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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time, May 1, 2008
This review is from: La Bamba (DVD)
La Bamba is my favorite movie of all time hands down. Of all the films I have seen not many reached me the way La Bamba did. I first saw this movie back in the summer of 96 when I was 17-years old and I fell in love with this movie and also became a big fan of Ritchie Valens. No joke I would watch this movie every single day it was on. La Bamba was a staple part of HBO's line up and even if it was on twice a day I would watch it. For me, each time I saw the movie it felt like the first time. I would drive my friends crazy with having to watch it even after I recorded the movie they figured I wouldn't watch it as much, but I still did.

At the time I was actually learning the guitar and I never really played at all and this movie inspired me to actually practice and not only that, but it also inspired me on wanting to be a filmmaker. I really can't think of any other movie that reached me on this deep of a level. Like I said in the opening of my review La Bamba is hands down my favorite movie of all time. For starters it has some truly great music; La Bamba is about having a dream and not letting anyone stop you from reaching that dream. It's about love and family.

The screenplay by Luis Valdez was excellent; the characters are great and each of the main players all add to the movie. None of the characters are just there. Each character plays a crucial part of the movie. While yes the story does revolve around Ritchie played amazingly by Lou Diamond Phillips, but in many ways movie is actually Bob's story played by Esai Morales who pretty much steals the show. There is a bond between the 2 brothers, but there is also tension. Bob is always in Ritchie's shadow despite being older and I was really able to relate more to Bob in many ways than Ritchie. Ritchie was sort of the Golden Boy, while Bob was sort of the outsider.

I think at some point in our lives we have felt like we were in someone's shadow, either it be a friend, family member or co-worker. The more Ritchie finds success the more Bob falls into this despair as all the attention goes to Ritchie and he's sort of forgotten about. The movie may revolve around Ritchie, but it's very much Bob's story. And Esai Morales gives a terrific performance. La Bamba is about going for your dreams and not letting anyone stop you from reaching them. We all have dreams in life and most of us are too afraid to try and make them come true. Ritchie had a dream in life and wouldn't let anything keep him from that and I hold that close. La Bamba gave me and still gives me the courage to go after my own filmmaking dreams.

As director Luis Valdez creates some truly touching scenes and some truly inspiring moments. When making a Bio-picture normally certain parts are played up more for dramatic effect and Valdez does that here, but it works well. A lot of the scenes with tension between Bob and Ritchie comes from real life and comes from the own personal experience between Luis Valdez and his own brother. The love story between Ritchie and Donna played by Danielle von Zerneck are possibly the strongest scenes of the movie and shows a time of innocence.

Prior to this movie I knew who Ritchie Valens was and I knew his music, but I wouldn't be able to place the music with the artist. All the music in the movie that Ritchie sings is performed by Los Lobos who did justice to the original music, but I sought out the original versions by Ritchie and loved it. On my guitar I used to play Donna, Come on Let's Go and La Bamba non-stop. Nothing can top the opening lick in La Bamba.

Lou Diamond Phillips made his screen debut, but if not mistaken he actually shot Stand and Deliver first, but this one came out first. Lou Diamond gives a performance of a lifetime. His performance is so real and inspiring. I would rate this performance as one of my all time favorites. By the time I saw La Bamba I was already a fan of Lou Diamond, but this movie made him one of my very favorite actors of all time. Esai Morales though pretty much steals the show like I stated before. Rosanna DeSoto as Connie, Ritchie's mother is excellent and Joey Pantoliano as Ritchie's manager is excellent, but Joey Pants always delivers. Elizabeth Pena also gives a good performance as Ritchie's ex-girlfriend who is now with Bob, which creates some uneasy tension.

I'll be the first to admit the final act always gets me teary-eyed. The death of Ritchie and Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper was so tragic. Buddy Holly is one of my all time favorite musicians. When Ritchie's family and friends hear the news over the radio it's just so tragic. Sleepwalk, played by Santo & Johnny is so hauntingly beautiful and really adds to the scene; Bob walking across a wooded bridge and stops and screams Ritchie's name never fails to give me the chills.

La Bamba is truly a great and uplifting movie that is really tragic, but again very uplifting. Ritchie was only 17-years old when he died and I remember being freaked out since I was that very age when I first saw the movie. At that age death isn't something we think about and it was quite creepy. This may be clichéd, but Ritchie may be gone, but his music and impact will never be forgotten. His life inspired this movie and this movie inspired me.

Without a doubt La Bamba is my very favorite movie nothing for me comes close. I can watch this movie everyday and never once get tired of it. Each time I see the movie it feels like the first time.
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Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 1, 2008 1:50:33 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
My review may not be my strongest. There is so much I wanna say, but I cannot fully put it into words. I can't stress enough how important this movie is to me.

Posted on May 1, 2008 2:37:47 PM PDT
Allright, the lighter more sensitive side of Dave. Very cool. When you said it wasn't action or horror, I was sure it was gonna be Raising Arizona. But this is a fine choice too, great review. I liked this as a teen, I need to rewatch it. Great pic bud, I was gonna cry if you put Baby in the fave corner. Later....

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 2:45:14 PM PDT
M. says:

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 2:52:36 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
Hey C- LOL I like Dirty Dancing, but not my fave LOL. Not even close actually. The thing is as much as I love the horror genre, not many would rate as my favorite movies of all time. Horror was my first influence at a young age, but the core of my influences are actually movies like La Bamba and Good Will Hunting. As a whole horror is my fave, but film in general is what I love more.

La Bamba may not be the greatest movie, but for me it's the most special. My next couple of reviews won't be horror. But don't worry they're good ol R-rated flicks LOL.

Hey M- yeah I know quite the shocker. I'm full of suprises.

Posted on May 1, 2008 3:12:50 PM PDT
M. B Cole says:
I saw this as your newest review and thought it was a joke But you know what, lots of people have favorite movies that other people dont understand why. Your review explains exactly why you love it, and that's awesome. I too liked this movie when I first saw it. It was pretty good and yeah... it was sad at the end. I love the parts where he starts singing labamba and everyone starts freaking out and rocking. Nice review man.

*cough cough* how come my reviews dont get any love?! *cough cough*


In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 3:21:15 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
Hey M.B. when people ask me my fave movie they expect me to say something like Halloween or Cannibal Holocaust, and they always do like a double take. It's actually quite funny. I love horror, and I think you can clearly see that from my reviews. But there is more to me than just horror. That is one reason I wanna take a break from horror to show I am just plain and simply put a movie geek.

I've been meaning to stop by your review page. I try to get to all the reviews for my friends. Well certain ones and you are one of them. But so much pops up it takes me a while sometimes to comment and by than I'm like 5 reviews behind LOL.

Posted on May 1, 2008 4:42:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2008 5:03:51 PM PDT
Woopak says:
HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL!! (me falling off my chair)
ok, Dave's getting sensitive on us LOL! alright then you owe us a "Dirty Dancing" review LOL (J/K)
haven't seen this maybe I will one day. Great job on the review and shocking the heck out of us. I did not see this coming. I always thought it was Halloween...
Still, you are full of surprises, my friend. congrats on # 125!
Now you have to see what I have in store for # 154 LOL

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 5:17:54 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
Hey woopak, remember when I told you the only thing I love more than horror is film in general? So here ya go! I knew you would be suprised at my number 1 movie of all time. I figured it was time to review something totally different. My next review will be a western and also one of my fave movies.

I think it's time to showcase the movies that inspired me besides just horror movies since horror started it off, but the movies that impacted me the most aren't horror for the most part. Horror is my passion though

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 5:52:36 PM PDT
Woopak says:
Dave, that is actually a great idea. Films that affected you are always a good bet. I was thinking of doing something similar by June but I'm not sure; I'm still on an Asian roll right now. Plus, with my current state of mind it'll be movies like "When Harry Met Sally", Basic Instinct and such. [hehe]I've been eating bread and water to afford the newest asian releases from Korea and Japan...LOL!
Hey, I just noticed that your review is a LOT longer and meatier than my latest review...LOL!
A western eh? An Eastwood one? don't tell me "Young Guns"..?
dude, sorry for the delay on my take on your much going on still. I want to write a review for it ;-P

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008 7:14:21 PM PDT
Dave. K says:
Ya got me woopak. Young Guns is indeed the next one LOL. Damn I was hoping it would be a suprise LOL. No joke I used to watch that movie every single day as a kid. I was obbessed with that movie as a kid. It's been a few years so I would like to revisit.

I didn't even realize how long this La Bamba review was. Felt shorter than normal, but it wasn't now that I look it over LOL. Might have to review it again. There is WAY more I have to say, but if I did it truly would be a novel LOL

I just need a slight break from horror for the time being. I need to re-connect with film in general and find that love I once had for my own filmmaking desires.

As for the delay, no worries bud.
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