Price of Glory
There's something dramatically different about Jimmy Smits when he's in feature films. I don't know if it's the fact that he feels he has to carry the film or that the entire future of Hispanics in movies is riding on his performance, but to use the film school term for his acting, it "sucks."
Smits plays an overbearing father whose boxing career is cut short, so he raises his three boys, Sonny (Jon Seda), Jimmy Ortega (Clifton Gonzalez) and Johnny (Ernesto Hernandez), to be boxers. He's like some twelve-step counselor reject -- sort of like the Chris Farley character on SNL. What's most annoying is that it's patently obvious what's going to happen, and yet he can't see it. His wife (Maria del Mar) is, of course, powerless to talk to him.
There's also a very strange thing that happens to his eyes. As Smits ages some twenty-five years, he doesn't look any older, but the color around his eyes starts to get really dark. Toward the height of his overbearing behavior, Smits starts to look like Cloacaboca, the evil Hispanic clown.
Smits finally gets a lesson in humility when Sonny fires him as manager to be with a better promoter, Nick Everson (Ron Perlman). He apparently also gets a lesson in skin care. Smits' skin starts to clear up and suddenly his eyes are all better. This strikes me as similar to the tendency of filmmakers to make women look more screwable as some incurable disease is ravaging their body. By the end of the film, one can only relate the film's catharsis to the application of some good skin lotion instead of the reunion of the Ortega family.
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