El Mariachi (1992)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
"The most drop-dead gorgeous woman you'll ever see."
That's how they describe Salma Hayek (or rather, Salma Hayek's character) in Once Upon a Time in Mexico—and it's difficult to argue.
I've just watched the three movies: El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Together they form a fairly loose trilogy that follows the adventures of an itinerant musician -- the role taken first by Carlos Gallardo, and then Antonio Banderas.
The first movie was made by Robert Rodriguez on a budget of approximately $3.50 and a slice of pizza. All things considered, it actually holds up remarkably well, and does a fine job of telling its tale of mistaken identity, a drug war, and the wandering Mariachi who gets caught in the middle.
Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)
"Guns don't kill people. But they sure help!"
From the moment I first heard about Shoot ‘Em Up I was excited about seeing it—based, I suspect, purely on the title alone. And yet when I first saw the DVD sitting on a shelf (in Sanity, I believe) I hesitated. I always find myself feeling a little disappointed if a movie weighs in with a running time of less than 90 minutes—not, perhaps, the best or most logical criteria for pre-judging a movie, but I can’t seem to shake it off! Shoot ‘Em Up, of course, runs for a mere 83 minutes. So I put it back on the shelf, and I managed to convince myself that it would be rather less than I had hoped for.