Author Topic: Once Upon a Time in Mexico  (Read 5788 times)

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metroshane

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« on: September 12, 2003, 03:33:44 PM »
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Just got back from OUATIM (what all the cool kids are calling it).

I've been looking forward to this for over 2 years and perhaps that is an unfair liability to the movie itself.  Because you see, I was slightly disappointed.  It's a good movie, but I know in my heart RR can do so much better.  Bear in mind...the movie is very different from what you've seen in the previous two.

The look was pretty decent but not outstanding.  Most of the interior scenes were well lit, but the HD was really lacking in the outdoor shots where they didn't have as much lighting control.  I can't imagine how well those mexican sunsets would have looked on film.  The CGI was also very distracting and really unnecessary.  The cutting was also very fast.  Too fast IMHO.  A lot of the action looked as if they didn't have enough footage and was cutting too short.  Bits were so short you couldn't even focus leaving you unable to recognize what just happened.

Story, very convaluted and disjoined.  Too many characters to really set up any sympathy.  I felt like I didn't even know the Mariachi.  Blatent misuse of all that talent.  I like it, just wish RR had gone the extra mile.
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Gold Trumpet

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2003, 07:26:30 PM »
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Once Upon A Time in The West is how the pure action film can be good, bad and ugly all in one movie. Since "ugly" and "bad" override "good" in total number, lets begin there.

The first half of the movie is quite simply a porno film, with action in place of sex. Ugly. Most scenes follow suit in this sense, it begins with new locale and quick talk between two. History and emotion are brought up in during the smallest of talk (even the music switches to melodramatic for these brief moments) where someone's entire sadness is conveyed in an ovely stylized cutting job that focuses way too much in the face of conveying "drama". Too much. Action film everyone. Then the scene jumps back to talk only to finish with a bad ending to the scene. An ending more or less just trying to convey cuteness in the story just for that. Example, Depp killing a cook because the meal was too good in sho he can "balance everything out". Depp originally saying he was going to do this was worth a smile. Depp doing it is almost ludicrous in bad filmmaking even for an action film. All this is common place in the porn, a film that has to show sex but feels itself to be important so comes off pretension in the most embarassing sense.

The bad is what comes between all these scenes in the first half and conveys the most thought out processes of the entire film: the action scenes. Little way of introduction to give them weight and they fly in and out of flurry like a bad B film (maybe intentional, actually, but still not effective). Some scenes are very fun to look at, example being Banderas and Hayek scaling a wall down in the only way they can. The rest are really quite mundane and predictable and made even worse cause nothing is built up and everything feels like a ploy for a way of filmmaking that Rodiruguez wants to convey without giving merit in having a decent story. Look at the opening credits, they interject words in place of other for the stlye of the film.

The good comes in the last hour when the film slows itself down to a narrative and starts to use its resources a little. The retired FBI agent does this likely because it unbelievable in even movie logic to see him swirling guns around, but the film starts to set up a situation for a good action purpose: a gun fight. We start to follow a story, see more people come in, see Banderas drop to the background finally and see enjoyable but cheap revelations come about and then some creative writing, particularily with Depp. He starts to use his comic abilities when going blind and his friendship with the kid and gun fights are fun to watch. Then as the big fight says, everyone comes into the picture and finally the film starts to have a little fun with an actual storyline of something behind it. Its not the best storyline, but given the first half, its enjoyable enough and attains some fun weirdness of action that is enjoyable Again, credit that mainly to Depp's storyline and his final stance.

~rougerum

Cecil

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2003, 07:58:53 PM »
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"shot, chopped and scored by robert rodriguez?"

"a robert rodriguez flick?"

thats just trying too hard. no one will be able to top "a spike lee joint" and thats that

abuck1220

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2003, 12:55:11 AM »
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this movie is an abortion. i've never seen a more convulated and fucked up "plot". and it took itself SO seriously...

:::spoiler warning:::::i mean, johnny depp shot four people in the last 20 minutes with no eyes. no eyes. dafoe ran around w/ bandages over his entire face (except for, of course, his eyes and mouth, giving him a ridiculous mummy appearance) for the last half hour.

if the movie had a sense of humor about itself, this kind of shit could have been funny/amusing in an over the top/comic book way...a la desperado. unfortunately, rodriguez treats it like some kind of epic masterpiece with its political sub plots and pathetic patriotism.

Pubrick

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2003, 01:00:12 AM »
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hah well i'm glad i never pre-praised this, desperado wasn't that good anyway.
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neatahwanta

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2003, 02:03:16 AM »
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I'm glad I don't have the tools to review movies, because I enjoyed myself.

My review, before reading this thread, was --->

"The visuals and music were worth the price of admission, even tho the story and dialogue was thin."

It was definitely just an action flick  and I enjoyed it as such.

Cecil

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2003, 10:59:09 AM »
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the hd looked like shit most of the time (and by shit i mean video). the colo(ur)s were very nice though

Pozer

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2003, 11:44:38 AM »
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Just think of what Brett Ratner could have done with it

Ghostboy

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2003, 12:36:39 PM »
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Quote from: Cecil B. Demented
the hd looked like shit most of the time (and by shit i mean video). the colo(ur)s were very nice though


I've been wondering if the prints have varied in quality around the country. I thought the one I saw looked fantastic -- the colors were gorgeous, like you said, and the only times I noticed any blatant giveaways were in fast moving exterior shots. But I've heard a lot of responses from people thinking it looked absolutely horrible, that the faces were too red, etc. Some people thought the trailer had a better transfer, but I thought the trailer looked completely like HD.

edison

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2003, 02:16:32 PM »
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It was ok, not all that good, Depp was the only reason to see this one, just like Pirates, he makes the film, otherwise it would have been pretty much crap.

Ravi

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2003, 05:13:59 PM »
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Most people probably already knew about the Johnny Depp eyes thing, since the pictures and clips of him with sunglasses dripping with blood are everywhere.

I'm not sure whether to see it now.  Desperado was only okay, and a third film seems superfluous.  Coupled with the mediocre reviews here, that makes for a deadly combination.  But Salma Hayek is in it...

picolas

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2003, 05:40:53 PM »
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in two sentences: it's entertaining, and Depp is cool as always, but you can't sidestep the fact that in the end it's just a dumb movie. it's dumbo.



Quote from: Ravi
But Salma Hayek is in it...


*swipe-to-read spoilers*
she's only there for, like, fifteen minutes. only in flashbacks.

Gold Trumpet

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2003, 05:41:37 PM »
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FRIENDLY ADMIN WARNING: THIS IS THE SAME SPOILER THAT PIC JUST GAVE IN THE MESSAGE ABOVE.  IF YOU DIDN'T HIGHLIGHT THERE, DON'T READ HERE.
Quote from: Ravi
But Salma Hayek is in it...


She kinda is......but not really. She only appears in flashbacks (which show up often during the first half)

~rougerum

Pozer

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2003, 06:46:48 PM »
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thanks PIC
F U  G T
J K
U R A Q T
K I T
W B

MacGuffin

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Once Upon a Time in Mexico
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2003, 10:11:29 PM »
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Johnny Depp is on a roll. Like "Pirates", he is the best thing about this film. As metroshane pointed out, the action scenes were cut too quick, and they become too routine by the end (except those with Depp). The story got too convoluted, with many twists and side stories with the cookie cutter characters, that you just didn't end up caring anymore.

As for the HD, I think Ghostboy is right and that some prints must be bad, because my print looked awesome; so sharp and clean, vibrant colors. I can imagine what it looks like on digital projection. There were some telling video looking moments (usually with quick pans and hand-held in the finale); the most noticable being when Depp goes into the kitchen to balance the chef.

Overall, "Mexico" was alright, but the ending will blow you away!
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