was founded by John Gabbard in 2000. It's purpose has been and
remains to be to provide you, the entertainment community with
the latest dvds and movie reviews. It will continue to be your
link to the most popular dvd movies.
- Special Edition
||1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen
|| English Dolby Digital 5.1,
French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Surround, Portuguese
||Languages: English, French,
Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Chinese
||English, Spanish, French,
Portuguese, Thai, Chinese (Mandarin)
- Robert Rodriguez
||10 more minutes with Robert Rodriguez:
Anatomy of a Shootout, First look at Once Upon a Time in Mexico
||Robert Rodriguez, Antonio
Banderas, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi
||Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico,
Love and a Bullet
||Trial software of Screenblast
||Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek,
Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi, Joaquim de Almeda, Quentin Tarantino
||Bill Borden and Robert Rodriguez
||Karyn Rachtman, Los Lobos
||El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas)
has now dedicated his life to killing drug lords, or something
to that effect (you have to see the first one to understand
why I say 'has now'). For some reason he has it in his mind
that Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida), a local drug lord killed his
only true love, Domino (again, see El Mariachi for further details
though it's pretty plain that it was Moco and not Bucho, but
what do I know). Working with Buscemi (Steve Buscemi), who I
believe is some sort of CIA or DEA operative who is giving him
directions and supplies, El Mariachi is slowly working his way
through Bucho's men to find him.
When a bar shoot out ends with El Mariachi taking
a bullet, the local bookstore owner, Carolina (Salma Hayek),
comes to his aide, shelters him, and nurses him back to health
so he is able to continue to battle Bucho. But Bucho eventually
figures out where El Mariachi is being sheltered and sends
his men after El Mariachi and Carolina. El Mariachi hears
them coming and shoots his way out, but when given the chance
to kill Bucho, he chooses not to.
Now that Carolina has been associated with El Mariachi
she knows that Bucho won't stop until he kills her. She prevails
on El Mariachi to call in some of his mariachi friends for
a final showdown with Bucho. El Mariachi does, but it is remarkably
short-lived as the rather silly antics of the extra mariachis
get them mown down relatively quickly. This leaves El Mariachi
and Carolina to face down Bucho.
So, of course, they do. When El Mariachi finally
finds Bucho's hideout, he confronts him only for the audience
to finally realize that Bucho is El Mariachi's brother, which
is obviously why he didn't kill him earlier. With all of the
killing El Mariachi has done, Bucho is ruined and decides
to take it out on his brother. Bucho offers his brother a
way out by watching Bucho kill his new girlfriend. Of course
El Mariachi won't stand for this a second time so he relents
and guns down his brother and the rest of his men - the end.
Well, this isn't a very good movie. What's more,
it's really bad if you haven't seen the first movie, El Mariachi,
for which this is supposed to be the sequel. The only redeeming
quality is that it is kind of a low budget film, but that
actually turns into a strike against it considering what Robert
Rodriguez did with only $7,000.00 on his first feature length
film. Why is it so bad?
The story... The story is, well, horrible. I could
barely follow what was going on. No one ever explains who
Buscemi is or what he is doing there. Also, El Mariachi should
be painfully aware that Moco, from the first movie, is the
person that killed Domino, since he killed him right after
he did it. But for some reason he thinks that Bucho did it.
I think maybe this is explained by El Mariachi dreaming and
being a bit delusional, but that is just me really trying
to read into this movie, because it sure isn't explained why
he is blaming Bucho for Domino's death when he knows it was
Moco. Also, why doesn't El Mariachi know where his brother
is and what he's doing? Come on, people get separated from
family, but geez, this is ridiculous. It's like the oldest
twist in the book, it's super predictable, and it doesn't
make any sense whatsoever. So, the story really sucks.
As for the acting, it's not too bad. There aren't
very many really memorable characters. The one thing I do
have to mention is that Antonio Banderas did do a decent job
of initially making his character human - despite not being
able to be hit by bullets, and frankly not caring if he is,
he runs out of ammunition all of the time (where he hides
all of his spare clips is beyond me) and even has a gun that
goes in his groin, though he doesn't use it. But after he
gets shot the first time then has three knives stuck in him,
he suddenly has superhuman healing powers. He's like Wolverine
from X-Men, 'all better' in a matter of minutes. The wounds
don't seem to bother him for any longer than it takes to get
home, patch them up, and have sex with Salma Hayek. As for
the rest of the acting, Steve Buscemi and Joaquim de Almeida
were alright. Also I thought Cheech Marin and Quentin Tarantino
were pretty good, and Salma Hayek was okay, but the rest of
the cast was pretty much non-existent as characters. Of course
I have to note that for the most part the rest of the cast
was made up either of members of the production crew, local
townspeople, or stuntmen, so I shouldn't expect much from
them, but still, they weren't great and it kind of detracted
from the movie. I did like seeing the original El Mariachi
play a role (he's one of the additional Mariachi's, the one
with the two machine gun guitar cases).
As for the special effects and other budget related
elements, they were pretty good. But it almost seemed as though
the movie were created around specific special effects. The
three mariachis scene seemed that way and so did the opening
bar room shoot out. Considering how bad the story was, I wouldn't
be surprised if this were actually the case.
Overall, the movie isn't very fun to watch. It jumps
around, makes very little sense, and there are no really great
performances. But there is a way to make it a little bit better,
listen to the director's commentary as you watch it. Robert
Rodriguez does do a good job of making the director's commentary
interesting by explaining, again, how you can make a "low-budget"
(I'd like $7 million to make a movie) film and because he
is involved with pretty much the entire process (writing,
directing, filming, editing, etc.) he really knows what was
going on in the film. Overall, don't watch it without having
seen El Mariachi first, then look for similarities between
the two and listen to the director's commentary. If you do
both of these things you might find the movie interesting.
I think I would also only recommend this for movie buffs.
||The image and sound are much
better than the prequel, El Mariachi. Obviously there was more
money to spend on film and audio this time around and the film
was taken care of to ensure high quality. Nevertheless, there
are some problems with the picture, but they have nothing to
do with the excellent digital transfer and everything to do
with Rodriguez's continual interest in low-budget filming. A
number of the outdoor scenes seem washed out - there is just
too much light. Maybe that is the look he was going for, but
you get the feeling that the movie was taking place in the middle
of a scorching desert rather than in a small Mexican town. Other
than not doing a great job with the filming, the picture is
There are also no problems with the sound. There
are plenty of explosions and gunfights to really put the sound
to the test. I've definitely heard better mastering for films,
but this one is pretty good with decent surround sound effects
and convincing explosions.
||The brief 10 minute featurette
with Robert Rodriguez is very interesting. It offers a bit more
detail and information than the director's commentary with additional
footage of some of his storyboards and some behind the scenes
footage. He also goes into more detail about his filming process.
The first look featurette about Once Upon a Time
in Mexico is about the same thing as is offered on El Mariachi.
It is a quick montage of clips and interviews, but doesn't
really explain the story very well. I guess we'll just have
to wait to see what it is when it comes out.
I never really find filmographies to be useful additions
to a DVD - I can find all of that information plus much more
online, so I don't really see it as a bonus. I also don't
consider trailers to be much of a bonus; if you watch them
it's just free advertising for the production companies. I
didn't try out the free software, it would just be more trial
software that would bog down my already stuffy hard drive.
Overall, the only thing that is really actually kind
of nice is the 10 minute featurette. The rest of the stuff
is kind of wasted space.
||As noted in my review, the
director/writer commentary is excellent. Robert Rodriguez, being
involved with nearly every aspect of the production process,
has first hand knowledge of the entire film and therefore can
offer lots of additional insights and information. And, like
the commentary for El Mariachi, it is chuck full of information,
so much so that I'm not even going to go into it. It is incredibly
interesting and I would highly recommend that you watch the
whole thing because it is so interesting. Just one tidbit from
it... If it wasn't for the director/writer commentary I wouldn't
have known that the original El Mariachi was even in the movie,
but Robert Rodriguez points him out when he shows up. Keep your
eyes peeled for him.
||This is a pretty crappy movie.
It has a horrible story that doesn't make sense even if you've
seen the prequel. The acting isn't stellar, but it is bearable,
with the main characters thankfully being the best of the lot.
What does make this movie interesting and worthwhile is that
it is a quasi low-budget film with a $7 million price tag. And,
the director's commentary highlights how you can make a reasonable
decent (in terms of special effects anyway) film for so little
money. I actually liked the first one better because the story
made more sense, but this is one movie buffs will want to see,
just because Rodriguez has developed an interesting little niche
in the movie industry.