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Filly Brown [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

FILLY BROWN is the inspiring portrait of a young woman striving to find her voice without compromising herself or the fate of her family. Majo Tonorio, aka, 'Filly Brown', played by Gina Rodriguez, is a young aspiring hip-hop artist from Los Angeles. With her mother, Jenni Rivera, in prison and her father, Lou Diamond Philips, struggling to provide for his daughters, Filly knows that a record contract just may be the answer to her family's financial problems. So when a record producer offers her a shot at stardom, she has to choose between selling out her dreams or saving her family. Directed by Youssef Delara and Michael Olmos, FILLY BROWN is propelled by an exceptional cast. Fueled by a fierce hip-hop score, FILLY BROWN heralds the arrival of Gina Rodriguez in the electrifying title role.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gina Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Philips, Jenni Rivera
  • Directors: Youssef Delara
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Indomina
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2013
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CB5ES1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,622 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As a movie fan in general, I enjoyed Filly Brown. But as a longtime urban music journalist, I also appreciated just how true to life this movie was. What makes Filly Brown stand out from movies like Hustle and Flow or 8 Mile is both how it deals with women in urban music, and having a female lead that offers a powerful performance.

Filly Brown tells the story of Majo Tonorio, a Latina rapper who dreams of performing for huge audiences. The Los Angeles MC builds her buzz rapping on the radio as Filly Brown, but her desire to get signed gets put into full gear because of her family. Filly's mother (played by Jenni Rivera) is serving a ten year prison sentence, her only hope for early release depends on whether Filly can come up with fast cash. What follows is a story of desire, manipulation, and redemption.

Despite having a low budget, Filly Brown was shot well. But what really stands out about the movie is the cast, a mix of film veterans and new faces. Gina Rodriguez puts on a terrific performance as Filly Brown, with a voice and intensity that made her a great choice for the role.

Edward James Olmos adds some seasoning to the film, and is reunited with Stand and Deliver alumnus Lou Diamond Phillips, who plays the hardworking father of Filly and her younger sister. Film and TV star Emilio Rivera plays Mani, Filly's protective uncle and boss. California rappers Cuete Yeska and Baby Bash add new faces to the cast, with H-Town artist Chingo Bling adding some needed humor to the film as Filly's manager.

Despite this being her first feature film, Jenni Rivera (RIP) offers a moving portrayal of Maria, Filly's drug addicted mother doing hard time. Rivera ditched her trademark stage glamor for a prison uniform to deliver a haunting and memorable performance.
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Format: DVD
Imagine my surprise when out of nowhere and without any pre-release fanfare this movie showed up this past weekend at my local art-house theatre here in Cincinnati. I figure that this would not be playing long, so I decided to see it (as it turns out, on the very last day of its screening here, as it is already gone after one week).

As "Filly Brown" (2013 release; 101 min.) opens, we see Majo (played by Gina Rodriguez) performing at an in-studio radio session as Filly Brown, a hip-hop singer who is trying to find success. In the very next scene we see Majo visiting someone in jail, and we learn very quickly that it is her mom Maria (played by Jenni Rivera), who is serving time on a drug charge. Maria is quite the manipulative person, and she is trying to get Majo to somehow get several thousand dollars so that Maria might perhaps get a retrial. We get to know the lawyer who will head up the effort to get a retrial, Leandro (played by Edward James Olmos, who looks to be about 85 or 90). We also get to know Majo's dad/Maria's husband Jos (played by Lou Diamond Phillips). Majo/Filly Brown is turning some heads with her music, and pretty soon she is getting courted by a major player in the hip-hop world who is trying add to her street cred and sultry image. To tell you more of the plot would surely ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first, this movie plays more like a tough family drama than it does as a Latino/hip-hop version of "A Star Is Born". That does not mean that music isn't a major factor in this movie. In fact, the music plays a key role in particular tjhe first half of the movie. I am not big into hip-hop as such, yet I found myself enjoying the music a lot.
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Filly Brown (Gina Rodriguez) is a quick-thinking freestyle rapper who enchants her Latino community with spot-on, poignant, hip-hop-based insights into their daily life. Initially, her friends at a local radio station help her build a fanbase, but she turns her back on them when her contract is picked up by producer Big Cee (Noel Gugliemi). Filly wants to gain stardom to help pay a lawyer to get her mom out of prison, and that's where the trouble begins. Before prison her mom wrote music under a male pseudonym, and gives Filly one of her original scores. Filly likes it and claims it as her own, only to be outed for plagiarizing the song from the unknown "male" author. Does she get out of trouble, does she lose her friends, is her career over? Ya gotta see the movie to find out, but it's worth the price--especially if you like rap, hip-hop, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, and a great musical score!
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I expected a coming of age in the hood movie. It was that, but had a nice edge and showcased some talented rapping. It moralizes in a sappy way. Fortunately, this doesn't distract from the many solid performances. Direction and editing are not particularly innovative or even interesting but the film does have a snappy pace that fits well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THis was an awesome, factual, emotional family picture. Filly is a true ride and die female and proved it throughout the movie. The Old G's Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips excellent actors all the way through. This movie gets a 10+!!!!!!!
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Not the pyrotechnic variety but the more subtler form. It was very "meaty" in that it presented
realistic situations that are relatable on different levels by men and women alike. That being said,
the creators of "Filly Brown" should be lauded for the courage to cast a Latina in the lead role of a movie
which explores universal themes. The characters are not archetypal. You may think you have them pegged
until they turn around and surprise you (I won't give away the ending.)
It was so well-directed that even side stories contained elements that resonate with larger audiences.
For example, former gangbangers are not the only people who struggle with concealing their tattoos at work.
Folks in all the colors of the rainbow reckon with that decision whether they work construction, join the military,
enter the education or health care sectors and many points in between.
"Filly Brown" has as much heart as the real-life actors who portrayed the characters. In the movie, the up and
coming rapper risks her artistic integrity and street cred to boost her appeal. In real life, singer Jenni Rivera risked
shedding her glamorous image to play the role of an inmate. "Filly Brown" was an uplifting movie about family, courage
and hope. Well-worth watching.
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