a child, Cindy Lou, can see through it. She pities the Grinch, and wants him to be a part of the community. By bringing these ideas to light, in a way, the Seussian universe of Whoville serves as a criticism to our own world –people often cast out others because of  they often look, talk, act or think differently. Human’s most basic flaw is that we are always judging others before putting ourselves in their shoes.

MV5BMTMzMzY5NDc4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzc4NjIxNw@@._V1_SX214_It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Rating: A

What would the world be like if you had never been born?

Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is about a man who wishes he were never born,  when an angel tries to change his mind  by showing him the tremendous impact he has had on his community.

As the film opens, it’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and George Bailey (Jimmy Steward), who has long considered himself a failure due to financial ruin, is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey’s dilemma and decide to send down angel Clarence Oddbody to help George out. Clarence grants George one wish: to see what the world would be like if he had never been born. As he and George travel through the nightmarish alternate reality, they observe how much worse off many people would be.

What is it about this film, an uplifting story about the importance of the individual, that so many viewers love? It’s a Wonderful Life touches upon one simple message of life  that everyone would like to believe—no matter how insignificant or ordinary we may seem,  every single one of us is important. We all have the power to make a difference in the world, it’s just a matter of attitude and perspective.

However, the film is not all rainbows and sunshine. Sure, there’s no doubt that It’s a Wonderful Life is a “feel good” movie. But let’s not forget that Capra effectively captures the darkness of George’s mood as his mounting personal and financial troubles plunge him into an abyss of despair.

Again, just like A Christmas Story, despite being made during the ’40s, It’s a Wonderful Life offers a timeless story with a universal message. Furthermore,  Stewart gives the performance of a lifetime. Bitter or sweet, he’s the movie’s hero. And if the movie is about broken dreams, it’s conclusion is that these broken dreams can sometimes be a good thing. Overall,whether or not you have your own guardian angel hovering, the lesson here is that it’s not money that makes you rich. Watching It’s a Wonderful Life is truly an enriching experience.

UnknownHome Alone (1990)

Rating A+

“I made my family disappear,” said Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), after waking up all alone in the slightly creepy, too-quiet house to discover his ultimate wish has come true.

If you have yet to see Home Alone then you have been missing out on some hilarious comedy and most importantly, a significant message about family values.

A classic holiday film, Home Alone tells the story of Kevin, a cunningly clever 8-year-old boy who feels largely ignored by his large family.  While preparing for a Christmas vacation in Paris, Kevin gets in trouble, is banished to the attic overnight, and wishes his family would just disappear. Kevin gets his wish the next morning when his family accidentally leaves him behind.

The film was directed by Chris Columbus and written by John Hughes. Naturally, Hughes has a gift for remembering what it was like to be young. Overall, it is  Home Alone’s innocence and humor, combined with Culkin’s charming performance  that allows the film to remain the highest grossing Christmas movie of all time.  No matter how many times I watch this movie, I never grow tired of it.  It will undoubtedly always be a Christmas classic for the whole family!

Concert Review: Pacha Massive

Pancha+massive+pachaPacha Massive is Latin alternative Dominican band based in New York City. The name Pacha Massive comes from the term “Pachamama” which translates to Mother Earth. The multi-talented Ramon Nova was created the band back in 2005 (in Bronx). The members of the band are Monica Lionheart, Vincent Veloso, Joe Abbatantuono, and Maya Martinez.

On Friday, October 4th, the band was performed in Austin for ACL and Latinitas was able to see them perform live!

The energetic crowd shared their thoughts about Pacha Massive:

“To me it’s kind of a mix of sexy, electronica, jazzy and loungy,” said Annie Rodriguez, a Pacha Massive aficionado.

“They throw a little bit of soft hip-hop, but it’s not yelling at you… it’s nice.”

In the end, I was quite surprised. They put on a great show.

The enthusiastic crowd cheered and danced to songs like “Don’t Let Go,”“Only You,” “All Good Things,” and “Pachangeando.”

Diana Castillo and Jenny Rivera are both veteran attendants of ACL and fans of Pancha Massive.

“I’ve known about them for while but this is my first time seeing them live,” said Diana Castillo, a Senior Nursing Student.

“Their style is hard to pinpoint,” Castillo says. And her friend Rivera agrees, and said,  “But their music is really great to dance to!”

It sure is!  Pacha Massive features a freshness of sound like no other band. They incorporate elements of electronica, hip-hop reggae, hip-hop, Colombian cumbia, and dance rhythms.

This exciting musical composition brings out a sense of adventure at times, and a feeling of relaxation at others. Furthermore, their songs are almost a contradiction—they are intense, but also calm; fast, yet slow; sad, but happy.  Their style is original, there’s no doubt about it.  The rich and resonant brass and the crisp and exact percussion dominate in their music.

Moreover, “Pachangeando” was a crowd pleaser, and would make a good concert opener. It features a warm and mellow tone, as well as a unique rhythmic combination of percussive elements.

However, the crowd’s energy weakened because they felt unsatisfied with the ending. Pacha Massive left thirty minutes before their allotted time due to “other” engagements.

Rodriguez was among the displeased audience.

“That’s so weird. Why are they leaving so early?” she said.

Nevertheless, they played a great show with no musical clichés whatsoever. Needless to say, their musical style is so vibrant and dynamic that it’s almost impossible to get bored.

“Under The Same Moon”–A Political Film in Disguise

“When are you coming?” A black-haired boy asks over a pay phone.

You have 10 seconds left.

“Carlitos, I love you so much! A woman replies, crying. “I love you more than all the stars, all the earth and—”

BEEP–Insert more coins.

La_Misma_Luna,-1Rosario (Kate Del Castillo) stands in a Los Angeles neighborhood. She holds the pay phone close to her ear, a few tears running down her face. Reluctantly, she wipes away the tears and turns to leave.

At the other end of the phone,  9-year-old Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) looks disappointed. A tear also falls down his cheekbone; he lets it fall.  Carlitos puts the pay phone down and turns to the streets of Mexico.

This is the beginning of Patricia Riggen’s La Misma Luna/Under the Same Moon.  If you thought this scene was heartbreaking, well, imagine going through a similar situation in real life.  According to AmericanProgress.org, 4.5 million  U.S.-born children have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2010. Moreover, in 2011, the Obama administration deported 46,000 parents of children who are U.S. citizens in the first six months of 2011 — according to the “Shattered Families” report from the Applied Research Center.

Think about this: when millions of Latina women illegally come to the United States each year (and leave their children behind ), what do they come to? To poor-paying jobs and the constant fear of immigration services deporting them?

Under The Same Moon  forces viewers to ask if it is worth it.  The 2008 film tells the unlikely story of a young boy, Carlitos who crosses the border to find his mother, Rosario,  living in Los Angeles. Rosario left Mexico four years ago to seek a better life, leaving behind her young son Carlitos with his grandmother. As he waits for his mother to come back, Carlitos works with a local woman (telenovela queen Carmen Salinas), who organizes illegal border crossings. Every Sunday morning, he waits impatiently for  Rosario to call him from the same pay phone on a busy corner in L.A. But when Carlos’ beloved grandmother dies, he decides to go to L.A. on his own, hoping to make it before his mother calls on Sunday morning. Carlitos takes all the money he’d been saving and asks Marta (America Ferrara) and her brother, David (Jesse Garcia) to smuggle him across the border in exchange for money. Eventually, Carlitos winds up traveling alongside a grouchy worker named Enrique (Eugenio Derbez), who can’t stand Carlitos. So, in a desperate attempt to reunite, both Carlitos and Rosario embark on different journeys and along the way they meet many people, and learn how challenging it is to be alone. Despite everything, Carlitos and Rosario  never give up hope.

The movie takes place in a world in which kindness wins over a cruel reality.  Riggen, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she began her film career as a screenwriter and producer. She moved to New York City in 1998, where she received a Master’s degree in Directing at Columbia University. She explains that her goal for Under the Same Moon was to portray the characters in a positive light,  with understanding and respect, instead of “objects of pity or criminals.”

Without a doubt,  the best part of the movie is the ending–it’s simple, effective and quick! SPOILER ALERT: In the very final scene, Carlitos has finally found the busy corner that Rosario described countless times over their phone conversations. Eventually, he sees Rosario standing on the other side of the street. She sees him too, since she was looking for him as well. However, they can’t run and hug each other immediately since the pedestrian crossing light is red! It’s a very touching moment filled with satisfaction and merit. Both of them are crying tears of joy.  Finally, the last image the audience sees is the change of the pedestrian walking sign.   And that’s how Rosario and Carlitos finally find each other!

“With millions of families living separated by strict immigration laws in the United States, the story of Rosario and her son Carlitos resonates within the US Latino community as a testament to the courage and determination of countless families seeking a better life for themselves”~Riggen

 

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