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El Mariachi / Desperado (Widescreen)

Antonio Banderas , Salma Hayek , Robert Rodriguez    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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El Mariachi / Desperado (Widescreen) + Once Upon a Time in Mexico (Bilingual) [Import]
Price For Both: CDN$ 16.68

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Desperado/El Mariachi ~ Desperado/El Mariachi

Amazon.ca

Before Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi, Mexicans in North American action films were typically maids, drug dealers, or prison inmates. Even if the Cisco Kid was a friend of yours, you handled a dust cloth or a Mac-10 if you lasted in Hollywood longer than a New York minuto.

But when El Mariachi crossed the border in 1992, things changed. Granted, it still involved a drug lord in a shoot-em-up, bang-bang, but this time the good guy was a Mexican.

Austin-based Rodriguez made El Mariachi for a fistful of pesos and a little help from his friends. He wrote, directed, coproduced, edited, and operated the camera. Plus, he assembled a cast that had never acted before to work por nada. All for a paltry $7,000, a milagro without a beanfield war.

Desperado continues the outrageous action adventure. Working with a much bigger budget, Rodriguez returns the nameless mariachi to nonstop action. Again thrust into a world he never made, the hero takes his guitar-case arsenal deep into the criminal labyrinth of Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida), el gran chingon of the Mexican drug lords. With an amigo (Steve Buscemi) and a beautiful bookstore owner (Salma Hayek), el mariachi confronts an outrageous cast along the way, including a bartender (Cheech Marin), a drug deal pick-up guy (Quentin Tarantino), and the original mariachi (coproducer Carlos Gallardo) as a new-found compa'.

Antonio Banderas has the lead this time, and if he's not quite up to the challenge, it's probably because he's Spanish, not Mexican, a distinction not lost by anyone raised on what the popular media now calls "ethnic food."

That said, Desperado is not to be missed. Using intelligence, romance, and humor--as well as plenty of explosive, surreal violence--Rodriguez again showcases the timeless struggle between the forces of darkness and light. And, in the process, he's recasting the mold for the contemporary action hero--kids now argue about who gets to play the Mexican. --Stephan Magcosta


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mindless but Entertaining June 9 2004
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
As I watched this film for the first time, my two reactions were (a) I'll bet they all had fun making it and (b) is this a parody of the so-called "Spaghetti Westerns"? Essentially, there is no plot. El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) seeks revenge from Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida) in a town which the drug dealer controls. EM enlists the support and assistance of Carolina (Selma Hayek) who owns and manages the local book store. (I'm not making this up.) No one eats or sleeps in this film. All of the action occurs during the day. There are a few crowd scenes but no one in the crowd seems to have any interest whatsoever in the fact that the street scenes are being filmed. There is one bar of special note. Cheech Marin is its host and bartender. (If you think the bar in Star Wars is unfriendly, this one makes it seem like the Palm Court at The Plaza in New York.) At one point, Quentin Tarantino briefly appears. Apparently he is involved in a drug deal which goes bad. Steve Buscemi also makes a brief appearance. Prudently, he decides not to become involved in the plot. (Where is Harvey Keitel?) EM is a one-man-army. Credit Rodriguez with brilliantly choreographing his creative and relentless carnage which leads up to the inevitable showdown with Bucho. Although most of this film makes no sense whatsoever, I found it thoroughly entertaining. It is on my Top Ten list of films to watch while consuming buttered popcorn, a box of Dots, and a cold beverage...or two.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Desperado - a Strong likeable yet violent movie Feb. 8 2004
Format:DVD
This is supposed to be part of a trilogy, but it really is a barely connected duology.
I think you can forget about the first movie El Mariachi, interesting only if you figure that the movie cost only $7,500. Amazing really that it should have been a one star, based on cost. But the director created a relatively interesting film, that I would have given 3 stars to, but have to downgrade for violence and language to a 2 star. At best it is a rental if one wishes to see what started it all for this director and what lead into the best of the three, movie, Desperado. Banderas and Hayek were not in the first movie, so I see little to connect it to the other two movies.
The second movie in the trilogy is Desperado starring Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek. Made in 1995, it seems to have grown in popularity over the years because of these two stars and the fact that this was a well funded and very well made movie. I liked Desperado enough to purchase it. This is not a family friendly movie. I give it 5 stars, rounded down to 4 stars because of lots of violence, bad language, nudity and simulated sex. But unlike Once Upon a Time in Mexico OUATIM, the banderas character is interesting to watch and rout for. Banderas is becoming one our better action stars not that he has turned in excellent performances in Zorro and the Thirteenth Warrior.
The third movie, Once Upon a Time in Mexico OUATIM, of the duology-trilogy is an uninspired, sometimes boring, excursion into senseless violence. I wanted Banderas to survive, couldn't have cared less about the smart-aleck Depp character and the story wasn't clear enough to try and follow. This is a 3 star movie rounded down to 2 stars for violence and language. There was no nudity.
Bottom line is that Desperado, the middle movie is a worthy addition to the collection for Banderas fans, the other two are not.
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Format:DVD
This is the package to get if you're thinking about checking out the two movies, "El Mariachi" and "Desperado." Why buy both separately when you can get them both for a great price? The "Desperado/El Mariachi" Collector's Box Set is a great offer that gives you plenty of action and thrills for a more than reasonable price. Not to mention that the set includes the "Special Edition" DVD versions of the two movies.
"El Mariachi" is the directorial debut from Robert Rodriguez that became an instant classic and received critical praise. The film is about a Mariachi who gets into trouble when a case of mistaken identity forces him into a violent and bloody conflict. "Desperado" is the sequel that's filled with outstanding shootouts and amazing action sequences. The film continues the story of the Mariachi and his plan for revenge. The two films together equal a very entertaining time.
Both of the DVDs included are "Special Editions" that are loaded with some cool extras. Extras that can be found on the DVDs are commentaries, featurettes, trailers and more. "Desperado" is mastered in High Definition and provides a very clear picture, while "El Mariachi" has a new film transfer that was supervised by the director.
This box set is really the way to go if you're thinking about purchasing the two movies. I have a feeling that the set will be even more popular with the recent release of "Once Upon a Time in Mexico." You get two great movies for a very low price. It's almost like paying for one DVD and getting the other one free. The "Desperado/El Mariachi" Collector's Box Set offers the best quality DVD versions of the two films. If you're looking for action and excitement, this is the place to be. A definite worthy purchase, if you want my opinion. -Michael Crane
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4.0 out of 5 stars El Mariachi/Desperado - A Twin Bonanza! Nov. 9 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
These are 2 great action flicks I've watched in recent times. I do not really want to compare both, but couldn't help not doing it.
El Mariachi is definitely a masterpiece from a very young, versatile director Robert Rodriguez, who I think has a tremendous potential. Good, solid performances from little known Carlos Gallardo and Conseula Gomez. Do not forget the fact that the movie was made for a measly budget of $7,000 with help from the Director's friends and acquaintances. Very gripping, amazing picturization and very good use of even trivial, simple looking things. A must-see movie for any Action Director Wannabe. On the flip side, it's meant for those who could follow Spanish or comfortable "reading" movies.
Then there is Desperado, flashy and star studded. Rodriguez spices it up with some stylized action, steamy romance and an impressive music score and in the process losing some of his artistic touch. Banderas and Hayek have good chemistry between them and all other actors blend into their roles perfectly. It's not clear if Desperado is a remake or a sequel of El Mariachi. The storylines are similar except for the beginning and end. El Mariachi is not really a 'bad guy', just a victim of circumstances and slave to passion, does things he doesn't intend to, at the spur of the moment, falls in love with a girl in the town and pitched against the local Drug Baron in both. This would make one feel Desperado is a high-budget remake of El Mariachi. But, the Mariachi's motives are very different in both. In the former, an ambitious young Mariachi comes into the town to make a living for himself and is mistaken for a Guitarist gunslinger. However in the latter, he comes in to avenge his lover's brutal killing and also there's an interesting twist towards the end.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars je recommande
Bon prix. Il y a eu un problème avec l'envoi, mais le vendeur a très rapidement réglé le problème. Merci!
Published 16 months ago by mimi
3.0 out of 5 stars ====ripped off some of john woo's movies====
====most of the scenes are reminicense or like john woo's films but this movie was a good copy=====
Published on May 2 2004 by C. soriano
5.0 out of 5 stars Mexican Heat!!! READ ME
Wow, must see, Antonio has done it again, and with his new movie Once upon a Time in Mexico, SWEET!!! Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by Jose Madrigal
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING DOUBLE FEATURE!!!!!!!!!
.This DVD is indeed a flipper. So don't let your little cousins touch this. This DVD includes commentary by Robert Rodriguez on both films. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by newfound32
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Box Set!!!
This great 2 DVD box set of El Mariachi and Desperado is awesome!!! Both DVD's are special editions!!! Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by Jason P. Pumphrey
5.0 out of 5 stars And they call him "El"
Robert Rodriguez is absolutely brilliant, and he shows it in this franchise. "El Mariachi" tells the story of a young musician mistaken for a hitman and condemned to... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by Robert T.
3.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for El Mariachi; 2 1/2 cheers (stars) for Desperado
El Mariachi's novel plot, taut suspense and action, thoroughly engage the audience. It quickly becomes understandable why it won awards despite its shoestring budget. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by paul_howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value Package for genre lovers
Both movies are well worth your money. Each movie gets the same special edition treatment it had before. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2003 by Sebastian Haselbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars El Mariachi is what it's all about...
As you've probably noticed by now, this DVD includes two movies - "El Mariachi" and "Desperado", "Desperado" being the more famous of the the two.
Think "Desperado" is better? Read more
Published on July 21 2003 by anybody else or
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