Star Maps

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, Fantasy

A triumph of tenacity over ability, this bizarrely melodramatic feature by writer/director Miguel Arteta is truly audacious, but it's fatally undermined by substandard acting and its fearless determination to be more things than any one movie possibly can. Carlos (Douglas Spain), an L.A. born Mexican-American, aspires to be the next Antonio Banderas, and...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A triumph of tenacity over ability, this bizarrely melodramatic feature by writer/director Miguel Arteta is truly audacious, but it's fatally undermined by substandard acting and its fearless determination to be more things than any one movie

possibly can. Carlos (Douglas Spain), an L.A. born Mexican-American, aspires to be the next Antonio Banderas, and convinces himself that working for his father Pepe (Efraim Figueroa) -- a pimp whose young hustlers work the street corners, pretending to sell maps to the homes of the stars -- will

help him make the connections he needs to get his foot on the first rung of the Hollywood ladder. It actually looks as though Carlos has hit the jackpot when one unlikely client, a successful soap opera actress (Kandeyce Jorden), promises him a small part in her show. But Pepe finds out, and

jealousy, betrayal and violence follow. Arteta's debut is certainly unconventional, a mix of sordid family drama, tabloid Hollywood squalor and magic realism (Carlos's emotionally fragile mother talks to a picture of popular Mexican comedian Cantinflas, and he talks back) that never coalesces into

a coherent whole. The filmmaker's command of storytelling is less than assured, and with the exception of Figueroa and Annette Murphy (who plays Pepe's mistress Letti), the film's performances range from awkwardly wooden to amateurishly awful. While Arteta is definitely a filmmaker to watch, this

particular movie is a testament to aspirations that considerably exceed his present abilities.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A triumph of tenacity over ability, this bizarrely melodramatic feature by writer/director Miguel Arteta is truly audacious, but it's fatally undermined by substandard acting and its fearless determination to be more things than any one movie possibly can… (more)

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