One of my personal favourite directors, in a way, I’d like to be like this guy, (only without making anything remotely like ‘Spy Kids’ if at all possible) especially since he demystified the filmmaking process in the now legendary 10 min film school. Robert Rodriguez is the film-buff’s best friend, a working writer/director who seems to get his vision on-screen a lot faster, sharper and better than many others.
1. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
Absolutely love this movie, I mean it’s a Tex-Mex crime thriller with Tarantino dialogue…and vampires, what more could you ask more? I remember the first time I saw the Chet Pussy (Cheech Marin) scene, it wasn’t funny at all for the first few minutes, but it just went on and on, and by the end we were in hysterics! A momentous return to films by George Clooney, Qs finest on-screen performance and of the most unashamedly ‘out there’ genre-bending pictures ever made. Never saw the first prequel with Robert Patrick, but ‘DTD 3: The Hangman’s Daughter’ (they used the clever conceit of going further back in time with each one so ‘DTD 3’ is basically a vampire western) is surprisingly good, thanks to a great turn by Michael Parks as the ‘Devils Dictionary’ author; Ambrose Bierce.
2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO
Easily the best of Bob’s ‘Mariachi with no name’ trilogy, this one has a good story about revolution, vengeance and Mexico’s desire for socio-political freedom from the U.S. government. Shot entirely on Digital video, the movie has Antonio Banderas at his cool, brooding best as the Mariachi whilst the ever-reliable Johnny Depp turns in another excellent performance as corrupt CIA agent Sands. Co-starring the sizzling Eva Mendes in her most demanding role to date, Enrique Inglesias (who acquits himself well) and the presence of old pros Mickey Rourke and Willem Dafoe only adds to the film’s credibility. A digital triumph.
Fun, slick and stylish but with a slim storyline, this is basically a big-budget remake of Bob’s indie hit ‘El Mariachi’ (which was well made for its budget, but was never one of my favourites). Desperado is the Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek show (and boy do they show it ), a laughably filmed love scene doesn’t detract from the movie’s louche style, inspired action sequences, witty dialogue and much appreciated cameos from Steve Buscemi and Q; ‘Desperado’ is a good movie, and a must for all Mariachi completists. Love the opening cancion (makes you want to be a mariachi)
4. THE FACULTY
80s style teen movie meets 50s style B-movie in the film that’ll probably go onto be known as the flick that helped launch Josh Hartnet’s career (I don’t mind the guy, but isn’t he a bit overrated?) and a host of other up and comers (including Laura Harris, Cela Duvall and Jordana Brewster) also starring bee-acting-since-he-was-three Elijah ‘Mr Frodo’ Wood. Now aside from the pre-functionary body-snatchers theme revived for the 'Scream' generation by Kevin Williamson, the real question is this: how stupid are these guys…I mean; Famke Janssen, Bebe Nuewurth AND Salma Hayek teach at your school; would you EVER want to skip class?
5. FOUR ROOMS
A flawed, but nonetheless interesting, collaborative work by the director’s class of 92, Bob’s segment ‘The Misbehaviours’ stars Antonio Banderas (being a good sport and sending himself up) not as good as his pal Tarantino’s take on the old ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ lighter episode ‘The Man From Hollywood’, but still off beat and amusing enough to hold your attention.
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