Blu-ray Review: Born in East L.A.

Born in East L.A. was written, produced and directed by Cheech Marin who also stars alongside Kamala Lopez, Daniel Stern, Tony Plana,Paul Rodriguez and Jan Michael Vincent.

Cheech Marin wrote, directed and starred in Born in East L.A., a hip, outrageous comedy that’s more timely than ever. The story follows Rudy (Marin), an American of Hispanic descent, whose south-of-the-border looks show him no mercy during an immigration raid in a migrant worker factory. As his luck goes, he is caught with neither money nor his ID and is deported to Mexico – without speaking a word of Spanish! Unable to contact his vacationing family or his newly immigrated cousin (played by comedian Paul Rodriguez), Rudy is in for a crazy ride as he tries every legal – and illegal – scheme he can think of to get back home. He finds himself in jail, in love, and practically in-sane in this hilarious case of mistaken, or rather, misplaced, identity.

This 1987 comedy follows Rudy Robles (Cheech Marin) who runs an errand for his mother to pick up his cousin Javier (Paul Rodriguez) at the local toy factory while she and his sister go out of town. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time because when Rudy arrives to pick up his cousin, the factory gets raided by an immigration task force led by McCalister (Jan-Michael Vincent) and he’s accidentally mistaken for an illegal alien so he gets deported to Mexico. The good thing is, his cousin Javier finds his way to the house because immigration somehow missed him.

So, when Rudy arrives in Mexico without his I.D., nobody believes his story and he has to find a way to survive until he can find a way out of the country. This is where he meets and befriends Jimmy (Daniel Stern), a small time business man from America who ends up helping Rudy with his mission. Rudy also meets Dolores (Kamala Lopez), a waitress with a dream of coming to America one day and the two really hit it off. What happens is, after many failed attempts to cross the border, Rudy ultimately comes up with a master plan that not only gets him by immigration but he’s able to sneak Dolores in along with many others.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Born in East L.A. was an entertaining watch that touches on such a sensitive topic like illegal immigration. First if all, this movie is as relevant or more today than when it was first released back in 1987. I know people dream of coming to America for an opportunity so all I’ll say about this is that they should just do it legally because if I wanted to go anywhere else in the world I would have to follow the laws of whatever country I wanted to enter. I thought Cheech Marin did a great job telling this story but keeping it lighthearted and comedic at all times. There’s absolutely nothing offensive in the movie even though it makes fun of a few sterotypes – which I like. It’s a fun movie with a great story that’s also complimented by a couple of classic rock songs that fit perfectly. Born in East L.A. is the latest cult classic to join the Shout Select lineup when it makes its Collector’s Edition Blu-ray debut on March 19th.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, new interviews with the cast, the extended television cut of the film, theatrical trailer, photo gallery and production notes.

  • NEW Audio Commentary By Director/Writer/Star Cheech Marin
  • NEW Interview With Cheech Marin – The writer, producer and director talks about how he got this immigration comedy, that’s actually based on a true story, greenlit by the studio as well as working with his cast. He goes in-depth about his journey making this cult classic that should’ve gotten a sequel but never did. (31:19)
  • NEW Interview With Actress Kamala Lopez – The actress talks about being determined to get the role even though she went up against many other actresses. She also talks about how much she enjoyed working with Cheech Marin. (14:25)
  • NEW Interview With Actor Paul Rodriguez – The actor and comedian talks about how he got the role from Cheech Marin as well as working with him. He also talks about how Marin served as sort of a mentor to him and many other young comedians back in the 80s. (13:36)
  • Extended Television Cut Of Born In East L.A. (Standard Definition) – Be sure you check out the alternate ending for this cut.
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:27)
  • Photo Gallery (02:01)
  • Production Notes (02:46)
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