Daniel Fierman
July 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Manito

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
Limited Release Date
06/13/03
performer
Franky G, Leo Minaya
director
Eric Eason

We gave it a B+

The visuals are rotten. The sound indecipherable. The acting amateurish. Yep, Manito would seem to represent all that is miserable about the digital-video era. And yet Eric Eason’s debut about the Latino stew of upper Manhattan is really a billboard for all that is right about the DV democratization of film: The story of college-bound Manny (Minaya) and his older brother, Junior (Franky G.), is heartfelt, gloriously specific, chockful of guts, and sputtering with raw life. Everything, in other words, that the studio system so often finds in such short supply. EXTRAS They’re as low budget as the movie — scant bios, a director’s commentary, a hilariously inept interview with Franky G. — a man who clearly looks to Vin Diesel with some admiration — and a Bombay Sapphire gin commercial.

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