2019 Tribeca Film Festival movie review: ‘The Gasoline Thieves’

April 25, 2019

by Carla Hay

Regina Reynoso and Eduardo Banda in "The Gasoline Thieves"
Regina Reynoso and Eduardo Banda in “The Gasoline Thieves”

“The Gasoline Thieves” (“Huachicolero”)

Directed by Edgar Nito

Spanish with subtitles

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival  in New York City on April 25, 2019.

There have been countless movies made about different crimes, but “The Gasoline Thieves” is probably the first dramatic film that you’ll see about a crime that is starting to get national attention in Mexico: thieves trespassing on land with Pemex pipelines, stealing gasoline from the pipes, and selling the gasoline on the black market. This riveting first feature-length film from director Edgar Nito takes a look at the crime from the perspective of a teenage boy named Lalo (played by Eduardo Bando), who gets involved with a local group of gasoline thieves and finds out that that he is in way over his head.

Even though the characters in “The Gasoline Thieves” are fictional, they are all entirely believable, and Nito has written them as characters with the sort of quiet desperation of people yearning for a better life. Lalo is actually a good kid, who loves and respects his single mother, who lives with him in a ramshackle building. He also has a crush on a fellow student named Ana (played by Regina Reynoso), whom he hopes to impress enough to convince her to be his girlfriend.

Like many people who turn to a life of crime, Lalo is struggling financially, and he is desperate for cash. He plans to steal temporarily just so he can get enough money to help his mother and have enough cash left over to woo Ana with dates and gifts. As a gift for Ana, he has his eye on the latest cell phone that he won’t be able to afford unless he can come up with the cash quickly.

Joining Lalo in the thieving activities is Rulo (played by Pedro Joaquin), a tough older teen who has less of a conscience than Lalo does. Unlike Lalo, Rulo is more comfortable with being a criminal, and there’s the sense that Rulo is in “thug life” for the long haul. Leading the group of local gasoline thieves is Don Gil (played by Fernando Becerril), a senior citizen who acts almost like a grandfather to Lalo when Lalo is recruited to steal gasoline.

Much of the movie shows Lalo and his accomplices working together as a coordinated team to commit the thefts. Lalo essentially begins to live a secret double life—harmless student by day, reckless thief at night. He also makes tentative steps to get Ana to show interest in dating him. Ana plays it coy by keeping him in the “friend zone” while still flirting with him.

Meanwhile, the local police are investigating the gasoline thefts and are starting to close in on the gang. When Lalo finally reaches a decision about when he’s going to quit being a criminal, it has a ripple effect that spreads almost as quickly as a fire accelerated by gasoline. “The Gasoline Thieves” director Nito (who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay) has a flair for ramping up the suspense in key moments, whether through well-placed camera angles or how he weaves Carlo Ayhllón’s gripping score into each scene. The results are a haunting story that will make viewers wonder how many anonymous gasoline thieves are out there in real life who are like Lalo—fooling themselves into thinking it’s a harmless crime, and finding out the hard way that it’s not so easy to quit.

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos set to open in Mexico in fall 2017

March 29, 2017

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos
Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

The following is an excerpt from a Palace Resorts press release:

Palace Resorts—the company that sets the standard in five-star, all-inclusive resort accommodations—is pleased to announce the highly anticipated debut of luxurious, Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos in Fall 2017.  The second property comes after the tremendous success of Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun, the brand’s flagship property and Cancun’s #1 all-inclusive resort as designated by the TripAdvisor community. The resort located on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula is the second property under the umbrella of Palace Resorts, a hospitality company with over 30 years of experience in the luxury all-inclusive market. This opulent beachfront property will feature the traditional facilities and over the top amenities Le Blanc Spa Resort is known for, including well-appointed designer suites, an award-winning 29,000-square-foot full-service spa with 25 treatment rooms, an incredible hydrotherapy facility, a 3,961-square-foot fitness center and wellness center, juice bars, four plunge pools, gourmet specialty cuisine, butler service, over 14,000-square-foot meeting space, four breakout rooms and much more.

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

The 373-room luxury beachfront adults-only resort, will boast whimsical suites, all over 760 square feet, with private terraces, featuring panoramic ocean views. In addition, the resort will feature seven gourmet restaurants and six bars with an extensive wine and beverage program. Incredible amenities at this adults-only oasis will include: A brand new fitness center with top-notch personal trainers, the latest fitness activities including, TRX training, Spinning & Aqua Spinning, Yoga and Pilates, as well as a meditation area, for the ultimate tranquility. The resort will also feature an array of recreational activities; 24-hour personalized butler service, as well as 24-hour in-suite service. Conveniently located just 35 minutes from the Los Cabos International Airport and, 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, Le Blanc Spa Resort is an oasis of luxury unlike any other.

Exteriors designed by master architect Roberto Elias and interiorly brought to life by Francois Frossard of Francois Frossard Design (FFD), Le Blanc Spa Resort is a designer’s dream. With an impressive grandesque entrance, seven stories high, Le Blanc Spa Resort is an elegant, yet chic designed hotel, rivaling some of the most modern hotels in the world.

The luxurious resort will be comprised of four buildings that curve toward the ocean and permeate the flair of the local area’s rich soils.  The suites, restaurants, and bars feature ocean views, larger terraces and greater use of open outdoor spaces. The unique flora and fauna of Los Cabos, the climate, the landscapes, and surrounding mountains, played a big influence in the architect’s design of the resort. He wanted to ensure the property was in line with the original brand born in Cancun with its smooth lines, redefined corners, and elegance without complications.

Sophisticated Rooms & Suites

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

The interiors of the 373 guest rooms and suites were designed with a tranquil color palette with cool shades of white and plush furnishings.  Suites range from 760 to 1,400, sq. ft. and all feature ocean views. Suites come equipped with, private terraces, comfortable living spaces, a king or two standard double beds, oversized bathrooms with luxurious bathtubs and sophisticated rain showerheads.

Guests can enjoy personal butler service, a nightly aromatherapy menu, a selection of lavish pillows from our pillow menu and the most luxurious of in-room amenities like CHI blow dryers, CHI flatirons and BVLGARI personal products, including an array of luxury bath salts in every room. Suites are also stocked with mini-bars featuring top-shelf spirits, snacks, high definition flat screen SMART TV’s, with Apple TV and gourmet Lavazza coffee makers. Guests will rest on goose down pillows and luxury bedding with 100% cotton sheets, complimentary Wi-Fi, signature beach tote and umbrella.

A Taste of Luxury

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos will offer an extensive array of gourmet restaurants sure to please even the most discerning palettes. Featuring cuisines from around the world, Le Blanc Spa Resort will offer foodies the chance to dine on exquisite ingredients with unique presentations and savory bites from around the globe.

The resort’s signature restaurant, Lumiere, is sure to impress with a seven-course French tasting menu, paired with signature wines.  Other restaurant options include:

  • BLANC INTERNATIONAL– Offering a casual dining experience, the all-day dining restaurant will offer scenic views and international cuisine and gourmet Robata Grill featuring a variety of meats, fish & chicken.
  • BLANC ITALIA – An upscale Italian dining experience awaits guests, featuring a refined upscale Italian a la carte menu, with traditional dishes with a modern twist.
  • BLANC ASIA – An eclectic mix of modern Asian fusion mixed with classic favorites, the Asian fused menu will offer an abundance of sushi, modern Thai favorites and traditional dishes.
  • BLANC PIZZA – Gourmet brick-oven handcrafted pizza awaits guests, along with other light bites.
  • BLANC OCEAN – A haven for seafood lovers, the menu will feature fresh catches of the day from the region’s best, traditional grills and Baja California’s best fish. At night, the restaurant will offer classic Mexican cuisine.
  • BLANC CAFÉ – Indulge in delicious, freshly baked goods, as well as unique French pastries, sweets and a variety of coffees, teas & juices.

Guests can also delight in high-end mixology and indulge in unique cocktails at one of the many on-property bars. Featuring an extensive list of carefully crafted libations by the resort’s top mixologists, Le Blanc Spa Resort will set the stage for any mood, with its six different bars including BLANC Stage, BLANC Lobby, BLANC Sol, BLANC Eclipse, BLANC Fire and BLANC Beach.

Le Blanc Spa Resort will also offer guests non-stop entertainment, from special dining experiences, to a gourmet coffee bar, live music, DJ, an incredible fire pit, dubbed Blanc Fire and interactive mixology classes.

An Award-Winning Spa

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

BLANCSPA will span more than 29,000 square feet and will feature a hydrotherapy area, hot & cold plunge pools, sauna, herbal steam room, chromo therapy, ice room, relaxation lounge and 25 treatment rooms where guests can indulge in a full menu of exotic and invigorating spa treatments. With unique services, featuring the latest in spa technology trends, the spa will feature ancient local inspired treatments. Other services will include a variety of massages, diamond facials and traditional salon services and more. The spa will also feature a beauty salon, boutique and state of the art fitness center.

Meet in Luxury

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos will offer more than 14,000 square feet of space for corporate and social events.  Facilities will include the 8,912-square-foot BLANC CONVENTION, a room that accommodates up to 630 people, with three additional rooms—BLANC BREEZE (2,368 square feet), BLANC WIND (1,370 square feet) and BLANC BOARD (914 square feet).  The resort will offer groups the latest in technology, top-of-the-line audio-visual equipment, and a fully equipped business center, with complimentary WiFi throughout the entire resort.

Leisure Activities

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (Rendering courtesy of Palace Resorts)

Le Blanc Spa Resort will offer a variety of leisurely activities, allowing guests the option to unwind in complete relaxation, or get moving! Activities will include stand up paddleboard yoga, live music, karaoke, guided meditation classes, aqua spinning and more.

Giving Back

Le Blanc Spa Resort will also have a local chapter of the Palace Foundation, to ensure the resort is giving back on a local level. The foundation will provide services to the surrounding communities in the region, including health services, scholarship funds, access to medical care, environmental sustainability and will offer guests a part in conservation activities such as the turtle release programs, among others.

Le Blanc Spa Resort is conveniently located 35 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport. Resort guests can also enjoy complimentary self and valet parking services. Rates start at $850 per night for a standard double suite.

Ocean Riviera Paradise opens in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

December 15, 2016

Ocean Riviera Paradise
(Rendering courtesy of Ocean Riviera Paradise)

Ocean Riviera Paradise is now open for business in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  Launched on December 15, 2016, the hotel is the Ocean by H10 Hotels‘ third location in Mexico and eighth location worldwide.  The hotel has 974 junior suites and meeting and event space that can accommodate as many as 250 people. In addition, there are 10 restaurants,  12 bars, Mike’s Coffee and an ice cream parlor.

The hotel has four distinct areas:

  • The Daisy area, for families, especially those with children ages 4 to 12 years old.
  • The Privilege area, for those seeking exclusive, VIP amenities.
  • The Eden area, for guests who want to have a close access to the beach of the Mexican Caribbean.
  • El Beso, for adults only.

Here are some photos of Ocean Riviera Paradise:

(All photos courtesy of Ocean Riviera Paradise)

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