Review: Blast Beat (Sundance 2020)


Title: Blast Beat
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Esteban Arango
Starring: Moises Arias, Mateo Arias, Diane Guerrero
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins

What It Is: Brothers Carley (Mateo) and Mateo (Moises) are two Colombian-born brothers who are now moving to the United States with their mother (Guerrero) to meet up with the father (Wilmer Valderrama). Carley dreams of working for NASA and Mateo really just wants to go back to Colombia. Feeling isolated and sort of alone Mateo got into some trouble and Carley has to risk it all for his dream. In spite of 1999 immigration politics.

What We Think: What a well-written and delicately handled immigrants tale. I say that in the face of a film who’s soundtrack consists mainly of death and black metal like Apostacy and This is Exile and a personal favorite Entombment of a Machine by Arizona band Job for a Cowboy. The Arias brothers are so good here. You can feel the love in the storytelling from everyone. It started life as a short film and grew into this. It understands it’s time period (1999-2000) it understands what it means to be a complete stranger in a new place. The film’s “villain” of sorts is a bit too one-dimensional. More akin to an 80’s bully type. Big and grunting. The relationship between the Arias brothers is amplified on the screen and you can tell they’re brothers. There’s just that…bond. Valderrama and Guerrero for their part are good enough.

Our Grade: B+, A really good fun that shows the struggles of those in the Latinx community often face. How these people (who for their part) are good, honest and hardworking are just trying to live a dream of some sort. All with a backdrop of metal and menace. There’s so much here that’s going on and Arango like some sort of metal matador wrangles it all with ease.

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