Category Archives: TV/movie
I don’t do giveaways often but when I do, I make sure it’s something I know my readers will really love. I’ve been a longtime fan of the bilingual animated series El Perro y El Gato on HBO Latino & HBO Family, so when they asked me if I wanted to giveaway their new DVDs, it was a definite “¡Sí, señor! … (actually, it was a woman who contacted me… but nevermind.)
As for the DVDs – I really can’t tell you how much the kids and I love these, (and at almost 13 and 10 years old, they are definitely not pre-schoolers, so I can only imagine how much even younger kids adore these characters.) My younger son watched one of the DVDs with his visiting nephew yesterday and they both laughed and repeated things in Spanish every few minutes.
If you haven’t seen the show before, here’s one of the episodes that has aired on TV:
Here’s some more information from the press release:
El Perro Y El Gato…offer valuable lessons from a lovable, overexcited orange dog (El Perro) and his laid-back, always hungry pal, a purple cat (El Gato). The specials help children to learn a new language in a playfully quirky, humorous, and engaging way. The El Perro Y El Gato titles will be available on August 9, 2011 for the suggested retail price of $9.95 each.
As a cat and dog, El Perro Y El Gato may have different worldviews, but they are still best buds – and totally bilingual. Featuring lots of vibrant colors, catchy music and plenty of attitude, the specials show the friends in their daily routines as they tackle problems and mount wonderful adventures that create non-stop fun and laughter – all the while teaching kids how to speak in English and in Spanish. New episodes of El Perro y El Gato returns to HBO Latino on September 15th at 7am and on HBO Family September 18th at 6:30pm.
Now for the chance to win your own set of the new El Perro y El Gato DVDs!
I will be selecting -THREE- (Sí, ¡tres!) random winners. EACH winner will receive the entire set of 4 DVDs which includes:
El Perro y El Gato: La Aventura Comienza/The Adventure Begins
El Perro y El Gato: Sin Correa/Unleashed
El Perro y El Gato: Juntos Otra Vez/Together Again
El Perro y El Gato: De Aquí Para Allá/From Here to There
For a chance to win watch the video [above] and then leave a comment telling me which character is your favorite – El Perro, or El Gato, and why. Make sure you use a valid E-mail address so that if you win, I will be able to contact you. If you’re a winner, you must be able to provide a shipping address in the U.S.
Buena suerte/Good luck!
Giveaway comment entries will be accepted until: 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, August 11th, 2011. Winner to be announced here and contacted via E-mail on Friday, August 12th, 2011.
The winners are:
I saw a news story years ago about the use of donkeys in some Latin American countries to bring books to remote mountain villages which are difficult to reach by vehicle. The stories of the “Biblioburros” (library donkeys) has always been one of my favorites.
Now the story of the original “Biblioburro” is coming to PBS on July 19th.
“Biblioburro” is the story of a librarian — and a library — like no other. A decade ago, Colombian teacher Luis Soriano was inspired to spend his weekends bringing a modest collection of precious books, via two hard-working donkeys, to the children of a poor and violence-ridden province. As Soriano braves armed bands, drug traffickers, snakes and heat, his library on hooves carries an inspirational message about education and a better future for Colombia. His efforts have attracted worldwide attention — and imitators — but his story has never been better told than in this heartwarming yet unsentimental film.
It’s people like this that make the world an amazing place.
Put in on your calendar so you don’t forget to tune in: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
Below is my interview with actor Adrian Bellani, the super caliente half-Salvadoran star of Mun2′s hit show, RPM Miami! Disfrútenla!
Latinaish.com: Hola Adrian! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. I’ve been wanting to talk to you since I missed meeting you at the RPM Miami launch party and again at the Latin Billboard Awards. (Although we’ve connected a few times on Twitter since then!)
As a fan of RPM Miami, first let me say felicidades on the success of your first season. Can you share any secrets about the season finale?
Adrian Bellani: I can’t share much, but what I can tell you is that it is filled with tons of drama and action. You don’t want to miss it!
Latinaish.com: Now, your character Alejandro/Alex is a veteran of the Iraq war who loses his best friend, Mike, on a mission. When Alejandro comes back to Miami he falls for his best friend’s girl, Luisa, Mike’s widow. I saw a comment online from a former soldier who objected to such a relationship saying that a soldier would never do that to a fellow soldier. What do you think?
Adrian Bellani: I respect his opinion, but I don’t think anyone is right or wrong unless they have been put in that position. It’s easy to say “No, I’d never do that to my boy,” but at the end of the day things change. There is that connection Luisa and Alex have, everything seems comfortable, everything seems nice. It was one of the issues that I spoke with the director, (Jacobo Rispa) about. I didn’t want it to seem like he had forgotten about his best friend and was moving in on his girl. I think we did a good job showing Alex’s conflict towards his feelings for Luisa, and the guilt he carried with Mike’s loss.
Latinaish.com: One thing I love about RPM Miami is that it’s fully bilingual. What has it been like working on a show where you get to choose whether to say your lines in English or Spanish? Is it freeing or do you get tongue tied?
Adrian Bellani: Totally freeing. It’s the way we speak. If you grew up speaking both languages, you understand the concept and the idea. I had never worked and spoken Spanish on screen. It was lovely being able to speak in my accent and first language. I don’t have many Latino friends in L.A., so I find myself speaking mostly English. It was nice to be surrounded by Hispanics.
Latinaish.com: As I mentioned earlier, I missed meeting you in Miami. Knowing you’re half-Salvadoran, I asked some of your co-stars where the “guanaco” was – (My husband is from El Salvador.) … I think your co-stars thought I was asking for “El Guajo” at first. Here’s the video of our mix-up:
Now I can finally ask you the question, “Which Caliche (Salvadoran slang) word is your favorite?”
Adrian Bellani: I’ve actually never heard the word “Caliche” before – So that’s a first for me. You got me on this one. Too hard to name just one. I could throw an entire list out. The first one that comes to mind is “baboso” – my grandfather used to call us “baboso.” I’ll let you do your homework and see if you can find out what that means.
Latinaish.com: [No homework for me! I already know that "baboso" means "stupid" - but it can be used affectionately in a joking way.]
Thanks so much for your time. Before we go, please tell us when we should tune in for season 2 of RPM Miami and what other projects you’re working on?
Adrian Bellani: The premiere of season 2 RPM Miami has not been announced. We’re so excited for the second season! For those that missed episodes in season one you will get a chance to watch the entire season again before the second season premieres.
I have a few projects that I’m excited about. I’m on the 4th episode of Rizzoli and Isles – airs August 1st, I believe. September 23rd Moneyball will hit theaters, (I play the role of real life baseball all star Carlos Peña.)
Last week I wrapped an independent film called CROSSTOWN. It’s a beautiful script about the struggles of a Salvadoran immigrant family trying to make it in the USA. The film is very intense and very raw. I had the opportunity to work along side Manny Perez, (a Dominican actor), who I’m a huge fan of. Definitely keep an eye out for it.
Watch Adrian Bellani on RPM MIAMI – Sundays at 10pm EST on mun2, and tune in for the grand season finale on Sunday, July 24th at 10pm EST. Missed an episode? Visit mun2 online to catch up!
Today’s guest post comes to us from my fellow gringa and telenovelera, Amanda of Spanglish Aventuras.
When I became addicted to Telemundo’s Herederos del Monte and encouraged others to check it out – many of you did, and like Amanda, became totally enamoradas – not only with the hermanos del Monte, but with the quality of the production and storyline. It’s been excellent Spanish practice and I’ve picked up a few new catch phrases. (I love saying, “Por Dios Santooo!” and “Válgame” with the same intonation as José. I’ve also learned a dozen ways to tell someone to go away and leave me alone from Paula.)
Herederos, amongst some of the drama, (and yes, cheesiness) common in telenovelas, touched on some serious issues such as alcoholism, rape, mental illness, and spousal abuse.
Some may say telenovelas are mindless entertainment but as Amanda explains, telenovelas can be educational whether providing a fun way to learn a second language, or by teaching some serious real life lessons.
Let the Truth be Known … on Los Herederos del Monte
by Amanda of Spanglish Aventuras
I mentioned in a previous post that my kids and I are watching a novela, Los Herederos del Monte, as part of our “language learning” this year. As the soap opera is drawing to a close, I have been reflecting on some things, other than Spanish, that we can learn from their story. It all comes down to telling la verdad and not hiding it. That’s a good lesson for our lives too, right?
It seems to me that during Los Herederos del Monte, most of the characters have been hiding something from their friends or familia. Many times, by simply sharing the information they were trying to disguise, the character could have avoided much of the angst and agony they endured…but then we would not have had a novela to see, would we?!?
It does seem a good rule for life though, “telling the truth and making life easier”. I thought it would be fun to post about the characters and their truths (though oftentimes hidden at first) as a way to provide a summary for this intriguing “language learning tool” which has entertained so many these past few months.
(Warning….if you have not been keeping up with the storyline, details follow!)
Emilio: Although the father of the herederos was kidnapped and left for dead, he did not actually die. He later had plastic surgery on purpose, to not appear as he once did, and with the help of his trusted Modesto, Emilio returned to his familia y pueblo as “Pablo”.
Emilio also did not disclose until the end that he knew that Juan was his only biological son and that Paula was not his biological daughter.
It is difficult to keep up with how many amantes Emilio has had throughout his lifetime, but those were secrets too.
Juan: The eldest of the “adopted” sons refused to admit to the other characters at first and even to himself at times later that although at one time (in the beginning) he thought he loved Julieta, he later only stayed with her out of sense of obligation (because at one time she was carrying his child, which she later lost and then Julieta had a terminal medical condition). Juan really only loves Paula.
Julieta: The eldest daughter of Rosa and Miguel hides her true medical condition and tries numerous methods to make Paula (the supposed biological daughter of Emilio) leave “La Arboleda” and Juan’s sight. (Remember the scorpions, the shot to make the horse throw Paula, and those chickens let loose in the bedroom?) Julieta has been very sneaky and conniving and there appears to be more coming at the end from her too.
Jose: One of the adopted sons of Emilio finds out early in the show about Paula maybe not being a real “del Monte” AND that Pablo is really Emilio. Jose also later kidnaps Emilio, Adela, and Paula because he wants Emilio to change the paperwork to say Paula does not get any of the inheritance, to leave more for Jose himself!
Pedro: Another of the adopted sons of Emilio refused to admit for quite a while that he had a serious problem with alcohol. It is admirable of this character however that he goes after what he wants whether it be Julieta or Berta!
Gaspar: Yet another of Emilio’s adopted sons, who hides for a while that he was the one that left Emilio for dead after the accident (because Gaspar was angry with his father for not having been faithful to Gaspar’s mother). Gaspar has an “attraction” for Adela, whom he later blatantly persues meanwhile he abuses his sweet wife Lupe.
Lucas: The youngest adopted son of Emilio refuses to admit to himself that Nacho is a bad guy. He also has trouble accepting that he has a biological family that desires a relationship with him, including Amador.
Consuelo y Rosario: Julieta’s younger sisters, the daughters of Rosa and Miguel, do not want to admit that they were each raped by Nacho. Consuelo also does not want to admit to her husband Johnny that the baby she is now carrying could possibly be a result of the rape.
Sofia: Paula’s mother and an amante of Emilio, refuses to share with Paula in the beginning that there may be a possibility that she is not actually a “del Monte”. Sofia also hides her affair with Miguel for a while.
Lupe: At first, Guadalupe hides her relationship with her then-boyfriend Gaspar from her father, Eluterio. Next she hides details about her mom, (who abandoned her at an early age but later returns) from her father. Finally Lupe hides the abuse that she is receiving from her now-husband, Gaspar.
Sidenote….here’s hoping for resolution on the story with Lupe’s mom Ines, who disappeared from the pueblo again after reuniting with Lupe.
Beatriz: In the beginning she hides that she suspects that her son Simon’s actual father isJose del Monte and not her husband Efrain. Later she refuses to admit to even herself that Jose is abusive.
Miguel: This father of three daughters and husband of Rosa does not admit his affair with Sofia in the beginning. He also hides that he and Rosa later decide to hide medicine in their daughter Rosario’s food, at the request of her boyfriend Lucas, who got the pills from the evil Nacho.
If they could just tell the truth…..
Of course there are more characters who were important to the novela and also hid things from the other personajes. Who else would you add to the list? Which story is the most intriguing for you?
Who says language learning can just teach you a language? I say it can teach you life lessons in the process as well!
Here’s hoping for a happy resolution in the Gran Finale on Telemundo at 9pm, this Friday night!
Telemundo is beginning a special series aimed at plus-sized women to air during their show “Al Rojo Vivo.” The series, “Belleza en Grande” seeks to promote acceptance of all body shapes and sizes while providing helpful fashion advice.
Spanish-language television isn’t exactly known for promoting acceptance of anything but perfect bodies, (and English-language television isn’t much better), so I’m really pleased to see Telemundo taking this step in the right direction.
For more information on the series, including when to tune in, check out the press release:
MIAMI – July 8 2011– Telemundo’s “Al Rojo Vivo” will air “Belleza en Grande,” a series of special reports starting Monday, July 11 at 5pm ET/ 4C. María Celeste Arrarás, will present a sneak preview of this series during her appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” on Saturday, July 9, as part of the ongoing collaboration between the two networks.
Conducted by fashion expert Quique Usales, “Belleza en Grande” celebrates female beauty in all shapes and sizes. Changing the belief that fashion is designed only for skinny women, Maria Celeste, along with Quique, will present daily reports that will transform the way people see the plus-size woman.
Ranging from how to pick the right underwear, how to dress for the office, and how to select the basic pieces for a wardrobe, to how to choose the perfect lingerie for seduction as well as the right hairstyle to accentuate her best features, this series will not only offer beauty and fashion tips to women who are not a size zero, but will also give them the tools -and the inspiration- to have the right attitude to look beautiful, whatever their size.
Viewers will be able to see these and other special reports on http://www.Telemundo.com/alrojovivo.
What do you think?
My boys are way past the age of Dora the Explorer and Handy Manny – but that doesn’t mean they can’t still learn Spanish from cartoons.
Lately they’ve been watching a cartoon on the Cartoon Network called The Regular Show – (not for younger children.) It’s pretty hilarious, so I watch with them every now and then.
Yesterday’s episode had the two main characters, Mordecai and Rigby, exchanging favors. Instead of saying, “Hey, do me a favor,” they would use the slang phrase, “Do me a solid.” My boys had never heard this phrase before but it quickly caught on. For the rest of the day my boys would say to each other,
“Hey, do me a solid and get me a bottle of water.”
“Okay, but then you owe me a solid later.”
Last night, I was being silly and I said to my youngest son, “Hazme un sólido.” — (This is a direct, literal translation of the phrase and would not make sense to a native Spanish speaker, so don’t use it!)
My youngest son said, “Okay. What do you want?”
I had not expected him to understand me, and I couldn’t believe that he did.
“Do me a solid.”
So exciting! Do me a solid and give me a high five. My kids are clever bilinguals!
I really want to watch this new web show on PIC.tv. It starts tomorrow (May 26) … Check it out:
Los Americans is the story of a modern, affluent, suburban Mexican-American family living in the United States. The Valenzuela family is totally assimilated in U.S. American culture, and that’s the way the patriarch, Leandro Valenzuela, or “Lee” as Leandro prefers to be called, likes it. He’s moved on from speaking Spanish and the ways of the old country. As he proudly says, “We’re not Mexicans. Mexicans live in Mexico. We’re Americans.”
Lee is right in that he and his family will face many of the problems and challenges all Americans face, that all human beings face – unemployment, homelessness, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, abortion, immigration, childhood obesity and others. But Lee will also face another problem in that he has forgotten his native language and moved away from his culture, ultimately losing part of who he is and where he comes from, and he will learn that maybe this is not such a good thing. Welcome to a story about real Americans… Los Americans.
What do you think?
My week in cellphone fotos:
A little carnival set up in a parking lot that we didn’t go to. I could smell the funnel cake tempting me, but I had a cart full of healthy groceries to take home.
See? These are just some of the fruits we brought home from the grocery store. We also bought strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and many varieties of vegetables.
I also bought a new hot pink hoodie jacket. I used to shy away from bright colors but this shade of pink has been calling to me – I don’t know why. As you can see, I’m also wearing my RPM Miami shirt. Who else is watching with me?
Speaking of RPM Miami – Carlos pulled into a car dealership to look at a car, (even though we can’t afford one right now.) … I usually don’t get excited about cars but this one caught my eye. Lo quiero! … I can imagine myself driving this green Camaro in carreras like on the show. Jijiji… And if you want to see how vastly different Carlos and I are, go check out the car he wanted.
Via a press release yesterday, mun2, (Telemundo’s bilingual cable broadcast network aimed at young Latinos) – announced several awesome things – among them, an upcoming show that I’m really excited about. Chécalo!
From the press release:
“El Más Ching*n” [is] a competition reality series set to discover the next big Regional Mexican artist. It’s a talent search with a twist. Selecting contestants through an interactive online campaign, the road to regional stardom is filled with lifestyle challenges that include writing and performing, as well as horseback riding, media pressure tests and other identifiers of regional respect. Judged by celebrity personalities, the contestants will also be documented through behind-the-scenes rehearsals, back-story segments and confessionals, and tensions between the contestants, competing for one prize. Quién es el más chign*n?
I’m envisioning cute chicos vaqueros, some good Regional Mexican music, (and probably some bad Regional Mexican music from those who are NOT el más chingón), maybe some botas picudas… and… espera un momento! … They said “judged by celebrity personalities” … I wonder who? My fingers are crossed for a guest appearance by Espinoza Paz! Vamos a ver!
More about mun2, (because I like them and I identify with the term “culture connectors” that they use):
“…mun2 (moon-dos) is the lifestyle cable network for today’s culture connectors (C2s) – bicultural Latinos 18-34. As the bilingual network that amplifies the Latinos experience, mun2 is culturally-grounded and reflects the best of both worlds – mun2 is uniquely American. From reality to music, on-air to digital, mun2 creates original content across a multi-screen platform. As the only nationally measured bilingual cable network by Nielsen NTI, mun2 has an increased distribution to over 36 million households, and is a part of the Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBCUniversal.”
Natalie Morales of the TODAY show, made a special guest appearance on Herederos del Monte! (Lucky her!)
The plot – (My English translation of what is given in Spanish on the Telemundo website):
A multi-millionaire from Texas arrives with his wife, Caroline, at La Arboleda while the hermanos del Monte are working.
Caroline takes a liking to José even though Sophia tries to warn her about him. When Caroline and José end up alone together in the barn, things start to get physical. Caroline fights him off, declaring that she’s a married woman. Her shouts are heard by her husband who rushes to the barn armed with a rifle, the other hermanos follow …
For more fun:
• Enter your name here and it might appear in the credits of Herederos del Monte.
• Remember the “Somos Muchos” stickers from Toyota? There’s a special Herederos del Monte one available now for free. Go get one!
• And this is kind of random, but how cute was Lucas with his birthday perrito?
I’m also loving the developing relationship between Berta and Modesto. What is your favorite storyline or subplot right now?
Image sources: Today.msnbc.msn.com, Telemundo.com