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4.2 out of 5 stars30
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 March 2004
These films are not serious oscar award winning melodramas. Subtlety is not an issue here and your brain will not be overtaxed in any way at all. But, quite frankly, Desperado is already such a well known film that if you're looking at this box set you know what to expect anyway.
The box set encompasses all three films in the trilogy - El Mariachi (probably the least well known of the series) shows the beginnings of the legend, when a naive mariachi (wandering musician) wanders into a town populated by drug dealers and becomes embroiled in a case of mistaken identity which ends in a double tragedy. Desperado continues the tale, with the mariachi now a seasoned drug-lord killer out for revenge against the people he holds personally responsible for what happened and Once Upon A Time In Mexico follows on, with the mariachi recruited for one last job against the backdrop of a civil war.
El Mariachi is a superb story on its own. The film was shot on a budget (and be warned that its entirely in Spanish with subtitles) and it shows - the acting isnt the best you'll ever see and the effects are a bit ropey but it showcases Robert Rodriguez's talents admirably. Desperado is probably the best known (and best) film of the set - bigger budgets allowed a better calibre of actor (Antonio Banderas has never been better, and Salma Hayek has never been hotter). Once Upon A Time... is also a decent film although it does suffer a little. This time the budget also stretched to Jonny Depp, Eva Mendes (wow!), Willem Dafoe and Micky Rourke, but the story is a little OTT even for a Robert Rodreguez film and also include a lot of flashbacks which can prove a little disorientating.
The extras are certainly worth it though. Roberts commentary is well thought out and he shows a genuine desire to be as much of a friend to the viewer as he can - as the man himself says "Straight from my home to your home." There is a segment on special effects, one on how to storyboard a film, a behinds the scenes look at filming on a budget, a 10 minute cooking school (try it, you'll love it!) and a look at the editing studio which is located on the Rodriguez ranch in Austin, Texas (and which should prove a handy layout should some enterprising aspiring young film maker ever decide to get some top quality equipment for free...).
My advice would be to stop reading this and order the set if you have any sense at all. Even the box itself is way cool!!
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on 10 March 2004
All three films in this trilogy are classics in their own right. 'El Mariachi', shot on a budget of $7,000,'Desperado', the best of the three films, (and Antonio Banderas' finest moment) and 'Once Upon A Time In Mexico' a wickedly entertaining action movie. I was hugely impressed with the special features on the DVDs, as Rodriguez includes his own personal movie making guides, and this personal touch is really cool! If you don't own any of these films, BUY THIS BOX SET!!! If you already own one of the three, buy this anyway... the box looks cool!!!!
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on 5 February 2004
El Mariachi - a great debut for Robert Rodriguez sees the introduction of a man mistaken for a ruthless killer. The story progresses as he attempts to survive the assasins who mistook him.
Desperado - this time with a bigger budget and the added value of Steve Buscemi as a sidekick El Mariachi has become a feared assassin himself hunting drug dealers who he blames for the death of his girlfriend. The film follows his attempts to kill his last target before retiring.
Once Upon A Time In Mexico - El Mariachi is hired by the CIA to stop the assassination of the Mexican president. To do this he has the help of corrupt CIA agent Johhny Depp and a hell of a lot of guns (as usual).
Great trilogy and each film feels very different from the last. The first a spanish love story, the second an all out shooting fest in the style of his later film from dusk till dawn, but without vamps, and the third just a mental mix of civil war and more shoot outs. pure no brainer, not for the missus entertainment.
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on 25 October 2004
1) El Mariachi - Okay so they had no cash, they had to repeat cast members because they had such a small unit, they had to share guns... It's cheap, it's pretty lousy... But it's good to watch for wannabe film-makers and it made the way for...
2) Desperado - Watching a guy (Antonio Banderas) with a private arsenal stashed in a fake-guitar case blasting twenty-five guys at a time solo. Enter the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Salma Hayeck. Shoot some more guys. Why does he do it? They killed his woman? No, not really (he gets a better one)... he does it because they shot his guitar-playing hand (thus totally justified)... This is quality popcorn... I love it!
3) Once Upon A Time in Mexico - More depth, more characters, more locations. In a kind of Sergio Leone take you get Cheech Marin back with a missing eye (same guy from Desperado maybe? Who cares he gets killed twice then). Johnny Depp as cool as a cucumber with cojones. Salma Hayek sadly gets whacked early on but we already saw of her what we needed to see in Desperado. Johnny gets his eyes taken out. Willem Dafoe gets his face cut off. Antonio (El) shoots a lot of people. On a motorbike, chained to his wife, in a church, in the presidential suite, during the Mexican Day of the Dead... a lot of People...
What's to complain about? Robert Rodriquez is El Jefe.
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This excellent set contains all three films in Robert Rodriguez's Mariachi trilogy. In El Mariachi, Rodriguez's breakthrough film, we are introduced to the man of destiny, who just wants to be a Mariachi like his father before him. Fate says otherwise, and he gets tangled in a bloody tale of revenge. In Desperado, introducing Antonio Banderas as the Mariachi, he is now on a hunt for the man who murdered his girl and turned him into a gunslinger. In Once Upon A Time In Mexico Banderas' Mariachi is recalled into action to try and prevent a bloody coup against the president, and there might be opportunity for revenge along the way.

All three are told with Rodriguez's patented style of blood, guts and humorous gory violence. These are three entertaining and thrilling adventures. The best of the lot is Desperado - Rodriguez was still finding his feet with the first film, and the third is a little too ambitious to be effective. Desperado finds the right balance.

All three are presented on separate discs, in a fold out card case. The picture and sound quality is excellent on all three. For the price being asked this box set is a steal. 4 stars.
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on 17 April 2012
Excellant condition came really quickly and my dad really enjoys the films. was really pleased with this product and recommend it to anyone who likes cowboy films.
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on 3 February 2010
...I now know the complete story, and I love the last film in the trilogy as I get a fix of Johhny Depp and Antonio Banderas together. Perfect.
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on 25 January 2013
nice box , i love the "splatters", and even if is not like Pulp fiction or inglourious bestards, it is "enjoyable !
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on 27 April 2010
I don't know if it behaves the same way on all DVD players, but you actually have to go into the Options for the first film "El Mariachi", to turn off the Directors Commentary - it's seems to be set to ON by default. I admit I don't speak any Spanish (Mexican), which is the main language of the first film, even so having the Director droning (in English) on about this and that, spoils the film a bit. Better to just turn of the Directors-commentary and enjoy the film.

The second film "Desperado" and I personally think the best of the trilogy is brilliant. Plenty of action, a lot of very funny moments, and like the first film, a very good story.

The third film "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" is good: but it's overshadowed by "Desperado".

All in all, this Trilogy is a must have for any action-film fan.
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on 5 May 2013
semmi trilogy verry loosley
el mariachi - only with english subtitles, good movie for wat it is
desperado - great movie 5 stars
once upona time - bit disappointed but still good
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