BY MANNY RUIZ (@MannyRuiz)
“End of Watch”, the stirring buddy cop film starring Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal as L.A. police officers Mike Zavala and Brian Taylor, enters its second week of release today atop the box office and with tremendous momentum. Latino moviegoers accounted for more than 30 percent of the film’s haul last week and the film is winning rave reviews from both critics and Latinos alike for its double claim to fame: a great film that also happens to portray Latinos positively and accurately.
In the weeks and months ahead “End of Watch” is sure to be dissected and discussed as a possible Oscar contender but in the meantime we went behind the scenes to explore how this film got so much right from the bottom up. Some of the answers will surprise you.
The first element the film got right is that it is a powerful story about friendship, family and sacrifice. Universal themes with universal characters never hurts.
“Michael Peña plays a great character that Latinos can be proud of but none of that really matters if you don’t begin with a great story that’s also well produced,” said Ivette Rodriguez, CEO of American Entertainment Marketing (AEM) and the lead publicist for Hispanic outreach. Writer/director David Ayer, who has some practice making films about cops (he wrote the highly acclaimed “Training Day”), has crafted an engaging story that is humorous, sentimental and dangerous all at once.
It’s also a film that took some risks such as the director’s use of first-person camera angles (even shotguns served as camera mounds). At first the unique camera angles appear jarring to viewers but as the story unravels, the unique cameras prove masterful. READ THE FULL STORY AT HISPANICIZE.COM HERE.