L istings and commentary for Week 2 of the American Film Institute Film Festival of Los Angeles, which runs through March 26:
"The Return of Ruben Blades" (U.S.A., 1986, Barnsdall Gallery Theater, 8:30 p.m.). Ruben Blades, the youthful king of salsa music, is a dynamic performer and a thoughful, eloquent speaker--he's a student of history, law and hot tropical rhythms. But Robert Mugge's documentary doesn't always do him justice. Hearing Blades' ideas, we'd like to hear them voiced in his songs as well (they aren't subtitled). The interviews--even Pete Hamill's--are pretty obvious, and it's unsettling to hear one more entertainer express presidential ambitions, however realistic. But the music really cooks.