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Armchair travel to Argentina

In preparing for my recent trip to Costa Rica, I listened to the Spanish language by armchair traveling further south to Argentina in two recent films. One provides a look into history while the other plays with superstitious scares. Argentina 1985 recounts events from that year when the country took on the rare and risky step of prosecuting powerful military leaders who held power during a dictatorship when some 30,000 citizens disappeared. A team of screenwriters including director Santiago Mitre hone a script that clarifies complicated politics without slipping into oversimplification. With similarities to Aaron Sorkin’s style found in projects like Trial of the Chicago 7, Argentina 1985 emphasizes both the importance and difficulty of achieving justice. Mitre benefits from a strong cast that includes the always-excellent Ricardo Darín plus a strong team of young actors in distinctive roles. Winner of a Golden Globe as best international feature, the movie screens on Amazon Prime. A bit of the supernatural plus crazy people and some Argentinean jungle combine for a sort of whimsical horror film called Legions. That phrase “sort of” comes because the film from

shifts around in style, combining scary situations with comic ones. After all, a bunch of inmates chasing after demons provides amusing and ironic situations since no sane person believes them. Combining elements of an amusing favorite called The Evil Dead with various Exorcist films, director Forte guides his project with a steady hand. Rather than worry about his low budget’s inability to create the world’s best special effects, he lets a cheesiness work to comic effect. This lets promoters call the movie quote “not gory,” even though action includes ripping off body parts. A solid, professional group of actors help pull it off—not just the head—making Legions a mildly entertaining offering for horror buffs. The movie starts streaming Jan. 20.

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