Sunday, September 28, 2003

where's-johnny dept.

Just last week, I saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico -- the quixotic new Robert Rodriguez film -- whups 'flick', as rodriguez would himself like us to call it. On the web, this movie has elicited a mixed bag of reactions, the dude who reluctantly tagged along with me disliked it vehemently. I found it thoroughly delectable; of course, though I was disappointed with the meatless sandwich that was Salma Hayek's role.

Well, not really. Maybe Rodriguez isn't intimidated by his characters. He can hack, cut, edit his way among them with the same ruthless efficiency with which his hero, 'El', dispatches the bad guys with his exploding guitar. But you can't wish away the entertainment value of Johnny Depp's dapper, chilly CIA agent asking his Mexican informer: "Are you a Mexi-can or a Mexi-can't?". Or gorging himself on slow-roasted pork. Or his prosthetic arm. And of course, his version of the famous American cellular add, moving into the frame, cell in hand, and asking, "Can you here me now? good!".

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