Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bandidas

The first thing you need to know is that this is a movie about hair: Penelope Cruz's hair, Salma Hayek's hair, but most of all, Dwight Yoakam's hair. Okay, Dwight Yoakam's wig. Anyway, watch the movie, and you'll see what I mean.

See the poster over there on the left? How could you not want to watch this movie? Sure, it's not a great movie, or even a serious movie. It doesn't want to be. It just wants to be a lightweight, enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, and it fills the bill perfectly.
Cruz and Hayek are the bandidas of the title, two women who rob banks and fight injustice in old Mexico. They seem to be having a great time. Yoakam and his wig, along with a bunch of henchmen with wigs almost as much fun as Yoakam's, is the baddie, and he's about as baddie as they come. Steve Zahn, without a wig, is a frontier criminologist who goes over to the dark side, and who could blame him? Not me. Again, see the movie for the reasons. Sam Shepard is Mr. Buck, who trains the women to become bank robbers in a pretty much gratuitous sequence that I liked a lot. There's even a Big Caper.

The photography's great, and there are some fine location shots. Some nice stunts, too. (Could it be that Hayek's father is named Don Diego in a tip of the hat to a famous crime fighter of Old California?) I liked the music, too.

This movie had only a limited release to theaters. I guess nobody but me likes this king of thing, except
James Reasoner, who was as usual ahead of me on this one. Check it out.

12 comments:

  1. Jeff Meyerson12:18 PM

    Thanks Bill (and James). I must admit that I'm not a great fan of Penelope Cruz but if Salma is in it, I'm there.

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  2. Penelope is good in this one, but then I'm sort of a fan.

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  3. Gerard3:09 PM

    I bought this for my library a few months ago when I was ordering up Salma Hayek movies. The cover graphics on my DVD differ quite a bit from yours.

    Coincidentally, buying a bunch of Salma Hayek movies means buying a bunch of Steve Zahn movies.

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  4. James's DVD has a different cover, too. Zahn is getting good notices for his new one, with Christian Bale instead of Salma Hayek.

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  5. Steve Zahn was asked about this movie at the AV Club recently and he said, "Well, that one just didn't work." I know what he means, but I like the movie anyway. For the scene with him and the ladies in showgirl outfits alone.

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  6. I know what he means, too, but it worked for me. And that scene's the one I meant when I said I didn't blame him for going over to the robbers. How could he not? Of course he said he was doing it for noble reasons, but I know better.

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  7. This was - or was meant to be - pretty big in Europe, but it flopped quite badly. I haven't seen it myself, but some guys whose taste I trust said it didn't work. (This is not to say I don't trust your taste.)

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  8. There are plenty of things that don't exactly work, but I'm willing to overlook them. I'm easy.

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  9. Jeff Meyerson7:58 AM

    My favorite Steve Zahn role was "Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr. in Happy, Texas.

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  10. Gerard8:33 AM

    Steve Zahn is a freakin' genius.

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  11. And, to judge by this film, which I've just purchased on DVD for $5, he's both easy to work with and arguably a very lucky man. Freud may or may not've wanted to draw out the lesbian subtext of two women training each other on the same man. My lesbian best friend was not so shy about it.

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  12. Believe me, the lesbian subtext is anything but subtle, especially in the scene where Penelope is learning to kiss. And then again in Salma's reference to the scene at the end of the movie. Or is she referring to something else, a scene we didn't see?

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