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El Mariachi Trilogy

"Desperado" poster

El Mariachi (1992)
Desperado (1995)
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

"Shoot 'Em Up" poster

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.

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