Spare Parts is one of three Latino teen champs movies to be released this year, and it is setting the bar pretty high for these types of feel-good movies. George Lopez not only stars as the mentor of the robotics team of four “dreamers”, he is also one of the producers. This marks the first film under Lopez’s film and TV deal with Pantelion Films (the venture between Lionsgate and Mexico media conglomerate Televisa) he recently signed.
Based on a true story from an article written by Joshua Davis for Wired Magzine in 2004, the film revolves around a group of high school students who compete in an underwater robotics competition, with their Home Deport supplies made robot, beating out the MIT team. The star robotics team is played by Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush) as Oscar Vasquez, Jose Julian (A Better Life) as Lorenzo Santillan, David Del Rio (Pitch Perfect) as Cristain Arcega and Oscar Gutierrez as Luis Aranda in what is his first foray into acting. He pulls it off beautifully bringing a quite charm to the role. However, all the performances are solid, with a touch of familiarity and a truthfulness.
Jaime Lee Curtis is delightful as the stern, push-over principal of Carl Hayden High School where the students came together under the watchful eye of their teacher Fredi Cameron (Lopez). Marisa Tomei plays the love, non-love interest to Lopez’s Cameron and between is just the right amount of chemistry to not pull focus on the triumphant story of the team of “dreamers” who beat the Goliath MIT college team.
With enough marketing, this is the kind of film is a shoe-in to fill the theater with the audiences cheering after the film, as they did at the advance screenings across the country. Names like George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis and Marisa Tomei should be enough to get seats filled in the theater, the supporting cast with fan favorites like Esai Morales as the overbearing and uncaring dad and Alexa PenaVega (nee Alexa Vega of the Spy Kids franchise) is sure to sweeten the deal.
So, go ahead – see the movie and allow yourself feel good, take the family and enjoy watching the little “dreamer” robotics team that could…and did.
Distributor: Pantelion /Lionsgate; Production Company: Lionsgate, Pantelion, Televisa Cine, Travieso Productions, Circle of Confusion, Brookwell McNamara Entertainment
Principal Cast: George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos PenaVega, Esai Morales, Jose Julian, David Del Rio, Oscar Gutierrez, Alexa PenaVega, Alessandra Rosaldo and Marisa Tomei
Director: Sean McNamara
Producer: Benjamin Odell, George Lopez, Leslie Kolins Small, David Alpert, Rick Jacobs
Writers: Based on the Wired Magazine article “La Vida Robot” by Joshua Davis and Screenplay Elissa Matsueda
Executive Producers: Fernando Peìrez Gavilan, Paul Presburger, James McNamara, Sean Mcnamara and Lawrence Mattis
Runtime: 113 min
Genre: Drama, Comedy
U.S. Release: January 16, 2015
Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language and violence
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